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SobaAddict70

Top Chef

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If you only have 10 minutes to prepare something and you make 25 little dishes, it's cheating if you don't even make them taste good, but pretend as if they would.

Not if nobody busts you on it, it's not.

Yeah, he should have tasted them, but he didn't have time - instead, he decided to execute something with a flourish and he won.

I don't want to marry the guy or anything, and I think he's probably a great bullshit artist, but I have gained some respect for him. He's smart and creative. In a competition, that's better than being cuddly. He might hurt himself by shoving the wine pairing angle down everyone's throats for the duration, though.


Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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If you only have 10 minutes to prepare something and you make 25 little dishes, it's cheating if you don't even make them taste good, but pretend as if they would.

Not if nobody busts you on it, it's not.

Yeah, he should have tasted them, but he didn't have time - instead, he decided to execute something with a flourish and he won.

I don't want to marry the guy or anything, and I think he's probably a great bullshit artist, but I have gained some respect for him. He's smart and creative. In a competition, that's better than being cuddly. He might hurt himself by shoving the wine pairing angle down everyone's throats for the duration, though.

Plus -- and I had forgotten this for a moment -- the challenge was described as being <paraphrasing> 'all about presentation.' Given the description, I'm not sure the fact that Stephen's stuff may have tasted bad, should have made a difference in the end. It was deemed the best-presented plate. Does anyone remember any of those fruit plates being tasted by the judges?

=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

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Does anyone remember any of those fruit plates being tasted by the judges?

Yeah, they all looked like butt except for the little cups and that other one that used a lot of very thin slices. I would've given the win to the thin slices one.

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Just watched the episode over the weekend. Dissapointing second episode....eye-rollingly bad, combined with more terrible, terrible food. At least the irritating whole foods chef got the ax. Its fine to cook healthy, but to cook badly and self righteously just drives me insane.

That being said, I'm surprised they chose pastry, becasue we all know that pastrami is the most sensual of all the cured meats.....

(c'mon people, an entire page of comments and not one reference to the Seinfeld Food and Sex episode).

Of course, it was a hard task. Most were operating outside of their specialties, but that they were squeamish about the sex part. This, of course made it really difficult to watch, as it was bascially an hour of people being uncomfortable and self-conscious. Catering folks out there...have you done something similar? I realize a job is a job, but would you cater for, say, the Illinois State Nazi Party or something?

sander

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Does anyone remember any of those fruit plates being tasted by the judges?

Yeah, they all looked like butt except for the little cups and that other one that used a lot of very thin slices. I would've given the win to the thin slices one.

If I were one of them, I'd have taken a page from a certain Vancouver food celebrity and made it a spectacular production:

gallery_12924_2165_92260.jpg

:wink:

Soba

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I thought the show was awful.  I watched it with a small group of foodies and one professional after our spirited PR post-viewing debate. Maybe it suffered by comparison. Anyway, none of us liked it, not even a little bit.

Only a handful of the contestants seemed to really belong there. They search the country, and this group is the best they can muster? Like PR did oftentimes, it seemed more about generating conflict among the contestants than about assembling the best talent.  They get a softball challenge of "signature dish" (which could be anything) and this was the best they could offer? The dinner thread on eG is often more impressive.

The professional among my viewing group noted that being put on the line without getting a chance to at least observe the drill, etc. was pointless, of course most of them would fail.

If the host of the show knows anything about food, it wasn't apparent.  She certainly didn't have anything of interest to say. 

Enough griping, here's a final question-- maybe we were too busy hating the show or pouring more wine, but I missed entirely the unforgivable footwear transgression of one of the contestants.  What was this woman wearing on her feet that got her booted off the line?

Actually, if you look at the cast bios, these were apparently the best they could find in New York or Los Angeles, except for the one from Vegas. If there are future seasons, hopefully they will cast their net a little wider.

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i'm surprised by the lack of activity re this thread after this week's episode.

What to say? I watched it. As usual I thought the immunity challenge was more interesting than the elimination one. The top five people all made octopus dishes I would have liked to try. I thought the wine guy was starting to look a little one-note, as they like to say on Project Runway. I lost interest during the second part and didn't even listen to the blah blah blah that led to the elimination of whatsisface. I did like it that the one contestant with kids influenced that menu and the monkey dogs with pureed fish were a pretty good idea.

Is that for real about shortening the simmer time by putting in a cork, like Cynthia did?

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Is that for real about shortening the simmer time by putting in a cork, like Cynthia did?

I'm curious about this. I've seen it done in several places, including by some guy on Iron Chef (octopus braised with red wine, plus a cork), which according to Hattori made the octopus get tender faster.

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I thought episode 3 was better than episode 2. That said, being able to cook for children doesn't seem to be a critically important part of being a 'top chef.' But, as we saw in the aftermath, customer accomodation -- and the ability to provide it -- are certainly going to figure into who wins this thing. Tiffani really popped up on TC's radar for appearing to not even consider it. And, as it turned out, she was lucky she'd won the earlier, Quickfire challenge or she would have been history.

On that note, do you believe that the number of times chef Colicchio has refused to accomodate a customer's request is really "almost never"? I have no trouble believing it because it seems plausible but I've never eaten at any of his restaurants so I can't even really begin to gauge it accurately.

I was a bit surprised to see octopus billed as a surprise ingredient. It just doesn't seem that uncommon or exotic to me -- especially for a chef with some experience.

I didn't like that there was an effort made to freak the kids out by parading the whole monkfish around in front of them before they ate. That was cheap. And I believe both teams should have been asked to leave the cafeteria while the kids were being served. That they were able remain there and patronizingly perform for the kids during the service was a poor choice on the part of the producers.

=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

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If they really want to test the contestants on what it means to be a chef, this is what I'd like to see:

Have each chef come up with a dish (maybe during a quickfire challenge), then give each one three assistants with varying levels of kitchen skills, preferably non-English speaking. The elimination challenge is for the chef to teach the assistants to prep and then cook the dish entirely on their own, without the chef present. Then compare the original to the one created by the assistants.

Now, that would separate the pros!!

:laugh:

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Last week, they cooked for the clientelle of the Spunky Spanky S&M Club, and this week they are catering for Chuck E. Cheese. Is that a step up, or a step down?

I think it's a step down. On one hand, I wonder if desserts shouldn't be considered more of a pastry chef's repertoire, so it seems that this might not be such a good test. But on the other hand, cooking for 10 year olds (and nevermind their undeveloped palates), where entertaining the clientelle by impersonating a monkey earns you 1,000 extra bonus points doesn't seem like such a good test of a chef's abilities either.

Or maybe this is just another indication of where the network is going: If you can light your own farts and scream like a monkey, you might be the next Food Network Celebrity. If you can't -- well, who the hell cares about your cooking anyhow?

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I have suffered through 2 epsiodes of this mindless claptrap and find the whole thing excruciating.

A top chef is not necessarily the best cook in the kitchen. The best chef is the one that brings out the best in his/her cooks!

The cooks in a top kitchen are part of a team, all working together towards a common goal: to make the customers happy.

On that note, the whiny, self absorbed, ill mannered, read one too many Charlie Trotter picture books, holier than thou Stephen is a dismal failure as an aspiring chef. If he had a real restaurant....He would have to staff his kitchen with Stephen wanna-bes. Who else would work for him?

Some of this food is mind numbingly bad....bland, thoughtless, unimaginative rubbish. The producers can get Colicchio & H Keller but the only contestants they could dredge up is this collection of washed up hospital cooks, fluffy wine twerps, granola grinders, brain damaged bungee jumpers, foul mouthed barflies and wanna be actors.

And what sort of professional cook doesn't love Octopus! It is Amazing....and these weanies are turning up their noses at it?

JoRic is correct. Have these yahoos work in teams and then we'll see what sort of food they can produce.

And to think that we were this close to convincing the American Public that cooking is a respectable occupation! :angry:

What time does Lidia come on?


John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

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I was a bit surprised to see octopus billed as a surprise ingredient.  It just doesn't seem that uncommon or exotic to me -- especially for a chef with some experience.

I didn't like that there was an effort made to freak the kids out by parading the whole monkfish around in front of them before they ate.  That was cheap.  And I believe both teams should have been asked to leave the cafeteria while the kids were being served.  That they were able remain there and patronizingly perform for the kids during the service was a poor choice on the part of the producers.

=R=

That surprised me about the octopus too. I think it's one of those indications that the show isn't primarily for people who are very much into food. They're trying to gain a much wider audience (and possibly even promote restaurant dining) so they don't want to have something that could really be a turn off. Also, if they used brains or one of the other things I was guessing, some of the contestants might have been stumped about the basic cooking of the things, like how done they needed to be etc., and I don't think they want to show people either looking in reference books, or cooking something that might give you food poisoning.

I hate it when they turn the contests into a freak show and basically show the heavy hands of the producers. They make it seem like the material is not interesting enough on its own. Patronizing is the right word, for sure.

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Is it me or have others noticed that during the elimination challenge the tone or sound of Colicchio's voice seems to changes drastically when the camera pans off of him? I could be wrong but It seems to me that some of his comments may be edited in at a later date.

Also I realize the carrots were overcooked but it really could have gone ether way with the youngsters. Easy to foresee one of the children saying 'Yuck there to hard and not like moms green giant carrots'.

Also Tiffani raised some valuable points that many children expect a toy with there meal in this country and wished to teach them to appreciate food without pink dye.

If she refrained her remarks about their palates she may have been praised by the judges.

I guess in the end I was proud to know my kids were fans of Wylie Dufresne long before he became as popular as he is today. :laugh:


Robert R

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Is it me or have others noticed that during the elimination challenge the tone or sound of Colicchio's voice seems to changes drastically when the camera pans off of him? I could be wrong but It seems to me that some of his comments may be edited in at a later date.

I had that same thought while watching the last episode!

For the record, I do enjoy watching the show. But it's definitely more entertainment that a test of real-world chefdom. All of these shows need a Stephen-like character to keep things interesting. I predict he'll stick around for a while.

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Okay, I'll admit it, I'm a big reality tv fan and I am enjoying Top Chef. But......I'm not a chef and have never worked in a kitchen so I'm not watching it with the same eye as others. Plus, I love Project Runway and the format is pretty much the same.

It's all about the personalities and this show is full of them. I really like Harold and Tiffani but, come on, they were so full of themselves after the monk fish challenge. Like they're above feeding children. You know what, sometimes in the real world, you have to do things you don't want to do. At least Harold had the sense to keep his mouth shut in front of the judges. Dave seems like a good guy, and I hope he can focus enough to stop making stupid mistakes (like forgetting to salt his dish). I love Stephen's plating and am curious to see if his food stands up to some critical tasting. He's such an ass though. He treated Candice so poorly - it's hard to respect someone after that.

They used to do the same recorded voice-over thing on PR as they are doing with Tom's comments on TC. I assume it's so they can say more precise things to match the final edit of the show. Are there any of the TC chefs on eG that we can ask? It's interesting.

I predict that either Andrea or Lisa will be the next to go.

Lauren


Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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That being said, I'm surprised they chose pastry, becasue we all know that pastrami is the most sensual of all the cured meats.....

(c'mon people, an entire page of comments and not one reference to the Seinfeld Food and Sex episode).

I'm so sorry. I would have responded earlier but I was completely preoccupied with eating my risotto. And, yes, thank you, it was very satisfying.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a BLT, The Colbert Report, and a very special someone to get back to.

PS Does anyone remember Buck Henry's line on the old SNL, "You know what I've always said -- 'Give me a Sandwich and a Douchebag and I can do anything!'" Stephen and Tiffani are Lord and Lady Douchebag at this point.


My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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Stephen and Tiffani are Lord and Lady Douchebag at this point.

I cracked up when Candace called Stephen a "tool and a douchebag" :laugh:


Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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I was a bit surprised to see octopus billed as a surprise ingredient.  It just doesn't seem that uncommon or exotic to me -- especially for a chef with some experience.

And I believe both teams should have been asked to leave the cafeteria while the kids were being served.  That they were able remain there and patronizingly perform for the kids during the service was a poor choice on the part of the producers.

=R=

What bugged me about the octopus was that they all said it smelled horrible and then -- what? It smelled okay? I had raw octopus recently and it tasted pristine. Certainly no odor. I thought the Quickfire Challenge was going to actually be about judgement. Having to deal in the moment with a questionable product. When you might have to make a tough decision about basically losing money by not using a subpar ingredient.

I didn't think they should have had to leave. Chefs perform all the time in open kitchens. They talk to diners. I think really good chefs understand dining out is a performance for the customer and that they do have a role to play that isn't 100% cooking. Kids deserve this attention as much as an adult who gets to go see the kitchen and have a one-on-one discussion with the chef. I agree though the performances were pretty patronizing.


My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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actually while working on a sushi bar i have gotten octopus that wasn't the most pleasnt smell, all you had to do was boil it in salt water and it was great. On the opposite note tho from a different company the octopus was always perfect and had no smell at all. (It seamed as tho they pre-boiled and froze it before shipping it out tho.)

As for the show, I try and watch it with an open mind...of course their is some drama shananigans but look at some of the plates they are putting out. While not every single one looks great I have gained a few ideas from a couple. In the end, entertainment and knowledge is about all you can really ask for in any TV show....Verus mindless folly

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Steven, well… He seams to me to be the one that got the most gastronomic appeal and flair about him. I like him as a restaurateur and his take on cooking, making dishes beautiful to look at, trying to create this “all-in-one” experience.

Well ok, he has to tone down a bit but hey, he rules right now and he feels that… so I say let him as long as he puts out great stuff!

And if he tasted his fruit plate or not, we don’t know. All we know is that some other contestant said he hadn’t. I don’t give anything on what the other contestants say, the only thing that matters is what the judges say! Especially the guest judges, there integrity and reputation is on the line.

Thank you. Someone else finally agrees with me. He is arrogant as hell, but for now he can be because he's among the best. The competition is called Top Chef and people like Candace simply should not be there. She has brought nothing to the actual competition and Stephen understands that.

I do agree that he is becoming kind of like a one-trick pony but that could be editing, too. We'll see how the show plays out.

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Yes, the show's called Top Chef, but Stephen is a jackass. I mean, really.

Every episode so far, when he doesn't win an elimination challenge or "main event," he gets this look like someone just crapped next to his ear. He's completely full of himself. And I can appreciate personalities on a reality show: Miguel, Tiffani, David -- they've all got personality. But they're not obnoxious.

Stephen's obnoxious, and amazingly so. It's one thing to have a problem with Candace because she was light on the culinary talent (and admitted so to everyone when she was booted). It's another thing to chastise her in front of everyone ("Can you read?") and then to tell the camera how she's...what was it, young? I forget the youth-related term he used, but it doesn't matter: he's got ONE YEAR on her. Balls on that guy.

I don't care if he's a sommelier or if he INVENTED wine. If this is the haughty attitude he'd take in a restaurant, someone's going to take him out back for a meeting with Mr. Trash Can Lid.

As a sidenote, Time-Warner Cable has programmed these "polls" that run during the show, where you can cast a vote with your trusty remote. 67% of the voting audience (it didn't give the actual vote count) wanted Stephen out.

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I dunno -- Tiffany seems fairly obnoxious at times, too. And seeing Candice's reaction after the Quickie Mart episode, where nearly every single competitor recieved extremely negative critique -- well, everyone except Candice took it reasonably well. Tiffany said something to the effect of, "That was really harsh, but yeah, true," whereas Candice went on camera twice, being completely and utterly indignant about the comments on her soup. It made me believe that perhaps Candice has never experienced that shocking event, where people tell you that your shit stinks. I mean, she made soup by heating a can of soup, and dropping a few things into it -- and the judge's comment was that it (I can't quite remember) tasted like nacho cheese dip, and her response was that the judge was out of line, since there was no cheese in her soup.

Being onboxious, arrogant and haughty is certainly a bad thing -- but if you're skilled, it's a forgiveable sin. If you're incompetent, it's not.

Spike TV's ultimate fighter show/UFC used some sort of a catchphrase early on, that this wasn't like other reality shows, where you'd lose becase you got voted off the island by popular vote -- I figure that goes for this show as well.

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Brooklyncook - You're hilarious! Mr. Trash Can Lid...love it.

The CIA is mighty proud of Stephen. They've sent the alumni two emails letting us know that he's on the show. But they've been awfully quiet since the show has aired. Could they be horrified of his attitude or proud of his beautiful plates? Time will tell.

I was cringing at the whole Junior League/microwave food relationship. It's true, but it made me cringe.

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