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SobaAddict70

Top Chef

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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:

the only thing is, it wasn't until after leeann's menu was selected that they were told that they had 16 hours to execute it....it's one thing it you know you have to do the impossible, and quite another if you are trying to design a nice menu for the scotts and then the other shoe drops....


"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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Thoughts on the previous episode:

- yay, Stephen's gone. There had to be a collective sigh of relief in the kitchen.

- I'm still getting a chuckle out of how Katie Lee pronounces "home." Hyome? There's some degree of affectation in there.

- I thought Dave did incredibly well, and I'm glad people stepped up for him.

- Gail was actually looking quite good; then again, she reminds me of an ex from a few years back, so maybe I'm biased.

- Things might have run a lot smoother -- sleep or not -- if Stephen didn't pay so much attention to the detail of his appetizer that he worked on. I understand paying attention to detail is important, but there is such a thing as overdoing it -- and if anyone's going to be that person, it's him. His time could have been better spent taking care of other things.

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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.

MelissaH

I completely agree. I think I read on Tom's blog that he really wishes he could provide more input at times, but as a judge he's not allowed to. It takes away from the show because they don't have the supportive figure vs. the judges.

I also don't understand why folks are criticizing LeeAnne for being too ambitious with her menu. They didn't tell them when the wedding would be until after the Scotts had already chosen their favorite menu.

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I just think that when they were writing thier menus they had to think that they were going to be cooking one of them soon and with a twist. It is reality TV, and the pattern so far has been to make them try to do the impossible with no time or money. If I remember correctly Dave even made mention of trying to make a menu that could be executed easily, due to the thought that the wedding would be soon.

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So glad that Stephen was next to go. I just couldn't stomach his big head any more. I would sit there yelling at the TV each week. :angry:

That being said, I'm now on a mission to have Tiffani gone - not based on her cooking, because she looks like she can cook, but on her attitude, which is terrible. She swarms with negativity. Part of being a Top Chef (I think) is being able to be respected, something I think Tiffani lacks.

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I also don't understand why folks are criticizing LeeAnne for being too ambitious with her menu.  They didn't tell them when the wedding would be until after the Scotts had already chosen their favorite menu.

When she was talking about her origami cranes, she said something like, I'll be up all night folding these. This leads me to believe that they knew the timeframe was short, although maybe not as short as it ended up being.

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I was just wondering...would any of you think of being a contestant on this show?

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I was just wondering...would any of you think of being a contestant on this show?

no


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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We'll likely know what the contestants were told when Stephen puts up his episode 8 journal/blog entry.  He's usually quite forthcoming on the limitations and restrictions placed on the contestants for each challenge, perhaps even more so than Chef Collichio.

I would love to read Stepehn's blog but the design is driving me nuts! When I pull up a blog entry I can only read the first bit. I can't get the thing to scroll up and down for the life of me. Anyone else with this problem?

My picks now are

Lee Anne-- very much my favorite

Tiffani or Harold-- about the same level, for me

Dave-- just not the same cooking as the other three

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I was just wondering...would any of you think of being a contestant on this show?

No... for two reasons:

First, I don't begin to have the talent, knowledge, or experience to even think about holding my own against professional cooks.

Second, I don't have much patience for game-playing, which that last episode seemed to be. If they'd had more time and opportunity to shop, I might feel differently about it. As a viewer, I truly would have enjoyed seeing them in a much more realistic situation, such as more time, a budget that a 'real' caterer would commonly have to work within, an opportunity to shop and maximize the use of the budget, and perhaps carrying out a theme, and having to cook for people with allergies and/or religious restrictions.

Maybe that's why I've enjoyed "Behind the Bash" so much. It's cool to see what the really professional caterers can come up with, and how they carry it off.

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I would love to read Stepehn's blog but the design is driving me nuts! When I pull up a blog entry I can only read the first bit. I can't get the thing to scroll up and down for the life of me. Anyone else with this problem?

The scroll bar is the black semicircle to the right of the text box. You have to click and drag. It's very annoying.

But I'm glad the website is back up!


Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Thank you, tammy.

Yes, it's well worth a read. His writing style is very funny. "Quaffable" food?

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Since I Tivo the show, it sometimes takes me a while to actually watch what I have recorded. It's so hard to avoid this thread because I don't want to know who was asked to "pack their knives and go"! I finally had a chance to watch the latest episode over the weekend.

As I've said before, I am a reality tv junkie. I don't believe there was any way that Steve and Steve didn't have a complete understanding of what they were getting into. I think they had a great time with it all and have a crazy story to tell for years to come about their commitment ceremony.

Stephen had to go after this episode. He spent no time in the kitchen. Even plating his own dish! I do believe that Stephen has a great eye - but he hasn't proven himself with his food. And I love to hate people on reality shows, but when the are so clueless about themselves, and downright mean to people, I lose patience. He went on and on about needing to train the wait staff so that Steve Steve had a great experience. But they weren't being judged on their dining "experience". They were being judged on the food. He seems to forget that.

Dave just cracks me up. I think he is highly emotional and knows it. He seemed to really pull it together this episode and LeeAnn was great to point that out. His catering experience paid off.

LeeAnn has disappointed me the last couple of episodes. I thought she was a stronger leader than she has come across. The fact that she let Stephen do his own thing and didn't step up to take the lead kind fo bugged me. On the other hand, having her menu selected wasn't much of a reward, was it. Maybe she was wise to not take the lead. Still, I think she or Dave will be the next to go.

And I totally agree with MellisaH regarding the need for a "Tim". I said that to my husband after the first episode. It doesn't make any sense that Tom has access to the chefs behind-the-scenes during the challenge and then sits as a judge. Either keep him out of the kitchen and as a judge or allow him to mentor and not judge.

I haven't read Tom's blog yet, but his comment about switching to another fish is unfair. It didn't appear that they had the option to switch the menu around after it was selected by Steve and Steve. That said, I would have taken the frozen wild salmon over farmed Atlantic salmon anyday. It seems most of the fish coming out of Alaska is flash frozen on the boats anyway. My boy, Harold, let me down on that one.

Regarding the cake, at first I thought it was horrible that they chose to use a cake mix. But then Tiffani said something about not having time to do it over if it fell, etc. and the choice made sense to me (after having my easter cake fall - I had sympathy). Even if they have the skills to pull it off, they didn't have the time. It was beautiful with those orchids - great job LeeAnn.

I believe the final two will be Tiffani and Harold. I'm still pulling for Harold!

Lauren


Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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I'm going to miss Stephen. Stephen was fun to hate, but he wasn't mean. It is going to be a far less entertaining show without Stephen.

The comment that Top Chef needs a "Tim Gunn" is right on target. Tom Colicchio, at least within the constraints of the TV production, is more adversary than mentor.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Agreed, a mentor would be helpful but it's a little harder for me to see how one would work in a kitchen. Critiques after the fact, such as, "So-and-so, you're getting too one-note," sure. But Tim went around critiquing people as they worked. You can't stop cooking to talk the way you can stop sewing.

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How about Tom asking a Tim-like, "Has anyone seen Stephen?"

I could see Tom walking around here tasting, suggesting flavors etc. He did some but was no where near the presence of Tim.

And what cook / chef can't cook or prep and talk at the same time. If there are any, they didn't work for me. :smile:


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Regarding the cake, at first I thought it was horrible that they chose to use a cake mix. But then Tiffani said something about not having time to do it over if it fell, etc. and the choice made sense to me (after having my easter cake fall - I had sympathy). Even if they have the skills to pull it off, they didn't have the time. It was beautiful with those orchids - great job LeeAnn.

And yet someone found time to make two origami paper birds for each attendee? Come ON!

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And yet someone found time to make two origami paper birds for each attendee?  Come ON!

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong; but, it was my impression that only the head table got origami cranes.

~Erik


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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How about Tom asking a Tim-like, "Has anyone seen Stephen?" 

I could see Tom walking around here tasting, suggesting flavors etc.  He did some but was no where near the presence of Tim.

And what cook / chef can't cook or prep and talk at the same time.  If there are any, they didn't work for me.  :smile:

Yeah, I know what you mean. It just seems a little less workable to me with the way cooking progresses. Hey, maybe they should just get Tim Gunn.

What I really want to see is a battle of the reality stars type thing pitting contestants from Top Chef and Project Runway against each other at different tasks. I'd like to see Jay McCarroll cooking, for example.

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Another similartiy between Project Runway and Top Chef:

Has anyone seen Stephen? -Tom C.

Where's Andre? - Tim G.

I just hope no one imagines a Tom/Stephen combo scenerio like Santino did with Andre and Tim!


my new blog: http://uninvitedleftovers.blogspot.com

"...but I'm good at being uncomfortable, so I can't stop changing all the time...be kind to me, or treat me mean...I'll make the most of it I'm an extraordinary machine."

-Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

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What I really want to see is a battle of the reality stars type thing pitting contestants from Top Chef and Project Runway against each other at different tasks.  I'd like to see Jay McCarroll cooking, for example.

Actually I am currently circulating a treatment among network programming departments for "Project Top Food Stylist," combining the best of both shows. Having spent many a morning watching a food stylist paste sesame seeds on a Big Mac bun, I can not think of a more entertaining television competition.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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W.T.F. how did Dave survive, i'll tell you, he used some friggin' butter. R.I.P. LeAnn, sorry, you didn't have the Ice Queen on your side this week, "oh my god, everybody was sooo impressed with your stuffed gnocci", GET-A-ROOM!

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Not that I'm all that into this show but:

HOLY CRAP, THEY SENT MY GIRL LEE ANNE HOME!!! OH, THE HUMANITY!

I'm really sorry to see her go, but I have a feeling she'll do well for herself. I think she has a lot of talent and integrity which will serve her well in the future.

Am I the only one here who felt pretty riveted by this episode? It was by far the most intense one I've seen so far. I mean this one had so much going on: Napa Valley, actually giving the chefs enough time to think/work on their dishes, top notch ingredients, etc. I especially enjoyed the chef judges' comments on the contestants' dishes. Compared to the critiques of the food last week, it was a breath of fresh air to hear useful and professional reviews. BTW, as I am a wine novice, could someone hear fill me in on what exactly was so special about the wine chosen? Speaking of wine, my poor dear Stephen.................... I wonder if he watched this episode at the time and flipped out when he realized that he was booted off and missed an opportunity to show off his sommelier/food and wine pairing skills with an expensive and much sought after wine in Napa? Ouch, that had to hurt.

I have to say that I grew even fonder of Dave. I think he's a really hardworking, sweet guy who just needs a shot of confidence.

Edited for additional comments.


Edited by divalasvegas (log)

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

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