We'll start at Marea: Poor Stephen. The guy is a sweetheart, and although I'm sad for him, I think he knew as well as we did it was his time to go. I'm going to assume he actually got farther than he thought he might, considering he's never really in the kitchen anymore. It was nice to read in Bourdain's blog that Stephen's technique is still in tact, cooking a perfect salmon, albeit a losing one. Although Stephen came off as a bit pretentious the last couple episodes, I think his heart was in the right place, sharing his knowledge of Marea with Tre. It's so funny -- what annoyed Tre is exactly what always drives my sister nuts -- when people say, "Try this, you'll like it." Well, they might not. And although I can say with almost complete certainty that my sister is surely less adventurous with her food than Tre, it is equally as annoying for them. This is all moot of course since Tre's dish won his group.
On to Ma Peche, where Fabio certainly seemed to be the most out of his element. On the flip side, Angelo was totally in his element. And while the judges seemed wowed by his use of white chocolate with fish, and I don't want to take anything away from that, we've seen it before. Richard Blais and Dale Talde. Season 4. Salmon. 'Member?!
Over at David Burke's Townhouse, Dale Levitski seemed to be the front-runner, but his lack of editing was his downfall this time, and he went home. I kinda knew Antonia would win her heat -- if you will -- because her "peas and carrots" premise just sounded so inspired. Her peas cooked perfectly this time.
And finally over at wd~50, I really, really wanted Marcel to win this, but I knew it wasn't meant to be. Dale cooked what he knew, but did get inspired by Wylie Dufresne's aesthetic. I would have loved to have tried that egg dumpling -- maybe it will end up on the Buddakan menu one day. I was worried for Tiffani, but I didn't feel like it was her time to go home yet, and for some reason I think the judges felt good about her recognizing what she did wrong, and how she would correct it next time.
Great Challenges. loved this episode--- glad not to have so much anger and drama this week and more food. Love reading the blogs, but wish Mr. Ripert's vlog could come in text form as well. This is a great season, especially after what I thought was a disappointing season 7. though the Singapore episodes were great. Hope to see more great food, technique, chefs and New york culture instead of angry chefs in snits.
I do not think Jen should have went home I thought Jamie should have it was just a cut I mean Fabio broke his finger he still cooked I think Jen just went home because she fought for her dish and I would have fought to if a person just floated by I am 13 and I love top chef but I am upset that someone could just float by next week I am hopeing to see Jamie earn her way through!!!:(I hope to see Fabio and Angelo in the finals:)
I've eaten at -- and loved -- the same restaurants as you. It made watching this episode a real pleasure; I loved being able to actually understand what the chefs were reaching for as they tried to make dishes in those styles. It also made it surprisingly easy to see that Dale had the winning dish. While the editing was careful not to reveal to much, it sounded like exactly the kind of playful twists I would expect to see on the wd-50 menu. It sounded like a pleasure to eat (the broth tasted like buttered toast? That's so cool.)
Hi Monica - As a hard of hearing viewer, I love the extra insight to the show that reading the blogs gives me. Sometimes it doesn't all come out in the captions (although, I find I catch some things that others miss!) Anyway, I am really missing the transcripts of Eric Ripert's blog . . . especially with the way everyone is commenting on his blog after Jen's elimination! I feel so out of the loop! Can someone there at Bravo help me out?
I didn't like Marcel in the regular TC because he came across as so arrogant, but he's matured a lot since then and I really do like him this time around. Of course, my heart is with Syndrome (Richard Blais).
I've really been loving this season, and really been enjoying your blog - as well as the others here on Bravo - so thanks! It's excellent to have the extra insights into the minds we have come to know and love.
One thing I really love about Top Chef is how much I learn while I'm watching - it's very inspirational. I also agree with you about Marcel; he's really a pleasure to watch work. I've been a diehard viewer since the show's inception, and it's interesting to me how much my opinion of some of these chefs is morphing. For instance, I now find Spike slightly tolerable, and am actually rooting for Tiffani to win, despite this week's MG debacle.
On a farewell note to Stephen, who has serious class, did anyone else notice that Tre has made little digs at him in every episode thus far? What's up with that?
Thanks for your blog and happy holidays!
I like this season of Top Chef All Stars but in my opinion, I think it would have been more fair and far more competive if cheftestants that finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th were the only ones who made it to this All Star season. Cheftestants like Spike, Mike Isabella and Stephan who finished out of the top four spots should not be in it. I also think that there should be a equal number of cheftestants per season. My perfect lineup for a Top Chef Allstars. 3 chefs per season= 21 cheftestants. Season 1: Tiffany Faison, Dave Martin, Lee Ann Wong. Season 2: Marcel Vigneron, Sam Talbot, Elia Aboumrod. Season 3: Dale Levitski, Casey Thompson, Brian Malarkey Season 4: Lisa Fernandes, Richard Blais, Antonia Lofaso Season 5: Stefan Ricter, Carla Hall, Fabio Viviani Season 6: Brian Voltaggio, Kevin Gillespie, Jennifer Carrol Season 7: Ed Cotton, Angelo Sosa, Kelly Liken This would have been the ultimate Top Chef Allstars. I understand there could be commitment issues with some of the Cheftestants, but anyone who came in 6th or 7th should not be on a allstar team. P.S. Maybe one of thes years Top Chef can have only the season winners compete. Top Chef 11: Battle of the Champions. Now that would be awesome.
I am totally with you about Marcel. Have liked him since his season and think that he should have won over Ilan, whom I really couldn't stand! Never understood the animosity towards him; yes, he was a bit arrogant, but very talented and passionate. It's nice to still see the passion and genuine glee in the kitchen tempered with maturity.
Marcel not only loves what he does, he loves what other chefs do ... so much that he blatantly ripped off one of wd-50's signature dishes and then acted surprised (on last week's episode) when their staff was upset about it.
An article about the original (alleged) plagiarism is linked on the Onion AV Club (TV Club, Top Chef) and can be found at http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2007/05/did_marcel_from_top_chef_reall_1.html If there's any information refuting it, I'd be glad to read it, but I couldn't find anything and Marcel didn't comment. As a former journalist and current teacher, I find plagiarism in any form to be an unforgivable sin, no matter how much you love what you do.
Love your blog! Just came across it today and I will be sure to come back next week for more. I agree with most of your comments....but please don't underestimate Tre'! I think he is finally going to get a chance to stay long enough to show everyone how talented he is!
Also, is there not a page on Bravo, where we can see where these chefs are cooking now (or the restaurants that they own)? That would be so helpful as I know a lot of fans would travel just to taste food from their favorite chefs! :)
I don't get Bravo. The only way I get to watch Top Chef is at the gym, while I walk or pedal away (and then I can't watch a full spisode...!), or online. Please, I will watch, happily, whatever advertisement you choose to subject me to - but can we please have full episodes of all the episodes online? I am dying to find out what happened this week - so much so, I will even watch the Boursin ad, as many times as you choose...
Too bad that Fabio didn't get his style of cooking. Marcel and Angelo did. I am still in shock over Ellia's comments about Tom. I was never that hot for her - now I really think she is acting like a mean, spoiled child. I think she was even trying to tell us who had to PTK early on when she talked of who she had become friends with. Good for Tom for responding. And it really was great that he was drinking a diet cook while being interviewed. Well Ellia and Jen can have a poor me party. Do they realize how far down they are on the Chef's food chain? Who cares what they think. It only bothers me on how nasty this has become. As Tom has said repeatly, it is a TV Show, it is entertainment. Thank you for your blog. OliveAnne FloridaFan