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Top Chef Season 5


Reignking
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It's interesting speculating about the top 3 or top 4, but it all looks really moot at this point. I think Stefan is a shoe-in for the win. The only thing that's keeping me watching is the thought that that's just what the producers want me to think!

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think the producers are manipulating you into thinking that. Stefan is quite clearly, and by a wide margin, the best chef of the bunch. It would take a stroke of very bad luck for him to be eliminated, but it can happen. I mean, Leah is still on the show, and several chefs better than her are gone. Edited by oakapple (log)
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This is by far my favorite challenge. I was talking to the TV while watching it, "I hope you guys are paying attention cause you're gonna have to reproduce it later!" I think picking apart a dish and then reproducing it in that short of a time frame is extremely difficult. Carla really surprised me this episode.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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I knew Jamie was doomed when she mentioned how unimpressed she was by Ripert and how he doesn't inspire her.  I knew when she was a goner with that attitude and rightfully so.

She did say that, and I thought she was rude about it. Fine if you don't have the same cooking style, but it's Eric Ripert. Show some respect.

I really like quick fires that show serious cooking technique and skills. I want more of them.

Give me a break. She didn't say anything about Ripert she said that the lunch was delicious but she found it a little boring and wasn't inspired by it. It seems like she gave her honest opinion--and I'm quite certain she wouldn't be the only chef in the country to think so. I've met a lot of chefs that think having 20 cooks in the kitchen and charging hundreds of dollars for a meal is silly. Doesn't mean they are lesser chefs or wrong for thinking so, just have a difference of opinion.

Seriously, how is it possible that someone suddenly loses all credibility if they don't kiss the ass of someone like Ripert? He's one of the best chefs in the country, true, but hardly worthy of god-like status some people seem to want to give him. He's a man, a chef, cooks very high level food, but it's not everyone style or cup of tea.

What did she need to do, kiss his ring?

PS--For the record, I am a huge fan of Ripert's, I just find it funny that she is being faulted for somehow not showing proper respect.

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Stefan's prize tonight might be as big as winning the whole thing. Hang out with Ripert in three kitchens and at the F&W thing....lots of chances to rub elbows with the bigs and make contacts. A wily guy like him should really run with this chance.

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I agree with what some of you have said so appropriately-that this episode, if not the entire season to date-has been a huge disappointment in terms of the poor decision-making and skills exhibited by some of the Chefs. 

If the Chefs would follow some basic guidelines, they might find much more success in their finished dishes-follow the parameters of the specific challenge, create a dish that you can actually prepare within the time limits and present a dish that is unique and would stand-up in the dining room of a "Top Chef."  When you break it down into parts it really shouldn't be that difficult.

There are numerous examples I could cite where the Chefs have failed, but I'll use our most recent example, the much-awaited departure of Ariane.  (She can apparently can cook a turkey if that accounts for any points). 

To say Ariane "butchered" the leg of lamb is being much too kind.  She massacred the lamb.  Thankfully she wasn't the person responsible for slaying the poor animal or we'd have ended up with wool in our soup!  She cut it, scraped it, beat it, pounded it, rolled it up and messed it up.  It was awful-as witnessed by the comments of the judges.  Awful.  She was given a gift of nature and ruined it.

I'm not aware of the equipment in the kitchen at Blue Hill, so I can only second-guess what Ariane might have had at her disposal for cooking the leg of lamb.  Did she even consider cooking the lamb in a manner that would have resulted in drawing forth the natural flavor of the meat? 

A simple roast, maybe paired with a vinaigrette made from the herbs in the garden?  Wouldn't that have been lovely served with a warm potato salad?

Did she consider doing a simple, rustic dish? The same sort of dish that the farmer's would serve at their family table?  The farmers who not only raised this delicious lamb but would be eating Ariane's incarnation of their animal?

If the equipment was available, one has to wonder if Ariane considered spit-roasting the lamb over an open fire?  If there is a wood-fired oven in the kitchen, would she have considered using it?  Wouldn't the smoky flavor of a natural fire give the meat the flavor and scent that would perfectly accent lamb raised on the green pastures just steps from the kitchen?

Seems simple for me to sit back and criticize her judgement, but she gave us so many opportunities to do so throughout her few weeks on Top Chef.

As I recall the episode, every time Ariane suggested a cooking method Leah and Hosea nixed it and Ariane didn't stand up to them.

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Based on this ep AND past performance, I think Carla should have gone. However, Radhika didn't exercise any control over what was supposed to be HER restaurant. The other contestants designed their own dishes, she let Jeff work in the kitchen when she knew he was the best choice for front of house, she didn't really oversee anything happening in the kitchen (although it looked like she hovered a fair bit), and in the end, she was too stressed and nervous to present a gracious and welcoming front of house.

Still can't stand Toby. But I'm entertained by the way Tom visibly braces himself whenever Toby begins to speak. Anyone else notice this?

I did notice that and I think Padma does too. Hopefully he won't be invited back next season. Bring back Gail!

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Give me a break. She didn't say anything about Ripert she said that the lunch was delicious but she found it a little boring and wasn't inspired by it.

Get real. When you make that comment, by implication you are saying something about the chef responsible for the food. What else could it mean?
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Maybe Jaime was uninspired because there weren't any scallops.

I said as much last night when they axed her.

Leah is so typical of what I've experenced with the work ethics of todays *youth. I would not want her in my business. Her lack of enthusiasim or interest has been wearing on me for a while. I was really hoping she would have gone. At least Jamie knew what she did wrong. Leah had no clue.

Discaimer: *Not all youths as I'm sure there are exceptions.

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I knew Jamie was doomed when she mentioned how unimpressed she was by Ripert and how he doesn't inspire her.  I knew when she was a goner with that attitude and rightfully so.

She did say that, and I thought she was rude about it. Fine if you don't have the same cooking style, but it's Eric Ripert. Show some respect.

I really like quick fires that show serious cooking technique and skills. I want more of them.

Give me a break. She didn't say anything about Ripert she said that the lunch was delicious but she found it a little boring and wasn't inspired by it. It seems like she gave her honest opinion--and I'm quite certain she wouldn't be the only chef in the country to think so. I've met a lot of chefs that think having 20 cooks in the kitchen and charging hundreds of dollars for a meal is silly. Doesn't mean they are lesser chefs or wrong for thinking so, just have a difference of opinion.

Seriously, how is it possible that someone suddenly loses all credibility if they don't kiss the ass of someone like Ripert? He's one of the best chefs in the country, true, but hardly worthy of god-like status some people seem to want to give him. He's a man, a chef, cooks very high level food, but it's not everyone style or cup of tea.

What did she need to do, kiss his ring?

PS--For the record, I am a huge fan of Ripert's, I just find it funny that she is being faulted for somehow not showing proper respect.

She showed neither Eric Ripert nor the dish the proper respect. And yes, she should be faulted and kicked off. A professional chef, especially one of her age and position, should be inspired by and curious about excellence - be it an incredible hamburger, a classic preparation from Escoffier, or a Ferran Adrià creation.

Want to bet Tom Colicchio is?

Then again, from Colicchio's blog

Jamie expressed that Eric’s food really didn’t do much for her, and as misguided as that may be, I respect it. As good as Eric is, his work isn’t every chef’s cup of tea.

How can one respect a misguided judgment?

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

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A professional chef, especially one of her age and position, should be inspired by and curious about excellence - be it an incredible hamburger, a classic preparation from Escoffier, or a Ferran Adrià creation. 

I think you hit the nail on the head right here. You may not want to make that kind of food, you may not love it, but isn't there something for you to learn, from one of the best chefs in the country? Jamie was one of my favorites (talent wise) this season. Her attitude disappointed me. Also, she's classically trained, so it's even more difficult for me to understand why she would comment on Ripert's food that way.

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My interpretation of what Jaime said was that it just wasn't her type of food. Maybe it was too "fussy" for her.

This was a great episode. They finally used the backdrop of NYC, which has been mostly ignored. There were no weird limitations or people forced to use Spam; this tested chefs to taste, think, and recreate.

As for Hosea's mistake in searing, I don't think they could go back and look at the dishes -- they had to create things from memory. Otherwise, it would've been much easier.

Edited by Reignking (log)
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No, Hosea couldn't go BACK and look, but he should have been able to taste it and see it when he cut open his fish, is what I was saying. And, also, they always have the cheftestants eat some megastar's food and then try to replicate it. So, you'd think that headed into lunch at Bernardin, a chef would consciously be thinking that the food was part of a challenge, and proactively be thinking, tasting, remembering - mentally taking notes. I would. (Although that beautiful private dining room had me agog - I was watching that robin's egg blue wall that looked like it was made of textured (checkerboard) glass more than I was watching the monkfish, but then again, I'm not competing for 100 large!)

I can respect Eric's food not being Jamie's kind of food, but, yes, as a chef, you have to be able to cook out of your personal preferences and comfort zone and, in this case, in an elimination challenge, you better FIND the inspiration, dig deep and cook to win. And even if you hate an ingredient and never use it yourself, you have to know how to use it and how it should taste. I still feel Jamie did not live up to her ability. I really think she is much better than how she performed. Pity. But there it is.

Go, Carla! The goofy come-from-behind underdog! Yeah! I think they're feeling her love now! I loved her quickfire comment to Ripert: "Don't even TELL me what's wrong! You don't need to!" Funny, funny lady, is our Carla . . .

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Get real. When you make that comment, by implication you are saying something about the chef responsible for the food. What else could it mean?

The comment was, IIRC, that the lunch was "delicious" but "a little boring" and she found it "uninspiring."

There is nothing wrong with that statement. You guys make it sound like because she didn't have an orgasm at the table that she somehow was jamming a knife in Ripert's back. She is entitled to her opinion, and I'm sure they asked her for it, and she gave it. She is not the first and certainly won't be the last chef to not gaga over his/her meal at Le Bernadin. I fail to see the disrespectful comment that she made.

I think you hit the nail on the head right here. You may not want to make that kind of food, you may not love it, but isn't there something for you to learn, from one of the best chefs in the country? Jamie was one of my favorites (talent wise) this season. Her attitude disappointed me. Also, she's classically trained, so it's even more difficult for me to understand why she would comment on Ripert's food that way.

Again, what attitude? She basically said she didn't love her meal and doesn't like to cook that kind of food.

Here are some quotes from Jamie that I looked up from the BravoTV website:

"I am am awful at replicating...I thrive off the creative aspect of cooking and being innovative."

"I was happy cooking black bass, I have cooked it hundreds of times before...I didn't think that part of it was going to be a problem (which its was). I would have loved to make the dish Fabio got with the tomato water and bread crust. That dish was beautiful. Or even the dish Hosea got because of the flavors in it, the black garlic (which was one of my ingredients I brought with me), the Persian lime, the cous cous...It was just more interesting."

Those were just a couple quotes that stood out to me from an interview on the site. Hardly seems like she's being disrespectful.

Remember, just because it inspires YOU and YOU would love to eat at LB doesn't mean everyone does (or should) have your opinion. There is a wide range of cooking styles and philosophies.

But whatever, I'm done on this topic I've said all I can say.

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Give me a break. She didn't say anything about Ripert she said that the lunch was delicious but she found it a little boring and wasn't inspired by it.

Get real. When you make that comment, by implication you are saying something about the chef responsible for the food. What else could it mean?

You are obviously not a professional cook/chef. It is very possible to respect a chef and not personally find his food interesting. She acknowledges, whether on camera or not, that Ripert is an amazing chef. That doesn't mean that his food has to excite her. If he cooked Mexican food, and she personally didn't like Mexican food for one reason or another, does that mean that she's dissing Ripert? No. It means she isn't fond of his style. I can see exactly where she is coming from, even though I don't agree with her. I personally don't find Grant Achatz's food interesting, I find it like chemistry class. That doesn't mean that I don't think he's a genius.

Thank you

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Get real. When you make that comment, by implication you are saying something about the chef responsible for the food. What else could it mean?
The comment was, IIRC, that the lunch was "delicious" but "a little boring" and she found it "uninspiring."

There is nothing wrong with that statement. You guys make it sound like because she didn't have an orgasm at the table that she somehow was jamming a knife in Ripert's back.

This is, of course, the fallacy of the false dichotomy. She did not jam the knife in Ripert's back, but it's fairly telling that her most pointed comments she did not say to his face, and I suspect never would. Obviously Ripert is far beyond caring what Jamie thinks of his food, but in any other setting to call someone's food boring is clearly not a compliment.
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I'm watching the rerun and wondered about the "red wine bernaise" and Carla just referred to it as "bordelaise beurre blanc." C'mon now. Which is it, and Ripert must be some kind of genius to make "red wine bernaise." Even i have made red wine beurre blanc, though i think it's an abomination.

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Oh my- I just haven't been able to get interested in this season... I hope top chef isnt done- but i too find the phrase "jump the shark" coming to mind... as for the latest episode(just watched it had the flu last week)- I couldn't help notice leah's non-verbals- the flirty pout (eyes wide, lower lip out... I have a 15 year old who excels at this)... as for jamies comments... although she has a right to her opinion, to make those statements while being treated to a lunch at one of the country's greatest restaraunts seems pretty tacky.... In any profession- when young and starting out-.. best to hush up and learn as much as possible from each opportunity offered. end of rant. Sorry. :huh:

ksoss

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I'm watching the rerun and wondered about the "red wine bernaise" and Carla just referred to it as "bordelaise beurre blanc." C'mon now. Which is it, and Ripert must be some kind of genius to make "red wine bernaise." Even i have made red wine beurre blanc, though i think it's an abomination.

Just to be clear she called it a buerre rouge, a buerre blanc would be with white wine.

I would say it's normal, chefs do that kind of thing all the time. Calling pork shanks osso bucco, "confit" or tomatoes or onions or oranges, etc. Very common. Things change, even demi-glace isn't what it used to be. Don't see anything wrong with it, though it could be misleading. I would imagine that it had tarragon in it as well, but that is just speculation on my part.

... as for jamies comments... although she has a right to her opinion, to make those statements while being treated to a lunch at one of the country's greatest restaraunts seems pretty tacky.... In any profession- when young and starting out-.. best to hush up and learn as much as possible from each opportunity offered. end of rant. Sorry.

Come on, don't distort. She made those comments well after the lunch at her exit interview. You make it look like she looked Ripert in the eye and told him the lunch was shitty.

Ugh, I promised myself I wouldn't talk about it anymore. Last time (I hope).

Edited by Qwerty (log)
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yes u guys have got to realize that the comments that was edited in during the dinner they had was probably said during her peak of annoyance and bitterness during the exit interview, not directly after the meal. she was probably rightfully pissed at getting booted.

although one has to wonder, isnt it pretty fkng standard procedure to salt your stuff BEFORE reducing?!?!?

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