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Top Chef: Masters


Chris Hennes
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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. 

Editing - possibly. More likely the comments were tongue-in-cheek. I seem to recall an episode where he bought one of his competitors the type of food that he believed that competitor would be able to cook within that competitor's style. As did all the chefs on that episode.

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.

Actually, I think MC probably had some idea that most of those sous-chefs were arrogant and condescending.

As stated above, what's wrong with asking Mr. Hat to dice a carrot? Or maybe cook an omelet, the most basic test of a new chef in a French restaurant.

And who would you rather work for? Dale, Spike or Chiarello?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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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All the chefs were under basically the same constraints in interviewing the former cheftestants (although some may have had more knowledge of a particular chef or another if they had judged a previous episode of Top Chef, for example, Bayless and Blais, if I recall correctly), and Michael was the only one who used those sorts of interviewing techniques. He also had the advantage of picking first each round because he had won the quickfire. Nonetheless, through whatever confluence of circumstances, it appears that Bayless and Keller (who picked last each round) ended up having much more successful output from their sous-chefs. And I have to think that Michael's approach, first in interviewing, then in managing, was part of the end result of Michael being in the bottom two. To me, it seemed like Bayless and Keller were really able to motivate their chefs to rally around them in a way Michael was not able to.

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And who would you rather work for? Dale, Spike or Chiarello?

OY. I'm admittedly not a fan of either Dale or Spike. But Chiarello's "What's my name?" "what am I to you?" questions - come on. Ridiculous. No one has pronounced my last name correctly ever, and I don't get worked up about it.

All the chefs were under basically the same constraints in interviewing the former cheftestants (although some may have had more knowledge of a particular chef or another if they had judged a previous episode of Top Chef, for example, Bayless and Blais, if I recall correctly), and Michael was the only one who used those sorts of interviewing techniques.  He also had the advantage of picking first each round because he had won the quickfire.  Nonetheless, through whatever confluence of circumstances, it appears that Bayless and Keller (who picked last each round) ended up having much more successful output from their sous-chefs.  And I have to think that Michael's approach, first in interviewing, then in managing, was part of the end result of Michael being in the bottom two.  To me, it seemed like Bayless and Keller were really able to motivate their chefs to rally around them in a way Michael was not able to.

Well said.

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In any business your reputation precedes you. I think it's telling that nobody seems to have wanted to work w/Chiarello.

I enjoyed watching the taste test but, when the scores were given, wondered how many total items they tasted. Seven is a nice number FTW, but was it out of 10? 15? 20???

Edited by aliaseater (log)

Pick up your phone

Think of a vegetable

Lonely at home

Call any vegetable

And the chances are good

That a vegetable will respond to you

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In any business your reputation precedes you.  I think it's telling that nobody seems to have wanted to work w/Chiarello.

I enjoyed watching the taste test but, when the scores were given, wondered how many total items they tasted.  Seven is a nice number FTW, but was it out of 10? 15? 20???

It was out of 20. 35% was the winning score.

I wonder if the age of the "Masters" vs typical Top Chef contestants played a roll in their ability to identify the various ingredients. I was really surprised when Bayless didn't get Mango.

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I just watched my recording of the show and wow, I was surprised by Chiarello. I thought up until now he came across as a nice guy. But say what you will about his attitude, the man can cook. (I think)

I was sad to see Anita Lo go. Bayless came across as a true southern gentlemen and Keller is just a pro. Right now I am on the fence for who am rooting for to win.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I just watched my recording of the show and wow, I was surprised by Chiarello. I thought up until now he came across as a nice guy. But say what you will about his attitude, the man can cook. (I think)

I was sad to see Anita Lo go. Bayless came across as a true southern gentlemen and Keller is just a pro. Right now I am on the fence for who am rooting for to win.

Well, I still like Michael, but I think Keller should win. His dishes are truly elegant and not a one trick pony.

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Finally watched it last night. It seemed there was something screwy with Chiarello's scoring. The judges had nothing positive to say about his food esp the mushy/mealy swordfish (his main component?) but meanwhile he got 4 stars from two judges. How is that possible when they raved over Lo's stuffed ribs and she scored lower. Even if her raw bar wasn't a great idea she had the noodles and other dishes. I didn't like her throwing Jaime under the bus though regardless of her performance. The Master's should be above that.

I agree that Dale and Spike were out of line but the thing Chiarello didn't get (and Keller and Bayless did) was that these past TC contestants have inflated egos with nothing to prove. They're celebrities in the industry now and in demand. Several of which have their own places. Ironically, Spike, the last picked and released from his team, has a new (burger) place in Philly getting a fare share of publicity I believe.

Keller seems the most technical and interesting. He should win.

That wasn't chicken

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Spike, the last picked and released from his team, has a new (burger) place in Philly getting a fare share of publicity I believe.

Huh? What and where?

Perhaps there's some confusion, unless he's opened another one. It's on Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, DC.

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Spike, the last picked and released from his team, has a new (burger) place in Philly getting a fare share of publicity I believe.

Huh? What and where?

So sorry Holly. It's in D.C. http://www.goodstuffeatery.com/ Though not too far from you. Incidentally, last year I followed the link to your site and found your map of bbq places (close to Highway 95) to be a very valuable resource. Smokey Pig was one of the places we ate. Excellent que. Thanks much!

That wasn't chicken

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I watched it again and still don't have any issues with Chef Chiarello's approach. It wouldn't have been my approach but I'm not him. I think maybe he was just getting the point across that, yes, you may be an accomplished chef, but, for the purposes of this challenge, you are working for me.

Dale going into full schoolyard gangsta-goober "Wachoo gonna do about it? Wachoo gonna do?" mode over being called "young man" by someone probably nearly double his age was much more ridiculous than anything Chef Chiarello said/did. I thought Chef Chiarello showed great restraint by not stuffing Dale headfirst into the nearest garbage bin.

Of course all of the above is based entirely on what we got to see which may or may not be the entire story in proper chronological order.

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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I agree that Dale and Spike were out of line but the thing Chiarello didn't get (and Keller and Bayless did) was that these past TC contestants have inflated egos with nothing to prove.  They're celebrities in the industry now and in demand.  Several of which have their own places. 

Maybe Chiarello DID get it and was trying to bring their egos back down to earth. Nothing to prove my ass. Anyone going to work as a sous for Bayliss, Keller or Chiarello has a lot to prove.

And remind me in 20 years, when Dale has racked up all his awards while hawking lumpia and halo-halo from his string of sidewalk carts.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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 agree that Dale and Spike were out of line but the thing Chiarello didn't get (and Keller and Bayless did) was that these past TC contestants have inflated egos with nothing to prove.  They're celebrities in the industry now and in demand.  Several of which have their own places. 

Maybe Chiarello DID get it and was trying to bring their egos back down to earth. Nothing to prove my ass. Anyone going to work as a sous for Bayliss, Keller or Chiarello has a lot to prove.

And remind me in 20 years, when Dale has racked up all his awards while hawking lumpia and halo-halo from his string of sidewalk carts.

I'm not saying he and all the masters didn't deserve every bit of respect. But he should have realized he wasn't going win them over the way he was going about it. They ripped him pretty good holding nothing back in their commentaries.

That wasn't chicken

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I didn't like her [Anita Lo] throwing Jaime under the bus though regardless of her performance. The Master's should be above that.

Yeah, that seemed a bit uncharitable of her, I thought. I don't know how much of Jaime's sort of complaints about feeling that Lo wasn't really taking charge and leading (I forget exactly what she said) were valid, but it did seem like Lo may not have used her team as well as Bayless and Keller, so even if Jaime's work ended up being technically inept or slow or whatever the problem was, I don't know that all of the blame should be laid at Jaime's feet and none at Anita Lo's.

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Rick mentions in his blog that none of the other chefs had seen all of the past seasons, so some watching, but not enough to know everybody.

They're celebrities in the industry now
Celebrities in their own minds for sure. Reality show participants in mine.
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They're celebrities in the industry now
Celebrities in their own minds for sure. Reality show participants in mine.

I don't know who wrote the first quotation (can't find it anywhere), but I would think that most respectable chefs don't give a crap about who's a celebrity in the industry. Most of them probably just care about who does their jobs well. And I think most of the chefs involved in this show are "respectable".

And really, if you're running a successful restaurant, how much time do you have to watch a crappy reality show about "chefs", most of whom aren't that successful at cooking?

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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They're celebrities in the industry now
Celebrities in their own minds for sure. Reality show participants in mine.

I don't know who wrote the first quotation (can't find it anywhere), but I would think that most respectable chefs don't give a crap about who's a celebrity in the industry. Most of them probably just care about who does their jobs well. And I think most of the chefs involved in this show are "respectable".

And really, if you're running a successful restaurant, how much time do you have to watch a crappy reality show about "chefs", most of whom aren't that successful at cooking?

It's from post #260. The contestants involved in this show are chefs or cooks. It's the celebrity part that irks - because they're far more known for participating on this show than anything else.

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They're celebrities in the industry now
Celebrities in their own minds for sure. Reality show participants in mine.

I don't know who wrote the first quotation (can't find it anywhere), but I would think that most respectable chefs don't give a crap about who's a celebrity in the industry. Most of them probably just care about who does their jobs well. And I think most of the chefs involved in this show are "respectable".

And really, if you're running a successful restaurant, how much time do you have to watch a crappy reality show about "chefs", most of whom aren't that successful at cooking?

It's from post #260. The contestants involved in this show are chefs or cooks. It's the celebrity part that irks - because they're far more known for participating on this show than anything else.

Yes, I'm aware the participants in the regular Top Chefs are trained in cooking, but I wonder how many of them would achieve any amount of legitimate success in the food world without the show. Like I said, most of the respectable chefs on TCM wouldn't give a hoot about people in the business who attained their status via TC rather than through their skill in the kitchen (and TC really has little to do with real skill in the kitchen--or so is implied by an anecdotal conversation between Stephanie Izard and Rick Bayless).

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Finally watched it last night. It seemed there was something screwy with Chiarello's scoring. The judges had nothing positive to say about his food esp the mushy/mealy swordfish (his main component?) but meanwhile he got 4 stars from two judges.  How is that possible when they raved over Lo's stuffed ribs and she scored lower.  Even if her raw bar wasn't a great idea she had the noodles and other dishes.

They always do that. According to past blogs their deliberations and comments take place over hours sometimes. They condense that into a couple 5-10 second soundbites.

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