Top Chef on Bravo [spoilers]

This is probably going to be the worlds stupidest Pit Thread but I just want to vent a bit. I don’t know if anyone here actually watches this show or not. My wife got me watching it a few weeks ago.

Anyway, tonight there was a challenge where basically people paired randomly with the challenge being that they had to prepare a meal that could be frozen and then cooked up in 10 minutes. My first rant is…whats the point of pairing supposed top chefs randomly?? I mean, when we are talking about people with large egos they don’t always work well WITH PEERS! And top chefs are supposed to be the ones in charge of a kitchen for gods sake! I just felt that because it was a random team it was stupid to make the challenge…and even stupider to dismiss someone for what was essentially a team effort! And then to have top chefs who have never cooked or prepared something designed to be frozen and then cooked in 10 minutes, never experimented with that style (why would they? Who cooks that way?)…well, that was stupid too.

My final rant was that IMHO they picked the wrong person to leave. I felt that Joey (I think thats his name) obviously had a problem with Hung (Han?)…and so expecting that team, randomly chosen, to work well together is, well, ridiculous. Last week Joey was the challenge winner…this week because of the stupid nature of this challenge he’s gone. And the one I felt SHOULD be gone? It was obviously Sarah (Sara? Something like that). She did nothing in this challenge, brought nothing to the team. She was worthless IMHO…so if you were going to have such a stupid challenge for such high stakes it was clear that she was the one who should have gotten wacked.

I’m no cooking expert…or even a cooking SHOW expert. I watch Good Eats and thats pretty much the extent of my cooking show knowledge. My wife is the big cooking show fan. But this show completely pissed me off…especially since it was SO unfair (IMHO). I felt SO bad when Joey was called…and even worse when he started to break down and cry.

I felt the two who won the challenge (I don’t even know their names…the tall guy and the black guy) are the best chefs in the competition, and I think that ultimately its going to be one of them who wins. Joey I felt was destined to eventually be off the show anyway before the end. But THIS way? No, it was just wrong.
lol, I can’t believe I just ranted a stream of consciousness rant about a cooking show! Yeah, its petty and probably stupid…and I probably don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. I’m just glad thats off my chest.


Spoiler Boxes/Warnings, Dude! We’ve recorded it and don’t know what went on.

Oh…sorry! I didn’t think of spoilers! :smack: … :smack: :smack: :smack:


Added spoiler warning, and moving to Cafe Society for good measure.

I honestly believe Joey had to go because they couldn’t justify booting the 5th female in a row (after Sandee, Micah, Camille, and Lia). That would’ve left the gender distribution 7M-2F. I imagine they probably rationalized it to themselves that they picked the loser from the team with the worse dish of the bottom 2, but they couldn’t exit Hung for being right (although he’s been in the bottom group as many times as being in the top), and they weren’t about to pick Howie over Sara (that would’ve been transparently stupid).

So Joey had to go. You’re right–he probably only had 2 or 3 more episodes in him anyway, but that still amounts to a lot, and he certainly has proven his mettle more than either of the Saras. It was very moving seeing him break down like that and I felt for him (note to Chefs: Stay away from Hung!)

As for the challenge itself, I found it perfectly fair and appropriate (and similar to other quick/ready-made challenges from previous seasons). The fact that Tre (black guy) and CJ (tall guy) are in the top-half of the remaining pack doesn’t excuse the others from making some really obvious, stupid mistakes. Yeah, the situations and pairings are sometimes contrived, but that’s what you get in a competition show like this.

I’m looking forward to winnowing things down to the essentials: Brian, CJ, Tre, Howie, Dale, and (god help us) Hung. Sadly, it seems like the female contestants with the most potential were jettisoned too early. I don’t think the remaining ladies will be able to cut it. We’ll see.

It’s interesting to see what would have happened if the pairings of the losing teams were Joey-Howie and Hung-Sara. Howie’s loud and assertive enough that if he pointed out something, Joey would have listened, and Hung’s secure enough in his opinion of his cooking that Sara’s nitpicking and lack of participation wouldn’t have bothered him very much.

Hung is useless. He shined in the first episodes and has been riding that wave ever since. He looks like crap, more tired and worn every episode, he keeps saying “if I can’t do this, just send me home” and then he goes and totally blows it. Every time. Send him home already.

And the Saras are there for no good reason either. They are just coasting to their unavoidable demise. Fast forward, please.

I loved it last night when he asserted that he “knew” what the stuff in the cup was without tasting, then changed his mind after actually tasting it. Oops, gotta go with the first answer. That slight difference between arrogance and confidence tripped him up.

Yeah, that was one of my favorite parts! I was like YEAH! when he arrogantly said what it was before tasting it. I thought it was funny when the judge lady said are you sure you don’t want to taste it, then when he did told him sorry…we have to go with your first answer (had it been anyone else I would have felt it overly dramatic to let him/her try to taste it and then not take the correction…he was under time after all and a couple of them muttered something else before selecting a final answer).

I still think the challenge was stupid (cooking frozen food?)…and I don’t think it was a fair test to randomly pair people together and then expect them to work well as a team. It was pretty obvious that some of the pairs were absolute disasters…while the pair that won was sort of a cooking dream team (I think that either of those guys could have paired and been in the top team with almost anyone else).

As for getting rid of Joey to keep some kind of female balance…well, doesn’t that piss you off even more? I hadn’t thought of that to be honest…but that makes me even more angry at the judgment. I hope they get reamed out on their own message board (my wife says they have one that talks about the show)!


A quote from Ted Allen’s blog:

I completely agree with him that freezing is a skill every chef should learn. I loved it, and will attempt some things like it in the future. Home cooked, but assembled on a busy weekday in twenty minutes! You betcha!

And Joey was a putz anyway. “I’m gonna take my toys and go back home to New Yawk!”

I predict Hung to be the next one gone. Then Sara.

I would have booted Hung for knowing what needed to be done, but yet not doing it or insisting they use the freeze each component separately process. It’s one thing not to realize the secret but even worse to know it but yet do nothing.

Boy, that was gold. I had forgotten about it. The clown was even turning and walking away from the table. Way to slap down an overconfident prick.

Although I agree that the team episodes are a total drag for the contestants, this is a show. Tom made mention of it once. Something are complete non-issues at a real kitchen, but crucial on a competition. They have to adapt. They have watched two seasons already. They know what they are getting into.

And I really liked both challenges for this episodes. The bee and the frozen entree. Very well thought out, IMO.

I think it was a tossup between Howie, Sara, and Joey - any of them could have gone home for last night’s performance. But Hung also sealed that he should not win Top Chef.

First thing, I could have figured out this challenge better than the 7 of the 10 chefs did. I’ve done the freezer cooking thing before, and of course you have to separate out the food, especially if it’s pasta. That was a complete no-brainer (you didn’t have to even study the Bertolli thing to figure that out) and it was bizarre to me that only one team (and maybe Hung) did.

Howie is an ass. It was telling to me that in all the confessionals, he kept saying how awful she was and she kept saying that they have different styles and couldn’t mesh. His complaints were about her, her complaints were about the team. And I can see why she backed off rather than fight with him for the whole challenge. Plus, he’s got to stop sweating in the food. That’s just gross. I wonder if he does that in his restaurant? I wonder if people who have eaten there are now thinking “I bet he sweated all over that entree. Yuck.”

Also, even though I can understand why Sara didn’t speak up, she still should have. Not a good day for her, either.

Hung… I’m not sure he fully got the concept. He kept saying that he understood it, but then in the confessional he said something about being surprised when Tre & CJ were assembling the next day. It seemed like he was halfway there, but not entirely there. But either way, he is a horrible communicator. He kept muttering at Joey, then he’d fly off to do something else, then he’d come back, mutter something else incomprehensible, then fly off again. “Spread it out, spread it out” or whatever, doesn’t really convey the IQF technique as far as I’m concerned (or as far as his partner was concerned either, which is what matters) Had he stopped, taken 90 seconds to really lay out the plan to Joey “Put the vegetables on this tray, the pasta on this tray, the sauce on this tray, and we’ll assemble the portions tomorrow.” They wouldn’t have been serving mush. But Hung was too busy being Hung to actually lead.

I was praying that Hung would be asked to leave. That would teach his overinflated ego. But as Mr. Kiz said, “Of course they won’t ask him to leave just yet. Without him there’s no drama.” But they’d still have Howie!

To the OP, one of the more important things any inspiring chef has to learn is how to get along with everyone else in the kitchen. If you’re working in hot, cramped quarters with people you personally can’t stand, you HAVE to be able to put your feelings aside for the sake of the food and, ultimately, the diners. Some chefs are more “go with the flow” than others. It’s the inherent drama of those who can’t “flow” easily that trips up many a Top Chef contestant (cheftestant?)

I thought both the Quickfire and Challenge were interesting. And it’s true that the frozen entree market’s only been tapped by celebrity chefs within the past few years (I believe Wolfgang Puck was the first). Who is it – Mario Batali? – coming out with a line of frozen entrees for Costco very soon if he hasn’t already? There’s a gold mine to be made there.

Is anybody else gettong grossed out with Howie sweating into the food? Every week during a challege, he sweats bullets that drip off his nose and into the food. Good god man, mop off!

I don’t think Hung will be going anytime soon, because he’s the Stephen/Marcel of this season. He’s the obnoxious, arrogant know-it-all that everyone hates, and he provides drama.

Yes, yes god yes.

I wish he would go.

Definitely. Every time my wife and I are watching its like EEWWWWWW! Makes you think though how often that kind of things happens. Yuck!


The sweating is pretty disgusting and I can’t believe nobody’s called him on it yet. I’ve heard the judges talk about how he “works up a sweat”, but don’t they realize that the sweat is ending up in the food? Hell, the camera guy has close-ups of it for their viewing pleasure. Makes me want to mail a sweatband to his restaurant. Bleech.

Anthony Bourdain totally snarked on Rocco on Tom’s blog. Bourdain said when describing Rocco"Though for the first few moments, I thought David Gest had taken his place."

I agreed. Rocco looked a little nipped and tucked.