Top Chef - Jan 14 (open spoilers)

Three hours would have been more than enough time to roast a couple of on-the-bone legs. Half an hour to season and prep the meat (and preheat the oven), an hour and a half to two hours in the oven depending on the size of the leg and other factors, half an hour to rest, and carve at the table. No problem.

I get a little tired of the pervasive Producer-conspiracy theory talk, since anyone who has watched the show knows that flying under-the-radar is a proven mid-season strategy that almost never gets someone close to the final 4. Ariane took a gorgeous piece of meat and screwed it up royally. You could fault the others for not doing much, but “not doing much” isn’t what place them in the bottom. Shitty lamb was.

And I’d be willing to bet that there’s virtually zero actual relationship drama next week, and we’ve seen most of it in the teaser. That’s very typical for all reality shows, so picking both of them to stay so they can “heighten” 45 seconds of a 1-hour show is highly unlikely. We know that the show very rarely weeds out the middle crew exactly in the order we think they should, but that’s usually because of the luck of the draw (specific dishes or teammates), and I think it’s pretty likely, at this point, that Leah and Hosea aren’t going to be around much longer either.

I’ve been very disappointed this whole season. The “top” contestants (Jamie, Stefan, and Jeff) are inconsistent and arrogant. None of the food has looked appetizing, and the CONSTANT curveballs are pissing me off.

Honestly this is probably the worst batch of contestants the show has produced.

Usually by this time the absoutley bottom have been elimiinated, some are starting to find their stride and the obvious folks are starting to ride their laurels a little bit. But this year everyone just seems kind of bad.

I think there is a real lack of thinking this season, it almost should have seemed obvious this week that super fresh ingedients should not be overcooked, over seasoned, etc.

And I have always hated that the judges tend to give folks who don’t do much during a team challenge an out if someone else, who did a lot screed something up.

Have you see the first three seasons? Next to those contestants each and everyone of them this season is Ferran Adria and Thomas Keller’s love child.

Yes, I’ve seen every season. What I meant was more at the top, the best chefs here are mediocre compared to previous seasons.

I imagine the available talent pool for a show like this is pretty limited. Most chefs with real talent already have restaurants. Not that there aren’t undiscovered diamonds, but you’re going to run through those pretty quickly in two or three seasons, and then you’re left with what they have to do now – caterers, kids right out of culinary school and mid-level restaurant cooks.

Most of these contestants already have restaurants.

How many actually own restaurants? Some of them work in restaurants, too many of them are caterers, and a few own their own joints, but just owning a place doesn’t mean you’re any good.

I remember reading an interview with Tom C before the season started, in which he was asked about this season’s crop of chefs. His answer was along the lines of, “It’s a very…interesting group.” I knew right then this season would be disappointing.

For me, season 2 with Ilan, Marcel and Sam is by far the worst season ever. I try to forget it ever happened.

Agree, though I’d put Elia in place of Sam. Sam just always stood around looking embarrassed about being associated with the lot of them.

A lot of people don’t like Hosea, but he has to be one of the favorites. He’s won three challenges, and he has never received any real criticism from the judges about his food.

I like Hosea, not the least of which is that last time I was in Boulder, we went to all the fancy-schmatzy new restaurants. At least one was hailed as the second coming of Christ himself.

After several of these, we decided one night to go to an old favorite - Jax, the place where Hosea works.

The meal we had there was hands down the best food we had in all of Boulder. Innovative, tasty, fresh, it was all that.

If that’s how Hosea cooks, then sign me up. He’s got it going.


Different kind of place, and worthy of all the praise. Jax is fantastic - I can go just for the martinis.

I’m not singling you out, because I’ve seen Jeff mentioned in the top three by others as well, including other message boards. I just ask WHY? What has he done? He has no elimination challenge wins, he may have a quickfire win but I’m not certain about that.
To me he is the very definition of middle- of-the-road. In fact his fried green tomatoes during this challenge may have been the best thing he has made so far.

Is it because he is a good looking guy? I have no idea. I have said before that he has shown leadership skills in the kitchen but his cooking to date has been less than noteworthy. I’m certain he will be chosen as the leader for his group next episode for restaurant wars, unless Stephan is on the same team. Nobody can compete with that ego.

This is a little similar to season 3 with Casey. She would have been mostly unnoticed except that she happened to be pretty. And then she seemingly came out of nowhere to make it to the top 3. Maybe Jeff will do the same.

Jeff, to date, has shown a high degree of refined competence, but not very much inspiration.

I predict he has an excellent career as the executive chef on a cruise liner.

I personally like Hosea better, but it seems like Jeff has the skills, but hasn’t been able to suppress his scatterbrain ideas. His dishes are often close to being home runs, only to see it fly wide of the foul pole. The only time he’s really screwed up is because he’s had too many dishes. He’s cocky, but it’s mainly in the interview chair; he’s not an asshole to other contestants.

My wife is always mentioning how hot he is. I do believe that he could go toe to toe with Stefan’s ego.

FTR, I like Carla, Fabio and Hosea, but almost all of last season’s chefs over all of this season’s. (I still hate Lisa.)

Frasca was a major disappointment for us. It was loud & crowded - so bad that we couldn’t hear the waiter or the sommelier. My dinner, a pork dish, had a distinctive taste that I couldn’t figure out at first, then I got it - it tasted like hot dogs.

Hubby’s venison was undercooked and a bad, grisly piece of meat to begin with.

In their favor, the comped both our entrees. But overall, Frasca was the place I was thinking of when I wrote that it was “hailed as the second coming of Christ himself.”

Jax was WAY better, and yes, I looooove those martinis!