Bravotv.com's Editor breaks down this week's episode.
Sep 1, 20090
I also want to comment on Jen C.'s Executive Chef skills in the kitchen. Damn! I thought she was pretty amazing, and I would feel confident with her steering my ship any day. Richard Blais brings up in his blog that this was one of the realest glimpses into kitchen life we get to see on Top Chef, and I'm gonna say he's right. Hopefully we'll get to see more of it.
I just really enjoyed watching this episode for some reason, and it seems like there are already chefs emerging as the ones to beat. Hopefully some dork horses (Editor's Note: I mean dark horses, but this error is too good to get rid of!) will come out of the woodwork.
Before I close, I just want to take a moment to respond to your comments. I guess I should have clarified that I know that VOLT isn't in D.C., but well, that's where I'll be staying at the end of September. My friend and I will be making the 45 minute plus drive to Frederick. Also, yes, I should go to Mike Isabella's restaurant. I had just spoken to Chef Voltaggio last Wednesday for our Burning Questions blog, so I guess VOLT was on the brain.
Also, I'm going to make mistakes. I don't always have an excuse. I watch the episode about a week before it airs, and I'm basically senile already. I do appreciate you pointing out my errors, though, and I always try to fix them. They're not deliberate, I'm just a jerk.
Next week's episode features Joel Robuchon. It's pretty damn amazing. Watch a preview, will ya:
I found it interesting that Ashley didn't complain about cooking for the Military since it's not an organization that she can ever be a member of. She certainly whined enough about having to cook for the bachelors the week before. The irony is that she could move to several US States and get legally married. But until something significant changes she'll never be able to serve in the military.
I did love some of the dishes on this episode.And pasta salad can be a great dish if its done correctly. There are so many wonderful ingredients that can be put in. they have to complement each other. Also seasoning is so important in any dish. Tasting as you go along is the key. No dish should ever be bland and tasteless. And overseasoning is a death sentence to the dish...taste and season, taste and season as you go along!
Where are all the recipes from past seasons? I used to check with Bravo.com before cooking for any party or special meal. Why did you decide to remove so many of them? And how did you choose which ones to keep? You should consult me next time you go edit-crazy!
I agree Preeti went out with class. I also wanted to thank her for a comment she made though only passing it meant a lot to me. She said that she found her passion for cooking after 9/11. That cooking was the only thing that made sense after such a tragedy. I've watched every episode of Top Chef and enjoyed getting to know many of the contestents. But that comment revealed in a moment a genuinenessss I hadn't seen before. I know exactly how you feel Preeti. I went through Hurricane Katrina and lost everything and I too struggled to find meaning in a world turned upside down. If cooking is what gives you meaning in life and connection to others - don't ever stop doing it!
Mike I is lucky he's still around....The challenge was a team challenge, just like Padma said "you will all be working as 1 team" It was Mike I that suggested they pair up (I am sure he had his own agenda when suggesting that too, and it almost backfired on him). The chefs judge on the food and need to know who cooked what. I don't think they were being mean at JT. Since the chefs decided to pair up, they picked the 2 pairs for the top that served the best dishes, only after they got to JT did they find out that Mike I was responsible for the shrimp dish. If they had known that in advance, he would not have been in the top. I suppose the judges could have asked each station who cooked what when they were being served the food, but they didn't and they didn't tell the chefs to pair up either. Usually the chefs get creamed for serving "comfort" food, but this challenge seemed to have warranted serving comfort food...some of the servicemen/women were returning from combat zones where they have to eat really bad food. If I was in Irag/Afganistan for years and I just got home I would want my favorite comfort foods for my first meal back. Even deviled eggs could have been ok here, it might not get you the win but it would have fit in to the challenge.
What are the "rules" for Top Chef? You're the only blogger that has mentioned that the contestants in some manner: (1) Determined that Jen C should be the Exec. Chef and since she had immunity, would not cook a dish herself. How can you have immunity to nothing? Or did she prepare something we didn't see? (I'm not arguing her contribution wasn't invaluable --- just the rules.)
(2) In addition to Preeti & Laurine, several other "teams" also made only 1 dish, not 2 as the 4 winners did. Tom pointed out that Eli's potato salad was really good vs their issues with Mike I's throwaway salad. The point: how could the contestants decide on their own to only do one dish between them?
Did the "pair up" and "Exec. Chef" ideas arise spontaneously from the contestants? Or did the producers suggest it and not include it in the final cut? Or vette it somehow with the producers? The judges comments suggested to me that the pairs, at least was the contestants sole idea.
I always appreciate your blog. A very different point of view.
There's one thing I want to comment on and that was the way in which Mike Isabella delivered his "information to the stupid masses" blurb about risotto.
Even if I didn't know that risotto is a method of preparation, rather than a dish (which I do), I would have still thought "You smug idiot" at the way Isabella delivered that bit of information. I have learned many things about products and cooking from TC, but it has usually been through the loving "imparting of knowledge" of those on the show.
Finally, dear team TC, wanted to ask you...is Lee Ann Wong still with the show??
I noticed Mike's comment when Jennifer won, too, Marie! He said the judges were playing favorites. YES, that's the point! The judges pick their favorite dish and Mike's was NOT it. He needs to get over himself, because he is not that great!
Oh no he did not! I can't BELIEVE Mike had the balls to "school" America on Risotto!
He looked right at the camera and condisendingly told us, most of us foodies, just "what" risotto was!
And earlier he said Jeniffer only won the quick challange because of some sort of "preferencial treatment! Are you kidding me? And, he really believes it. Like "Top Chef" is the caliber of show that would do that.
What rock did this dude crawl out from under?
Whew, I can't wait for his over blown ego to blow on out of here!