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Top Chef Season 5


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It's an interesting question. If Richard Blais had been her sous, would he have suggested sous vide or would he have suggested that she stick to her strengths? and if he did suggest sous vide, would she have been more likely to over-rule him than Casey?

Richard's blog on the Bravo web site answers this question:

... But, it was the very democratic management style of Hosea that had me enjoying working with him more and more as the challenge progressed. At one point we discussed cooking the venison sous vide. And just like Carla, Hosea was willing to risk it, even though it’s not something he has done with regularity. It was easy for us to decide to scratch that idea, even though he was game (pardon the pun). It’s this exact scenario that sealed one team’s unity and unraveled anothers.

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Read the post about Colicchio defending the choice of Hosea on Amuse Biatch (http://amuse-biatch.blogspot.com/) ... Toby has the better argument there, and his logic (which he claims to have gotten from Tom) would've chosen Stefan.

I did notice the anticlimax of Padma announcing Hosea was the winner. It sounded almost like an apology.

Edited by chappie (log)
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most disappointed I have been in the show since Ilan won...

Hoser is NOT Top Chef.

Worst winner since Ilan Hall.

I have a real problem with the random elements introduced to the finale. I think the finale has been a "cook the best meal of your life," straight ahead challenge. I really didn't like the random elements which all went Hosea's way.

Casey's comments were classless. Especially if what she was saying was that Carla's cooking school wasn't very good. Utterly classless.

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I really liked Carla's comment at the end, "When I came here, I wanted to show people a different way of competing, competing with love, so I did one of the things I wanted to do here."

:wub:

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Read the post about Colicchio defending the choice of Hosea on Amuse Biatch (http://amuse-biatch.blogspot.com/) ... Toby has the better argument there, and his logic (which he claims to have gotten from Tom) would've chosen Stefan.

Given the rules of the show as they stood, Hosea had to win. Three out of the four judges concluded that Hosea's final meal was better than Stefan's. If you take challenges one at a time, Hosea wins. It is that simple. Colicchio conceded that if it had been "a tie," Stefan would have won based on a stronger performance throughout the season. But Toby was the only judge who considered it a tie, and his judgment was consistently "off" all season long. None of us tasted the food, but as I've mentioned before, this was the least suspenseful conclusion of any episode this season. Hosea's win in this challenge was so overwhelming that even the "evil editors" weren't able to make it look close.

In his online chat, Toby gave his theory as to why they they judge only one challenge at a time. If the results were cumulative, you could have a season where one contestant had such a huge lead that all he needed to do was show up. In baseball, they don't play the bottom of the ninth inning if the home team is far enough ahead. But it wouldn't make very good TV if they said, "We're cancelling the Top Chef finale because Stefan is already so far ahead that he can't lose."

Edited by oakapple (log)
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Here's hoping excellent chefs around the world are thinking "hey that 100k could be mine!" and we get some top rate talent in future seasons (if the producers are smart enough to pick the top talent and not what they think will generate the most drama...)

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most disappointed I have been in the show since Ilan won...

Hoser is NOT Top Chef.

Worst winner since Ilan Hall.

I have a real problem with the random elements introduced to the finale. I think the finale has been a "cook the best meal of your life," straight ahead challenge. I really didn't like the random elements which all went Hosea's way.

Casey's comments were classless. Especially if what she was saying was that Carla's cooking school wasn't very good. Utterly classless.

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most disappointed I have been in the show since Ilan won...

Hoser is NOT Top Chef.

Worst winner since Ilan Hall.

I have a real problem with the random elements introduced to the finale. I think the finale has been a "cook the best meal of your life," straight ahead challenge. I really didn't like the random elements which all went Hosea's way.

Casey's comments were classless. Especially if what she was saying was that Carla's cooking school wasn't very good. Utterly classless.

I so agree. This was the worst winner since Ilan and I think worse than Ilan. Hosea was lucky to be in the finale at all. Casey's comments were awful - funny since she was always the one keeping thiings together in season 3. And she lost season 3 by making the worst dishes of the finale - all her courses, as I recall and she wasn't even in the running either. Poor Carla - but isn't a sign of a Top Chef one who can also delegate to their sous chefs and stick to their guns?

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I just don't get the "luck" aspect. He obviously outplayed all the chefs who didn't get to the finals (which, btw is another aspect of these reality contests); and then he beat the other two chefs in the final. Some call it luck; perhaps there was a bit of brains and skill thrown in there too.

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In baseball, they don't play the bottom of the ninth inning if the home team is far enough ahead.

I'm not disagreeing with the Top Chef format, but in baseball, they don't play the bottom of the ninth if the home team is even a single run ahead.

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i'm at a loss to understand casey's remarks. they come across as angry. so, what was she so angry about? what prompted her remarks?

i don't think she was shown in a bad light for messing up carla's final meal. she made some pretty straightforward suggestions carla didn't have to take them.

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I just don't get the "luck" aspect.  He obviously outplayed all the chefs who didn't get to the finals (which, btw is another aspect of these reality contests); and then he beat the other two chefs in the final.  Some call it luck; perhaps there was a bit of brains and skill thrown in there too.

There certainly is an element of luck in the show. Sometimes you perform poorly, but luckily for you, someone else makes an even worse mistake. Hosea was in the bottom 3 four times, more than anyone else who has ever gone on to win the season.

There are other examples. The penultimate episode clearly favored those who had deep experience with southern U.S. cuisine. The two worst performers in that episode (Stephan and Fabio) were the chefs to whom Creole cuisine was least familiar. Substitute another challenge where they were on more solid ground, and maybe Fabio would have been in the final 3 instead of Carla or Hosea.

That kind of luck happens all season long. In the Restaurant Wars episode, Leah was the worst individual performer, but her team was rescued by Stephan's desserts. No one had wanted Stephan on their team: Leah was saved by a guy she was trying to avoid. As a result, Leah (a weaker chef) stuck around three more weeks, while a stronger chef (Radhika) was no longer around.

This is not to deny that Hosea did a lot of things right, but he also got lucky.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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I just don't get the "luck" aspect.  He obviously outplayed all the chefs who didn't get to the finals (which, btw is another aspect of these reality contests); and then he beat the other two chefs in the final.  Some call it luck; perhaps there was a bit of brains and skill thrown in there too.

There certainly is an element of luck in the show. Sometimes you perform poorly, but luckily for you, someone else makes an even worse mistake. Hosea was in the bottom 3 four times, more than anyone else who has ever gone on to win the season.

There are other examples. The penultimate episode clearly favored those who had deep experience with southern U.S. cuisine. The two worst performers in that episode (Stephan and Fabio) were the chefs to whom Creole cuisine was least familiar. Substitute another challenge where they were on more solid ground, and maybe Fabio would have been in the final 3 instead of Carla.

That kind of luck happens all season long. In the Restaurant Wars episode, Leah was the worst individual performer, but her team was rescued by Stephan's desserts. No one had wanted Stephan on their team: Leah was saved by a guy she was trying to avoid. As a result, Leah (a weaker chef) stuck around three more weeks, while a stronger chef (Radhika) was no longer around.

This is not to deny that Hosea did a lot of things right, but he also got lucky.

Absolutely.

Hosea didn't just pluck the baby out of king cake with skillz. Neither did he happen to draw #1 from the knife block that landed him Blais, which some here claim was his ticket to the title.

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I'm going to take back my comments about Casey. Having looked at the stories on the net, it looks like her comments were taken off her facebook page and not intended to be public. While I don't think that makes them a whole lot better, it is the nature of the internet to let one shoot ones mouth off.

Disappointing finale all around though.

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I'm going to take back my comments about Casey.  Having looked at the stories on the net, it looks like her comments were taken off her facebook page and not intended to be public.  While I don't think that makes them a whole lot better, it is the nature of the internet to let one shoot ones mouth off.

The editing did make it appear as if Carla's failures were mostly due to her accepting Casey's bad ideas. Colicchio even said, "You gave your sous-chef too much control," or words to that effect. So I can understand Casey wanting to set the record straight, but I don't think she helps herself with these ungenerous comments.
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In baseball, they don't play the bottom of the ninth inning if the home team is far enough ahead.

I'm not disagreeing with the Top Chef format, but in baseball, they don't play the bottom of the ninth if the home team is even a single run ahead.

Also, seems to me that the Finale episode would have to be compared to the entire 9th inning if we're going to make analogies to baseball games. So, Stephan would be the home team, and you'd have two visiting teams who would still get their at-bats to try to score more runs than he has going into it the episode. So you'd still have a final episode, it would just be harder if the 'Stephan' team had 38 runs and the other two had no pitching. You wouldn't cancel it, you'd just be presented with a couple of long shots.

I don't like the baseball analogy.

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I don't like the baseball analogy.

There are others you can use, like Toby's analogy, the motor racing season. I think his valid point was simply that if cumulative scoring were used, you could have a situation where the finale was either irrelevant or completely drained of suspense. Obviously Bravo doesn't make money (and hence, doesn't produce the show) unless it can attract viewers, which in turn requires an episode every week where the outcome is in doubt.
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In baseball, they don't play the bottom of the ninth inning if the home team is far enough ahead.

I'm not disagreeing with the Top Chef format, but in baseball, they don't play the bottom of the ninth if the home team is even a single run ahead.

I agree. Carla giving Casey's ideas credence over her own ideas says more about Carla as a chef than it does Casey. In fact, I don't think it says anything bad about Casey. As top chef, Carla should have delegated and used Casey to assist in her efforts.

Carla seemed to take the hit and know why she failed. I didn't hear say anything disrespectful toward Casey but soemthing sure rubbed her the wrong way.

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I like the fact that the finale is a head-to-head competition: if you can't be at the peak of your form after months of rest and preparation, you don't deserve the title. I think, given that, Hosea won fair and square and deserved the title ONCE he got there. The other two simply screwed it up. Period. No one else was to blame but Stefan and Carla.

That said, I could see some kind of cumulative ranking being used in earlier episodes, like a points system to get INTO the final four. Even then, though, there would be a legitimate concern that the last episode or two before the finale would be moot. It's a question of whether you are trying to choose the best chef, or trying to make the best TV show.

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I don't like the baseball analogy.

There are others you can use, like Toby's analogy, the motor racing season. I think his valid point was simply that if cumulative scoring were used, you could have a situation where the finale was either irrelevant or completely drained of suspense. Obviously Bravo doesn't make money (and hence, doesn't produce the show) unless it can attract viewers, which in turn requires an episode every week where the outcome is in doubt.

But there's no scoring system to begin with. He's arguing that the subjective "score" he's assigned to Stephan's season performance should trump at the end. He wasn't even a judge the entire season.

Stephan was the strongest performer overall this season, I agree. But people can have different opinions, and that's all it is at the moment. So under the current judging system in place for the entire season, you're back to sitting there the day of the Finale, comparing a cheftestants bad meal from episode two to another's bad meal from episode six where a whole different set of judges were involved and where reasonable persons opinions could vary, and we aren't left with any better a situation as far as I'm concerned. In fact it seems like a worse situation that would inject more uncertainty if the season's performances were close.

Now if he wants to come up with a points based scoring system, and have them rank the entire field each episode and accumulate scoring like the actually do in some racing series, then I say more power. But he just wants to impose that element in what would be a subjective manner on the day of the Finale and that doesn't help. Or so I think.

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But there's no scoring system to begin with.  He's arguing that the subjective "score" he's assigned to Stephan's season performance should trump at the end.  He wasn't even a judge the entire season....

Now if he wants to come up with a points based scoring system, and have them rank the entire field each episode and accumulate scoring like the actually do in some racing series, then I say more power.  But he just wants to impose that element in what would be a subjective manner on the day of the Finale and that doesn't help.  Or so I think.

You need to go back and read the piece. He is not advocating for that, but rather, explaining why that would not work.
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But there's no scoring system to begin with.  He's arguing that the subjective "score" he's assigned to Stephan's season performance should trump at the end.  He wasn't even a judge the entire season....

Now if he wants to come up with a points based scoring system, and have them rank the entire field each episode and accumulate scoring like the actually do in some racing series, then I say more power.  But he just wants to impose that element in what would be a subjective manner on the day of the Finale and that doesn't help.  Or so I think.

You need to go back and read the piece. He is not advocating for that, but rather, explaining why that would not work.

But is he not also arguing that he should have been able to take Stephan's past performance into account in the Finale judging? I'm saying that is path fraught with peril under the current system.

edited to add: Sorry, I've read his Bravo blog where was making that point, but not yet his personal blog.

Edited by Dignan (log)
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But is he not also arguing that he should have been able to take Stephan's past performance into account in the Finale judging?  I'm saying that is path fraught with peril under the current system.

That's not quite his argument. He thinks that Stephan and Hosea did equally well in the final challenge. All agree that if this were the case, past performance could be used as the tie-breaker. Toby was outvoted because the remaining 3 judges believed Hosea cooked the better meal, and therefore the tie-breaker could not be invoked.
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I just don't get the "luck" aspect.  He obviously outplayed all the chefs who didn't get to the finals (which, btw is another aspect of these reality contests); and then he beat the other two chefs in the final.  Some call it luck; perhaps there was a bit of brains and skill thrown in there too.

I guess I mean that he didn't get into them so much for what he did well, as what others did worse.

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