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SobaAddict70

Top Chef

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Stephen is one of those people who hams it up to get more screen time. I don't think he even believes half of what he's saying. That said, I find him obnoxious and would like him off my screen.

Just like with Project Runway, the challenges often fail to test the real skills a person would need to be in the industry. However, I'm enjoying the dynamics of Top Chef. I'm glad they got rid of someone obnoxious right off, and then were very angry at Tiffany for her condescending comments about cooking for kids. A chef can't just be the stereotypical angry artiste genius, and this show demonstrates that.

Plus, the judges pick up on things -- when Brian tried to throw Dave under the bus, for example, by claiming he'd been the group leader. If you watch The Apprentice people get away with stuff like that all the time. These judges immediately picked up on it, and tossed him.

They dub in WAY too many of the comments afterward, though. It's terribly obvious when they switch from in-the-moment voice to dubbed-later voice, especially with Tom.


Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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Is Stephen the first to openly flout the rules of a challenge (i.e. using fresh herbs in the immunity challenge)?

When it comes to how the people look on the show, I'm always wondering how much editing and advice from producers factor into it. My view of Tiffani goes up and down wildly, for instance and I wonder if, like Santino Rice and Wendy Pepper of Project Runway, she's been somewhat encouraged to act like a jerk-- Stephen too, of course. The last two challenges, they made it look like Tiffani was taught a lesson about respecting your customer, which was cool but I can't quite believe it was real. I do like her cooking, and she made creative use of the microwave this time.

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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.

Nuff said.......OK I just have to add, Stephen is a plonker of the highest degree. It's the smugness I can't take. I can just imagine him as being that condescending sommelier in a nice restaurant, who makes you feel like you shouldn't be there. I know he's good, but please someone take him off my screen (I've tried mute but he still just looks smug)

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I think Stephen's going to wash out before the end. He's a prime example of someone whose arrogance gets in the way of his talent. Talent will take you only so far if you can't get along with other people, and he can't, because he thinks he's the one and only.

Tiffani is interesting. She's passionate about food, dedicated, extremely competent, but needs to have her passion tempered by some of the practical aspects of working in the real world, and one way or another, that will happen.

For this show, I think they tried to choose a wide variety of contestants to make the show that much more interesting. And we've seen some of the not-as-experienced "underdogs" shine in certain situations.

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I watched TC for the first time this week and really liked it despite the fact that I've never had such a visceral reaction to a reality show contestant as I did to Stephen. I hope I never meet him in person, because I'll probably punch him in the face.

I like Colicchio's style on the show andthe two 'guest judges' I saw were good too. Getting these people outside of the box and out of their comfort zones really helps create some good dynamics.


Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I think Stephen's going to wash out before the end. 

I do too. While I think his plating is beautiful, he's gotten by without having to pass the taste test.

Last night was a great example. He goes on and on about "educating" the Junior League women about Oaxacan cuisine......with shiso and yuzu. I'm glad the judges called him on it and told him it was nearly inedible, although he also seems too arrogant to learn anything from that.

Lauren


Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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Jenny, too bad there isn't a way to block out his face. My closed captioning pops on when I turn on the mute, and even that reeks of his smugness.

Last night was a great example. He goes on and on about "educating" the Junior League women about Oaxacan cuisine......with shiso and yuzu. I'm glad the judges called him on it and told him it was nearly inedible, although he also seems too arrogant to learn anything from that.

Agreed. Last night, he may as well have been going, "wah-wah-wah-wah" (think Charlie Brown's teacher). I loved his look of complete disbelief when the judges told him that his food sucked. I'm sure at that point he thought the judges were idiots with no taste whatsoever.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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I think Stephen's going to wash out before the end. 

I do too. While I think his plating is beautiful, he's gotten by without having to pass the taste test.

Agreed. I do not find him nearly as impressive as Harold, who can make pretty things that also taste good. Miguel, same deal: tasty, pretty food, and not too much attitude.


Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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I was hoping that Stephen and the department store guest chef were going to have a big ol' girl fight. The look on Stephen's face during the judging of his Quickfire challenge was priceless. He probalby hasn't dealt with someone more smug then he is.

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Agreed. I do not find him nearly as impressive as Harold, who can make pretty things that also taste good.

I don't know about that Harold. So far, he's a complainer. About the challenges themselves, and having to interact with customers. You say you don't want to be seen, that you just want to cook? Yeah...being a contestant on a tv show...that'll work out well for you. I think his attitude is a lot like Stephen's -- condescending and inhospitable -- but he's more savvy about keeping his mouth shut.

My pick to win is Lee Anne. She's won 2 Quickfire Challenges. She's got the skills, she's assertive without being obnoxious, and is cool under pressure. Her biggest goof so far was being standoffish with the kids. I think the fact that she's not getting all kinds of attention right now will be to her benefit.


Edited by ingridsf (log)

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

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...  I loved his look of complete disbelief when the judges told him that his food sucked.  I'm sure at that point he thought the judges were idiots with no taste whatsoever.

While I agree with your general sentiment towards Stephen, he actually agreed with the judges about his "tamale," and said something to the effect that he deserves whatever he gets for serving it. The judges were the ones with the look of complete disbelief on their faces. haha

Anyways, my friend worked at the Rotunda. I'll have to ask him about chef Hill, who I didn't especially care for on the show.

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While I agree with your general sentiment towards Stephen, he actually agreed with the judges about his "tamale," and said something to the effect that he deserves whatever he gets for serving it. The judges were the ones with the look of complete disbelief on their faces. haha

i think he didn't have a choice in the matter. if he pulled a santino (from project runway) and talked back, i think they would've been far more inclined to boot him. between his little tirade against candice, his use of fresh herbs in the quickfire and his general attitude, i think he could've sealed his fate.

it seems like most of the people just nod their head in agreement when someone tells them they screwed up.

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And let us not forget, Chef Colicchio said if he could've eliminated three he would have! Looking at you Stephen!

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I am so glad that everyone seems to not be able to stand Stephen. I see him and I want to punch him in the face. His ego is as big as a planet.

I absolutely loved that he was in the bottom 3 last week.

And I really can't stand Tiffany either. Too bad she had immunity the week of the Team challange, or she would have been eliminated based on attitude alone.

I am really enjoying the show. I hope Lee Ann wins. It seems like she has a good cooking sense about her.

I am also watching Next Food Network star - right now I'm liking Reggie.

Read about it in my blog: www.whenindoubtreboot.blogspot.com

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Last night didn't have many surprises. As usual, some nailed it, some didn't have their act together, and others just didn't get it.

As I see it, over and over the judges are trying to drive home the point that it's not about the food; it's about the customer. When you're cooking for kids, you've gotta think about what kids like. When you're making street food, you've gotta think about what's going on with the people on the street.

I was sorry to see Lisa go, but it wasn't a surprise. I just wish they'd give Stephen the boot and get it over with. But his incredible arrogance provides a nice subplot, and they may wait until the last minute.

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Stephen the boot and get it over with.  But his incredible arrogance provides a nice subplot, and they may wait until the last minute.

Last night was the first time I got to watch Top Chef and I so wished that I had television like Mike Teevee had on Willy Wonka, so I could just reach in their and bitch-slap Stephen! He is so awful! I thought it was awesome that he did so bad on the taste test challenge!

And I loved Miguel and Dave doing the junk food challenge... I was laughing so hard at the pork and beans trophy!


"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

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I was surprised that Lisa and Harold lost because I wouldn't have thought either of them was dumb enough to make that seared tuna thing or leave a crucial ingredient at home. I guess someone had to screw up and maybe the Japanese/Latin thing was a bit more of a reach than some of the others.

Miguel was one of my favorites but I'm almost done with him after he put all the responsibility on Andrea like that, before and after. I'm only "almost" done with him because he was so cute in the junk food contest.

Whatever one may think of Stephen and Tiffani, they both worked very well with their partners as far as I could see, and came up with some really good food. Seeing Stephen dressed like that giving out street food was funny; maybe he does have a bit of a sense of humor about himself after all.

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I lay in bed last night trying to think of decent Latin-Japanese street food. It's much harder than the others. The best thing I came up with was ceviche sushi, and I know I sure wouldn't buy raw fish on the street, so even that is sketchy.

Harold really seemed to feel geniunely guilty for getting Lisa kicked off. My sense was that she stepped back and let him dictate most of the content -- was that the sense others got, or did you think they were equal partners?

When they did a paired challenge like this on Project Runway, they kicked off both members of the losing team. I think I like this way better.


Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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I lay in bed last night trying to think of decent Latin-Japanese street food. It's much harder than the others. The best thing I came up with was ceviche sushi, and I know I sure wouldn't buy raw fish on the street, so even that is sketchy.

My feeling is that if you really knew how to cook Japanese, hot foods rather than just the sushi/sashimi continuum, you could probably come up with a cooked meat or seafood dish that could have Latin components added to it. Ceviche would certainly be the raw fish option; you could make something like poke or zuke with Latin vegetables and seasonings-- which I guess was what Harold and Lisa was thinking, but they would have been better off marinating. But I think meat would be better, simmered or a cutlet. Katsu with salsa, anyone? (I don't think the other three teams' dishes were all that obvious either; the two best just made it look that way.)

Or I guess you could make something sushi-like with a Latin topping or filling, but could you eat it walking down the street?

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I actually found the Japanese-Latin one to be the easiest of the combos.  If they had done some kind of grilled skewer they could've combined a lot of great flavors.

There you go.

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I hate to say this, because I hate Stephen so much, but apparently his yuzu tamale was just a little ahead of its time.

Hm. Teriyaki empanada?


Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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I'd probably watch this show, except there's always the danger I'd fall asleep and wake up to Tom Cruise jumping up and down on James Lipton's couch.

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I think Colicchio said it best in regards to Stephen: all style and no substance. Completely soulless. He certainly has some technique under his belt and an artistic eye, but I seriously doubt he's ever used either for anything more than a pedantic display.


Edited by iheartoffal (log)

Nothing to see here.

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