Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio liked what he saw going on behind the scenes.

on Feb 14, 20130

"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." -Julia Child

I’ll be honest: when I watch an episode the week before it airs in order to write this blog (which is when I first see the edited final product), I am usually multitasking. I was there the first time, so I know what happened; I’m watching the completed episode with one eye to see which footage was selected and how it was edited, to see how the story of that week’s Quickfire and Elimination Challenges was ultimately told.  I also see backstory elements I didn’t know about at the time the footage was shot, but, to be honest, I don’t really care about any of that.

Usually.

This week, however, I found myself actually stopping whatever else I was doing to give the episode my full attention. In my humble opinion, this week’s episode was one of our best ever. Our guest judge Roy Choi’s story about being at a low point in his life and watching Emeril on television and about how that moment turned Roy’s life around was riveting. Seeing the footage of Roy telling his story with Emeril seated right next to him and watching Emeril so clearly moved (which I couldn’t really see from where I was seated at the time it occurred) is not something I will forget anytime soon.

At this stage of my life and career, it does make me smile to hear Roy say that he came to his decision to be a chef “late in life,” but, of course, given that he’s only about 30 or so, I suppose that 25 was actually “late in life.” I guess it’s all relative.

The backstories about what prompted our chefs to become chefs were compelling as well. People who have that “aha” moment early in life are lucky in the sense that they’re on track to be successful sooner than others. It is settling to know at 15 what you want to do with your life, as I did. You can go after it single-mindedly at a time in your life when it’s possible to do that; nothing gets in your way. It makes the journey that much faster and cleaner and easier.

59 comments
inviteur
inviteur

i love top chef made in USA cause i see babies cookers who were trying to cook.

On a cooking scale from 0 to 10, i'd say that the Us "chief cookers" gained  a note of 3 on the scale.

nevertheless, i love how candidates give their guts in there but, don't forget that a dish is three colors and three flavors.

 

anguspodgorney
anguspodgorney

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... On the one hand it was a good / maybe great episode for the chefs, especially the Roy and Emeril segment. I'm happy for Sheldon and Brooke, sad for Josh. On the other hand watching and listening to Padma diss the First Lady of Alaska TWICE - now that was a new low for her. Padma - please pack your angst and go.

R_J
R_J

PPS If Kristen has stuck up for herself and blamed Josie for failing to execute the sauce, she wouldn't have been eliminated.

R_J
R_J

also, the season 9 chefs in general were awesome

R_J
R_J

***SPOILER***

 

Sheldon makes mushy tempura again and becomes Top Chef 10

foodiefan
foodiefan

Best comment for this season was made by another astute fan, and I among others loved it:

"Padma, please pack your knives and GO!"

mcoffee4@yahoo.com
mcoffee4@yahoo.com

Love the 3 remaining chefs - all very respectful of each other's talents! Felt bad Josh went home & thought he was very professional in commending his 2 competitors after he lost! Nice to have the back-biting, etc., no longer there wherein they can concentrate on what they are there for - their cooking abilities - not who did what, said what, etc.

houseinthewoods
houseinthewoods

after last years stupid stunts such chopping ice, skiing and shooting and mean spirited bullying chefs i thought it would be the end of the top chef i have loved. thank goodness this season has returned to be the quality show it has been in the past. i wish bravo would begin showing past seasons. so many people i know did not get hooked on the show in the earlier shows and i'm sure would love to watch top chef from the beginning.

tom, thank you for the integrety you have shown through the years..

better
better

Adventurous Alaskan events in shows on air to be some kind of 'Trip-Flip' and attitudes were all really into episodes, yet cooks aren't all into being so wilderness on exit to 'Survivor Cooks' show which was okay onto it theme ! 

Marti_W
Marti_W

I agree with Tom - the backbiting, etc. really detracts from the show for me. Watching the drama of three chefs who have gotten to know and respect each other compete to their best ability is more dramatic and enticing than any amount of personality-based histrionics.  WHAT an episode... mahalo. (yeah, I have a 'home state 'favorite' lol)

mariepoirer
mariepoirer

Thank you @ Elizabeth3871...Kristen should never have had to leave when she did but I always find myself rooting for the underdog

joanna38
joanna38

This use to be my favorite show...now I am not so sure. I think this season it has all been decided beforehand. I think Kristen was voted out early, told what the final challenge would be and in the meantime she has been honing her knives and her skills. Last chance kitchen proved that Tom favors her and the rest of the finalists may as well leave now because he has already decided that she is the winner.

How can you tell one person..."if you had cooked this dish you would not be standing here now"...and then allow Kristen to win that cook off?

Then tell Stephan..."this is the best I have ever tasted"...and then send him home too?

 

PorkBBQ
PorkBBQ

Josh chose the foie gras then concocted a story behind it.  It seemed like he was changing his story all the time.  Brooke and Sheldon's stories seemed more genuine.  Brooke has been a strong competitor all season.  Sheldon has been the most creative.  Kristen has been creative but was told to go home too early.  Although, LIzzie seemed to produce unique flavors with the vinegar and pepper seasoning.  The camaraderie of the chefs this year aside from John and Josie was quite refreshing. 

stephie117
stephie117

Tom has a crush on Brooke that is the ONLY reason she is still in, I think she a fake snob. Can't stand her and can't wait to see Kristin beat her.  Brooke should have spoken up for Kristin , but she WANTED her to leave because she knows Kristin is better then her.

rep123
rep123

I used to watch every episode of this show - until Kristen was booted off.  Yes, this is a dog-eat-dog world, but what's wrong with rooting for someone with integrity?  Don't you want to instill integrity into your own kids?  This show lost itself a viewer.

parker85
parker85

For me, the Mentors episode (season 9) and the Ellis Island episode, were better. And Roy Choi is 41. 

shysharon
shysharon

Tom. I loved this episode as well, for the same reasons as you did, including Josh's which included you in an off-beat way!! OK so besides all that, I loved where the chef contestants stayed! Was that a hotel, a rented home? What? The architeture, renovations, colors were amazing!

franci
franci

Good grief you people!  Is Josie an inept jerk? Obviously.  But when push comes to shove Kristen shot herself in the foot.  As far as the taste of the sauce, all the judges agreed it was good and Josie did make it.  The complaint was that there wasn't enough of it and that was Kristens decision.  On top of that both Lizzie  and Brookes dishes were judged better then the ones Kristen prepared on her own...Frankly, if Kristen does win the whole thing, I and I'm sure a whole lot of other people will be wondering if she truely won on merit or if it was given to her because of all the complaining.  After all, where were all of you when Josie kept "beating" all the other chefs who went home before Kristen.

SwimCards
SwimCards

If Brooke doesn't win I'll be stunned. Sometimes this show is so obvious. Like Padma crying when Richard Blais was booted then an All Star show so she could give him the win. When Stephanie was guest judge and introduced as the only female Top Chef, Brooke hurriedly said 'so far'. I consider that a tell. If its a female, I hope it's Kristen.

teach1992
teach1992

I'm curious.... is there a way to fix over-reduced broth?

AraG
AraG

Like Tom, I too multitask when catching an episode of TC, and I too was riveted upon hearing Roy's aha moment story.  However, the way the sloppy rapid fire editing was handled, it seemed that nobody in the room except Emeril even heard it nor had any meaningful reaction to something that was a touching human interest moment.  

 

On the plus side, I now have the recipe for foie gras torchon added to my little repertoire...

TLT1972
TLT1972

Anyone know what brand and style of sunglasses Tom was wearing at the glacier in this episode?

Elizabethp3871
Elizabethp3871

If anyone would like to know who the winner is, leave a reply saying so and I'll leave a spoiler alert as to whom the winner of LCK is. There is a very small editing mistake that they missed that shows who the winner is.

dolly5
dolly5

If Kristen gets back in the finale that will make it 2 female chefs and 1 male chef. Congratulations Sheldon on being chosen Top Chef. Unless he chokes like Richard did, then they'll HAVE to pick one of the girls. But I don't see that ever happening again.

AngelenoFoodie
AngelenoFoodie

Will there be a reunion show, and if so, how can we submit questions for it?  I amy dying to ask Brooke and Lizzie why they stood silently and watched Josie lie after Restaurant Wars.  Was it that Kristin is such a big threat, they were okay with allowing her to be thrown under the bus?  I was more angry at the two of them than I was at Josie, and since Kristin is the only chef with any integrity from that team, I hope she wins it all.  Can't root for Brooke after seeing her not do the right thing when her character was challenged like that.

alphonse
alphonse

Looking foward to another Top Chef Finale. I think it will be between Brooke and Kristan(probably won LCK). Sheldon will find it hard to beat these two woman. My money would be on Kristen. She is on a slightly different level then Brooke.

ThePatV
ThePatV

Were there no prizes? I'm watching the episode for the 2nd time and there doesn't seem to be a prize for either the quick fire win or elimination.

R_J
R_J

have you seen season 1?  Padma might not be the greatest chef or critic, but she's incomparable as a host.

borbor
borbor

 @joanna38 I love wacky conspiracy theories! Is Kristin one of the Illuminati too?

borbor
borbor

 @stephie117 a fake snob? Like she pretends to look down on others? Also, I think you mean "better than she."

borbor
borbor

 @rep123 Too bad - you are missing out on a great show. And it's been picked up for another season!

carefrompgh
carefrompgh

@franci Excuse me franci, but we ALL know that Josie was (is) a sub par chef and was in the bottom almost every challenge. I firmly believe that if it hadn't been for Padma(I thought for a minute that someone in Padma's family owed Josie money!) that Josie would've gone instead of Kristen.

shysharon
shysharon

@teach1992 I hope he added a little water, though we didn't see him do it!

UncleDew
UncleDew

 @teach1992

 Add unseasond liquid. However if too much water is added one may lose some depth of flavor.

mariepoirer
mariepoirer

@Elizabethp3871 I would...I watched it twice but didn't catch it- thinking it might be Lizzie- thanks

motherhubbard
motherhubbard

 @dolly5 Let's get rid of Richard's "I choked" excuse to demean Stephanie's victory. She outcooked him, plain and simple, and her successful restaurants and string of awards should be proof that her season 4 victory was not a fluke.

Marti_W
Marti_W

 @AngelenoFoodie I'm not sure, but try their Facebook or Twitter page.  I know that other Bravo reunion shows usually say things like "John H from Omaha tweeted ....."

 

wendy18
wendy18

Yes, I do tend to agree.

 

teach1992
teach1992

 @AngelenoFoodie In Brooke's defense, she said in an interview on the next episode that had she had any inkling they'd send Kristin home she would have spoken up.  And she was mad at herself for being quiet.  I think she and Lizzie both thought it was just SUCH an obvious decision and that Josie was kinda doing what she always does..... and just assumed the judges would keep Kristin.

 

I think Brooke, Lizzie, and Kristin are some of the best chefs we've seen on the show..... talent and character.  I think they're all confident enough that they would want their best competition to the end.

wendy18
wendy18

Yes, there were several money prizes, a car, some vacation packages and Josh won 365 bottles of Terlatto wine.

 

Elizabethp3871
Elizabethp3871

 @mariepoirer  @Elizabethp3871 

*******************SPOILER ALERT****************************

*******************DO NOT READ IF YOU**********************

*******************DON'T WANT TO KNOW ********************

*******************THE WINNER OF LCK***********************

 

 

 

 

 

It's been a few days and I don't have time to find the exact spot but they briefly show her tattoo. It's kristin.

agatha21
agatha21

 @motherhubbard  @dolly5

 Here, Here, Very well said! Stephanie is an amazing chef. RIchard is unlikable with his public "true winner" harangue. It's not like he won every challenge until "choking" at the end. Stephanie won 4 challenges, was in the low end 3 times, and high end 6 times, won 1 quickfire. Richard won 4 challenges, was in the low end 1 time, but high end only 3 times, and 1 quickfire- records are fairly equal...he was too arrogant to think so. Congrats to Stephanie on her successes. I think a female- not sure which one- is definitely a winner this year. No offense, Sheldon :-)

dolly5
dolly5

 @motherhubbard  @dolly5

 Like I said before, Stephanie absolutely deserved to win. BUT if Richard hadn't admitted he "choked" I believe he would've been chosen the winner, not because he deserved it but because female chefs don't win Top Chef, no matter how much they outcook their male counterparts. And I'm betting Sheldon will win this season even tho Brooke has won more challenges and deserves to win.

agatha21
agatha21

 @teach1992  @AngelenoFoodie

 I agree with both your defense of Brooke and Lizzie and these ladies and Kristen being among the best chefs in talent and character- off the top of my head I would add Antonia and Stephanie as well.