Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Top Chef: Masters


Recommended Posts

I'm really looking forward to this one.  I had a chance to meet Michael Chiarello at his restaurant the other week, so I'll be pulling for him.  I'll even open one of his bottles that we brought back...

I am a huge Michael Chiarello fan. He's one of those chefs on tv that I have learned several things from. Going out to Napa Valley next spring and can't wait to try his new restaurant. I'm pulling for him, too!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well here I am, on the day that it premiers, in my office in South London, a very long way from the action. My only sense of the buzz building: the links piling up on google news. And there are a lot of them.

I'll be intrigued to see what people make of it. Obviously it's Top Chef, but different, that major difference being not just the calibre of the chefs but the impact it has upon the dynamic. None of these guys are exactly going to be scratching their eyes out for the prize, a la TC, but they do want to win. And placed in a kitchen without a brigade they have to fall back on their most basic skills.

It's a lot of fun. Happy watching.

Jay

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm really looking forward to this one.  I had a chance to meet Michael Chiarello at his restaurant the other week, so I'll be pulling for him.  I'll even open one of his bottles that we brought back...

I am a huge Michael Chiarello fan. He's one of those chefs on tv that I have learned several things from. Going out to Napa Valley next spring and can't wait to try his new restaurant. I'm pulling for him, too!

As I expected, he is as humble and nice as he seems on his show.

I've always hated mushrooms. My then-fiancée loves them. We had just watched his show when he made Michael's Best Button Mushrooms. A few days later, my then-fiancée lost her cat; to cheer her up, I do what I do best -- cook. And I made that recipe. And it turned out...I liked them too!

So, to my surprise, he actually had them on the menu at Bottega. When I asked them about them, he said that was the first recipe that he came up with -- when he was 12!

Back to the show -- there are 4 chefs on each of 6 "semi-finals". Tonight's are...eh, some might consider it a spoiler. I just know Chiarello isn't.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not quite the same as TC. It reminded me of "Chopped". I think the chefs all did about as well as the cheftestants do.

I do agree with Hubert Keller's win though.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I though the judging was a little "gushy" - "Oh it was so wonderful what you turned out bla bla bla" They really need a couple of peer judges.

Keller's quick fire was really impressive, as was his elimination challenge but,,,,,,, should he have been DQ'd for going outside the dorm room to do his pasta?

The little segment with the microwave confounding the chefs was almost the best part of the show.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked the show. I think it show all of the chefs in a great light. Food looked interesting too. Some of what Keller cooked he has also prepared on his pbs show and you can download his reciepes from the webpage.

I liked when the one guy's mix wouldn't work where Keller grabbed his and took it to his station.

The microwave scene was a real hoot. But the girls being the food critics was a real fun.

I critics way to soft on these guys but I will still watch.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

Link to post
Share on other sites

What I liked about this show was the same things that I enjoyed about The Next Iron Chef - real professionals, doing smart, good food and respecting one another. Also NO drama - loved that. I have never understood the draw of watching people behaving badly. What I didn't like was Gael Greene. She has always given me a major case of the creeps.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What I liked about this show was the same things that I enjoyed about The Next Iron Chef - real professionals, doing smart, good food and respecting one another.  Also NO drama - loved that.  I have never understood the draw of watching people behaving badly.  What I didn't like was Gael Greene.  She has always given me a major case of the creeps.

Yes, they are focusing on the chefs -- their stories, their charities -- instead of the fake drama. And I loved how loose they were -- this was for fun. They were forced to have fun and not take it too seriously when they realized that they had to cook for kids. I loved the "burnt" comment on the banana. Top Banana Scallop returns!

I was icked out when Keller stuck the shower head in the pasta, but I admire his resourcefulness. I was disappointed that Tim Love froze everything; I was thinking that he could've been good competition.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keller had it right turning his dessert into animal shapes. The girls loved it before they even tasted it.

I also thought the show was great. And pasta in the bathroom? Ewww.

I felt bad when Love froze his food-especially the produce. He recovered better than I thought he would.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I though the judging was a little "gushy" - "Oh it was so wonderful what you turned out bla bla bla" They really need a couple of peer judges.

I was surprised how "gushy" they were. I expected the English guy, in particular, to get in some zingers. But this was the first episode, and I think they were feeling their way. Also, to be honest, all four chefs did a pretty good job under these bizarre circumstances.

Peer judging could be awkward. I suspect Tom Colicchio would feel a bit uncomfortable about publicly critiquing chefs like Chris Lee, Anita Lo, and Wylie Dufresne, who are his direct competitors in the NYC restaurant market. And even if he were willing to do it, it's arguably a conflict of interest. It's not the same thing when he's judging Leah Cohen, since nobody would say that Centro Vinoteca and Craft are comparable. But Aureole, Anisa, and WD~50 are on the same level as Colicchio's own restaurants.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I was surprised how "gushy" they were. I expected the English guy, in particular, to get in some zingers. But this was the first episode, and I think they were feeling their way. Also, to be honest, all four chefs did a pretty good job under these bizarre circumstances.

I think the fact that this is all done for charity may be tempering their comments.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was worth it just to see a chef of Hubert Keller's stature totally fazed by (a) having to grocery shop, (b) being French and never having been been to college try to cope with cooking in a dorm room of an American college, and © figuring out a microwave. "I have one at home but use it for . . . what? Drying out newspapers? I don't know . . ." Hysterical! And while these guys took their challenges seriously (and even the Girl Scouts' judging), being true professionals, their response to it was just a hoot. "Lose the redhead!" "She's tough!" "Future food critic!" And then they all went out for a drink after the elimination. YEAH! True chefs!

Nice of Keller to offer his mixer to a desperate colleague. Class act.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that the editing is done to ensure that none of the chefs is made to look too stupid (unlike regular TC, where it seems it's almost the opposite sometimes). After all, these are in fact some of the best chefs in the world, and if Bravo wants to have another crack at another set in the future, every single participant had better come out a "winner" in the end.

Overall I enjoyed the show: I too was a little worried that Rayner would be this show's "Toby" and was pleasantly surprised that he didn't come across that way. Overall I've got no objection to either the judges or the contestants. I'm lukewarm on the host: never thought I'd miss Padma, but there ya go...

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday was an odd day for me because believe it or not I had never seen Top Chef - the regular version, but watched it all day concluding with the finale. Then I was going to turn off the Masters show because I really didn't want any more of the snarky comments, immature snipes and "I cook from my heart" crap. Masters was just plain fun. Yeah the tests were a bit silly, but it was fun watching these guys play along. And I couldn't believe that for the girl scout test none of them went for a girl scout cookie dessert - one accidentally stumbled upon a tag along, but not intentionally.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What I liked about this show was the same things that I enjoyed about The Next Iron Chef - real professionals, doing smart, good food and respecting one another.  Also NO drama - loved that.  I have never understood the draw of watching people behaving badly.

The situations are considerably different. On TC, the contestants are thrown into close quarters, where they share a big communal apartment for several weeks. It is only natural that people are going to get on each other's nerves. The exhausting pace of the challenges, coming one after another, tends to create a ton of pressure all by itself. Of course, the stakes are higher too, as winning TC (or coming close) is perceived to be a real career-maker.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked the show too, and I thought that the quality of food the contestants were able to prepare given the challenge was pretty remarkable, and certainly better than TC contestants. Plus, I think this was probably the most restrictive "twist" for a top chef episode I've seen - I think even in the foo fighters one, they had more of an oven (no?)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am hoping that the sequel will be "Top Chef: Critics" where the contestants are restaurant critics and the judges are chefs.

Best for me was the chefs adapting/improvising when things went wrong.

Before it started I thought the Dorm/microwave/hot plate competition was too cliche Top Cheffy and limiting, but it was fun to watch and the results were impressive.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought that the dorm room challenge was fun, and I definitely think that adding limits is the only way to make the competition interesting. It's much more interesting to watch chefs battle adversity than just churn out great food. We already know that all these guys can make great food in a restaurant where they are allowed to do whatever they want. I think some of the wackier TC-style challenges could even yield more interesting results with chefs of this calibre than with the normal "cheftestants." Where's the vending machine quickfire?

And I think a Top Critic would be a blast. Maybe even just for a special episode?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites
Also NO drama - loved that

Yeah me too. I was starting to worry about the drama factor when Tim Love mistakenly put is goods in the freezer. Those quirky GE Monogram appliances :wacko: Flash back to the door that didn't close all the way in the last TC.

All and All a good show. The chefs are out of their element and some will deal better than others. Certainly entertaining.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Liked the show-would have preferred a professional chef or a foodie -like Alton Brown adds to Iron Chef-rather than a car show model.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...