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The Old Top Chef Thread


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#1

Hilltop

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 @ 1:41 PM

So Mrs. Billy Joel is trying to be the next Gordon Ramsay in a new reality show on Bravo. Here's the press release. It doesn't say what the prize will be other than being named Top Chef. Bravo usually has good reality shows but this one sounds like a stinker.

KATIE LEE JOEL TO HOST 'TOP CHEF,' A NEW REALITY COMPETITION SERIES COMING TO BRAVO

PRODUCTION UNDERWAY IN SAN FRANCISCO IN THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT TOP CULINARY TALENT


NEW YORK -- November 10, 2005 -- Bravo has signed on Katie Lee Joel to host "Top Chef," a new reality competition series set in the pressurized environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business. The series will feature twelve aspiring chefs competing for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef." Scheduled to premiere next year on Bravo, principal photography for the ten-episode, one-hour series commenced October 24 in San Francisco. The announcement was made today by Frances Berwick, Senior Vice President of Programming, Bravo.

"Bravo is eager to discover exciting new talent in the culinary world, just as we did in fashion with 'Project Runway,' in film with 'Project Greenlight,' and comedy writing in 'Situation: Comedy,'" said Berwick. "We're delighted to have Katie Lee Joel as host. Her passion for excellent cuisine pushes our contestants to the top of their game."

Katie Lee Joel will host this inside look at the artistic and cutthroat world of the culinary arts. Married to music icon Billy Joel since 2004, Katie's lifelong passion for good food began when she first learned to cook from her grandmother while growing up in West Virginia. Today, she enjoys cooking meals with fresh, organic ingredients and strives to consume a diet that is both healthy and pleasing to the taste buds, while taking into consideration where every ingredient comes from. Katie's culinary experience is broad and diversified. She has taken a wide range of culinary classes, spent a semester abroad in Florence, worked in a variety of restaurants and helped open Jeff and Eddy's Restaurant, one of the hottest dining spots in the Hamptons. Katie also started the culinary website www.oliveandpeach.com with her friend Aleishall Girard, which was born out of their shared passion for the culinary arts and appreciation for the simple nourishment that makes up a daily meal. Katie holds a degree in English and Journalism from Miami University of Ohio.

"Top Chef" is executive produced by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves, who also produced "Project Runway" and "Project Greenlight" for Bravo and will executive produce NBC's upcoming reality series "Treasure Hunters." Shauna Minoprio serves as co-executive producer on "Top Chef."

#2

sharina

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 @ 2:25 PM

I liked this better when it was called "Hell's Kitchen"

BUT - does anyone remember this show on PBS called "Masterchef USA"? That show was awesome!

#3

Hilltop

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 @ 2:42 PM

I didn't watch "MasterChef USA," but I watched "Hell's Kitchen," which I liked, and I'll be tuning in for Season 2. "Top Chef" sounds pretty weak. If they've haven't decided on a worthwhile prize for this show yet, that's not a good sign. You'd think the producers, who also produce the excellent "Project Runway," would do a better job at coming up with an idea for the prize.

Edited by Hilltop, Nov 12, 2005 @ 2:41 PM.


#4

Lyle Lyle

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Posted Jan 13, 2006 @ 4:29 PM

Bravo announced that Top Chef will premiere on March 8 after the finale of Project Runway. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, considering how much I like PR. If it can be Hells Kitchen with more food and less drama (I really don't need to see other contestants smirking when one of their competitors is in trouble), I'll be so happy.

#5

RainIsBeautiful

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Posted Jan 13, 2006 @ 4:31 PM

I wish Apprentice: Martha's Marcela would compete here. She was awesome.

#6

Elrhino

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Posted Jan 13, 2006 @ 5:11 PM

does anyone remember this show on PBS called "Masterchef USA"? That show was awesome!


Yep. There was also a show on PBS that followed exactly this format on this past spring , It was Hell's Kitchen without the schtick, something like "America's Next Great Chef, that looked very promising. Unfortunately, the pool of contestants wasn't really all that great. It looked like none of them were even sous chef level.

Edited by Elrhino, Jan 13, 2006 @ 6:47 PM.


#7

NYTeacher

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Posted Jan 22, 2006 @ 5:34 PM

I think the PBS show was called "Cooking Under Fire" and I loved it. I kept thinking it was like "Project Runway" but for chefs. I was so disappointed in the Hell's Kitchen format.

#8

Lyle Lyle

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Posted Mar 2, 2006 @ 4:07 AM

A Top Chef website is now live. Has anyone checked out the contestants?

My first reaction was annoyance that none of the contestants are from the Bay Area, considering that's where they're filming. It would be nice to have a local to cheer.

Based on personality, Lisa's my initial favorite, she gives me a Jasmine Guy vibe... a Dead Like Me Jasmine Guy vibe.

The format of the show sounds interesting, with a small challenge to test basic kitchen skills, and a bigger challenge of serving a bigger crowd. I'm hoping the travels around the Bay Area include a visit with Alice Waters, even though I don't see her taking the time to appear on a reality show -- she doesn't come off as someone seeking any more fame than what she already has.

#9

keckler

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Posted Mar 2, 2006 @ 1:21 PM

I think I'll have to watch this, but I do like Gordon Ramsay's "shut it down!" and continuous stream of profane insults on Hell's Kitchen.

I'm hoping the travels around the Bay Area include a visit with Alice Waters, even though I don't see her taking the time to appear on a reality show -- she doesn't come off as someone seeking any more fame than what she already has.


I totally agree, Lyle Lyle -- Alice Waters is more concerned with saving the world than on being on TV.

Edited by keckler, Mar 2, 2006 @ 1:22 PM.


#10

PdmntPdl

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Posted Mar 2, 2006 @ 2:17 PM

Whenever I see the preview where that guy says, "I'm not your bitch, bitch!" I crack up. I have totally started saying it all the time. Too bad that will probably be the only good thing about this show.

#11

Penfold

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Posted Mar 2, 2006 @ 2:18 PM

I'll certainly give it a chance, but I'm very skeptical about the show. When they did the brief introductions of the contestants, I was struck by how unlikeable most of them seemed. The majority of them were all "I'll fight like a tiger!" "I don't take crap from anyone!" "I'm not your bitch, bitch!"

Man, a little of that goes a long way. It'd be like Project Runway with eight Santinos. Exhausting.

#12

AdrienneP

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Posted Mar 4, 2006 @ 1:08 AM

Whenever I see the preview where that guy says, "I'm not your bitch, bitch!" I crack up. I have totally started saying it all the time.

MisterP and I have so totally incorporated this into our daily usage it's almost not funny anymore.

I'll definitely give it a shot, but I, too, would prefer more Gordon Ramsey. "Shut it down" popped into my head a day or so ago... I got misty.

#13

Bungalow Joy

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Posted Mar 4, 2006 @ 3:16 PM

I'll certainly give it a chance, but I'm very skeptical about the show. When they did the brief introductions of the contestants, I was struck by how unlikeable most of them seemed.

I have fears about the challenge format. It'll be just like a third season of Project Runway, when everything refreshing about the surprises of the first season will have become formula. That's why I cringe at the "From the creators of..." marketing line. For example, have we seen any actual dishes in the previews? Anything of the actual plates prepared, to entice us? No? Just "personalities"?

#14

jmgpride62

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Posted Mar 7, 2006 @ 8:14 PM

Whenever I see the preview where that guy says, "I'm not your bitch, bitch!" I crack up.


Yep, they had me at "bitch" too.

Glad I am not the only one.

#15

keckler

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Posted Mar 8, 2006 @ 1:33 PM

Interesting article on Zap2it about the show.

"I saw about five minutes of one of the other shows, and after watching the chef just lay into and berate a cook, I just totally turned off to that one," [Colicchio] says.


I'd say Gordon's ears were burning if his hair weren't constantly on fire already.

And another one at the NY Daily News.

Wow, I just saw the preview and there are some familiar personalities on this show -- I can already find a Dewberry, an Elsie, a Carolann, and a Chris.

Edited by keckler, Mar 8, 2006 @ 2:52 PM.


#16

timeonmyhands

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:12 AM

This show lost me about halfway though. It was kind of dull I thought. Maybe it will get better as it goes on though so I'll stick with it for another episode or two. I am a little curious to see what the future challenges will be.

#17

jade76

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:16 AM

This show was not great, but not too bad either. I'll stick with it for now. I'm glad they got rid of Ken instead of keeping him around just for the drama factor.
I miss Hell's Kitchen.

#18

fashionista79

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:17 AM

I didn't wacth Hell's Kitchen so I have nothing to compare this show to. I'm a bit confused by it all. I understand the PR connection (and even if I hadn't seen the advertisements for Top Chef, the writers and the music editors for this show would have clued me in what with the nearly the same speeches and same background music), but I'm also getting an Apprentice-type vibe. The chefs are split into teams of two? I don't get it.

Although, on a shallow note, Harold is kind of cute.

Edited by fashionista79, Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:17 AM.


#19

snowsuit sound

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:19 AM

I, uh, don't think I liked it. It's hard to tell. There's just nothing compelling about it, contestant-wise or even contest-wise. Maybe it's the fact that it's food and I can't really tell if they kicked ass other than presentation and going on the word of judges that seemed really snotty and, well, total pills.

Also, WTF is up with the host? Totally dead delivery, like she was bored with it and could care less. I honestly flipped back and forth throughout the show since "I" was bored with it.

Edited by snowsuit sound, Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:23 AM.


#20

Karai

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:20 AM

fashionista, they were just split in two teams for this challenge (so they could taste the other team's food).

I'm with the people who'd rather have shows like this light on the drama and heavy on actually getting to see some of the real stuff (the actual cooking, how they came up with their ideas, creativity, etc.). Maybe that'll get better once they narrow the field...?

#21

OneLastRefrain

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:23 AM

This show just made me really hungry.

#22

Penfold

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:29 AM

Yeah, that pumpkin lasagna? Mmmmm.

Also, WTF is up with the host? Totally dead delivery, like she was bored with it and could care less


Agreed. She was awful.

#23

leocadia

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 12:49 AM

Harold reminded me of a stockier Rob Cesterino (sp?) from Survivor.

From the introductions, I was prepared to heap hate on Tiffani, but she actually came off as more business-like and less bitch. (Aside from the fueling of the fire that was Ken). Since she did so well at both challenges, maybe she has the talent to back up the attitude.

Still not sure if I can stomach Stephen...he may be good, but the snobby airs he puts on are seriously annoying.

I agree that Ken needed to go, but the accent will be sorely missed, the attitude will not.

Since I need something to fill in the gaping hole left by Project Runway, I'll stick with the show for a couple weeks at least.

Edited by leocadia, Mar 9, 2006 @ 1:58 AM.


#24

heebiejeebie

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 1:00 AM

Well the show is flawed, but I like that overall, I think the competitors are much more in line than Hell's Kitchen's were. And the whole hour had less contrivance than a return-from-commerical-break-flashback on HK. Of course we have no famewhorish customers to deal with yet.

I was glad to see Irish Spring get his magically delicious ass tossed. Too bad he couldn't take the bland little twinkie hosting the show with him. Like the guy who is hosting though. The Tim Gunn-esque vibe is there. I'm hopeful on that level at least.

Pompous little Mr. Perfect and the liver lips is going to get tiresome real fast. Oh look, he already is. The good news is that he is so desperately trying to get the camera that I think it will trip him eventually.

I wish they had had some way of delivering the food anonymously so that they couldn't go after the cooks on a personal basis in any way. Not that I think the toss was unfaor at all. If anything I was relieved they did not keep him on as I think many relaity shows would have. Santino Rice and his Heidiwear lingeries anyone?

I do hope that we fewer gimmick tasks than the previews might imply though seeing liverlips gulp when the other guy won was fantastic. and seeing him pontificate about potato chips to tots could be fun. Still, as food is very hard to judge just by looking at it, I would like blind panels that we can hear discuss the food. I'm hoping that we get more "customer" tasting commentary and less customer theatrics.

Some of the dishes looked rather interesting. That "healthy" one looked like two different plates collided on their way out to the Denny's dining room. Ugh. The three lamb versions looked good, but I have seen it done to death. Not new. Pretend to be something the Frnech Laundry gagged up all you want Wine boy.

#25

niklj

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 2:19 AM

Augh...the hostess's voice is so grating. It like...cracks at certain points.

At least there's some likeable people on this show.

#26

belligerent

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 2:29 AM

Stephen reminds me of a Final Fantasy villain. He has pointy SquareSoft hair and unclear intentions. He could totally be Sephiroth's wine consultant. That doesn't mean I dislike him, though. We'll see...

#27

Wonka0217

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 2:41 AM

I was confident they'd keep Ken around for the handsome factor, but there was really no legitimate reason to eliminate any of the other contestants. Are audition tapes online?

#28

ems7

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 3:23 AM

Does anyone have a link to bios for the cast? I can't find them on the Bravo site, and one of those guys looks very familiar.

#29

CitizenKang

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 3:58 AM

I'm surprised they got rid of Ken. His dish must have been by far the worst because reality shows always try to keep the asshole character at least a few weeks for drama.

"I'm not your bitch, bitch." That did make me laugh a bunch of times, though I saw these commercials WAY too many times from watching Project Runway. I got it, Bravo, you got a cooking show, point made. The commercials also made it look like everyone was a jerk or a Richard Hatch wannabe, but most of them turned out to be likeable. I guess they just wanted sound bites.

#30

NYGirl

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Posted Mar 9, 2006 @ 8:24 AM

With the absence of Project Runway and Hell's Kitchen right now I'm this show's bitch.

I'm guessing they tried to get "over the top" contestants because at least with PR we can make a decision of who is good and who's not by using our eyes. With cooking, since we're not tasting it, we have no idea who's good and who's not. Without personalities this show could get boring quick. I was surprised Ken got booted immediately. I figured him for the villain. But now looking at the previews it seems Stephen will be the "one".

I did notice in the previews that the older woman wasn't there much so I'm guessing she gets kicked off soon. She grated on me.