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Reignking

Top Chef Season 5

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I'm taking a flyer on Leah as the winner. And she's cute.


I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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And I'm glad they got rid of the kid who spent most of his time yacking on about how he wanted to "share his passion." Blech. What a generic non-statement.

Oh sure, like "I know I can do this, just give me another chance" is an articulate, impassioned defense of one's failure? :raz:

To be able to shop in NYC's Chinatown, and not come up with a greater inspiration than

that shown, is totally lame.

Absolutely true, and ample reason for him to have been eliminated.

My vinaigrette is an emulsion.  :hmmm:

The Finnish guy annoys me. It'll be interesting to see if he grows on me.

Me too. The editing of that whole "A vinaigrette isn't an emulsion... You stupid Americans don't know anything" section was hilarious! It made you wonder if he even knew what an emulsion is.

I haven't followed the show right from the beginning before. Do they usually start of with 17 contestants, or did they sign on one extra person this season so they could eliminate someone in that first quickfire?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I liked the start. Nice to see them get right into a Quickfire without any fooling around. And it was a straight up skills challenge, too.

Not really suprising the kid still at CIA wouldn't last long. But I thought maybe he would last a few rounds.

In any case, I am looking forward to this season. I wonder if they will stay in NYC the whole time. Is there really any true need to send them off to some other location for the final competition? I say keep it in NYC. What better place to be able to cook a wide variety of things?


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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So far , so good.

The two most irritating were booted is short order. IMHO both should've gotten the ax for that uninspired salad idea in the first quickfire.

My early bet is the "Finnish" guy who looks (and sounds) like a U-Boat Captain from a B-movie... or the guy with all the tats.

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So far , so good.

The two most irritating were booted is short order.  IMHO both should've gotten the ax for that uninspired salad idea in the first quickfire.

My early bet is the "Finnish" guy who looks (and sounds) like a U-Boat Captain from a B-movie... or the guy with all the tats.

Not a good reflection on the CIA

And which one with the tats, there were so many

To be able to shop in NYC's Chinatown, and not come up with a greater inspiration than

that shown, is totally lame.

My thougts exactly. He really didn't have a clue which is so sad.

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My early bet is the "Finnish" guy who looks (and sounds) like a U-Boat Captain from a B-movie... or the guy with all the tats.

The only one that I remember with all of the tats was the female member of the rainbow club. But there could have been more -- she just stands out in my memory for the tats.

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What is surprising as well is how uneducated (food wise) some of these contestants appeared to be. From "I haven't ever cooked Italian food," to staring wide-eyed at the spices at Kalustyan's ("I've never heard of these spices") to making mince (literally) instead of brunoise, we were cringing while watching.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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What is surprising as well is how uneducated (food wise) some of these contestants appeared to be.  From "I haven't ever cooked Italian food," to staring wide-eyed at the spices at Kalustyan's ("I've never heard of these spices") to making mince (literally) instead of brunoise, we were cringing while watching.

I don't think I would say that is "surprising." Disappointing, perhaps, but not surprising. I have no idea how Bravo's casting process works, but over the years there has definitely been a broad spectrum of experience and personality. They only need to hold their own long enough to make for some interesting personality conflicts...


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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So far , so good.

The two most irritating were booted is short order.  IMHO both should've gotten the ax for that uninspired salad idea in the first quickfire.

My early bet is the "Finnish" guy who looks (and sounds) like a U-Boat Captain from a B-movie... or the guy with all the tats.

Not a good reflection on the CIA

And which one with the tats, there were so many

I think he is talking about the guy from Hawai'i that nailed the Indian dish without really knowing it.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Ariane may have been and should have been at risk after stating she didn't need to travel all the way from Montclair NJ into New York City to visit the ethnic neighborhoods because she had the cookbooks.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

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Ariane may have been and should have been at risk after stating she didn't need to travel all the way from Montclair NJ into New York City to visit the ethnic neighborhoods because she had the cookbooks.

She's doomed. I can see her go next but with TC anything can happen.

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Ariane may have been and should have been at risk after stating she didn't need to travel all the way from Montclair NJ into New York City to visit the ethnic neighborhoods because she had the cookbooks.

She's doomed. I can see her go next but with TC anything can happen.

She reminds me of good ol' whatshername from last season ... Nikki, it was. And she managed to dodge bullets for a while.

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I'm taking a flyer on Leah as the winner. And she's cute.

I like Leah too. I think she'll go far, but she was one of the few people who lucked out and got exactly the cuisine that they specialize in. It was easy for her to shine under the circumstances.

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So far , so good.

The two most irritating were booted is short order.  IMHO both should've gotten the ax for that uninspired salad idea in the first quickfire.

My early bet is the "Finnish" guy who looks (and sounds) like a U-Boat Captain from a B-movie... or the guy with all the tats.

Not a good reflection on the CIA

And which one with the tats, there were so many

I think he is talking about the guy from Hawai'i that nailed the Indian dish without really knowing it.

Exactly. That guy who did the Indian thing after (apparently) just tasting it once. Hmmm. Brilliant or crafty? The latter I think, perhaps both, but we shall see in due time.

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Ariane may have been and should have been at risk after stating she didn't need to travel all the way from Montclair NJ into New York City to visit the ethnic neighborhoods because she had the cookbooks.

In weak defense of her... she was asked what would she do if someone wanted an ethnic meal cooked. I think we'd all turn to books for that task.

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Ariane may have been and should have been at risk after stating she didn't need to travel all the way from Montclair NJ into New York City to visit the ethnic neighborhoods because she had the cookbooks.

In weak defense of her... she was asked what would she do if someone wanted an ethnic meal cooked. I think we'd all turn to books for that task.

If I recall the conversation, it was something like -- "What are you going to do if a customer comes in and want middle eastern?" and she responded with the "I have books" response. I'm sure edited to make her look as lame as possible, but not really much of a crime. The undercooked "risotto" was a bigger mistake by far, the editors just needed to make it seem closer than it really was.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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"The most difficult knife cut"

Brunoise?

Apparently this person has never heard of a tourne.

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Finally saw it. Was it just me or is the talent level more like the first two seasons (mix of chefs, caterers and a student or two) than the third and fourth(deeper pool, mostly high end restauraunt folks)?

My early money is on the Finnish guy.

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Thanks to the detente between Apple and Universal, I was able to download episode one and watch it on my iPod. A few quick thoughts before the second one airs.

Quickfire:

I liked this. Good to sees a skills test at the start. The unprecedented early elimination set a serious tone.

I was surprised that the culinary student did so poorly here. While I can understand an experienced chef being rusty in his basic prep skills, shouldn't this be second nature to a culinary student? Or does the CIA just teach the skill and assume their students will ultimately master it on the job?

Was I the only one disgusted by those bloody apples? Yeah, I understand that everyone cuts themselves from time to time, particularly in a speed trial. But if we're testing basic skills, shouldn't contestants be able to perform those skills with a basic level of sanitation? Anyone bleeding should have been forced to stop, dress the cut, and redo the bloody apples.

[On a sidenote, is there any practical reason to peel an apple with a knife? Isn't a peeler always more efficient? Should I be working on dexterity with a paring knife?]

Main challenge:

I liked this as well. Someone is really thinking on the production staff, because the head-to-head challenge made it easier to keep track of who these people are. It bodes well for future episodes.

Edit: I've got no favorite for the winner, but I really want the handsome guy with good hair to lose. I'm sure he'll get his one Food Network series as a consolation prize.


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Last night's episode seemed a little silly on a couple fronts: first, calling the quickfire a "hot dog challenge" seemed stupid. I could not figure out from the comments, etc. whether the contestants were actually expected to make hot dogs, or just do something unique with store-bought. Of course, making a bona fide hot dog in 45 minutes is ridiculous, not to mention nigh on impossible with the equipment they had on hand (hot dogs are notoriously difficult to get right using normal kitchen equipment). Most of the contestants ended up making some kind of sausage, which is fine, except it was called a hot dog challenge. Yes, I'm being pedantic. Still...

The main challenge wasn't bad in and of itself, but the filming to include the rejected potential contestants was obnoxious. By and large they all managed to come across as complete douchebags, which added nothing to the show and was just an annoying waste of screen time. I agreed with the decision to eliminate whats-her-face (how am I supposed to remember any names this early in the season?) -- she thought that just picking an unusual ingredient (THAT SHE HAD NEVER WORKED WITH!!) automatically made her "creative" or "unique" or something other that "completely ridiculous," which was the truth of it. Just picking weird ingredients does not make you creative or interesting, and it certainly will fail if said ingredients don't taste good. Have these contestants never watched the show in the past? This theme keeps repeating itself. Hell, it repeated last week with the black noodles!

Edited for grammar. Since I'm being pedantic and all...


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I agree with you on the naming of the quickfire, especially when they called out one cheftestant for using *gasp!* store-bought hot dogs. Unless they were given a more complete explanation off-camera.

I also got the impression that one of the factors that went into Jill's elimination was her incoherent defense of her performance, which is one of the reasons I like this show.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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If you've watched past seasons, there's never been a foreign chef as a winner. So start thinking the Italian or the Finnish chef's as your choices. The Euro boys sure can cook :rolleyes:

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I only caught the last half, so I'll say more when I see it all.

One comment: it surprised me that Padma was so disgusted by the avocado dessert. Maybe it was done badly, but it doesn't seem that unusual.


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I bet if Jill defended her -very poor dish- better she would've stayed. Ariane was the one who definitly needs to go. I believe this is the second time (in two episodes) that she said "Well, I've never cooked/seen this before". She seems lazy, uninterested and not very competent. My money on her leaving the show next time around.

My favorite is Fabio so far. That Carpaccio dish really did come across as top notch, classical but with a very modern flair AND was perfectly executed. He has his head in the right place, he can cook and seems competent. Stefan is competent but is an ass (Vinaigrette is not an imulsion...right, bad ones are not).


Edited by FoodMan (log)

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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