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Chris Hennes

Top Chef: Masters

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Vegan + no soy + gluten free... $%#&. All she needed to complete it is a nut/seed restriction. It was a good wake-up episode for me because I've never even thought about cooking in such a restricted manner and it could happen someday with catering.

I went with Chef Keller this week. Partly because I'm hoping he'll win it and partly because almost everybody else jumped on Chef Lo. One person went with Chef Chiarello. She's been picking him from the start and never varies, so I got second this round. Chef Smith was going home about half a second after he put that store-bought rice cream in the cart as far as I was concerned. It's easy to make a rice-based frozen dessert that actually tastes good and that kitchen has the equipment to make it fast as well.

After the teaser, I cannot wait for the Michael/Dale machismo contest next week.

I'm not at all happy about that teaser. They managed to get through 8 episodes without throwing the drama card but they just couldn't resist. It was just too big a temptation to overcome.


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Interesting challenge. I have a friend who is gluten intolerant and allergic to 160 (yes 160) foods.

I'll have to tell her about Michael's dish. I looked at the recipe and I think the only thing she'd have to omit is the black pepper.

I'm glad Anita survived too. That soup looked gross!

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Not my favorite quick fire challenge last night - one-handed egg cooking.  Hate to see such talent wasted on a stunt.  Maybe next week it will be blindfolded knife skills.

From Bravo's program listing for the 8/12 episode:

The remaining four chefs wear blindfolds for their final quick-fire challenge; the chefs use their leadership skills to cater a large event without touching the food themselves.

You're welcome.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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And I thought one-hand-behind-the-back was contrived.

Wouldn't be surprised if they had a blind taste-test for the quickfire.

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So this is a bit of what Dale has to say on the Bravo site about the incident with MC last night on TC...click.

Looking back, I can not see myself handling it in a different way. When confronted by this “Master” chef, I took his comments and tone to be insulting. Had this situation taken place with, for example Joel Robuchon, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Alain Ducasse, I know I would react differently, as I have had nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for these great chefs.

Would he really? He continues...

My apologies if my reaction negatively impacted my team and the other chefs in any way. Do I think how I reacted was appropriate? No, but inappropriate is part of the chef's life. That’s who we are — a degenerate, compulsive, irrational, egotistical and passionate breed that knows how to cook.

Well, maybe not ALL chefs are degenerate and irrational, but...I'm sure some are, Dale.

Now, other than "contributing" to the losing team, maybe Dale ought to read Chiarello's bio... click...let's see...

CIA - 1982

Chef of the Year 1985 - Food & Wine Mag

Chef of the Year 1995 - CIA

Emmy Award - 2005

Executive Chef/Partner - Tra Vigne, Napa - opened 1986 - and then 7 additional restaurants until 2000.

IACP Award Winner 2002 - for Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking. Also author of 4 additional cookbooks.

Opened Bottega Napa Valley 2008...Wine Spectator Award and named to Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants...within 6 months of opening.

About time Anita left, imo...it was pretty much a foregone conclusion by her choices for sous chefs.

Oh, and as for ego, I was at a downtown restaurant on Sunday night - and who walked in, but Dale. Wearing a tee shirt that proclaimed "Chef Life." And that stupid sideways baseball cap. Learn some manners dude - take off your hat when you walk inside. Unless you're at a baseball game.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Chiarello called him "Young man". How does that get Dale so irked? Different people have different management styles, Chiarello's is a little more direct and abrasive, others are more touchy feely.

They really edited it to make Chiarello look bad IMO, although he did take the high road and Dale came off looking like a brat.

As far as the episode went, it was one of the worst. We usually only get to see a little cooking, but with a million chefs running around and them interrupting them every 5 minutes to throw a wrench into their plans, there was almost NO cooking. It wasn't really until the actual party that we knew what they were doing.

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So this is a bit of what Dale has to say on the Bravo site about the incident with MC last night on TC...click.
Looking back, I can not see myself handling it in a different way. When confronted by this “Master” chef, I took his comments and tone to be insulting. Had this situation taken place with, for example Joel Robuchon, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Alain Ducasse, I know I would react differently, as I have had nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for these great chefs.

Would he really? He continues...

My apologies if my reaction negatively impacted my team and the other chefs in any way. Do I think how I reacted was appropriate? No, but inappropriate is part of the chef's life. That’s who we are — a degenerate, compulsive, irrational, egotistical and passionate breed that knows how to cook.

Well, maybe not ALL chefs are degenerate and irrational, but...I'm sure some are, Dale.

What an a**hole. The differences between Dale and Michael are further seen by Michael's comments (bolding is mine).

Bravotv.com: You and Dale got into a bit of a tiff; what happened?

When the cameras started to roll we began to organize our food by recipe. When we opened my fridge it was filled with someone else’s product. I asked around to see whose it was. At that point Chef Dale put something in the fridge and I asked him about it. He did not respond. I didn’t recall his name (there were 12 of them running around) so I called to him using “Young Man.” He appeared to blow a fuse and come at me with all his venom. Growing up as a country bumpkin and wrestling all through school I had a quick decision to make; Do I disrespect myself, my chef friends I am competing with, set a horrible example to the younger chefs and engage him or simply get cooking. Good news is Fabio wanted to get cooking … end of story.

Dale doesn't have half the experience Michael has, yet Michael still shows him the respect of calling him "Chef".

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I thought they both came off badly. Ignoring the Dale incident, MC struck me as the kind of guy no one wants to work for--see Blais' comments.

Anyway, that's why reality shows are lame at times--you never know who is getting the hero or the goat edit.

I thought the last minute move to an outdoor banquet is lame and contrived. At least let the masters plan for it.

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While I have the utmost respect for Chiarello, I found the "Do you know my last name? Say it." portion of the job interview a bit off-putting. Does he honestly think anyone there doesn't know who he is? And does pronouncing his name correctly make you a better chef? No. It only feeds his ego. That part grated. How about asking something you DO need to know? Based on the outcome of the episode, I'd suggest, "What is your favorite rustic Italian dish?" or "What Italian dish do you feel you really cook well?"

I'm glad to see Keller and Bayliss in at the end. Sorry to see Lo go. Seems to me she bore the brunt of the the last minute changes much more so than the other contestants.

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It seemed to me that the producers told Dale to act his brattiest on the show. Espencially when he got in Michael's face with the "what are you going to do about it." It was over the top but maybe that's what he's really like.

I was also sorry to see Lo go and felt really bad for her when she found out she was going to be outside with her raw bar.

Keller and Bayless dishes looked fantastic. I probably would have asked for seconds :smile:

I can't pick a favorite between Keller and Bayless.


Edited by KristiB50 (log)

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Dale is an asshead. And where was Lo during all that? He was her sous chef, so she needed to bat him down for all that crap.

I was really sorry to see that the children got into this one - I knew when I saw them walk in the door that 'drama' was about to ensue. Glad to see CJ, Richard and Fabio, but the rest need to be pinched by the head and dropped into a bottomless chasm!

I'd be happy with any of the last three to win - but I think Keller is the one to beat.

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I thought they both came off badly. Ignoring the Dale incident, MC struck me as the kind of guy no one wants to work for--see Blais' comments.

Anyway, that's why reality shows are lame at times--you never know who is getting the hero or the goat edit.

I thought the last minute move to an outdoor banquet is lame and contrived. At least let the masters plan for it.

I didn't see Blais's comments on the Bravo site, help?

Thanks!

edit:

Found it.

Wow, kind of creepy.


Edited by tan319 (log)

2317/5000

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I thought they both came off badly. Ignoring the Dale incident, MC struck me as the kind of guy no one wants to work for--see Blais' comments.

Anyway, that's why reality shows are lame at times--you never know who is getting the hero or the goat edit.

I thought the last minute move to an outdoor banquet is lame and contrived. At least let the masters plan for it.

I didn't see Blais's comments on the Bravo site, help?

Thanks!

Blais said something during the show to the effect of: "Any Chef who feels the need to ask someone else to pronounce their name correctly deserves to have their name mis-pronounced."

I believe the implication was that he knew how to pronounce Chiarello properly but purposely chose not to.

Perhaps this was an attempt to "fail the test" so he wouldn't have to work with Chiarello.

Sorry for you Chiarello lovers, I agree that Dale was out of line, but Chiarello showed his true colors last night.

He's an arrogant prick any way you edit the tape.

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Sorry to see Lo go. Seems to me she bore the brunt of the the last minute changes much more so than the other contestants.

True, but it's hard to see how centering your buffet around a raw bar was going to get you a win. It doesn't really show off any cooking skills.

Chiarello's "What's my name?" was very annoying, on the other hand, I didn't have a problem with the rest of the way he handled the sous chefs. It was a contest with a limited amount of time to get a product out and he, not the sous chefs was going home if they screwed up. So he wanted to make sure that they could execute his plan.

Bayless seemd to go heavy on the avocado with the guacamole and the ice cream. maybe that's why Keller got the win.

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I will go against common sense and assume the editing was fair.

No problem with Chef Chiarello except that he didn't grab Dale by the collar and seat of his pants and frog march him out of the kitchen. I buy his assumption that the "sous chefs" who could pronounce his name correctly would better know his repertoire and his style. No time for twenty questions. Besides this, it established chain of command.

"Sous chefs" who hammed it up with attitude blew a great opportunity. Always a possibility that one of the Master Chefs would take a liking to one of them and become a mentor. Beyond that - what chef watching the show would ever consider hiring Dale or Spike? Their antics made for good TV, a chance to stand out in a gaggle of 12 "sous chefs" and a very dumb career move.

While I still would have preferred blindfolded knife skills or at least steak broiling (tell by touch when the steaks are cooked to various degrees of doneness), the taste test was ok.

Really liked the elimination challenge - a chance to see the different chefs' styles to hiring and supervising others. Chiarello's approach made sense. He didn't know any of the "sous chefs." A few of them had disrespected him from the start. He opted to micro-manage his crew. A reasonable approach under the circumstances.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Sorry to see Lo go. Seems to me she bore the brunt of the the last minute changes much more so than the other contestants.

True, but it's hard to see how centering your buffet around a raw bar was going to get you a win. It doesn't really show off any cooking skills.

Now that is completely true. You'd think that the words "but you didn't cook anything" would be burned into the brains of anyone who has ever watched this show. Cold, uncooked items don't impress the judges.

I buy his assumption that the "sous chefs" who could pronounce his name correctly would better know his repertoire and his style.  No time for twenty questions.  Besides this, it established chain of command.

I just think that he could have gotten to the core of the issue with a more direct question. "What is your favorite recipe in my repertoire?" That answer can't be faked. Instead, it came off sounding more "Do you know who I am?" than "Are you familiar with my cooking?" Obviously, I wasn't in his head. It was just a bit off-putting. Maybe it was his tone. I really had zero issues with his other tests. It was simply the name thing.


Edited by ThatGrrl (log)

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Sorry for you Chiarello lovers, I agree that Dale was out of line, but Chiarello showed his true colors last night.

He's an arrogant prick any way you edit the tape.

He may be an arrogant prick, but at least he's a successful, accomplished one. See my post above.

Chiarello's "What's my name?" was very annoying, on the other hand, I didn't have a problem with the rest of the way he handled the sous chefs. It was a contest with a limited amount of time to get a product out and he, not the sous chefs was going home if they screwed up. So he wanted to make sure that they could execute his plan.

I don't think it's that annoying at all. It's the same as asking someone to pronounce gnocchi.

I will go against common sense and assume the editing was fair.

No problem with Chef Chiarello except that he didn't grab Dale by the collar and seat of his pants and frog march him out of the kitchen.  I buy his assumption that the "sous chefs" who could pronounce his name correctly would better know his repertoire and his style.  No time for twenty questions.  Besides this, it established chain of command.

"Sous chefs" who hammed it up with attitude blew a great opportunity.  Always a possibility that one of the Master Chefs would take a liking to one of them and become a mentor.  Beyond that - what chef watching the show would ever consider hiring Dale or Spike?  Their antics made for good TV, a chance to stand out in a gaggle of 12 "sous chefs" and a very dumb career move.

While I still would have preferred blindfolded knife skills or at least steak broiling (tell by touch when the steaks are cooked to various degrees of doneness), the taste test was ok. 

Really liked the elimination challenge - a chance to see the different chefs' styles to hiring and supervising others.  Chiarello's approach made sense.  He didn't know any of the "sous chefs."  A few of them had disrespected him from the start.  He opted to micro-manage his crew.  A reasonable approach under the circumstances.

Exactly. All throughout the series, the TC Masters were willing to work with and help one another, no matter that they were competing with one another. The real idea is to get good food out to the judges and the public at the competitions. And not fuck your competitors up.

Teamwork is what makes good chefs and cooks.

Does anyone really think that Dale or Spike are good team players? Spike didn't even want to try and dice carrots, so what does that tell you?

Picked last - not a surprise. And, first to go.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I don't think it's that annoying at all. It's the same as asking someone to pronounce gnocchi.

As edited, it came across as arrogant. Still not sure how it relates to cooking skills. Not sure I would kick out Emeril Lagasse as a sous chef just because he mispronounces any word that's not English (and some English ones too), for example.

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Sorry for you Chiarello lovers, I agree that Dale was out of line, but Chiarello showed his true colors last night.

He's an arrogant prick any way you edit the tape.

It was SO obvious that the editing was done to make Chiarello the "villain" of the evening. I have met Chef Chiarello several times. He does not suffer fools, especially in his kitchen; however, there are other chefs in the Napa Valley who fit the "arrogant prick" moniker much better than Chef Chiarello. Just use your imaginations! :wink:


"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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I was a real fan of Chiarello when he was on the FN. I got a lot of easy entertaining ideas watching his show and always thought of him as a super easy going guy. Watching Master Chef has totally changed my mind. He made several comments in prior episodes that I though were rude towards Keller, and I kept wondering if it was just the editing that made him come off as obnoxious. There is a way to be competitive and still be classy. In the limited time they had to interview the sous-chefs, asking "What's my name, what will you call me?", in addition to the other obvious jabs, made him seem arrogant and like he has been watching too much Hell's Kitchen.

Sorry that Lo went. Hope Keller or Bayless wins.

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From minute one with the "sous chefs" Chiarello was arrogant and condescending. Interesting contrast to the Keller/Bayless approach - positive, encouraging, inclusive, respectful. I know who I'd want to work for.

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I went with Chef Keller again this week and will be next week as well.

I'm less than thrilled that they felt the need to do the drama thing for this. It was going just fine without it.

Dale is a clown... regardless of the edit. The whole gangsta chef thing is a joke. Shut up and cook.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Sorry for you Chiarello lovers, I agree that Dale was out of line, but Chiarello showed his true colors last night.

He's an arrogant prick any way you edit the tape.

It was SO obvious that the editing was done to make Chiarello the "villain" of the evening. I have met Chef Chiarello several times. He does not suffer fools, especially in his kitchen; however, there are other chefs in the Napa Valley who fit the "arrogant prick" moniker much better than Chef Chiarello. Just use your imaginations! :wink:

Michael had 2 minutes - if that much - to decide who would be on his team. Would you hire someone just because they had a favorite dish in your repertoire without testing their cooking skiils? Have you ever gotten a job in a kitchen where they did not eat your food or test your skils before you got hired? Michael was trying to test that. And if he threw out questions that seemed inane, maybe he was just trying to see if they could think on their feet. Dale and Spike were out of line. And it was clear that they were trying to make this episode more like Top Chef with all the drama, and Michael got the short end of that editing stick.


Edited by GwennP (log)

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