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I am Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin commenting on Episode 10 of Top Chef: New York City, the All-Star Season.
Well, I loved the Quickfire. It was a great surprise to see Sesame Street characters in a Quickfire. And, you have Elmo, and the Cookie Monster, of course you know, already that he's going to be a one with the stronger voice, and the challenge is to make cookies! It's fun, and actually everybody seems to be a little bit challenged by that cookie competition.
So I'm not too surprised to see them uncomfortable with the fact that they have to make a dessert, in fact. I am myself a very bad baker, and I would be very challenged, even to make something as simple as cookies.
But, some of the contestants, like Carla, make cookie that look good. Obviously Dale makes a great cookie. Richard decides to use liquid nitrogen and play with the zucchini and that's not really a cookie, it's a little bit off path.
Of course, Cookie Monster is not going to like that. And it's a bit predictable.
So Angelo is making hazelnut, I guess, chocolate cookies, and then he has this drink, the banana drink on the side, and I thought he would do well. Although he claimed that he has never made cookies, which I believe, of course. And unfortunately, Cookie Monster finds his cookies very dry and actually throw the little pieces at him. So it's a cute challenge, but at the same time a serious one.
The Elimination Challenge, it's very different than anything I have ever seen on Top Chef. I have, myself never been in a Target, so I discovered the store through the screen, watching the show, and I didn't even know they were selling food there. So for the contestants I guess it's a little bit of a discomfort. Also they have to find their equipment that they will use. The equipment is not made for professional kitchens. It's much different when you cook on appliances for the house, than on appliances for a professional kitchen. They have the tendency to take the easy way, and they try to make soups most of them.
I am very unhappy about tonights elimination. Angelo was supposed to win he the best out there, its ridiculous that he was eliminated over the most ridiculous midnight challenge, I don't think I can get over this. I was already upset about Fabio but Angelo?????
I agree. As entertaining as last night's episode was, I have to believe that baking for muppets and making grilled cheese with an iron are not skills absolute for a great chef...only for a very decent cook with the ability to entertain.
As a cult-level foodie, I enjoy this show, but I do hope the remainder of the season moves away from these sorts of challenges. My fear is that Restaurant Wars peaked too soon and the REAL skill we are looking for, the ability to transform a variety of seemingly unrelated components into a culinary objet d'art, is about to recommence.
Hello editors and producers! Let's get back to real challenges that pits a chef's true skills and leave the entertainment to Bourdain's witty comments.
Guys, please, lighten up! Quit armchair judging. You can see in the judges faces how hard their decisions are, and often painful. I love the fact that they take these Top Chefs out of their element, and challenge them to still create an appropriate dish to the challenge. Yeah, Dale could have used a pannini press, or george foreman grill. Listen to their commentaries. Cooking with an iron, working with limited resources, and odd circumstances is exactly what has helped mold each him and every one of the other chefs. Once, he cooked with an iron out of necessity, now, is the chance to "do over" with a few more tricks up his sleeve!
I was racking my brain to figure out why people always complain so vociferously about who wins and who loses. Don't they realize that the whole show is modeled on a sports tournament-style series of eliminations? Then I figured out, they (yes you, Inessa) wish it was a popularity contest instead...
This show is Top Competitor not Top Chef. You cannot give someone a title of Top Chef who just happens to be lucky. If they truly cared about finding the real Top Chef, then they should make it a automatic elimination for anyone who gets on the bottom 3 times. That way if a person who is always on top gets one bad day, if there is a person who is consistently bad, that one bad day would not ruin them. But If there are more then one person on the bottom who's been there 3x, then you pick the worse from that day. And the other gets one more chance. But if they're on the bottom again, then they're out. This way you get a real Top Chef...not a top Competitor like Dale. I'm sure his food is tasty, but it seems like he just knows how to compete...not nessesarily the best chef. I bet Tom and Eric couldn't win Top Chef based on the set up of the competitions. Because it's not about who the best chef is...
And really....like the chefs sit around eating Butoni and discussing how great it is...Advertising is so shameless.
Cream does rise to the top. I'll agree this is not a typical challenge, but some of the chefs still managed to produce some amazing dishes. Without being able to taste what is presented, we viewers are left with only what we see (and take the time to read). Bland, tasteless and visually unappealing are transgressions, but inedible is the unforgivable sin for anyone who cooks. Sorry, Angelo...
I disagree with those that think the skills displayed tonight aren't those necessary for a chef. Sue, in ideal circumstances, a chef is never going to cook with an iron. That's not the point.
Restaurants have crises, and the ability to think on one's feet and problem-solve one's way to a tasty dish *is* a necessary chef skill. You have a roomful of hungry diners, or a wedding party, or a VIP group, and something in the kitchen goes down. A delivery's late, staff doesn't show up, the stovetop won't work, whatever. A chef has to pull together his or her team and create a solution.
All the cheftestants are worthy cooks; there's no question of that. Give them ample planning and prep time and a great farmer's market, and they'll all come up with great dishes. TC is a series of stress tests, and I love seeing what they figure out on the fly.
Angelo has said several times over both his seasons that he likes to take a lot of time and map out his food. He panics and gets flustered, and even so, he's such a good cook that he often pulls together a great dish. This time he didn't. That soup sounded awful from the first moment he described his idea. I think he was exhausted and gave up a little, and this late in the competition there wasn't enough slack for him to get by.