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Top Chef: Seattle


David Ross
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I'm also rooting for a southern top chef -- it's a bit aggravating that they haven't done one yet (other than the NO finale) given the long history and diverse nature of southern cookery. For selfish reasons I'd love TC to come to Atlanta -- we're a pretty great (albeit underrated) food town. My personal bias aside, I would think New Orleans is the clear frontrunner for a southern TC and it's hard to argue with NO as it's one of the great culinary cities in the US.

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The reason I am advocating for a city other than NO, is that the diversity and bounty of Southern cooking is overlooked. Unless one subscribes to Southern Living, lives in the South or has spent significant time living there no one seems to be familiar with the food or the people.

New Orleans has been invaded by outsiders over the last 30 years. Even beloved Emeril is from Massachusetts. My main reason for objecting to NO as a location is the inevitable emphasis on Mardi Gras and partying. Same thing with Miami. Atlanta has an evolving food scene, but it too suffers from an influx of outsiders. This isn't a travelogue: it's a cooking contest.

Just my 2¢

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I don't actually have a problem with the negotiations that take place between Bravo and prospective cities for Top Chef. In my mind, it's great PR for a city and local businesses to be showcased on Top Chef, and yes, there is a price to pay for that exposure. But the constant shots this season of the Space Needle and the Pike Place Market sign are priceless in my opinion. I would venture to say that many viewers are booking trips to Seattle and Alaska just based on what they've seen on Top Chef. I'm pretty sure the Seattle business and tourism community would say that while they can't factually chart it on a graph, the exposure on Top Chef, (and what they paid for it), is going to be worth the expense.

I'm also intrigued by what sort of arrangements are made behind the scenes for Tom and Padma's accomodation. I wonder what sort of hotel comps are paid to Bravo. I would guess that Padma probably was in either an exquisite hotel suite and one of Seattle's finest properties or in a penthouse condo above where the contestants were staying. It would be interesting to know. And I also wonder about that beautiful waterfront property where they shot the infamous "fried chicken" challenge. What a view. Quintessestial Seattle at that place.

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And while I'm anxious about next season's location, and hopefully somewhere in the South, we stil have this season to finish first. My money is on Kristin to win last chance kitchen and then, in a very close battle with Brooke, (sorry Sheldon), Kristin takes the title of Top Chef.

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I'm ready for a more southern state, too, Annabelle.

Have they ever done a New Orleans based one?

I think so, Shelby, but I may be thinking of a finale that took place in New Orleans. We can rest assured they won't choose our fine states. :huh:

You can go to the bank on that one lol.

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The judges aren't looking at the body of work, just that night's performance. That's why Kristin got sent home earlier.

And I disagree that Sheldon has been better. Two tempura screw-ups in the past and confused dishes tonight. Still I'm sad to see him go, though I won't miss his stupid knit caps.

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Very displeased with the decision in tonights episode. Sheldon imho has been much better then either two in the finale. This seems to clearly be a decision to have an all.female finale rather than the two best chefs.

Based on the comments from the guest chefs during dinner I'm not surprised Sheldon ended up on the bottom. I was personally rooting for Sheldon, but I can't say I'm disappointed with Brooke and Kristin being the finalists. This season the best three chefs made it to the finals so whatever the outcome I would've been satisfied.

I'm curious how the format of the finale will effect the contestants. I tend to prefer finals with fewer twists -- at this point I want to see how well the chefs can cook with no impediments.

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Very displeased with the decision in tonights episode. Sheldon imho has been much better then either two in the finale. This seems to clearly be a decision to have an all.female finale rather than the two best chefs.

I scan the Television without Pity forums for Top Chef. Whenever a female chef is sent home instead of a male chef, there's a consistent faction of posters who maintain it is because Tom does not want another female Top Chef. He always dispatches the women, it is claimed, even when they are better.

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TWOP's forums are full of women. Gossip-y, young women for the most part.

I'm not sorry to see Sheldon go. Much like Josh, I thought he had reached his tipping point with what he was able to do. He tried to change things up and screwed things up, instead. One's reach should exceed one's grasp, but not necessarily in limited time in a competition.

I did think for a brief moment that Brooke was going to get PYKAG, instead, since Tom and Hugh have been man-crushing on Sheldon for weeks.

Kristin and Brooke will make for great competitors for the finale. It could just be teasing for next week, but it sounds like Brooke is going to make that pig ear and radicchio salad from her restaurant for her final meal and someone (implication from camera shot that it was Josh) burns the pigs' ears.

Kristin for the win!

Edited by annabelle (log)
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Very displeased with the decision in tonights episode. Sheldon imho has been much better then either two in the finale. This seems to clearly be a decision to have an all.female finale rather than the two best chefs.

Actually, it's seemed to me that Sheldon has been hanging on by a thread. Several times, I thought he was done for. I think there's no doubt that the two best chefs are in the finale. I picked those two as best way back weeks ago, gender be damned, and I'm thrilled.

As far as good southern cities to film in, I think Miami would be great. They wouldn't have to focus on the obvious spring-break-type partying and bikinis and South Beach, etc. Miami has a great food heritage to explore. In addition to the obvious Cuban & Caribbean, there are strong influences from the rest of Latin America - Colombian and Peruvian, etc. Just north of Miamia, there is a huge swamp to cruise, and a Native American history. A drive down the keys would be fun and would sure film well. The chefs could whip up dishes with conch and key limes and myriad other local fruit and seafood. Also, I've lived in Florida - both the panhandle, and in central Florida - and when you get away from the main tourist locales, you're basically in south Georgia, so Florida also has what we think of as typical southern comfort food.

But my first choice for a southern city to visit would be Charleston SC. Such wonderful food and rich heritage...Low Country, Gullah. The first thing I'd do is to give all of the prospective cheftestants a copy of Charleston Receipts to peruse. Just thinking about it makes me hungry.

In fact, I think I'm going to go peruse my copy right now.

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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Ah well... Didn't watch the third season. Too bad they didn't take full advantage of all that region has to offer.

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 agree with your choice of Charleston, SC, Jaymes. Or my suggestion of Savannah.

Both have beautiful, historic homes, rich histories, fantastic food and wonderful people. The emphasis on fresh produce, seafood, fresh fish and cooking styles would leave no one stuck in a rut and would make for some very enticing dishes. The chefs could go shrimping, too.

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It comes up every season of Top Chef-how can a Chef that's so talented be cut for cooking one bad dish? Until this year, I always struggled with aspect of the judging on Top Chef, thinking that there should be some sort of point system or progressive scoring so that the Chefs with more wins built up a sort of ongoing immunity. Well that's not really fair, and when you think about it, a "Top Chef" should be sent home for one bad dish. Does that mean that the weaker Chefs can win? Probably not. The weak contestants are cut early on, the marginal ones get further, the good Chefs endure, but in the end, typically the best Chefs get to the final show. Sheldon's a good example. As I said earlier, the errors were building and would ultimately do him in--two failed attempts at tempura, (when he knew he failed after the first try), and a weak effort in the Surf and Turf challenge. So while it's good discussion to contemplate a "set-up" to have two women compete for the title of Top Chef, really it was just a matter of who cooked the best dishes. The other stuff just falls out of that.

There's something about Brooke I just don't particularly like. Something off in her personality, but that's a bit rude of me since I don't know her. I'm overly biased toward Kristin, and I can't wait to see what her final menu will look like.

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I agree with your choice of Charleston, SC, Jaymes. Or my suggestion of Savannah. Both have beautiful, historic homes, rich histories, fantastic food and wonderful people. The emphasis on fresh produce, seafood, fresh fish and cooking styles would leave no one stuck in a rut and would make for some very enticing dishes. The chefs could go shrimping, too.

Yes. And of course at some point, something with the theme of Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil.

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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Although I generally agree with the comments here about Sheldon Simeon being correctly sent home this episode I was still a little sad to see him go. He did do himself in by trying new things with which he did not have great empathy with and which, it seemed, he was not quite skilled enough in yet.** I agree with Colicchio [oh, the shock! ;-) ] (and with the other judges) in his blog that he wasn't true to himself for this meal. I wonder, though, whether their expectation of getting stuff from "the old Sheldon" interfered in any way with their judging of his dishes. Sheldon Simeon did say in his exit interview that he "overthought it" and forgot who he was (i.e. what he naturally did, as I interpret it). Interestingly, he also seemed to "overcompensate" in the saltiness department with his "underseasoned" broth for his spot prawn dish - maybe after being raked over the coals for his oversaltiness (twice) previously?

As for assessing Brooke Williamson and the others on the show, well, we only have what we are presented with on the episodes as broadcasted - howsoever they may be edited. So as viewers of the show they choose to send out, we make comments and draw inferences based on what we see as *viewers* of the show, no? :smile: So - yes, Brooke Williamson does come across as somewhat patronizing and a bit snobbish, a bit of a nose-in-the-air type, etc. I commented before that I, too, found her increasingly unlikable... Heh, I read somewhere just yesterday (where was it now...) that she married her sous chef to avoid a lawsuit from him...I wonder if that was said entirely in jest...

As for Kristen Kish - she primarily does Frenchie stuff - yet no one has said anything about that. OTOH, Sheldon Simeon does "Asian" stuff (whatever "Asian" means) and the comments [both good (less) and bad (more)] keep flowing in...

**...and yet the judges keep telling them to expand themselves and try new things. Damned if you do and damned if you don't? :rolleyes:

Edited by huiray (log)
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As for assessing Brooke Williamson and the others on the show, well, we only have what we are presented with on the episodes as broadcasted - howsoever they may be edited. So as viewers of the show they choose to send out, we make comments and draw inferences based on what we see as *viewers* of the show, no?

Actually, that's not entirely right. One other way to judge the various cheftestants and their skills is to go to the Bravo site, find their recipes, and try them out.

I've already bought the stuff for Brooke's Brown Butter Cake, and I can't wait to try it.

http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/search?st=brooke+williamson&cost=&skl=&tot=&ftr=1&page=1

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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