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Top Chef Masters


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#1

Fly on the Wall

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Posted Feb 12, 2009 @ 7:17 PM

I just noticed this announcment at bravo:
http://www.bravotv.c...ef-masters-news

Think Tom Colicchio or any of the past guest judges would show up as competitors?
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#2

Catronia

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Posted Feb 12, 2009 @ 7:54 PM

This looks fun -- sort of an Iron Chef tournament! I bet Colicchio won't be willing to put his rep on the line though. And Gael Greene was a judge on an ICA episode, and was AWFUL, so I'm a little fretful about that. I'm psyched, though, and hoping it will be more exciting than the rather sleep-inducing Chopped.
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#3

Fukui San

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Posted Feb 12, 2009 @ 10:21 PM

Gael Greene is ridiculous, wearing an oversized hat so that people can't see her precious face on TV because she's an impartial, anonymous critic.

Tom Colicchio is listed as a consultant, is he not? It'd be fun to see him going back and forth between judge and cheftestant.

I'm not sure what calibre of chefs we're going to get. Probably not as well regarded as the ones that were on "The Next Iron Chef" which had Michael Symon, Tracy Des Jardins, Aaron Sanchez, and John Besh, among others. I mean the press release said they're competing for a prize to their favorite charity. So they can't be spending a whole month away from their restaurants for this, can they? Maybe this isn't structured as an elimination game like Top Chef but more like a series of one-offs like the Holiday Special.

I'm guessing we're going to see the calibre of chefs like Richard Blais, who appeared on Iron Chef before he did Top Chef, and always felt like kind of a ringer. Maybe some real all stars from Top Chef like Harold, Hung, and Stephanie. I don't think we'll be seeing anyone with "line cook" or "sous chef" next to their names.
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#4

HeavenLy

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Posted Feb 12, 2009 @ 10:52 PM

There is spoiler-ish information on eaterla.com about who's participating.

Apparently there is also a spinoff for kids.

ETA the links to TC Masters participants and another rumored participant

Even a younger chef like Michelle Bernstein is not going to risk her career.


She's one of the rumored participants

Edited by HeavenLy, Feb 13, 2009 @ 12:53 AM.

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#5

aceplace57

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 12:33 AM

I agree there's no way any well known chefs would risk their reputations on this show. You think Bourdain wants to be told his risotto is too salty, pack your knives and go? Even a younger chef like Michelle Bernstein is not going to risk her career. Professional chefs have worked too hard and too long. Their reputations mean too much.

They probably can get more experienced chefs that aren't well known. But, they'll have to make the challenges more realistic. Don't set ridiculous time limits that force them to screw up. Don't ask them to cater a wedding for a 100 people tomorrow evening and the budget is $600. That kind of bullshit won't work at the masters level.

Iron Chef gives reasonable time to prep and cook. Top Chef Masters will have to do the same.

Last summer I saw an article that said Hung wanted to enter some kind of masters competition. I wonder if that was this new Top Chef show?

Edited by aceplace57, Feb 13, 2009 @ 12:49 AM.

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#6

Puds38

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 12:43 AM

I heard about the Top Chef kids show last year. TC Masters kinds reminds me of The Great British menu.
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#7

aceplace57

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 1:42 AM

Wow, if the rumors about chefs like Wylie Dufresne, Todd English and Michelle Bernstein are true this series could be really good. Bravo must have assured them there wouldn't be any silly challenges like catering a neighborhood block party (S4 EC) or a summer camp picnic (S2 EC). Somehow, I don't think Todd English or Wylie Dufresne will cater a tailgating party (S4 EC) at Soldier Field anytime soon.

I hope the Masters EC is like the Top Chef finales, "Cook the best meal of your life" or the recent S5 EC "cook this chefs favorite meal". I expect to see something that really tests and highlights their skills.

I bet these chefs enjoy the competition. Chefs are naturally competitive anyway. If Top Chef Masters focuses on legitimate cooking challenges, it'll be fun for them and us.

Edited, to add spoiler tags.

Edited by aceplace57, Feb 13, 2009 @ 4:22 AM.

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#8

arc

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 1:44 AM

I agree there's no way any well known chefs would risk their reputations on this show.

Seems to me like it's basically Iron Chef without the "home team" of Iron Chefs, and that show gets pretty respectable chefs.
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#9

Fukui San

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 7:33 AM

ETA the links to TC Masters participants and another rumored participant


Wow, if that's true and that's the calibre of chef that they're pulling in, then this is going to be a metric ton of fun.

I imagine that the format will be something like this: With 24 chefs, they'll have six preliminary episodes featuring four chefs in a region. A quickfire will eliminate one, then the elimination challenge will choose a winner for the episode. Repeat that five times so there are six episode winners. Bring those episode winners in for a two-part finale. That way you don't have to have each chef be sequestered for a whole month, but you do get eight episodes out of it.
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#10

Fly on the Wall

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 8:05 AM

I imagine that the format will be something like this: With 24 chefs, they'll have six preliminary episodes featuring four chefs in a region. A quickfire will eliminate one, then the elimination challenge will choose a winner for the episode. Repeat that five times so there are six episode winners. Bring those episode winners in for a two-part finale.

I do hope the format is something like this, so we can actually see each participant cook! The first few episodes of each season of Top Chef, one can hardly see any of the food because there are so many participants!
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#11

Lady V

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 8:12 AM

Each episode will hold two challenges for the chefs. The first is a twist on the classic Quickfire Challenge which tests their basic abilities and the second is a more involved Elimination Challenge designed to test the versatility and invention of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The food will be tasted and evaluated by the judges and a wide range of tasters for whom the challenge is aimed, whether it is patrons at a five-star restaurant or a room full of hungry kids — the food has to appeal to the diner as well as the critics if the chef is to survive.


It sounds quite a bit like the current set up, although it will probably be easier for the "master" chefs, working equipment at least. Still, I can see them doing switch ups, "I am in the mood for soup" style. I hope it's just as hard as what they put the amateurs through, and I really, really hope Tom participates as a contestant. If they make this as hard as they make it for the current cheftestants, it could be a really good show. If it's too easy, watered down, or spiffed up? I dunno.
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#12

ToothbrushFence

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 1:05 PM

I agree there's no way any well known chefs would risk their reputations on this show. You think Bourdain wants to be told his risotto is too salty, pack your knives and go? Even a younger chef like Michelle Bernstein is not going to risk her career. Professional chefs have worked too hard and too long. Their reputations mean too much.

Given the caliber of chefs that are rumored to be on the show, I wonder if this some sort of agreement by which they will still pick winners, etc., but no chef's food will be harshly criticized. That would be a shame, because I would love to see how Michelle Bernstein would deal with some harsh criticism (that she so readily provides).
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#13

MissusDe

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Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 5:30 PM

More info:

A little more on the upcoming show Top Chef Masters: "Joining the judges' panel is Gael Greene...James Oseland, culinary expert and Editor-in-Chief of Saveur magazine, and British journalist, writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner...Each episode of 'Top Chef Masters' holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a twist on the classic quickfire challenge...the second is a more involved elimination challenge..."
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#14

Aquarius33

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Posted Feb 14, 2009 @ 9:40 AM

I'm not real excited about all the spin-offs. This means the producers will have to come up with at least 30 or so elimination challenges for all three show, not even including the quickfires (if the spin-offs even have them). I'm worried the original show will become watered down, and this was a pretty weak season already.
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#15

MissusDe

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Posted Feb 14, 2009 @ 10:30 AM

Expanded article on the show from The Food Section:

Each episode of "Top Chef Masters" holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a twist on the classic quickfire challenge which tests their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and invention of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The food will be tasted and evaluated by the judges and a wide range of tasters for whom the challenge is aimed, whether it is patrons at a five-star restaurant or a room full of hungry kids – the food has to appeal to the diner as well as the critics if the chef is to survive."
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#16

TheBadHat

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Posted Feb 14, 2009 @ 1:44 PM

Fukui San

I imagine that the format will be something like this: With 24 chefs, they'll have six preliminary episodes featuring four chefs in a region. A quickfire will eliminate one, then the elimination challenge will choose a winner for the episode. Repeat that five times so there are six episode winners. Bring those episode winners in for a two-part finale. That way you don't have to have each chef be sequestered for a whole month, but you do get eight episodes out of it.

I wish they would pin the format down in one of those press releases.

I keep picturing the competitions as stand alone shows. Maybe I'm misunderstanding but I, like FS, can't see chefs of this caliber sticking around like contestants on Top Chef or even coming back at the end of the 8 week stint. I'm thinking more along the lines of Iron Chef.

I'm confused!
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#17

Mother Hubbard

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Posted Feb 14, 2009 @ 1:50 PM

This is reminding me very much of the chefs' competition they had in the UK to cook for the Queen's 80th birthday. There were a bunch of regional head-to-heads, then semi-finals, then finals. The top winner was a protιgι of Gordon Ramsay's.
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#18

HeavenLy

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Posted Feb 18, 2009 @ 12:10 AM

Here's more info about some of the rumored participants. This looks very promising. There was a Gail Simmons sighting in the area too!

Edited by HeavenLy, Feb 18, 2009 @ 12:13 AM.

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#19

biakbiak

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Posted Apr 7, 2009 @ 3:51 PM

The participants, format, and Judges are announced as well as start date of June 10. And the website on Bravo.

Edited by biakbiak, Apr 7, 2009 @ 3:52 PM.

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#20

kitty32

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Posted Apr 7, 2009 @ 6:31 PM

I think it will be a real treat to see some of these people cook: Hubert Keller, WD, John Besh (although he was on Iron Chef and Next Iron Chef) and several of the others whose names escape me now. The only judge I recognize is Gael Greene. Sounds like it should be a very interesting show.
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#21

arc

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Posted Apr 13, 2009 @ 6:15 PM

Wow, they got some pretty big names.

edit: please be about the food, not fake drama, pleasebeaboutthefood, pleasebeaboutthefood ...

Edited by arc, Apr 13, 2009 @ 6:16 PM.

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#22

Fukui San

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Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 7:25 AM

These are the people I recognize from other appearances. Putting this in spoiler tags just in case:

· Rick Bayless – Frontera Grill, Chicago, Ill. Was a judge on Top Chef (Remember "Upscale Tacogate"?), lost to Flay on ICA.
· John Besh – Restaurant August, New Orleans, LA (Won vs. Batali on ICA, was 2nd place on "Next Iron Chef". Seems like a fun, outgoing guy.)
· Graham Elliot Bowles – Graham Elliot Restaurant, Chicago, Ill. (Lost to Flay on ICA, Battle Chocolate. Seemed like a dweeb.)
· Michael Chiarello – Bottega Restaurant, Yountville, Calif. (Hosted a PBS show, Easy Entertaining)
· Wylie Dufresne – wd~50, New York, N.Y. (Frequent judge on Top Chef. Molecular Gastronomist. Lost to Batali in ICA in Battle Tilapia.)
· Elizabeth Falkner – Orson, San Francisco, Calif. (Pastry chef, judge on Top Chef, lost badly to Cora on ICA. Cannon fodder.)
· Hubert Keller – Fleur de Lys, San Francisco, Calif. (Frequent Top Chef judge)
· Ludo Lefebvre – Ludo Bites, Los Angeles, Calif. (Lost badly to Batali on ICA in Battle Tuna)
· Anita Lo – Annisa, New York, N.Y. (Beat Batali on ICA in Battle Mushroom. Could be a contender.)
· Tim Love – The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, Texas (Edged out Morimoto on ICA in Battle Chili Pepper. Cowboy persona.)
· Michael Schlow – Radius Restaurant, Boston, Mass. (Saw him on Ming Tsai's cooking show)
· Art Smith – Table Fifty-Two, Chicago, Ill. (Oprah's chef. Judge on Top Chef. Lost on ICA to Cora?)
· Roy Yamaguchi – Roy's Restaurants, San Diego, Calif. (Was an Iron Chef on the ill-fated Iron Chef USA, the precursor to Iron Chef America. Never actually battled)

Edited by TWoP Nikita, Apr 14, 2009 @ 6:41 PM.
spoiler tags removed

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#23

Nutjob

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Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 3:06 PM

Wasn't Cindy Pawlcyn the judge who kept calling Dave a "pepper monkey" at F4 during Season 1?

That's quite a lineup of chefs. And am I reading that Eater SF article right that Neil Patrick Harris will be a guest judge? AWESOME.
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#24

biakbiak

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Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 6:05 PM

Yeah that was Cindy.
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#25

arc

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Posted Apr 15, 2009 @ 3:28 PM

* Rick Bayless - Frontera Grill, Chicago, Ill. Was a judge on Top Chef (Remember "Upscale Tacogate"?), lost to Flay on ICA.

Bayless has also had a show (or several) on PBS. Reading up on Wikipedia, I find that in fact he's currently on PBS with a show in its sixth season and his first show was aired in 78-79. I had no idea!
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#26

seltzer4

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Posted Apr 17, 2009 @ 3:42 PM

I am hoping that Anita Lo does well. I really liked her in the battle mushroom with Batali. She had made some really pretty dishes, I liked her lobster mushroom dish.
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#27

kitty32

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Posted Apr 18, 2009 @ 9:04 PM

Rick Bayless has been on PBS for years, and has his own garden where he grows the veggies for the restaurant. He features different regions of Mexico on the show, showing the signature dishes of that region, then makes them in his own kitchen. He sometimes cooks with his daughter, too.

My son visits Chicago pretty often with his father and has eaten at Frontera Grill and says they almost always see Bayless there, so he's pretty hands-on.
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#28

queasy

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Posted Apr 19, 2009 @ 7:48 AM

Elizabeth Falkner – Orson, San Francisco, Calif. (Pastry chef, judge on Top Chef, lost badly to Cora on ICA. Cannon fodder.)

She was also on Food Network Challenge two or three times and bombed badly. Nobody understood her vision.
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#29

Maverick

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Posted May 15, 2009 @ 11:29 PM

She was also on Food Network Challenge two or three times and bombed badly. Nobody understood her vision.

Oh Lord. I she the Haunted Cave Lady?
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#30

JustSayNo

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Posted May 16, 2009 @ 6:07 PM

[Elizabeth Falkner] was also on Food Network Challenge two or three times and bombed badly. Nobody understood her vision.

Oh Lord. I she the Haunted Cave Lady?

Ding ding ding ding ding! We have a winner. Yes, Maverick, that would be Haunted Cave Lady. I wish I could find a video/photo of the finished product, as it looked nothing like the concept drawing in that video.

Elizabeth is "edgy" and "conceptual." The approach has yet to work out for her on any competitive cooking show.
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