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Hi my little sardines! I'm going to keep this brief because, well, this episode was pretty straightforward, but wanted to count down my top five observations from the Reunion Dinner special because I want to see if you agree! These are in no particular order, and should be read with a grain of salt as I have very, er, interesting, taste in men.
1. Was Hung looking ... hot? He's always been my favorite from Season 3, and he's always been cute, but I was seriously considering making him my computer desktop yesterday. That's when you know it's bad (and that I'm a 14-year-old girl.) I'm eating at Hung's newest venture, Ajna Bar (formerly Buddha Bar) next week with my lovely Assitant Editors, so I'll report back then! (Hopefully Hung doesn't read this blog and I won't have to hang my head in shame.)
2. "Lesbian opportunivore" better not catch on. I've never heard this term before, and hopefully won't again. Stefan's fascination with ladies who like ladies is odd, but I would kind of kill to see him and Lisa share a night out on the town. When he said, "Watch out, Lisa" I almost lost it.
3. I forgot how amusing Season 5's Leah and Jamie were drunk. It's not like we haven't seen this footage of the two Season 5 chefs drunk at Judges' Table before, but it really is just so priceless. Even Tom laughs!
4. That very candid moment with Fabio made me super-uncomfortable. And although most of you will think Marcel was a giant ass during this taping, he's always been one of my faves, and I felt really bad for him. The head-shaving incident was obviously very difficult for him, and he just looked so broken having to talk about it again. On the other hand, he and Ilan are now a fun dynamic duo! Did you catch their fist pound, complete with explosion?!
5. Um, a GLAD bag bed?! When can we start buying those?! All you have to do to "change the sheets" is unwrap it!!! And how did Harold know about it? I didn't even know about that. I know Harold's been blogging about Top Chef pretty much every season since his own, but I really never realized how much he remembers about the show. His Top Chef knowledge is pretty vast at this point.
What did you guys notice that caught your eye? I want to hear all about it! Oh, and check out this little photo gallery we put together tracking some of your favorite Top Cheftestants HERE.
I was glad to see the footage of the "sous chefs" at Judges' Table for the first time with Gail trying to be a giant pacifist to no avail. So entertaining.
Really? A special just to remind us of all the crap we hated the first time? However, Fabio was right; if you don't want to take part, then DON"T COME! Really pitiful at times.
The entire Marcel incident was horrible. The fact that he was asked to re-live an actual physical attack is beyond the pale. Regardless of the fact that he agreed to come on, the fact that you forced him to talk about the attack was in poor taste and just horrifying to see. Thank god I was able to fast forward right on through it.
Marcel seemed super testy! He was uncomfortable to watch because he seemed so cantankerous. Like a grumpy old man trapped in a young guy's body.
But I love his Wolfman costume. That was awesome!
It was enjoyable to see some of the cheftestants from previous seasons again ,, and in a less stressful venue. It was fun to listen to them reminiscing about their experiences in Top Chef competition. I wish the conversation would have focussed more on "worst" and "best" challenges they faced when they were competing ,, and less on the Marcel/Ian mess. I sensed that Marcel was a bit uncomfortable with the line of questions, and I don't blame him -- but he did make a few ungentlemanly comments to some other cheftestants too. (During season 2, I thought Marcel to be a talented but immature prima donna. He has grown some over the past two years ,, but the original assessment remains.) Overall I think the concept of an "All Season Cheftestant Reunion" is a great idea, and this first edition was a good start to something I believe can be a successful follow up show to Top Chef.
I was pretty curious about Fabio's "candid moment". It seemed to me that the producers were pushing him to dredge up old memories and he was trying to explain that it wasn't his idea. The editing (and Fabio's accent) made the moment extremely confusing.
Okay. Blunt truth: Nice, nostalgic, but underwhelming. It's not the same without SOME competition, but the food porn was nice to look at.
You guys SERIOUSLY need to do an All-Season Cheftestant Competition. People would kill to see either some kind of Ultimate Top Chef tournament with a Top Chef Masters format for 16 contestants gradually whittled down to a group of 4. (Lord knows, you guys have more than enough past contestants to pull this off.)
OR, some key head-to-heads: Harold vs. Bryan V, Michael V vs. Hung, Jen vs. Tiffani, Carla vs. Stephanie, Kevin vs. Stefan. I think y'all can get the idea- and judged by The TC panel, PLUS BOURDAIN!
Pretty, pretty, PRETTY please think about it? (Word. Thanks.)
The negatives: First off: the showing of this reunion could have waited until after the current season is complete. Next: Marcel was edited again in a most unfavorable light. He seemed more immature and nervous than in his season. Next: Back to Marcel - dredging up the most vile scene in all of TC (i.e. the head shave incident) reminds viewers that an assault took place. This had no purpose being brought up except for prurient interest. BTW: Marcel stated that he and Ilan are not BFF. There is still tension there. Next: The choice of castmates left off two glaring omissions: Hosea (the Top Meal Winner) and Stephanie. Weren't they invited? Next: Editing and sound were problematic. It was hard to follow when the cast spoke over each other. The Positives: First off: Hung Hot? Not! But he is much calmer and cooler. (Marcel should take note of his BFF.) Next: The Carla/Casey controversy was finally resolved. Both ladies were very respectful toward each other and everyone else. Next: It was great to see Fabio and Stefan back again. Their friendship will endure. Next: Fabio's charm really showed through. His paternal instinct was also amazing when he chastized the complaining cast. Next: Richard's enthusiasm was hilarious. Next: Stefan dogging every female in sight was very funny. I think he's kidding when he chases the women who are unavailable to him due to their orientation. Next: Watching them all work together in the kitchen in a non competitive way was great. Next: The food looked really wonderful.
I thought the show's concept was interesting but turned into a tabloid nasty Magazine show. We All know the So called catty stuff That took place on the show. Would have been more interesting if Fabio didn't try to always rehash the old crap, he was directed poorly! The Contestants that came for dinner are all extremely talented and I bet Have some great stories that we never heard either about the show or There own lives.I just wish Top Chef Would take the High road And respect their Viewers MORE. Great Concept next time Maybe You should let me host the dinner party.And I would have kept it interesting not Boring
I really enjoyed this, it was nice to see them just relaxing and remembering, but Fabio is right of course - it's a show to garner ratings and give the audience what they want, which is possibly another perspective on the incidents that happened - no different then having the people blog about it or participate in the season ending reunion specials. They've all been around enough to know that the big moments will continue to be brought up - the Carla and what's her name thing, Ilian and Marcel + the attack. Take the job (because I'm sure they all got paid to be there) or don't.
I think my favorite part was Richards description of himself "do I smell bacon in the other room? I hear someone talking, is that a french accent, are we doing something with french food"...
and one last thing - of course Stephan has a thing for lesbians, what's more ultimately manly then being able to "turn one" ?? I actually love Stephan and how he could laugh at himself (except whenever he lost LOL) but he's got a huge, huge ego.
What a disapointment. I love Top Chef, but this show just brings up the parts of the show I like least. I think the reason I enjoyed Top Chef Masters was the lack of back bitting and fighting.
I love Fabio hosting the show. He is so good at it --makes the show more humane with his italian charm.
You should consider him as a host!!!
I think Fabio is great and this kind of show was a nice filler. But I agree with everyone that there was no need to dredge up the unpleasant stuff. Most Top Chef viewers do not watch for the fights or problems but for the food (and the fun - nothing is better than seeing the chefs become friends and have fun). I fast forwarded through all of the "big (unpleasant) moments." You guys can do better. How about a show where we actually go to the restaraunts of the past winners or finalists and see what they are doing now?
I really enjoyed Fabio during his season (and from all the screen time he's been getting from Bravo lately, evidently, so did they).
But I'm can't say I'm totally sold on the role he had as the dinner host last night. I felt like perhaps the producers were pushing him to be a bit to "Jerry Springer" when a more laid-back, style would his fit his personality - and interaction with the other chefs - much more flawlessly.
If I were a former cheftestant viewing this "reunion" I can't say that I'd ever sign up if invited.
As a viewer, I think I would have much rather preferred more "unseen footage" and reflective commentary from the chefs and judges involved at that time. The confrontational nature that was encouraged over dinner really spoiled my appetite.
My favorite part of the show was Richard and his comments on himself -- Didn't realize he was like that so much while on the show. Other than that - the show was just okay.
LOVED the outtakes...and the fact that some of the chefs did not take the bait and start pounding eachother at the table. HATED the way the Fabio was clearly instructed to prod the chefs into confrontation mode. Another viewer said he found 'Masters' refreshing for the lack of juvenile backstabbing and whining...ME TOO!! Those chefs were classy and professional and thrilling to watch. That show was the most compelling culinary show I have ever seen. I suspect the producers feel the bitchiness is good drama. To me, it's high school and uncomfortable to watch. Unfortunately, I seem to be in the minority. Very sad.
I agree with Alex B. a match up pf former chef's with new ones would have us all watching intently. What Top Chef Masters showed us over and over was that kindness and respect for eachother was just as much fun to watch. The Reunion show was uncomfortable because it showed the downside too often of being in close quarters. We all watched it then and did not want to see it again. Re-Think the highlights next year, please.
First of all, loved the show. I would like to see these reunion episodes more often. And any chance to get Fabio back on screen is welcome. But I agree that bringing up the Marcel incident was unnecessary, unfair to him, and brought the show down. It would be one thing if it was never discussed, but I believe it was adequately addressed during the course of that season. I understand bringing up such issues during the season-specific reunion shows, but for a special like this I would prefer they spare the drama.
Having said that, Fabio was right - unless the producers stated otherwise to Marcel when he was invited, he should have expected the head shaving incident to be brought up.
This could have been great fun. Excellent chefs, re-visiting the past.... Fabio is naturally charming, but it was so obvious that he "had" to stir things up. That gave a false note to everything. The whole Marcel thing is STILL disturbing. A similar thing seems to be going on with Robin in Season 6. We all know we do not get along with everyone, and some people can just rub us the wrong way. But when a group of people gang up on one person, it is a bad mob mentality. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, not worthy of this show.
What was this - a Top Chef Reunion or a lame clip show? We viewers hate it when Lost and other shows do it, why must you?
Please don't do this type of show again. It was painful and irritating to watch. Viewers do not need to see a rehash of all the fighting! We watch Top Chef for the food and not the drama.
PLEASE do not give us this type of show again. Except for Fabio, it was not entertaining. We watch Top Chef to see talented chefs in action & for the great food they make. Don't bring it down to the level of those Housewives, it's so distasteful. Would prefer to never see Marcel on TV again.
I enjoyed the show, but as I've only been watching since season 3, much of it was new to me. Fabio did a fabulous job. It seemed a good idea to give the chefs a forum to clear up some of the controversial situations that we saw on the show. I don't think it was out of line for Marcel to be questioned about an uncomfortable incident. If he didn't want to answer the questions, he should have deflected the question in a much more tactful and classy manner. And as Fabio said, don't come on the show if you're not going to cooperate. I thought Carla and Casey both handled their misunderstanding in a very mature mannner. And I'm sure it has given them both closure to a very unfortunate situation. I would personally like to see a reunion show for each season when everyone from each respective season shows up, shares best and worst memories from the show, talk about how the show has impacted their life, and then have one final cook off to be judged by the TC judges. Winner take all.
I was disappointed when I tuned in to see a real episode of Top Chef and got the reunion show. I did not enjoy it. Please, get back to the competition.
I think the language barrier caused most of the problem with Marcel. I beleive what Fabio was trying to say and what he actually said are two different things. For example when Fabio said marcel looked angry and wanted to beat people up I beleive he was talking about how he was portrayed in Season 2 but Marcel took it as him talking about them from there brief meeting.
I got excited when Fabio busted out the knives. Then when Tom never showed up I got more and more disappointed. It was obvious that Fabio was forced to discuss old drama because Bravo told him to. Did not feel real. The show ended and I was like, "really?" waste of an hour. Never want to see this trash or anything like it on Bravo again. And might I add, I do watch many a Bravo tv show.
There's a reason some of us love Top Chef and despise Housewives. The reunion show took out the skilled competition part of Top Chef, and focused mainly on the 'Housewives-ish' drama stuff. Blech. Don't do it again.
You know how sometimes you will get a dish on top chef where the judges will say something like, "I think the original concept of the dish was good but clearly there was a loss of focus in the execution. Way too many ingredients thrown together, some worked well but most clashed and the dish became less than the sum of their parts. Kind of mess in the end."
Well, substitute the word "show" for "dish" and that's my take on last night's episode.
At first I was looking forward to the reunion special. But less then 15 minutes into it, I stopped and instead watched my other recording of Criminal Minds. (It's somewhat telling that I was more comfortable watching a show about a serial killer who collected victim's eyeballs than watch the manufactured drama at the Top Chef table.) It was early this morning that I was able to finish watching the show. The tension and stress that the producers dredged up was so transparent and ruined much of the show for me. To me, it's about the amazing food, the creativity, and the challenge. The show would have been so much better if you had focused on the food and the chefs' experiences with different challenges. In hindsight, what would they have done differently? I wanted to hear more comments about different bites from the delicious food being served... Poor Fabio--he's a natural charmer, but even he couldn't segue into emotionally manipulative questions without acting like he has the sensitivity of a sledgehammer. I did enjoy seeing unseen footage and hearing the chefs describe favorite scenes or challenges from their seasons. I hated seeing Marcel not allowed to relax with the unrelenting microscope on his personal trauma. Asking "Do you feel you were a victim?" was the most asinine question ever! Please... if you do a similar show in the future, focus on the FOOD. After all for most of us, that's what brought us to Top Chef in the first place.
I thought this REUNION show had potential but it was runied, by once again,bring up all the unpleasant scenes and things that happened in the various seasons of Top Chef. What is with Bravo and the producers that they think people want to watch this vile trash? Save it for the "Housewives" and other stupid reality shows. We want to know about the chef's lives in the cooking world and their food philosophy, not this other nonsense. Shame on you, Bravo!
I liked this episode. Yes, I missed having another episode of the competition but seeing the past cheftestants was fun. I loved watching them cook. The deleted footage was great and I wish they would've shown a lot more deleted stuff instead of rehashing stuff we've seen a thousand times. Fabio, with his cute accent, was a great host. Okay, so there wasn't any competing but I'll quote the show, "It is what it is."
Loved Fabio as the host...I don't know if anyone else could have done it, and I thought his "Dad" moment was right on.
I thought Stephan was a "lesbian opportuniwhore"...I guess it works both ways.
Okay, I liked the show but I agree that is was a bit annoying in certain parts. I do not understand how after seeing Marcel's behavior in Season 5's finale why they would EVER have him back. He is so nasty and I have an idea why. Ever since the finale for his season I knew why he was always so mad and defensive, I'm in the restaurant biz I get what his deal is. Please don't invite him back for anything, he is so rude to other people and so condescending, I mute the tv when he talks now. I wish the nasty attitudes of the chefs were taken into account somewhat as well, but I don't think they will ever change their criteria. I think Mike V. is an AWESOME chef but a total jerk and I think Kevin is an AWESOME chef too but is so humble about it that I hope he wins, he's great.
Monica...you think Hung (that arrogant little piss ant) looked HOT?! I think I just threw up a little. And I wanted to punch Marcel. Maybe they SHOULD'VE shaved his head. That aside, I was thrilled to see Dale (Season 3), Casey (Season 3), and Richard (Season 4). I thought Dale looked adorable.
I'm a big fan of Fabio, so happy to have him host this reunion. Him & Stefan obviously have a special friendship and their bawdy sense of humor is fun to watch. Was also a big fan of Hung & Carla, so glad they are doing well, along w/ the other chefs. Marcel had a right to be defensive, I know he must be sick of everyone bringing up the past, but he was too defensive at times when he should have just made jokes of it. Anyway good show, can't wait for Master Chef to come back though, a very classy show!!!
The reunion show was TERRIBLE and an insult to loyal Top Chef fans! What was the point of dredging up old nonsense? I would have liked to catch up with the cheftestants and see what they are up to now. I thought it was disresptful to the viewers and to these skilled men and women to have to be embarrassed this way. I couldn't even watch the whole thing. Does every show nowadays have to resort to this kind of garbage??
Was the comment made by Marcel about fish sauce really necessary? I am Asian American and I am not offended easily, however, his tone while making the comment and his portrayed behavior in the entirety of the episode left me with a very sour impression of him. If you want to be a victim fine be a victim, but don’t agree to go on a reunion special of the reality show you were on if you don’t want unfavorable parts of your past to be rehashed. Pathetic.
Just two things: Marcel hasn't learned self-awareness and Stefan reawakens the mad, mad crush I've had on him since I saw him peeling those apples...
This reunion show was a hot mess! It made many castmates uncomfortable to focus on their previous embarrassing moments. Their uneasiness made it uncomfortable for the viewers to watch. Was that the effect you mental midgets were going for? For shame. The next time you geniuses think up a half-baked idea like this, please consider your audience. We want to see the season unfold; without pointless breaks in the flow.
I am sick of everyone defending Marcel. He pushed Ilea down in the ocean in one episode and no one remembers that. The shaving incident was uncalled for, but he is not totally innocent.
I thought Harold looked uncomfortable like he didn't want to be there. Maybe too much time has passes since his season and he's just not into it anymore. Can't blame him. Still love him.
Where was Dave? I'm not your bitch bitch. Loved that one.
Where was forgot his name? Culinary Boner? LOL.
Where was Hot Sam who I wished won season 2?
I agree with many on this board. The tension seemed forced and it was overall uncomfortable. I like the idea of catching up with contestants from past seasons, but I would have preferred a clip show, where exes commented on their favorite/uncomfortable/memorable moments. Forcing Fabio to ask awkward questions was just painful. Sorry. I'll keep watching Top Chef, Top Chef Masters and Top Chef: Pastry?--but I'll skip the next dinner special.
It was almost as though this show was to point out that the people that have appeared on Top Chef are not anywhere near the level of the Top Chef Masters, and still have a long way to go. It is becoming clear that these are people still trying to prove themselves.
Actually that was written about the Chefs, but I think it could be said about the producers at Bravo as well.
Just want to echo the other viewers that this was a very disappointing show and not the best way to let us see some of our favorites from seasons past. Clearly something was edited out when Fabio stood up and asked for the cameras to be turned off, why leave that in at all if you don't show us what happened to provoke him? He was a charming host over all but the format was very strange. We loved the parts showing them cooking, but don't learn anything from the table chit chat. Were only these chefs invited? Perhaps the ones we did not see (LeeAnn, Betty, Jamie, Brian, Tre, Hosea, etc.) were more aware of the pitfalls that Bravo editing and producers who like to show negative and ugly moments would prevail in this so-called reunion show. Next time just have one on one interviews with the former cheftestants letting us know where they are now and how appearing on Top Chef affected them professionally and personally, that is really what we want to know! Let's Cook!
I enjoyed watching this show, and did not feel all the "drama" dominated the hour as much as some others seem to. I loved it when Richard said that he was dying to compete again. I am glad all these former finalists all got a chance to cook for each other; I'm sure that was a special experience for all of the chefs. I really enjoyed the slammin' salt-encrusted tai snapper dish that Ilan and Marcel made. I'm sure it was absolutely delicious.
Seriously, I would have loved to have been at this dinner with all this heart-felt wonderful and expensive food, made by so many talented people trying to impress each other. I'm sure I would have loved each and every course as well as the company.
I will say I'm glad that the competition resumes next week as I do greatly prefer the standard Top Chef show. But as a one-time thing this reunion dinner--well, I liked it, and am glad I watched it.
Harold knew about the Glad bed because it was in one of those outtake shots that they show during the commercial breaks during Season 5.
I can't imagine how cool that would have been to be at Whole Foods while the Top of the Top Chefs went shopping :) I would have loved to have been there.
And Hung is SO hot :)
And I can totally understand why Marcel was a little defensive and a little peeved during the show. I'm not a Lisa fan and in the world of Top Chef Villains, it seems like she's the top Villain. I'm not condoning a show where everyone is picked on, but if Marcel was going to get picked on, you may as well have started on picking on Lisa, too.