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KristiB50

Bravo's Top Chef Season 2

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If I was doing this, I'd take some of my Thanksgiving guilty pleasures from childhood and played with them. Like somehow take turkey skin and fry it into a cone. Stuff it with a cornbread oyster dressing and a dollop of fresh cranberry sauce on top (or if I ever knew how to make that fake caviar from El Bulli--do that with cranberries). Serve it like a sushi hand roll/ice cream cone.

Man, I wonder what that would taste like.

Do you need a taster? I'm game! Sounds delish... :wub:


Iris

GROWWWWWLLLLL!!

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What ideas ran through your minds? This might be fun, let's see how we would please anthony's palate.

I always think of what I would cook, even though I know I would never hold my own in something like this.

If I was doing this, I'd take some of my Thanksgiving guilty pleasures from childhood and played with them. Like somehow take turkey skin and fry it into a cone. Stuff it with a cornbread oyster dressing and a dollop of fresh cranberry sauce on top (or if I ever knew how to make that fake caviar from El Bulli--do that with cranberries). Serve it like a sushi hand roll/ice cream cone.

Man, I wonder what that would taste like.

Sorry, I forgot the quotes. I'm available for tasting! :wub:


Iris

GROWWWWWLLLLL!!

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Now if only we could get rid of the testosterone-poisoned chef, Frank.

I'm doing the happy dance!

"Ding dong, the prick is gone"

His parting words of "a chef is always a gentleman" just about made me swallow my tongue. This from the same guy who threatened to beat another contestant so badly that his own mother wouldn't recognise him?

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

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Yeah, threatening another contestant with violence, that's totally out of line. Good riddance indeed.

I didn't like this challenge at all. From my sofa, it seemed like it might be a ton of fun -- beach, open fire, sand, fun, the smell of the see. Provided I'd know about it beforehand, of course...

But as a challenge for a "Top Chef," this made even less sense than the vending machine deal -- at least they had a freakin' kitchen in that one. I mean they were sitting on their knees in sand, prepping on top of coolers, while seagulls came swooping in, stealing stuff.

Then, the judges complained about the eggs being overdone. Well, how much experience can these people possibly have with cooking over a goddamn fire pit?! It's like putting a Formula-1 driver in a tricycle race -- and then complain about how slow they're going.

I did enjoy seeing Michael's goofy attitude finally pay off with the surfers, though. Funny.

Gail Simmons seemed to defend the nature of the challenge several times, and it made me wonder about who desides these challenges. It would make sense that the host/judges would have some input in this matter -- maybe she came up with this one, and felt defensive? In one shot, she was REALLY griding her teeth; jaw muscles bulging in and out, lips churning.

If the contestants had been told about the nature of the challenge beforehand, I think it would have been a fun challenge -- I still don't think it would be a good way to compete about who's the Top Chef, but at least it would have been fun to watch.

As it stood, that challenge sucked.

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But it was nice to see Rafael Lunetta again - I don't think I've seen him on TV since he and Josiah Citrin were still partners and did a loopy, tequila-fueled turn on Ready-Set-Cook! I was glad to see he's still surfing.


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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A few thoughts on last night's episode.

I was surprised, and to be honest, impressed with Marcel's dish. I think Top Chef's production staff has done a good job making Marcel be "the hated one"; however it seems more like Betty's the biggest pain in the ass. Marcel's young, and not altogether mature, but points to him for making it this far. I'll give him that.

Betty -- good christ. ENOUGH.

The challenge -- actually, I thought this was a pretty good challenge. I think in the way it was initially worded, the chefs had to figure (and Cliff did, somewhat) that the kitchen setup was either going to be everything or nothing.

It's not as if all the chefs couldn't come up with something good -- Elia, obviously, was creative and flexible with her ingredients. Hell, even Michael stayed in the middle. It was surprising to see Sam and Cliff up for removal, but those two against Frank...methinks the elimination was not based solely on that one challenge, but based upon overall track records.

Gail.

Gail Gail Gail.

Grub, you were right with the jaw thing (I HATE WHEN SHE DOES THE JAW THING, combined with the head nodding and wide eyes which insinuate yes-Gail-you-are-right): but I don't think it was in defense of the challenge.

I learned last night that Gail does not like poorly cooked eggs. In fact, I dare say Gail HATES rubbery, brown eggs. She will not eat them, Sam I Am. Having reminded us about eight times of how she didn't like those eggs, I am now hoping that a future episode has an egg challenge.

Just to make her crazy again.

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I absolutely can't wait to make Elia's waffle/butter/beans/syrup/cheese/ham/egg sandwich. I've thoroughly fallen in love with her. And for crying out loud, who hears, "You don't know what kind of kitchen you'll be cooking in" and thinks "quiche"! That's why the challenge, though unreasonably unfair, paid off. It exposed at least one chef's odd quiche fixation.


Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about.

Troy McClure, hosting the film, The Meat Council Presents: Meat and You - Partners in Freedom

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I didn't like this challenge at all. From my sofa, it seemed like it might be a ton of fun -- beach, open fire, sand, fun, the smell of the see. Provided I'd know about it beforehand, of course...

That's what I thought when I saw the cooking facilities, but then it yielded pretty interesting results. Elia didn't win by default this time. And, it was hardly about the personal drama at all. Of course Betty made this big deal about giving Michael the eggs but it was still nice. There was not a lot of gossip and there was more cooking shown than usual I think.

I wish I knew what Marcel's watermelon dish tasted like, to win over those two pretty good looking fish dishes.

Good riddance to Frank. I just wish he had left for threatening Marcel.

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I liked the quickfire, although I assumed that more of them would come up with something other than salad.

The beach challenge was an ambush IMO. I don't mind most of the challenges, but this one was a pain. Frank should have known better, he was getting on my nerves. Marcel still bugs me, especially when they showed him trying to be cool with the surfers. "How were the waves dude?" "Good." "Oh, cool."

I imagine we'll be seeing some more straightforward cooking in the coming weeks.

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Harold speculated that Marcel won the quickfire because he was one of the few to actually make a main course. This much was true, and given the environment/weather it worked, but it did seem somewhat contrived.

Marcel's lack of social skills leave me in awe. I love it.

Ilan needs to stop cooking Spanish food. And wearing two watches. But I still loved the purple-tinged sunglasses this time around. His faux-hawk actually worked nicely in this episode by bridging the gap between the 'bu and the Village.

The overall cooking in this episode bored me, though. I'm not a big fan of breakfast and putting that severe a limitation on the chefs seemd foolish. Yes you need flexibility, but the food merely looked "OK" as opposed to aspirational.

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Ilan needs to stop cooking Spanish food. 

That's like asking to Tom Colicchio to start using foams and powders and sous-viding everything.

He works at Casa Mono. I'd rather him cook something he knows than to try to cook things that he knows nothing about. Variation aside, I think the judges would rather eat something that the cook knows is good rather than him trying to do something he knows nothing about and have it taste like crap. Either way, he seems to always have solid dishes that make sense and potentially really taste good.

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The beach challenge was an ambush IMO.

If they hadn't warned the the chefs, I'd agree.

But they were warned that they should make no assumptions about what they'd have to work with.

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I agree. It seemed that a BIG deal was made about not having expectations re the Kitchen. Also, the quickchallange was Raw and on a number of the episodes there does seem to be some relationship. And now I'm going to let you takeshots at me. :huh: IMHO it seemed that the woman were more adaptable than the men! Maybe it was editing but the woman looked at what they had and got to work while the men whinned. Sam could have cooked his eggs omlet style or like they do in the thin sheets for sushi and made great bagel hand food with his pesto as a spread with the egg on top and the bacon as garnish, but it seemed that he saw the sand and stopped creating(he's my favorite and I look forward to eating at a place of his in the future). I thought he was from New York- did he never go to the beach? When we studied history, it seemed the men"moved mountains" and the "little woman" cooked with whatever limited facilities were available,just like this challange.

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But as a challenge for a "Top Chef," this made even less sense than the vending machine deal -- at least they had a freakin' kitchen in that one. I mean they were sitting on their knees in sand, prepping on top of coolers, while seagulls came swooping in, stealing stuff.

Then, the judges complained about the eggs being overdone. Well, how much experience can these people possibly have with cooking over a goddamn fire pit?!

Heat is heat. One should be able to tell what's going on by listening to the food as it hits the pan, by how fast or slow it's cooking--I've had some truly memorable meals cooked on aluminum foil halfway up the side of a mountain. I think that if a person is going to call oneself a "chef" they need to be able to (In the words of one of my old sous-chefs) "cook out of a brown paper bag." He had trained as a cook on a guided missile frigate, and when I asked him what they did when it was blowing Force 11 for days on end and they couldn't light the fires in the galley, he said that they cooked in the engine room. That there was a propellor shaft bearing that ran hot enough to heat kettles of soup on, and they would use the turbochargers on the engines to get sautee pans hot enough to warm up minute steaks. Nothing fancy, but enough to get something hot into the crew.

He never had a lot of patience with me when I'd start whining.


This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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Ilan needs to stop cooking Spanish food. 

That's like asking to Tom Colicchio to start using foams and powders and sous-viding everything.

He works at Casa Mono. I'd rather him cook something he knows than to try to cook things that he knows nothing about. Variation aside, I think the judges would rather eat something that the cook knows is good rather than him trying to do something he knows nothing about and have it taste like crap. Either way, he seems to always have solid dishes that make sense and potentially really taste good.

Perhaps Chef Colicchio should. In fact, I find him quite curmudgeonly when discussing modern cooking techniques. That he wrote on his blog something to the effect of "immersion circulators are usually held at 100-120 degress," (that's, umm, wrong-o) shows that he still has plenty to learn.

This goes even more so for Ilan. He's still young and seems only to be cooking dishes that would be served at Casa Mono. They look great, but I wonder if he'll have the flexibility to move beyond Spanish-inflected cuisine in later challenges. I can see Gail Simmons saying something like "a top chef has to be able to cook any cuisine to some degree or another." Whether you agree with that statement or not, I simply think that Ilan has yet to cook beyond his comfort zone and wonder if he is able to.

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Thought 1 - The beach challenge was insane. :blink:

Thought 2- I was happy to see Frank leave. :cool:

Final thought - Here's hoping Betty is next. :raz:

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Am I being too judgemental for getting rather sick of Gail? She just wouldn't shut up about those eggs! I was never a big Frank fan, but damn! Enough about the eggs!

My prediction for next week is that Michael will be next to go. I will be sad when he finally does get eliminated because I really do like his warm, relaxed personality. While he might not be Top Chef material, he reminds me of a good friend of mine.

This week really makes me like Marcel more. He's quiet, nerdy, introverted... but I like him. He's confident and creative, not nearly as loud or obnoxious as Betty. Most of all, he really seems to know what he's doing. No, none of the contestants are perfect, but Marcel stands out the most. That's just my opinion of course.

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I also really like Marcel. I think he is going to be in the top 3.

He is very capable and his breakfast looked good.

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I don't see why Frank got so thrown by the elimination challenge--he had the ingredients for a fritatta or an omelette, both of which would have looked better than his scrambled mess. He could have finished the top of the fritatta by inverting it onto a plate and putting it back into the pan.

Not that I was sorry to see him go or anything . . .


Edited by erin360 (log)

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I'm crushing on Ilan.

As my girlfriend said last night, "I'd do Ilan, but I'm not sure he swings my way."

Since "cutting edge" is definitely not my middle name, I figured the best I could do would be to use the familiar ingredients in different courses than the usual. Things I came up with while waiting to fall asleep:

* an appetizer of turkey-stuffed and/or squash ravioli (I see someone else had that idea too)

* a vegetable terrine made with Brussels sprouts or something like that (not sure if Brussels sprouts are traditional American TG fare but they are in my family)

* a turkey terrine

* potato madelines

* sweet potato madelines with creme anglaise (or, as we like to call it, Bird's  :laugh: ) for dessert

These guys are just so flipping disappointing...

While it's relatively easy to come up with cool ideas, executing them for the first time, without outside help or research, for a group of highly discerning judges can be intimidating. I know I wouldn't be able to come up with a recipe for sweet potato madelines off the top of my head, and terrines are so prone to failure if you're not confident in your technique. Still, I agree the food was disappointing.

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It would have been great to see Betty leave this week, but keeping Frank's personal safety in mind it's probably best that he was the one to go. It was inevitable that he was going to start a fight with Marcel. Frank's a big guy and everything, but when Marcel unsheathed his Adamantium claws.........BOOO-YA! GAME OVER!

I'm truly looking forward to seeing real food cooked in a real kitchen any time soon.

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Last night was the second time I watched the show.. I really like Marcel in terms of cooking.. But he is really strange.. He has hair inspired by the kids on Growing up Gotti and he did something on this episode that made me feel uncomfortable. Oh the not going to be elminated song and dance.. I like the French girl more and more.. It looked like a lot of fun to cook on the beach..

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I actually agreed with Gail's opinions about eggs. I love them and I feel some chefs don't treat them with the care needed to make good ones. I think it's okay to emphasise the fact that rubbery, brown eggs are not acceptable. Maybe it will sink in to those who don't understand that! IMO if there is one thing every chef should master, it's cooking great poached and sunnyside up eggs. I was really disappointed to see so many contestants putting out a messy scramble. And what was up with Sam's "toad in the hole"? A burnt bagel with scrambled eggs in the middle? Disgusting.

Marcel is a cartoon to me. His hair, the way he talks. Crazy. I thought it was hysterical to hear him attempt to talk "surfer"! And what was that word he used in his one on one with the camera after he won the quick fire? It started with an "S" and my husband and I were laughing so hard I had to pause Tivo :raz:


Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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