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3-5: "Would You Like Fries with That" 2011.05.04 (recap)


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#1

TWoP Nikita

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Posted May 2, 2011 @ 1:21 AM

From Zap2it:

The "cheftestants'' have to operate a fast food drive thru.



#2

aemilia

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 10:16 PM

Wow. This is Top Chef Masters? It just seems so much less dignified than the previous seasons of TCM. I'm just not enjoying it.

I was surprised George went home - I kept seeing Chef Tio in those talking heads with loose hair and red eyes and thought for sure she was gone.

This was the first time I'd actually watched Top Chef and not paid full attention to it. That's saying something.

#3

vb68

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 10:24 PM

Wow. This is Top Chef Masters? It just seems so much less dignified than the previous seasons of TCM. I'm just not enjoying it.


I totally agree. I thought this one was just stupid. Regardless of the questionable decision to have Masters work fast food, why disguise it? Let them at least be prepared. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

#4

wyndham

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 10:30 PM

I didn't like 'unibrow" the first time I saw him and my dislike increased tonite when he opted out of helping his teammates when they were clearly in the weeds and instead did his "I'm so cool" routine by the register. He is so full of himself, its a wonder his head doesn't explode.

I agree with the other posters that the chefs should have been told they were going to be working in a fast food location. All these "twists" are annoying - not entertaining.

#5

Myles

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 10:37 PM

I am even more disappointed in the Bravo elves. We get a Top Chef "Masters" season with really only 3-4 masters, and other working chefs that are frankly too old and/or established and rooted where they are, to go on to normal Top Chef.

So, we get get stupid challenges that these chefs should be above. Why not drag out the vending machine challenge again? I am a working chef, and think that at 40, I am too established in my ways to consider myself as a contender for normal Top Chef, in all honesty (Even if it would be fun.) These challenges, and sadly some of the "top chef masters" are frankly awful.

Edited by Myles, May 4, 2011 @ 10:51 PM.


#6

Quilt Fairy

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 10:39 PM

I was surprised George went home -

After Tia's early confessional, it was George, George, George. I'm usually terrible at editing ploys like this but I was sure George was going home 10-15 minutes into the hour.

I didn't care for the Elimination Challenge, but I loved the QuickFire, it's possibly one of the best ever in TC history.

#7

SpeciousLogic

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 10:45 PM

Unannounced Fast Food Challenge, complete with Top Chefs manning the drive thru.

I wish someone had made a shark sandwich, so Curtis could have jumped over it.

#8

basiltherat

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 10:49 PM

Checker-shirted Oselund in a drive-thru will never not be funny! Good on him.

#9

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 11:06 PM

I didn't care for the Elimination Challenge, but I loved the QuickFire, it's possibly one of the best ever in TC history.


Same here. The food in the QF looked so good. I couldn't even keep track of what was going on in the EC it looked so chaotic.

I hope Alex Stratta leaves soon. I can't stand his whining much longer.

#10

biakbiak

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 11:09 PM

So, we get get stupid challenges that these chefs should be above. Why not drag out the vending machine challenge again?


They have done the vending machine challenge on TCM, it was the episode with Elizabeth Faulkner, Graham Elliot, Suzanne Tracht and Wylie Dyfrense.

The thing that was ridiculously stupid is that Fast Food doesn't mean "no utensils" even in the drive thru. Seriously, utensils free dining seems to be an obsession lately with Magic Elves with the same thing coming up again and again on their America's Next Top Restaurant. The site of Curtis eating the salad in the restaurant without a fork was just ludicrous.

No surprise that Mary Sue and Traci were on top given Mary Sue's food truck and Traci has a taqueria (an expensive taqueria) so it's not so far out of their wheelhouse.

I think thing I miss most about the change in format is I miss the outline of Hubert's head they used when chefs advanced to the finale! Oh and it had better chefs and you could get to know them better.

#11

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 11:15 PM

Danielle is laying it on a little thick with her flirtation with Curtis. I don't find him even remotely attractive. But if she keeps it up I smell "hostile Work environment"

Brilliant, brilliant QF. I think that I may have missed something in the setup though. The prices were just arbitrarily given to each item right? And weren't the actual grocers price? So onions ended up pricier than asparagus?

#12

redfin4

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 11:38 PM

It was bad enough that TCM got rid of Jay Rayner and Gael Greene, but they softened the blow by telling us Ruth Reichl would be a judge... well... WHERE IS SHE?

Somewhere along the way, a bait & switch happened and these two foodie website people have taken their place. Alan & Danyelle run perfectly fine websites, but I don't like them as judges on this show.

I feel duped.

I wish someone had made a shark sandwich, so Curtis could have jumped over it.

I completely agree. This show has jumped the shark. After the disappointing TC:All Stars season I was so looking forward to TCM. But here we are only what... 5 episodes in and I feel like moving on. With the new MasterChef Australia Season 3 just beginning, I may just do it too.

ETA: Oh and Curtis, stop trying to put words in people's mouths. Chef Mendes sticking to his original idea doesn't mean he was looking down on Fast Food.

Edited by redfin4, May 4, 2011 @ 11:41 PM.


#13

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 11:44 PM

It was bad enough that TCM got rid of Jay Rayner and Gael Greene, but they softened the blow by telling us Ruth Reichl would be a judge... well... WHERE IS SHE?

ITA. I think they had a winning combination with the original three--Ruth was fine--but these judges just don't do it.

#14

blahblahblah

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 2:09 AM

I haven't been paying a lot of attention this season, it bores me. Was the over the top flirting set up in a previous episode? It was weird and seemed really out of place.

#15

BethNC

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 5:57 AM

I thought it was supposed to be fast casual (kind of like a Chipotle or a Panera,) not fast food. There's a difference and there's no way a drive through window would work for this type of thing.

I watch pretty much anything but this show is boring me to tears. I miss Ruth Reichl, too.

#16

Trader Joe

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 7:03 AM

I wish someone had made a shark sandwich, so Curtis could have jumped over it.


Funniest. Comment. Ever.

#17

MrsClaus

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 7:43 AM

Stupid magic elves. They took something that wasn't broke and fixed it.

I miss the old format. Totally not cool springing fast food on them.

#18

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 8:15 AM

This format, combined with the fact that most of the chefs are relatively unknown outside of culinary circles is making this feel like a regular season of Top Chef. There's a lot more backbiting among the chefs than there has been in past seasons of TCM, too.

I really like Mary Sue. She's happy and relatively ego-free. She seems genuinely pleased for those who do well and sympathetic for those who are struggling. And she doesn't act like she's above some of the challenges.

Edited by BradyB66, May 5, 2011 @ 8:16 AM.


#19

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 8:30 AM

I didn't mind the fast food aspect too much. The chefs were told how much food they needed to make and that it needed to be able to be eaten with your hands only. Despite the fact that we got a lot of THs and images of how poor service was and how slow everything was, that really didn't appear to factor too much into the bottom 3.

Fish Taco: It felt like they were really hung up on the "not a taco" thing, which I thought was odd since I've had several fish tacos that were served that way. I wonder if he had called it a fish wrap instead if we would have heard as much about it.

Wrap/Pancake: OTOH I completely agree with this complaint. It looked nothing like a wrap, in fact it didn't even look like it could be wrapped or folded very well.

Pork on a stick: I don't even think this was so much a failer to adjust to the FF aspect of the challenge. It just looked and shounded like a mess. Pork and sausage on a stick might have worked as a one bite party thing, but for a main dish no thanks.

#20

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 9:19 AM

It seems like the producers really want the contestants to fail no matter what this season. Last night just continued the trend. I don't see any good reason why they couldn't just tell them ahead of time what the challenge would be. It would have still been a difficult challenge, even if they knew about it before planning the menu. It's gotten complete out of hand this season with the surprises.

What's next, cooking upside down while rubbing the belly and singing the national anthem?

Anyone catch Curtis' reference to 'fast-casual' dining? I felt like saying go back to the other show and stay there.

Edited by Grimes, May 5, 2011 @ 9:21 AM.


#21

potatoradio

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 9:48 AM

Really, show? That was tiresome.

Were NBC/Chipotle/Bravo recently lumped together on some Titanic ship captained by Curtis Stone? Because I do not understand the obsession with creating the next Chipotle "fast casual" hotspot that I witness on these shows. Chipotle ain't all that and a squeeze of lime and if the only critieria for the next food craze is that it be "hand held" so I can eat it like a two year old, well, I'll just take a vitamin and swig it down with water, thanks.

Curtis Stone is well on his way to becoming the Ted McGinley jump the shark icon.

It was bad enough that TCM got rid of Jay Rayner and Gael Greene, but they softened the blow by telling us Ruth Reichl would be a judge... well... WHERE IS SHE?

Somewhere along the way, a bait & switch happened and these two foodie website people have taken their place. Alan & Danyelle run perfectly fine websites, but I don't like them as judges on this show.


Yes! I cannot stand that shrew and that prig and their whining and sniping. STFU, both of you.

And WTH is wrong with salmon in a fish taco? If it was fried it would have been OK? Uh...I'd think the last thing you'd want to do with salmon is fry it. Hey, look! I just posted a food-related comment! I can be a judge on TCM now!

#22

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 9:49 AM

I was almost hoping the magical elves were messing with us. Otherwise, booting George was way over the top obvious.

And all the flirting, blogger girl and Curtis in the drive-through. Then, Oseland ang blogger guy inside. Just yuck. Oseland was my least favorite original judge and now he's the only original left? I agree -- where's Ruth???

I enjoyed the QF. It was clever without being torturous. And the two NPR guys were good judges.

#23

googs

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 9:54 AM

Brilliant, brilliant QF. I think that I may have missed something in the setup though. The prices were just arbitrarily given to each item right? And weren't the actual grocers price? So onions ended up pricier than asparagus?


No, I think the prices may have been accurate. I could see one spear of asparagus costing less than one of those big onions. Say there are six onions in a bag at 48 cents each that's $2.88 for the bag. If you had 20 asparagus spears in a pound at $4.00/lb (they're around that price here out of season) that would come out to 20 cents each spear. I wonder why they couldn't use part of an onion, though. Depending on the dish, I can get two or three meals out of an onion and probably many more single appetizers. I did like the QF, too. It was cool seeing how much they could come up with for less than a buck.

#24

The Solution

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 11:42 AM

Hate that George was eliminated. He was one of the few chefs in this season that I found at all interesting.

Also thought that it was really cheap/douchey of the producers to throw this stupid fast food twist at the chefs. It could have been an interesting challenge if the chefs were prepared for it. What purpose did the surprise factor add?

It was bad enough that TCM got rid of Jay Rayner and Gael Greene, but they softened the blow by telling us Ruth Reichl would be a judge... well... WHERE IS SHE?

Somewhere along the way, a bait & switch happened and these two foodie website people have taken their place. Alan & Danyelle run perfectly fine websites, but I don't like them as judges on this show.


Totally agree with this. It would be insulting even to the regular Top Chef cheftestants to have these pikers judging them, let alone established chefs. They should get rid of Oseland and these two typists and bring back Jay and Gael and add Ruth Reichl. And I'd still rather see Kelly Choi than Curtis Stone. At least she speaks English.

Naomi bugs me.

#25

Quilt Fairy

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 1:22 PM

I thought it was supposed to be fast casual (kind of like a Chipotle or a Panera,) not fast food.

I thought fast casual was the goal on The Next Great Restaurant (ironic title, that), not here. From what I saw of the interior of that Farmer Boys place, I wouldn't consider it fast casual, but that's just me.

And I'd still rather see Kelly Choi than Curtis Stone. At least she speaks English.

So much word to this. I don't understand how someone who speaks with such a strong accent that many Americans must have a hard time understanding him is suddenly the best host, food judge and commercial speaker in the US. If TPTB are so hung up on an Australian, bring in the guy who plays Chase on House. Him I can understand.

#26

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 1:24 PM

I don't have a problem with a fast food challenge given that the very first TCM challenge ever was cooking in dorm rooms. That being said, I agree the "twists" (no cutlery, fast food surprise) added nothing. But Mendes could have handled both challenges with a lot more grace.

It was bad enough that TCM got rid of Jay Rayner and Gael Greene, but they softened the blow by telling us Ruth Reichl would be a judge... well... WHERE IS SHE?


Preach it. I really don't want to hear from the understudies, particularly when one of them looks as if he's 12 years old.

#27

Borpoh

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 1:48 PM

What the hell was up with Curtis going on a "date" with food blogger girl, and all that flirting? Creepy.

#28

nanobabes

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 2:39 PM

I wanted to punch each judge in the face that whined about the slow service and how the chefs were "looking down" at fast food.

Most of the time, fast food IS disgusting, I look down on it myself. At least fast food like BK, Wendy's and Taco Bell, where they also have to serve drive-thru customers, and waiting 10 minutes is too long.

And if you don't tell them that they're doing fast food, there's no way they can plan accordingly, and put out food FAST. They would not only have to reconsider their menu items, but also reconsider how they prep. Usually they need hours of prep beforehand for all the ingredients of all the dishes set up in a systematic way with everyone having a particular station, like an assembly line.

I've actually always wondered, with restaurant-style elimination challenges, about how the chefs really divide the work. It always seems like everyone's responsible for their own dish for the most part while sometimes pitching in with each others' dish, only because they're being judged individually. I know in RW they often designate an executive chef, but they don't assign sous-chef, and they don't divide everyone else into line cooks with only one particular responsibility. Basically, they work more like they're playing basketball man-to-man rather than in zones. It always impresses me that they pull it off, because it seems really inefficient to put out food with each person mostly focusing on their own dish.

In fast food, it seems that working in stations, in a "zone defense", is essential. Everyone's just working to just get food out the window on time. Rarely do the people who work in fast food give a damn about the food they are serving. (I have not worked in fast food, but my brothers and cousins did, and they certainly didn't care). There's no attention paid to the quality of each individual dish. So asking these chefs to churn out food in that manner IS insulting.

#29

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 3:55 PM

Ugh, this show is getting worse. Almost none of these chefs qualify as "Masters" and the producers force them to jump through idiotic hoops. The first season of TCM was great. Last season was just OK. This season SUCKS.

I guess I'll stop watching before the poor chefs are forced to cook a 5 course meal while hopping on one leg, blindfolded, through an obstacle course. Cooking only with ingredients beginning with vowels. Again, it's not supposed to be Top Chef Survivor.

#30

MrsClaus

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 4:36 PM

I guess I'll stop watching before the poor chefs are forced to cook a 5 course meal while hopping on one leg, blindfolded, through an obstacle course. Cooking only with ingredients beginning with vowels.


Careful. They might steal your idea.