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Top Chef: Seattle


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That still begs the question what the F*CK does "Asian" mean, or for that matter "Pan-Asian"?

I refer you to my post about folks thinking of "Asia" as an entity which all jumbles together. I wonder if y'all think of "Pan-European" cuisine.

I don't follow what the PRC (if that is the country you really mean) or the ROC has to do with the definitions of what constitutes Asia. I question if it is a pipe dream of the PRC rather than the ROC regarding the definition of "Asia" that you seem to sneer at. It is also interesting that the PRC and ROC appear to be interchangeable to you - heh, that is what the PRC wishes, in fact. :-)

@Dignan - sorry, if you think of Sheldon cooking "just Pan-Asian" then I think of Kristen Kish as cooking "just Frenchie-influenced". It might be an idea too to ask Sheldon S what he actually understands by the term "Asian" when he uses it, rather than superimposing what you think of the term on him. For that matter I would consider "Pan-Asian" to cover more ground than "Frenchie-influenced", if push came to shove. I wonder again about the generalized Western propensity to lump all things "Asian" together while maintaining differentialtions between shades of "European" in their minds.

Edited by huiray (log)
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In the world of food, it's a reference point. It doesn't require UN intervention. "It

depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement..."

Edited by Dignan (log)
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You don't have to say all asian food is the same to agree that there are dishes that are clearly Asian and others that aren't. Sheldon cooked a variety of different dishes that he recognized as Asian. And I believe we did too. It wasn't defined by geography, it was defined by a cooking style.

Asian food is perhaps like pornography, hard to define but you know it when you see it.

Pan-European wouldn't offend, but it wouldn't be as useful in marketing as Pan Asian seems to be. If I'm a chef who wants to serve sushi and pad thai then I'm not going to call my place Japanese and miss the pad Thai eaters...and vice versa.

So what clearly isn't Asian? French mother sauces...Italian style tomato sauces... refried beans... cornbread...using cheese in anything...

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Oh for crying out loud, huiray. Settle down. No one expects anyone to know all the ins and outs of every single cuisine on the planet. People use the term Mexican food to refer to food from Central America to Southern Texas. It isn't precise, but it's a reference point for most people. Southern food isn't monolithic, either, but that doesn't stop people like Tom C from thinking that if one says "fried chicken" he means Southern fried chicken which can vary widely, as well.

Many are the battles fought over sweet versus unsweetened cornbread, as well.

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You don't have to say all asian food is the same to agree that there are dishes that are clearly Asian and others that aren't. Sheldon cooked a variety of different dishes that he recognized as Asian. And I believe we did too. It wasn't defined by geography, it was defined by a cooking style.

Asian food is perhaps like pornography, hard to define but you know it when you see it.

Pan-European wouldn't offend, but it wouldn't be as useful in marketing as Pan Asian seems to be. If I'm a chef who wants to serve sushi and pad thai then I'm not going to call my place Japanese and miss the pad Thai eaters...and vice versa.

So what clearly isn't Asian? French mother sauces...Italian style tomato sauces... refried beans... cornbread...using cheese in anything...

What you really mean is that "Asian" food [again, what does that mean?] is just "non-European" or "OTHER". I think the responses here have established the Eurocentrism prevalent here. Differences between shades of grey in European cuisines are readily grasped but everything else does appear (from the responses) to be just "OTHER". I suppose that is to be expected due to the backgrounds of those posting here (so far as I gather). Too bad.

Over and out.

Edited by huiray (log)
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You don't have to say all asian food is the same to agree that there are dishes that are clearly Asian and others that aren't. Sheldon cooked a variety of different dishes that he recognized as Asian. And I believe we did too. It wasn't defined by geography, it was defined by a cooking style.

Asian food is perhaps like pornography, hard to define but you know it when you see it.

Pan-European wouldn't offend, but it wouldn't be as useful in marketing as Pan Asian seems to be. If I'm a chef who wants to serve sushi and pad thai then I'm not going to call my place Japanese and miss the pad Thai eaters...and vice versa.

So what clearly isn't Asian? French mother sauces...Italian style tomato sauces... refried beans... cornbread...using cheese in anything...

What you really mean is that "Asian" food [again, what does that mean?] is just "non-European" or "OTHER". I think the responses here have established the Eurocentrism prevalent here. Differences between shades of grey in European cuisines are readily grasped but everything else does appear (from the responses) to be just "OTHER". I suppose that is to be expected due to the backgrounds of those posting here (so far as I gather). Too bad.

Over and out.

Yes, i try to always put on my Klan hat before i post.

Edit: Hood! Sorry, it's a hood! Huiray, is pan-asian something i made up just to argue?

Edited by Dignan (log)
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You don't have to say all asian food is the same to agree that there are dishes that are clearly Asian and others that aren't. Sheldon cooked a variety of different dishes that he recognized as Asian. And I believe we did too. It wasn't defined by geography, it was defined by a cooking style.

Asian food is perhaps like pornography, hard to define but you know it when you see it.

Pan-European wouldn't offend, but it wouldn't be as useful in marketing as Pan Asian seems to be. If I'm a chef who wants to serve sushi and pad thai then I'm not going to call my place Japanese and miss the pad Thai eaters...and vice versa.

So what clearly isn't Asian? French mother sauces...Italian style tomato sauces... refried beans... cornbread...using cheese in anything...

What you really mean is that "Asian" food [again, what does that mean?] is just "non-European" or "OTHER". I think the responses here have established the Eurocentrism prevalent here. Differences between shades of grey in European cuisines are readily grasped but everything else does appear (from the responses) to be just "OTHER". I suppose that is to be expected due to the backgrounds of those posting here (so far as I gather). Too bad.

Over and out.

Come on. Be nice. It isn't eurocentric to observe that there are different cooking styles around the world. Mexican differs from French which differs from Italian which differs from Polynesian which differs from Japanese and on and on.

To say that a group of cuisines found in Asia are Asian food is a simple matter of logic and taxonomy. It is not saying that they are identical or even similar. You are putting those words in our mouths. By your standards the Sheldon is being eurocentric by calling his food asian.

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Really, arguing about the minutiae behind the precise placement of a pink peppercorn isn't the point. In the end, what matters at the Judges table is not so much definitions but outstanding food. It's really that simple. Sheldon was already hanging by a thread and his earlier mistakes caught up with him in the first-round of the finale. Brooke and Kristen weren't fabulous, but they were better than Sheldon.

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This conversation (or at least the more tedious and annnoying aspects of it) reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a close friend. He's Chinese, 70 years old, came to the US back when he was a teenager to work in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant in Springfield, Mo. He rose up through the restaurant ranks to eventually own and operate some 20 restaurants throughout the years, and is a Chinese master chef. He married a Western woman and they had two sons. Those sons also married and now have kids, and friends from several cultures.

So we were all visiting northern California a few months back, and that day had just gone to see a little town called Locke, which was founded and run entirely by Chinese back in the early 1900's. We were sitting around the dinner table with about twelve other friends and family members and one of them asked my friend how he liked Locke. My friend said, "It was interesting, but there aren't very many Orientals living there any more."

Whereupon his white neice immediately dressed him down: "You can't say 'Orientals,' Uncle. An 'Oriental' is a rug. You should say, 'Asian.'"

Uncle Asian's face turned nearly purple with anger. "I don't mean Asian. I mean Oriental. Us. The Orientals. The Chinese. The Japanese. The Koreans. The Vietnamese. Us. Not the Asians. That's everybody. That's the Filipinos, the Indonesians, the Thai, everybody. I don't mean the god-damn everybody-Asians. I mean us, just us, the Orientals. What the hell is wrong with saying 'the Orient.' It's a perfectly good word. I'm sick and tired of all of the white do-gooders trying to tell me what I can and what I can't call myself.

"So as I was saying, it's a damn shame there aren't very many Orientals in Locke anymore."

:cool:

.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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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This conversation (or at least the more tedious and annnoying aspects of it) reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a close friend. He's Chinese, 70 years old, came to the US back when he was a teenager to work in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant in Springfield, Mo. He rose up through the restaurant ranks to eventually own and operate some 20 restaurants throughout the years, and is a Chinese master chef. He married a Western woman and they had two sons. Those sons also married and now have kids, and friends from several cultures.

So we were all visiting northern California a few months back, and that day had just gone to see a little town called Locke, which was founded and run entirely by Chinese back in the early 1900's. We were sitting around the dinner table with about twelve other friends and family members and one of them asked my friend how he liked Locke. My friend said, "It was interesting, but there aren't very many Orientals living there any more."

Whereupon his white neice immediately dressed him down: "You can't say 'Orientals,' Uncle. An 'Oriental' is a rug. You should say, 'Asian.'"

Uncle Asian's face turned nearly purple with anger. "I don't mean Asian. I mean Oriental. Us. The Orientals. The Chinese. The Japanese. The Koreans. The Vietnamese. Us. Not the Asians. That's everybody. That's the Filipinos, the Indonesians, the Thai, everybody. I don't mean the god-damn everybody-Asians. I mean us, just us, the Orientals. What the hell is wrong with saying 'the Orient.' It's a perfectly good word. I'm sick and tired of all of the white do-gooders trying to tell me what I can and what I can't call myself.

"So as I was saying, it's a damn shame there aren't very many Orientals in Locke anymore."

:cool:

.

I like that :)

On the subject of cornbread, I am strictly a no sugar girl.

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This seemed to me to be the most cordial semi-finale ever. I thought it was kind of refreshing. There were no head games and little drama (other than the chefs worrying about their own dishes). I think this was a redeeming episode for this season.

Agreed, and quite refreshing.

They actually seem to like and respect one another.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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And I'm not being overly dramatic when I simply say again that it's so refreshing that the final four Chefs showed that they do like and respect one another.

The previews make the finale look sort of like a live "Kitchen Stadium" type of cook-off. Based on what I've seen I'm not overly excited about that format, but we'll see.

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SPOILERS BELOW

I didn't care for the finale format at all, especially the concept of the winner being the first chef to win 3 courses instead of evaluating the meal as a whole. I don't think it would have made any difference in the outcome, but the concept seems flawed to me. Simply as a matter of entertainment, that format elimated any suspense at the end of the episode since it was obvious that Kristen would win when they didn't even count the votes for the 4th course until the final 5 minutes. By the finale I really want to see what the top chefs can cook with relatively few limitations -- maybe that's just me.

Still, happy to see Kristen win, although I was slightly pulling for Brooke. The both exhibited talent and class throughout the season and were very deserving of the win.

Overall I thought this season was markedly better than the Texas debacle. Including the very entertaining LCK episodes I'd put this season right in the middle of TC seasons -- well above the lowlights of seasons 5 (New York), 7 (DC) and 9 (Texas) but below the highlights of seasons 4 (chicago) and 6 (Las Vegas). I guess I'd put it at or just below the Miami and All Star seasons, which is pretty fine company.

Here's hoping for a southern top chef city in Season 11!

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Boy I agree about that "first chef to 3" thing. I really wanted to see all the dishes being prepared and eaten and discussed.

Not to mention that the lesson here might be that, if you get into the finals, concentrate far more on your first three or four dishes, and you likely won't even have to make anything else.

Hate it.

But I'm happy that Kristen won. I got a little choked up watching her talk about going to Korea so that she could see people with faces that look like hers. And her adopted family seemed so happy and proud of her. Really nice stuff.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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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