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Top Chef: Just Desserts


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#1

iggystar

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 12:14 PM

A date hasn't been announced yet for this spinoff, which as the title indicates, will feature only desserts as part of the challenges but it's scheduled to premiere this year. Gail Simmons is the host and Johnny Iuzzini, judge of the pie Quick Fire on the last episode of Top Chef, is the head judge, along with Hubert Keller (Top Chef Masters S1) and Dannielle Kyrillos.

I love Top Chef and sweets, so outside of being tortured weekly with scrumptious desserts I can't taste, I think this should be a fun show. The contestants are pastry chefs, but I wonder if they'll have to venture out into candy or ice cream? I know we'll probably see cupcakes, perhaps doughnuts?

If nothing else we won't hear the cry, "I don't make desserts. I'm not a pastry chef!"

Edited by iggystar, Jul 1, 2010 @ 12:38 PM.

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#2

Uncle Benzene

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 1:04 PM

I give it three weeks before they go for the "sear a scallop and braise some short ribs" challenge.

"But I'm a pastry chef!!!"
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#3

Gilmel

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 1:11 PM

I think I would get bored with this show. Having a whole show just about one course seems limited to me. Like Top Chef: Soups or Top Chef: Appetizers would be. Sure, there's a lot of variety within the desserts category, but not as much as a whole meal. How many seasons can they have before it gets repetitive?
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#4

iggystar

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 1:46 PM

I don't know. Maybe the season won't be as long as the regular show. There appears to be some interest in food shows about desserts lately and perhaps Bravo is trying to cash in on that trend.
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#5

vallegirl

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 1:53 PM

Being a pastry chef is a different world than a savory chef. There's plenty of places to go with desserts, not just cakes or cookies. Which in and of itself is pretty varied. Plus the flavor combinations are changing constantly. I doubt anyone ten years ago would have thought wasabi was a great addition to dark chocolate, but Vosges built a mini chocolate empire on that combination alone. And it's delicious.

These shows generally live and die by the casting, so if they find a compelling group of pastry chefs and judges I think it will be at least as watchable as Masters.

Edited by vallegirl, Jul 1, 2010 @ 1:54 PM.

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#6

iggystar

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 2:18 PM

Being a pastry chef is a different world than a savory chef


I wonder if the notion that being a pastry chef should be a breeze will factor in the attitudes of the contestants. They might feel they have something to prove. I would hope Bravo would cast the most interesting pastry chefs available, maybe get a few Marcels of the pastry world.
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#7

larapu2000

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 2:24 PM

I give it three weeks before they go for the "sear a scallop and braise some short ribs" challenge.

"But I'm a pastry chef!!!"


My thoughts exactly! I'm wondering what cheesy product placements the pastry chefs will have to deal with. I have my fingers crossed for a Hershey bar challenge, because I would cherish the bitchy looks and attitudes towards a product like that!
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#8

Fukui San

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 2:27 PM

I wonder if this will have elements of the Food Network Challenge "make a cake that looks like a scene from Toy Story 3" type of decorative challenges.
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#9

fashionista79

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 2:32 PM

I wonder if there will be a "Restaurant Wars" or "Wedding Wars" type of challenge? Does a show like this even lend itself to a "Restaurant Wars"? Maybe a "Patisserie Wars" would be better?
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#10

Sidonie

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 2:53 PM

A "pièce montée" war, please.

And Hubert Frigging Super Keller? I'd watch Top Chef Fasting if he was in it.
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#11

NolieBlue

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 2:55 PM

I wonder if this will have elements of the Food Network Challenge "make a cake that looks like a scene from Toy Story 3" type of decorative challenges.


Yikes, I hope not. I hate those shows. They aren't really about food or eating; it's just acres of fondant. Might as well be putty.
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#12

Rickster

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 3:02 PM

Another thing I'm thinking is that generally pastry takes much longer to do than savory challenges, especially if a lot of decorating/icing is thrown in. We could see 4-5 hour challenges.
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#13

crankyone

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 4:03 PM

I'm really looking forward to this show.

I wonder if this will have elements of the Food Network Challenge "make a cake that looks like a scene from Toy Story 3" type of decorative challenges

.

I was just going to post this.

Yikes, I hope not. I hate those shows. They aren't really about food or eating; it's just acres of fondant. Might as well be putty.


I wouldn't want to see this in every show, but I wouldn't mind an episode of this kind of challenge.

Do Pastry Chefs make candy also? I loves me some chocolate, so would like to see that as a challenge.
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#14

vallegirl

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 4:35 PM

I wonder if the notion that being a pastry chef should be a breeze will factor in the attitudes of the contestants. They might feel they have something to prove. I would hope Bravo would cast the most interesting pastry chefs available, maybe get a few Marcels of the pastry world.

Throughout high school and college, friends and I worked at various times at a French bakery owned by two guys from Lyons. One made the breads, the other made the pastries, and both were cantankerous, hilarious, obsessive French chefs who brooked no teenage tomfoolery in their shop, and yet only seemed to have teenagers working for them, except for the 21-year-old kitchen assistant who was chronically high and listened to Iggy Pop all the time. They were always yelling at themselves, each other, the staff, the dough, the butter, demanding I tell them whether or not the banana mousse was any good (it was) or following me around wondering why I can't sweep the floor correctly. And they would only come out of their respective kitchens, because there were two, to talk to their friends in very loud French.

I don't think they were all that unusual.

Edited by vallegirl, Jul 1, 2010 @ 4:37 PM.

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#15

iggystar

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 4:46 PM

Cool, vallegirl. Sounds like we might be in for some fun characters!

Banana mousse sounds amazing! I think I'll have to at least have a cookie on hand before I watch this.
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#16

Boton

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 5:02 PM

And Hubert Frigging Super Keller? I'd watch Top Chef Fasting if he was in it.


I'll see your Top Chef Fasting and raise you a Top Chef Fillibuster if they get Eric Ripert in it.

Seriously, I'm exicted by this concept. DH and I just returned to the Midwest from a vacation in California, and we were discussing how there is a huge difference between vegetarian dishes that highlight vegetables and vegetarian dishes that just substitute beans for where the meat would normally go. We speculated about a Top Chef Vegetarian; maybe some specialty TCs could alternate, highlighting specialists in certain kinds of cooking or cuisine.

Edited by Boton, Jul 1, 2010 @ 5:03 PM.

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#17

vallegirl

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 5:32 PM

Cool, vallegirl. Sounds like we might be in for some fun characters!

Banana mousse sounds amazing! I think I'll have to at least have a cookie on hand before I watch this.

Yeah, I have no doubt there will be a range of types just like on TC, with the possible addition of even more science nerds who aren't using all that tech to make foams.

But true to Philippe's contrarian French nature, he ended up not selling the banana mousse, because I was just some moron college student with the palate to match. But he did let us eat the leftovers.
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#18

Darian

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 5:56 PM

Love Gail, love desserts, and love love love Hubert Keller. I'm in.
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#19

Puds38

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Posted Jul 1, 2010 @ 11:52 PM

I am one of the few people in the world who cannot stand bananas. Smell, taste, texture, ripe or unripe, all just one big yuck for me. Even worse when they are really ripe even the smell of them makes me physically ill. Bananas foster? BLEECH! Yet for many chefs bananas are the go to fruit.

But I love dessert. I think there are many directions to go in on a dessert challenge that are far better than FN & TLC's horrible challenge shows. And Hubert Keller? Count me in.
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#20

pochpoch

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Posted Jul 2, 2010 @ 3:18 AM

Yeah, I have no doubt there will be a range of types just like on TC, with the possible addition of even more science nerds who aren't using all that tech to make foams.

From your fingers to Bravogods' eyes.

Top Chef and Masters are the only reality shows I consistently watch so I? Am so in.
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#21

redfin4

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Posted Jul 2, 2010 @ 5:58 AM

Ooooh, so looking forward to this show! I could wax poetic about desserts!

I don't think they'll be short on challenges... There's ice cream, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy, pies, choux, gingerbread houses, wedding cakes, sugar sculpture. And that's just on the tip of my tongue. I could go on like Bubba with his shrimp in Forest Gump!
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#22

Gulielma

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Posted Jul 2, 2010 @ 8:27 AM

Not to mention sorbets, roasted fruit, mousses, fruit soups....
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#23

iggystar

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Posted Jul 2, 2010 @ 9:18 AM

They could do crossovers with Top Chef. Have the Just Desserts chef make the dessert course for Restaurant Wars. :)

Edited by iggystar, Jul 2, 2010 @ 12:27 PM.

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#24

Dragonhawk

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Posted Jul 2, 2010 @ 10:59 AM

I'll watch anything Hubert Keller is in and Gail is not bad to look at. That hair form the 60s on Johnny Iuzzini, though, I can do without ;)

Edited by Dragonhawk, Jul 2, 2010 @ 11:00 AM.

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#25

aceplace57

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Posted Jul 3, 2010 @ 8:38 PM

I wonder if the viewing public will like a show that focuses totally on deserts? There's a lot of concern about obesity and diabetes. People seem more interested in healthy diets and exercise. Honestly, I wouldn't want to judge this competition. Even taking just a bite from each plate is a lot of sugar.

I still eat deserts once in awhile. I usually limit myself to half a slice of cake or pie at a time.

I do plan to watch. It'll be a guilty pleasure, but I like Gail and want to see her do well.

Edited by aceplace57, Jul 3, 2010 @ 8:41 PM.

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#26

Puds38

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Posted Jul 3, 2010 @ 9:10 PM

I'm fairly confident it will succeed largely in part due to the name factor of the Top Chef franchise. The obesity epidemic doesn't seem to have hurt the proliferation of cooking shows, the cupcake trend or the Food Network extreme challenges. In fact, it would be nice to (hopefully) just see good dessert making.
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#27

wendyr

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Posted Jul 4, 2010 @ 4:32 PM

I work in Public Health and specialize in the epidemiology of obesity, and to be honest, shows like Top Chef are not of concern (for a multitude of reasons). I don't see the public health movement towards healthy living to damper the ratings of this show - what will be problematic (as others have said) is if they don't have an interesting cast.

I am looking forward to this show. I don't eat desserts (no sweet tooth), but I do love Top Chef, so yippee!
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#28

swimmyfish

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Posted Jul 5, 2010 @ 1:17 PM

I am so excited that Hubert Keller is a judge for Top Chef: Desserts! In fact, I'm more excited that he's a judge than I am for the show itself, but it's definitely enough to get me to watch.
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#29

vallegirl

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Posted Jul 5, 2010 @ 1:48 PM

Hubert Keller, Patron Saint of all things Top Chef. He's been involved in the start up of all three enterprises and was critical to my enjoying the first season of Masters by establishing the gentler and more magnanimous tone of that enterprise along with Bayless, and now, he's the cherry on the sundae of Just Desserts. I really, really like Gail but I love Keller and am looking forward to them on this show, even if Johnny Iuzzini is still a question mark.

Edited by vallegirl, Jul 5, 2010 @ 1:49 PM.

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#30

sloopster

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Posted Aug 31, 2010 @ 6:01 PM

I don't think desserts are limiting at all - how many steaks have been grilled on TC, how many scallops seared? The interesting part is what they do with flavors and how well they do it, not "oh, damn, another pork dish."

And having read some of the cheftestant bios, this could be very interesting - Farm-Pluot Galette with Hazelnut Frangipanne and Vietnamese Cinnamon Chantilly or Mexican Smoked Salt & Habanero Caramel Tart don't sound like cake and apple pie to me. But then again, I think cake and apple pie can be pretty cool, too.

I'd love to see one savory challenge! And a Chopped-type thing (here's a sardine, make a dessert out of it), restricted diet desserts, and yes, apple pie. Or chocolate cake. Make them different.

The guy with the bow-tie in the promos (my desserts taste like grandma made them and then slapped your face, or something like that) is going to be either high on the annoyance scale, or high on the entertainment scale, I'm not sure which yet.
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