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SobaAddict70

Top Chef

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This exciting new reality competition series offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. Twelve aspiring chefs head to San Francisco for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef."

This new reality show, courtesy of the producers of Project Runway on Bravo, will be airing beginning on March 15th at 10 pm EST/9 pm CST.

Top Chef

It's like "The Restaurant", but better.

Soba

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This exciting new reality competition series offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. Twelve aspiring chefs head to San Francisco for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef."

This new reality show, courtesy of the producers of Project Runway on Bravo, will be airing beginning on March 15th at 10 pm EST/9 pm CST.

Top Chef

It's like "The Restaurant", but better.

Soba

Why do you think it will be "better"?


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Because "The Restaurant" was all about Rocco and not about food.

That's not to say that this will be more about food; for instance, Survivor is less about survival than it is about relationships. I just have a feeling that the culinary content will be somewhat more relevant this time around.

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If it's done in a similar way to Project Runway, it should be good. For some reason I find myself interested in Project Runway even though I could hardly have less interest in fashion.


"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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If it's done in a similar way to Project Runway, it should be good.  For some reason I find myself interested in Project Runway even though I could hardly have less interest in fashion.

What he said.

My husband and I both enjoy Project Runway much more than the other "reality" shows, I think in part because it's really based on the competitors' talents, not how much backbiting and game-playing they can do. I'm hopeful that the new chef show will be along the same lines, where the best person (or maybe that should be stated as "the person who consistently doesn't have any really bad days") wins.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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This exciting new reality competition series offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. Twelve aspiring chefs head to San Francisco for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef."

This new reality show, courtesy of the producers of Project Runway on Bravo, will be airing beginning on March 15th at 10 pm EST/9 pm CST.

Top Chef

It's like "The Restaurant", but better.

Soba

Why do you think it will be "better"?

After investing some time into "The Restaurant", the real answer is: It COULDN'T be worse.

The Restaurant had very, very little to do with running a food sales establishment and lots more to do about how dysfunctional people interacted with each other in an artificially intense environment. (Kind of like American Chopper--- don't give a delivery deadline that you can't meet and beat people over the head with it... turn down business that costs you more than it delivers.)

I look forward to watching people who design with food, who think about food and its interaction with flavors, textures and appearance. I always appreciate watching a cook who doesn't guild the lily with thirty flavors when all you can taste is the garlic and the curry. Mostly--- I like getting inside the head of a chef and trying to understand what they are attempting to do, why and how-- so I can apply lessons learned if they suit me or my intended audience.

(But what do I know?) :rolleyes:


"Cogito Ergo Dim Sum; Therefore I think these are Pork Buns"

hvrobinson@sbcglobal.net

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more information .. better details

Billy Joel's wife is the host, the top prize is $100,000, shot in San Francisco and the Bay area, will be featured in Food & Wine Magazine ... sounds like a good project ... not at all "Restaurant-ish" :wink:

Olive and Peach is Katie Joel's website ...

Unlike Hell’s Kitchen, there will be no blustering, foul-mouthed celebrity Chef Ramsey to amuse us or make us cringe. With Top Chef, the contestants will be the stars. We will be privy to watching twelve aspiring chefs, with ages ranging from 23 to 54, find their way to San Francisco and work their cooking butts off, in hopes of becoming the (drum roll) Top Chef. Like Hell’s Kitchen, these contestants’ cooking backgrounds are versatile. For example, we’ll meet plain old culinary students and graduates, celebrity personal chefs, up and coming chefs, along with the token self-taught mother of three. What more could one ask for?
from Reality News Online

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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All these culinary competitions are pointless and rediculous (and usually filled with hacks). Theres only 1 real competition: real life - it's called who's restaurant is making the most money and has the happiest customers. Nothing else matters. You can win as many competitions as you want, but the man who has the most profitable restaurant (and is making customers happy) wins in the end. Real life is far more interesting than TV anyway...

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But some of us lowly peons don't have the money for a establishment and competition is a good way to get such cash, or get known so that people with such cash can let us attempt to be as great as we wanna be.

Not to mention competition is a great way to learn new things and meet great people who are like minded and want to excell. Otherwise all sports would be useless.

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All these culinary competitions are pointless and rediculous (and usually filled with hacks).  Theres only 1 real competition: real life - it's called who's restaurant is making the most money and has the happiest customers.  Nothing else matters.  You can win as many competitions as you want, but the man who has the most profitable restaurant (and is making customers happy) wins in the end.  Real life is far more interesting than TV anyway...

I agree. Reality based culinary competitions are like giving the Super Bowl trophey to the team that knows the most Rolling Stones lyrics.

But most people apparently can't come to grips with the idea of Emeril being "Top Chef"!

SB :wink:

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whast wrong with the big E...He did alot in his culinary time coming up. You see him praised by the likes of Todd English, Norman Van akin and Charlie Trotter. At least I see his name in all their books. during the thank you and appreciation parts.

Not to mention his work at the commanders place.

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All these culinary competitions are pointless and rediculous (and usually filled with hacks).  Theres only 1 real competition: real life - it's called who's restaurant is making the most money and has the happiest customers.  Nothing else matters.  You can win as many competitions as you want, but the man who has the most profitable restaurant (and is making customers happy) wins in the end.  Real life is far more interesting than TV anyway...

If this show is anything like Project Runway, it will be fantastic entertainment. I never miss an episode of PR, and I hate "reality" TV.

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whast wrong with the big E...

Personally, I like Emeril and give him a lot of credit.

However, there are an awful lot of people, many of whom post here, who don't care for his personality and unfortunately allow that to color their judgement of his culinary talents.

SB (cook and let cook, that's all I say) :wink:

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So I'm watching it now.

Tom Colicchio (Gramercy Tavern, Craft) is one of the judges of the series. Each episode there are two challenges, an immunity or "quickfire" challenge, and an elimination challenge. Tonight's quickfire was to hold the line for 30 minutes in Chef Keller's kitchen at Fleur de Lys without being told to leave; tonight's elimination is to create a signature dish for $30 or less food cost.

One thing that surprised me so far was Ken, who though with 13 years of restaurant experience, tasted a sauce with his finger and put it back into the pot.

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I watched this show because it came on after Project Runway, otherwise I would have skipped it. I have no real interest in watching the remainder of the shows...if I happen to be around I might watch...but it isn't must-see like PR.

The best thing I liked was they booted off Ken...and that was actually refreshing to see the "enfant terrible" go right away. That was the most frustrating part of PR, watching the ET stay week after week, but I digress. (I am interviewing PR's Emmett McCarthy for a magazine, what a cool guy.)

But just like that Ramsay thing and that other cooking comp. show on Fox...can't remember name... Cooking competitions like this for some reason don't entertain me.

I think Bravo is about two years behind on cooking shows.

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Like PR, the discussion about the subject matter is pretty intelligent. Listening to the chefs intro the dishes is fascinating.

I was surprised Ken got the boot. That plate of chopped veggies seemed appalling.....


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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the show was actually not bad.

I did think the Sommelier guy was absurdly pretentious

other than that, I would watch again.

You see him praised by the likes of Todd English

Ummmm have you eaten at Olives, Todd English or "English is Italian" ?

Most TE restaurants are crap.

Being praised by him isnt actually a redeeming compliment.

I also wouldnt name him in the same breath as Trotter.

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I really thought for sure that Andrea would get the boot. I think someone described the kale as "a bit rocky".

And Cynthia doesn't seem long-lived either. (She prepared the "crazy rice".)

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I stayed up late to watch it last night, so I might as well toss in my 2 cents.

I liked it. Yes it's totally contrived, but it's television. I thought the two-challenge format kept things moving and it pared down the time usually reserved for characters sitting in a room pointing fingers at each other. I really dislike the manufactured personality conflicts in reality television. What I do like is the creativity exhibited in the challenges-- I agree that project runway was totally mesmerizing for that reason . Offing Ken in the first episode was akin to killing off Drew Barrymore's character in the first five minutes of "Scream" -- refreshing, and a little bit surprising.

I thought at least they'd give him an episode or two to redeem himself, especially with the character mix, and yes, that horrific vegetable and brown rice stir fry, which had the unfortunate side effect of reinforcing every terrible stereotype of "healthy" food.

The formally trained chefs definitely took the day last night, but the tasks were skewed to their strengths. I just hope they don't dominate too much -- they strike me as a serious and type A bunch -- which is, of course, a reason why they thrive in restaurant kitchens I suppose, but watching high strung people bicker for half a season (once the "causal" chefs are theoretically weeded out) isn't very good television.

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I really thought for sure that Andrea would get the boot.  I think someone described the kale as "a bit rocky".

And Cynthia doesn't seem long-lived either.  (She prepared the "crazy rice".)

I agree, it'll be a shame to see Cynthia go -- she's fun to watch. Though I bet she throws a helluva party, so I wonder if there'll be any event-planning type challenges.

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I really thought for sure that Andrea would get the boot.  I think someone described the kale as "a bit rocky".

I thought so too. And did she really say that her unique contribution was that her food had the ability to "move your bowels"? I mean, so can anyone, as long as the basic rules of sanitation are not observed.

I do get her point of "healthy eating," but she came across as a convert who is now going to do what she can to bring people around. I don't think she necessarily considered who her audience was until she actually brought the plate to the table.


Cognito ergo consume - Satchel Pooch, Get Fuzzy

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So I'm watching it now.

Tom Colicchio (Gramercy Tavern, Craft) is one of the judges of the series.  Each episode there are two challenges, an immunity or "quickfire" challenge, and an elimination challenge.  Tonight's quickfire was to hold the line for 30 minutes in Chef Keller's kitchen at Fleur de Lys without being told to leave; tonight's elimination is to create a signature dish for $30 or less food cost.

One thing that surprised me so far was Ken, who though with 13 years of restaurant experience, tasted a sauce with his finger and put it back into the pot.

i've personally seen a lot of famous chefs do this. i thought they were just making a fuss because its on camera.

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So I'm watching it now.

One thing that surprised me so far was Ken, who though with 13 years of restaurant experience, tasted a sauce with his finger and put it back into the pot.

i've personally seen a lot of famous chefs do this. i thought they were just making a fuss because its on camera.

I immediately thought, food safety issues.

Mr. Colicchio had this to say in his blog:

At first I wondered if he was just playing to the cameras, but later I learned Ken's on-screen outbursts were mild compared to his off-screen antics and wacky outbursts back at the house. Even if his roasted halibut with figs had been passable, and even if he hadn't stuck his unwashed finger in a pot of sauce to taste, I felt we were well rid of him for his unprofessional demeanor. Being a chef means cultivating respect for and from your colleagues, even if you don't always agree with them.

What do you think?

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Might as well throw in my 2 nickels as well...

I didn't enjoy the show. It's one of many that, through skilled producers knowing how to put a group of people together that are going to butt heads at every turn, uses underhanded techniques like creative editing, the "firing squad" method of putting people not accustomed to the spotlight in front of their worst critics, and DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.

I think that in the end, it, like the many other "food related" shows out there, reflects poorly on a beautiful craft for which I have a lot of love and respect.

PLUS: When I was in culinary school, Lee was one of my chef instructors! I think everyone in my class would agree that he was the worst (in regards to his temperament, lack of cooking ability, and huge, unsubstantiated ego) chef that we had through the entire program. I cracked up when I saw him for the first time on the preview.

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Sorry SobaAddict, should have paid more attention to your post (and I don't mean to post twice in a row).

That is what Lee is actually like - ALL THE TIME! I found him intolerable at school.

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