Chef Academy

Anyone watching on Bravo? The premise is that nine people of various backgrounds are enrolled in a culinary school with a French chef (don’t know his name), and he teaches them dishes/techniques that they need to replicate. It is a pass/fail system, and if you fail three times you are kicked out.

The chef is tough, but he is a much better example for the students than a Gordon Ramsey, and it is a better show than Hell’s Kitchen.

The chef has a thick French accent and last week he kept going on about being thrilled to be in LA because that’s where Columbo was filmed. Apparantly he’s a big Peter Falk fan. I was wondering why he kept referring to Raymond Burr this week, until I finally realized he was saying “remember.”

We’ve been watching- it’s pretty amusing. The part where he’s mostly interested on whether his assistant can find and introduce Columbo to him is hilarious, as are the faces the chef makes (like tonight when the girl used sea salt on her caramel sculpture-thingy). The porn-star chef is really hard for me to look at. I know he’s supposedly handsome, but his face just makes me go ewwww.

I saw the first episode last week and I’d like to see more of it. The accents aren’t a problem for me and it looks interesting, although I hope we’ll start seeing some teaching soon. Maybe I’m biased, but I was surprised to find the woman who looks like she came straight from Real Housewives of Orange County seems to be a genuinely good cook. I liked the guy who used to be in the Navy, but his near twin seems to think he should be on Top Chef. He could get annoying very quickly.

I caught the first episode over the weekend. I can’t say I’m hooked, but I’m interested enough to give it a three or four episode trial. I like the chef and I think his passion and approach could do quite well for the students.

I’ve not watched, but may do so. If the chef is wanting to meet Peter Falk, he’s out of luck. Falk died this year. Sounds much more interesting than Ramsey screaming at people :smiley:

I am actually a little surprised about how little talk there is about this show- even the Bravo boards are pretty quiet and what comments there are are pretty noncommental.

I was completely unaware of this show until I “accidentally” saw part of the first episode (as a repeat). Either the hype was not there or I totally ignored it. But I am a fan of Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares and this appeared to be along the same lines so I am giving it a shot.

I find the Chef (whose name I can never remember) to be more sincere than Ramsay seems on his show(s) and I like the concept better. Rather than setting it up as a pure competition- only one will win- this show could theoretically “graduate” all nine contestants and thus have nine “winners”. I am hoping that will cut down on some of the drama of the others and maybe we will see more of everyone working together to help each other more. (I watch these shows more for what they are doing than the “reality” aspect. I don’t care about their personal lives or who likes whom or why.) To that end, I really enjoyed how genuinely happy for each other some of them seemed to be. When the blond housewife (Suzanne?) was declared to have made the best dish, one of the others said, “good for her!” with a sincere smile and it just felt good to see, especially juxtaposed with the current season of Top Chef’s contestants whose faces turn sour at the announcement of a win that isn’t their own and there have been statements of “how could they have liked that dish, I could do better than that in my sleep!” (paraphrased) .

I am enjoying Chef Academy so far- and have even learned a new technique, so I am going to stick with it at least for now and hope that it doesn’t back slide into “Drama! Reality! Scandalous!” TV. (The porn-star story line notwithstanding.)

This. I can see how he would be considered attractive, but to me he is bordering on hideous- I can’t place it, maybe too sculpted or too squinty or something…definitely not my cup of tea and not someone I would enjoy looking at for aesthetics alone. To make matters worse, I went to Bravo’s website (looking for discussion about the first episode) and found out about the porn-star bit before the episode aired. In the forums someone handily provided the stage name and links for us to see for ourselves. Not that I would ever look for porn on the internet :wink: and against my own inner voice telling me to stop, I did visit the sites in question and also did a google image search on the porn name. Having seen him “in action” makes it harder for me to take him seriously as a chef (why one thing would affect the other I have no idea, just my weird associations I guess). And every time he is shown cooking he has that silly smug smirk on his face like he is better than this or maybe that the whole thing is beneath him which makes it even harder for me to root for him.

I’ve got the first two eps but didn’t watch the first one 'til just now, since you all are talking about it. It might have just sat unwatched otherwise.

Can’t figure out which one is the porn star. Are we talking gay or straight porn? For gay porn I’d guess one of the shaved head twins, but probably not the navy one. For straight porn, I’d guess the French one. I don’t really like him so far anyway. He comes across as overconfident and there not to learn so much as impress and be seen by the right people.

The Orange county housewife is soooo Californian. It’s like she’s already been on TV for years.

For the guys I’ve got my fingers crossed for the navy cook. I’m always impressed by someone who can feed 300 guys three times a day and still enjoy cooking.

Not sure who my favorite is going to be from the women yet. I like Zoe. The lobster hotdog made me cringe, but the chef liked it, and it was original. The spiky haired girl might be good too. Her dish looked like it came right out of a healthy cooking cookbook though.

Straight porn. It’s Emmanuel, the French guy. His stage name is Jean Valjean (or maybe Jean Val Jean, I forget).
ETA: He was also apparently in an episode (or more?) of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, so he isn’t exactly a virgin to the reality TV concept either.

All caught up now. Yup, Emmanuel the porn star. He sure redeemed himself cooking-wise this week.

Not sure I like or care what the chef’s pregnant fiancee and obnoxiously perky little personal assistant have to say or think about anything. They are no Jean Phillipe.

I guess the students all live locally there around the school?

I’m so glad one of Novelli’s peeves is hair in the food. Me too.

They could maybe show a little more about what they’re being taught, even if they zip through it really fast. I’d like to know they learned a bit more than just how to make little caramel sugar string or whatever that is. Chef Ramsey teaches his students, and doesn’t just let them in on one of his signature dessert tricks.

He really did and I was aggravated by it. :wink: I felt the way Chef did when he said, “you’re a pain in zee ass” or however he said it and it would have been so vindicating to get his first fail out the way…but dadgumit, the kid can cook!

I think they do for the purpose of the show at least, and I (assume) that any that moved to the area for the chance did so on their own dime and their own volition. When the students were interviewing, the engaged woman (forget her name but does that amusing imitation of her future mother-in-law) told Chef that she had been an events planner but lost her job “due to this opportunity”. My take on that was that she couldn’t get the time off work and thus was fired or quit for the chance to move (temporarily) to CA- she said she was from North Carolina if I am not mistaken. There are bios over on Bravo TV’s website and if I remember correctly she is not doing anything cooking related now (since the show). I want to say she is running a clothing boutique, and is back in NC.

I agree, but I have picked up a couple of things so far. I think (hope) we will see more technique and actual cooking instruction in the upcoming episodes.