Author Topic: Top Chef Season 6  (Read 21335 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

  • RFF's Goodwill Ambassador
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 43876
  • No more wire hangers EVER!
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
zero, zilch, nada, nothing!


Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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.

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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 »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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 JoŽl Robuchon, Le Salon de Thť de JoŽl Robuchon
Las Vegas - L'Atelier de JoŽl Robuchon, JoŽl Robuchon at The Mansion
London - L'Atelier de JoŽl Robuchon, La Cuisine de JoŽl Robuchon
Macau - Robuchon Š Galera
Monaco - Restaurant JoŽl Robuchon
New York - L'Atelier de JoŽl Robuchon
Paris - L'Atelier de JoŽl Robuchon, La Table de JoŽl Robuchon
Tokyo - L'Atelier de JoŽl Robuchon, Le Chateau de JoŽl Robuchon, La Table de JoŽl 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 »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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

  • Forum Moderator
  • RFF Assistant Administrator
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 23856
  • So much to watch, so little time!
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.
Welcome Guests and RFF Members! Join the discussion and share your opinion!

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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.

Offline TexasLady

  • Forum Moderator
  • RFF Assistant Administrator
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 23856
  • So much to watch, so little time!
Re: Top Chef Season 6
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2009, 10:27:35 AM »
apskip, I forgot about that!! You're right.   Ick!
Welcome Guests and RFF Members! Join the discussion and share your opinion!

Offline jerseydude

  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Itís Friday, Friday Gotta get down on Friday
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.
The Amazing Race TV Stars- Marc and Rovilson (Currently 1st)
Victor\'s Amazing Race- Mooyou and Jerseydude (Currently 5th)
RFF Amazing Race Season 2- Redskevin88 & Jerseydude (Eliminated 4th)
Mooyou\'s Amazing Race- Tammy and Victor (Finished 2nd Place )

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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

  • Forum Moderator
  • RFF Assistant Administrator
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 23856
  • So much to watch, so little time!
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!
Welcome Guests and RFF Members! Join the discussion and share your opinion!

Offline tory

  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 803
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
tv junky needs help!!!!!

Offline TexasLady

  • Forum Moderator
  • RFF Assistant Administrator
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 23856
  • So much to watch, so little time!
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.
Welcome Guests and RFF Members! Join the discussion and share your opinion!

Offline tory

  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 803
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??
tv junky needs help!!!!!

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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

  • RFF's Goodwill Ambassador
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 43876
  • No more wire hangers EVER!
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:
zero, zilch, nada, nothing!

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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 »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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

  • Forum Moderator
  • RFF Assistant Administrator
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 23856
  • So much to watch, so little time!
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.
Welcome Guests and RFF Members! Join the discussion and share your opinion!

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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 »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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.

Offline TexasLady

  • Forum Moderator
  • RFF Assistant Administrator
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 23856
  • So much to watch, so little time!
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.
Welcome Guests and RFF Members! Join the discussion and share your opinion!

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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.


Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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 »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
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 »


 

Custom Search