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Top Chef: Seattle


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As I'm watching the repeats of the past four episodes this morning I'm thinking that the Producers have left out one of the major elements of Seattle's cuisine-Asian. I remember a few years ago during season 7, the Chefs travelled to Singapore and did some awesome Asian dishes in the finale. I detest the thought of the Chefs leaving Seattle for the finale, but I sure would like them to prepare some dishes that are a huge part of Seattle's culinary culture.

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boo-hoo, boo-hoo, Johnny couldn't could because he had a bad pan, boo-hoo, boo-hoo. And by the way John, if you were trying to present a lean lamb burger, why again did you add a fried egg on top? John said it was to add some more creaminess and it was only another 60 or 70 calories. Me thinks the real reason is that a) it wasn't really truthful in the first place to present it as lean knowing he was going to put an egg on top and b) knowing that if he over-cooked the burger the egg would help out. Chef Puck obviously vetted John out.

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On the other hand, look at Chef Kristen. She's not only talented, but she has an unassuming and likeable personality. She doesn't appear to be out to tear-down her fellow competitors, nor does she make intentionally rude and hurtful comments that lead to clouding her ability to focus. She's intent on cooking the best dish she can every challenge she faces--not tearing down her fellow competitors while stirring the risotto. If you look back at the history of Top Chef, those traits ultimatelyproduce the winners.The editing and drama woven into the show are just the window dressing that keeps viewers coming back, but it isn't the foundation of the show. It's the food.

I really wish that this had been borne out in last night's episode, because Kristen deserves to still be there based on her food versus Josie's...

Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

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Just watched last night's episode. Could NOT believe that Josie is still there....though there were clues when Kristen took the high ground even though Josie seemed to have no trouble placing blame. Josie can't last long.

Donna

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I've always had conflicting feelings about "Restaurant Wars." I brush off the silliness of the Chefs putting together the decor of a restaurant on a whim, but I like the general concept of the Chefs working on teams to put forth one night in the life of a restaurant. But honestly, restaurant wars really doesn't showcase their cooking talents in my opinion.

The team leader has to act as the Manager, Host/Hostess, Executive Chef, Expeditor and Chef. Compact all of that into a short amount of time and it just doesn't seem to be realistic or near what they face every day in their restaurants. But I suppose that's the premise of Restaurant Wars in the vein of competition on Top Chef--to create the unrealistic on a reality show. Unfortunately, it can be the death knell for the top contenders who juggle everything, taking away their focus on anything. It's an entree to the finish for a slobbering drivel like Josie. All Josie has to do is cook a dish, not welcome guests and ask if the hot dogs were hot.

Of course, once they shrug off the show and return to their real "Restaurant Wars," they'll be on a team of professionals running the front of the house and hopefully a talented crew in the kitchen. What they experience on "Restaurant Wars" on Top Chef is in some ways a microcosm of what can happen at a restaurant every night. But if any restaurant in the "real world" suffers like the pop-ups do on Top Chef, they probably aren't overly successfull.

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Haven't been on the forum at all for what...maybe almost a year? Having a kid running around will keep you busy, huh?

Anyway, I just rewatched the restaurant wars episode. I've seen every episode of every season multiple times and I don't remember the last time one made me feel so perplexed and unsettled.

Running it through my head while in bed last night (my form of counting sheep I guess) I was thinking that Kristen (hope I spelled that correctly) did the right thing, she took the blame for what she controlled and got the sack for it.

However, having just rewatched it I'm thinking that maybe she should have divulged more of the kitchen machinations that lead up to the final product (Kristen being frustrated that it took Josie so long to make the broth and that fact that Kristen felt she couldn't put the gelatin in as she had originally planned). Does anyone feel that it would have made a difference had Kristen spoken up a little more? Kristen clearly didn't leave herself much wiggle-room during the planning and execution stages.

Kirsten had a lot of talent I thought for someone so young, it's sad to see her go.

I recently rewatched season 9 from Texas and am also glad that the chef-testants haven't been physically pushed and punished (cooking outdoors in searing heat to gondolas, skiing and target shooting in the frigid north) as they had been last year.

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

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However, having just rewatched it I'm thinking that maybe she should have divulged more of the kitchen machinations that lead up to the final product (Kristen being frustrated that it took Josie so long to make the broth and that fact that Kristen felt she couldn't put the gelatin in as she had originally planned). Does anyone feel that it would have made a difference had Kristen spoken up a little more? Kristen clearly didn't leave herself much wiggle-room during the planning and execution stages.

Kirsten had a lot of talent I thought for someone so young, it's sad to see her go.

A great point. Kristin should have called it out. But then again, given her gracious and professional personna, I understand why she didn't. In the end, whatever her fate on Top Chef, she'll be well-served in her future endeavors. Josie will always be known more for her laugh than her cooking.

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Here's the bottom line, for me anyway. I want Kristen to win. In order to do that, she has to beat all the other chefs. She still has to do that so nothing really has changed. Just that now she has to come up through the loser's bracket.

I hope the next person to show up at Last Chance Kitchen is Josie. And she goes against Kristen, mujer a mujer.

And gets that stupid smile wiped off of her face.

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 really enjoyed this week's episode and not just because Josie finally got the boot. Fried chicken is a great elimination challenge -- open-ended enough to allow some creativity but also deceptively challenging. I was surprised that some of the chefs took the chicken off the bone; that would be the last thing I would do to fry chicken.

I loved that Josh partially smoked the chicken before frying it. I've never thought of doing that, but it makes a ton of sense so long as you don't overcook the chiken.

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Well thank goodness Josie is finally gone a-and facing off with Kristen in Last Chance Kitchen. My guess is we never hear her donkey laugh again.

All that said, I thought Tom was really a horse's ass about getting rid of her. Sure, she's needed to go for weeks but he was mocking her with those other douchey hipster chefs at dinner and practically looking over his shoulder at judges' table because his sneer was dragging his head sideways. Same deal with Padma calling Stefan a 'bullshitter'. While true, she can keep that tidbit to herself since she's hardly a gal of sterling qualities. Questionable paternity of little Krishna, anyone?

This might be my last season of Top Chef unless they focus more of food and technique instead of insults and whacky challenges.

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She's only on there for eye candy and she's getting a little long in the tooth for that. At least she isn't getting so plastered that she's practically under the host by the time she slurs "Pack yer knives 'n' go."

Yet.

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I never had that much of a high opinion of Tom Colicchio and definitely not of Padma Lakshmi. After the last few episodes, I have even less. Much less. I've thought Colicchio has been too big for his britches and has been that way for a while now. Gail Simmons still retains some of my respect.

Lakshmi really needs to pack her knives and go, go, go. Please go.

Having said all that, the blood-letting about Kristen Kish being thrown off last week was sort-of corner-of-mouth-curling for me. Yes, it was an injustice and Josie Smith-Malave should have been the one thrown off. Still, Kish did do a Beef Borguignon dish and a so-called macaron that did not do so well - and how come no one has said anything about her tending to do largely Frenchie stuff? I could just envision the outcry if she were to tend to do largely "Asian"stuff, whatever "Asian" might mean, even if the term on its own would encompass an entire continent in its correct meaning rather than just a single country... ;-)

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Actually, perfect fried chicken is a thing of beauty and technically quite difficult. I think it's the perfect challenge. I'd like to taste fried chicken from Emeril, Puck and Collichio.

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Well, maybe I'm in the minority but I like Padma and Tom. Good for her on calling Stefan out on "I'm not really familiar with fried chicken because I'm from Europe". He of course, later said he just wasn't interested in learning more about it. Well, that's the end result is a near loss.

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I'm close to getting my fried chicken recipe perfected, very close. It's taken about 5 years of experimentation. Although it's not final in my mind, I bet I could have walked into the Top Chef kitchen and made a far better fried chicken than some of what was presentedto the Judges. In my mind, the intricacies of fried chicken-brine, coating, type of flour, oil, oil temp and seasoning have so many other basic applications that it really is a great test of a Chef's ability.

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The commentators on Tom Colicchio's blogs on Bravo the past two episodes have laid into him. Last week's for the Kristen Kish dismissal, not unexpectedly. This week, for his attitude towards "fried chicken" and what it might constitute in the context of Top Chef from the point of view of the cheftestants. These comments should be read, IMO - they bear very valid points. Folks have also been laying into him for proclaiming that crispy fried chicken cannot be obtained with the skin on - they have been pointing out that his dictum is simply not true.

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