I have to say when I heard about this week’s Quickfire Challenge, I was instantly excited. Not only am I a cheese fanatic, but I love love love the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. Norbert Wabnig is such an expert, and really turned it on for our chefs — I just wish he had brought them a little more time. Most chefs spend 12 minutes thinking about what they’re going to cook or collecting their ingredients and preheating their ovens and pans, so how Sue managed to make a delicious cotija and gouda empanada with tomatillo sauce is such credit to her skill. I also loved Naomi’s chaumes cheese toast with skirt steak and Traci’s colombier and prosciutto carpaccio, which deservedly awarded her immunity.
This Elimination Challenge was of course very close to my heart. I have worked with The Biggest Loser for a number of years and have been personally invested in the transformation that these guys go through. I have watched some of them go from being extremely sick, unhappy, lonely, and depressed people to individuals that look great and have loads of self confidence. Watching them become healthy, happy, confident people has honestly been one of the most fulfilling parts of my career.
I’ve always been a fan of The Biggest Loser, and I’m passionate about my part in giving the contestants and viewers healthy eating tips. Let’s face it: weight loss is fifty percent food and fifty percent exercise. But it’s tough. My experience cooking for The Biggest Loser contestants was much more challenging than I ever thought possible. As a chef, the goal is always to make the food delicious and something people want to eat again and again. But working with calorie restrictions means you’re completely handicapped by not being able to cook with ingredients like fat, oil and butter, salt, and sugar. I know some of the chefs embraced this challenge and others hated it as they’ve never had to think about these kinds of things in their restaurants.
If Suvir was sent home on a weak dish then I agree with the elimination. Veggie burgers are delicious and should not be compared with their meat versions. They may not be a substitute in taste and texture to their meat counterparts but they can be flavorful by themselves. What Suvir put together looked delicious especially with the yogurt dip and the tomato chutney. I don’t see a lot of vegetarian cooking on Top Chef and Suvir was a refreshing change. He was by far the most delightful contestant so far on the Top Chef masters.
I was super happy that the chefs were challenged to creat low-calorie, delicious foods.
I was NOT pleased that the dishes they presented are difficult and expensive to make at home.
I realize most chefs pay little attention to having folks at home make their food outside their restaurants, but this challenge was different.
I truly believe none of these guys would serve their creations from this week in their restauarants.
Healthy and low calorie are clearly not their emphasis; they were forced and met the challege.
But, with only one recipe available (and that with expensive items and complicated preparation), it's just not practical.
Nice try, guys.
Love the job you are doing Curtis as host but I sure hope the producers will on the next go around of top chef masters go back to the old format. It is so frustrating this year to see the stupid things they are putting these great chefs through and also we are not getting to know them the way we did before.
This season so far is a real bummer for me.
Regarding Floyd's recipe, which looks great--how much bison meat is in a "pack"? Can we please have an actual measurement, whether weight or volume?
And I too would love to see all the recipes from the challenge, including Suvir's. While it didn't meet the diner's expectations of a burger, it looked delicious.
Thanks and kudos for TCM and the great job you're doing hosting. You maintain a wonderful tone of respect for the achievements of all the chefs, regardless of their performance within specific challenges.
"Unfortunately, the critics thought his veggie burger was the weakest dish."
If that was the case, then that is fine. But nothing from the episode seemed to imply that the veggie burger was the worst tasting dish. Instead, the focus was on Suvir's lecture, and that he missed the mark with the challenge, which I completely disagree with. I'm not a huge Suvir fan...but I think the took a tremendously courageous risk in making the veggie burger. Like he said, the purpose isnt to simply take an unhealthy dish and reduce the portions to a 1/3 of the original....but to change the eater's tastes and lifestyle. It seems Alex has had the worst dish (or very close to it) for a majority of the episodes so far. Suvir's dish was too risky, but that is much better than a bad tasting dish that doesn't taste great either. Last time you eliminated John for a decently executed dish, that was far too safe. So how do you explain Alex's dish. More than anything, some consistency by the judges would be nice.
Of all the people I know, I am the last remaining watcher of the show. This season of Masters has been beyond disappointing....but I'm still watching hoping for better.
@vegan Unfortunately, Suvir's dish had more in common with falafel than a bacon cheeseburger with fries. There were too many disconnects between his dish and the dish he was told to reinterpret. This isn't the first time someone has been eliminated for failing to understand the goal of an elimination challenge.
I absolutely hated the way this week's episode got overtaken by the insane weight loss industry that is designed to keep people failing time and time again. First of all, it was like the chefs had never thought about calories and now all of a sudden they should. Wellll, they don't think about calories because they eat unprocessed food with respect for ingredients and the sanctity of meal times. People who eat unprocessed food that includes all types of meals and desserts are thin people. Sometimes that overeat, sometimes they undereat but it all balances out and their bodies stay healthy. People who go on deprivation diets of 1,300 calories or less, which is close to starvation, are going to start bingeing on foods that are not allowed to eat. I hated seeing the judges being so excited that the daily calories for the daily dishes were going lower than the 1,500 and that was 'great'. Let the yo-yo dieting begin. It's not about will, we will become obsessed with food if we are continually deprived. Than the diet industry can kick in and ''save us' from our lack of willpower. The dieting industry, the dieting mentality, and shows that only focus on weight loss as some type of fast track to emotional health are ruining the health of this country. Dieting makes us fat. An obesession with body image makes us fat. Counting calories makes us fat. Three meals a day, a snack or two, whole ingredients, gentle exercise, letting food be nourishment and not something to be afraid of keeps us healthy. This was an opportunity to educate and it was really upsetting to see so many educated people perpetuate all these lies.
I watched several web exclusives for Top Chef All Stars recently. I finally understand a small portion of what the contestants, judges, producers and staff go through to give the audience this wonderful show. Thank you so much. You all are truly amazing.
I just started watching the show and love it. You can see how stressful it can be for both the contestants and the judges. I can't wait to watch more episodes, and of course who wouldn't with a Hot Australian :).
I was trying to figure out how Suvir was picked to do Irene's bacon cheeseburger. You have the Bacon, Cheese, and Beef. Those 3 things are so far off from vegan that it was as if Suvir was set up for failure from the beginning of this challenge.
Sometimes Curtis includes items in his recipes on BL that are sort of pricey, but they're always worth it in the end. I prepare a these recipes he submits for the show several times a month. If these meals were available on a menu in nicer restaurants I believe they would be more popular than most people would think.
This season of Top Chef Masters is a horrible disappointment. To watch these well known chefs judged by bloggers and obscure critics who seem intent on being clever with their vicious comments is just wrong. If you cannot attract judges with equal or superior skills to the contestants, then it is time to end the show.
I totally agree with your comment om bloggers and obscure critics. It's a HUGE disappointment. I mean, really, when they had the "Housewives" judging food on the first season? Ridiculous. I think that while the chefs are interested in raising money for charity, they deserve someone better to judge them.