Curtis Stone

Even though they won, Curtis explains the Black Team's shortcomings.

on Jun 6, 20120

 

I don’t get too many chances to play the stern headmaster, but this week’s episode gave me more than enough opportunity. I was absolutely gobsmacked that the Black Team would waste the chance to cook Tuscan food with a woman who has been making these dishes for decades. 

First and foremost, the Black Team just didn’t act like experienced chefs. Cooking is something we do with all five of our senses. While the language barrier with Nonna Nara made it more difficult to learn the recipes, it was by no means impossible. Watch her cook, take notes on the ingredients and techniques, and use that as the guide for your meal. Ask any linguist -- the majority of communication is nonverbal. So make hand gestures, hold up ingredients, do whatever it takes to learn a thing or two. As crafty as Nookie has shown himself to be in this competition, he was surprisingly uncreative with Nonna Nara.

To make matters worse, the Black Team also wasted the chance to truly understand the beauty of Tuscan food. Simple, local and seasonal, Tuscan cuisine relies on the quality of ingredients and time-honored preparations. There are a number of places in the world where locals will appreciate innovation with their cuisine. Tuscany isn’t one of them. To learn a recipe from a grandma is to learn from a true master.

11 comments
MMmml.a.
MMmml.a.

I get it, the format is set, there is a reality show aspect to this show, this is NOT Top Chef and even if there are valid comments/suggestions, it's a moot point for this season. My one comment, which I believe can still be taken under consideration for this season, are your blogs. While we can certainly see and even empathize with the chefs/team as they encounter challenges, we cannot taste the food. Wouldn't it make sense for you and Chef Cora - two constants on each episode who are actually chefs - to further elaborate on the actual dishes served? What worked and what didn't; why a dash of this vs. a dash of that made one dish stellar vs. another; how the inclusion of something would have made the difference etc. You do touch on it a bit on your blogs at times, but it is very surface level. I am not a chef by any means, but I do love to eat and oddly enough believe I can imagine the taste based on the comments and my exposure to certain cuisines. I think adding that to your blogs, especially since you were there and you are a "credible witness" (i.e. a bonafide good chef) would make this blog a lot more resonant with the foodie-viewers. Certainly gives a more in-depth perspective that the show lacks.

peiroge04
peiroge04

Chef Curtis, where do I even start? You've got the makings of something even better than Top Chef. We're not the "Housewives" viewers. We've been calling for blind judging and you've got it here. Get rid of the "Most Valuable Chef" and allow the patrons to decide best dish of the best team..that person can get immunity for the next event. Get rid of the contestants choosing who gets eliminated, and let the patrons pick the worst dish of the worst team. Nobody wants to see mediocre chefs advance. Contestants are currently getting eliminated for no apparent reason. We want to see the best chefs advance, or else we don't care. We want to see great cooking, not drama. Please help fix it. It can be great!

Rocky Mountain Hi.
Rocky Mountain Hi.

Will this show even make it around the globe? Don't know and definitely don't care. Ciao Bravo. Wake me up when Top Chef starts again.

ENV
ENV

Yes it was entertaining to understand all cooks role playing around in kitchens - cucinas routines. Not exact ingredients in recipes for areas regions. Maybe none had an earlier a session onto famous culinary of Italy ,or 'sapere' apprentice.

Not a fan
Not a fan

This was one of the funniest episodes. The black team looked like "deer in headlights" when Nonna was talking to them. At the least, they could have made hand signs to try to get across to her.

Interesting
Interesting

Interesting you say that Prosciutto doesn't belong in the ribollita, which should always be vegetarian, because all searches for a ribollita recipe require you add a meat, such as pancetta. Not sure why it was such a mistake for Black team to add the meat to it.

I'd really love to see the cooking skills of these chefs and not just their athletic skills running from place to place. Also would love to see who the hosts/other guests would vote off if they could?

Top Chef Fan
Top Chef Fan

Are you kidding me? If you actually cared for the contestants to learn you'd have given them a translator. Instead it's just another way to humiliate people who are still actually cooking.

When Tom Colicchio gets stern with contestants it's passable because he actually has the experience, wisdom, and success for us to trust he knows what he's talking about. His perspective means quite a lot. You need to adopt your own personality, because that role just doesn't work for you.

mseddy2900
mseddy2900

I was disappointed in the producers and the show for giving the exceptional ingredient as mentor Nonna Nara who cannot speak any English! Why didn't they include the son who could translate for her. Speaking in Italian a mile a minute left the black team in the dust. All of the previous exceptional ingredient mentors could speak a little English! Sure the chefs could have consulted a linguist (or producer) on how to sign "please cook traditional Tuscan food for us to watch" but it was their advantage to use or not use. It could have helped or hurt them, but it was their choice. Admittedly it's rude to be in her kitchen and not be respectful, but the worn out looking chefs were shell shocked and couldn't figure out what to do with her.

And I'm deeply disappointed in Chefs Curtis and Cat for coming in to the kitchen and bawling them out right before service. I'm glad the black team won, even with this impediment. This show has it's moments, but its wearing thin.

Steve3
Steve3

At least per the edit, Nonna didn't cook. All she did was explain things to them in Italian, a language no one spoke. If she was the advantage, she should have demonstrated the dish, or had a translator. I felt badly for the team, because they got nothing from that "advantage".

battuta
battuta

What difference does it make if these people act like chefs or not? The chefs are being voted off for everything but their ability to cook.

krussrn
krussrn

(Please forgive me if this posts twice; I meant for it to be posted following this June 6 episode.) I was so looking forward to this new BRAVO show. Boy, what a disappointment. WAY too much political maneuvering and backstabbing. How about considering a new concept --- actually trying to find the BEST chef? WOW, now THAT I would definitely watch! Week after week one of the better chefs has been eliminated, leaving behind mediocrity at best. Last week I swore I wouldn't be watching again, but I gave it another chance tonight. BIG mistake! This show is NOT for me; not after seeing more of the same childish playground bullying and strategizing. What a shame; this concept could have been a good one, but someone got it ALL WRONG!