Team Top Chef

Bravotv.com's Senior Editor finds her happy place again.

Mar 9, 20110

Sing it with me: "Whoaaa, your set is on fire!"

Hello, my little Bahamian kings and queens! Thanks for all of your great comments on my post last week. There was one comment that really affected me, and it was from "Big Steve," saying:

Wow! You really sound anti-Mike, anti-emotion, anti-Richard (or at least snippy about him)... I'm stunned. I never got this vibe from you before, I usually enjoy your joyous take on food and the show.

Anyway, maybe the chefs aren't the only exhausted ones. Hope you enjoy the show and blogging again next time. Food is rarely enjoyed by cynics.

I pride myself on providing a joyous blogging experience for my faithful readers, so I took this to heart, have shaken it off, and am back! Thanks for getting me out of my apparent funk, "Steve"! You weren't the only one to call me out on my anti-Mike sentiment. I actually did finally meet Mike at the reunion taping, and he was obviously nothing but pleasant. I even mentioned my blog before he had the chance to. I doubt he reads it, so it was fine.

So, let's start anew in the Bahamaaas! (Yes, I just said that like Oprah.) The chefs are greeted by Bravotv.com vlogger -- oh, and world-renowned chef -- Eric Ripert, presenting the first Quickfire Challenge with Padma. Each chef competes against the winner of his/her respective season. I'm honestly shocked all the Top Chefs came back. But, they did, and the results were fairly split. Hosea felt like he had something to prove and did, in fact, beat Carla. Richard, too, felt like he had something to prove and beat Stephanie, but probably most shocking was Mike Isabella's win over Michael Voltaggio, which almost upset me. I would go more into it, but since i'm not being negative this week, I won't -- you're all too well aware that the Voltaggios hold a special place in my heart. Swoon.

28 comments
Evangelist Davy
Evangelist Davy

been looking for Tiffany Derris conch lobster coconut chowder recipe....not her fault wind was blowing and it got cold.Shame on you !!!!

dcaps55
dcaps55

Dear Top Chef Team:

I had a dream last night that I was on an episode of "Top Chef - Home Edition" pitting home chef's from across the country against one another. I was in the finals (or maybe it was the final qualifying round to make the show, I forget) the challenge: make the perfect dinner for guests at your home; only each chef must build around a main course of either cornish hens, lamb, or fish (an excellent challenge allowing each "chef" to create their ultimate meal and make everything that's in their wheelhouse). Originally, I was going to go with my mother's recipe for cornish hens, despite knowing that it's very simple, until my opponent also chose a cornish hen, so I thought I should go more exotic and do a leg of lamb recipe I've only made a couple of times....

My leg of lamb was getting burnt, I couldn't decide which dessert to make, and I overthought my sides like many a Cheftestant before me. It was a nail-biting, exciting dream, but I never wanted anything more than to win this challenge....Then I woke up...The one consolation being that the day is Wednesday, Top Chef will be on and I will be preparing my family's Top Chef dinner for the show (Penne with beets, carmelized onions and goat cheese)

I submit, you have another variant for Top Chef which could be extremely compelling - "Top Chef - Home Edition". Consumer Brands for things like ketchup, mustards, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, etc. would seem like logical sponsors as contestants use commonly found grocery items in their recipes (or they make their own sauces, depends on the home chef)...

maria b
maria b

I agree, I think Carla beat herself last time and could have won her season. I love Richard, 'he's extremely high strung but i like the way he thinks, his heart and soul is on the plate every week. Mike i cannot stand! he's a pain in the backside and i don't think his cooking is in the same league as the rest. Tiffany i like but i just dont think she's had the expierence the rest of them have but one day i think she'll make a great chef she's has heart and that's what counts in the long run. Now Antonia wow i really hate to chose between her and Richard but they are my 2 favorites! good luck to them all

Smosley
Smosley

Richard is truly gifted and should be rewarded.

Great.Lakes.Gal
Great.Lakes.Gal

Dear Top Chef,

I started getting a bad feeling a couple of episodes ago! ... with the Mike snaking Richard's recipe scenario. *When you see someone do that in a classroom, it's considered a "NO-NO" and you get a consequence! Hmmm?

My sister and I watch the show from opposite sides of the U.S. and we are wondering why, oh why did the chefs not get a whole re-do after the oil fire? Maybe production expenses played a part in this? ...just seems a shame that the chefs were left picking up pieces...and then feeding it to the judges!!

Hoping to see Chef Carla win Fan Favorite! (all the best to her bright future!)

lotsahelp
lotsahelp

I agree that challenges that require the chefs to catch their product are ridiculous, same with a quickfire that focused on how pretty the food was. But I think Richard has been same all season, he is fair when people are good and he is honest when he sees things wrong. Jamie not cooking, mike stealing his idea. And am I the only who caught his comment this week that he hopes he wins cause he might miss the birth of his child and to miss for a loss would suck? I like richard- he wears his heart on his sleeve. Mike on the other hand is a jerk, he was in his season and he is now. At least Dale and Tiffany(1st season) saw how they were behaving and improved their behaviors. I don't think A**hole and cook have to be synonymous. And I never like the V brothers because of their food snobbery...sorry.

115
115

The bait and switch, and gimmicks, are really disappointing. These are excellent chefs. Give them a good kitchen, good ingredients, and let them show their stuff and compete with one another in a normal competition. Silly, and degrading to the participants.

unorthodox
unorthodox

Once again, Top Chef substituted gimmick for substance. From the teaser for next week it appears that once again the chefs will be called upon to do something that has no relation to the tasks that chefs should be able to accomplish. I have an idea, lets combine Top Chef with Deadliest Catch and have them cook for Sig on the Northwestern. Give them a candle and one saucepan, and wait for a major gale force wind with 30+ ft. waves. Throw the loser overboard and then blog that it's all about the food.

bitbet
bitbet

In the last few weeks as I have watched the show I have really become aware of the way we viewers are being manipulated by the producers/editors of top chef. Now it has been decided Richard is going to become a villain and Mike I. has been redeemed. Oh, you are devious ones! Some of us are on to you.

I found this last episode interesting, and I liked it. Good chefs, as any professional that is good in their field, should be able to handle what comes their way. I know I did, and can. Whining about equipment just will not work. Deal with it and rise above. That is what makes the difference between a good chef, and a great chef-or person, for that matter.

doves
doves

I don't agree that this proved that Richard was better, Stephanie always did poorly in quick fire challenges. I do agree that Richard should have won that season, however.

FanFare57
FanFare57

Your cynicism didn't bother me. Critiques can include negative as well. Otherwise, you would be just another press release. So, speak your mind, uncensored, as you please. It was too bad that Carla got the heave ho. However, uncooked pork (or poultry) are completely inexcusable - in any setting. She was fantastic during her time and won many trips and prize money. She'll be fine from here on.

I'm stunned how Tiffany (Ms. Mediocrity) has hung on by her fingernails each week. She's been completely lackluster this season. In last week's challenge, she got her groove (finally in the 11th hour) to remain to play another day. This week, she was back to her old ways: boring food. Mike is someone who is more annoying than a gnat. I wish he'd stop rocking to and fro at JT. He looks like he's perpetually on a boat... Richard has lost all his confidence that he had during his first season. And Antonia looks as though her winning ways are unraveling at the end here. OY!

Expected More
Expected More

So maybe the judges expected more from the final five this week and I can't argue with that but I expected more from the production team and I'm sure the contestants would appreciate a little more due diligence from them as well.

Poorly functioning induction "burners" in the quick fire and then a poorly equipped and ultimately dangerous kitchen in the elimination challenge came off as lazy unprofessional scouting and execution on the part of the crew. Too many Kaliks or whatever the explanation it made for boring TV.

If these challenges, sans the fire were intended to be part of the mountain the contestants had to climb then give the viewers a hint. One comment about the editing this week, please put the emphasis back on the food from start to finish. No discussion of why Tom chose the particular proteins or where they came from for the quickfire followed by no discussion of the available ingredients for the elimination challenge really deemphasized the food this week. Add to that Tom's snarky introduction of each chef's dish to the table instead of the customary explanation by the chef and you get an altogether thumbs down episode of Top Chef.

Go Mike !
Go Mike !

Mike is great - glad to see he's finally making an impact. Tiffany? Please. Antonio - bad decision on that shrimp and grits and stringy meat - and Richard - lighten up. I can't wait until next week !!!! Excellent Season.

FanKim
FanKim

Love the Voltaggios! Here's a programming idea: turn the camera on in their kitchens and let us all drool.

Ridiculous
Ridiculous

A very disappointing episode for many reasons. Top Chef is becoming more and more like 'Survival" with ridiculous challenges that have little to do with cooking. To give the chefs during the finale cooking tools that don't work correctly like two chefs experienced during the cookfire and providing them with a poorly equiped and unsafe kitchen for the elimination challenge guarantees that the outcome of the cooking will have little to do with who is the best chef. As stupid and irrelevant as the Target challege was - the first finale episode was even worse because of the above as well as their childish attempts to create a "twist" by misleading the chefs about cooking for royalty (which infers a top notch kitchen to cook in and the design of a dish that would be appropriate to the occasion - which isn't "snobbery" as chefs have been eliminated in the past for making a dish inappropriate to the challege) they are turning Top Chef into a side show at a carnival.

Laura C.
Laura C.

I watched last night episode and I am dissappointed. I believe that this episode should have not happened. First, I do understand that there is a schedule set for this, but it should have provisions/insurance for situations like last night. It should have been, "guys, let's try this tomorrow again". Based on the information given in the episode, these events happened practically in one day. In the morning, they compited against the winners of their respective season and later, had to create, buy, prep and cook for "royalty". That, right there, is abuse to me. First, you misled, deceive and abuse the mental state of these human beings. I know, I know, you will retort, "they are used to it" they are chefs!; yes, they are chefs back home, with very long hours, and under different set of situations. If these will be presented as a documentary of another country, everybody will be crying "foul", I know you are looking for good TV, but please, try to make these challenges in the future more attainable.

MamaMeg
MamaMeg

Hootie-Hoo! You're right. I do feel better now. I was so sad. I hate seeing Carla cry. She's such a joyful person.

Laura C.
Laura C.

Watched last night episode and was very upset. Not because the end result, but the way they were misled and deceived. I know, I know, it makes good TV, but when does it stop? I like the show, I like the challenges, but you guys have to undertand, that even though, chefs work long hours and in stressfull situations, these guys are practically cooking for their lives. Last night episode, should have never happen.

kmcva
kmcva

Hosea didn't beat Carla. Carla beat Carla (and she knew).

I love Carla. I am waiting to buy her cookbook. I'm hoping she'll get a show - I'll watch. I think she is good people and good television. I'm glad she came back this season. I will watch any Bravo show that has her on it - a definite fan!

I'm hoping for Antonia (who really had me worried last night) or Richard. I think Tiffany is great. Good luck to them!

Joanovarq
Joanovarq

So glad Tiffany is still in. I know she hasn't impressed this season, but if you all watch Season 7 you will see what a talented chef she is. I was not surprised she beat Kevin in the Quickfire; she pretty much beat him 90% of the time on Season 7. I know many will be up in arms if Richard doesn't win this season, but I'm still hoping Tiffany will find her groove. If it's not Tiffany, I hope the title goes to Antonia. She's talented, feisty, and a single mom to boot! Mike's such a horse's a$$ and Richard isn't very nice either, with all his gimmicks and arrogant comments about the other chefs. I know it's about the food, but I always root for the nicer personalities.

Pixie Dust 2257
Pixie Dust 2257

I felt so bad for all the Chefs when the fire made them start all over again, that was a game changing event and I with they they could have start again the next day. So sad for anybody to be eliminated on that mess.

The biggest thing that stood out for me in this episode is that the editors removed the pure act of evil when Padma told Richard to pack his knives before she said he was going the finale. You must of got al lot of well deserved flack for that.

Another sad thing is that if you tivo late night talk shows you know who won. Maybe somebody should check on that. I am still looking forward to seeing the chefs in action.

patn
patn

i dont know why there are 3 judges when whatever tom says at panel is the person that goes. you know whose going to go when he doesnt like their dish. tiffany has been in the bottom numerous times yet she is still there. they dont seem to take previous good dishes into consideration.how can they find the winner like that everyone has a bad night carla should not have been eliminated it should have been tiffany. i dont know whether i am going to watch anymore it is bs

Clot doc
Clot doc

Whoever does the advance work for Top Chef should be eliminated. In the quickfire, the induction burners malfunctioned. In the elimination challenge, a fryer caught on fire due to a malfunction.

benwa
benwa

it is so clear, once again, that Stephanie had no business winning Season 4. Glad to see Richard get a small slice of redemption.

Pat Smith
Pat Smith

This elimination round was terrible. I have the same table top fryer that was used and it does not cook at all like any industrial fryer I have ever used.

Oh, NO!!!
Oh, NO!!!

Noooooo.... not Carla!!!! I so love her inner strength, dignity, grace and fun. She just psyched herself out -- based on the comments I thought it was Antonia (who I alllso didn't want to see cut). Tiffany is the weakest link and unfortunately boring food squeaked by. Carla -- you are a wonderful bit of the sunlight of the spirit. You will continue to shine on anyone lucky enough to know you and taste the love you exude onto your plates!