Posts tagged ‘Top Chef’

Reminder…and Good News

First, a reminder.  The 6th season of Bravo’s Top Chef has begun! I realize I’m a little late in mentioning it, but I just got to watch the premiere today.  Las Vegas looks like it’s gonna be a good season.  I’m not going to do recaps or reviews this season, but I highly recommend these blogs if you want commentary:

Creative Loafing: “Hearts and Balls: ‘Top Chef’ Las Vegas Episode One”

Serious Eats: “‘Top Chef,’ Season 6: The Premiere

Endless Simmer: Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 1

Secondly, good news and a promise.

I am painfully aware that this blog has been lately lacking the one thing it’s really supposed to be about.  Cooking.  I know I’ve had a million excuses (end of school, getting married, getting settled, moving…) for why that has been the case.  Lame.  This is supposed to be a blog primarily about my learning to cook healthy and meat free.

Starting this week (aka tomorrow) I am going to start trying out new recipes.  A lot of my cooking lately has been things I know are safe because I’ve already shared them on the blog.  This week’s menu includes several recipes I’ve never tried before.  I will share the results here.  Hopefully that’ll make both reading and writing more interesting.  Plus dinner around here’s getting dull.

My promise to you:

At least 2 new vegetarian recipes a week.  More if I can manage it.

You can hold me to that.

August 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Follow Up 1: Top Chef Finale

So, in a shocking (to me) season finale, Hosea won Top Chef: New York.

I don’t really think he deserved it, but I didn’t taste the food and I’m not a judge.  Goodness knows I’d be an awful judge, actually.

Anyway, I won’t duplicate everyone else’s blogs.  Instead I’ll demonstrate my inability to think for myself and share these much better written blogs:

Endless Simmer’s Top Chef exit interviews:

Amateur Gourmet’s take on Casey’s involvement in Carla’s losing.

And from Epicurious, “How to Improve Top Chef Next Season” (I hope the execs at Bravo read this!)

February 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Before the Finale: Top Chef Season 5

So, tonight’s the finale of Top Chef Season 5.  I stopped writing on it because I was enjoying live blogging with the folks over at Endless Simmer too much, but I thought sharing a few thoughts about the season would be appropriate before it ends tonight.

Favorite Episode:
Episode 6: Twelve Days of Christmas
Honestly, I just thought it was fun.  It was different, it was tricky, it required a lot of creativity.  Could you come up with a dish inspired by “nine ladies dancing”?
Episode 8: Down on the Farm
Yes, they shop at Whole Foods every week, but it was especially nice to see the contestants work it out on the farm, using only the meat and produce found there.

Least Favorite Challenge: Episode 11: Le Bernardin

No offense to Eric Ripert, of course, but I never did warm to this challenge.  Yes, it takes tremendous skill to cook Ripert’s food and it’s a huge honor to cook in the kitchen of Le Bernardin, but it still seems to me that the ability to recreate someone else’s food isn’t one of the most important marks of a good chef.  The contestants should be exhibiting their creativity, not Ripert’s.
Also, not a fan of the product placement quick fire challenges featuring Dr. Pepper and Quaker Oats.

Favorite Contestant:
Initially, I started out really liking Hosea, but the Hosea/Leah “relationship” put me off a bit (or a lot…) as did his attitude and food in general.  As the season progressed, I began rooting more and more for Carla.  “Hootie hoo!”

Least Favorite Contestant:
Leah, for her seeming lack of personality and motivation to stay on the show, plus the aforementioned Hosea thing.  Stefan annoyed the daylights out of me, but he proved he’s one of the best cooks of the bunch.

I would love to see Carla win.  But I’m suspecting it’s going to be Stefan.

Tune in to Bravo at 10 pm tonight to see who wins!

February 25, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Top Chef Liveblogging-don’t forget

Don’t forget…

Restaurant Wars tonight!

January 21, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Another reason to love Tom Colicchio (like we needed any)

Ezra Klein of the Internet Food Association posted a great story this morning about the fact that Tom Colicchio, chef and head  judge on “Top Chef” saved a life last night.

In addition to the fact that Tom is amazing (and is now also a hero), I’m a bit jealous that Ezra Klein got to attend Art.Food.Hope, the pre-inaugaration benefit to aid the hungry in DC.  If I ever manage to get any sort of audience for this blog, I am going to start finding my way to these sorts of events.  You should check out the chefs, artists and authors invited–I would have been speechless (which is perhaps why I wasn’t invited).

January 19, 2009 at 9:40 am

Today’s Interesting Food Links

Finally, Bravo is apparently developing a show called Top Chef: Masters which will feature “some of the brightest stars in the food world” in the usual Top Chef competition format.  I’m inclined to think that the brightest stars have better things to do, but I’m staying tuned for more details–I’ll give anything with the Top Chef name a fair try.

January 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm


Endless Simmer’s Top Chef LiveBlogging is wonderful.

January 14, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Top Chef: “Focus Groups”

Pre-show thoughts on contestants: He may not be the best chef, but I love Hosea.  He’s one of the few that has yet to do something on the show that annoys me and I think his food’s decent-he did win the challenge last week.  I like Ariane and Radhika as well.  The Europeans, Stefan and Fabio, don’t do much for me at all, not because they’re European but because they have ridiculous attitudes.  Jeff seems pretty personality less. Of course, all this perception is based on all the editing they do.  It is television, after all.

Quick-fire Challenge: Create a sugar free dessert. I’m not at all opposed to sugar-free desserts, but darned if I could come up with one myself.  I am always amazed at the ability of the Top Chef contestants to come up instantly.  Of course, everything looked pretty good.  Radhika won, which is fine by me.

Elimination Challenge: No Limits (mostly)! A family style meal with blind judging?! That’s new, but I imagine that it makes it fairer.  A double elimination was a pretty serious threat, but also fair considering the judges didn’t eliminate anyone last episode.  I think it was awesome that the rest of the contestants were the “food experts” and even more nice that the contestants who were being judged got to watch it on television.  That poor second set when they realized every mean thing they had been said that been seen by the chef who cooked it.   It was also nice to see Jamie get some vindication for her bad scallops last week, one of the few positive moments of the discussion.  Melissa made fish tacos that got really criticized and then there was discussion from her and a comment from Hosea that she hadn’t put out her best work–its Top Chef, not your home kitchen!  You should always do your best work if you’re playing to win.  Toby Young, the judge brought in to replace Gail Simmons,  is especially not nice.  I’m not sure why Top Chef didn’t try to find someone more Gail-like.  I suppose in a way he brings some more drama, but didn’t we have enough drama already?

Judges Panel: Ariane, Jamie and Stefan had the top dishes.  Jamie won, which is really nice for her.  Melissa (surprise!), Eugene and Carla were the bottom three.  I thought Carla handled herself well and her response to the judges was well thought out (except maybe for the comment that her dish was perfect without the scallops, clearly she should have done vegetarian like she wanted to).  I don’t believe that Melissa wants to be there, at least she doesn’t act like it.  I have mixed feelings on Eugene.  At any rate, Melissa and Eugene went home; I’m glad Carla got to stay.  She’s a pretty good cook and she deserves another chance.

For a different (and pretty clever) take on the episode check out the Top Chef Liveblogging at the Internet Food Association.

January 7, 2009 at 11:00 pm

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