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Top Chef Masters


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#901

RobertDeSneero

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Posted Oct 1, 2012 @ 8:01 PM

I would have eaten that readily. I like offal and find the squeamishness of many folks in the general USAmerican dining public puzzling.


There's a strong American desire for things to be uniform and tidy, clean and neat. Americans don't like offal for the same reason that a lot of the popular mainstream TV seems to be bland and pandering to the lowest common denominator.
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#902

TWoP Nikita

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Posted Oct 1, 2012 @ 8:48 PM

Talk about the show, not your generalized opinions about the whole of the American public.

#903

Ginandtonic

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Posted Oct 1, 2012 @ 9:00 PM

Don't forget that this season of TCM was recorded around one-and-a-half years ago.

I had no idea that it was taped that long ago, that seems like a ridiculously long time to wait to put it on the air. That means all the chefs couldn't even say anything for a 1 1/2 years & Chris couldn't even say he won. Hell, one of the chefs could have been dead by the time it aired, I wonder why so long a wait?
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#904

Minerette

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Posted Oct 1, 2012 @ 10:26 PM

I would have happily eaten Chris' meal. I'm often surprised at how tasty offal and other "odd" cuts can be. One of my absolute favorite beef cuts is tongue, which in a Jewish-style deli is like the most incredibly tender and delicious corned beef you can imagine.

As for his dishes - on the first one, I love beef tartare, and I think a heart tartare would be especially tasty, as the meat is very lean and well worked muscles tend to have more overall flavor. And I wanted to reach through the screen to try that puffed tendon! Next time I go my local Asian market, I'm going to get beef tendons to try out Chris' recipe.

The third dish - here in L.A., the most common use of tripe is in menudo. I would love to try a different application. As for it stinking while cooking - the pecha (calves' foot jelly) I make for my father stinks, too, but it's really good.

The other two dishes also looked really good.

Except for the tendon, he didn't cook anything that I haven't eaten already, but I sure admired the way he put everything together.
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#905

The Void

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 12:24 AM

The long wait to air Top Chef Masters Season 4 may have been because Top Chef: Just Desserts and Top Chef Texas had to air since they were up next after the last season of TCM?

I wonder if they waited a while because they had just done three Top Chef-related shows in a row. Masters led into Just Desserts which led into Texas. Then they waited about a season or two before starting up Masters again. Instead of Just Desserts, we're getting Life After Top Chef, and right after that, I believe we're getting Top Chef Seattle?
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#906

OPP

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 1:10 AM

I remember Sarah's meal was literally flawless (from what was shown anyway...) in the finale of Top Chef Texas but Paul still took the crown.


When the Chicago Tribune interviewed the Chicago Six after the finale, the consensus seemed to be that Sarah actually had the superior final dinner and so she should have won if it you were judging it on just that final dinner. The two nerd geeks from Moto, who didn't seem to be close to Sarah, said that Paul should have won it if they were looking at the whole season but Sarah had the better finale. Even Beverly, who had every reason to not support Sarah, talked about Paul's overall performance that season when asked who should have won Top Chef.
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#907

cooksdelight

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 4:50 AM

And the people who actually tasted the food thought Chris was the better chef that day.


Only the ones who's vote counted. Several of the critics -- who didn't have a say in who won, apparently -- disliked Chris' food. The one critic with the beard said it was the worst thing he'd ever put in his mouth (I'm paraphrasing here). I got the impression that the final panel of judges chose a winner based on season's performance, not just this one dinner. As is the case in most of the TC finales.
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#908

RobertDeSneero

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 9:53 AM

It's not as if Kerry's food was completely un-criticized. "That fried short rib took all of the fun out of short rib", for example.

In the end, I'd say that cooking with love triumphed over soulless technical precision.
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#909

TWoP Pembleton

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

Topic, please.

#910

pez10s

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 11:42 AM


It's nice that Chris, one of the leading voices against California's foie gras ban, was able to use it in a dish.



Don't forget that this season of TCM was recorded around one-and-a-half years ago. See: http://www.bravotv.c...o-self?page=0,2 . That means anyone could have used foie gras on the show and none of the network lawyers or bigwigs would have had qualms about it or would have vetoed it.


Also, the show took place in Las Vegas so even if it were shot today, the California ban on foie gras would be irrelevant.

Edited by pez10s, Oct 2, 2012 @ 11:43 AM.

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#911

Mlle Poilane

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 2:38 PM

Don't they usually say that while the critics will not decide the winner, their comments will be taken into consideration? Of the ten critics in this finale, three were TCM judges and seven were critics. I would have loved to have seen a vote taken of the critics before the judges' decision. I think it would have been interesting to see how the critics stacked up vs. the judges' votes.

Can anyone tell me who the critic was who complained about Chris' food and said that one of his dishes was the worst? I'm afraid I can't recall exactly what he said. Thanks.
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#912

The Void

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 3:14 PM

He was the critic for "Eating Las Vegas", John Curtas. He said that Chris' blood sausage was 'embarrassingly bad', that he's had much better blood sausage elsewhere, and instead of A-List food, it was 'D-List'. He also wondered why Chris would even put out food like this in the Top Chef Masters finale, iirc. I think he didn't get the brief of the challenge.
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#913

Cattykit

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 7:10 PM

Don't they usually say that while the critics will not decide the winner, their comments will be taken into consideration? Of the ten critics in this finale, three were TCM judges and seven were critics.


So of all the diners sitting at the table, the only actual chef was Curtis? Oy vay. There should at least have been a mix. I wish we could have had Gail Simmons instead of the blond writer who showed up intermittently and whose name completely escapes me.
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#914

Mlle Poilane

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 7:10 PM

Thanks, The Void. I wish I'd heard him make a comment or two about Kerry's dishes. It seems to me, IIRC, that the other critics said little against Chris' dishes. I was trying to figure out who liked what (among the critics) and whether or not the judges paid very close attention. I suppose, in the end, the judges want their own opinions counted more heavily.
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#915

SoManyWays

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 8:31 PM

I suppose, in the end, the judges want their own opinions counted more heavily.


That's what being a judge means, no? If you're going to spend weeks crushing people's aspirations, there ought to be some payoff in the end.
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#916

Mlle Poilane

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 11:57 PM

LOL, SoManyWays! Not to mention, putting up with eating all of those chefs' dishes that missed the mark!
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#917

huiray

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Posted Oct 3, 2012 @ 12:07 PM

Also, the show took place in Las Vegas so even if it were shot today, the California ban on foie gras would be irrelevant.


Yes, of course, that's true.

---

He was the critic for "Eating Las Vegas", John Curtas. He said that Chris' blood sausage was 'embarrassingly bad', that he's had much better blood sausage elsewhere, and instead of A-List food, it was 'D-List'. He also wondered why Chris would even put out food like this in the Top Chef Masters finale, iirc. I think he didn't get the brief of the challenge.


It has been pointed out elsewhere that Cosentino said on that WWHL episode broadcast immediately after the finale that he was aware that Curtas disliked him. I'm not sure if that applied *just* to his meal in the finale or to him (Cosentino) in general. OTOH, Curtas did say that he thought Cosentino's tripe dish was an "absolutely extraordinary dish" when they were eating it... (I just reviewed a clip of the dining part of the episode)
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#918

WearyTraveler

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Posted Oct 3, 2012 @ 6:20 PM

Did Bravo publish extended video of the finale? I know sometimes they do that, which could help in determining what the critics thought.

I noticed that we did not get everyone's opinions on every dish served, when we heard from one critic on Chris' first course, we didn't hear his/her opinion for Chris' second course. Same with Kerry. This is off course due to editing. They have to choose which parts to show because they don't have time to show us 80 opinions (4 courses x 2 chefs x 10 critics) plus the explanation of the challenge, plus the thinking of each chef, plus the shopping, plus the hardships to meet the challenge, plus the prep, plus judges table in a one hour episode.

Also, the editing monkeys would like to accomplish two things with editing: choose the most "dramatic" moments and commentary, and keep viewers guessing until the final second when Padma announces who the winner is. They have fallen into a pattern with all the shows in the franchise where a lot of negative criticism is shown on the winning chef, so that we don't guess he/she won. In fact, I was sure Chris won way before we got to Judges table because of the editing on the commentaries from the critics.

Given that what we heard was only a few comments on the food being served and not ALL the comments about the food being served, I don't think I can categorically affirm that the critics liked Kerry or Chris' food better. I don't think I have enough information to say either way. And since I didn't taste the food, I'm left having to trust the people who did taste it.

What I would categorically affirm is that Chris followed the guidelines and the spirit of the final challenge to a T, while Kerry was more cerebral and went at it backwards (choosing the dishes first and then trying to assign them to the different emotions they were supposed to represent). Based on that alone, Chris won the last challenge by a mile. Based on the entire competition, I also think Chris took more chances and overall, did much better than Kerry. I don't remember the exact tally, but I think Chris won more challenges than Kerry.

So, all in all, I believe the right person won.

(And I'm proud that a fellow Venezuelan made it to the third spot in TCM, not too shabby!)

Edited by WearyTraveler, Oct 3, 2012 @ 6:23 PM.

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#919

The Void

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Posted Oct 3, 2012 @ 8:30 PM

Kerry started winning a lot more challenges later on, but he was virtually invisible until Takashi/Patricia were eliminated, I think.
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#920

Vermicious Knid

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Posted Oct 4, 2012 @ 12:30 AM

Bourdain is not a fan of Jon Curtas. His comments at the finale also did not endear him to the other critics and chefs.
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#921

huiray

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Posted Oct 4, 2012 @ 1:40 AM

Heh. Great articles, thanks for posting them. I hope you don't mind my citing them on another place. :-)
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#922

Mooncake76

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Posted Oct 4, 2012 @ 2:48 AM

I for one am glad that Curtas was a guest, and as long as he was being honest about his impression of the food, I prefer to hear it than to hear a bunch of critics who will get sucked into a hive mentality or are afraid of pissing anyone off. I know critics opinions aren't always popular, but they're called "critics" for a reason.
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#923

RobertDeSneero

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Posted Oct 4, 2012 @ 4:15 AM

Dude did seem like he was itching to unleash a zinger to get himself over and score some TV time.
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#924

WearyTraveler

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Posted Oct 4, 2012 @ 12:21 PM

Dude did seem like he was itching to unleash a zinger to get himself over and score some TV time.


I agree, specially now that I know he has a new reality show premiering soon.

Edited by WearyTraveler, Oct 4, 2012 @ 12:23 PM.

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#925

Mlle Poilane

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Posted Oct 7, 2012 @ 8:15 PM

John Curtas might have used a great deal more tact and diplomacy, but since none of Chris' dishes looked good to me, I was glad that Curtas didn't go along with the crowd. As a critic, he was allowed to give his opinion, but his delivery could have been softer.
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#926

biakbiak

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Posted Apr 4, 2013 @ 9:11 PM

At the Bravo Upfronts they announced that the new season would have a:

parallel digital competition which will affect the outcome of the series.


Details are super vague but I imagine it will be somewhat similar to LCK.

Edited by biakbiak, Apr 4, 2013 @ 9:17 PM.

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#927

Vermicious Knid

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Posted May 19, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

Minor spoilers on appearances and a challenge. Shot 3 months ago in LA.


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#928

nottopbravo

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Posted May 20, 2013 @ 11:01 AM

Quoted from above article: "Chefs parachute from a plane carrying all of their cooking utensils"

 

Are you kidding me?


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#929

biakbiak

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Posted Jun 5, 2013 @ 9:40 AM

Cast announced! Bryan Voltaggio moves up:

David Burke (David Burke Townhouse, NYC);
Douglas Keane (formerly of Cyrus, Healdsburg, CA);
Sue Zemanick (Gautreau's, New Orleans);
Richard Sandoval (Richard Sandoval Restaurants);
Bryan Voltaggio (Volt, Frederick, MD);
Franklin Becker (Abe & Arthur's, NYC);
Lynn Crawford (Ruby Watchco, Toronto, Canada);
Odette Fada (formerly of San Domenico, NYC);
Neal Fraser (formerly of Grace, Los Angeles);
Jennifer Jasinski (Bistro Vendôme, Denver, CO);
Jenn Louis (Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR);
Herbert Wilson (Sushi Samba, Las Vegas); and
Sang Yoon (Father's Office, Los Angeles).

Edited by biakbiak, Jun 5, 2013 @ 9:42 AM.

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#930

Modernwhimsy

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Posted Jun 5, 2013 @ 12:09 PM

The Battle of the Sous Chefs is online.  It is very entertaining with a couple of twists for the season to make thing much more interesting IMO.  Plus you might recognize a sous or two.  ha!  I think it puts a fresh twist on the regular format that let's amateurs be judged a bit more on the actual food than generalized respect or cred that is sometimes bestowed on the TCMs themselves.  Since there aren't a lot of big names in this cast it feels like a good layer.

 

I do wish Hugh would have tasted blindly though.


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