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Top Chef Season 4


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#1 of 62 Parker Clack

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Posted March 13 2008 - 05:27 AM

Top Chef started back up with Season 4 last night. It looks like they have some great chefs for this season. And it looks like there could be a lot of drama between the chefs too (lots of creative editing).

I look forward to seeing "What Happens".

Parker

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

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pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#2 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 13 2008 - 06:46 AM

An interesting twist on the first elimination challenge—especially seeing 2 different interpretations of the same dish. I loved finding out that many of the pros had no idea about some classic dishes, while others had lost (if indeed they every had them) some basic skills like making soufflé.
¡Time is not my master!

#3 of 62 Parker Clack

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Posted March 15 2008 - 01:17 AM

Quote:
while others had lost (if indeed they every had them) some basic skills like making soufflé

Yeah, I thought that was really wild. Here they are already well established executive and sous-chefs and going back to the classics, etc. really threw them for a loop. I believe they got rid of the only line chef they had on the show this year. I didn't see anyone listed as just a "cook" as they have had in the past.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#4 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 15 2008 - 03:16 AM

I think that there is one personal chef. It is always a bit unclear just exactly how much of a background they have—as well as the caterers (although I don’t think that there are any this season.
¡Time is not my master!

#5 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 15 2008 - 04:47 AM

I looked up the contestants’ bios Parker and it was interesting to read that the two (Zoi & Erik) who could not make the soufflé are also self-taught.

For me the funniest (and most ironic) moment was to listen to Andrew (who has gone to culinary school) spout off about being the prime contender and it turned out, that not only did he forget to buy mayonnaise for his crab cakes, not only did he not know how to make mayonnaise, but that he did not even know the basic ingredients from which to begin making mayonnaise. He had some good luck in that Richard let him in on the secret.

I’m pretty sure that some of our HTF stalwarts (are you there Jeff?) would have had no problem with these two items. Though I hasten to add, that we would all lack the necessary skills to even qualify.
¡Time is not my master!

#6 of 62 Parker Clack

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Posted March 15 2008 - 10:39 PM

Yeah, even I know how to make mayo and I don't cook. Personally I see Richard kicking some major butt this season as he is pretty laid back and knows his shit without having to tell everyone he does. Even Chef Colicchio looked at him like "WTF is that" when he brought out the bowl with the smoke in it. I also see Nikki and Stephanie doing well. I see Dale and Andrew causing the most drama.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#7 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 20 2008 - 04:26 AM

This is an interesting part of the season, where chefs can make mistakes (and even have disasters) and still survive simply because someone else has screwed up even more. A couple of really bad dishes (and their creators) did not get the chop because Valerie’s contribution was doomed from its conception—and that it failed in execution sealed the deal.

Surprisingly Andrew played nicely with the other children.
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#8 of 62 Parker Clack

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Posted March 25 2008 - 07:51 PM

It is going to be interesting with Andrew this season. I see him becoming a real pain. Sort of like Marcel (aka Wolfman) from season 2 and Hung from last year.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#9 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 26 2008 - 01:41 AM

Don’t forget that Marcel made it to the final, only losing, with characteristic bad grace to Ilan. And Hung won. No way is a guy who does not know how to make mayonnaise going all the way. Hung could have whipped that up with one arm tied behind his back (and while he was slicing and dicing with the other).

OTOH, he did redeem himself to a degree last week—and there are a couple of other competitors who already look to be out of their league (Erik who had no clue about soufflés, for example).
¡Time is not my master!

#10 of 62 Greg_R

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Posted March 27 2008 - 10:17 AM

I have not seen the 3rd episode yet but...

My impression of Andrew is that he is only capable of cooking dishes that he has already made (or something similar)... he can't come up with things on the fly very well. I too was shocked by the Mayo incident (making mayonnaise is cooking 101). Of course they are editing the show to portray him as a pompous ass... which means that he will likely be around until the last 1/3 of the season (people need the 'villain' to root against).

I don't think Erik is going to last very long... he has yet to make anything reasonably impressive. His farmer's market quickfire challenge actually made me laugh (OK, 5 ingredients... I'll cook 3 random things and put 2 spices on each and put each in a pile).

Some of the women on the show are good chefs but I haven't seen a lot of mental toughness & self assuredness that will get them through to the later rounds.

#11 of 62 Parker Clack

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Posted March 29 2008 - 06:39 PM

I saw Erik getting the ax with his corn dogs. The man knew that they would get soggy yet he made them anyway. Oh, well. Rock on dude.

I heard somewhere that the typical time they spend waiting for the judges to make their decision is around 4 hours. Can you imagine cooking up some crazy meal with a limited budget and unrealistic time frame to have to then set around 4 hours waiting for a judgement. I would love to see Padma or Chef Colicchio put up with some of the challenges they come up with for them.

I wonder why Billy Joel's wife left after the first season and Padma took her place.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#12 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 30 2008 - 03:08 AM

I’m sure that Padma would not be able to cope, as she is not a chef, nor is Ted Allen. But Colicchio and most of the various guest judges would no doubt be able to cope successfully (that does not mean that they would necessarily win),
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#13 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 30 2008 - 07:20 AM

Very fitting that Eric got the boot after insulting Rick Bayless (not the least by saying that Mexican food could not be fine dinning). I have several cookbooks by both Bayless and Diane Kennedy and have eaten at Rick’s Chicago restaurants and can say with certainty that one does not have to live where I do in order to find upscale Mexican cuisine.

Of course he was not the only one who could not get past tacos being (only) street food (not that there is anything wrong with that).

OTOH, I’m sure that his corndogs were really great—right after they were out of the fryer. But he (and others) lost the plot on the time delay and transport.
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#14 of 62 Parker Clack

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Posted March 30 2008 - 01:54 PM

I wonder how Richard's tacos would taste. We have a great little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant called "El Sombero" that makes really good pinned tacos and HUGE enchiladas. It is one the best Mexican restaurants I have eaten at over the years.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#15 of 62 Tom Keels

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Posted April 01 2008 - 12:15 AM

I sort of feel bad for these Chefs since the last 2 episodes should have been called "Top Caterer" and not "Top Chef". It's not really fair to these folks who are executive chefs and line cooks who are used to putting hot food out to customers within a couple of minutes of being cooked suddenly being asked to cook food that will survive hours in a hot box.

That being said, the guy that cooked the corn dogs should have know they wouldn't hold up. Also every one of his dishes looked exactly the same, very sloppy deconstructed meals spread all over the plate.

#16 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted April 02 2008 - 08:46 AM

OTOH Tom, as one of the judges mentioned, every one of these guys would have done some catering at some point in their careers and (at their level) should know which foods would hold and which would not. Plus these were teams of seven each. It is inconceivable that at least one or two on each team would not have quite a solid background on transporting food.

While there were two or three who failed miserably (mac & cheese and bad pasta salad), Eric even suspected that his dish would not hold up—and probably not a good idea to tell Rick Bayless that Mexican food could not be fine dinning. I assume that the judges (as professionals) put that out of their mind, but it does go to show that Eric had no clue.

The secret on the early rounds is to fail when someone else is worse—this will not work later on, so look out mac & cheese and pasta salad.
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#17 of 62 Chuck Anstey

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Posted April 03 2008 - 02:26 AM

Quote:
The secret on the early rounds is to fail when someone else is worse—this will not work later on, so look out mac & cheese and pasta salad.
Actually one strategy works all the way to the end: Always come in second to last unless there is a 3-way finale.

Chef Colicchio complained in a previous season that no one was trying to win. Well duh. The contestants actually watched the show and realized the only thing that can happen each week is you get sent home. There is no advantage for coming in first versus 2nd to last. Safe and slightly better than the current worst chef is the order of the day. If they truly wanted creativity and boldness then they need to redo the rules from "Who fucked up today" to "who is the overall weakest chef to this point" with a point system, say 3 for top-tier, 2 for middle, and 1 for bottom tier and dump the current lowest point chef. The judges decide how many belong in each tier from 0 to all of them. Plus they could skip sending anyone home until the 3rd week and dump the weakest 3 chefs to at least give everyone a reasonable chance to show what skills they have. The points would just determine who gets into the finale or maybe just to the round of 4 but the winner would be the best chef of the final challenge.

#18 of 62 Greg_R

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Posted April 03 2008 - 10:45 AM

My rule of thumb is if I know what or what not to do (as an untrained home cook) then it should be very basic knowledge for these 'top chefs'. Everyone who has ever fried something and taken it to a party knows that it will get soggy. Everyone knows that when un-altered Velveeta cools it turns into a brick. I agree with Chuck... the majority of the contestants are playing to not lose.

#19 of 62 Lew Crippen

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Posted April 03 2008 - 12:18 PM

The team that won this week pulled out all the stops—something that I’d also say about the second place team.
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#20 of 62 Parker Clack

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Posted April 03 2008 - 10:11 PM

You have those that really want to shine and step up to bat. Then you have those that are going to set back and "Watch What Happens". This season I think we have a lot great chefs that really want to do a great job and aren't afraid to step up. It may get them sent home in the end but they did put their best foot forward. Some of them are forgetting the fundamentals but all of them are putting their food out the best they know how for the limited time and budget they have.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 






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