Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
SobaAddict70

Top Chef

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know if the Scotts really paid for this reception or if it was given to them by Bravo in exchange for the reception being used for the TV show? I think it's highly unlikely they would have forked over $3,000 for a reality cooking show stunt.

I wonder this too, it's pretty clear they were some finicky eaters, I would say it's highly likely that the whole thing was staged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, BryanZ.

Yeah, good, Stephen is a douchebag. Maybe he didn't deserve sent home before Tiffany and Dave, but still a douchebag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could not agree more with all the comments about the ridiculousness of this 'challenge'. My fantasy was that the final five called bullshit on this insane challenge after learning about the 16 hour time limit. I would have loved for them to actually get together and to say "this has nothing to do with being a chef and everything to do with your television ratings. We all quit, fuck you and your ratings." Wouldn't that have been awesome???? :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey, BryanZ. 

Yeah, good, Stephen is a douchebag.  Maybe he didn't deserve sent home before Tiffany and Dave, but still a douchebag.

Wan't it interesting when they asked him at the Judge's Table if he had anything to say and he said, "No." ?

Usually you hear the requisite "Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity........" blahblahblah.

I didn't know whether to be appalled or applaud !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I could not agree more with all the comments about the ridiculousness of this 'challenge'.  My fantasy was that the final five called bullshit on this insane challenge after learning about the 16 hour time limit.  I would have loved for them to actually get together and to say "this has nothing to do with being a chef and everything to do with your television ratings.  We all quit, fuck you and your ratings."  Wouldn't that have been awesome????  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

What Kim said. I could not believe the 16 hours. If I were there I'd have quit on the spot. Talk about torturing the contestents!


*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey, BryanZ. 

Yeah, good, Stephen is a douchebag.  Maybe he didn't deserve sent home before Tiffany and Dave, but still a douchebag.

Wan't it interesting when they asked him at the Judge's Table if he had anything to say and he said, "No." ?

Usually you hear the requisite "Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity........" blahblahblah.

I didn't know whether to be appalled or applaud !

Probably the only time in his life Stephen has been speechless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I've pinned down, a little, why Project Runway was more enjoyable for me to watch than Top Chef. (I cook, just for the pleasure of it, and so what if I shed a little blood for the cause? If I sew at all, it's because there's something that needs to be done, not because I relish the experience of stabbing my fingers with a needle.)

I think what Top Chef needs, badly, is a Tim. By that, I mean that in Project Runway, Tim was an impartial mentor, doing whatever he could to help the contestants make the best garment they could. But Top Chef only has Tom, who is apparently judge, jury, and executor. If Tom would stay in the kitchen more to help, he'd probably make more reasonable complaints in his blog and we wouldn't wonder what he'd been smoking. The overall dishes would improve, most likely, and whoever the judges are would be happier.

Hell's Kitchen was more enjoyable for me to watch than this nonsense.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

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

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder if the Scotts knew the ingredients were coming from the grocery store, and would not be of a quality they could expect if they went to a "real" caterer/wedding planner.  I wonder if they knew their chefs were going to be given a nearly impossible task, that was set up to create challenges that other caterers would not have --and that the situation was almost guaranteed to create a less-than-desirable result.  I feel like they were taken advantage of, on what should have been a very special day for them. 

Does anyone know if the Scotts really paid for this reception or if it was given to them by Bravo in exchange for the reception being used for the TV show? I think it's highly unlikely they would have forked over $3,000 for a reality cooking show stunt.

In my mind, it doesn't matter whether they paid for it... or were paid to do it. This was an important day in the Scotts' lives, and Colicchio et al created a nearly impossible challenge, and then stood back and watched. It's the old golden rule thing. I wouldn't want this done to me if it were my wedding/commitment day. We will probably never know, but my personal bet is that Bravo did NOT tell the Scotts the truth about what was going on, including the possibility/probability of a major disaster. Neither of these guys looked stupid enough to risk so much, if they had known what the deal really was, and the potential pitfalls.

Remember the pseudo-restaurant challenge? I didn't have a problem with that, because those weren't "real" customers. They were people who were coming to a made-up deal, knowing what they were getting into.

The only thing that would redeem this episode, integrity-wise, would be for us to learn that Scott, Scott, and all of their guests were actors paid to play the part, and that it was a staged wedding reception. Absent that, shame on all who were involved, except the chefs, who were victims. Assuming the whole thing was real, how would you feel if you were one of the chef contestants, and something disastrous happened, and you wrecked a very special day for some people?

The whole thing... just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. (Pun intended.) Colicchio, what's-her-name, and the producers need to pack their knives and go home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knowing the little bit that I do about how all of this reality stuff works (a number of these have been filmed in NOLA and I have many friends who have worked on the production side of things), I would imagine that the Scott's were comped the whole thing as a trade off for being part of a commercial production.

I mean, the Scotts did probably have some fun with it and I suspect that they knew what they were dealing with on some level, so it's hard to feel too bad for them. After all, there was probably some kind of newsprint or web thing that they responded to in order to get on the list so they pretty much knew the score going in, I would be willing to bet.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved Steven's rant at the end about how he was going to be the best restauranteur in the universe and raise the bar to a new level.

Let's look in on Steven next year at this time:

"Good evening. My name is Steven, and I'll be your sodaollier this evening.

For the lady, I would definitley suggest something in a Sprite to go with that McFish sandwich, especially since you're also having a McSalad.

For you Sir, a nice Dr. Pepper to accompany that Doubler Quarter Pounder. The syrup was just changed, and it will have a piquant aftertaste of prunes to set off the grease.

You'll notice that your tray was given to you in a Continental "sweeping" manner.

You there, garçon - you're not properly placing the pommes frites in the boxes - do it comme ça."


Edited by DeVeaux (log)

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I loved Steven's rant at the end about how he was going to be the best restauranteur in the universe and raise the bar to a new level.

Let's look in on Steven next year at this time:

"Good evening. My name is Steven, and I'll be your sodaollier this evening.

For the lady,  I would definitley suggest something in a Sprite to go with that McFish sandwich, especially since you're also having a McSalad.

For you Sir, a nice Dr. Pepper to accompany that Doubler Quarter Pounder. The syrup was just changed, and it will have a piquant aftertaste of prunes to set off the grease.

You'll notice that your tray was given to you in a Continental "sweeping" manner.

You there, garçon - you're not properly placing the pommes frites in the boxes - do it comme ça."

Snigger  :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knowing the little bit that I do about how all of this reality stuff works (a number of these have been filmed in NOLA and I have many friends who have worked on the production side of things), I would imagine that the Scott's were comped the whole thing as a trade off for being part of a commercial production.

I mean, the Scotts did probably have some fun with it and I suspect that they knew what they were dealing with on some level, so it's hard to feel too bad for them. After all, there was probably some kind of newsprint or web thing that they responded to in order to get on the list so they pretty much knew the score going in, I would be willing to bet.

I was thinking the same thing, only if they had seen stuff like Queer Eye they probably didn't expect to get anything so crappy. People on those shows usually get a very expensive and seemingly classy (for reality TV) event and a lot of free stuff to boot.


Edited by Tess (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I would not be surprised to see Stephen back at some point before the show is over. Not as a contestant but in some other form. I think the producers picked someone that can be antagonistic in the show and I don't think they are ready to drop him completely yet.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knowing the little bit that I do about how all of this reality stuff works (a number of these have been filmed in NOLA and I have many friends who have worked on the production side of things), I would imagine that the Scott's were comped the whole thing as a trade off for being part of a commercial production.

I mean, the Scotts did probably have some fun with it and I suspect that they knew what they were dealing with on some level, so it's hard to feel too bad for them. After all, there was probably some kind of newsprint or web thing that they responded to in order to get on the list so they pretty much knew the score going in, I would be willing to bet.

I was thinking the same thing, only if they had seen stuff like Queer Eye they probably didn't expect to get anything so crappy. People on those shows usually get a very expensive and seemingly classy (for reality TV) event and a lot of free stuff to boot.

I agree that they probably knew it was a contest and were comped. They made an informed decision and chose to go that route instead of having a reception of their own. I don't think the food was crappy, as Tiffany said it was better than most typical wedding fare, it just wasn't up to "elite" standards. It was probably much better than my wedding: stuffed breast of capon, veggie medly and twice baked potato :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the Scotts were aware of the reality-show part of it, and the trade-offs involved, and I'd guess that at least the food budget was comped (well, I'd hope so!). According to a blurb in the SF Chronicle on Wednesday, one of the Scotts is public relations chief for ACT (American Conservatory Theater), so he's probably a little familiar with how this TV-reality stuff works. And they did show several comments by guests saying "hey, this is good" about various dishes, so I'd wager that most of the crowd had a decent time. As others have said - it was probably better than the dinner food at my wedding! :raz:

Although I feel kind of bad for the Scotts, in that the food wasn't quite what they quite expected, I think I feel worse for the chefs. It wouldn't have been so bad if some of the restrictions were slightly different - if they didn't have a set time limit for shopping, for example, so they could run to a fishmonger early the next morning instead of using the grocery store supplies.

And yet... they've hooked me for the rest of this season; I've got to find out how the whole thing ends up. Don't know if I'll come back for a second season if the format stays the same...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, upon reflection and especially in light of the most recent comments posted here, I've lost any and all sympathy for the Scotts. To be duped by a self-serving, opportunistic friend is one thing; to be a willing participant on your "special" day is quite another. If indeed, as has already been suggested, they agreed to this chirade for socio-political reasons--maybe to promote acceptance of same sex unions--then they may have created the opposite affect since by accepting Colicchio's offer they have trivialized and cheapened what should have been the sincere and joyful union of two people in love and rendered the whole ceremony anything but special. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Scotts on Bravo in the near future with their own crappy reality show cashing in on their new-found and undeserved fame.

I still feel sorry for how the contestants were treated/abused in the making of this episode including Napoleon, er, I mean Stephen.


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No sympathy for Scott or Scott whatsoever. If you choose to incorporate a reality tv show into your wedding reception, you relinquish all rights to be disappointed.

=R=


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

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

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's clear what the Scotts did or did not know about this deal.

It's one thing, to be told well ahead of time, that their wedding food will be prepared by professional and/or semiprofessional chefs in a Top Chef contest.

My concern is that they may not have been aware of the time constraints and challenges presented to the contestants. If they were aware that there wasn't a pastry chef in the group, but the group would still be making the cake, then OK. Personally, that would not be acceptable to me. If they were made aware that given the circumstances, there were bound to be problems, and some of the contestants almost surely would not effectively rise to the occasion, then OK.

If they were made aware of the possible pitfalls, challenges, etc., and they still elected to do it, then all's fair. I wonder if they fully understood the ramifications of the chefs having less than 24 hours to plan, shop, and cook. What makes me suspect that they were not aware of some very important details, is the fact that they agreed to it. I'm having a hard time accepting that they were told something like, "The results will problably be acceptable, but could be disastrous--or somewhere in between, and God only knows what you'll get for a cake", and they still agreed to it.

I am simply assuming that if they really understood what they were getting into, they would not have agreed to it. I could certainly be wrong. They may have more of a sense of adventure than I do. :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That pastry chef thing is starting to get to me -- it seems to be a recurring theme in these reality shows...

In his writing, Anthony Bourdain expressed a number of opinions -- more often than not, not very favorable -- about cooks, chefs, restauranteurs and whatnot... But he made a specific effort of pointing out that not all chefs are mad. Not all chefs are drunks, junkies, thieves, nor buggering bastards. To make his point, he described a specific establishment where food was prepared without screaming, arms-dealing, or chefs giving the bride-to-be a good rogering over the dumpster in the back.

Now, this place was apparently so good, because the chef was so good. And what made him so good, was that he had the patience to serve under the best chefs in the country. That is, he focused on developing his culinary skills, rather than accepting lucrative positions that entailed mad cash, fame, and nookie.

Then, after all that -- once he had become so skilled, knowledgeable and respected that he surely could have landed the most rewarding cash-fame-and-nookie cookery job in the world, the nutter went back to school -- to learn how to become a pastry chef. Methinks very few people would ever take such a route. Carême started out in a patisserie, but his circumstances were unusual, to say the least. I've baked (uh, or rather, attempted to bake) a few breads. And I can totally understand why such a big deal is made, about the difference between "regular" chefs, and pastry chefs.

Why the hell isn't this recognized on these "reality" shows?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knowing "reality" shows, I would honestly not be at all surprised if the Scotts had two commitment ceremonies... one real one, and one for the camera.


"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to weigh in here in defense of Tom Coliccio, I am a chef-instructor at one of the big culinary schools in the banquet department. I do weddings for 100 all the time in les than 16 hours, with students who sometimes have little or no experience. We dont like to do it but sometimes the situation of being a school that provides hands on cooking experience serving the public makes it necessary. The mistake in this challenge was on the chefs, they had to know that they were not going to be given alot of time, and they had to know that they were going to have to carry it out. They did IMO what my more inexperienced yet eager students do when handed a mystery basket.... they chose a menu that looked nice on paper, but was too hard to execute to perfection.

I also just need to speak my mind on the pastry chef topic too, if you can't make a dessert or a cake you dont deserve to be running a kitchen, and I am sure any of the other chefs that peruse the boards will agree. If your pastry chef quits are you going to just 86 the desserts? Most culinary programs have basic pastry classes.

Rant off....

Thank you all for listening, my wofe wont anymore hehehehehe

I do like the show it is somewhat of a guilty pleasure. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
\It was the contrived nature of the challenge itself (serve it the next day, and get everything out of a supermarket), which the contestants were only made aware of after the menu had been picked.

Talking about contrived, what the HELL were the judges smoking, talking about the standards THEY were used to in wedding receptions for the Rich and Famous -- I don't think Billy frikkin' Joel had his wedding catered out of a supermarket, in 24 hours... Some of this stuff just really escapes me.

As I said to my husband while we were watching the episode - they have to throw in a twist in order to make sure something goes wrong. If they gave them ample time and ample money and ample resources and everything turned out amazing, then they'd have a really hard time finding someone to kick off. They have to set them up for failure.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...