Team Top Chef

The chefs get cheesy in the Quickfire Challenge before cooking for The Biggest Loser contestants.

Apr 27, 20110

Hello my little losers! Hey, it's a term of endearment! Before we get to the healthy stuff though, let's start with the cheesy Quickfire Challenge, where the chefs had to -- you guessed it -- make a cheese dish in 12 minutes! I love love love cheese -- it's kind of a problem. I'm a smoked gouda girl myself, but you can bet I'll be trying some of the ones mentioned in the episode that I'd never heard of. I actually have a cheese shop right by my apartment, which I was so excited about when I moved in two years ago, but still haven't tried, so now's as good a time as any! I found it interesting to see which chefs had really deep cheese knowledge, and even more interested in hearing guest judge Norbert Wabnig of the Beverly Hill's Cheese Shop. The whole thing reminded me of a little video series we did with Gail Simmons where she schlepped to the Bedford Cheese Shop.

Anyway, although some of the other chefs, and even Traci herself thought her dish might not have been adventurous enough, she won. I don't know what it is about Traci, but I kind of love her. She does her job and she does it well without grandstanding, and she's honest about her dishes' weaknesses when there are any.

For the Elimination Challenge, The Biggest Loser crew invaded the kitchen to present the chefs with the challenge of creating four-course meals under 1500 calories. We've done quite a few episodes with calorie counts, but this one was really enhanced by the  presence of the Biggest Loser contestants and of course Alison Sweeney and co. The Days of our Lives fan in me was pretty thrilled that she was there, and I thought her playfulness with Curtis, the chef who usually cooks for The Biggest Loser cast, was adorable. Many of the chefs brought up the fact that most chefs don't watch what they eat. I don't know that this is entirely true, but I was surprised when both Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert revealed during this conversation that they both take Lipitor!

8 comments
Roz Laufer
Roz Laufer

I think Suvir could have definitely brought more to the competition. However, he saught more to push his values upon other people through his food instead of cooking for the client (customer). Those of us in the food business should know, our customers come first. He was given a specific task, and instead of giving her a delicious light alternative to her favorite fatty food, he used her as platform for his own personal beliefs on red meat and its nutritional value. It was very poor taste to say what he did, knowing that some of his fellow contestants utilized red meats in their dishes. Winning by merit is one thing, but attempting to win by sabotage and your won dogma is completely different (especially when you're misinformed).

Bonnie Deahl
Bonnie Deahl

So was this veggies versus meat? Not so sure. Suvir is a political animal who is not afraid to make a point even if it is unpopular in some circles. In other circles he would be applauded. The Biggest losers face making changes in diet and lifestyle that mean better health. Craving these old standbys do not represent changes or desires to change anything. As for the Suvir-Hugh thing...Acheson may have had the chip on his shoulder.

Nithya
Nithya

I was sorry to see Suvir go. I am also from India, Hindu and vegetarian, so I was backing him from the beginning on TCM. I wished he had not made the speech about red meat before serving his dish to non-vegetarian diners, as that might have tipped the scales and led to his elimination. But after reading the Q&A segment, I understand the reasons for what he said and did , and I respect him for standing by his convictions and mission. As Suvir said, in India vegetables are not looked at as potential substitutes for meat. Vegetarianism is highly respected and is not considered the odd-one out. I recall, on Top Chef Season 6 one chef saying, ‘I sometimes cook for vegetarians. After all, they are also people.’ I was shocked to hear this, but I wonder how far this reflects the opinion of people here. That Suvir had to go is a great loss for viewers, he would have gone on to present many more different dishes. Suvir, why don’t you take this as a challenge, and develop vegetarian counterparts of popular American dishes like burgers, and make them so delicious that people will come to prefer them?

Laurie B.
Laurie B.

Good to hear your take on things. I feel that Suvir came off as passionate, principled and a bit arrogant on the show. The picture of him and his partner on their farm gave me some insight into his real life. It's really hard to get the full picture of someone from just watching the show... and we can't possibly know unless we spend time with them. That being said, I think Ruth made some great points on her blog. It's about making the customer happy. It's what I do when I have people over for a meal. Your point is well taken - Suvir could have made a yummy veggie burger - I love veggie burger with CHEESE. As a chef he could have delivered a great veggie meal but I think he got caught up in the "message". The fact that he got on his soap box before Hugh was another error. He could have made his point without vilafying meat. I think he wanted to go home - plain and simple. I also think that the challenges have been INSANE for the most part. I want to see top chefs in honest challenges. It seems that talent/skill/knowledge doesn't matter - that it is the luck of the drawl in some of the challenges that determines who wins. For example, the fact that the diners chose the winning restaurant in the Restaurant Wars challenge really ticked me off. It was so obvious that the wrong team won.

Medgrl413
Medgrl413

I agree with this article and thought that overall it was insightful. The idiom used on pg. 2, however, should have read "by the same token," not "on the same token." Common error, but not one I would expect from a professional writer.

Loyal Fan
Loyal Fan

The Suvir/Hugh dust-up was amplified and replayed by the producers in the promotions and lead-ins, and it illustrates neatly what I find distasteful about the new format and attitude this season. There is an emphasis on stress, conflict, gimmicks and slightly nasty criticism. In reflecting on what I so enjoyed in the past seasons of TCM, especially the first TCM season, I finally realized what is missing -- the chefs don't seem to be having any fun! Surely this could be helped a little with judicious editing?