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Chris Hennes

Top Chef: Season 6 – Las Vegas

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However, one gripe that I think is completely fair is when will the cheftestants learn to TASTE the food before serving it? Tom et al having been griping about that since Season 1. Certainly that might have saved Robyn this time around from being in the bottom three.

It appeared that Robyn knew the shrimp were bad before the judges told her so. In the time allowed, there was no opportunity to redo it.

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However, one gripe that I think is completely fair is when will the cheftestants learn to TASTE the food before serving it? Tom et al having been griping about that since Season 1. Certainly that might have saved Robyn this time around from being in the bottom three.

It appeared that Robyn knew the shrimp were bad before the judges told her so. In the time allowed, there was no opportunity to redo it.

You are correct, sir. However, my recollection is that she said that she only tasted the dish after she served the judges, but before Judges Table. Thus, she would've known how bad it was before facing the firing squad.

Am I remembering this correctly? Anyone else care to verify?


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So here's the question, did the shrimp spoil, or did she just do a bad job of cooking them? In any case she got off easy at judges' table becuase no one asked her is she knew the dish was bad before she served it, persoanlly I love it when they nail them with that question, cause there is no good answer. ch

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Thrown under the bus....in his wheelhouse...respecting the protein

All of these can go... along with the ceviche

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This episode was ok but a bit of a yawner after last week. Cactus is a perfectly valid and tasty ingredient, it was good for those who knew nothing about it to experience it. It was also interesting to see some of the front runners sweating a bit over the setting for the elimination but they still stayed away from the bottom. I'm hoping the preview for next week was heavy on the drama edit 'cause they were sure playing Jennifer up to be struggling.


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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However, one gripe that I think is completely fair is when will the cheftestants learn to TASTE the food before serving it? Tom et al having been griping about that since Season 1. Certainly that might have saved Robyn this time around from being in the bottom three.

It appeared that Robyn knew the shrimp were bad before the judges told her so. In the time allowed, there was no opportunity to redo it.

You are correct, sir. However, my recollection is that she said that she only tasted the dish after she served the judges, but before Judges Table. Thus, she would've known how bad it was before facing the firing squad.

Am I remembering this correctly? Anyone else care to verify?

I remember it the same. She only tasted the shrimp after her plate was given to the judges. She knew by judges table that the shrimp tasted really BAD!


Donna

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I'm not a professional or anything, just a home cook. I can't remember when I've made something that was 'bad'. I can't imagine not tasting ANYTHING I served to anyone, including whatever I make for myself when I'm home alone.

What is the matter with these people? Is the pressure so bad that they forget all they've learned?

The sanitation issue is something else. How many times can Mike Isabella wipe sweat off his face, then continue prepping or cooking? This really is nasty - tasting, then tapping the spoon on the edge of the pot. I don't even do that to my own husband, and we've exchanged a lot of spit over the 32 years we've been married.


Stop Family Violence

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Did anyone catch a glimpse of any type of mobile refrigeration unit at the camp? I didn't. All I saw were their trusted coolers on wheels. I doubt that a cooler filled with ice would safely hold seafood overnight in the intense heat of the Las Vegas desert. I'm wondering if the Producers hid a mobile refrigerator hooked up to a generator or something.

I don't really care to eat ceviche in the desert and I certainly don't want to eat it if the fish wasn't kept properly chilled before it was prepared. Anyone see any sort of refrigeration unit outside of the portable tailgate coolers?

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I didn't see any refrigeration in the episode but I'd be surprised if there was none unless they had a storage unit for a lot of ice. I think they had the chefs drag the coolers into their little campsite and then failed to mention that everything was stored in the ranch kitchen. It was the Rustic Edit. Storing the stuff in the desert heat without refrigeration or adequate ice replacement would probably have resulted in the judges refusing to touch the food.


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'm really enjoying this season. So many of the cheftestants really seem like they know how to cook, and work well under pressure, too. Though I think there are still a few middle-of-the-roaders who won't be around for long, it will be fascinating to see how this season shakes out.


Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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I didn't see any refrigeration in the episode but I'd be surprised if there was none unless they had a storage unit for a lot of ice. I think they had the chefs drag the coolers into their little campsite and then failed to mention that everything was stored in the ranch kitchen. It was the Rustic Edit. Storing the stuff in the desert heat without refrigeration or adequate ice replacement would probably have resulted in the judges refusing to touch the food.

Yeah, and even then Colicchio spit out some of the ceviche. Yuck.

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In the Bravo blogs, Gail says "Above all else, the fact that they had no access to ice, let alone proper refrigeration, became a serious problem." And Tom says that he saw the chefs worrying about cooking conditions, when they should have been worried about refrigeration. I suspect the food stuffs that needed it were refrigerated overnight, but brought out early in the day for prep. There was no further access to coolant, and the several hours in the 110 degree heat until service took its toll on some of the items.

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In the Bravo blogs, Gail says "Above all else, the fact that they had no access to ice, let alone proper refrigeration, became a serious problem." And Tom says that he saw the chefs worrying about cooking conditions, when they should have been worried about refrigeration. I suspect the food stuffs that needed it were refrigerated overnight, but brought out early in the day for prep. There was no further access to coolant, and the several hours in the 110 degree heat until service took its toll on some of the items.

If that's the case, they pushed the issue of the challenge too far. Since, as far as we know from what was televised, the chefs had no knowledge of the conditions they would be dealing with for the challenge, they had no opportunity to plan their dishes around the setting. Sacrificing food quality and/or safety doesn't seem like an intelligent route for a show about cooking to take. They could have said "oh, by the way chefs, refrigeration will be limited to your portable coolers and the ice they contain so take that into consideration" without giving away too much.


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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Did anyone notice Mike Isabella got married shortly after this season debuted? Maybe the stress of being away during most of the planning part of the wedding, as well as away from his fiancee, was part of the reason he came across as an a-hole

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If that's the case, they pushed the issue of the challenge too far. Since, as far as we know from what was televised, the chefs had no knowledge of the conditions they would be dealing with for the challenge, they had no opportunity to plan their dishes around the setting. Sacrificing food quality and/or safety doesn't seem like an intelligent route for a show about cooking to take. They could have said "oh, by the way chefs, refrigeration will be limited to your portable coolers and the ice they contain so take that into consideration" without giving away too much.

As always with the show, there's lots we don't know cause we aren't shown, but Tom's blog seems to me to have a tone which indicates that he felt not worrying about how things would keep was a plain blunder, that they should have known better than risk some of the items. There are no details, but at least on that basis, if I'm not reading to much into it, it's possible they were better informed than it appears. I think the producers, let alone Tom and crew, know enough that they would not tolerate unsafe conditions and put the chefs in untenable positions, but would put the chefs in a situation that would require considerable judgement and vigilance to succeed. That having been said, Mattin did make something that made Tim Love's tummy hurt.


Edited by Dignan (log)

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As with any reality show, I'm sure there is plenty that we as viewers did not see. I would be willing to wager that the majority of people watching Top Chef don't care much about the details of overnight refrigeration.


-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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If there were no fridges or ice supplies and the chefs knew (or even had a good idea) what they were getting into as far as cold storage, then all sympathy goes out the window. If I'm going to an outdoor setting in very hot temps 24 hours ahead of the event with nothing but a small cooler and a little ice that can't be replenished, fish and seafood are not going with me. Then again, not everybody had problems with their fish. Maybe they were just more diligent?


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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Fish in the desert? :huh: Glad I'm not a judge.

And I admit, I too found the lip rings distracting. I wish I didn't cause I like to think of myself as open minded and all that hearts and flowers stuff, but I could not hear a word she said my eyes were so stuck on her mouth.


“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”

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So here's the question, did the shrimp spoil, or did she just do a bad job of cooking them? In any case she got off easy at judges' table becuase no one asked her is she knew the dish was bad before she served it, persoanlly I love it when they nail them with that question, cause there is no good answer. ch

The trouble is, the time limits are inviolate. In a restaurant setting, the chef would have other options (e.g., remake the dish, or substitute something else). On TC, there is seldom anything the chef can do, especially if the error doesn't become apparent until the end. I am sure that no chef would serve rancid food. If it's simply not that great, they have to serve it anyway, and hope that someone else screws up worse.

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If there were no fridges or ice supplies and the chefs knew (or even had a good idea) what they were getting into as far as cold storage, then all sympathy goes out the window. If I'm going to an outdoor setting in very hot temps 24 hours ahead of the event with nothing but a small cooler and a little ice that can't be replenished, fish and seafood are not going with me. Then again, not everybody had problems with their fish. Maybe they were just more diligent?

I re-watched part of the beginning of this episode, and I don't think the 'testants were told anything beyond that they were going to be cooking for ranchers. They didn't receive any info on where they would be cooking, like other surprise location challenges. What I don't get is how the production crew didn't provide anything else. Can anyone think of another episode where they were taken to a location the day before and then left there with no refrigeration?? :huh: I can't. Most of the time when they're dropped in a primitive environment, they're cooking almost immediately so a fridge isn't needed.


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I re-watched part of the beginning of this episode, and I don't think the 'testants were told anything beyond that they were going to be cooking for ranchers. They didn't receive any info on where they would be cooking, like other surprise location challenges. What I don't get is how the production crew didn't provide anything else. Can anyone think of another episode where they were taken to a location the day before and then left there with no refrigeration??

I think the chefs are told more than what you see on TV. What's more, you can't blame lack of refrigeration, because if that were true all of the proteins would have gone bad in that heat. Several other chefs served fish with no apparent problem.

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Well I think that was a cerviche free episode and Jen can cook something other than fish!

Robyn needs to go. It was luck that she won immunity but then she had to keep running her mouth about it.

I really think Ron didn't know what paella is.

And Michelle did not seem to like Toby. Does anyone? Why is he still on the show? Bring in Jay Raynor from Top Chef Masters! Bring back Bourdain! Anyone but Toby!

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I cramped a little when I heard Toby's name. Is he even needed? He adds nothing but but contempt IMO.

What was with Eli claiming Robyn only won because she was a cancer survivor?

And finally, that Caesar salad looked a little like Keller's in the French Laundry cookbook.


Edited by HarryB3 (log)

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I don't like him either. He seems harsh for harshness' sake. Tom and Jay Rayner aren't afraid to be harsh when warranted, but their concise, direct criticisms strike me as less grandstanding than Toby's.

I can't figure out why the contestants keep saying they're intimidated by him. He's not an elite chef you'd be desperate to impress, and he's not the most influential food critic on earth. It just seems like he'd be relatively easy to ignore if he hated something you made. I guess the fact that he's a judge is intimidating on its own.

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What was with Eli claiming Robyn only won because she was a cancer survivor?

Yeah, that was insane. I also like how Eli, the self-proclaimed best cook there, somehow never manages to even make the top four. I guess his food is just too genius to be appreciated.

Also noteworthy was Ash, who should just change his name to Tenth Place, complaining about how he should do salads and crisps. The indignity that such a legend should be beaten by such simplicity! He seemed to think he was being sarcastic, but since he can't manage to finish a dish on time, he probably should take his own advice.

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