Top Chef 12/3

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This was a really creative challenge. I like the departure from the “Cook X with a Y theme. Serve to group of people.” tasks. It makes it interesting.

I’m getting a little tired of the “spit the food out” thing. First Padma with the too sweet dessert, then Tom with the too spicy shrimp, then Kathie Lee with Jeff’s dish. I’m still waiting for them to separate the wheat from the chaff, so we can see some serious cooking.

I’m not sure what Kathie Lee’s problem was. Everyone else seemed to like the dish; tastes may vary but I don’t know if it was necessary to make a big show of spitting it out.

Loved the breakfast quickfire. More breakfast food!!

Yeah, I thought Kathie Lee was being…well, herself… if you are hosting a national talk show it is kind of rude to spit out someone’s food on live television. Even if it isn’t your idea of a good-tasting dish, at least have the decency to smile and choke it down.

Even though I liked the quickfire and the challenge, I also feel like I don’t have a great handle yet on who cooks what kind of food and if they are any good yet.

Did anyone see the Today show today? Was Ariane on?

It bugged me that only like two of them actually made an amuse-bouche for the amuse-bouche challenge. They’re all trained chefs so they know what an amuse-bouche is. They just don’t think they have to follow the rules. I think that’s obnoxious and I think it betrays a lack of skill. I wish the judges would refuse to even taste any dishes that don’t meet the challenge.

Trying to make a creme-brulee in an hour was really dumb.

I’ve been liking Fabio. Don’t really hate anybody yet, except maybe Jeff, who’s kind of a douche and thinks he’s an underwear model.

Is there a worse prize than getting a copy of some guest chef’s new book?

I joked last night that it would be awesome if Rocco had given the winner a framed photo of himself.

All of what you said, basically.

Fabio seems to really be on the ball, and I thought DiSpirito’s dismissal of his effort with saying he thinks of breakfast as a savory meal (no maple sausages, no pancakes or waffles or crepes, no fruit?) was lame.

I want to slap Jeff when I see him wink at the camera during the opener.

The book was just not a good prize. I wonder if the thought was, “WTF, I won the challenge and get as my ‘special’ reward something I could get for maybe $25 off Amazon?!” The tool set was much cooler.

I also think Jeff is a little irritating. I’m also starting to be slightly annoyed by Leah.

The prize kind of seemed like that “Oh crap! I didn’t give a gift for _____! What do I have around??” moment.

Seriously. They even yelled at that one chef (Alex? The one who looks like Dr.Chase from House,) because he made “too much” when half of them had more food than he did.

And Fabio does seem really skilled, but God dammit I hate his attitude. Such a pretentious fucking douchebag (which I realize usually goes hand in hand with being a good chef…Hung, Stephen, Marcel, etc…) but it’s possible to be good and not be a jackass (Dale, CJ, Tre, etc…)

He’s that guy that would never admit he made a mistake, and blame it on the judge/the challenge itself. And going back there to cut your own tuna? Jesus Christ. (And yes, I know those other two guys did it too, and I think they’re jerkish as well, but not as much.)

I totally disagree; I think that he’s got a great, self-deprecating sense of humor.

Him, Jamie, and Gene are my favorites. I can’t stand Ariane or Carla.

I haven’t seen arrogance from Fabio either. He did seem irritated at the arbitrary nature of how his breakfast dish was judged, but that was understandable, I think. It was kind of capricious to decide that breakfast has to be savoury rather than sweet.

Jeff’s comment about “unsophisticated palates” irked me a bit. I understand what he meant, but it just came off as dickish.

Also, Danny from NY seems to have some chops, but (at least on the show) he’s a big doofus. The “Ba-Ba-Booey” comment solidified it for me.

My Boulder chefs are hanging in there. Hosea seems to be getting a finalists edit - he was shown a lot in the first couple of episodes, but the last few have only shown him in social interaction. He wasn’t in the quickfire at all, nor was the guy with the ball cap.

Melissa’s habanero shrimp might work as part of a meal if you have some starch to alternate with and cut the heat of the pepper, but as a standalone? And for a TV show? Dumb choice. Both of these two work for the same guy who owns each of their restaurants, so I am sure that they know each other well.

They let the right guy go - you can’t plan a dish that takes an hour and a half to make when you only have an hour to work with. The last remaining rainbow did essentially the same thing, trying to fry an egg without enough time. It seems that the judges will forgive you if you run out of time plating your dish, but woe be to the chef who serves undercooked food.

For the quickfire challenge the reward is immunity, the cookbook is just product placement.
This is a very catty seasons. many comments like last night’s “At least I didn’t make a salad.” Many of the chefs seem to be trying very hard to reign in their arrogance, but it will occasionally poke through. The Europeans have got to be the favorites. I am so glad team Rainbow is gone, they seemed so pleased with themselves, as though they thought being gay was an accomplishment.

Team Rainbow isn’t totally gone; Jamie (if I have the name right; the little blonde with the sleeve ink?) is still there.

The creme brulee was definitely a bad move, but it didn’t have to be, if the guy had just thought about it for more than a few minutes. Stefan’s swapout demonstrates the trick. The one-hour time limit is essentially artificial; this could have been cheated to a longer window by making a big bowl of ice and salt water, sealing the creme brulee in plastic, and starting the chilldown about five minutes before the end of the hour. It will sit like that for at least another thirty minutes before it’s time to go in front of the cameras, and you pull it out at the very last minute. Requires some careful planning and time management, but it would have been doable.

Are you confusing Fabio with Stefan, maybe? Fabio seems great. He’s a pretty good cook, very personable and entertaining in front of the camera. He’s got good personality, but more importantly, he is a personality. The mid-level celebrity-chef gig is well within his reach if he wants it. Stefan, on the other hand, is a martinet-to-be.

My girlfriend, watching the show with me, said the same thing. But I said: just hang on a minute. Then the TV bimbos did their little pew-pew act, and my gf said, yeah, you were right.

The right meal was punished, and the right guy was ejected. Jeff’s pumpkin mousse looked like ass but he got credit for keeping his team on track. The mix of dishes, and the quality execution on more than half of him, is partly due to his effort. That kind of contribution cannot be underestimated.

Oh, and Grant Achatz… Foodie swoon.

Hehe I think arrogance and the “Nobility of purpose” is pissing off Collichio too. I think this was the third or fourth time this season when he flatly cut off someones 'martyr-to-my-standards 'speech with “The point of Top Chef is to win Top Chef”. Full stop.

What’s with everyone rushing towards desserts this season? I understand trying to impress the judges, but don’t do it unless you are confident it will be good. Or you have immunity. The first few challenges are not about taking risks.

And it seems like there’s a real lack of drama this season. Maybe it’s just too early, but I don’t hate or love anyone yet. Fabio and Josea are cool, and Jeff and Lea are annoying, but I’m not actively rooting for anyone to win or lose.

Also, am I crazy, because I could’ve swore I saw a commercial before this episode aired where Padma walked into the stew room and said something like “This is really awkward but…” and then everyone had shocked looks on their faces. Did I imagine that?

I also like Fabio, he seems like a really funny guy, and seems to be a good chef as well. I thought last weeks episode when he thought that he was on the chopping block but in reality was up there among the winners was hilarious.

Jeff seems to be a good leader but has he cooked anything good yet?

Jamie is competent and the last one standing on team rainbow.

I kind of like crazy eyes Carla, I don’t know why but I do.

I like almost all of the contestants so far, which is unusual for me. Fun season so far.

You’re not crazy. I was watching TIVO’ed episodes of the West Wing today, and there was about a million commercials for Top Chef. Every single one of them had Padma’s “This is really awkward but…” though I don’t remember seeing anything like that in the episode itself.