Top Chef 12/17

It bugs me when the judges ask the Chefs to perform some herculean task, like serving 300 portions of an individual dish all by themselves, and then criticize them for not creating a masterpiece. Looks like next week they make it up to the chefs.

I think Melissa is the weakest of the remaining chefs and they would have liked to send her home tonight, but her dish was the best of the weakest three so they gave them all a free pass.

Jamie has a huge chip on her shoulder and her body language at the judges table makes me want her gone every time. Neither Jamie or Gene take criticism well at all.

Hosea is either going to be a finalist or he’s being set up for a huge fall.

Jamie deserved the ticket home tonight for the raw scallop dish “swimming in Vichyssoise” sounds like it would have the consistency a feel of an unpleasant glob you’d hack up out of your throat :eek:

Seems like there is no middle ground with her. She seems to be either the bride’s maid or in the bottom group every time.

This is one of my pet peeves about TC. It’s Top Chef, not Top Caterer, so why do over half the challenges seem to involve catering some event? I’m sure most master chefs could make some awesome stuff at a catered event, but is this really the best criterion for determining chef skills?

I disagree about Jamie; I think she’ll be in the top 3. It seems like a lot of people are playing it safe this season, which shouldn’t be too surprising as Ariane has been extremely successful while doing just that. I’m glad they didn’t send anyone home since all the chefs pitched in on Radikha and Hosea’s dishes, which were both in the top 4.

I totally concur on the irritation with all the catering challenges. This show has really fallen in that regard. It seems like 3/4 of the contestants are caterers too, not real chefs.

I also hate it when they don’t send somebody home. Eliminations are the money shots in competitive reality shows. An episode without one feels like a cheat.

I think the reasoning behind the catering challenges is that it’s a high stress challenge. If every challenge was just “cook a great meal,” it would be both boring television (we can’t actually eat the food) and it wouldn’t be a good measure of how these contestants would deal with all the various challenges that would hit them as a head chef. And I’m not sure anyone is a caterer other than Carla and Stefan (although several of the contestants have catering experience). And even those two have worked as more than just caterers.

I’m starting to wonder if these chefs are really up to snuff. All the food has been really simple and boring expect for a few dishes. I bet the chefs from Season 4 (and maybe even season 3 and 2) would cook circles around these guys.

Also, I would bet good money on two people going home next week. It looks like they are gonna be extra harsh.

And one thing, where the hell is Ted Allen? Is Food Network not letting him on the show now that he’s got a show with them? There never seems to be any Food Network people on this show.

Maybe this makes me petty, but if I were someone outside the bottom three, I’d be pissed that they didn’t send anyone home. If I’m not going to be getting a do-over when I end up on the bottom, why should they?

What excites me is what the next episode will be. Or at least what it sounded like it will be.

This has been what I wanted since I started watching top chef.

No real restrictions or strange conditons. Just make the best dish you can. Why this hasn’t been a standard once a season episode from day one is beyond me.

Another competition I would like to see is this.

Make the strangest and most creative dish you can think of.

But, the winning dish won’t be the “best” dish. It would be the one that ends up the “most better” than one would think it would be based on the recipe.

Cowpie, carrot ,mustard, and jalepeno soup? Hey, you can actually swallow it without gagging! We have a winner!

And if that Indian girl makes another indian dish, I hope they beat her out the door with a bag of curry! (though I do like her personally)

I’m about 95% sure that the producers left that fridge open over night to purposefully throw a wrench in the works. My guess is that for the holiday episode they wanted to do something “generous” by not sending anybody home so they contrived the “challenge” of bad meat to see how the chefs would rally up to solve the problem.

My bet is on two people going home next week as well.

That’s correct. Allen has ended his relationship with Top Chef in favor of the show on the Food Network.

What I’m wondering is, these shows are taped a few months in advance, right? So why is the AIDS organization having a Christmas themed fundraiser in September?

It was a set up for the show only. I mean, they might have been planning a fundraiser anyway, but when Top Chef got involved they made it fit w/ their season schedule.

This season is kind of confusing. Between this challenge and them having cooked “Thanksgiving dinner” for the Foo Fighters, I really have no idea when they filmed it.

I’m in agreement with HelloNinja that leaving the fridge open was almost certainly staged. It let them do their whole, “So we all banded together to help (whoever it was)!” segment, and then not kick anybody off to boot.

I’m really dubious about the “staged” assertions, since such a ploy is essentially sabotaging some of the contestants but not others. What do the producers have to gain from such a move? The possibility of “heightened drama” is not worth the risk of getting outed as playing favorites. We’ve seen plenty of examples over the seasons of the chefs banding together to help one or another out, so it’s a natural expectation that something similar will happen again without the producers contriving a scenario that could have significant blowback. Leaving a fridge slightly ajar isn’t exactly an unlikely occurrence, so it strikes me as a bit absurd that the unfounded conspiracy theories are flying about.

But Hosea thinks the 11 Pipers Piping are smoking their pipes…

I know in the broad scheme of things it doesn’t matter but…c’mon

Another possibility is they over stuffed the fridge full of HOT stuff…they even seemed to point that out during the show.

That could keep a fridge way too warm for way too long.

Jamie really got on my nerves this week. I think she’s talented, but where the hell did the raw scallop come from? When they said “raw” I thought they meant ceviche-style, but when Tom said he thought it’d have been better if it was served with acid or salt, I realized they meant…raw.

And as soon as Arianne said she was making deviled eggs, I thought it was going to be some kind of “spin” on traditional deviled eggs. Maybe a poached quail egg over a crostini with some type of mayo-based white sauce. Nope. She did deviled eggs. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a catered event that had deviled eggs. She should’ve just baked some of those little mini-quiches you buy at the grocery store.

I was hoping someone was going to call BS on Fabio when he was talking about how the female crab dances around after she lays her eggs, or whatever. I think he may get caught if he keeps up his creative story telling. I like Fabio though. When someone criticizes his food, behind that smile you get the impression that he’s just this close to losing his cool.

I agree. Tom is one of the producers, isn’t he? And Tom is not a prick, and also, takes this competition seriously. Besides, they weren’t just fucking around with food that three people would eat. Why would Tom and anybody else on the show want to be embarrassed if their cutesy plan backfired?

They filmed this series in July/August/September. Gail’s shower was filmed in early August. The Foo Fighters Thanksgiving was in July. So I’m assuming this Christmas episode was also filmed in August.

I have never seen anything as unappetizing as Jamie’s dish. It looked like snot.

I’m not sure what is up with Jamie, she is almost always in the top three but when she fails she fails on an epic scale. Even though Arianne had won three in a row, counting the quickfire, I don’t think she will last.

I can’t even pick a favorite anymore. Fabio and Stephan have been pretty bad lately. And Hosea and Leah continue to surprise me. Jeff is a good leader but can he even cook? His dishes have been pretty bad. Radhika really needs to cook something other than Indian food at some point.

Overall not a very good episode. And Chef Tom? If you want them to cook good food, maybe you should have a few realistic challenges. I know that it would be boring TV without some curve balls but not every episode. Besides, most of the chaff is gone now, lets see what they can do.

Whether from mechanical failure or just being left open, having a fridge go warm is a very realistic crisis, and I was impressed with how they handled it - not a moment of “This will probably be OK once it’s cooked” and how everyone pulled together to enact Plan B.

If they wanted to throw in a little more realism, they could have had a health inspector drop by. The next shot would have been of them not just tossing food into the trash but pouring bleach on it to well and truly condemn it as inedible.

So they scrounged through the pantry and had to use pork loins instead of tenderloins, and the remains of the ducks were thankfully in a different fridge - a blessing in disguise as leg meat is moister and has more flavor, and apparently made the finished dish come out better. (A personal aside - I’m so tired of chicken breast being pushed as a premium product, when it’s dry and bland, and thighs have worlds more flavor.)

And yes, add me to the chorus of “This is supposed to be Top CHEF, not Top Caterer!”

The open fridge only affected some of the contestants, right? If it were a deliberate twist, I think that in the interest of fairness they would have sabotaged all of them.