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David Ross

Top Chef: Seattle

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There's been a lot of criticism of the format and I think I agree with it all. However, the result still seemed reasonable. The fried chicken was a bone-headed play that decided the day.

And I think the final two contestants sort of redeemed my sense of the quality of this entire season. Here we were with two very worthy competitors.

Congratulations, Kristen. Please pack your knives and dough. :biggrin:

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The best of five voting reminded me of Gordon Ramsay's various cooking competitions where there is always a tie and then, dramatic music in the background Ramsay casts the deciding vote. Didn't happen here, but the whole voting procedure came off as strained and uncomfortable. Only once in four votes did we learn how all the judges voted. And I hate to miss dessert.

To make the new final format work, they skipped the chefs selecting their teams, the un-understanding, disappointed look on Josie's face when she wasn't picked, and the though process for putting together the final menu. I prefer the traditional all five courses being presented and a winner announced. I aso would have preferred more cooking and a lot less American Idol style bio vingnettes of the chefs and their families.

Glad Kristen won.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Amen. A cup of American Idol, half a cup of Project Runway (minus a spoonful of Mr. Gunn) and all the wrong parts of Iron Chef (sorry, no real right parts of IC America). I'm mighty pleased for Kristin, but like many others, missed she and Brooke cooking a complete meal, ala finale.

I was pretty happy with Judge Emeril--in the final and all season--he seems to have lost his will to schtick and replaced it with thoughtful commentary and a real sense of delight when someone makes him something good. (Plus the scene with he and Roy Choi a few weeks ago was so genuine and sweet I'll let it make up for having to put up with Blais and that Ilan guy on my TV.)

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Loved the Kristen/Brooke final battle. It redeemed last chance kitchen in my eyes. Last season it seemed like LCK was there just to prove the right person was kicked off. This season two people showed they had more in them.

HATED the new format. I always love the finale where they can just cook their hearts out with great product. I'd like to return to that. One, just one, show without gimmicks and the importance of conceiving of a meal as a story.

I did notice that every single chef seemed to know Kristen was the one to beat, and who would probably beat them. When is she getting her own show. :) Model looks and mad chops.... can't imagine anyone is letting that one slide by.


"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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Well I guess I know now why I was so unsettled when Kristen got eliminated; it was her destiny to win! That was really a lot of challenges she won on LCK to get back into contention. It's a little unbelievable that she did it.

The new format didn't do much for me either although it might grow on me (maybe about when Padma needs dentures). Like others have said; best to cook and taste all the dishes then discuss and judge them. Any viewer half-sober/awake knows when the show is going to end.

What's with the Blais-bashing, jealousy? I always found him to be an intelligent and sympathetic person myself.


Edited by Big Joe the Pro (log)

Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

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AND Kristen really claimed the high ground until the end, didn't she. Still saying that the Restaurant War failure happened on her watch so it was her responsibility. And even giving Josie some kudos.

I hope Bravo takes us all along on Kristen's trip to Korea.


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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Blais bashing? He's earned it and it has nothing to do with jealousy. It's because he sees everything through a prism of him.

Certainly he's a talented chef, but not nearly as life changing or forward thinking as he seems to think he is.

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Blais bashing? He's earned it and it has nothing to do with jealousy. It's because he sees everything through a prism of him.

Certainly he's a talented chef, but not nearly as life changing or forward thinking as he seems to think he is.

Well, I don't know. Is it fair to characterize someone from what we're given on Top Chef? We're not privvy to the question normally and a lot is left on the cutting room hard drive.

One of the first things that comes to my mind when thinking of Chef Blais is the fact that he went out of his way to help his competitors out on numerous occasions.

Could you give some specific examples of the basis of your dissatisfaction of him? Preferrably with season and episode number as I've got every Top Chef episode right here in my office, catalogued for easy access.

Personally, I try to be forgiving of people's little quirks and if I find that hard to do then I put myself in their shoes. He's got a wife who looks hard-to-please, two young daughters and money into several ventures. I'd be blowing my own horn at every opportunity myself if I were him. If he's outwardly overly egotistical (which is something that's gone under my radar) perhaps it's to compensate for his inner doubts?

I don't know, I'm no psycologist, his presence is a welcome one to me.


Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

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I went into the finale with a pre-conceived notion that I wasn't going to like the format. But I often surprise myself and I actually liked the format of the Chefs cooking in a more challenging situation than previous finales when the Chefs knew ahead of time that they'd be cooking a full menu in their culinary style. I sort of see it as the challenge of working in a kitchen preparing tasting menus on the fly. And Kristen really redeemed her poor leadership skills in restaurant wars by coming back and strongly yet confidently leading her team.

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I wasn't overly impressed by the gushing at the table of former Top Chef winners and I'd agree that some displayed larger egos than others. I could care less if you cook for the King of Siam. Resumes don't impress me as much as tasting your food. Yet I was pleased that Padma did mini bios of the winners and we could see their success and the inspiration that Top Chef has given young Chefs coming up through the ranks.

I think Kristen's final dish appeared to have more focus and purity of flavor than Brooke's. And I would probably agree with Gail on the cut of the leeks in Kristen's dish--if they are cut too long they get stringy.

As we progressed through the season I kept thinking Brooke was heading to a direction that could prove her undoing. Dishes that are overly descriptive on a written menu but entice the diner. Yet when you taste the elements on the plate they compete with one another and are over-worked. Pomegranate seeds are the popular garnish of the day, let's pair pork cheef with red snapper, how about a sorrel sauce, on and on and on. Not having tasted either Chefs food, my constructive criticism for both is to work on the details and putting more focus on each element of a dish.

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I went into the finale with a pre-conceived notion that I wasn't going to like the format. But I often surprise myself and I actually liked the format of the Chefs cooking in a more challenging situation than previous finales when the Chefs knew ahead of time that they'd be cooking a full menu in their culinary style. I sort of see it as the challenge of working in a kitchen preparing tasting menus on the fly. And Kristen really redeemed her poor leadership skills in restaurant wars by coming back and strongly yet confidently leading her team.

Yep. I think there's no doubt that Kristen learned from her mistakes at managing a team.

And, while I liked the format in so far as the "audience" went, I still wish that they had prepared all of their dishes for everyone to sample.

And I'll bet that the "audience" did, too.


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, looking at that table of past winners: is it time yet for a season of all TC winners?


"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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If I had won, and things were going well, I wouldn't have the time or the risk tolerance for a second go-around.

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I really don't care to see a Top Chef Winners challenge. Harold (season 1) is still my favorite, just for breaking the trail for all the rest to follow and I don't think he'd participate some ten years on.

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Well, like I said, I just want to go to Korea with Kristen.


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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ten years later, you should be a master... if you've got it. It'd be the classic age and treachery against youth and skill*. I'd be particularly interested in michael voltaggio, hung, kristen and blais going toe to toe.My bet would be on a voltaggio/kristen showdown at the end.

*old saying, don't take it too seriously.


"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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Are master chefs going to be willing to play to all the shenanigans that Bravo loves to throw into the challenges?

"Today, chefs, we want to you to prepare a meal of protein X and starch Y over an open campfire on the beach in the middle of a hurricane warning! Your time. Starts. NOW!"

To hell with that.

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Are master chefs going to be willing to play to all the shenanigans that Bravo loves to throw into the challenges?

"Today, chefs, we want to you to prepare a meal of protein X and starch Y over an open campfire on the beach in the middle of a hurricane warning! Your time. Starts. NOW!"

To hell with that.

Have you not been watching Top Chef: Masters?

PS: I am a guy.

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Is it on again? I've watched it in the past, in fact I had mentioned a couple of pages back that the last one I watched was when Jonathan Waxman had had enough.

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The last top chef masters finale is worth watching. It was a battle of ideas in food. * Highly recommend.*


"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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I'm sure well start a new topic about this season's Top Chef Masters once it airs. In the end, I think this was probably my favorite season of Top Chef.

Yes. This one or the one with Fabio et al.

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After watching the finale for a third time I have an even greater appreciation for Kristen and her talents and style of cuisine. I can't wait to try that snapper dish in my own kitchen.

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