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David Ross

Top Chef: Seattle

382 posts in this topic

I'm glad Carla is gone. Passion is one thing. Psychosis is another.

Exactly. Whenever I've been around Carla when I'm in Las Vegas I always leave sort of shaking my head. Very talented but also, I sense, incredibly insecure. I think that's why she over-compensates with her intentional "psychosis" and a craving for attention. The insecurity clouds her ability to understand that if she just cooked the great Italian dishes she grew up with, people would laud her for that--not for the fact she's injected her lips with Botox and she wears heels in the kitchen. I think there's a shard of truth here that she realizes. You could see it in her face when they told her to pack her knives and go. I sort of felt bad for her. It was like the pretty girl at the party being told that nobody liked her--and she knew it.

She just opened a new meatball restaurant in a mall in Las Vegas, (the venture at the Tropicana suddenly closed this Fall), so hopefully someday she will realize a better balance between her cooking and her "image."

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Of the 6 chefs who cooked an omelette for Wolfgang Puck, 4 have already been eliminated and Tyler is holding on by a fingernail. Wolfgang was way too generous to his omelette chefs, the only one he should have passed is Kumiko.

so where then would they find the chefs to fill up the rest of the pool? Or would they cut the season short? This is TV, and things are somewhat structured in advance. I'm sure each of the judges was given a narrow minimum and maximum number of chefs they could pass.

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So Jeff, being from Dallas, did the local community really once call Tesar the most-hated Chef in Dallas? And what could the guy have done that was so egregious that it earned him that woeful title?

D Magazine gave him that dubious title in cover story. I suppose he is most noted for taking over at the Mansion On Turtle Creek after Dean Fearing left, totally revamped the place, and won rave reviews. (he left RM Seafood in Las Vegas to take the gig). That didn't last long. But I think most of the hate comes from other chefs, cooks, waiters, etc. and restaurant owners, and probably less from the general public (though I suppose some hated that he changed the Mansion in a major way). He even gets mentioned by Anthony Bourdain in 'Kitchen Confidential'.

Anyway... whole story is here.

http://www.dmagazine...in_Dallas.aspx?

After watching that deplorable effort on Tesar's part to act as the expediter in the pass I'm now not suprised that his contemporaries in Dallas say nasty things about him. He'll probably get far in this competition just based on his cooking talents, but in the end I predict his disregard for others and ignorance of the negative vibe he sends off will catch him and that will trump him up.

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Don't tell me that a "Top Chef" can't properly roast a squab. If you can't, you don't deserve to stay Carla. I know one highly regarded Italian Chef in Las Vegas who is noted for his delicious treatment of game birds. Carla's inference that an Italian Chef wouldn't know how to cook a squab was laughable.

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The squab thing was weird. I would assume, as a chef, she has at least cooked small birds at some point in her life. Why not just apply those techniques to the squab?

I was left wondering if the "I've never cooked a squab" thing was set up by producers for "drama."


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Enjoying this year's Top Chef, whidh is something I haven't been able to say for a few years. The low point in the series was the Peewee Herman and the bicycles episode. Figured they had jumped the shark at that point. The producers were playing with the chefs like a little girl plays with her Barbie Doll's. All about placing chefs in ridiculous situations and going for the chuckle. At the risk of speaking too soon, it seems this year is more cooking oriented.

My guess is Tom Colicchio got pissed and steered the show back to an actual cooking competition.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I agree with Holly. Although the quality of chefs doesn't seem to be any better (excepting the ringer Tesar), putting more focus on actual cooking than gimmicks in the elimination challenges is a vast improvement. Plus no catering elimintations yet -- Yay!

So far I'd rank this season above Seasons 9 (Texas), 5 (NY) and 7 (Wash DC) but still well below the series high points of seasons 3, 4, & 6 (my favorites). At this point, I'd settle for a solid season.

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I'm thoroughly enjoying this season. I love the Seattle location, nice that it's in the West.

There's something quite different about this year, more interaction with the real Chefs maybe? That's a nice touch.

As usual though there's that blend of really odd characters.

Like everyone else I wish Hugh would have those eyebrows worked on, he looks ridiculous. And I don't know why he's one of the judges anyway but I don't know what his background is.

And Carla! Wow! What a train wreck. Doubly glad she's gone.

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So Jeff, being from Dallas, did the local community really once call Tesar the most-hated Chef in Dallas? And what could the guy have done that was so egregious that it earned him that woeful title?

D Magazine gave him that dubious title in cover story. I suppose he is most noted for taking over at the Mansion On Turtle Creek after Dean Fearing left, totally revamped the place, and won rave reviews. (he left RM Seafood in Las Vegas to take the gig). That didn't last long. But I think most of the hate comes from other chefs, cooks, waiters, etc. and restaurant owners, and probably less from the general public (though I suppose some hated that he changed the Mansion in a major way). He even gets mentioned by Anthony Bourdain in 'Kitchen Confidential'.

Anyway... whole story is here.

http://www.dmagazine...in_Dallas.aspx?

John Tesar was "Jimmy Sears" in Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential".

One reads this-and-that about John Tesar's reputation in Dallas and elsewhere, and that dmagazine story wasn't exactly "neutral". Still, what did you hear the chefs, waiters, cooks etc say about Tesar , both good and bad?

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Those omelets were pretty gross. Amazing a potential TC can't do a decent looking omelet. In their slight defense it looked like they were given steel pans to cook them in. If you expect teflon, that'd be a big adjustment and would account for the brown eggs.

I suppose they were expected to make classic French omelets, even though it wasn't spelled out and Wolfgang Puck merely asked them to make "an omelet" for him, and the comments about their being brown, sloppy etc would be meaningful in this sense. I wonder - suppose one of them (say, Chrissy Camba, drawing on her Filipino heritage and extrapolating into SE and E Asian fare) had made something like an oyster omelet ("Oh Chien" in Hokkien; https://www.google.com/search?q=oh+chien&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a) or Kuniko Yagi had made a form of "Tamagoyaki" instead? They're omelets - just not a *French* omelet.

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I thought there was a good case for CJ Jacobsen or Joshua Valentine to have been sent home instead of Chrissy Camba at the end of the latest episode.

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Enjoying this year's Top Chef, whidh is something I haven't been able to say for a few years. The low point in the series was the Peewee Herman and the bicycles episode. Figured they had jumped the shark at that point. The producers were playing with the chefs like a little girl plays with her Barbie Doll's. All about placing chefs in ridiculous situations and going for the chuckle. At the risk of speaking too soon, it seems this year is more cooking oriented.

My guess is Tom Colicchio got pissed and steered the show back to an actual cooking competition.

I agree, it appears that we're in for a more focused season with more emphasis on real-life cooking challenges. That, for me, is a great relief over years of insane challenges cooking with ingredients out of the local 7-11 or catered affairs for debutante coming of age parties. I'm sensing that since were this far into the show, I don't think we'll go down the ludicrous path of past seasons. While Seattle is best-known for seafood, I'm hoping they venture out a little and taste some of the other wonderful products the region has to offer.

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I'm glad Carla is gone.

This has made the show so much more watchable! ... She was insane!

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I hope CJ gets the axe.....and he will judging by his cooking.

How did he get so pompous?

Ask, and you shall receive :)

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Like so many of the Top Cheftants that have come and gone, (and are in the game this year), fame seemingly goes to their head. They lose all sense of what got them to the point of even being a strong candidate for Top Chef at the video submission stage-the ability to cook.

CJ is a perfect example. Last week during the Canlis "Classics of the 50's" challenge, he put out a tepid dish of Shish Kebab over rice. From the looks of the dish, (and the comments of the judges), the rice was tasteless, as was the lamb. No seasoning, no spice, no heat, na-da.

I'm old enough to have dined at a number of "Continental" rooms in the 60's and 70's and Shish Kebab was always an exotic treat. In all honesty, my Father probably let me order it because it was cheaper than the filet mignon. That didn't matter to me, I thought it was a fabulous dish, often paraded into the dining room spiked on swords with a stunning trail of flame. Apparently CJ not only forgot the seasoning but also forgot to review his history books. Had he traipsed into Canlis with flaming Shish Kebab, he probably would've scored a few more style points with the judges.

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I know that teams add drama and variety, but from a competitive sense I don't like them. The argument goes something like a good chef will have to be able to work with people. But not with flaming jackasses that he'd never hire in the first place. This year does seems well-stocked with jackasses BTW.

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I know that teams add drama and variety, but from a competitive sense I don't like them. The argument goes something like a good chef will have to be able to work with people. But not with flaming jackasses that he'd never hire in the first place. This year does seems well-stocked with jackasses BTW.

Well, I suppose the producers, etc., feel like their first priority is to keep Top Chef on the air. So, basically, they're "casting" a show just like all other entertainment. Not sure the series would have so many viewers if all it was was a bunch of dedicated, competent, focused professionals quietly going about their work.


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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Did I say I was against flaming jackasses? :raz:

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Did I say I was against flaming jackasses? :raz:

With a cheap brandy In a chafing dish, perhaps? :raz:


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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Good for Tom for pulling the $10K off the table for the latest challenge. If you get past the touristy aspects of flying fish, Pike Place Market in Seattle is fabulous. It's literally a seasonal smorgasboard of local ingredients and hand-crafted products. Any one of us would have come up with more creative dishes than what we saw.

I can always spot it ten miles away-Cheftestants with attitude and inflated egos, coupled with any sense of manners and treating other people with a whit of respect are the Chefs who often stumble along the way. Cookery skills are supposedly the primary trait that garners a win on Top Chef, but that can only take you so far, especially when you are paired on a team or in a group. CJ was just the most recent example. His "I'm the best Chef" in this competition attitude obviously cast a haze over rational thinking. In his mind, a ground pork burger on a crumpet garnished with a fried pickle would easily reward him with a win and a culinary medal. He's more of a joke than that joke of a burger. And then there was his teamate Tyler. He suffered the indignity of being paired with an egotistical ass who didn't craft a good burger, but Tyler trumped CJ because he left with grace, class and professionalism.

Of course, knowing the dramady that Bravo pushes on us, I won't be surprised when they announce CJ won in the Last Chance Kitchen and raises his ugly head back in the competition.

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they alll seemed to phone it in on that last challenge. I'm sure there's a bit of "i just don't want to be last so lets keep it simple"strategy going on. also, it looked like the challenge started at about 6am. probably not a ton of creative juices flowing that early. still, i'd be sad if i was one of the producers of the ingredients, excited for an amazing meal and then got that.

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Boy those ingredients were pretty lame. Rose water? Pickles? Come on. Fine dining doesn't see that stuff used... ever. Top Chef needs to be careful of the foolish tests if it wants to stay interesting.

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Boy those ingredients were pretty lame. Rose water? Pickles? Come on. Fine dining doesn't see that stuff used... ever. Top Chef needs to be careful of the foolish tests if it wants to stay interesting.

I totally agree. You've gotta use more realistic ingredients if you want stellar results.

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Boy those ingredients were pretty lame. Rose water? Pickles? Come on. Fine dining doesn't see that stuff used... ever. Top Chef needs to be careful of the foolish tests if it wants to stay interesting.

I totally agree. You've gotta use more realistic ingredients if you want stellar results.

Sure.

But "we're gonna make a bad burger on a bad bun and throw pickles on it!"

Really? Seriosuly? The best you can do with your pickles is fry and toss them onto a burger?

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