Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio reveals that he's been asking for a fishing challenge for years.

on Jan 13, 20110

When I’m fishing for food, though, I am sure only to keep what can be used. One of the reasons I wanted a fishing challenge is that when you catch and then take the life of what you eat to feed yourself, you have a very different respect for it than you might have had previously. You realize that something shouldn’t die and then go to waste. You also realize that conservation is so important. Back when I was fishing with my grandfather in the '70s and '80s, striped bass such as the ones caught by our chefs were in such decline. Ironically, it was the rise in PCBs in the Hudson that helped bring them back here. General Electric was dumping PCBs in the Hudson to the point where the level of PCBs in stripers was too high for them to be eaten. Robert Kennedy, Jr. was very active in bringing about the reduction of PCBs in the Hudson by prosecuting corporate polluters.   The striped bass continued to proliferate all the while they weren’t commercially viable, though, and their numbers came back. Meanwhile, regulations were put in place to further protect them.  In New York State below the George Washington Bridge, you’re prohibited from keeping anything under 28 inches long. So we just don’t keep the smaller ones. I personally will keep one striper, knowing that I will keep some for myself and my family and will give the rest to others.

I thought the challenge was great and that the chefs overall did a very good job. Did you notice the chefs’ enthusiasm about the farmer’s market? They were so excited to be buying produce that had just been picked that morning. This is Chef Geekdom on display –- this is what jazzes us. Angelo was on the mark when he said that the market’s offerings were dictating what dish to create. Once you’re an accomplished cook, this is how you cook. Chefs don’t work from recipes; they’re just cooking. It’s not about the recipe –- it’s about the produce, about what’s in season. The yield will speak to you, and if you know what to do with it, a great dish will emerge.

Part of knowing what to do with your options is knowing what you’re cooking for. This was a beach challenge, with the very freshest of fish and produce. The dishes need not have been overly complicated, as Richard, Marcel, and Fabio’s was. The dish was overly complex, to its own detriment. With fish that fresh, you want to highlight the fish.

152 comments
compassion
compassion

Aloha Tom, Love your show, #1 because i am learning a lot about cooking and food and creativity, #2 because of the personalities and uniqueness of the humans involved with Top Chef, especially you and Padma.

As a gluten-intolerant human, may I suggest that you consider having a challenge in which humans with allergies or intolerances be taken into consideration? Especially since much of the crap sold in food stores and marked gluten free is either (a) not gluten free, or (b) tastes like sawdust.

My favorite restaurant in the world so far is the organic vegetarian gluten free restaurant named Cafe Gratitude in San Fran. It would be nice to see more places like this open up around the country, and Top Chef could be instrumental in promoting healthy tasty food for all kinds of people with all kinds of bodily ailments.

Thank you for your time. Blessings and bliss to you and everyone always.

Chef Valerina
Chef Valerina

Hi Chef Colicchio! Wow...what an entertaining episode! This had to be my very favorite episode of any on any Top Chef. And kudos to you for being persistent with the producers to make it happen. We got to see the chefs having fun with each other and making jokes. I laughed so hard at all their comments but none were mean...just funny.

I was not sad to see Jamie go. Or Tiffani. I never considered either one of them to be that talented. When you are a Chef as experienced as Tiffani is supposed to be...how do you not know about this bloodline. And then not be smart enough to figure it out when you threw her that comment (which was the golden nugget) re the bloodline??!!! So she deserved to go as this does not make a Top Chef. A great Chef gets it!

I also wanted to comment on Restaurant Wars. Thought it was one of the most boring. Except for Fabio of course. Tiffany is boring...she should be going soon. Hope Richard, Angelo, Fabio, Carla (she is hilarious!), Mike, Dale all make it to the end. Richard, Angelo, Carla would be great for the finale...would love to see that.

As always, so glad you are Top Judge. Love Anthony and Eric. Padma and Gail are just okay. Would like to see a female judge with more pizzazz than these two. When is that going to happen?

Anita LeGwin
Anita LeGwin

Good Bye Marcel, and good riddance I am so happy he is finally gone. I couldn't believe he was back anyway. Having worked in a restaurant before I know you must posses people skills, leadership skills and not be so arrogant that you are not willing to learn from other personnel. He always acted as though he knew everything and blamed others for his failures. I guess we found that out tonight because he sure did a terrible job of leading his team. Of course partly because everyone else could not stand working with him because of the way he treated them. Thank you for clearing out the bad seed. Now I can enjoy watching the rest of the series.Doodle for Wilmington,NCC

malibu4208
malibu4208

Loved it!

Jamie was gone one episode too late - but I'll take it. I think the show is back on track to being the amazing show it normally is! Well done. Love reading the blog -it offers great insight into behind the scenes happenings and thought processes that don't always come across on the show.

NY native in Nevada
NY native in Nevada

Tom......love the show and love you! Thank God Marcel is gone. Thought Carla should have won last time and am rooting for her this time around. By the way my daughter, an Adelphi University alum, caught your recent lecture there and really loved it and loved speaking with you afterward. Keep up the great work. We look forward to the show every week out here in the desert southwest and we miss living in NY......there's nothing like the Big Apple (except for the snowstorms!)

Stargazer55
Stargazer55

Chef Colicchio, I would love to see an episode with you performing on guitar! Regards! Tom

Viewer Jen
Viewer Jen

Yes Marcel is a jerk but he is imature. I think it should be noted that the one consistent theme from the judges comments is the lack of texture in marcel's dishes. Seems as that is a bit rookie for this level of competition. He also never seems to listen or learn from experiences. Grow up Marcel! I think your comments about Tre are misguided.

No one is mentioning Mikey. He, angelo, fabio n carla should be the final Four!

Cat in the Hat
Cat in the Hat

Love this season! To all those that say they're going to stop watching because someone got voted off or because of a twitter comment... I say "lighten up!"

As for team challenges... they're not my favorite either, but teamwork is part of life and part of any workplace I've ever been part of. Teams work best when there is a spirit of cooperation, respect, and pulling together for the greater good. Some of the chefs let their egos get in the way of the proper functioning of a team. If the viewers perceive team challenges as not being fair, it is because the chefs don't embrace the full concept of "team."

Lisa Kazmier
Lisa Kazmier

I'm just mad that Spike is gone. Irked some about Tiffani, too. Antonia strikes again.

Elizabeth Cohen
Elizabeth Cohen

I was on an airplane going to Orlando last year, it so happens I was sitting next to a young boy (10) and his mother. I let him use my DVD player to watch a movie. I got into a conversation with his mom, she is from England. I asked her, "why do Europeans hate us so much, what did we do that was so terrible"? I just couldn't understand what we, as good AMERICANS, did. Her answer surprised me and shocked me. "We don't hate AMERICANS, we just don't have respect for AMERICANS". Good lord, why? "Because AMERICANS have no respect for their leaders, or their country." WHAT! Yep, folks we trash our leaders and our country any chance we get. We have no respect for them either. So, in the press we tear them apart, call them names, publicize their private lives and mistakes. We even ruin careers with lies! So, before you trash talk about anyone of our wonderful leaders think about how others see us.

I don't know how old you are or how old Tom is, but I am old enough to remember how AMERICA was! We are no longer that country, where we were once loved, we are hated, where we were once respected, there is only disrespect. Where people used to love to come and live here and be a "part" of our society, they now come and live off of us. I wish I could slap this planet back to those beautiful bygone days, when I felt safe and happy.

Liz Why capitalize "AMERICA"? Because I am a proud AMERICAN who flies the red, white and blue from her front porch! This is the last comment I make on politics

MemeX
MemeX

I may be mad at you, Tom (okay not really, but this does need to be looked at) if you don't address what Marcel mentioned in the episode, Dale only making plates for the judges in the Dim Sum challenge. This is the thing that annoys viewers the most, if something is mentioned and you all in the know ignore it when asked about it.

I've rewatched, Dale said he sent out 12,14,15. I've got no idea if he meant at a time or all together but considering he got to clean his shoes, polish his nails and not help in the kitchen I'm not leaning towards 'at a time'. The challenge was to make a lot of food for a lot of people/to be served continuously for hundreds of people/your job is to keep them filled.

I honestly make more portions at family Christmas (southern hemisphere don't be thinking turkey dinner) for 25 people than he made...or anyone made by the looks, for this yum cha (or dim sum, whatever you guys call it).

So..the rules are plate by a certain time ~ Richard got disqualified for running over time, fair enough. Dale calls bollocks (obviously doesn't like rules).

So...the rules are must make food for the tennis crowd and the judges...Angelo didn't do that, only made for the judges..who cares he didn't win anyway (everyone hates Angelo and is pissed that he didn't get called on only making for the judges).

So...the rules are must make hundreds of dishes to keep a yum cha going plus feed the judges, Dale didn't do that, only made plates to feed the judges, the judges are all 'YAY, we got fed who cares if the patrons didn't????' and award the win to someone that didn't follow the rules.

So are there rules or not? I thought it was great you called Richard on working over time but if you're going to present a challenge as "feed hundreds" and then change it to "well actually, as long as you feed us four judges that's fine" what's the friggen point?

Obviously, I don't know if the Angelo and Dale accusations are true but YOU do and you're letting them drift around out there. You guys are ballsy enough to slag off contestants during and after their appearance so please do viewers the courtesy of addressing things like "we all had to make this many dishes apart from....'cos the judges love them"

@ Viewernan on January 16, 2011.

"Irin, It is called free speech"

As an outside observer...it's only free speech if Conservatives are saying it.

They bang on it's free speech if Liberals/Independants (although I don't think they believe they exist) don't like it. HOWEVER...if Liberals/Independants say something they don't like it's HATE/the military die for your free speech, arsehole/I'm boycotting you forever 'cos you hurt my feelings/Where's my gun that you're trying to take away, I will show you!!!!!/Your food SUCKS, where's my cheetos????

ccjs
ccjs

All I can say is thank heavens Jamie is gone. Now get rid of Marcel and I will be happy in the kitchen again.

77kart
77kart

@smoos13. Tom doesn't discuss politics on this site. But you do. You should have quit after your first paragraph. Instead, you continued, in your sincere desire to reduce the level of confrontation in American politics. Nice job. Very inspiring and conciliatory.

Kathy Warren
Kathy Warren

Tom, I don't hate you....I do,however, feel it is important for a person ( especially a public figure to be careful about the statements they make pertaining to politics. So many people are sooo sensitive when it comes to politics. Of course you can express your opinions! It's your right! However, I don't think it's the greatest thing thing to do to post it for everyone in the world to see :-( It's similar to that lead singer of the Dixie Chicks yelling to her concert crowd that she is ashamed to be from the same state as George Bush. My whole take on that

mike R
mike R

I think the team challenges are doing a dis-service to the chefs. In my view, Chefs like Angelo tried to hurt others with adding items he did with Spike. Antonia did not help Casey in her dish. Understood this is a competition and people own their dish. Jamie not serving a dish for several episodes was not good. I have no idea if she is good cook, but she did not show-up in the competition. I would rather see people stand on their 2 feet, cook their dish and be evaluated. Jamie would have been gone a lot earlier if that had happened. I am seeing more gimmicks and it would more interesting to see these chefs "bring it" of their best dishes. Jen's exit was an embarrassment. I understand she has become a superstar, celebrity chef getting paid to show up places for events, and her ego has gotten too big. It showed that night in the exit.

jeanette1
jeanette1

What about Tiffani??? I for one am so sorry to see her go so early....she really has changed since last season and was really showing some class. I agree that the cooking has not been up to the level that I expect, especially Jamie. During her season she was one of the best cooks I thought. She just did not seem to care if she was there or not, I wish her well.

irish34
irish34

I just would like to say that the show is great. And that i love the different challenges given to the contestants. I think Carla is imaginative and stays true to her cooking, but my favorite is Angelo. Not only is he a very talented chef but also very driven. He comes off cocky to the other chefs but come on this a competition. He is there to win!!

Qq Qqq
Qq Qqq

Yeah, man - America sucks! Capitalism just emboldens the MAN, who keeps us down and poisons our bodies and minds. Kind of like reality TV, um, er...

JannaK
JannaK

Agree with almost all the comments about Marcel. I sincerely hope he's not kept on because he makes good TV....

JannaK
JannaK

That's a perfect way to characterize Marcel! Can't stand him.

baconator
baconator

you got rid of jamie one show too late. casey should still be on the show. she was hot! cooking that is....

BOY BOY
BOY BOY

FORGET THE POLITICS ,ALL THE HOT CHICKS ARE GONE EXCEPT FOR MARCELL

eviltimes
eviltimes

Another voice against team challenges. They hurt the show and inevitably send the wrong cheftestants home. They must be stopped.

smudge
smudge

Loved the fishing challenge. Am amazed that frankly they caught as many fish as they did. Was somebody under the boat in a wet suit hooking fish on the lines? I've been on fishing excursions in Montauk and seen nil. I was craving Dale's fish taco, Antonia's po' boy, and especially Carla's smoked bluefish. Carla, me thinks, will continue to be underestimated until she's in the finale. Hope she wins this time! Oh yeah, I'm tired of foams and chemical tanks. Doesn't anybody just cook anymore? Stuff looks like science projects.

smoos13
smoos13

On the show and on this site Tom is a judge and a representative for Bravo/Top Chef. He does not discuss politics on THIS website or on the Bravo network.

Twitter is a DIFFERENT website and has nothing to do with HERE. I know it can be confusing for someone with a brain the size of a chickpea who probably thinks to themselves while watching that Alaska reality show where she grins like a lunatic on a fish boat, "wow, this show really shows how down to earth and super fantastic this woman is"!!!!!

Of course neglecting to understand the complete ridiculousness of voting for someone who QUIT going into her 2nd year as GOVERNOR to do a TV show to show people why they SHOULD VOTE HER INTO A POLITICAL POSITION. Because she pretends to clean a boat?

eagcil
eagcil

It simply isn't true that Jennifer Carroll "beat out better chefs by squeaking by." She wasn't close to being eliminated in either the casino challenge or the vegetarian challenge. The guest chef in the vegetarian challenge actually said her dish was one of his favorites; he just thought it was too small. The only challenge in which she was a serious contender for elimination prior to the final four was restaurant wars. She won the quickfire before the Bocuse D'or, and Michael Chiarello raved about her quickfire dish before the final four challenge.

cutetay7
cutetay7

Poor Jamie. She did not perform well on this season(except for in the first competition in which she was one of the best in that particular competition). She did not murder anyone, so why all the hate. She has a laid back personality. That's still no reason to hate her.

Meleah_X
Meleah_X

Jamie is not completely untalented, but can only do soups and riffs on other people's food:

Eric Ripert's dish, which she's probably replayed in her mind over and over again (or not: "so I f'ed up his dish, which I didn't like anyway, whatever") and had to expect that challenge was coming.

Kevin's salmon and cucumber broth with veggie slaw, from season six, on which she blogged, and was an ardent fan of Kevin's.

Jamie, buh-bye.

Viewernan
Viewernan

Irin, It is called free speech. respect it because you just used it yourself!! and the comment Tom made on twitter has nothing to do with the show blog here you silly nitwit. loosen up!

Viewernan
Viewernan

i read the comment you made about the wolverine. i actually did fall of my couch laughing!

Top Jimmy
Top Jimmy

Fish on, Tom. Fish on...

I'm currently on the Florida Gulf Coast, but I've lived for many years in Alaska. There is no comparison, Alaska has better fishing and better fish than Florida ever will. I recommend a Halibut charter, you should enjoy that, and some time at the river mouth for Salmon. The fish are cleaner. I don't know how anybody could eat anything out of the Gulf. It just reminds me of eating out of the toilet. And of course, King Crab. One leg will yield more meat than one entire crab from Florida, not to mention, it's much cleaner. By the time you clean the crab trapped in a Florida trap, it's washed out and vague compared to the Alaska catch. Alaska seafood, catch and eat. Florida seafood, catch, clean, boil, and eat with caution. I worry about anything caught in the states. Think about it, the runoff from the populace (heavily populated) ends up feeding your fish in the states. The runoff in Alaska isn't loaded (well, not as badly) with toxins. I'm sure Canada has some good fishing too. I just worry about the US fish. Pretty gross if you ask me.

If comment readers are buying fish from the market, you are not experiencing what fish has to offer. Think about how many boats dump their waste into your water. How many people live in that vicinity, how many oily roads wash off into your local reservoir. How could you eat that? The fish is oily, well of course it is.

BC Sully
BC Sully

Tom, no need to apologize for your beliefs or for doing your job.

Keep up the good work!

Vanessa Naval
Vanessa Naval

Marcel is a total jerk. Then again, as I blogged before, Top Chef is not a popularity contest. He should not get booted for being jerk to Carla or Dale. He should be eliminated for making subpar dishes. I'm surprised he's still in the competition because he has been consistent in making bland food in Elimination Challenges. With the exception of one or two quick fire challenges when he ranked as a favorite, he never won a quick fire challenge. So. . . That begs the question, why wasn't he sent home already for being consistently off in both conceptualizing dishes and developing his flavors? Another mediocre cheftestant is Tre. He makes subpar dishes with exceptions to one quick fire challenge win and one elimination challenge favorite. Team challenges really carry some of these weaker cheftestants and team challenges also weigh down more talented cheftestants. But it's a game of intuition and good problematizing. Top Chef is unique in its challenges and without these team challenges it would be so boring to watch. That's reality. That's life. We're all put into teams of people with varying personalities. It's how well people deal with that reality and cope. I really deeply believe that whoever will win Top Chef All Stars will win by fate or destiny for the cards they're dealt compliment their struggles and triumphs in this competition.

OC girl
OC girl

Not a fan of your liberal views but adore you!!! Do not care what anyone says you are much cuter than uncle fester from the adams family!! Hope the challenges now are individual ones to let the chefs stand and compete on their own. You have a great deal of talent there now and we want to see them compete. You have a great deal of talent there and hope Carla wins.

Mrfinsky
Mrfinsky

Most conservatives seem to want only one point of view, as expressed on the Fox Propaganda Channel. That is why other viewpoints have to have a warning attached. You might accidentally be exposed to some truths about the "other" side. I bet conservatives wouldn't like Tom's blog. After all, the very mention of corporate polluting of the Hudson goes against the conservative concept that regulations hurt business and destroy jobs. Who cares if the corporate is pumping poison into the water? Profits seem to be the Holy Grail, principles be damned.

ViewerTX
ViewerTX

So some of you people are boycotting the show because Tom is a "liberal?" He doesn't bring those politics into the show or onto this website. YOU sought him out on his Twitter and now you're mad? Freedom of speech only if it agrees with your viewpoint? Hypocrites.

E. Lois
E. Lois

Ok...what's up with Marcel getting all "yo-yo-yo" in Dale's face? God, he's such a dork. My husband asked me "who's the guy that looks like the gay wolverine?" and I almost fell off the couch laughing.

maric
maric

I agree with you. Carla she is very classy. I think her and Tiffany Derry are the 2 most mature on the show. They show the most respect for everyone and everything.

Amber N.
Amber N.

I'm glad to see Jamie go, as are most, Tiffani wasn't one of my favorites so I didn't mind. What does bother me is that people keep bringing up Jen and how's she's such a wonderful chef. (which I'm sure she is, in her restaurant) In her original Season she didn't do well, yes she did make it to the final four, but she was in the bottom for atleast 3 elimination in a row and she beat out better Chefs by squeaking by.

Shame on Marcel for shaming Carla for her win, don't be a spoil sport because your dish didn't. Hoping that Marcel goes home next. As for Casey last week, they did show her comming down to the kitchen to cook, even if it wasn't for very long, for what could have been the Judges dishes, we will never know.

LizzyBeth74
LizzyBeth74

OH..what to be mad at you for? Can we blame you for the cold weather and snow? I am sure if people think long enough they will blame you for the sun coming up. People dont get that we DONT SEE EVERYTHING!

lemon 11
lemon 11

Watch out, Tom. It would seem the villagers on the right are getting their torches ready! Irin's threat of boycott would be worrisome if she could spell "boycott". I agree that Gov. Palin is dangerous, but she became so when she said "yes" to Sen. McCain.

SandyBravo
SandyBravo

Eh Tom, so you finally pissed off the social conservatives? It'll be all right, no mere human being can make the grade anymore.

CarlaFan
CarlaFan

You're going to stop watching the show because Tom's politics are different from yours? *scratching head*

Georgia Peach
Georgia Peach

GO CARLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And great blog Tom.

Buddydave
Buddydave

@ Conservative To:

Why on earth should conservatives stay away from Tom's Twitter account? Just because he shares different political views? Are your beliefs and the beliefs of your fellow conservatives so fragile that they could not withstand reading the 140-character-long opinions of someone on the other side of some issues? If they make you mad, then it makes sense to stay away. But to warn other conservatives to stay away? That's being awfully petty and cowardly.

toughbunny
toughbunny

Ok- you want something for us to be mad about? Well, I only have one complaint about the show this season and that is Stefan wasn't on. He was my favorite- a no b.s., confident chef who won the most challenges ever in one season (didn't he?)

Oh- that, and blech to Marcel. I would have preferred Sam to Marcel. First, he is way better looking, and second, he is a grown up and not a strange man child.

But other than that, I really liked the contestants that were chosen. It is hard because I am cheering for so many of them!

Viewer in CA
Viewer in CA

TO Irin - yuck and goodbye. Tom - love that you showed your common sense and liberal side on twitter!