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The Quickfire is a collection of chefs from the season with two ringers. The ringers are Marco Canora from Hearth, NYC and Barbara Lynch from No. 9 Park in Boston. The two of them are lauded super chefs. They are also very cool peeps. Me likey them. I have a recurring dream that Marco makes me the best toast ever. It’s totally platonic.
So we get a hodgepodge of competing chefs, from Big Keith, to Tyler the Butcher, to “I say what’s on my mind” Grayson, to Malibu, to the Namaste foam guy from the first episode… even Heather is smilin’. Watch out though, she’s meaner when she’s smiling.
Crary has a sweaty back. You know that boy is going commando. Ewww.
Tyler and Ty-Lör is a one-letter difference, with a power umlaut. This seems slight but the real difference is that Tyler makes people cringe and Ty-Lör makes people want to hug him. When Tyler gets picked, we hear whispers of, “That’s unfortunate.” Understatement of season.
Nobody picked Marco Canora. WTF. This man eats young chefs like this for a midday snack. He burns his own cuts shut. He poops saucepans.
The teams are picked and they look pretty tight. I think Ty-Lor is a coup for Paul and Barbara is like getting Albert Pujols for a tee ball game. Nyesha and Heather are anchors for Sarah. Grayson is swearing a lot, so that means she’s in top form.
I just watched Tylor Stones' casting video.This is the first time I felt any compassion for Sarah. How did he get in the finals kitchen? That black pasta looked really great and the dessert looked like a winner. I thought Sarah might win. Pauls' maturity and Zen like focus won the day.(or night) This is the first internet blog I have ever followed and I seriously got some belly laughs from your writing. Hugh kinda remind me of Kurt Vonnegut.(pun intended) See ya next season, hopefully.
PS I sport a monobrow myself at times,(I am working on getting that retired English Colonel look) an awning over the eye sockets type thing.
I found the parallels between the two finale menus fascinating: both had spot prawns for the first course, a middle course featuring dashi, a creamy rice base for the third course (congee for Paul, risotto for Sarah), and kumquats in the dessert.
Qi is an alternative spelling of "chi", the word for life force in Chinese (with similar words in most other Asian languages).
Good Final. Glad Paul won he was the best chef all season. The season as a whole was a flop. No Hugh, I don't trust you, it wasn't always about the food. The ridiculous challenges throughout the season were too plentiful. Why do the producers need all the gimmickly challenges. Top Chef is not a true reality show in the sense of all Bravo's other annoying shows, like housewives, and Bethanny. The real Top Chef fans want the challenges to be about the food. Maybe in the quickfire the producers can get all goofy. Not in the elimination challenges. It's allright if the cheftestants give us fan's some drama, and human elements that vary. Not the actual contest though. Like the horrible Gondala and shooting for food challenge. That was near the finale too, awful. The concept of last chance kitchen was ok. Except the inexcusable curveball Tom threw Nyesha when she was on a major roll. WTF. Nobody wanted Beverly to get such a major break. In fact no chef should get such favortism. That was a disgrace. Thank God that crying intrusive poor poor Beverly didn't go far right after. I really hope Bravo gets it next season. Either hire new producers, or learn FROM YOUR MISTAKES. If you don't next season will be the last. That would be ashame. The only show on Bravo I watch. I been watching since season 1 when Harold won. My still favorite Top Chef of all time, and probably the best season too. If the drama dosen't disapate, it might or might not be Top Chef's last season....but it will be mine.
Hugh, I have enjoyed your comments throughout. They were not as programmed a some of the others. I hope you will be back in the mix in the future. I enjoyed talking with you about the gig at Cook's Warehouse as at the time you had no clue how things would go. I enjoyed the season, except for the off the hook antics that had little to do about cooking. Drama is part of the human condition and TC showed that in spades. I was so glad that Paul won for many reasons. Sarah paired with Heather was a karmic train wreck. Two mean spirited witches that "finally" got what they deserved. As much as I hated the drama, it compelled me to keep watching which is the point. Loved you as a judge, bar or not!
Paul deserved to be Top Chef. Sarah - never. I will never eat at her restaurant because she was so nasty during the competition. I can not recall one single time when Paul said anything bad about any other chef. I think Nyesha, Beverly and Ty-Lor are all better cooks than Sarah. I would only eat at her restaurant if I had a craving for overcooked risotto, or polenta, or brains or organ meats. yuck.
I am happy that Paul won. I felt that both menus had weaknesses. Two egg dishes in a four course menu is excessive and a bit nauseating. And Sarah's third course needed editing. That being said, I felt it was a good finale. Texas got it's money's worth (now they can be seen as a foodie destination) and we had something to entertain ourselves with during the long, cold winter. In future, I hope that contestants remember to edit themselves because their behavior does follow them after the show and tends to overshadow their talents.
One question remains: what's in the future for your unibrow?
i just want to say that i love your "fancy prose style" ^_^ , thank you for making this season a breath of fresh air, utterly entertaining and poignant, I have greatly appreciated your musings and verbiage (and i mean that in the a positive and grateful context). xoxo
Great blog post, Hugh. I appreciate your acerbic wit and straight-forward, balanced assessments. Hope to see you as a judge/blogger again! Or maybe Top Chef Masters' Last Chance Kitchen Wyoming All Stars?
Paul is a steller chef and human. Hugh described Paul perfectly. It is chefs, like Paul, that make this show worth watching. Yes, it is fun to watch the challenges, but it is the food that counts in the end.
There is nothing more that turns me off than the nasty complaints made by some of the chefs about their fellow cheftestants. Shut up and cook. Heather, Sarah, and Lindsay, are you kidding? Brings the show down. It just shows how awesome the rest of it is; because the evil banter that has nothing to do with cooking, it is total bs. And I really liked Lindsay at the beginning. But not now.
Anyways, Paul was special. And to watch him cook and compete, with extreme dignity, made S9 awesome! Thanks Paul for a very entertaining season.
Top Chef started out so exciting with the elimination from the beginning. But it turned out to be the worse season ever....
So glad that Paul won. I tuned in every week hoping it would be the week that Sara would be sent packing. She constantly did the SAME thing over and over again. Oh, look, there's Sara making pasta, oh, look, there's Sara making rissoto. The worst part was, most of the time the judges even said she wasn't making very good pasta or risotto. If you're gonna be a one trick pony, you better be pretty good at that one trick if you want to be named "Top" anything. Paul was far and away the best chef all season, wasn't even a competition. Of the final 5, since LCK through off the whole final 4 thing, Edward and Paul were the two most genuine people, Bev was talented but flawed and I think folks give her too much "sympathy" credit. Lindsay was completely fake, Hugh even called her out right here on this blog for being two faced and acting like she was the queen of sheeba when she knew the camera was on her, even speaking in a fake voice, and then turning into Daisy Duke when she didn't know it was on her. Its fine to be either one, just be the same way all the time. I won't even address Sara any further, completely mediocre. Congratulations Paul, its too bad you had to wait all the way to the finale for what most of us knew to be the case back in week 4 to be made official
Sarah looked like a baby crying at the end saying that SHE deserved to win and SHE should have been Top Chef. She could not accept coming in second place with dignity and grace. All the more reason why she did NOT deserve to win!
I love that Tyler got to come back!! I was so sorry he was eliminated so early!! I don't see why everyone hates him so much, I love that guy!! :)
Thanks Hugh for all of your great blogging this season. I have to say that each week I looked forward to reading your blog more than I did watching the actual episodes. I hope the producers will invite you back next season, as a first string player.
By the way, wasn't you hair a little "gilded" in the finale? First we have "Malibu Chris" and now "Hollywood Hugh"!
Ha! I will miss your blogs! you make me laugh out loud. So relate to the zipper, went to the gym this week and found out my pants were on backwards, so of course i had to tell everyone around me! WHY!! Anywho, so happy that Paul won, thought he was the best chef and best attitude all season! You were a great addition this season on camera and in the blogosphere!
If the show's aim is to showcase great food, then it has to do a much better job of making that clear next season. No more Wipeout-style challenges, please! It is insulting to the chefs and to your audience. No "real world" chef has to cook in a gondola, chop his/her food out of an ice block, etc., etc. These pressures are not only completely artificial but bear no resemblance to the pressures an actual chef faces.
Not the greatest season challenge/drama-wise, but thanks to Chef Huey A for making it fantastically entertaining, blog-wise on Thursday mornings.
TC, ditch the stupid "challenges"; this is NOT Wipeout or Survivor, it's about cooking and food. That's why fans watch it...not to see chefs on freakin' cross-country skis or hacking at huge ice blocks like a Donner Party member on a...oh never mind...I'm going to let that simile go.
I, for one, am beyond thrilled to see the immensely talented, humble, classy, Paul, whom I picked as favorite day one, win. He conducted himself the way more "reality" TV peeps should. I was thrilled he won and he should be a role model for younger wannabes as far as how to treat others, how not to be a rude jerk and how to just exude positive, calm, confidence with zero arrogance.
Really happy he won.
great writing. great attitude. this blog was a bright spot in an often ludicrous season. loved when you cut off gail and she flipped her hair. i love to see two canadians in an altercation. she was asking for it.
SO SO SO happy Paul won, but so so so sad I won't have your blogs to look forward to:( I hope you weren't teasing about RHOA 'cause I surely would read them!
I loved Paul from the beginning and fell even harder for him when the highlight of this biggest night of his life was that his father was proud of him. Awwww, made me love him all the more and you could tell his father was overjoyed. Nice touch, Bravo to bring the sig others in the chefs' lives.
I'll miss you Hugh...please stay in touch
I will miss reading your blog. Thanks for being the bright sunshine in this Top Chef weirdosphere. I love the way you just call a spade a spade. Here's hoping you'll be back for more seasons.
I am going to miss your clever blogs. Do we really have to wait until next season of Top Chef? I think I will take your advice and use that Google for some good use. Maybe I will find you somewhere else to give me a high for the day.
You have been mostly right on the money in your weekly assessments. I too think this season was over tiring with the back stabbing and bullying. The Olympic episode was the WORST EPISODE IN THE HISTORY of Top Chef. I hope that never occurs again.
Paul was the right choice. If one looks at the poll today, he was chosen in the mid 80% while the other chef was in the teens. Says quite a bit I think.
Happy sailing and I don't know where your road will take you, may it be an adventure until we see you again.
Thank you for your in depth comments on the finale meals. You mentioned that the entire season was meant to highlight the food. Really? I didn't see it that way. The endless, convoluted gimmicks and obstacle course hid the food. I can barely recall one dish that stood out from the Pee Wee bicycle race, triatholon prone extraneous tricks. I do agree that Paul was the consummate professional throughout the entire season and deserved his win.
I loved this season of Top Chef. I'm soooo glad Paul won. He's a great cook with lots of character. He always showed respect for the other chefs. His focus and dedication gave him the win. And I was pleased that none of the three catty women were able to win (Sarah, Lindsay, Heather). They were so disrespectful to other contestants. Perhaps if they'd been a little more focused on their cooking rather than being catty they might have done better.
Hugh, you really should just blog everyday about your insights on life. You make me giggle out loud in my cube at work. Love your humor. Priceless.
Thanks for the amusing and well-written blog this season Mr. Acheson. By far the best Top Chef blog I've ever read. Looking forward to more sarcasm and snarky commentary in the near future. You clearly rock.
As soon as Sarah picked Tyler I knew she was doomed. He finished his 15 minutes of inane fame and took her down. Actually we're moving this weekend from the Rockies to a town near Chicago so may check out Sarah. My husband's a Texan so if we can get away from BBQ we'll check out Paul as well. Thanks, Hugh. Great writing, knowledge, sense of humor/.
I'd like to see a final judges panel with more women than men and then see what happens. Paul was in his comfort zone, and had a master chef helping him. Sarah took risks, and had a liability in the kitchen. It's the 21st century, but not in this business. 9 seasons plus All-Stars has shown us that. It's not about the food. It's stunt casting and the same-old, same-old. Hard to keep explaining this to my daughters.
Paul was the best chef and best leader, and easiest going personality. Loved Hugh's blog. The gimmicks were out of control, cooking on a gondola and shooting targets for food was plain silly. Pee-Wee's episode was fun, but having the chefs ride Pee-Wee's bicycle around had little to do with cooking good food. Top Chef is great show; I watch Top Chef Masters and Top Chef Desserts and enjoy them all. We really don't need Last Chance Chef episodes airing on the internet, never watched a single one, and when Bev came back and got eliminated shortly thereafter, what was the point? Hopefully Bravo and the producers get that this is about the chefs and cooking great food, ease up on the gimmicks please.
The fact that Paul's first choice for sous chef was Barbara Lynch (is that ehr name? Can't recall) -- and Sarah followed with whom? Tyler? Shows right there who is the better chef, don't you think?
The two best things about Top Chef this season: 1) PAUL's WIN!!! 2) Your Blog.
Thanks from a TC fan who hasn't watched the last 3 episodes and won't.
On to next season! Hope to see you there, Hugh.
Hugh, You give good blog, and I don't mean that in a creepy way. You are the one thing I look forward to reading on Thursday mornings, after my horoscope and Dear Abby....thanks for the good times!
Thank you for always having highly entertaining blogs! I so look forward to reading what you have to say week after week. Hope you're back next season!
Again, you are "Hugh"ccurate, spot on, with your judging of the dishes. I like the way you stood up to Emeril and I love Emeril, but he was clearly favoring Sarah. I am glad that Paul won the day, he was consistent, humble and admirable. Thanks so much for the blog i couldn't wait to read.
Hugh, If I could vote for you as Fan Favorite, I would. Love love love your blogs! I moved from Atlanta before making it to Empire State South ... the next time I'm in town, I'll have to check it out! Hope you'll be on the reunion show next week. Cheers!
Oh, Hugh. Thank you for making me laugh out loud and for not taking yourself too seriously and for recognizing Paul's total and utter awesomeness.
thank you for being the first to acknowledge how over the top some of the gimmicks have been this season. the peewee episode was the worst. stop torturing the chefs with stupid gimmicks. we want to see the real talent shine through.
please convey these sentiments to the producers if you can!!!
I have always loved Top Chef and never missed an episode. I never though there could be anything to make the whole experience any better. Hugh, you have proved me wrong. Your presence on this show is a must and you are blogs are a work of art (hilarious). Thanks for making Top Chef even greater
The best blogging in Top Chef History (will miss your humorous blogs Hugh Acheson) and the perfect ending (Paul winning & Sarah crying) to not that amazing season overall makes me impatient for Top Chef Season 10.
P.S: Ease up on the gimmicks producers. You were so dangerously close to loose a large amount of viewers of Top Chef. Hope Season 10 rocks !! And congrats to Paul :)
Hugh! Just love saying (typing) your name. Breathy. Please consider become the correspondent blogger for all the RHs and various and sundry Bravo shows in the absence of any of the Top Chef incarnations. You say what you mean, in such a clever way. It is so very appreciated. Since you are from Canada, and referred here to the rainmakers, may I give you the name, Chef with Seagull? it's not referring to the ingredients but to that distinctive element on your handsome physiognomy. Loved Paul and Ed, both decent guys. Found myself following along with the editing and loathing the bad girls club.