Author Topic: Top Chef Season 6  (Read 19993 times)

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Offline marigold

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Top Chef Season 6
« on: April 01, 2009, 01:03:49 PM »
Top Chef Season 6:

Is the next season of 'Top Chef' taking place in Las Vegas or Seattle?

Last month's "Top Chef" rumor was that the sixth season would be shooting in Las Vegas.

But hold on. Now there's news that production is getting underway in Seattle, a city that sees an average of 58 non-rainy days a year. Which is it? Depends on whom you believe.

This morning, last season's British judge and barb-slinger Toby Young announced on his official Twitter that he had begun filming the next installment of the cooking competition show in Seattle.

Young also added this bonus detail: "Tom Colicchio has grown a huge beard! Looks like Joaquin Phoenix. Will tweet pic shortly."


Asked to confirm the new location, a rep for Bravo said, "Don't believe everything you hear." Asked if Young was lying on his Twitter, the rep replied, "Again, we haven't announced anything at this time.  Sorry."
Could it be a roving season? Shot in several locations? It would be an expensive move. "Top Chef" did host casting calls in both cities this year (see some of the potential Seattle contestants here). Guess we'll have some confirmation once Young gets around to tweeting that picture of Coliccio a la Phoenix. (And I really hope at least that part of the news isn't an April Fool's Joke!)

No word on an air date for the sixth season yet, but "Top Chef" viewers will be treated to "Top Chef Masters," the spinoff featuring "24 world-renowned" chef contestants, this summer. Kelly Choi will host. New York Magazine food critic Gael Greene, Saveur magazine Editor in Chief James Oseland and British food critic Jay Rayner will judge.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/04/draft-exclusive-sixth-season-of-top-chef-to-take-place-in-seattle.html


Offline marigold

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009, 01:08:12 PM »

Toby Young's Twitter: judging again this season?



In Seattle to start filming #topchef 6. Tom Colicchio has grown a huge beard! Looks like Joaquin Phoenix. Will tweet pic shortly

http://twitter.com/toadmeister


Offline marigold

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2009, 06:29:01 AM »

Any chance we could get another season this year considering Top Chef Masters has scheduled 10 episodes ending August 12, 2009 and TC season 6 not only finished casting but reported filming already thanks to Toby’s twitter come on Bravo don’t make us wait an entire year, August 19th looks good to me  :yess:  :lol:

Offline apskip

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Top Chef 6: Las Vegas
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 01:05:02 PM »
Bios for The 17 chefs competing in Top Chef Las Vegas, source - BravoTV.com/Top-Chef:

RON DUPRAT
AGE: 40
HOMETOWN: Mare Rouge, Haiti—currently resides in Hollywood, Fla. and Naples, Fla.
PROFESSION: Executive Chef
CULINARY EDUCATION: College Aimee Cesaire and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Jumbo Scallop, Sweet Chili Tahini Sauce, Watermelon and Avocado Slaw.

ROBIN LEVENTHAL
AGE: 43
HOMETOWN: Sun Valley, Idaho – currently resides in Seattle, Wash.
PROFESSION: Chef, Artist and Teacher
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-Taught
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with a great piece of fish or meat

PREETI MISTRI
AGE: 33
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, Calif.
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Google, Bon Appetit Management Company
CULINARY EDUCATION: Le Cordon Bleu, London
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Fennel Crust Marin Sun Farms’ Rack of Lamb, Saffron Parsnip Puree, Heirloom Carrot and English Pea Ragout with Pinot Noir Reduction

MICHAEL VOLTAGGIO
AGE: 30
HOMETOWN: Frederick, Md. – currently resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
PROFESSION: Chef de Cuisine at The Dining Room, Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa
CULINARY EDUCATION: The Greenbrier Hotel Culinary Apprenticeship Program
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Soft Poached Egg with Morel Mushrooms, Fava Beans, Jamon Iberico Consommé

MICHAEL ISABELLA
AGE: 34
HOMETOWN: North Jersey – currently resides in Washington, D.C.
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Zaytinya
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-Taught
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Squash Blossoms

MATTIN NOBLIA
AGE: 29
HOMETOWN: Biarritz, France – currently resides in San Francisco, Calif.
PROFESSION: Owner, Iluna Basque
CULINARY EDUCATION: C.A.P. de cuisine in southern France, the Basque Region
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Grilled Sardines and Fresh Tomato Sauce, or Boudin Noire with Caramelized Apples, or Stuffed Calamari in Ink Sauce over Rice

LAURINE WICKETT
AGE: 38
HOMETOWN: Rochester, N.Y. – currently resides in San Francisco, Calif.
PROFESSION: Chef / Owner Left Coast Catering
CULINARY EDUCATION: A.O.S Culinary Arts, C.I.A
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE:  Grilled corn salad with summer beans and chanterelles

KEVIN GILLESPIE
AGE: 26
HOMETOWN: Atlanta, Ga.
PROFESSION: Executive Chef & Partner, Woodfire Grill
CULINARY EDUCATION: Art Institute of Atlanta
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Creamed silver queen corn with a warm salad of small tomatoes and pole beans.

JESSE SANDLIN
AGE: 30
HOMETOWN: Baltimore, Md.
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Abacrombie Fine Foods
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-Taught
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Julienned Summer Squash Tossed with Lemon, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Salt, Cracked Black Pepper, and a Little Bit of Butter

JENNIFER ZAVALA
AGE: 31
HOMETOWN: Cromwell, Conn. – currently resides in Philadelphia, Pa.
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, El Camino Real
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self Taught
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Fiddle Head Ferns Sauteed in Butter Garlic Wine and Crushed Red Pepper.

JENNIFER CARROLL
AGE: 33
HOMETOWN: Philadelphia, Pa.
PROFESSION: Chef de Cuisine 10 Arts by Eric Ripert
CULINARY EDUCATION: The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Philadelphia
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Compressed Watermelon, Chesapeake Bay Jumbo Lump Crab, Fennel Pollen and Wild Boar Prosciutto Chips

HECTOR SANTIAGO
AGE: 41
HOMETOWN: San Juan, Puerto Rico – currently resides in Atlanta, Ga.
PROFESSION: Chef-Owner, Pura Vida ~ Latino Tapas Restaurant & Bar
CULINARY EDUCATION: AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Charcoal Grilled Skirt steak with a Vegetable Ceviche (celery, radishes, tomatoes and whatever else is available from local farmers)

EVE ARONOFF
AGE: 40
HOMETOWN: Ann Arbor, Mich.
PROFESSION: Chef-Owner, Eve
CULINARY EDUCATION: Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Salad of Ripe Tomatoes, Avocado, Red Onion and Fresh Lime – with Mozzarella di Bufala and some good bread

ELI KIRSHTEIN
AGE: 25
HOMETOWN: Atlanta, Ga.
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Eno Restaurant and Wine Bar
CULINARY EDUCATION: A.O.S. Culinary Arts, C.I.A
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Salad of Summer Fruits and Vegetables with various textures of raw and cooked, with some purees and sauces

BRYAN VOLTAGGIO
AGE: 33
HOMETOWN: Frederick, Md.—currently resides in Urbana, Md.
PROFESSION: Chef/Partner, VOLT Restaurant
CULINARY EDUCATION: A.O.S Culinary Arts, C.I.A.
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Marinated Grilled Hanger Steak, Silver Queen Corn and Fava Bean Succotash, Cherokee Purple Heriloom Tomatoes, Rick’s Arugula

AHLEY MERRIMAN
AGE: 32
HOMETOWN: Center Sandwich, N.H. – currently resides in Seattle, Wash.
PROFESSION: Chef at Branzino in Seattle, Wash.
CULINARY EDUCATION: Institute of Culinary Education, New York, N.Y.
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Pan-Fried Soft Shell Crabs with Ramps and Morels

ASH FULK
AGE: 29
HOMETOWN: Pleasant Hill, Calif. – currently resides in New York City
PROFESSION: Sous Chef at Trestle on Tenth
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self Taught
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Mayonnaise – with a sweet tea to wash it down.

A comment from me: the Voltaggios are obviously brothers who have taken different culinary paths
 

 



 

 

 

 



 


 

« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 09:13:03 AM by apskip »

Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 01:06:46 PM »
Marigold, your sense of timing is superb. Top Chef 6 - Las Vegasis premiering on BRAVO Wed. Aug. 26 at 9pm.


Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 01:12:22 PM »
Here are the 17 competing chefs for Top Chef 6:

- Ash Fulk, 29 Hometown: Pleasant Hill, Calif.; Resides in New York City

- Ashley Merriman, 32 Center Sandwich, N.H.; Resides in Seattle, Wash.

- Bryan Voltaggio, 33 Hometown: Frederick, Md.; Resides in Urbana, Md.

- Eli Kirshtein, 25 Hometown/Resides in: Atlanta, Ga.

- Eve Aronoff, 40 Hometown/Resides in: Ann Arbor, Mich.

- Hector Santiago, 41 Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Resides in Atlanta, Ga.

- Jennifer Carroll, 33 Hometown/Resides in: Philadelphia, Pa.

- Jennifer Zavala, 31 Hometown: Cromwell, Conn.; Resides in Philadelphia, Pa.

- Jesse Sandlin, 30 Hometown/Resides in: Baltimore, Md.

- Kevin Gillespie, 26 Hometown/Resides in: Atlanta, Ga.

- Laurine Wickett, 38 Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.; Resides in San Francisco, Calif.

- Mattin Noblia, 29 Hometown: Biarritz, France; Resides in San Francisco, Calif.

- Michael Isabella, 34 Hometown: Little Ferry, N.J.; Resides in Washington, D.C.

- Michael Voltaggio, 30 Hometown: Frederick, Md.; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

- Preeti Mistry, 33 Hometown/Resides in: San Francisco, Calif.

- Robin Leventhal, 43 Hometown: Sun Valley, Idaho; Resides in Seattle, Wash.

- Ron Duprat, 40 Hometown: Mare Rouge, Haiti; Resides in Hollywood, Fla. and Naples, Fla.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 01:15:34 PM by apskip »

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2009, 01:28:38 PM »
Wow! Already?? Thanks apskip!!!  :-*
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 03:24:31 PM »
Here are profiles of the 17 cheftestants from the BRAVO Top Chef website:

Laurine Wickett
Age: 38
Hometown: Rochester, N.Y. – currently resides in San Francisco, Calif.
Profession:: Chef / Owner Left Coast Catering
Culinary Education: A.O.S Culinary Arts, C.I.A
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Grilled corn salad with summer beans and chanterelles
Foodie Fact: Wickett began her catering career preparing dinners for the executives of Silicon Valley. She went on to become the chef and owner of Left Coast Catering - preparing cuisine based on the hodgepodge of cultures found in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Preeti Mistry
Age: 33
Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.
Profession:: Executive Chef, Google, Bon Appetit ManAgement Company
Culinary Education: Le Cordon Bleu, London
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Fennel Crust Marin Sun Farms’ Rack of Lamb, Saffron Parsnip Puree, Heirloom Carrot and English Pea Ragout with Pinot Noir Reduction
Foodie Fact: Preeti’s commitment to seasonality, and her relationship with small local farmers are at the core of her cuisine. If she were a food, what food would she be? “I would be a green zebra tomato – extremely distinctive from all the others, a little hard on the outside, but pure love at the center.”

Ron Duprat
Age: 40
Hometown: Mare Rouge, Haiti—currently resides in Hollywood, Fla. and Naples, Fla.
Profession:: Executive Chef
Culinary Education: College Aimee Cesaire and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Jumbo Scallop, Sweet Chili Tahini Sauce, Watermelon and Avocado Slaw.
Foodie Fact: Duprat is known for daring experimentation with exotic flavors, often incorporating his own Haitian Creole influences with French-Asian Fusion cuisine. His favorite dish to prepare? Flourless chocolate cake.

Hector Santiago
Age: 41
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico – currently resides in Atlanta, Ga.
Profession:: Chef-Owner, Pura Vida ~ Latino Tapas Restaurant & Bar
Culinary Education: AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Charcoal Grilled Skirt steak with a Vegetable Ceviche (celery, radishes, tomatoes and whatever else is available from local farmers)
Foodie Fact: Santiago has a long list of culinary accolades - including two James Beard nominations for "Best Chef, Southeast." Santiago hopes to raise the cultural awareness of Latin American products and cuisine, and is currently working on a hot pepper-inspired culinary venture he refers to as "taming the heat."

Jesse Sandlin
Age: 30
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Profession:: Executive Chef, Abacrombie Fine Foods
Culinary Education: Self-Taught
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Julienned Summer Squash Tossed with Lemon, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Salt, Cracked Black Pepper, and a Little Bit of Butter
Foodie Fact: She may be young, but Jesse has spent 14 years working in professional kitchens everywhere from Maryland to Australia. She's trained under chefs Andre Tescher and Kurt Spataro, and you can always find Bacon, butter, duck fat, cumin and trash bags in her kitchen!

Jennifer Carroll
Age: 33
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
Profession:: Chef de Cuisine 10 Arts by Eric Ripert
Culinary Education: The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Philadelphia
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Compressed Watermelon, Chesapeake Bay Jumbo Lump Crab, Fennel Pollen and Wild Boar Prosciutto Chips
Foodie Fact: Carroll's culinary star is on the rise - she was personally selected by Chef Ripert as the Chef de Cuisine of 10 Arts at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia. After a long day in the kitchen, Carroll likes to kick back late night with a great sandwich.

 
Robin Leventhal
Age: 43
Hometown: Sun Valley, Idaho – currently resides in Seattle, Wash.
Profession:: Chef, Artist and Teacher
Culinary Education: Self-Taught
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with a great piece of fish or meat.
Foodie Fact: Robin discovered her passion for food while pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts. The chef/artist currently uses her cooking and culinary connections to help raise money for Lymphoma research.

Ash Fulk
Age: 29
Hometown: Pleasant Hill, Calif. – currently resides in New York City
Profession:: Sous Chef at Trestle on Tenth
Culinary Education: Self-Taught
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Mayonnaise – with a sweet tea to wash it down.
Foodie Fact: Fulk enjoys working with foods that are regional and seasonal and follows the motto "if it grows together, it goes together." Ash enjoys whipping up custards and cooking with leeks, and some of his favorite chefs include Dan Barber and Claudia Fleming.

 
Eli Kirshtein
Age: 25
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Profession:: Executive Chef, Eno Restaurant and Wine Bar
Culinary Education: A.O.S. Culinary Arts, C.I.A
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Salad of Summer Fruits and Vegetables with various textures of raw and cooked, with some purees and sauces
Foodie Fact: Kirshtein has a simple culinary philosophy - use the best ingredients in the most fitting techniques. He can't choose just one of his favorite dishes to prepare, but he enjoys cooking with good friends, and with a lot of heart.

Michael Isabella
Age: 34
Hometown: North Jersey – currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Profession:: Executive Chef, Zaytinya
Culinary Education: Self-Taught
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Squash Blossoms
Foodie Fact: Isabella has traveled far and wide to perfect his culinary technique. While traveling through Greece and parts of the Middle East, he picked up the slight flavors and nuances of Greek cuisine. His favorite dish to prepare is octopus!

Jennifer Zavala
Age: 31
Hometown: Cromwell, Conn. – currently resides in Philadelphia, Pa.
Profession:: Executive Chef, El Camino Real
Culinary Education: Self-Taught
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Fiddle Head Ferns Sauteed in Butter Garlic Wine and Crushed Red Pepper.
Foodie Fact: Zavala is all about bringing "border food" to the city of Brotherly love, and takes great pride in her ability to cook Latino food - particularly Norteña and Tejas cuisines. She would have her last meal with Julia Child, and she'd let Julia do the cooking!

Eve Aronoff
Age: 40
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.
PROFESSION:: Chef-Owner, Eve
Culinary Education: Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Salad of Ripe Tomatoes, Avocado, Red Onion and Fresh Lime – with Mozzarella di Bufala and some good bread
Foodie Fact: Aronoff has showcased a multi-course dinner before The James Beard Foundation, she's the author of her own cookbook - Eve: Contemporary Cuisine Methode Traditionelle - and she served as a delegate to Terra Madre, the bi-annual international slow food meeting in Italy.

Mattin Noblia
Age: 29
Hometown: Biarritz, France – currently resides in San Francisco, Calif.
Profession:: Owner, Iluna Basque
Culinary Education: C.A.P. de cuisine in southern France, the Basque Region
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Grilled Sardines and Fresh Tomato Sauce, or Boudin Noire with Caramelized Apples, or Stuffed Calamari in Ink Sauce over Rice
Foodie Fact: Noblia became enamored with cooking as a small boy watching his mother prepare “piment d’ espelette” –Basque chili. Noblia admires French chefs Hubert Keller and Rolland Passot, but for his last meal, Mattin would cook a candle-lit dinner for two for himself and Jessica Alba.

Kevin Gillespie
Age: 26
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Profession:: Executive Chef & Partner, Woodfire Grill
Culinary Education: Art Institute of Atlanta
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Creamed silver queen corn with a warm salad of small tomatoes and pole beans.
Foodie Fact: Name a prestigious restaurant in Atlanta, and Gillespie has probably worked there. He's held positions at Atlanta Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Two Urban Licks, and Woodfire Grill. Gillespie's kitchen is never without banyuls vinegar, smoked pork, espelette pepper, lemon oil and lard, and if Gillespie had to pick a favorite junk food, it would be hot wings.

Michael Voltaggio
Age: 30
Hometown: Frederick, Md. – currently resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
Profession:: Chef de Cuisine at Bazaar by Jose Andres
Culinary Education: The Greenbrier Hotel Culinary Apprenticeship Program
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Soft Poached Egg with Morel Mushrooms, Fava Beans, Jamon Iberico Consommé
Foodie Fact: Voltaggio has quite the impressive resume, with a number of culinary awards, include the "AAA 55 Diamond" and "Mobil Award." In addition, he was finalist for the James Beard "Best New Restaurant" award.

Bryan Voltaggio
Age: 33
Hometown: Frederick, Md.—currently resides in Urbana, Md.
Profession:: Chef/Partner, VOLT Restaurant
Culinary Education: A.O.S Culinary Arts, C.I.A.
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Marinated Grilled Hanger Steak, Silver Queen Corn and Fava Bean Succotash, Cherokee Purple Heriloom Tomatoes, Rick’s Arugula
Foodie Fact: Voltaggio has become a strong advocate for meats, seafood, and produce that are local, sustainable and organic. He explains, “Through our choice of ingredients we become engaged in more than creating a great dining experience, but in supporting local agriculture.”

Ashley Merriman
Age: 32
Hometown: Center Sandwich, N.H. – currently resides in Seattle, Wash.
Profession:: Chef at Branzino in Seattle, Wash.
Culinary Education: Institute of Culinary Education, New York, N.Y.
Favorite Simple Summer Recipe: Pan-Fried Soft Shell Crabs with Ramps and Morels
Foodie Fact: You don't have to become a chef if you hail from a town named Center Sandwich, but don't tell that to Ashley Merriman. Merriman currently works for Chef Alexandra Guarneschelli in New York City, and her five kitchen must-haves are quality extra virgin olive oil, champagne vinegar, lemons and thyme.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2009, 12:19:29 PM »
A misplacement of a Top Chef Masters item

Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2009, 09:44:10 AM »
I have been giving thought to which competiting chefs I think are best-qualified on paper to win TC6. I have two that I like the best:

Jennifer Carroll - her Eric Ripert connection is strong and he is an outstanding teacher
Hector Santiago - he has won some distinguished awards


Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 05:12:47 PM »
For undisclosed reasons, BRAVO has moved the start of Top Chef 6 up to Aug. 19, presumably a 9pm to 1015pm opener.

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 01:29:03 PM »
Nine days to go!!  :wohoo:  I was thinking the two had to be brothers apskip, that is an unusual name.  It looks like a good cast this season!

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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2009, 09:55:24 AM »
Previews of the first episode of Top Chef 6 are now available. When you tune in next Wednesday Aug. 19 at 9pm (one hour before the top Chef Masters finale) this is the Quickfire you will find for teams of 4 cheftestants:

1. Open 15 quahog clams
2. Peel 35 prawns
3. Clean 5 lobsters
4. Butcher 2 chops from a prime rib

This looks more appropriate than peeling carrots and dicign onions (although those are very basic basic culinary skills).





« Last Edit: August 13, 2009, 01:42:47 PM by apskip »

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2009, 12:41:39 PM »
The first episode of Top Chef 6 will be Wednesday Aug. 19 from 9pm to 1015pm EDT, a special 75 minute edition.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2009, 06:11:00 PM »
Thanks apskip. I heard a commercial for the show today, the two are indeed brothers. They should liven things up!
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2009, 06:44:36 AM »
Alan Sepinwall, national television critic, dishes on Top Chef 6's opening episode. Featured are a photo showing Wolfgang Puck as the Guest Judge. There is an analysis of the "too bland" label that some who blog about Top Chef Masters have put on the master chefs; I do not agree with that criticism.

Sepinwall says that the Quickfire challenge will involve a line of showgirls and a poker chip.  The cheftestants include "a pair of competitive brothers, a James Beard Award winner who has an actual beard and a Haitian who builds a castle as his culinary creation." He goes on to talk about the future role of Toby Young, who is not among the judges on tonight's show. He apparently has watched tapes of his first season as a judge and is not pleased with his actions. I guess we can expect him to soften a bit in his future commentary.

So Top Chef 6 premieres tonight at 9pm. I am anticipating a really good season.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2009, 02:41:04 PM »
 :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: Tonight's the night!!
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2009, 09:49:21 PM »
Better late than never. That's what I say about the tardiness of this recap. The first episode is the most difficult to recap because there are so many chefs who have yet to establish themselves in your brain. I stated weeks ago that my 2 favorites were Jennifer Carroll and Hector Santiago. Let's pay particular attention to how they do, as it is dramatically different.

The chefs arrive at the M Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and are welcomed by its Executive Vice President John Lepowitz . The Quickfire Challenge has each of the 17 draw poker chips to determine which of the Black, Blue, Green or Red teams they would be on. The luckiest person was Robin, who drew the Gold Chip and won $15,000 instantly from M Resort plus was immune for the Elimination Challenge. Later, Robin is asked if she is "feeling lucky" and wants to waive immunity so she can compete for another $15,000 prize, but she declines and kept her immunity.

The Quickfire starts with a relay race challenge. It requires completion of opening 15 quahog clams, peeling 30 shrimp, cleaning 5 lobsters and cutting chops from two prime ribs. Tom Colicchio is the judge and teams cannot pass the figurative baton from one station to another without his approval. The Red team is handicapped by the fact that Preeti was stuck with opening the clams but doesn't know how to do it. The team to finish first by a very small margin was the Blue team over the Black team. At this point it changes to an individual challenge individual contest and all members of the BLUE team compete against the other members of that team by cooking a dish using their specific ingredient from the relay race to demonstrate one or more of their vices for a $15,000 prize.

BLUE TEAM
Jennifer C. - clam ceviche w/lime juice and citron vinegar
Bryan - fennel crusted rib-eye w/ caramelized celery
Mattin - lobster w/bay leaves and star anise
Jesse - prawns and grits w/ polenta

Jen wins the $15,000 prize. She says she wants to win every Quickfire and Elimination Challenge no matter what.

Next is the Elimination Challenge, based on one or more vices that each chef must identify as their own (a couple of chefs cheat on this; no surprise that this happened). I consider the vices bit really hokey but most of the cheftestants played along with it.  The dishes produced are:

BLUE TEAM
Bryan Voltaggio - NY strip steak  with parsnip puree and bourbon reduction caramel
Mattin Noblia- buffalo rib-eye with Madeira sauce, zucchini mashed potatoes and garlic
Jennifer Carroll - poached halibut w/ whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch and black peppercorn sauce
Jesse - braised chicken w/ whiskey reduction, Yukon potatoes, fried egg
Robin (who could attach herself to any team and chose the Quickfire winner) - pork tenderloin stuffed with chorizo and bread pudding

BLACK TEAM
Mike Isabella - olive oil poached halibut w/ eggplant puree
Eli Kirschner - "buttered" scotch w/ scallops, cashews and beer powder
Ashley - chicken liver ravioli w/ red wine demi-glace
Hector Santiago- fried smoked rib-eye w/ carrot puree and ceviche of celery (note - Tom and Wolfgang Puck state that cooking this on the wood-fired grill would have been a winner but frying the rib-eye was a terrible decision)

GREEN TEAM
Ash - poached halibut w/ ratatouille and parsley coulis with the sauce on only half the plates due to the clock terminating more
Jen Z. - chile relleno stuffed with seitan and tomatillo salsa
Ron Dupree - jerk bass with collard greens and Haitian hash
Laurine - bacon donuts w/ chocolate and beer sauces

RED TEAM
Mike Voltaggio - rack of lamb w/ cocnut sauce and gnocchi
Preeti Mistriy - pork tenderloin w/ Bourbon sweet potato puree
Eve - shrimp and scallops in a curry cream sauce
Kevin - arctic char w/ turnip salsa verde, celery salad
 
As Guest Judge, Wolfgang Puck was in rare form. He had a devastating critique of purees by stating that "everybody has to put purees underneath everything. People think you need the steak and then put baby food under it." He also lauded many dishes but said that "we have a few turkeys." One of those was not the dish Jen C. prepared, as Wolfgang stated that her fish was cooked to perfection. He followed up with a joke that he did not know why she had to drench Scotch, Bourbon and cognac on it. Kevin's arctic char got praise from Wolgang. Tom says "I love a good chile relleno, but this is not a good chile relleno." in reference to Jen Z.'s dish. Talking about Eve's dish Gail says it is totally out of balance and Tom adds that scallops were not seared properly.

The 4 winners, Jennifer C., Ron, Kevin and Mike I., compete for the honor of being the first Elimination Challenge winner, who have won 3 of 5 Top Chefs. Kevin wins it. The 4 worst from each team are evaluated against each other to deteremine who must "packs your knives and go". That was Hector, Jen Z., Jesse and Eve. Hector was evaluated as worst on a strong team but not worthy of that fate. The individual who earned it with a really bad dish was Eve. She was sent home.

These are lively cheftestants. It looks like it will be a good season. To report on my 2 favorites, Jennifer won $15,000 and finished 2nd in the Elmination Challenge. Hector was worst of his team but judged to be too good to get rid of. I will continue to follow their progress a little more than I do for the average cheftestant.

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2009, 03:45:08 PM »
It's obvious already that we have a much more talented group of cheftestants and I'm happy to see it. Jennifer is going to be a strong contender, I agree with you. Two other I want to watch closely is Ron Duprat and Mattin Noblia.

This is going to be a good season!
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Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2009, 07:46:31 PM »
I loved the opening show! i loved the new twists toO!  the cash!! :wohoo:  and there are so many good chefs like TL said!!

 I think jennifer is gonna be strong but i don't know if her vigorous attitude will work in her favor

 i like ashley but i think  the guys have a higher caliper of skills

preeti disappointed me with not being able to shuck a clam!! hope she does better next week!
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2009, 09:05:06 AM »
TC6 Ep. 2 opened with the usual useless dialogue. Nothing important happens until the Quickfire starts and chefs enter the kitchen to find Todd English standing there with Padma. He is the Guest Judge for all of this episode. It is another gambling-related challenge, rolling 2 regular dice to determine how many ingredients (other than salt, pepper and sugar) can be used in a dish. Some point out that having too many ingredients can be a negative and having few can be a positive. Only these 9 (60% of the total remaining) chefs' dishes were shown in the episode due to time constraints; I have used a special source for the information on the other 6 dishes. Chefs have 30 minutes to cook.

Laurine 3 Asparagus and leek soup w/ lemon
Kevin 10 Asparagus and celery salad, fennel cream, boiled egg
Ashley 8 Grilled Lamb w/ apricot mostarda
Jen 9 salmon w/ lemon, garlic, shallots, parsley and jalapeno emulsion
Jesse 9 scallops w/ smashed Chimichurri, smashed garbanzo beans, toasted garlic
Eve 8 Chilled asparagus w/ raisins, pine nuts, blue cheese
Mattin 4 Carrot Soup w/ ginger
Bryan 10 broiled black cod w/ Carrot ginger puree, daikon radish sprouts, yuzu
Michael V. 8 nitro gazpacho, toast croutons, cucumbers
Ash -   Chilean Sea Bass w/Tarragon/Araugula Salad and tomatoes
Eli - mussels with Ras el Hnout and sherry caramel
Hector- serrano ham w/sherry kumquat emulsion, date carpaccio
Michael I. - scallop crudo w/avocado puree and corn nuts
Preeti - spring Benedict
Robin - duck breast w/braised fennel, golden raisin relish
ron - pan-seared salmon w/spinach cannelloni bean saute and butter

The worst dishes Todd rates are from Jesse, Eve, and Bryan (yuzu overpowering). The best are from Kevin (following on his Elimination Chalenge victory in ep. 1), Jen (following on her Quickfire victory in ep. 1) and Michael. I guess they want to spread the wealth around, as the winner of $15,000 from M Resorts is Michael.

The Elimination Challenge is a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party implemented as a Battle of the Sexes, Males on one team, Females on the other. Some of the chefs bitch about this, particualrly Jen on general principles and Ashley on the grounds that it discriminates against her, Preeti and Ash all of whom are gay. They aren't ask you to be the Bachelor or Bachelorette, so pipe down and start cooking is what I think chefs should do in this situation. The Bachelor and Bachelorette are brought to the appropriate team for 10 minutes and obvious questions are asked. The Males find that the Bachelorette wants mostly seafood and not more than one meat dish. The Females find that the Bachelor likes shellfish, sweets, Asian food and lamb. There is 30 minutes to spend $800 per team at Whole Foods. Each team manages the necessary coordination and gets an average of $100 or $112 to spend (8 male chefs and 7 Female chefs). There is 2 hours that evening to prep.

The next morning is 1 hour setup poolside at M Resort. The dishes prepared by the Women are:
Jesse - Thai chicken, lettuce cup, shiitake mushrooms, shiso, ginger beer
Jen - octopus ceviche w/citrus vinaigrette
Ashley #1 - watermelon carpaccio w/Ricotta salata, aged Balsamic
Ashley #2 - basil and vanilla pannacotta w/cranberry powder, honey
Eve - shrimp and avocado ceviche w/smoky tomato salsa and popcorn
Preeti - coriander and sesame crusted tuna, spicy eggplant, wonton crisp
Laurine - Moroccan Lamb Chop w/pomegranate pine nut relish
Robin - duck mole and cocoa nibs w/apricot

The dishes prepared by the Men are:
Mattin - bouilabaisse w/aioli crouton, small Basque croquette
Bryan V.- sweet and sour macaroon cookies, guacamole, corn nuts, corn puree
Michael V. - apple sorbet, goat cheese cookie dough
Michael I. - arctic char w/smoky caper sauce, cara cara orange
Hector - tofu, lemon lime and tequila ceviche, guanjillo achiote tortilla
Eli - Thai tuna tartare w/puffed wild rice
Kevin - chilled almond soup w/king crab, cucumber and whole white grape
Ron - lobster cocktail w/Habanero tomato sauce
Ash - Asian chicken wing w/pickled pearl onion

There were a number of comments from the judges while tasting these dishes. It's Padma, Tom, Gail and Todd. Ron had no salt and no heat in his. Eli had extensive seasoning. Hector's dish was termed "beautiful." Tom said that noone would want to eat Michael I.'s dish. Michael V. got delicious, excellent. Bryan v.'s dish was also highly thought of, causing Gail to comment that it could be the battle of the brothers for the top slot. On the women's side, only Jen's dish drew raves. Comments indicated that the judges did not like the dishes of Preeti, Eve, Ashley or Jesse. There is the usual posturing by the chefs. The Men claim victory based on the comments of the Bachelorette's party, which had no weight in the final decision at all.

However, when the top 4 are called to face the judges, it is obvious that the Men have won. The top 4 are Bryan, his brother Michael, Hector (go, Hector) and Eli. Todd tells Hector he could make people actually like eating tofu. He told Michael he had "knocked it out of the park." Indeed, the battle is as Tom predicted (and as he had 1/3 of the vote plus the moral suasion of his position as head judge to help things come out the way he sees them), Bryan vs. Michael. Michael had just won the Quickfire so I believe that may have influenced the judges to award Elimination victory to Bryan.

The Losers were, as expected, Eve, Jesse, Preeti and Ashley. Note that Jesse and Eve were in ep. 1's worst as well as the worst for the above Quickfire. They are not going to be around long. Jesse's dish was too watery. Eve's was overpowered by the flavor of the salsa as her shrimp never developed much flavor. Ashley had one very good dish and one poor one. It was clear that the promise she showed was not going to be snuffed out, although her judgment in being the only one to offer 2 dishes was questioned since the judges believe she would have been better off to have done one only. Eve is the person deemed deserving to pack her knives and go home.

Next week is 300 Air Force employees and some of their families to be fed in an environment where "there are no stoves or pots."

I want to comment on one thing that disgusts me in watching the TopChef6 chefs. Many of them have prominent tattoos. If I were going to a fine dining establishment and saw that on the chef, I would turn around and walk out. The gays have their prejudices and I have mine. I will say that so far (and there hasn't been a lot of spare time to use extra camera shots) there does not appear to be the usual smokefest from these chefs, which is a positive statement about them. I hate cigarette smoke in my presence, but recognize the right of the chefs to light up at the appropriate times. I just don't want to see 10 of them chewing the fat and smoking like chimneys.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 01:42:22 PM by apskip »

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2009, 12:16:51 PM »
Quote
I want to comment on one thing that disgusts me in watching the TopChef6 chefs. Many of them have prominent tattoos. If I were going to a fine dining establishment and saw that on the chef, I would turn around and walk out. The gays have their prejudices and I have mine. I will say that so far (and there hasn't been a lot of spare time to use extra camera shots) there does not appear to be the usual smokefest from these chefs, which is a positive statement about them. I hate cigarette smoke in my presence, but recognize the right of the chefs to light up at the appropriate times. I just don't want to see 10 of them chewing the fat and smoking like chimneys.

I have mine as well and they are similar to your prejudices. It also grosses me out to see piercings on a person's face, especially on their mouth. It doesn't seem clean and translates to their food. Would I want to eat it from a person who doesn't project pride in their appearance? Not especially.

The weak chefs are obvious and Jesse will be gone soon and Eve thankfully is gone.


« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 04:37:54 PM by TexasLady »
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2009, 01:40:27 PM »
TexasLady,

I forgot to mention lip/mouth/etc. piercings which also disgust me (except for ear piercings which are OK). If you are a chef in a restaurant you preumably will have some contact with customers. Many of them will be grossed out with chefs like Jesse who have in-your-face piercings. She has done poorly so I am confident like you that we will not have to watch her for many episodes.

Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2009, 09:53:46 PM »
WOW.. i can cook a mean meal and my tats or piercing don't ruin the meal at alll!! :funny:

they do have chef coats with sleeves and they do wear them.

 if you OWN your own resturant and the customer doesn't likes tats. and happens to want to talk to you about the food.. and they get grossed out or turned off  well there's the door!!

 if you go to mcky d's and the french fry person has hairy arms  are you gonna eat the fries once you see it??

 what i'm getting at is that the talent is what the show is about.. eventually all of the contestants images chage as the show progresses. and likewise their cooking ability also goes up in a positive freindly TV manor..

 so ashley cancook but she made a poor deccsion on making 2  items for the wedding menu.  i hope she can  keep up with  the consistancy .

 preeti.. i think will fall curbside along with jessie  who will go first .. not sure..

 i can't wait to watch the brothers go at it.. they are cut throat! cute.. articulate.. and hard core rivals!! :lol:
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2009, 02:13:17 PM »
ugot2bekidnmeny,

I guess you have never owned a restaurant. I have and I can assure you that the chef, who is used actively as a marketing tool at any decent restaurant, needs to not gross out a wide range of people. Sure there are chefs who can stay in their kitchen and never meet the public, but that is not how it's done in any better restaurant except maybe a chef-owned one with an owner not very interested in their bottom line. I am not saying that chefs should not have piercings. I am saying that lead chefs in discriminating restaurants (which includes every one that supplied a chef to Top Chef 6 and every prior Top Chef season) will not be allowed customer contact if they are not reasonably presentable. I would say that Sandee from season 3 was marginal on this dimension with her haircut but might just squeak by. Richard Blaise from season 4 would just make it.

I am not saying that it is bad for Jesse to gross me out every time I see her on screen. The Top Chef 6 production experience was a safe time with respect to appearances in the lives of its participants. Jesse can get away with it. I hope she had the sense after the production of the show to show a more "normal" bottom lip. She is the Executive Chef reporting to the owner of Abercrombie Fine Foods, self-reputed to be a world-famous restaurant. She cannot get away with doing whatever she wants in appearance. Her leg tattoos are not exactly classy but at least they can be hidden under pants or skirts if she chooses. The piercings make an indelible impression.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2009, 07:50:16 PM »
geeze apskip..  i don't own a restaurant but that doesn't mean i don't understand what  being JUDGE about is  like.. I worked in the food business for over 10 years and was  and am alternative in my look and was extremely successful at it.

i have known top chefs and worked in high end places where tats and piercings  did not ruin one bit of business but i understand your issues with it.

 I'm just not a judgemental person.. talent is what the show is about.

  and wow i can't believe you brought up sandee's hair..  that's the least of issues out there when you have chefs that pick their noses.. scratch their crotch and  spit around the food and then you eat it.

IMO appearances mean nothing.  it's talent in my eyes
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2009, 07:20:46 AM »
Those of you who set VCRs need to know that this Wednesday's episode of TC6 goes until 1115pm.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2009, 10:24:57 AM »
TC6, ep. 3 opened with the introduction of guest judge Mark Peel (you're about to get the joke) and mountains of potatoes. He is the chef/owner of Campanile in San Francisco and was a master chef competing in Top Chef Masters. The cheftestants for the Quickfire Challenge must create an out-of-this-world dish with potatoes.  
Quickfire dishes were:

Ashley - potato gnocchi with mushrooms and ricotta cheese
Bryan - sunchoke and Yukon gold vichyssoise w/ applewood smoked caviar
Eli - yam puree w/ whipped bliss and bourbon maple syrup
Hector - steamed sweet potato w/ fish sauce and lime purple, potatoes and ham
Jen - steamed mussels, Yukon gold and blue potatoes w/ lemongrass potato sauce
Jesse - sweet potato soup w/ ginger, brown sugar, cayenne pepper
Kevin - bacon-braised yam w/ potato sauce, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower
Laurine - vegetarian potato burger on portabella mushroom bun and fingerling chips
Mattin -  poached cod w/ blue, Yukon and sweet potato purees
Michael V. - confit tuna and potato sandwich
Mike I. - potato risotto w/ king crab and mascarpone
Preeti - Saffron Poached Russian banana fingerlings w/ asparagus and tomatoes
Robin - purple and fingerling potatoes, white yams w/ pancetta, frisee and fried egg
Ron - sweet ptoato crushed yellowtail w/ fennel and leek stew

Mark Peel judged the worst dishes as from Eli, Ron and Michael V. Eli's was too sweet and Micahel V.'s was too spicy. The best dishes were by Jen, Ash and Ashley. Jen was declared the winner, with immunity from elimination this episode.

The chefs were then given a pep talk by the commander of Nellis Air Force Base 8 miles from Las Vegas, home of the Thunderbirds stunt performers. It is also the location of the United States Air Force Warfare Center and a major training location for both U.S. and foreign military aircrews. The chefs were going to provide a substitute for the mess hall food for the 300 lunchers expected on any given day. The Elimination Challenge was to act as a total team and cook the best things they could for the troops, many of whom were on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan or coming back from there and some family members. They were to use the standard base mess kitchen and its standard supplies. Those supplies were mostly canned food, a few fresh vegetables, varities of meat and spices. It was the kitchen equipment that was limiting, as chefs had one huge vat and oven trays to cook with, but no normal burners or pots. The military prepares food by the tray, not for smaller quantities.

The chefs divided up the responsibilities quickly. Because Jen was immune from elimination, she was appointed Executive Chef, which would have been an excellent choice even if she had not been immune. Teams of two were formed and each one had one dish (although a few did two) as their primary responsiblity. The teams of Preeti/Laurine and Ron/Jesse each had one weak link who had been in the worst category at least once.  Jen had to sort out the bottlenecks and timelines and priorities to decide who got the available time on scarce equipment for their dish. I commend her for doing an excellent job. The dishes were brought in large trays for serving purposes to the hangar serving as a subtitute mess hall. The troops were assembled before entering the hangar into 2 lines, which went through 2 identical stations.

Elimination challenge dishes were:
Ash/Ashley - Chocolate bread pudding with peanut butter sauce
Eli/Kevin - Georgia style braised pork shoulder w/ potato salad
Jesse/Ron - New England clam chowder w/ roasted corn
Laurine/Preeti - farfalle pasta salad w/ sund-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers. artichoke hearts, broccoli, red onion, red wine vinaigrette
Mattin/Bryan - roasted beef strip loin w/ mushroom demi-glace and cauliflower gratin
Michael V./Mike I.- braised pork belly w/ soy mustard and peanuts; Greek shrimp salad w/ cucumbers, chick peas and olives
Robin/Hector - 3 bean chili w/ roasted chicken

The troops loved the meal, probably a bit upscale from their normal fare. The judges loved some of it. The best dishes were the pork, Eli/Kevin and Michael/Mike. The judges quizzed Michael and Mike to determine what role each had played with the pork belly dish and who had focused on their salad. They discovered that Mike had helped Michael only a little, but Mike was 100% responsible for the Greek shrimp salad. Michael was judged as the winner, with the cachet that goes with that even though there were no prizes for it. I was surprised that Jen was not conisdered for the winner's group. Maybe the immune person is not eligible, but I thought she did the best job of all as Executive Chef.

The worst were determined to be Mike, who was astounded and angry about this, Preeti and Laurine. The judges told Mike his salad was treated like a throwaway with little seasoning or flavor. The farfalle salad of the other two had a similar problem. By quizzing them carefully, the judges discovered a major attitudinal difference between Laurine who after the fact wanted to correct the dish but obviously couldn't and Preeti who could not even comprehend that there was a problem with that dish.
Preeti was eliminated and I think that was a fair and resonable choice.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 12:16:45 PM by apskip »

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2009, 05:30:03 PM »
I suffered an attack of "the computer ate my homework"  causing me to have to write this a second time after the completed but not submitted document was being checked for mistakes.

The guest judge is Daniel Boulud. This Quickfire is of the "shock and awe" type with a very special reward and the chefs are told that the loser will be eliminated immediately. Note that they do not have Padma be his Quickfire shadow. That role goes to Tom. The Quickfire is in 45 minutes to create and cook a dish with snails (escargots if you wish) as the protein. The dishes selected and presented are:

Ash - Snail and Leek Galettes with Chantarelles and Bacon
Ashley - Escargot Mirepoix Soup and Salad
Bryan - Escargot with Red Wine Risotto, Spinach Emulsion and Marcona Almond Froth
Eli - Snails with Mushrooms, Sunchokes, and Truffle-Banyuls Sauce
Hector - Carribean Escargot with Pickled Mushrooms
Jen - Escargot with Grilled Ramps, Brussels Sprouts, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Yuzu
Jesse - Escargot, Mache, and Fried Tomato
Kevin - Escargot Fricasse with Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts and Candied Bacon Jam
Laurine - Sauteed Escargot, Lemon Risotto, Spinach, Parsley Pesto, Garlic Butter
Mattin - Fava Bean Crostini with Excargot, Sauteed in a Piment d'espelette and anise
Mike V. - Escargot and Chantarelle Mushroom Bolognese
Michael I. - Sauteed Escargot Over Potato Garlic Puree, Spring Onion and Ouzo Broth
Robin - "Bagels and Lox." Poached Excargot, Marmalade, Gooseberries, and Rye Crostini
Ron - Escargot Provencal with Caramelized Shallots, Pernod, and Fresh Herb

Boulud selects the winner (or at least it is not clear what input, if any, Tom who is sampling the same dishes has). Tom apparently decides who is the loser (what input Boulud has in this is unclear). The losers group is Jesse, Robin adn Ashley. They are invited to take part of a 20 minute creation of an amuse bouche. They choose:
Robin - Avocado Soup with Yuzu, Green Apple, Mustard Relish, and Crab
Jesse - tuna tartare with gooseberries and sorrel and a quail egg with fried bread
Ashley - foie gras with caramelized pineapple, tarragon and ramps
The loser is Jesse, who is eliminated. I will not be sad to see her lack of cooking skills and particularly her lip ring go.

The winners group is Mike I., Kevin and Jen. Kevin's bacon jam carries the day and he wins immunity that takes him out of the elimination challenge entirely but makes him one of the diners and commenters along with a panel of very distinguished French chefs. In addition to Boulud, who will serve on the group of 4 (with Tom, Padma and Gail) making the final decisions, the guest judges are Joel Robuchon, whom many consider the best of the best in this category (I have eaten his cuisine in Paris 26 years ago and it was special). He owns these 14 restaurants:
Hong Kong - L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon
Las Vegas - L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Joël Robuchon at The Mansion
London - L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, La Cuisine de Joël Robuchon
Macau - Robuchon á Galera
Monaco - Restaurant Joël Robuchon
New York - L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Paris - L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, La Table de Joël Robuchon
Tokyo - L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Le Chateau de Joël Robuchon, La Table de Joël Robuchon
 
3 more guest judges were Hubert Keller (who finished 3rd in Top Chef Masters recently), Jean Joho, and Lauent Tourondel.

It is now clear why the Quickfire loser was eliminated; they needed an even number to do what they planned. An alternative would have been to schedule this for the following episode, but something must have prevented that. So in order to have exactly 6 pairs of chefs, one had to go. The pairings were based on a knife draw (6 drew a protein, the other 6 drew a sauce), then a mathcing up of a protein person with an appropriate sauce person. The proteins were frog legs, rabbit, chateaubriand, poussin, lobster and trout. The sauces were veloute, meuniere, Americaine, au poivre, Bearnaise and chasseur. The pairings and resulting menu was:

Jen/Mike V. - Rabbit Chasseur with Mustard Noodle and Shiso
Hector/Ash - Chateaubriand, Sauce a Poive with Confit de Pommes and Spinach
Mattin/Ashley - Sauteed Poussin and Ravioli with Sauce Veloute and Green Asparagus
Robin/Ron - Frog Leg Meuniere with Lemon Confit, Mache and Arugula Salad with Fried Capers
Michael I./Bryan - Warm Cured Trout with Deconstructed Bearnaise sauce
Eli/Laurine - Lobster, Sauce Americaine with Cauliflower Puree

The shopping is 30 minutes at Whole Foods with $200(there are 10 diners). Cooking is done at the hallowed Joel Robuchon Brasserie. The competing chefs are suitably shocked and awed by who will be eating their dishes and rating them. Kevin is regarded to be one lucky dude.

The food is served course by course and the diners freely comment on what they aer eating. Among those comments are:
Frog Legs - overcooked, dry and "masked in flavor"
Deconstructed Bearnaise sauce - well executed
Lobster - lacks genuine flavors
Poussin - bland overcooked and dry
Chateaubriand - overcooked, hacked up in carving and little sauce
Rabbit - perfectly cooked

So, I think that tells you where things stand. The rabbit and trout dishes were praised, the lobster and frog legs did not do well, and the Chateaubriand and poussin dishes were in big trouble. The nomination of the winners group reflects that. It is Michael I., Bryan, Mike V. and Jen. The nod goes to Bryan beacuse he had the idea for and provided the recipe for the deconstructed sauce Bearnaise which Michael I. executed so well. He wins the opportunity to spend a week at Joel Robuchon Brasserie working for free with Joel Robuchon. That is something most of the other chefs envy.

The losers group is no surprise either. Hector and Ash are there for Chateaubriand sauce au poivre and Mattin and Ashley for the poussin sauce veloute with bacon (not the asparagus that Ashley had wanted to do but backed off when Mattin told her it was not classic French). Tom seemed to think it would have been a much better choice. Anyway, they both stay around and so does Ash. The chef doing the most damage in last night's show by a huge margin was Hector, so he joined Jesse is packing his knives adn leaving. I like Hector but whatever skills he has did not seem suited to the actual tasks in top Chef, which are more than fair.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 09:37:37 PM by apskip »

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Top Chef 6: Las Vegas
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2009, 01:15:29 PM »
TC6, ep.5

Another week of Top Chef. What challenges are they going to have to solve this week? The introductory material shows Bryan bragging that the 3 top chefs in this competition are himself, his brother Mike, and the other Michael. He is right about 3 of the top 5, as he appears to have forgotten that Kevin and Jennifer have been consistent winners too. He looks at the mostly inept other women left in the competition and predicts that Robin will be leaving soon.

The Quickfire starts with the introduction of Guest Judge Tim Love, owner of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth and recent contestant on Top Chef Masters. You can bet that this episode will have a southwestern flavor. Padma says that Top Chef producers polled the audience about which of these 3 fairly unusual ingredients they wanted to see the chefs cook with: rattlesnake, kangaroo and cactus. The winner was cactus, so Tim tells the chefs that their Quickfire is to make the most succulent dish using cactus. The chefs have 45 minutes to do so. I noticed in the course of setting up for this that all chefs were preparing 2 plates. I have only seen one being shared by the Guest Judge and Padma, so my guess is that the second one is for the camera that records for the Top Chef website.

The dishes selected are:
Laurine - cactus salsa on achiote-glazed Pork chop
Mike V. - avocado roll, red cactus coulis, cactus cocunut Ceviche
Ashley - cactus jelly doughnut w/ orange creme anglaise
Michael I. - cactus and tuna ceviche w/ pipian
Ron - chipotle Swordfish and mango Crab salad with cactus sauce
Ash - cactus grilled cheese
Jen - warm chorizo and cactus w/ queso fresco
Bryan - Halibut and cactus Ceviche, tempura cactus
Eli - scallop Ceviche w/ cactus Vietnamese salad
Kevin - Pork tenderloin with cactus marmalade
Mattin - red cabbage puree, breaded cactus Halibut with tequila-pickled cactus
Robin - goat cheese and shiitake salbute with nopalito and sweet onion slaw

The comments Tim made shile sampling and evaluating were instructive. Kevin's cactus was "slimy". Ashley's dish was  good. Michael I.'s relish was not appreciated but the rest of the dish was. Mattin was told by Tim that he is a fan of the tequila. At this point the loser's group was announced. Ash had "no cactus flavor".  Mike V. and Ron were selected to be the losers bracket.  Mike V. was told his dish "didn't work". Ron heard that his fish was overcooked and the crab tasted rancid. The winners were identified as Laurine, Mike I. and Mattin. Laurine had developed "great flavor". Mike I.'s dish was really prepared and showcased the cactus properly. Mattin also showcased the cactus. This was a high-staked Quickfire, so Mike I. won $15,000 but no immunity.

The Elimination Challenge was to cook for Tim and 24 of his friends outdoors at a local Sandy Valley ranch, 45 minutes from the Las Vegas strip. After shopping for 30 minutes with a $150 budget, chefs would the next morning have 75 minutes to prep and serve. The chefs got to use an outhouse and spend the night under the stars in tepees to prepare them for this experience. The heating system was a group of open pit grills. They were trays and some ancient plates and utensils. The requirement was for high-end cuisine in a non-high-end setting.

The dishes were:
Mattin - 3 Way Ceviche w/ Salmon with apple, spicy Tuna, Cod with corn
Ron - coconut lime mayo tuna ceviche w/ a Haitian coconut milk mojito
Jen - snapper w/ duck confit, daikon, carrot, tomato water salad
Mike V. - miso-cured black Cod w/ dashi and shiso
Laurine - southwest Arctic Char, tomatilla salsa, roasted corn, grilled potato
Robin - grilled chicken sausage w/ drunken prawns, grilled romaine salad
Bryan V. - roasted Pork loin, corn polenta, dandelion greens, glazed rutabaga
Ashley - seared Halibut with avocado mousse, bacon, braised romaine
Eli - Tuna sandwich w/ sundried tomato mayonnaise, radish salad
Ash - bourbon glazed chicken paillard w/ corn succotash
Kevin - roasted duck with mole tequila, marinated watermelon
Michael I. - Pork gyro with apple and fennel tzatziki

Judges comments while tasting the dishes were: Michael I. was not exciting. Eli's choice of tuna was strange in a ranch setting. Mattin got a no-confidence vote form Tom who walked away from the table to spit it out. Robin's dish was "terrible". Jennifer's sdish tasted great. Mike V.'s combination of rutabaga with other flavors worked well. Ron had "one of the better ceviches." Kevin's mole was great.

The winners group were Laurine, Ashley, Mike V. and Bryan. Tom said that Ashley had cooked her strongest dish to date. Bryan heard from Tim that his was "restaurant quality in the desert." Laurine was told hers was simple but effective. Mike V. according to Tom had excellent cooking and great flavors. The winner was Bryan.

The "most disappointing dishes" were by Robin, Ron, and Mattin. Ron was told his ceviche was passable although the sauce was too sweet, but the drink was horrible. He said he wanted to do something with the coconut milk, but he does not drink himself so he used an island recipe.  Robin was told her BBQ sausage and drunken shrimp were poor. Mattin had chunks of raw fish in the ceviche. Based on all the comments, it was obvious that Ron was safe and Mattin would probably be going home. He was eliminated.

For next week, Penn and Teller will be involved. Also, judge Toby Young was shown on camera, so it is virtually certain that he has returned for the remainder of the season. I will be disappointed if the Guest Judges are eliminated, as they had added a lot of value to recent episodes.
 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 03:09:04 PM by apskip »

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2009, 12:15:03 PM »
I'll be disappointed that the guest judges don't return. It made the show stronger because of their input. I'm still disappointed with last season.

I thought it was a close call between Mattin and Robin but I'm not sorry that he was told to pack his knives and leave. Robin realized the problems with her dish whereas Mattin thought his was fine. That was the kiss of death for him in my opinion.
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2009, 02:56:52 PM »
TexasLady,
I have an alternative view. The kiss of death for Mattin was when Tom Colicchio spit his ceviche out on camera. I have never seen Tom do that to anyone's dish before.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2009, 10:27:35 AM »
apskip, I forgot about that!! You're right.   Ick!
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Offline jerseydude

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #33 on: September 20, 2009, 09:07:49 AM »
TexasLady,
I have an alternative view. The kiss of death for Mattin was when Tom Colicchio spit his ceviche out on camera. I have never seen Tom do that to anyone's dish before.

I think he did that once in Season 5 when he spit out someone's dish because it was too spicy. I think that was on the make a dish on camera or something.
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2009, 08:12:38 PM »
TC6 Ep. 6

This episode starts with Bryan and Jen on-camera stating their disdain for Robin, who they think should not be there. Well, based on that you can anticipate a Watch What Happens moment as Andy Cohen BRAVO Sr. VP would say. I think the chefs mostly ignore these stupid requirements and just cook what they want to. They seldom get called on it, so they rightly think they can get away with it.

The Quickfire Challenge uses Guest Judge Michelle Bernstein, chef/owner of multiple restaurants in the Miami area. She has been a Guest Judge before and I think she is one of the best. The dishes created, cooked and plated in 60 minutes were

Mike V. A  Rillete of Salmon and Sopa
            D  Confit Salmon and Ice Cream
Kevin   A  Halibut and Seasonal Vegetables
            D Crushed Deviled Eggs and Bacon
Ron      A  Chilean Sea Bass with Carrots
            D  Yucca and Corn Mash
Ashley A Scallop Crudo
           D Scallop Puttanesca
Eli        A  Scallop with Radish and Greens
           D  Scallop with Risotto and Butter
Bryan  A  Frozen Coconut Lychee
           D  Dark Chocolate Mousse
Jen      A  Simple Scallop with Olive Oil
           D  Scallop with Butter
Ash     A   NONE (his dish failed)
           D  Spicy Asparagus Custard
Robin  A  Raw Salad of Apple and Fennel
           D  Cardamom Ginger Crisp
Laurine A  Chicken Consomme and Vegetables
            D  Chicken Saltimbanco
Michael I. A  Cucumber Yogurt Soup
            D  Rack of Lamb Kabob Style


The comments by Bernstein while tasting or during the summary of Best and Worst included:
Michael V. - executed perfectly
Eli - brilliant combination
Bryan - not executed well
Robin - combo of salad and dessert meshed really well
Laurine - not inspiring
Michael I. - too salty
Ash- too bad you couldn't complete the assignment

The losers group was Brian, Ash and Laurine. The winners group was Micahel V., Eli and Robin. The winner was Robin and she won immunity for the Elimination Challenge. Take that, Bryan and Jen! Of course they are mostly right and Robin did something right for the first time in TC6.

The Elimination Challenge involves those giants of magic/illusion, Penn and Teller, who will be diners and Guest Judges. They get things started with a series of Cups and Balls magic tricks that are astonishing given that they switch from colored cups to clear plastic cups and you still can't see how they are doing it. The punch line is "for the finish, it's a lime" as a lime is somehow substituted for a ball at the end of 2 tricks. Teller of course never says anything, but occasionally he makes a gesture to indicate how he feels about the food. Penn Jillette is likely a gourmet and gourmand. His ideas are not always consonant with the regular judges. Howver, it is fabulous to have Penn and Teller on this show. I can't get enough of their magic and they are about the same as other Guest Judges. Padma made a comment about one dish that likened it to bulls balls by stating that she has eaten bull testicles; Penn deapanned back "I bet." This was the high point of the evening. By the way, that champion of negativity Toby Young returned as a Judge.  Rumors that he would lighten up this season are unfounded. I heard no difference whatever in the destructive style of his comments.

Chefs draw knives to determine which classic dishes they will deconstruct. That means to take apart the dish into its component parts, add a new twist and allow the diner to reconstruct them from plate to mouth. They have 30 minutes and $125 to shop and then a staggered 2 hours to cook and prep in Marinelli's Italian Restaurant in M Resort for 7 people (Penn, Teller, Michelle Tom, Padma, Toby and the camera). If Gail was there I missed her. The dishes assigned by draw were, including my listing of classic ingredients that were mostly ignored by that chef:

Jen Meat Lasagna - pasta, fresh tomato sauce, flat iron steak, marscarpone bechamel sauce, parmesan cheese
Michael I. Eggs Florentine - braised kale roll, egg emulsion, crispy phyllo
Mike V. Caesar Salad -  SHOULD BE romaine lettuce, oil, vinegar, anchovies, cheese, croutons; was chicken wing, lettuce, parmesan and brioche
Kevin Chicken Mole Negro - baked chicken, chicken croqueta, coffee, chili, pumpkin, fig jam
Ron Seafood Paella - seafood, rice, oil, tomato sauce with chayote and fennel
Eli Sweet and Sour Pork - Pork rillettes tempura style, broccoli puree, broccoli salad, sweet and sour sauce
Ashley Pot Roast - Beef(seared strip loin), Potato Puree (Ash could have used this), shallots, carrot foam
Robin New England Clam Chowder - SHOULD BE potatoes, tomatoes, fish stock, clams, but was Clam Flan with Fennel, Braised Celery Slaw, Pancetta Crisp, Crushed Bacon
Laurine Fish and Chips - SHOULD BE fish, oil, potatoes; was malt sabayon, tartar sauce, tomato confit, ginger, garlic
Ash Shepherd's Pie - pan-roasted lamb chop, leeks, potatoes (which he had to switch to pea puree when potato puree failed), carrots
Bryan Ruben Sandwich - pastrami, tuna??, thousand islands dressing with warm mayo, rye bread, cheese, capers

You can assume from my classic ingredients that I thought Bryan (tuna in a Ruben), Laurine (fish and chips with no fish and no chips) and Mike V. (missing key ingredients) all did poorly.Comments by the judges on the dishes made it crystal clear who had done well and who was in trouble:
Mike V. - good dish (diagreeing with my analysis of how he missed anything resembling Caesar salad)
Kevin - excellent
Ash - no potatoes in a dish that should be 75% potatoes (by British food expert Toby Young); it's not Shepherd's Pie
Bryan - tasty
Ron - rice overcooked and dried out and fish overcooked
Ashley - a wonderful dish
Laurine - Fish and Chips was missing the chips (plus I think the fish too).

The winners group was Jen, Ashley, Kevin and Mike V. Kevin won a set of Calphalon cookware.

The losers group was Ron, Laurine and Ash. Ron had been in losers group almost every week so he was vulnerable. Ash had not done as badly as the other two, so he got off. Laurine apparently had a better dish than Ron. Ron was asked to "pack your knives and go."

 


Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2009, 08:37:23 PM »
Quote
Robin did something right for the first time in TC6.

 :snicker: so true!!!

I never would have thought to deconstruct a Reuben sandwich and use tuna. Never!
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Offline tory

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2009, 09:27:37 AM »
penn and teller were funny :funny: :funny: i like the brother the is left. i was sad to see the guy go this time i like the way he talked, but this is a cooking contest, lol
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2009, 08:06:47 PM »
I think Ron was totally out of his element, especially with the last challenge. He didn't know what to do and tried to use the advice given him but ended up with a mess. I bet he is an excellent chef cooking what he knows best.
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Offline tory

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2009, 04:34:35 PM »
I think Ron was totally out of his element, especially with the last challenge. He didn't know what to do and tried to use the advice given him but ended up with a mess. I bet he is an excellent chef cooking what he knows best.
yea i agree tl.. he was sooo sweet and i had no idea what undoing or what ever the chanlage was called even ment??
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2009, 08:15:08 AM »
TC6, ep. 7

Chefs gather at the M Resort kitchen to find Tyler Florence, a chef and culinary author as the Guest Judge. This is a High Stakes Quickfire and the Las Vegas theme is underscored by the use of a slot machine wheel with Mood, Texture and Cuisine items on it. Spin it and you get a combination of the 3. Those were:

Jen - Adventurous Nutty American
Ashley - Blue Cheesy Middle Eastern
Laurine - Romantic Tart Latin
Robin - Stressed Umami Middle Eastern
Ash - Tired Tart Italian
Mike V. - Adventurous Asian
Mike I. - Stressed Umami Asian
Bryan - Adventurous Crispy Asian
Eli - Stressed Umami Latin
Kevin - Stressed Hot Spicy Asian

They had just 30 minutes to produce a dish meeting that combination of mood, texture and cuisine. Dishes were:

Ash - "Pantry" Puttanesca Pasta
Ashley - Sumac-Crusted Halibut with Feta Pudding
Bryan - Seared Scallops with Bok Choy and Tempura Beads
Eli - Mushroom Ceviche with Avocado
Jen - Maine Dover Scallops with Pistachios
Kevin - Char Grilled Pork with Daikon and Vietnamese Herb Salad
Laurine - Crusted Goat Cheese with Orange Vinaigrette and Hibiscus Flowers
Michael I. - Raw Mushroom Sliced with Yuzu Emulsion
Mike V. - Yuzu Curd whipped Greek Yogurt and Seaweed Cracker
Robin - Root Vegetable Hash with Cumin and Curry Oil

The losers group was Eli, Robin and Jen (who was ill that morning). The winners group was Mike V., Michael I. and Kevin. Kevin won either $15,000 cash from M Resort or immunity in the Elimination challenge. That looks like a no-brainer to me, as Kevin knows he is one of the best chefs remaining and his chances of not being elimination are excellent. He took the money.

The Elimination Challenge
The chefs went "home" to their living quarters and told to expect word of the Elimination Challenge later. That was the usual top Chef ruse, but I doubt that it fooled any of the chefs. This was designed to test their ability to deal with difficult cooking conditions, as there were only 2 burners and 4 or 5 electric woks for all 5 teams to cook with. This involved the Macy's Culinary Council (who's heard of that before?; I haven't) with experienced chefs who apparently audit and inspect Macy's stores food preparation and presentation. It includes these not-too-famous but distinguished chefs:
Nancy Silverton
Tom Douglas
Takahashi Yagahashi
Govind Armstrong
plus Tyler Florence

Each chef had a bag of groceries which were to be the ingredients of a meal prepared nominally for them but really for the entire group of judges (Tom, Padma, Toby) as well. Competitors drew knives for which chef's bag they got. Those were:

Jen/Kevin - Douglas
Ash/Mike V. - Silverton
Ashley/Eli - Armstrong
Michael I./Robin - Yagahashi
Bryan/Laurine - Tyler

Dishes were produced:

Jen/Kevin - Kobe Beef with Tomato-Cardomon Broth, Petit Bok Choy and Asian Pear
Ash/Michael V. - Pancetta Wrapped Halibut with Egg Yolk Ravioli, Fennel and Asparagus
Ashley/Eli - Grilled Spot Prawns with Red Beet Sauce, Creme Fraiche Gnocchi and Kale
Michael I./Robin - Marinated Mushroom and Pickled Pear Roll, Seared Tuna and Scallop, Truffle Ponzu
Bryan/Laurine - Halibut and Sherry-Chorizo Viniagrette Yellow Corn Cake and Avocado Mousse

During the tasting, Tom remarked that the Korean BBQ was very good. he also rated the tuna dish as good. The 2 halibut dishes were a contrast in styles. The one with chorizo and sherry vinaigrette was rated well, but the one with egg yolk weas deemed questionable in flavor. Tom shared with the judging group his discussions with Michael I. and Robin. He felt Michael was dominating what got made while Robin actually had the superior experience with the type of cuisine they were doing.

The judges selected as the winner's group Laurine, Bryan, Jen and Kevin. Tyler florence rated the halibut with chorizo and sherry vinaigrette as spectacular. Bryan did the fish and Laurine the polenta and corn cakes. The Korean BBQ meat was handled by Kevin and the fresh-tomato-based sauce by Jen.  She got the kudos plus a $10,000 Macy's charge card.

The loser's group was Mike V., Ash, Eli and Ashley. Mike was the dominant force on their team. This fish was overcooked and dried out. Mike explained that the cooking process had been interrupted with the electrical line he was using blowing its fuse, forcing him to find a different location and restart it. Tyler said that cooking conditions for Macy's Culinary Council members are incredibly varied and that you have to be ready for anything. The combination of pancetta with halibut was not a good choice according to Tom. Ashley was responsible for cooking the prawns and for most of the too-salty gnocchi. Eli had a lesser role, including sampling maybe half the prawns in the items that irritated the judges. Tom stated that the ghocchi were too heavy and the drawn brown butter had contributed to the saltiness. Based on the prior record of Mike V. I considered it highly likely that Ashley would be the one eliminated. She was.

There is some extensive analysis by Tom Colicchio of why the losing dish lost and the winning dish won and the relative contributions of the chefs on each of those 4 teams. I don't have room to duplicate it here but can highly recommend it to you at the BRAVOTV website.

There was some discussion by the judges about how to fix a bad dish and one of them even suggested not serving it. As we know from I believe Ash's experience in last week's Quickfire, that is not a solution and there really is no solution when you are up against a fixed time deadline. In a normal restaurant environment you can give the individual ordering that dish some other gratis treat to motivate him/her to wait for the dish to be redone properly or encourage them to order as a replacement something else that could be done quickly. Those are not possible in the Top Chef kitchen. The chefs stand or fall without any real hope for redos.






Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2009, 11:00:24 AM »
 :'( heartbroken Ashley fell on the sword. she shouldn't have. (:;) instead she should have thrown eli under that bus.  :knuckles: he ruined the dish and she knew it. i think that freaked her out which in turn caused her to over look the cooking properly of  the prawns  :groan:

I'm glad that jennifer pulled through after being sick earlier.. she gets alot of confessional time  so i'm thinking she will be here for a while competing. :yess:
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2009, 11:19:49 AM »
I do not think that calling out Eli's role in the saltiness of the gnocchi would have saved Ashley, but there is a minor chance that it could have. It makes no difference in the longer run. The top chefs have clearly been established and they will be the last 5 chefs remaining:

Kevin
Jen
Bryan
Mike V.
Michael I. (he is a up and down in his performance, not consistent, so he might not make it)

Chefs for whom the handwriting is already on the wall include:

Robin
Laurine
Ash
Eli


« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 03:18:24 PM by apskip »

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2009, 11:24:29 AM »
TC6, ep. 8

We have almost reached the halfway point in number of chefs left. There was a lot of desultory picking-on-Robin conversation going on. Apparently she talks incessantly, not appreciated by any of the other chefs. It should not be long before she disappears from TC6, so this problem should be solved that way. Robin does take it as a personal mission to stay in the competition.

Charlie Palmer is the Guest Judge for the Quickfire. He has steak-oriented restaurants in Las Vegas, New York, Washington DC and plus Aureole, Aureole at Mandalay Bay, and Dry Creek Kitchen in the Napa Valley where he lives. The voltaggio Brothers are not thrilled to see him; Mike worked a short time for Charlie and Bryan for 10 years (most of his culinary career). Charlie is quick to divulge to the chefs that he has had a past relationship with them, but will be absolutely unbiased in his judgments.  The Quickfire Challenge is to pair the snack foods by Alexi with a dish that perfectly complements it. The chefs have to select a snack food (they have been eating them for weeks in the Top Chef villa) and then decide what best fits.

The dishes produced by the chefs in 45 minutes were:

Jen - Sauteed Pork Chop with Tomato Sauce and Feta Cheese
Laurine - Swordfish with Spinach, Asparagus, and Fava Bean Puree
Robin - Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Avocado Mousseline
Ash - Chilled Cucumber Soup with Creme Fraiche, Crab and Red Pepper
Bryan - Seared Rib Eye with Pickled Onion, Sauteed Mushrooms and Chile Peppers
Eli - Potato Clam Salad with Fennel, Celery, and White Truffle Sauce
Kevin - Warm Bean Confit Tomato Salad with Fresh Herbs and Creamed Corn
Mike V. - Tuna Tartare with Avocado, Pickled Onions, and Jalapenos
Michael I. - Chilaquiles

Charlie Palmer rated Ash, Robin and Jen in the loser group. Jen had stated that due to the continued cooking of her pork (she took it out of the oven later than she should have) if Charlie did not taste hers first she was figuratively "cooked". Robin's dishes have been frequently uninspiring. This time she did not develop decent flavors. Ash was told that his pairing of ingredients was a poor choice.

The winners group was Kevin, Bryan and Eli. Eli was praised for his excellent idea and the perfection of cooking the clams. Kevin was rated as "very good". Bryan's dish was executed perfectly. However, what's in a word? Kevin wins. There is no prize mentioned nor is immunity given to him. Having another victory is a big kudo for him, however.

The Elimination Challenge is later at the Aureole at Mandalay Bay restaurant. The chefs draw knives to indicate what part of the slaughtered pig they get to cook. Jen drew a WILDCARD which entitled her to choose anything. She choose pork bellies. The choices of the others will be embedded into the description of their dishes. The goal of this challenge is to pair up a dish with a specific wine that was chosen from a group of 9 pinot noir wines from around the world. It is the Pork and Pinot challenge. They have 30 minutes and an undisclosed amount of money to shop at Whole Foods for ingredients. Then they have 2 hours to cook and 1 hour to prep for outside serving under tents. They must cook 150 tasting portions for an undisclosed group of guests.

Here are the pinot noir selections:
Jen - 2005 Chanson Clos de Beze 
Laurine - 2005 Chanson Clos de Feves
Robin - 2005 Mischief and Mayhem
Ash - 2007 Standord
Bryan - 2007 Rochioli
Eli - 2007 Terlato Family
Kevin - 2006 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills
Mike V. - Cuvaison
Michael I. - 2005 Wairau River

The dishes developed by the chefs were:
Jen - Braised Pork Belly w/ tomato, celery, black olives, truffles
Laurine - Pork Butt Rillettes over arugula salad
Robin - Brined Center Cut Pork Chop
Ash - Chilled Pork Tenderloin over cherry, asparagus, Brussels Sprouts
Bryan - Braised Pork Spare Rib w/ cherry and coffee
Eli - Braised Pork Belly
Kevin - Pork Leg Pate
Mike V. - Root Beer Braised Pork Cheek
Michael I. - Stuffed Pork Shoulder over orange blosson yoghurt

Judges were Tom, Charlie Plamer, Toby and Dana Cowan, editor-in-chief of Food and Wine magazine. She had a lot to say during the tastings.

The winners group was Jen, Mike V., Bryan and Kevin. There were positive comments from one judge each, but the winner was Kevin. He won the opportunity to be a guest judge in Charlie Palmer's annual Pigs and Pinot festival. Kevin regards that as a pretty good prize.

The losers group was Laurine, Robin and Ash. All were told that their efforts to pair the pork dish with their assigned wine were abysmal as none of them were close.  Ash was told he failed to develop any flavor in his dish. Ash explaiend that his original concept would have. Tom told him that he was annoyed by Ash continually second-guessing himself. Laurine was told by Charlie that her described method for making rillettes was totally invalid and what she produced was not in fact a rillette. It needs to have poaching in fat to develop its flavor. Robin was told that her flavor dwevelopment was hindered by weird and gummy textures that could have been due to the use of a thickening agent. I expected that the eliminated chef would be Laurine. I was a bit surprised when Ash was given the boot instead although both were double losers for the Quickfire and Elimination Challenges. The only two hypotheses I have are that Laurine's dish although not a rillette tasted OK or that the producers intervened in an attempt to keep the male/female chef ratio from going to 4.0. However, the handwriting is on the wall for Laurine and Robin. They can't be staying much longer. Although Eli missed out on the loser group he has been slightly stronger but still unimpressive so he will be leaving soon too.

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2009, 09:13:04 PM »
I do not think that calling out Eli's role in the saltiness of the gnocchi would have saved Ashley, but there is a minor chance that it could have. It makes on difference in the longer run. The top chefs have clearly been established and they will be the last 5 chefs remaining:

Kevin
Jen
Bryan
Mike V.
Michael I. (he is a up and down in his performance, not consistent, so he might not make it)

Chefs for whom the handwriting is already on the wall include:

Robin
Laurine
Ash
Eli


I agree with your assessments for top and bottom. Jen and Kevin are both extremely strong competitors. Robin won't last much longer and actually I was surprised that she wasn't cut before Ash, Laurine seems to slide by a little because generally she knows what she did wrong although she had no clue how to make her dish.
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2009, 08:58:13 AM »
TC6, ep.9

This episode was one of the finest ever on all of Top Chef's seasons. There were some big surprises for some of the best chefs.

The guest judge is Rick Moonen, another of the Top Chef Masters chefs who has a restaurant RMSeafood in the Mandalay Bay resort (along with Hubert Keller, Wolfgang Puck, Charlie Palmer, Alain Ducaisse and Michael Mina; how's that for competition?). Getting a fresh supply of seafood daily to Las Vegas, about 300 miles from the nearest coast, underscores the difficulty he faces. He is also the author of the Fish Without a Doubt cookbook and the champion of the concept of Conservation Cooking based on using only fish from sustainable fishing practices (fish adequate in numbers to regenerate).

The Quickfire is 45 minutes to create and cook a dish based on sustainable practices but with no communication between chefs on a team, who are blindfolded until it is their turn to cook for 10 minutes. The key was to leave huge clues on the way they wanted the dish to proceed for the later chefs.  Knives were drawn and Jen and Mike V. were the captains picking 3 other chefs for their team. Jen chose Kevin, Mike I. and Laurine. Mike V. chose his brother Bryan, Eli and had to take Robin. Chef choices were:

Bryan//Mike V./Eli/Robin - Pan Roasted NY Strip with Whipped Miso Avocado Puree

Jen/Kevin/Mike I./Laurine - Sablefish with Sauteed Mushrooms, Shiitake Broth and Radish Salad

Jen started the stock and set it up for poaching as the finishing method. Laurine worked the fennel. Kevin could see that but took it in a different direction to have pan searing as the finish. Eli prepped the chicken; Laurine worked the thyme; Bryan sauteed the beef; Mike V. finished it.

There were opportunities to compare Jen vs. Eli, Laurine vs. Robin, Mike I. vs. Bryan and Kevin vs. Mike V. All of those look fairly even except that Jen and Bryan would have an edge. The judging was based on the entire team results. Rick gave the nod to Jen's team with the edge provided by excellent stock. They won $2500 each and the opportunity if they passed that up to win $10,000 each in the Elimination Challenge. It doesn't take much of a mathemtician to figure out that you go for the $10,000 each, as they had about a 50% chance of winning it.

The teams were the same for the Elimination Challenge, Restaurant Wars, done as usual but since they were working in an existing restaurant (RM Seafood) the decor was already set. Jen's team got the opportunity to choose whether they wanted to cook at a fine dining establishment or a casual one. They picked fine dining, which was the upstairs level of RM Seafood with its own kitchen. Ingredients were purchased with $1500 each at Restaurant Depot and Whole Foods, with 2 team members buying at each one. Then they had 3 hours to prep and cook. A Front of the House had to be selected to plan (but not execute) one course for each team. Laurine volunteered because she figured she was the weakest in the kitchen but had good people skills. Eli got the job for the other team as the least experienced. Jen's team decided on no dessert beacuse of high risk. Robin is really good on dessrts so they decided to take the risk that past top Chef Restaurant Wars teams that botched a dessert course all lost.

Dishes were:

Bryan - Duo of Beef, Braised Short Ribs; Chocolate Ganache with Spearmint Ice Cream and Chocolate Tuiles
Mike V. - Chicken and Calamari 'Pasta'; Cod with Mussel Billi-Bi
Robin - Pear Pithivier
Eli - Smoked Arctic Char with Beet Sauce and Horseradish Cream
 
Jen - bouilliabaisse, with steamed clams and mussels she elected to make-to-order; trout with hazelnut brown butter sauce
Kevin - Pork 3 Ways; cooked Laurine's lamb
Mike I. - Asparagus and Six-Minute Egg; Arctic Char Tartare
Laurine - lamb with carrot jam

During the cooking there was one altercation. Robin is no favorite of Mike V. and she rightly felt he was picking on her. She pushed back and insisted that her dessert dish not be altered to suit the whims of Mike V., particualrly as he had already done that at the design stage. Things got pretty heated, as Mike V. was trying to force Robin to follow his leadership. Also, Jen pulled her usual disappearing act when Tom came by during cooking to chat with her. She really hates those chats and as best I can remember has actually not had one yet after 9 episodes. She always manufactures some excuse. Let's see if she can sustain that for the entire season! Laurine promised Tom that if her lamb dish came by not cooked properly she was going to send it back.

The judges were Padma, Tom, Toby and Rick. They split a full meal into halves (2 portions for 4 people) and ate at REVOLT, the name of Mike V.'s restaurant, and later MISSION, the name of Jen's restaurant. As they ate at REVOLT, there was general agreement that the dishes were all good, particularly the dessert. The kitchen for MISSION was in big trouble, as Jen's decision to do a complicated fish dish and steam-to-order the clams and mussels was putting MISSION way behind and vulnerable to the judges. Rick could not believe any chef would attempt to steam-to-order for the bouilliabaisse. The judges hated her trout and the brown butter sauce as it had broken. Kevin sent out to the judges a rare lamb when medium-rare had been ordered. Laurine decided by Kevin's standards it was medium rare, so she let it go despite her earlier promise. This was a big mistake, as the judges were all over this.

The handwriting was on the wall in big bold letters: MIKE V.'s TEAM WINS! There was no doubt about this becoming the outcome. Mike V. himself got the prize as the winning chef. I thought Robin deserved it for excelling in the face of adversity, but she is still standing so that is something. Mike V. got $10,000 and asked if he could split it with his team. He was told yes and attmepted to do so, but his brother out of pride refused his share.

The losing team had the 2 best chefs in the competition previously and both had made mistakes and were in big trouble. Jen's sin of overreaching was obvious for all to taste. Kevin's impact was visual but also obvious. Laurine had drawn criticism from the judges all night for not doing the proper job as Front of the House. They had to driect her to tell them about the dishes. Eli had smoothly delivered this information about the other team's menu. Mike I. was mediocre but clearly not at risk as the best chef on his team for that meal. It had to have been a difficult decision for the judges, as making object lessons of stars has a certain appeal. They chose instead to get rid of the deserving Laurine, who has been low-rated throughout the competition, and keep Kevin and Jen, who will be better chefs as a result of what happened.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 09:08:03 AM by apskip »

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2009, 09:12:11 AM »
My overall assessment of the top and bottom chefs for Top Chef 6 is basically unaltered, but I do want to recognize some minor changes. At the top remains the foursome of Bryan, Mike V., Jen and Kevin, any one of which can win TC6. In a new middle category is Mike I. (who is downgraded a little because of failure to excel in Restaurant Wars) and Eli (whose stock is rising). All by herself now is Robin, who has to be the favorite for elimination next week.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2009, 06:59:53 PM »
I view Jen and Kevin the two strongest chefs so I was shocked last night when they had such a bad outcome. We've seen Jen run the entire kitchen so when she didn't take charge that surprised me. Kevin didn't step up either, another surprise. I view Mike I as in the middle, agree with you Apskip.

Eli stepped up and did a great job in the front of the house. He took charge, and it was obvious from the beginning that Laurine couldn't begin to match his performance.

I want to say something about Robin. If her dessert had not been good, she would have gone home so I give her huge kudos for standing up for her self and her dessert. Mike V was rude, condescending and almost a bully dealing with Robin. He certainly would have shoved her under the bus if she had followed his direction or allowed him to take over and screw it up.  "Relax, relax, relax..."   It was not pleasant to watch.  I thought he was one of the stronger chefs, but he lost a lot of points for me with his actions.
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2009, 09:28:49 AM »
TC6, ep. 10

This season is moving right along. One chef disappears each week, except for next week when a special Holiday dinner chefs from all seasons of Top Chef. Padma introduces the Guest Judge, Paul Bartolotta, owner of Bartolotta di Mare, an acclaimed Las Vegas seafood restaurant. The Quickfire is based on favorite all-time TV classic shows. The knife drawing is:

Kevin - Sopranos
Eli- Gilligan's Island
Jen - Flintstones
Robin - Sesame Street
Bryan - MASH
Mike I. - Seinfeld
Mike V. - Cheers

The challenge is to create a dish inspired by your assigned show. I always hate the hypocrisy involved in these type of challenges. The chefs do not really connect their food to that show in any real way, but they come up with some rhetoric that makes you think that they have. They just try to cook tasty food, which of course is what they should be doing.

The selections for this are:

Jen - Chicken Roulade with Garlic Cream, Pea Salad, Caramelized Peaches
Robin - Burger with Egg, Crispy Kale, Carrot Salad and Almond Laced Cookie
Bryan - Meatloaf, Mashed Potato, Asparagus and Apple Tarte Tatin
Eli - Macadamia Nut Shrimp with Sweet Potato Puree, Herb Salad, Cherries and Bananas
Kevin - Meatballs with Polenta, Roasted Cauliflower, and Roasted Pear
Michael I. -  Sausage and Peppers, Mushrooms and Cheese, Warm Fruit Salad
Mike V. - Chicken Parmesan with Braised Swiss Chard and Cherry Pie

Losers' group was Jen and Robin. Winners' group was Kevin and Bryan. Kevin took the prize, which was the opportunity for his dish to  be in the new Top Chef recipe book. That is a decent prize although it pales in comparison ot the $15,000 that some have been getting.

The Elimination Challenge will be to create a meal with no restrictions for 13 guests, the four judges (Tom, Gail, Paul and one to be revealed) plus 7 special guests plus Padma plus one for the camera. It was to be done in Craftsteak Restaurant in theh MGM Grand Hotel, donated for this occasion by its owner Tom Colicchio. All the chefs were marveling at the Kobe beef and other fine ingredients, so you can assume that most dishes would be steak-based.

However, Top Chef producers had a twist in store for the chefs. The last Guest Judge is revealed to be Natalie Portman and she has just one reuiqrement for the chefs: she is a vegetarian. That prompts some instant replanning. The special guests are her friends. There is limited vegetables for an all-vegetable meal. Eli and Jen both want the large purple eggplants. They flip something for it and Eli wins, leaving Jen with the small eggplants and a continuation of the negative disposition that she has suffered from recently. In contrast Mike I. is supremely confident that he will not be eliminated. Menus are prepared and cooked on what appears to be a one every 10 minutes schedule.

The dishes prepared and served are:

Jen - Charred Baby Eggplant, Braised Fennel, Tomatoes and Verjus Nage
Robin - Stuffed Squash Blossom, Beet Carpaccio, Fresh Garbanzo Beans and Chermoula
Bryan - Artichoke Barigoule, Confit of Shallot, Wild Asparagus and Fennel Puree
Eli - Confit of Eggplant, Lentils, Garlic Puree and Radish Salad
Kevin - Duo of Mushrooms, Smoked Kale, Candied Garlic and Turnip Puree
Michael I. - Whole Roasted Leeks with Onion Jus, Baby Carrot Puree and Fingerling Potato
Mike V. - Asparagus Salad, Japanese Tomato Sashimi and Banana Polenta

In final preparation Robin ran out of time and 2 of his plates lacked garbanzo beans; one of those went to Tom who had to borrow some to taste from Paul. Bryan left some fairly substantial items off his plates due to lack of time. The key from the judges perspective was creating a substantial meal, as Natalie put it a manly meal, which on eating you did not miss the lack of protein. There were some huge differences in the chef's ability to do this.

The winners' group was Kevin, Mike V. and Eli. Kevin got a double victory and now has the reputation as the chef to beat. Bryan was unscathed in the one-person middle group. The losers' group was Jen, Robin and Mike I. Jen was there because her meal had good components but as a whole was too light and insubstantial. She was not able to make the adjustments necessitated by the twist. Robin was there due to her flavors being off. Michael I. had cooking problems in boiling his leeks, which were the centerpiece of his dish. Any one of these 3 was equally deserving in my opinion. However, I think based on past performance  the judges had to eliminate Robin. They did not follow my logic and instead eliminated Michael I. I see this as a continuation of my observation from last week that Robin is being protected by the producers because she is a female and it would not send the right message to have all but one female chefs eliminated too early.

I must say that Michael I. was on my list of those to be eliminated soon, so it was no real surpise, just a difference in timing. Robin will be eliminated soon. She does not have the culinary talent to stay in this competition.


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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #48 on: November 02, 2009, 11:03:24 AM »
I am not expecting a regular episode of Top Chef this week. Based on the previwes at the end of episode 10, I think we will get a Holiday Dinner competition  between selected chefs from prior seasons of Top Chef.  How it is structured I have no idea. This is BRAVO's way of making Top Chef season 6 stretch until almost Christmas.

The allstar chefs, a mixture of fan favorites and winners, include Fabio Vivani, Harold Dieterle, Marcel Vigneron, Ilan Hall, Dale Levitski, Casey Thompson, Hung Huynh, Richard Blais, Carla Hall and Stefan Richter. Viewers will see Marcel and Fabio go head to head, and Carla and Casey confront each other for the first time since the controversial season five finale.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2009, 01:14:17 PM by apskip »

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2009, 09:19:07 AM »
The All-Stars from Top Chef 1, 2, 3 4, and 5 are back. They gathered at  the Social Hollywood mansion in Los Angeles for a reunion show. The idea was to have them reminisce and cook a little food for their own consumption. Fabio Viviani from Season 5 was the host, no doubt to help him on his TV career. He was the fan favorite from season 5 and he oozed charm, but when the discussion was going in a direction he did not want, he ruthlessly threatened people with the wrath of Fabio!

The participants were the creme de la creme:
Season 1 - Harold and Tiffani
Season 2 - Ilan and Marcel
Season 3 - Hung, Dale and Casey
Season 4 - Richard and Lisa
Season 5 - Fabio, Stefan and Carla

The only winners not involved were Stephanie and Hosea. All #2 finishers were there. The conversation was free-flowing about their season of Top Chef, although "Where are they now?" was a big topic.  Fabio challenged each one in turn to talk about the most difficult situations they faced on Top Chef.

After hours of conversation, Fabio cut off the wine and had each season draw knives. It proved to be for the course number they would cook for the celebratory meal. Of course a trip to Whole Foods with $250 per chef preceded that. The idea was to impress their peers, as nothing else was on the line except the knowledge that this was being captured on camera for future broadcast. The actual meal in order was:

Season 2 - oyster bisque with with puffed rice, pickled watermelon, and red onion; crab pierogi with mushroom and asparagus ragout; sardines with black pepper pork broth and scallions
Season 3 - sea salt encrusted red snapper, ratatouille
Season 1 - seared scallop with scallop sashimi noodles and Tom Yum broth
Season 4 - corn fed beef, duck pate, savory root beer caramel, Captain Crunch Bubbles (one of Richard's molecular creations involving air)
Season 5 - desserts, despite some reluctance: raspberry pannacotta, chocolate mousse, almond crisp

The conversation revealed that:
Harold claims that TC1 chefs were "guinea pigs".
Dale had planned to retire as a chef before he was invited for TC2, which changed his career. He is opening a restaurant and has his own weekly supper club.
Tiffani still wants to open her own restaurant.
Richard has opened his own burger restaurant in the Atlanta.
Marcel has left las Vegas, moved to Los Angeles and has his own restaurant in the SLS Hotel.
Marcel admits to some juvenile behavior in TC2, but not enough to justify the attack that Cliff made on him with support from Ilan and Elia. Marcel says that he and Ilan have mended fences.
Dale claims that Sara N. was his little sister, despite her knowledge that he is gay, and she lives with him. Dale then claimed that it was Casey who took over the role of his little siser when Sara was eliminated. Casey got the line of the event with "No, Hung was my little sister."
Casey doesn't say much, but she sure is classy and beautiful, more so on the voiceovers than during the mansion conversation.
Lisa is still with her girlfriend.
When Carla arrived, she went out of her way to address his accpetance of responsibility for her own demise in TC5 instead of blaming Casey, who as her sous chef persuaded her to try some things that did not work out well.

Fabio asks the chefs their most memorable challenge from their Top Chef season. The answers:
Harold - street food, with his partner Lisa sacrificing herself so he could move forward in the competition
Tiffani - using a box cake mix instad of making it from scratch in a wedding challenge
Marcel - the vending machine one, with Michael being too creative (read phallic) with his snack foods
Lisa - Wedding Wars, with its 48 hour timeline that allowed no sleep
Fabio - Carla's Green Eggs With Ham

Next, Fabio has some footage for the chefs to enjoy. First is Marcel vs. Toby Young. It's a Mexican standoff, which Marcel ended by walking out after feeling that he was insulted. Most observers thought Marcel was a bit uppity here, but who knows what had gone before this. Marcel was also the victim in the infamous attack scene by Cliff, which was aided and abetted by Ilan and Elia.

Another Top Chef competitor who got some negative spin from the editors was Tiffani. She says she did not deserve it. Dale thinks that the editors "slapped around" both Tiffani and Marcel.

Hung's cereal creation for a Quickfire was brought back on tape. It was pretty spectacular. Several of the Season 4 chefs got drunk just before judges table; the footage showed some of the hilarious consequences of this.
 
I can only say that I wish I had been an invisible observer to all of this, but allowed to eat their food off-line.

I have to rate Fabio as a mediocre host. He has charm but none of the polish of an Andy Cohen (BRAVO Sr. VP who ususally does these type of interviews). His "holier-than-thou" efforts alienated the chefs a little and the viewers more.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 09:45:17 AM by apskip »

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2009, 09:49:37 AM »
TC6, Ep. 11

The Guest Judge was Nigella Lawson, British food writer, journalist and broadcaster. The Quickfire was "Breakfast in Bed", a room service meal at the Venetian Hotel in 30 minutes for Nigella and Padma.  Knives were drawn to determine the staggered cooking schedule:

1. Robin - Blintz with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Pineapple and Blueberries
1. Eli - Fried Egg Reuben Benedict with Thousand Island Hollandaise Sauce
2. Kevin - Steak and Eggs with Creme Fraiche, Aged Cheddar, and Green Onion
2. Mike V. - Huevos Cubana with Banana Puree, Rice, Bacon, Arugula Salad
3. Jen - S.O.S. Creamed Chipped Beef with Toast and Potatoes
3. Bryan - 4 Minute Egg with Vanilla Beurre Fondue, Crab, Asparagus Spears and Corn Polenta

I liked the visual appeal and meal content for Eli, Kevin and Bryan and considered the others to be somewhat uninspired. Of course I did not get to taste the food. Nigella did not like the taste of Robin or Bryan, whom she put in the Worst category. In the Best category were Eli and Kevin. Eli won due to the robustness of his meal. His prize was to have the only recipe from Season 6 in the top Chef Quickfire Challenge Cookbook, which will be a compilation of recipes from all seasons of Top Chef.

The Elimination Challenge was to use a specific Las Vegas Hotel as the inpiration for a meal. Here's what the chefs drew:

Bryan - Mandalay Bay, with a theme of the Shark Reef Acquarium
Eli - Circus Circus, with a theme of novelty and circus snacks
Kevin - Mirage, with a theme of a tropical oasis
Mike - New York New York, with a theme of serving the New York Fire Department
Jen - Excalibur, with a theme of the Tournament of Kings dinner and the Sword and the Stone
Robin - Bellagio, with a theme of its art work

The menus developed for cooking tasting portions for 175 guests with 3.5 hours to cook, then prepping at the World Market Center for 1 hour:

Bryan - Escabeche of Halibut with Bouillabaisse Consomme, Parsley Coulis, and Garlic Chips
Eli - Caramel Apple Peanut Soup with Popcorn Raspberry Froth
Jen - NY Strip with Red Wine Reduction, Beets, Truffles, Herbs
Kevin - Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon with Napa Cabbage and Cucumber
Mike - Boneless Chicken Wing Confit with Curry and Blue Cheese Disc
Robin - Panna Cotta

When I saw these dishes, I wondered what had caused Eli to go so far out on a limb. Robin's pannacotta looked too simple to really please the judges. Jen was playing it really safe with NY Strip Steak but that is not the way to be competitive against some stiff competition. I expected to see Bryan, Kevin and Mike rated as the Winners' group. The Winner was Mike due to his broth, the comfort nature of his dish and Toby's view of the unexpected pleasant contrast of the hot and cold. Toby rated Kevin's Thai flavors as very tasty.

That left Robin (a multi-episode bottom dweller), Jen (a recent bottom dweller) and Eli. Padma did not like the taste of Eli's dish nor did Toby and Tom rated is a "mess" but it appeared that Eli's sin was overreaching with a wild concoction. Jen's sin was being boring (Tom). She did not use enough spices. Robin's pannacotta was too solid. She claimed that she was no expert at serving a "smear". Tom criticized her for pannacotta being too simple to make, even though her execution was still faulty on a simple dish.

Given the tone of the ciriticisms, I honestly thought that any one of those three could have been eliminated. However, the judges made an intelligent move in eliminating Robin, whose time on Top Chef had probably been extended by the producers to have some controversy.  

At this point the Winners' group are the favorites for the final 3. Jen dug herself a deep hole and seems unable to pull herself out of it. I consider Eli to be the least talented of the 5, but he is capable of an upset to reach the final 3.





 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 07:07:59 PM by apskip »

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2009, 07:02:42 PM »
TC6, Ep. 12

This episode opens with Bryan, Mike, Jen, Kevin and Eli left. Bryan, Mike and Kevin have all been quite consistent at the top. Jen was there early in this competition but has recently been near the bottom. Eli has been all over the place and is clearly the weakest of the remaining chefs.

The Quickfire uses Gavin Kaysen as the Guest Judge. He won the James Beard Award and represented the U.S.A. in the 2007 Bocuse d’Or biennial competition for top young chefs in Lyon, France. Each team consists of two chefs, a lead chef and an assistant chef who must be under 22 years of age at the time of the competition. The team has 5 hours and 35 minutes to prepare two elaborate presentations, a meat dish and a fish dish in an open “culinary theatre.” No vegetables may be pre-cut, although teams may pre-peel garlic, portion oil, salt, flour and other ingredients, and bring stocks made in advance. The jury consists of 24 renowned chef judges who make their evaluations based on the level of perfection in the presentation, in terms of technical skill, cooking sophistication, creativity and visual beauty. The jury is divided into two groups of 12, each half to judge either the fish dish or the meat dish. 2/3 of scoring is quality and 1/3 is presentation. Gavin Kaysen finished 14th in the 2007 competition due to a bizarre situation when he should have been near the top.

The Quickfire is to create a Protein within a Protein within a Protein dish. The model dish provided by Kaysen was crayfish within chicken within chicken in a ballotine. A ballotine is a piece of meat, fish, or poultry that has been deboned, stuffed and then rolled and tied into a bundle. It is then usually poached or braised. I bet you didn’t know that one either. Here are the dishes that were created in 90 minutes:

Jen - Calamari Steak, Scallops, Salmon, Shiitake, Shiso with Rice Noodle Salad
Bryan - Rack of Lamb and Merguez Sausage Wrapped in Caul Fat
Mike – “Poultry Terrine" Chicken with Turkey and Bacon Mousseline
Kevin - Cornmeal Fried Fillet of Catfish with Scallop and Shrimp
Eli – Bacon-Crusted Breakfast Sausage with a Six-Minute Egg Center

One comment from Gavin was that Mike did not really understand or do a protein within a protein within a protein. The winner of this Quickfire is Jen, who bounces back from her funk in the nick of time. There was no Losers’ group. Her prize is an advantage of 30 extra minutes to cook in the Elimination Challenge.

The Elimination challenge is the top chef version of the Bocuse D’Or. They have to prepare one protein and 2 garnishes that are expected to be extraordinary in taste, creativity and production. The protein is either lamb or Atlantic salmon. They will have 4 hours to cook (except Jen 4.5 hours) in the Wynn Resort Alex Restaurant. The 12 judges will include representatives at past Bocuse D’Or competitions plus Thomas Keller (legendary chef/owner of the French Laundry in Napa Valley), Tom, Padma and Gail. Included are Daniel Boulud, Alex Stratta (owner of the restaurant Alex the episode is filmed in), Gavin Kaysen, Timothy Hollingsworth of the French Laundry and Traci Des Jardin. One special judge is Jerome Bocuse, son of the legendary chef. He was part of the final judging group which Thomas Keller opted out of.

The dishes created are:

Jen - Salmon and Caviar, Shrimp Flan,Truffle, Celery Root, Shiitake mushrooms 
Bryan - Crusted Lamb Loin, Lamb Shank Crepinette, Orzo Au Gratin
Mike - Salmon with Cauliflower Chickpea Tart, Zucchini Tzatziki; Mike called this a Mediterranean salmon platter
Kevin - Poached Lamb Loin, Sherry-Glazed Beet, Asparagus in Sunchoke Cream, pepper jus
Eli – Sausage (made from leftover parts), Wrapped Lamb Loin, Carrot Puree & Tomato-Piquillo Canape

The winner will get $30,000 cash from the M Resort, a place in the finals, a Bocuse d’Or jacket, some culinary books and the right to compete for a place on the 2011 U.S.A. Bocuse D’Or team. That’s quite a total prize, the best ever for one episode of Top Chef that is not the finale. It sure beats the cars that were getting their winners beaten in the final rounds of some early Top Chefs.

The cooking is staggered so that only one chef owns the kitchen at any time. It is served on these huge glass platters because that is the way it is done in the actual Bocuse D’Or competition. Tim Hollingsworth was there because he had recently done this type of competition.

Comments from the judges throughout the tasting were:
Thomas referred to Mike’s dish as lamb undercooked and tough. Tom says it’s not Mediterranean in any way. Jerome said Eli’s lamb was undercooked.
There was general agreement that Kevin’s dish was overcooked and all others undercooked.
Jen’s problem as noted by Jerome was that her cutting of the salmon was not of uniform thickness so different parts of her fillets cooked at different rates and the top and bottom was uneven.
Gail liked the garnishes on Eli’s dish. Padma stated that the worst lamb was Eli’s.
One of the judges said Mike lost on flavor.
Someone rated Bryan’s cooking as “improper.”
Kevin was criticized for the simplicity of his dish in a Bocuse D’Or environment where ultimate refinement is the goal.

All 5 chefs were given the opportunity to defend their choices. After this was done and the decision judges (Jerome, Tom, Padma and Gail) deliberated, Kevin was the winner. He declared that “the M Resort is my favorite place on earth.”

Tom delivered the summary to the other 4. Eli was told he was competent and solid (damning with faint praise?). Jen was told she had uneven cooking due to her salmon cutting. Bryan was told that he had the most interesting ambitious goal, but his lamb was undercooked, which he attributed to being just a little short on cooking time. Mike was told that his cucumber tartare was not up to the standard.

The judges decision was to eliminate Eli, certainly a reasonable decision based on his past culinary production and warranted no doubt by his undercooking in this Elimination Challenge being the most severe.

Next week the competition moves to the Napa Valley for the penultimate episode and the finale the week after. There were previews of the chefs cooking in the Napa Valley Wine Train. There was also a shot of a restaurant and I am going to hypothesize that the finale will be cooked at the French Laundry.


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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2009, 07:06:05 PM »
Thanks as always for your fine recaps Apskip.  :tup:  I'm so surprised and upset for Jen. She's lost some of her spirit and I can't put my finger on the reason. She's an equal to any of them left if not better than them with the exception of Kevin. I hope she can get it together as they work towards the finale.
I am but a pebble on a rocky shore.

Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2009, 07:28:48 PM »
Texas Lady,

I would love to see a continuing rebound from Jen also. She probably had 2 days to get to Napa Valley for filming of the last 2 episodes of Top Chef 6. I would love to see Mike go do in flames like he deserves for his bombastic behavior that is not supported by his culinary skills, which I think are actually a little less than the other 3 chefs. I would love to see a Jen/Kevin/Bryan finale. We'll see on Thanksgiving eve.


Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2009, 12:34:37 PM »
Texas Lady,

I would love to see a continuing rebound from Jen also. She probably had 2 days to get to Napa Valley for filming of the last 2 episodes of Top Chef 6. I would love to see Mike go do in flames like he deserves for his bombastic behavior that is not supported by his culinary skills, which I think are actually a little less than the other 3 chefs. I would love to see a Jen/Kevin/Bryan finale. We'll see on Thanksgiving eve.


I agree with you about Michael. He overrates himself, (only in his own mind) and is so rude! If he were really that good a chef, nothing would bother him other than not doing as well as he could. His treatment of Robin is appalling.

I too hope it is a Jen/Kevin/Bryan finale.   I believe Kevin is the strongest but I want to see Jen get her confidence back because she is a fine chef and a strong leader in the kitchen.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2009, 08:29:57 AM »
Here are my thoughts about TC6 as we get to the finals:

1. I want Jen to win, but I don't think she will.
2. I want Mike to lose and I do think he will.
3. All season Kevin has had an edge on the rest of these finalists. Tom Colicchio's remarks about Kevin worthiness for the 2011 Bocuse D'Or competition mean to me that Kevin should win unless he screws up. There is always a lot of pressure in the finale.
4. The individual with the second best chance of winning it is Bryan.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2009, 01:02:22 PM »
TC6, Ep. 13

Now we are down to the best of the best, so it's anybody's game as to who will underperform enough to be eliminated. The venue is the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley of northern California where the final 2 episodes happened. The Guest Judge is Michael Chiarello, a Napa Valley chef who was the second place finisher in Top Chef Masters, quite a feat considering who the other 23 competitors were. He also is owner of Bottega and Chiarello Family Vineyards.

The Quickfire Challenge is to get on the moving Napa Valley Wine Train, select one from dozens of different varietal grapes and create a dish based on it plus local produce. Teams have 30 minutes to cook, needing constantly to fight the problems caused by train motion. Padma announced that this is the final High-Stakes Quickfire. The winner will get a new Toyota Prius. There did not appear to be any other passengers or food service requirements for the Napa Valley Wine Train, so the chefs divided up the available space and went to work.

Here are the dishes selected by the remaining chefs:

Jen - sauteed chicken livers, clams, Cabernet grapes, wild mushrooms, tendrils
Bryan - roasted hen, bacon, Brussles sprouts, concord grapes, ruby quinoa, arugula
Kevin - honey and fromage blanc mousse, glazed grapes, olive oil, sea salt (Michael says he liked the olive oil)
Mike - grape leaf stuffed with couscouc, vinegar glazed grape and bay scallop kebab

The winner of the Quickfire Challenge was Mike because he did the best job of showcasing the local ingredients in his dish. Michael was loking for more grape flavor from Kevin's dish. Mike's use of leafs, vines, and wine was a fine touch in Mike's dish. Michael told Bryan that the smokiness of the bacon topped the grape flavor and in the Napa Valley it should be the other way around. Michael really like Jen's liver and clam combination. The winner of the Quickfire Challenge and the Prius was Mike because he did the best job of showcasing the local ingredients in his dish. also, he told a story with food.

Chefs stay at the Heritage Resort and Spa, then start their Elimination Challenge the following morning was to cater a party for 150 at the Rutherford Hills Winery to celebrate the "Crush," the end of the harvest. One dish was to be vegetarian and one based on a local protein. Chefs went to Long Meadow Ranch to select their ingredients. They were offered a huge variety of local products and could only use salt and pepper from outside the a radius of 100 miles, which reaches past San Francisco to the south so could have allowed seafood (although I did not see any). Chefs then cooked and prepped for 5 hours at the Brix Restaurant before packing up their food for serving at Rutherford Hills.

The dishes selected were:

Jen Veg - chevre mousee with honey mushrooms, braised radishes, basil
Jen Pro - confit of duck breast, braised duck legs, squash puree, foie gras vinaigrette
Bryan Veg - goar cheese ravioli, delicata squash puree, bronze fennel
Bryan Pro - fig glazed short ribs, celeriac puree, ragout of cranberry beans and wax beans, wild arugula
Kevin Veg - roasted beets and carrots with carrot top puree, San Andrea cheese
Kevin Pro - grass-fed brisket with pumpkin polenta and marinated root vegetables
Mike Veg - vegetqable pistou, heirloom tomato coulis, 63 degree egg, fennel
Mike Pro - turnip soup, foie gras terrine, poached pear, glazed turnip

While the dishes were being prepared, Tom Colicchio visited and made the comment that the Voltaggio brothers had the most complex dishes and that Kevin's brisket may not be fully cooked in 5 hours. Mike is concerned whether his eggs will be properly cooked. Jen finds that the coals have died down on her wood-fired grill, so she decided to do a confit of ther duck, which she knows will not develop the desired smokiness.
Comments made while judges (Tom, Gail, Padma, Michael) were eating included:
Bryan's dish needed more salt. One non-judge says he had the best flavor and best texture.
Mike's egg overwhelmed the vegetables on that dish; combination of protein dish nice; his vegetables were but too small, according to Michael and seconded by Tom. Padma says the vegetable dish is slightly undercooked and that there should be more seasoning on the mushroom sauce.
Kevin's vegetable dish superb, his polenta excellent; his beef was somewhat stringy and ropey. Gail said it was a bit tough. His beef also has a tinny quality.
Jen's dishes had nice elements and combinations. A non-judge says she "hit it out of the park."

While the judges deliberated, the chefs did not have to wait in the "Stew room." Tony Terlato of Terlato Family Vineyards hosted a tasting of 4 of his best wines at Chimney Rock.

At Judges Table, Tom gave an overview that this was a wonderful group of chefs, who dazzled with their professionalism.
Kevin - Tom says his veg dish is masterly and simple.
Bryan - Gail appreciate the subtlety. Tom said the fig glaze was there but its flavor did not appear. He also said it needed salt and pepper for optimum flavor but Bryan apparently did not have enough time with his complex menu to finish the fine details.
Mike - Gail said the texture of the egg did not mesh well with vegetables. Padma said the egg was colorless and too much liquid. Gail thought there was a bitterness of the soup and the balance between the soup quantity and other things on that plate was not right.
Jen - Michael said the basil and goat cheese combination was very good. Padma said there was too much salt and other agreed it was a bit salty. Tom asked Jen to explain her cooking process, as the final duck on the plate was not the woodfired version she had started on. Jen explained that she dithered too long, her coals had died down so much that she did not think they could properly cook the duck, so she switched cooking methods on it.

The judges made their decisions (who won and who got eliminated) and assembled the chefs for the verdict. Brian was named the winner based on his excellent use of local ingredients and seasoning. Tom says that there was something missing from each chef on one dish. Mike was told his foie gras dish was excellent but the egg dish did not come together well. Jen's dishes were too salty. She was criticized for being scatter-brained.

The elimination was of Jen. I thought it would be Mike based on the severeity of what I had heard. Tom Colicchio on his Top Chef blog stated that the saltiness of both Jen's dishes was her critical mistake. I know that these judges always say it was this meal only that made the decision, but I just do not believe that. I think Jen was essentially equal to Mike in this episode but was punished for her low ratings in many prior episodes.

If you ask me who I think should win in next week's final episode, my answer is NOT Mike. Either Bryan or Kevin would be a good choice

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #57 on: December 03, 2009, 02:27:08 PM »
I have never in years of recapping Top Chef done what I am about to do, which is recommend that you read the blogs of Tom Colicchio (A Grain of Salt) and Gail Simmons (She's Tricky) on the Top Chef main website within the BRAVOTV website. Here is what they look like:

BLOG December 3, 2009 
Gail Simmons
She's Tricky
Gail Simmons gives a bigger picture about what she thought of each of the finalists' dishes.

BLOG December 3, 2009 
December 2, 2009 Tom Colicchio
A Grain of Salt
Tom explains how the smallest of details can either win you or lose you the title of Top Chef.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2009, 06:47:43 PM »
I dislike Colicchio but I'll go read his blog. My interest died a little with the elimination of Jen last night.  :'(
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #59 on: December 06, 2009, 07:01:10 PM »
Apskip, I read the blogs, I like Gail's explanations better I must say.  I think it was rather trite to criticize her for not using the grill when plainly they were not going to work for her if she wanted to have a chance to win. I think she relied on Kevin and didn't check but we don't know for sure because of editing. Apparently she used too much salt and it wasn't edible.

I hope that Mike does not win, I don't see how he can run a kitchen with his sour demeaning attitude. I think Kevin is probably the best of the best. We'll see how it turns out.
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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #60 on: December 10, 2009, 01:35:09 PM »
TC6, Ep. 14, Finale

It's a culinary showdown between Kevin, Bryan and Mike starting at the Rutherford Hills Winery in Napa Valley. Kevin tells us that he had been accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but decided to start a culinary career instead. Padma states that Kevin has won 5 Elimination Challenges and Tom later in the show says that the Final 3 won 12 of 13. That statistic clearly demonstrates why they are the finalists. Mike adds a sly remark that Bryan won Elimination Challenges but no Quickfires. Fortunately, there has not to my knowledge ever been a Quickfire in the finale. Usually the mission is to cook the best possible meal, sometimes with constraints and sometimes not. This time there are serious constraints:

Course 1 is to be created using a box of obscure ingredients containing one Pacific rockfish, a Meyer lemon, a Matsutake mushroom, anise hyssop and Kabucha squash. The initial reaction of the chefs was "these ingredients don't go together".

Course 2 is to be chef's choice - anything goes.

Course 3 must be a dessert. Kevin is upset because he does not consider his dessert skills to be very advanced.

In addition, they will have a sous chef for a brief prep period that evening and for 3 hours cooking time the next day, both at the Citrus restaurant. Knives are drawn and this is the result:

Kevin - gets Preeti (who he considers useless as he assigns her only 2 of the 20 prep items, doing the rest himself) and Ash
Bryan - gets Jen (lucky him) and Ashley
Mike - gets Jesse and Eli (who he is very comfortable with)

Prep begins immediately and Preeti, Ashley and Jesse are utilized for these tasks while the later eliminated sous chefs are reserved for the following day. The results of the prep period were the mise en place for the following day.

Now you know that in Top Chef episodes there is always a twist. So the 3 chefs are hanging out in their living quarters the next morning waiting for Padma to present it to them. Instead, the knock on their door is from their mothers, who they are glad to see. When they arrive at the Citrus restaurant Tom has a surprise for them. No, it's not another 2 cars. He tells them that in honor of their mothers there will be a new course (Course 0 is my counting system) that reflects their culinary experiences as a child. So adjustments have to be made rapidly in the plans of the chefs.

The distinguished tasting panel included the 4 final judges (Padma, Tom, Gail and Toby) plus this distinguished chef/owners:
Bill Terlato, President/CEO of Terlato Family Vineyards
Donatella Arpaia, chef/owner of bellini, davidburke & donatella, anthos, Mia Dona and co-owner of Eos  in Miami
Douglas Keane, chef/owner of Cyrus restaurant, obtaining a Michelin 2 star rating for it
Steven Starr, restaurant owner of 11 Philadelphia restaurants, 2 in NYC, 2 in Atlantic City and 1 in Fort Lauderdale
Drew Nieropont,  co-owner of Nobu with Robert DeNiro
Sam Nazarian - co-owner of Katsuya's restaurants in Brentwood, Hollywood and Glendale CA, XIV and Bazaar

In addition, for the first course only, Kevin's mother and Bryan and Mike's mother joined them for the dish in their honor. Mrs. Voltaggio stated that Mike had never hated everything she cooked when he was a child. How ironic!

Here is the menu choices they make:

Bryan
0. Sardine, German Butterball Potato, Heirloom Tomato and Panko Bread Crumbs
1. Rockfish Sous Vide, Kabocha Squash with Curry and Meyer Lemon
2. Venison Saddle with Purée of Sunchokes and Orange Juniper Sauce
3. "Dulce de Leche" Cheesecake with Fig Sorbet, Poached Pear and Basil

Kevin
0. Southern Fried Chicken Skin with Squash Casserole and Tomato
1. Pacific Rockfish, Roasted Squash, Crab Broth and Roasted Matsutake Mushroom
2. Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli and Caramelized Ham Jus
3. Roasted Banana, Toasted Peanut with Chocolate Bacon Mousse and Bacon Brittle

Mike
0. Cream of Dehydrated Broccoli, Fried Broccoli and Spot Prawn
1. Dashi-Glazed Rockfish, Sweet and Sour Crab Salad with Squash and Meyer Lemon
2. Fennel-Scented Squab Breast, Pistachio Cassoulet and 3 different Textures of Mushrooms
3. Chocolate Caramel Coulant, Butternut Squash Brûlée and Butternut Ice Cream, with pumpkin seeds

During the cooking process, Mike's dessert was overdone in the oven as a result of his negligence. Kevin said that Ash was working very rapidly on his behalf and he appreciated that.

The tasting panel commentary during the courses included this:
Mom's Honor course
Kevin - excellent job of highlighting flavors
Bryan - underseasoned
Mike - prawn overwhelmed by broccoli flavors

Mystery Box course
Bryan - underseasoned, plating not very original; Tom thought the rockfish/ lemon combination was super

Do Your Own Thing course
Bryan - Tom thought the venison was perfect
Mike- Donatella thought something was a little off

Dessert Course
Mike - Tom says his ganache was close to right, but he had to serve it immediately after leaving the oven or it dries
Kevin - Stephen  hated the use of pork in diessert but Gail defended it

The tasting panel was excused and the final judges talked with the chefs and gave them some feedback . Their comments were:

Bryan - Toby says he cooked with restraint, Gail was happy with the venison, Tom mentioned sparse seasoning
Kevin - Padma says his chicken took lots of flavors; Tom - squash revealed new flavors as you ate it; Pork dish deficient
Mike - Toby says pickled sonata was bold and appropiate; Tom said it kept revealing new layers of flavors; Gail said cake was dry but the flavors were excellent

Each chef was given the opportunity to share his philosophy:
Bryan - these dishes showcased my cuisine and style.
Mike - I don't want Bryan to be top Chef (because Mike wanted it for himself). I love what I do.
Kevin - I cook food that's soul food, which reflects who I am
Now, did you find those statements enlightening or were they the usual crap that people say in such situations? You don't have to answer that because it is a rhetorical question.

The judges then deliberated and the snippets revealed in the telecast included these:

Course 0 Mom's honor
Gail - Kevin created a great dish
Toby - I liked Bryan best
Tom - Mike's broccoli overpowered the poor prawn and dish needed acid; Kevin's puree great and chicken skin crispy

Course 1 Mystery Box
Mike was best; toby loved his "pickled sonata", which I assume is the sweet and sour
Kevin massacred the mushroon by making it too tough to eat but his broth was perfect
Bryan had a one note dish, competent but not exceptional

Course 2 Anything Goes
Bryan - Tom says the venison exceptional
Mike - Gail says squab fine but cassoulet was a problem
Kevin - Toby hated the pork belly dish; tom says it needef more cooking time and more complexity

Course 3 Dessert
Mike - Tom said he burned his coulant dish; Gail called it "dry" but she thought his flavor combination was excellent
Kevin - Toby summarized with "he had a bad night"

Padma brings them in for the verdict. She says "one of you is Top Chef". This causes me to think it will probably be Bryan and definitely not Kevin. I was half right. Kevin was put in 3rd place first. Then Bryan says that he can't think of a better outcome than he and Mike being the top 2. The winner of $125,000, some cookware and the title of Top Chef is Mike.

I have difficulty understanding that outcome. The usual process is to see who wins each course. With the problems that Mike and Bryan had, my judgment is that Course 0 went to Kevin. Course 1 was a clean win for Mike. Course 2 was a close win for Bryan. both Kevin and Mike made mistakes on the dessert. That should have resulted a win for Bryan. Why didn't it? In her blog on BRAVO.com, Gail cites the complexity and subtlety of Mike's dishes as the main reason for his win. Tom revealed in his blog on BRAVO.com that my rating of Bryan as best for course 2 was not correct as Bryan's perfect venison was beaten by Mike's even better squab. I think the title of Tom's blog say it all,
"Bait n Switch", as the producers make I believe conscious editing decisions to mislead the viewers into thinking Bryan should win. In fact, it is reported that Bryan, Mike and Kevin all through Bryan had won.

That wraps it up for Top Chef 6, except for next week's special TC6 Reunion.

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #61 on: December 10, 2009, 04:03:08 PM »
I'm with you apskip. I thought it was clear from last week that Kevin wouldn't win but from the comments I was semi-surprised that Bryan didn't win. I believed that the brothers competing was a ploy by the producers but from the comments I thought Bryan would win. However as nasty and caustic as Mike has been I thought he would get the nod from Tom and Gail. In the voting for who the audience wanted, Kevin was the strong leader and Mike at the bottom.

"Mike - I don't want Bryan to be top Chef (because Mike wanted it for himself). I love what I do." The judges laughed but he spoke the truth.

I will probably continue to watch Top Chef but I don't love it as much as I used to, but I will say this was probably the best crop of chefs since the series started and I forget which judge said Kevin will be a superstar and I believe he will.  Jen and Eli are both going to do well and we'll hear from Jen again, she's a fine chef.

I wonder apskip, did this finale seem flat to you? It did to me.

Thank you for your fine recaps!
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #62 on: December 11, 2009, 10:26:53 PM »
TexasLady,
I'm not sure that flat is the right word. But it seemed quite different than typical finales. You never know, based on the disregarding of all prior achievements, who is going to win until it's over and at least TC2 had a major upset. For the TC6 Finale I think the challenge was a bit bigger than the others. Having a twist with the Mother's Honor course was something done before and expected, but although the mystery box has been used before in Top Chef episodes, I cannot recall it ever being in a finale. Those were very difficult ingredients that did not go together easily. The only course comparable to a typical finale was the chef's choice - anything goes course. That is how most finales go. Having a required dessert course was also something quite new and even at this level, there has been only one Top Chef Final 3 chef in the history of top Chef with outstanding pastry chef skills. Desserts are hard for general-purpose chefs because the requisite knowledge is so specialized. Now you know what I think about this topic.

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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2009, 09:08:48 AM »
I liked the addition of having to make a dessert because that's where a lot of the chefs fall. The mother's being there, sort of an obvious thing in retrospect since two of the finalists were brothers. The mystery box was interesting and it was a big hurdle for Kevin. I read Lee Ann's blog and she explains what did Kevin in and I can see why Kevin fell in points because he didn't know how to prepare the matsutake mushrooms.

A worthy read: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/lee-anne-wong/thank-you-and-good-night



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Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #64 on: December 13, 2009, 10:01:27 AM »
it has been a while sence i have gotten over here to comment sry, i thought this whole season was flat, jmo it was like tar there realy wasn't a lot of bickering or hooking up it was realy predicable,jmo :cmas11. i guess i am the only one who liked the brothers i could c they were cooking great trew the whole season and i heard /read that michael won by a mile it was not close at all. i saw him on watch what happens live on bravo the other night and he was realy funny and was tellling the viewers to vote for kevin for fan fav. he said he got allong with every body and talks to his bro and kevin a lot. there was no real bad guy this season so when he made a of remark it got aired cause they realy had nothing else, there was no drama, no pushing ad shoving or forigin accents the whole season was flat for me.
also about the plant again jmo if they were a plant it was a bad idea becaus they were miles a head of the other chefs and they did not know kevin was going to b that good so they would have had a realy loop sided show, i like the show with more amatures and more compation this season it was all missing.. :cmas5
tv junky needs help!!!!!


 

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