Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Why All The Hate?

Why does everyone hate Marcel? Why did Betty cook a trio of soups? Harold Dieterle's asking these questions.

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First off, it's amazing to see how many chefs have vision issues. It was cool to watch Cliff, who is colorblind, adapt to the challenge. When I was just starting to cook, I always had a difficult time recognizing the center of the plate. This was very early on, when I was about 17 or 18. I went through a couple of chefs that would watch me plate food and it turned out that all of my presentations were off-centered until I finally had a chef that was patient enough to walk me through it. He helped me to kick the problem. But it's pretty interesting. A lot of chefs wear glasses or contact lenses. There are a lot of chefs with really interesting vision issues. Big Mike comes out with a victory. A Quickfire based around color is pretty interesting. And I've said it a lot, I think Mikey has talent. At this point, I think he's starting to shut up all the people that don't have any props for him. The kid's going in there, and he doesn't need to talk a lot of shit about other people, he just goes in, puts his head down and goes. I love that he has a chip on his shoulder. He's totally the dark horse and I am always pulling for the underdog. I think this performance really shut everyone up. I was really happy to see that.
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It really amazes me the amount of hatred directed at Marcel. Nobody can even keep their mouth shut. Everybody just gets into it with him. It's really amazing. I mean, you're around these people all the time, and look, there were times when there were people that I didn't want to be around, but my decision was to go and lock myself in the bathroom. That was my quiet time. You make that call when somebody is driving you crazy. Either lock yourself away for a while, or you get into a position where you're going to end up in a throw down. And it's everybody! Nobody likes Marcel! And I'm not really seeing him warrant it all. I don't know the guy -- I've not spent any real amount of time with him -- but I don't really get it. I don't think he's that bad of a guy. He's got a very specific style. It's not one that I'm into, but that's his style, and it seems like there's a lot of hating on him. And right from the first episode on. Yes, he's high on himself, he's cocky and he's obnoxious. Sure. I don't know, I'm not there. It's a little much.

Let's talk about the eliminations. I thought this was a fantastic challenge. In fact, I'll go as far to say that this was the first challenge that the contestants had that had a very very small amount of limitations. They were allowed to shop for food on their own, and they knew where they were going to be cooking. They knew their course. It was free reign, and they were allowed to cook a signature dish. And if you don't have a go-to dish that you can feel comfortable for, for one of the seven deadly sins, then you've got problems.

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I think two desserts was a mistake. I mean, seriously. Marcel does need to get laid. Where are the raw oysters? Where is the aphrodisiac? Where's the course for "lust" that's going to get you all horned up for later? It's not going to be cherries. That would most certainly not get the job done for me. I want raw fish, I want caviar, I want oysters. Something briney.


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And Betty. Wow. Sloth makes me think of barbeque. Last week, on vacation with my lady, I stopped of at this place in Atlanta called Poole's. Seriously incredible ribs. And that's the thing. Slow cooked. Northern Georgia. Braised. Cooked a really long time. Big and fatty. Betty did a trio of soups? What? The judges have been saying all along that they would prefer one thing that's really good rather than a bunch of mediocre things. And so, yeah, I thought she was the right decision to go. Combined with that odd green Quickfire mess. That was a visual disaster. Again, Ted Allen is not wrong -- it did look like lawn clippings.


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I was so happy to see another win for Big Mike. I'm not sure if he's going all the way, but I think he has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Maybe it's true -- maybe he does need to pop some pills to keep it real. Some chefs cook better when they're a little inebriated. I'm not one of those guys, but sometimes when my adrenaline gets a little out of control, I like a shot of gin. But maybe he's good with the vicodin. Everyone's got their poison after all. More cooking. Less drama. I can't wait for next week.

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Richard: "Winning Is Overrated"

Richard Blais congratulates Doug Adams on his admirable run and knows (from experience) this is just the beginning for this talented chef.

Doug Adams is not Top Chef.

Doug Adams is, however, the poster chef for what this competition is all about. A jumping off point for unrecognized or yet truly discovered talent.

Mr. Adams, yes I'm saying Mister because it pays respect to the man, and also because that's how The New York Times goes about things, came on to this season touting his resume of being a working class sous chef from Portland.

Doug Adams is not Top Chef. Doug Adams is, however, the poster chef for what this competition is all about.

Richard Blais

Sous chefs are on the line everyday (sous chefs from Portland I imagine are also butchering whole animals and foraging for botanicals, buts that's for a different blog). They are hands-on, blue collar grinders and early on Doug uses this statement to separate himself from the contestants who maybe are clipboard surfing, or worse, not even really in a restaurant at this stage of their careers. And although this is a part of his strategy or drive, and a very honest personal understanding and awareness of self, I have news for you...

Doug Adams is no longer a sous chef.

Sure, he may actually, technically still carry the title tonight, I'm not certain to be honest, but by his performance this season on Top Chef, he is now ready for the next stage in his career, and this is what can happen and should happen after Top Chef.

I can't imagine someone not taking a chance with giving Doug the opportunity to run a small restaurant. I can't imagine that someone out there tonight, hearing about Doug's goal of operating a Montana restaurant, connected in some way to hunting and fishing won't contact him. I can't imagine it; because it happened to me... My restaurant Juniper & Ivy in San Diego is a direct connection from my performance on Top Chef, and my gut tells me it had very little to do with "winning."

The fact is, winning is overrated.

Winning is fun. It may get you some cash or secure your ego, yes, but really, six months after this thing runs out on television, we are all just "that guy or girl from Top Chef.

Throughout this season, Doug has demonstrated everything one looks for in a great business partner. He cooks delicious, relatable, soulful food. He does it with a smile on his face. He cooks with a sense of authorship and knowledge of place and time. And perhaps most importantly (no, not his epic beard), most importantly, he communicates with his colleagues professionally and with integrity. I'd guess every cheftestant likes him. I know every judge likes him. He takes risks, like roasting a whole lobe of Foie gras, or say, blending up an aioli of ant eggs. Which, by the way, are you kidding me? Maybe he takes these chances because it's part of the game, but I think more so because Doug is a curious cook, which is a sure tell sign of a chef ready to do their own thing.

Doug, it may seem like I never had anything positive to say about your food, and maybe indeed that's how it played out on television, but it's not the case, Chef.

Congrats on an amazing run, one for all future contestants to take note of. And when rooms become available at your resort in Montana, I'm booking...

Blais
@RichardBlais (Instagram & Twitter)

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