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Gifted Gourmet

COOKING UNDER FIRE from PBS: April 27 premiere

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jinmyo, i can only ask for your forgiveness.

touaregsand, don't be such a sourpuss.

can't comment other than that. i missed last night's show. in chicago watching the opening of alinea, grant achatz's new restaurant. followed by dinner there.

i'm too close to grant and his food to be a reliable critic, but my morning after conviction is this: Alinea on its first night was better than Trio on its last night.

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jinmyo, i can only ask for your forgiveness.

touaregsand, don't be such a sourpuss.

can't comment other than that.  i missed last night's show.  in chicago watching the opening of alinea, grant achatz's new restaurant.  followed by dinner there.

i'm too close to grant and his food to be a reliable critic, but my morning after conviction is this: Alinea on its first night was better than Trio on its last night.

I can't help it, they remind me of people I've interviewed for jobs and some who've I've actually hired...

:rolleyes:

EDIT: absolutely no, never 86 for Michael. He keeps coming back to face this thread. It's not sham I tell you, he must really be a nice guy. A pillar I tell you!


Edited by touaregsand (log)

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For a half hour show, they didn't really cover much. It seemed like the episode was them given instruction, brief shots of a hectic kitchen, then a long parade of dishes and critique.

An hour would have been better. I'd like to see the contestants explain what their goal was, maybe a peek into their 10 minute planning, or what they are thinking during the hour.

To me, most of the episode seemed like the last 10 minutes of an Iron Chef episode, except drawn out.

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My local PBS station didn't air the show! DRAT!


Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I saw, I guess the third episode with the mis en place cooking. I caught it at 2:30 am, so I can't remember much. It's entertaining and fun to watch. I noticed though that Todd English says very little and that Ming Tsai was doing all the talking ! I liked Myer's idea of using very different ingredients than the what you would find in most restuarant kitchen's.

I liked some of the dishs especially the John Paul (?) guy with his dishs. Russell Moore's dish was way too busy, if he had plated on three different plates, it would of looked better. And Jennifer, how do you lose track on time in such a small place ? With 9 other people around you ? She deserved to get 86'ed.


Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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The NYT skewered Englishes' new restaurant,English is Italian, in the food section Wed. (Apolgies for not supplying a link). Ouch!

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Maybe i'ts the new Federal Mandate that all Americans must watch at least one reality show per week, but I'm getting hooked. Each time I watch, the half hour just flies by.

The Kentucky/New York girl is impressive in what she turns out, though I am waiting for her to snap and put a knife through someone's eye.

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I'm really looking forward to tonight's installment. And fwiw, I think that 30 minutes (minus "previously on" and "next time on" it's really more like 20) isn't long enough. An hour per episode would be better.

For me, it's hard to get a read on who's truly doing the quality work -- we're just not seeing enough of it. That said, from the judges comments last week, it does seem like they feel there are some bona fide candidates in the mix.

The biggest disappointment for me has been Katsuji. I went from really liking him at the outset to, well . . . I'll just say that his confidence level and general demeanor seem to far outpace his abilities. I guess we'll see . . .

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

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I have seen two episodes and I enjoy them. I agree that it is difficult to see a favorite or a clear winner. I have to say that the 86s choices were clear. There was not much suspense about who should be eliminated in the two episodes I saw, at least not with the editing done.

This should be an hour show!!!!!!!!!!

Looking forward to the next one.

Alex

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I've improved my opinion of the show, I know longer feel unclean watching it, just guilty. :laugh:

I'm trying to tell myself that it's different from "America's Next Supermodel", which my 12-year-old daughter wants to watch tonight, but in my heart I don't believe it.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I've improved my opinion of the show, I know longer feel unclean watching it, just guilty. :laugh:

I'm trying to tell myself that it's different from "America's Next Supermodel", which my 12-year-old daughter wants to watch tonight, but in my heart I don't believe it.

Just say "I watch PBS" when the Reality Show topic comes up and leave it at that.

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Ok, I enjoy this show, but I really need to fast forward the tivo every time Todd comes on the screen. His facial expressions drive me insane, or maybe it is actually the Botox has made him only have one expression. I can't tell.

Also between him, Ming and Katsuji it seems they have cornered the market on hair gel.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Tonight the show was actually quite interesting ...

Guest Chef Judge: Michael Mina, Michael Mina's restaurant in Las Vegas.

Our nine remaining finalists hit the road for Las Vegas. On the bus, tempers flare as cooking philosophies clash, and one finalist is singled out for an arrogant approach to food. Guest chef Michael Mina joins the team to demonstrate one of his signature dishes, which the finalists are asked to re-create. We'll see who listens best and pays attention to a master at work; one will be unable to execute and … 86'd.

from PBS.org website

The discussion of how the fish were fileted and prepared and the buerre blanc .. all looked fine to me but the judges thought otherwise in some cases :hmmm: ... at the end was the French chef telling Mina that he, Mina, had overused salt ... to which Mina said that the French guy should never wear his sunglasses in a nice restaurant ... :huh: and, yes, I agree with the others here who find a half-hour episode far too short.


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Definitely this needs to be an hour; it would be great to go along with the winners of each round when they take tours of other kitchens.

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I enjoyed the challenge of replicating a specific dish. I was a little disappointed that the show spent so much time on the cooks interaction in the bus. That was too much "reality tv" for my taste.

I am surprise that the girl that took the dish to the table late was not penalized in some way. I think they cut her some slack, nonetheless I really like her personality and she appears to be quite competent.

All right, I understand that sometimes you want to push a little bit, but in a competition like this, do not tell the guess chef that his signature dish is too salty. The competition is already pretty challenging, why do you want every judge angry with you....

Yes, I am hooked!

Alex

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Katsuji is a real asshole. It takes a kitchen full of people to serve a restraunt, how the hell does he think he will get along in there if he prefers to work alone? He acts like he needs no development and the truth is that everyone, even at the highest levels of their craft, can learn something from those around them. Wow, I'd hate to be in any kitchen he runs!

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Shoot, I had to miss last night's episode 5. I got the quick version summary from the PBS website, but any other standout scenes worth telling about? What did Miracle Mike do that made him get 86'd?


I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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Shoot, I had to miss last night's episode 5.  I got the quick version summary from the PBS website, but any other standout scenes worth telling about?  What did Miracle Mike do that made him get 86'd?

he cooked the fish first, before sauces and veg, and let it sit.... :unsure:


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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Shoot, I had to miss last night's episode 5.  I got the quick version summary from the PBS website, but any other standout scenes worth telling about?  What did Miracle Mike do that made him get 86'd?

Yes, Yannick Marchand criticizing the dish. I agree with his assessments. I don't see how coating a delicate fish in crumbled phyllo and frying is a good thing.

And then later telling Chef Mina that he oversalts. :laugh:

True the episode was about precisely following directions. But if it were a real life situation I would like feedback from my sous chef. Of course ultimately it is my way or the highway.

The whole thing with Sara using the wrong knife to fillet the fish seemed silly to me. Especially given the previous Salmon hacking.

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I just caught the Las Vegas phyllo-crusted salmon episode last night.

It was very interesting, and made me want to watch the previous episodes. I don't know how much of the drama is made in the editing room, but I found one bit particular nauseating: At the end of the show, after a contestant was 86'd, one of the others (Yannick Marchand) made a comment, that he felt the dish was too salty... The judges' reaction was priceless -- talk about swearing in church. Chef Michael Mina didn't even respond, so Ming Tsai decided to come to his rescue, retorting that well, maybe Marchand shouldn't wear sunglasses.

Quite rightly, Marchand responded, "What?" (Which incidentally is exactly the same thing I said, out loud).

Tsai explained that he shouldn't walk around in someone's kitchen wearing sunglasses -- indicating that he found it to be disrespectful...

At this point, we got a "back stage" soundbite from Tsai, where he said he thought they'd 86'd the wrong guy...

Now, the salting preference-issue is a separate one. And, sadly so is the "don't you DARE critique me, you lowly non- chef -superstar kitchen peon!" matter. But that a seasoned TV cook as Ming Tsai, who is capable of coming across on his own show as the most personable, likeable fellow could make such an completely infantile comment, just completely disgusted me.

The guy's been wearing sunglasses on the top of his head the whole time, and no complaints are made about it, until he has the audacity to question the design of the dish? What the hell does that have to do with the amount of salt in this dish? What an utterly vacuous thing to say.

If you're gonna be a tyrant, fine -- that's entertaining too. But please, unless you've got a couple of neurons to rub together, and thus the ability to come up with something reasonably eloquent to say when tearing down a contestant -- don't. "You're a big poo-poo head with your stupid sunglasses" don't work.

::rant off::

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The wrong knife comment was a bit weird to me.

When I was a bohemian young cook I traveled with just two knives. A chef's knife and a paring knife. No chef ever told me which knife to use since the finished product spoke for itself.

I also agree with Yannick's assessment of the dish. But I don't form any opnions of the chef based on it. Chef Mina has his customer base to cater to.


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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(Yannick Marchand) made a comment, that he felt the dish was too salty... The judges' reaction was priceless -- talk about swearing in church. Chef Michael Mina didn't even respond, so Ming Tsai decided to come to his rescue, retorting that well, maybe Marchand shouldn't wear sunglasses.

[...]

Now, the salting preference-issue is a separate one. And, sadly so is the "don't you DARE critique me, you lowly non- chef -superstar kitchen peon!" matter. But that a seasoned TV cook as Ming Tsai, who is capable of coming across on his own show as the most personable, likeable fellow could make such an completely infantile comment, just completely disgusted me.

Maybe Ming is just not quick on his feet. As a host he felt he had to defend the guest chef and this is the best he could come up with off the cuff?

As to the salt thing - I don't think it's a matter of never questioning a chef in a kitchen. I think it's a matter of showing respect to a host who is having you in his kitchen and spending time showing you how to recreate one of his dishes. I may have thought the same thing had I tried it, but I would have never said anything - at least not there. Yannick was annoyed that he was criticized and said a stupid thing.

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It's great to read these comments. here are mine.

Sara was criticized for not fabricating her fish well--if she had done it well, it wouldn't have mattered if she'd used chopsticks. and she wasn't criticized because three minutes late was not egregious and it was perfectly prepared once she got it off the bone. had she been 15 minutes late, she'd have been gone.

the phyllo crust was excellent--light and crisp, not heavy. Mina lets phyllo sit and dry out completely and breaks it up. it works.

mina knows how to salt food. yannick did not. that he furthermore criticized the chef I thought was astonishing and hilarious.

what the frustrating length of the show prevented you from seeing was how good mina was in critiquing each dish. He was really on the money on every little facet of the dish and of the cooking, the sequence of events, how they kept their stations. i hadn't met mina before but i was really impressed.

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I agree that the show is too short. It's hard to get a grasp of the players and the tasks at hand.

I take it that Yannick will be 86ed very soon...

what the frustrating length of the show prevented you from seeing was how good mina was in critiquing each dish. He was really on the money on every little facet of the dish and of the cooking, the sequence of events, how they kept their stations. i hadn't met mina before but i was really impressed.

Why do you think this very important part was edited out? I don't really expect you to know or even attempt to answer. I'm wondering out loud, so to speak.

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Why do you think this very important part was edited out?

the terrible time constraints and the need to tell complete stories that are accurate and true. very difficult in a half hour.

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