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Top Chef: Texas


David Ross
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That's the thing. I don't want any of these guys to win. Each and every one of them have demonstrated some kind of behavior or basic lack of skill that makes me essentially write them off. Being a chef means being able to lead, not just to cook - and not a single one of these people has demonstrated either. Honestly, I've sorta given up on even watching the rest of this season. The Texas shtick just didn't do it for me to begin with, and the cast has been underwhelming from the start. Just can't muster giving much of a damn about the last 6.

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That's the thing. I don't want any of these guys to win. Each and every one of them have demonstrated some kind of behavior or basic lack of skill that makes me essentially write them off. Being a chef means being able to lead, not just to cook - and not a single one of these people has demonstrated either. Honestly, I've sorta given up on even watching the rest of this season. The Texas shtick just didn't do it for me to begin with, and the cast has been underwhelming from the start. Just can't muster giving much of a damn about the last 6.

I agree with Dexter to some extent. I'm not hugely enthused about any of the chefs this season. And I agree that being a chef entails both leadership and skills.

However, playing Devil's Advocate in part, the general boredom with this season might be because we haven't really seen any extensive, serious, individual cooking this season. It's been an almost non-stop end of team challenges. Did they ever have so many in past seasons? I don't believe so.

I think the problem stems from the fact that they started with more chefs than ever before. 29. So they had to whittle them down and fast. Hence, the flurry of team challenges. It's logical for production values, perhaps, but it certainly doesn't let the viewers engage right off the bat, it doesn't showcase many of the chef's skills or personal style, and it doesn't make for absorbing television.

I found the Evil Challenge to be the best of the season mostly because it did, for once, let the chefs show their own personalities or creativity. It was riveting to me (though, given the rest the season, perhaps the bar was low to begin with). Had there been more individual challenges, perhaps some of the cast would appear to be more talented than they have seemed to be thus far and we'd all be able to muster a damn. ;)

IMO, the reason why people seem entranced by the Last Chance Kitchen is *because* it involves relatively straight-forward (non-gimmicky) cooking done individually. It's why Nyesha had a chance to showcase her skills in a way that she never had while still in the game. (Did any of you think she was THAT strong before? I didn't, but then how could I with all those gimmicky team challenges like the one for the Dallas round-robin parties?)

Regarding the behavior of the chefs this season, I'll play Devil's Advocate again. I don't think poor, obnoxious behavior is anything new (though the bullying certainly is at a whole new level, imo, and is the thing which has most turned me off this season). Bullying aside though, every season has had at least 2 cretins who hardly seem fit to be leaders. In the NY season, it was Hosea, Leah and some of the others. There is Jamie in ANY season. The shaving of Marcel's head in Season 2, which Ilan -- who is far from my idea of a Top Chef or a leader -- won. I'm sure you can think of more.

So, yeah, it's far from ideal but I don't think it means we can write off this season *just because* there are several chefs who have shown they can be jerks under pressure. (For what it's worth, I'm often tempted to write off the whole NY Season because Hosea winning was a travesty, imo, but at least that season gave us Carla, Fabio and Stefan. Similar reason with Season 2 which Ilan won.)

That said, I completely agree that the whole Texas angle is a horse that has been flogged to death. (And then its carcass was flogged some more.) They need to stop it and stop it now. (They also need more Eric Ripert but my lust is another issue entirely.... :wink: )

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

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Wow, sounds like I missed another great episode. This time it wasn't planned. I was tuck in a cheap hotel/and SEA Airport for five days due to the storm. Cheap hotels don't have Bravo. I'll have to catch the rerun.

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Now I'm caught up. While I personally liked Bev, I sensed it would only be a matter of time before her nervous, anxious, insecurities caught up with her. She presented some good dishes, but really, get over your self-pity and take charge of your food and in the kitchen. We all know how intense a commerical kitchen can be, especially at the "Top" levels. Combine that with a group of talented people in a competitive environment and the weak, (aka Bev), will smell like a dead rabbit to a coyote in the Texas desert. (Well, maybe not literally).

I do hope Bev continues her career in a kitchen that is conducive to her personality. She showed she has the skill, but she's got to believe that herself in order to be a "Top Chef."

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I'm surprised they got rid of anyone on the last challenge, given how positive they were about all of the dishes. I thought I remembered at least one instance from a past season when they didn't do an elimination because the dishes were all so good.

And I must say I disagree with David's argument that Beverly needs to believe in her own skill more to be a Top Chef. I think Bev has a lot of confidence in her skill and the flavors she creates in her dishes, and - we've never really seen her second guess herself or do much waffling over what to cook on any given challenge. She's not an alpha personality, but in this case I don't think that's the same thing as a lack of self-confidence.

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I'm with Emily_R on this one. I also think there was a previous season where they didn't eliminate anyone in a challenge.

Beverly doesn't strike me as under-confident. Just because she is introverted (or at least she appears so on the show) doesn't mean she is second guessing herself. I want her to come back and take the whole thing.

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Agree. Its esp illogical to have the second chance thing going for losers and then eliminate a chef who didn't really screw up

More logical than ever, since they get a second chance as a loser. They eliminate every season based on the hands up food on plate rule. Not a cooking screw up, but a terms of the challenge screw up. Or not using the rice krispies.

This season is a yawner. I haven't watched a full episode since before the holidays. I do read one or two blogs on Thursday morning, which is how I know about the rice krispies.

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I'm with Emily_R on this one. I also think there was a previous season where they didn't eliminate anyone in a challenge.

Beverly doesn't strike me as under-confident. Just because she is introverted (or at least she appears so on the show) doesn't mean she is second guessing herself. I want her to come back and take the whole thing.

Sign me up with Emily_R and Annabelle. I don't think Beverly has a confidence issue at all. In fact, I think anyone less confident would have withered long ago under the assault from the alpha females. Bev got on Heather's bad side early on, and from there, there was no easing up on her. Blame her for everything.

Bev is quiet, committed, intent upon herself and her work. But I've never gotten a sense that her confidence has been shaken at all.

I, too, was hopeful that there would be no elimination from the "Evil" challenge - especially since Bev had just been told that her "immunity" 3-ingredient dish was much better than the others' dishes and had she not forgotten the curried crispies, she would have won easily.

And I really hated that "double-elimination" thing where both members of the team went home, regardless as to who was at fault. Seemed so not fair. Nyesha should still have been there competing while weaker chefs went home.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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So we have to agree to disagree on Beverly. My perception of Beverly is my reality, (which isn't necessarily the "right" perception or one shared with others). Her lack of self-confidence was apparent to me in a number of challenges. She was continually asking the other Chefs for guidance on her dishes, which in my view showed a lack of security in her own abilities. Maybe it wasn't so much a lack of confidence but a need to be accepted by the rest of the pack.

Alpha personalities can be crappy cooks, as evidenced by big, bad, Heather. In the words of Beverly, bad karma got Heather. Maybe it was karma, maybe it was a horrific plate of beef stroganoff. While a timid Chef can craft great dishes, I'm still not overly confident that timidity will raise Beverly up ladder to the tier of Top Chef. I guess only time will tell, and that will be long after season 9 of Top Chef concludes.

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So we have to agree to disagree on Beverly. My perception of Beverly is my reality, (which isn't necessarily the "right" perception or one shared with others). Her lack of self-confidence was apparent to me in a number of challenges. She was continually asking the other Chefs for guidance on her dishes, which in my view showed a lack of security in her own abilities. Maybe it wasn't so much a lack of confidence but a need to be accepted by the rest of the pack.

Alpha personalities can be crappy cooks, as evidenced by big, bad, Heather. In the words of Beverly, bad karma got Heather. Maybe it was karma, maybe it was a horrific plate of beef stroganoff. While a timid Chef can craft great dishes, I'm still not overly confident that timidity will raise Beverly up ladder to the tier of Top Chef. I guess only time will tell, and that will be long after season 9 of Top Chef concludes.

Well, maybe you're right. That's one thing Heather said: "She needs to learn to believe in herself." I just didn't see it.

But for sure you're right that time will tell...

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I feel that the block party challenge was a big waste of time. The episode is simply forgettable at best. The format of the challenge didn't inspire creativity, it was just a race to crank out whatever people could as quickly as possible. I think the chefs were hindered by having to shop at a supermarket for supplies and only having 2 hours to cook. Some of them didn't step up creatively, as pointed out by Tom when he asked probing questions about chicken salad, but, overall, I think the producers dropped the ball here.

Chris maybe could have done better, I had really wanted team Moto to go far, he just seems to choke in execution.

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Grayson is my gal. "Like a meatball, Tom?" Heh.

This has to be the most boring season ever. I'm kind of wishing a producer would propose a show that is a hybrid of Top Chef and Top Shot/Manhunter. The loser gets a head start and the winner gets a high-powered rifle.

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Gotta love Pee Wee! This episode (13) is the one that makes me jealous. I'm a huge Pee Wee fan, I discovered his show as an adult and just loved it. (I was making croissants for the first time and had the tv on while making turns, and his show happened to come on.)

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I've been a Pee Wee fan for ages, all the way back to when he was an unknown. I found this show to be kind of cringeworthy. Hauling Pee Wee out of mothballs as an old man was just creepy. And that was the wrong bike!

If these challenges get any dumber, I'm going to boycott Top Chef and just read the reviews here.

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You didn't miss anything, g.

Pee Wee made everyone make him pancakes. Then he gave them all bicycles that were knock-offs of the one in Pee Wee's Big Adventure and sent them out with backpacks, a hundred dollars and the challenge to cook something in some random restaurant kitchen and transport it back by bicycle and serve it to the judges.

It was indeed a shark-jumping moment.

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That was theworst episode in the history of Top Chef. As if the "borrowed" kitchens weren't set up, as chefs with camera crews showed up as a "surprise" to cook there? And carrying the cooked food with them in Texas heat without temperature control? Can you say "food poisoning?" And what about the one carrying the hot pan in her hand while cycling? A simply horrible episode - yes, the shark has been jumped.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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