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Top Chef : Season 8 - All Stars


KristiB50
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I also think it's fairly obvious they want Blais in the final. He should be one big bag of twitches by then.

:laugh:

The diving for conchs was ridiculous. I shuddered at the thought of one of them not being able to swim at all (but I suspect there was a questionnaire at some point). But it didn't seem to to affect any of them adversely, so no harm, no foul.

I didn't have a problem with the rest of the challenge. They had awesome ingredients and limited tools. I think this translates better to TV where we can't taste anything. It's easier to see ingenuity than judge the subtle differences between dishes. When I saw Richard absolutley dousing his work surface with water to get rid of any sand, I thought "That's brilliant."

This wasn't a finale, despite them being on the site of it. They still have to adapt and overcome. And they did a great job of it.

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So you want a show more like Iron Chef? Might I suggest Iron Chef?

TC is reality tv and the chefs know what they're getting into when they sign up for it. It's fine the way it is. Hell, I'd say it even manages to exceed the exceedingly low quality standards set for every other program on Bravo.

Thank you for suggesting what you think is more appropriate for my viewing pleasure....

No, I do not want Iron Chef. I feel as though you are willfully misunderstanding my point. Yes, TC is a reality tv show (and a very good one at that), and yes, there have to be challenges or restrictions. But it's a question of degree and timing. At this late stage in the competition, I should like to see how they manage to cook in challenges that don't involve subpar or primitive kitchen equipment, or ludicrous twists like "catching" their own conch. If they want to add a twist, how about -- just off the top of my head -- surprising them midway during cooking with a new, exotic protein or funky ingredient that they have 20 additional minutes to transform into a 2nd dish? A second dish that is thematically consistent with the 1st one? Or, they could be asked to use the primary ingredient in a 2nd dish that is a sweet or almost dessert-like version, all in less than 30 minutes?

But at least give them proper cooking equipment or some sort of actual kitchen, even if it's slightly primative, and don't stick them on a windy beach after sending them out to catch their own conch.

It doesn't have to be a choice between Iron Chef or Survivor. It's not all or nothing. There can be a balance in between. I simply don't think it was struck in this last episode.

"There are dogs, and then there are German Shepherds.... "- Unknown

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I also think it's fairly obvious they want Blais in the final. He should be one big bag of twitches by then.

:laugh:

The diving for conchs was ridiculous. I shuddered at the thought of one of them not being able to swim at all (but I suspect there was a questionnaire at some point). But it didn't seem to to affect any of them adversely, so no harm, no foul.

Considering that it looked like the water was all of 5 feet deep I suspect that wasn't a problem. Do you suppose there was a briefing on what a conch actually looks like?

Cheftestant "I got one! I got one!"

Producer "That's a stonefish"

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I think Blais is his own worst enemy. If he really hates everything he cooks, he should hang up his jacket and exit the business. He needs to learn how to relax and enjoy what he cooks. That is what cooking is all about. If you don't enjoy what you cook, then why bother cooking? I don't see him winning this competition with his attitude. He mostly comes in a second to Mike because Mike loves to cook. That shows on the plate. If Richard hates everything he cooks, that will show up on the plate as well. He's frustrated because he can't win, and can't see that the reason why is because his feelings about his food show up on the plate.

--- KensethFan

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The conch were most very likely planted. Doesn't Bourdain schtick on his experience shooting fishing segments that they wont be there when the cameras are on? The fish, I mean? Probably applies to conch too.

Edited by Dignan (log)
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Aside from the usual drama, I came away thinking Mike Issabella is still an ass, but I gotta overlook it and respect his cooking. I cannot belive Michael Voltaggio would throw that challenge either.

Top chef has not been as guilty of it as other food shows, but the food-discussions are still biased for maximum drama. The Masterchef series for instance, will 2 out of 3 times air only negative comments about good dishes and positive comments about bad dishs to confuse the audiance about the outcome. Then the third time they play it on the level, to keep you confused. Tension/drama for the price of making no sense, sigh.

Still rooting for Richard! And how do you cook sweet potato 'noodles'?

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Aside from the usual drama, I came away thinking Mike Issabella is still an ass, but I gotta overlook it and respect his cooking. I cannot belive Michael Voltaggio would throw that challenge either.

I think that is probably the case, but on the other hand Michael Voltaggio hasn't been doing Quickfires for the past however long. Or at least as recently. (This was right after the hiatus, right?)

I am still a bit confused, however, by how Mike got this far? I mean no disrespect, but he didn't do this well in his own season, and now he is up against (arguably) better contestants. I don't remember why he was sent home the last time. Was it nerves or something? Maybe he has just improved as a chef since then. Or maybe it is all happenstance alone.

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I am still a bit confused, however, by how Mike got this far? I mean no disrespect, but he didn't do this well in his own season, and now he is up against (arguably) better contestants. I don't remember why he was sent home the last time. Was it nerves or something? Maybe he has just improved as a chef since then. Or maybe it is all happenstance alone.

I think it's been mentioned a few times that since his season he's gotten a lot more experience at some good restaraunts and has improved his repetoire considerably.

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Yup, if I could steal from Blaise I'd be a better chef too.

“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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Agreed, though to be honest I did wish it was Blais v. Antonia. I bet the producers were rooting against that pairing though: they're both too nice! (No, I'm not implying any producer-interference-conspiracy-theory-BS... just suggesting that they are pleased with the outcome)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Love the pairing. Antonia slimed along thru too many shows. Karla should have made it.

Mike has matured in a nice way. He's growing. I'm happy with either winning.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

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Thought that all the challenges tonight were spot-on. No gimmicks, no curve-balls, no tsuris. Just "cook your best" whatever. Well, OK, the Quickfire was a bit dopey, with the "twist", but both of the elimination challenges were right on.

Officially checking in for Team Richard. Isabella is still an egocentric @ss-hat, though less of an egocentric @ss-hat than he was in his season. I still want to see Blais win, though since I saw him last night on very late night info-mercials pushing the "Sous Vide Supreme" I'm kinda wondering if he did.... :sad: .

I'd have loved to have seen Carla in the final, or Antonia. I didn't get the feeling Antonia "slimed" through challenges, I thought she fought hard and when she won, it was a true win. Guess that's what makes a horse race. Or a "Top Chef" season ! :biggrin:

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Loved this episode. I thought the twists and challenges were great and emphasized cooking above all else.

I don't think Antonia slimed her way through either. I thought she fought hard and focused on food that emphasized taste over elaborateness. And, like Mike Isabella, I think she's improved since her season.

The Magic Elves fooled me as to who was going to win between those two. Thanks to all the comments on how Mike was on such a roll, I really thought she would win out over Mike. Regardless, I think it will be a good finale and I'm happy for him -- even if I do still think he's a crass, bloviating cretin.

Go Richard!

"There are dogs, and then there are German Shepherds.... "- Unknown

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I really wanted to see Blais against Antonia also. Hearing Mike say that his challenge of cooking fried chicken was way harder that cooking for Morimoto made me wonder whether he needs meds. Less obnoxious then the first time around - maybe, but still obnoxious. I hate to admit it but I have to agree with others that his skills have improved a lot from his first season. Still don't want him in the final two.

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I really wanted to see Blais against Antonia also. Hearing Mike say that his challenge of cooking fried chicken was way harder that cooking for Morimoto made me wonder whether he needs meds. Less obnoxious then the first time around - maybe, but still obnoxious. I hate to admit it but I have to agree with others that his skills have improved a lot from his first season. Still don't want him in the final two.

I find Antonia more likable, and more genuine than Mike, and she never pilfered anyone's recipe. Nevertheless, given the rules, Mike made it to the finale fair & square, albeit by a whisker.

Nothing against Morimoto, but whichever chef had to cook his "last supper" was clearly going to be at a substantial disadvantage.

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Yes, cooking Japanese food for Morimoto's last meal would be hard enough even for a trained Japanese chef. To give that challenge any one of these three...., well, that was just sadistic. So I'm glad they turned to the sudden death overtime bite.

BTW, Richard mentioned he didn't have a recipe for strudel dough, but appeared to make nice looking strudel. Did he find some phyllo dough back there or something?

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I was really routing for Antonia, but think she made a tactical mistake in her last supper meal. There's no way you're going to produce an authentic Japanese meal like Morimoto's mother would have made. I was hoping she would somehow try to essentially use his childhood dishes as an inspiration rather than as a template. I mean, there are soups you can use miso in that aren't the traditional Japanese miso soup. And there are ways to do sticky rice that aren't straight sushi rice. I'm not saying it would have been easy -- Mike had a much easier meal to make modifications to. But both Mike and Blais added their own personalities to those dishes, while Antonia played it very straight. Playing it straight might have been fine if she was cooking for someone whose last meal was Italian. But given what she was faced with, I think her only chance to win that challenge was to go pretty far afield from Japanese home cooking.

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I really, really loved the "sudden death OT" rules: I wish they had the time to do those for every elimination. So that every week the bottom three would compete in a head-to-head challenge that didn't depend on the vagaries of team challenges, or luck of the draw, or whatever, but just cooking your best. Worst bite goes home every time. So you never get eliminated based on getting screwed by the challenge, it always comes down to who is making better food.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I really, really loved the "sudden death OT" rules: I wish they had the time to do those for every elimination. So that every week the bottom three would compete in a head-to-head challenge that didn't depend on the vagaries of team challenges, or luck of the draw, or whatever, but just cooking your best. Worst bite goes home every time. So you never get eliminated based on getting screwed by the challenge, it always comes down to who is making better food.

I agree with you whold heartedly. I felt that Antonia got put at such a disacvantage have to cook Morimoto's last supper, especially at this point in the competition. It made me feel that the challenge was made fair at the end and that Mike wasn't given the upperhand at such a crucial time.

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When Padma was saying "You are Top Chef" on the Next Time On Top Chef at the end. She was looking to her right when she said it.

Blais was on her right.

Just sayin'...

i noticed that too, but you have to think they know that a lot of people would focus on that.

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I found it odd that Antonia used Scotch Bonnets for Morimoto's sashimi. She seemed to follow such a traditional route for everything else and then she put Scotch Bonnets on sashimi???

It was unclear to me from Gail's comment if it was just a few tiny slivers or something else, but either way, it didn't seem to fit the subtle nature of Japanese cuisine and it certainly didn't seem to go with the other delicate dishes she did (like the vegetables).

"There are dogs, and then there are German Shepherds.... "- Unknown

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