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Top Chef : Season 7 - Washington, D.C.


Reignking
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I am still having a hard time believing just how poorly Stephen is doing: I guess based on his bio I was expecting a LOT more, and he's just sucking it up. Tracey was kinda funny, but pretty clearly bringing up the rear, and didn't seem to have any confidence that she would do well. Either of them could have gotten the axe and it would have been fine by me.

Chris Hennes
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I am still having a hard time believing just how poorly Stephen is doing: I guess based on his bio I was expecting a LOT more, and he's just sucking it up. Tracey was kinda funny, but pretty clearly bringing up the rear, and didn't seem to have any confidence that she would do well. Either of them could have gotten the axe and it would have been fine by me.

I couldnt stand tracey for some reason. She's been bugging me since ep 1, so i'm not all too sad with the outcome. Stephen reminds me too much of my moms ex husband, so he bothers me for a whole other set of reasons, but I do agree, for what he is on paper, he's doing a pretty poor job. I don't see him lasting too long.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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Especially concerning the quickfire, I think that age old 'I'm not a pastry chef' thing is getting a little tired. They always get so freaked out by dessert challenges. I mean, i'm not pastry chef by any means, but i've had enough of experience to bake and do a decent amount of pastry. Especially those that opened their own places, I would think they would have a hand in pretty much everything, like Kelly said. Although I do notice the more modern chefs seem to be ok with desserts, since they use more measurements and exact temps, that gives them a little more confidence and experience? Who knows. It just always annoys me when they get so worked up over it. And especially by season 7, you would think they would know enough to expect a time when they HAVE to do dessert/pastry.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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What happened to the CIA instructor? She got a little testy when the judges asked if she had made this dessert before (she hadn't). And then, as far as could tell, she just disappeared. Which is pretty much what happened in the previous episodes.

Is she just too mid-pack to rate much screen time at this point? It seems like the producers could wring a lot of drama out of a CIA instructor. And I'd like to hear someone with solid fundamentals and a little more maturity comment on the competition. Could add a new perspective.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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They had to make a pie. Not a modern take on the pie that would have Johnny Iuzzini running for the woodshed, not a make-Pierre-Herme-jealous pastry, just a good pie. I could make a good pie from scratch without a recipe or help when I was 12 and I'm confident I'm not at all unique in that. I'm not suggesting that a great chef has to be a great pastry chef as well but come on... it was a pie. How can someone battling for a title like "Top Chef" be freaked out over having to make a pie?

And, yes, the right person definitely went home.

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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How can someone battling for a title like "Top Chef" be freaked out over having to make a pie?

Seems like in the urban areas hardly anyone bakes pies anymore. I wonder how many of the Top Chef Masters participants have pie on their dessert menu? Restaurant desserts have moved on up to the Eastside - pastry chefs are so beyond baking a simple pie.

There a so many times at the end of a meal that I would trade the composite desserts of today for a slice of fresh fruit pie, still warm from the oven and maybe topped with some home-churned vanilla ice cream or mit a mountain of schlag.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

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Seems like in the urban areas hardly anyone bakes pies anymore.

Maybe that's it. I was completely surprised that the one contestant (I don't remember which one) looked so confused when Johnny Iuzzini asked if she'd used anything to tighten the filling up a bit since juice was running everywhere. It wasn't an "Oops!" look, it was a "What do you mean?" look. Like the concept was completely foreign to her. Making a sweet pie doesn't require being experienced in pastry. If they were going to make anything related to the savory pot pie concept, they would make some form of pastry shell and use something to tighten up the gravy without even thinking about it. The word "dessert" just seems to inspire panic.

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 was a little taken aback when I briefly thought someone could go home for a pie. Then I realized it was a quick fire - and a good one.

It was also one of the few where, after seeing what was produced, I thought that there would be no way I could've been in the bottom three and might've even been near the top. Three hours for a quick fire? Sweet. Immediately I thought of a couple of ways to cheat on the crust if I could make it up elsewhere (like the ganache pie that didn't seem to have a traditional crust).

But the challenge left me with a question. I'm pretty sure I've seen someone whipping out a recipe on paper before. Are they allowed *any* access to recipes they've brought with them, or basic cookbooks? I've made many successful traditional pie crusts before, but couldn't for the life of me recall the proportions of the ingredients. I'd just need 20 seconds with a standard recipe. It that available to them?

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What in the world was Tracey telling Andrea about her husband in her "clairvoyant" mode? I coud not catch it.

Man, she annoyed me and I am so glad she is gone. Hometown girl or transplant, which I believe is the case, I could not root for her.

And what was the deal with the Indian looking guy's glasses changing from shot to shot?

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Just thinking about the episode randomly again, I can't help but think there hasn't been a season like this one where so many of the chefs just annoy the ever loving shit out of me as much as the ones on this season. I couldn't stand tracey, and thank god she is gone, but especially this last one, arnold just bothered me so much. I mean, you own three restaurants, yet have no clue how a charcoal grill works? And you bitch about how you don't use grills because it 'clogs your pores'? Seriously? *shudder*

I just can't wait until only the good ones or left. Ego and confidence I can deal with, that's normal in a kitchen, but a lot of these others I just can't deal with.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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There was no way they could send home two contenders like Kenny and Kevin. Just no way. I know they said they had to evaluate based solely on that day's performance, but I think it's clear that those two have a whole lot more to bring to the table than those hacks they sent home. Lynne was pretty bad. I realize she teaches at CIA or whatever, but you know the old saying, "those that can't do, teach..." I think she was the living embodiment of that and that other fool was the living embodiment of the Peter Principle. :rolleyes:

Seriously, how could you wait until the last possible nanosecond to cook your pasta and not expect yourself to be rushed and run the risk of under cooking it or not having time to finish plating because the PASTA HAS TO GO ON THE PLATE BEFORE THE SAUCE TOPS IT??? Not too swift for an instructor, I have to say. Thank goodness this wasn't a catered event for hundreds of people. That sort of thinking would be truly disastrous...

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Phew, Kenny dodged a bullet there. I didn't figure the instructor was long for the competition, and if that kid couldn't tell the pasta was undercooked, what is he even doing here?

Yeah, he so was incredibly surprised when at the end Tom was talking about what was wrong with the two dishes, mentioned that the pasta was undercooked, and looked like he just got slapped in the face: total surprise. Kinda bothered me too, that both of them at the end blamed the other for leaving, neither seemed to admit they had a part in the demise of the dish. They just weren't a good team, and it was obvious.

I knew it wasn't going to happen, but I did wish a little that Kenny had been going home - I know people rip Angelo to shreds for being a little cocky, but if I hear 'alpha male' or 'irrelevant' from kenny one more time i'm going to throw something at the tv.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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At least he won't risk his pores being clogged anymore.

Ha yeah no kidding, that line in the grilling episode just annoyed me on so many levels. He was just so far over the top, I could barely stand to watch him.

So many chefs that are annoying on this seasons, makes me sad. Funnily enough, I think the chefs that bother me the least, like Angelo, Ed, etc, seem to annoy most everyone else the most.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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Baby food was soooo stupid. What is correctly seasoned for adults doesn't work for the little monsters.

I won't miss either of the losers this round. Both were irritating. The guy was too over the top and the woman had such a flat affect that she was instantly a bore. How'd they pick her???

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Were these possibly the dumbest rules ever devised for an elimination challenge?

For one thing, the "winning" teams at breakfast and lunch didn't have to continue cooking, which meant that eight out of fourteen chefs had the equivalent of immunity. I mean, if there were a quickfire in which eight people got immunity, it would immediately be seen as absurd. Yet, that's what happened.

They probably could have designed it so that the "winners" at breakfast and lunch got an advantage in the next stage -- say, an extra 15 minutes to cook -- without giving them the equivalent of complete immunity.

What makes it even more absurd is that prize at the end (a trip to either Venice or Spain) was extremely good. The eight chefs who "won" earlier never had a shot at that prize. To win it, Andrea/Kelly had to first "fail" at both breakfast and lunch. Of course, they didn't know at the time what the prize would be, but it's an oddly designed challenge when doing something badly turns out to one's advantage.

I certainly agree that of the six chefs in the final round, they sent the right ones home. But were these the worst two chefs remaining, or merely the worst two of those who didn't win at breakfast or lunch?

Edited by oakapple (log)
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