Top Chef - Season 11

Food news, food media and other food-related topics
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azhotdish
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SEASON 11 Top Chef in New Orleans!

A week late to the party here, so I only caught last night's episode. I'm totally behind - I've done no research on the contestants at all, but they actually seemed like one of the more likable bunch of contestants in recent memory.

Top Chef fans - DISCUSS!
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Joel
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azhotdish
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Buzzfeed is taking over the universe.

I present: The Definitive Ranking Of Season 11’s “Top Chef” Contestants.
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Joel
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Dapuma
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The Vega girl should have been sent packing, but the moral of the story is don't pre-wrap hand rolled sushi

Travis Michael and bene can go as well

Then it should get more interesting
Independent George
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Huh. Somehow, I missed that the season had already started. I'll be holding off on participating here until I catch up on episodes. (What episode are we on now? Don't answer that - I won't see the answer until I've already found out.).

Anyway, every year, I always complain about Top Chef fatigue, and every year I get right back into the show again.
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BarbaraToombs
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Independent George wrote:Huh. Somehow, I missed that the season had already started. I'll be holding off on participating here until I catch up on episodes. (What episode are we on now? Don't answer that - I won't see the answer until I've already found out.).

Anyway, every year, I always complain about Top Chef fatigue, and every year I get right back into the show again.
I'm in the same boat. Episode 1 being DVRed Wednesday.
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Dapuma
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Surprised the guy from Slurping Turtle got the boot right away, but Kale is a tough ingredient and if you overdress something with too much SALT - you are doomed :mrgreen:
nom
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Not sure why they cut a quick fire for an episode of diners drive in and dives hosted by an anonymous (to me at least) NYC chef.

Meh season, talent level seemed strong to start and now I'm not convinced it won't be the lowest talent level season ever.

Only Nina, Carrie, and Justin are showing any sort of talent and it's not on any sort of level that's worth real attention at this point. The dead weight seems somehow....deader than normal.

Pretty sure this is how it ends.
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Lunchbox
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nom wrote:Not sure why they cut a quick fire for an episode of diners drive in and dives hosted by an anonymous (to me at least) NYC chef.
I was surprised to see Eddie Huang as well... I would never consider him a Top Chef mentor.

I do recommend his Fresh Off the Boat series on Vice... Especially the first episode in Taiwan where they go to the night market.

http://www.vice.com/fresh-off-the-boat/taiwan-part-1
-- LBX

Instagram: @zachary.garcia

Twitter: @zach_garcia
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Dapuma
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Shirley is doing pretty well through most of the challenges as well

They could certainly do some double eliminations and chop some dead weight though - agree 100%

LCK was not much of a shocker either with who advanced, I can see the Aussie girl making it through the next 3-4 people i dont see Travis Vega Bene beating her
nom
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Ratings are way in the tank. Peaked for E1 at 1/2 the AVERAGE of S3 and is bleeding viewers quickly. E1 is usually the high runner each season. This is a dead show walking at this point.

Tom is showing up to judges table wearing sweatpants and a wrinkled shirt. He looks lifeless.

Stick a fork it it. It was a good run with some great moments and great people getting great exposure over the years. Master Chef has in many ways surpassed it for entertainment value.

Also, did anyone see Stephanie get steamrolled in Iron Chef? Her dishes were almost insultingly bad looking in concept and execution.
anonman
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I'll admit to being part of the problem. I loved this show in its heydey, but I can't get into it. I even remembered that it was on last night and decided to read a book instead. I think the franchise is history.
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Tim H
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I still love Top Chef. Last season, with Kristen's epic come-from-behind win in last chance kitchen, was my favorite season yet. This season hasn't been quite as good so far, but it usually gets better as it goes along as it becomes more about the cooking and less about silly and/or team challenges.

Master Chef will never measure up as long as it's more about the reality-show drama than the actual cooking (though it may get better ratings). It's entertaining in the same way that Survivor is, and just as dispiriting. Master Chef Junior has been a delight, though, with both judges and contestants behaving with a maturity sorely lacking on the regular show.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
nom
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The previous week episode got a 0.5 rating. That is horrific and is I believe half of the all time low of any other season ever. And usually the show bleeds viewers up to the last 3-4 episodes where it picks back up.

I cut out on this ep. when they said it would be a vegan+cheese challenge. Gag.

I'm just going to dvr these eps for awhile and watch about 5 of them inside of an hour while FF through the bad challenges and the lifeless judges tables that they have reduced those segments to. All in all there is maybe 15 min of decent TV in each ep at the most now, if that.
PHXeater
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Last season was one of my favorites as well, except for that awful, terrible finale format.

This season does seem a little lifeless so far, not nearly as heavily advertised as other seasons, plus other than that weirdo Michael who stands out as interesting at all? Somehow it feels like the episodes are the same length with less content in each, but the format is the same. I haven't really found anyone yet who I'm cheering for or who has shown a lot of strength in the kitchen, while last year Kristen and Brooke were such easy people to cheer for. I was really interested in the Australian girl because since when are there smoking hot female chefs? But now she's gone and a little interest went away.

I wish they would do another Top Chef All Stars although i guess it's a little soon. It would go a long way in livening up the franchise. Or even bring back those "went too soon type chefs". But, sadly, all shows must come to an end, although hopefully this isn't the year for Top Chef.
PHXeater
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I should add Hugh Acheson's blog posts are hilarious and spot on. Like, I want us to be friends. Kind of like the blonde girl wants to be friends with Lea Michele on last nights episode, in a really awkward way.
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ScottofStrand
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I agree with you guys, the caliber of cooking just isn't what it was in the past. The All-Star season was so epic! Maybe the New Orleans vibe is just a bit less refined than the other locations? Maybe they need to get John Besh in there to show them what's what. Maybe the lesser chefs will weed out and the second half of the season will get much better the way it always does. I'm still in it for the long haul.
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Dapuma
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Patty is gone, and no one cares

Few more deadweights and it can get interesting

Janine seems to be doing pretty well in LCK but if she was up against someone else she would have lost for not getting a sear on her chop - however happy to see her survive
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BarbaraToombs
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I love competition-type cooking shows. First time I ever watched Top Chef was last season (Seattle), and was a bit put off by the obvious commercial plugs. This season seems even worse. Philadelphia cream cheese? Dunkin Donuts coffee? Geez...surely they don't need that extra marketing cash. Having worked in television in the past, this appears to be one of those sad cases where the show's marketing/sales staff triumphed over the production team. Drives me crazy.
Independent George
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Well, I finally powered through the accumulated episodes on my TiVo, and the fact that I had to "power through" should tell you all you need to know about this season. I think I've finally hit my Top Chef limit.

Maybe I'm not being fair - there's considerably less drama this season than in past years, which is a plus, but it seems to me that there's also considerably less focus on the food. In the best seasons, they shows were edited to give a lot of information on how the food was prepared, and how it tasted; this year, I barely notice it. That's not a good thing in a cooking show.

I don't think field is any weaker than past years (except the obvious standouts like S4, S6, and All-Stars), but there seems to be a real lack of energy this season. Last year, I also missed the start of the season, but got right back into it when I watched; the first-episode cook-off was awesome, and hooked me on the rest of the season. This year... it just kind of fell flat from start to finish. I think we're at the point where all of the contestants have studied the show to death, are even more conscious of the obvious tropes than we viewers are, and have adapted their behavior accordingly.

Addendum: This a few weeks too late to be relevant, but I've been to Slurping Turtle, and wasn't surprised that Tall Bearded Guy (can't remember his name, too lazy to look it up) went home. I enjoy the restaurant, but it's really nothing special. It's better than average Ramen in a town with few options, but it neither executes a traditional style at a truly exceptional level, nor does it wow you with creativity. I don't mean that to slam the place - in fact it's quite good and I eat there quite often - but it's not even the best Ramen in Chicago, which is already comparatively weaker market compared to NYC or Los Angeles, let alone what you'd find in Japan.
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The Cosmic Jester
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BarbaraToombs wrote:I love competition-type cooking shows. First time I ever watched Top Chef was last season (Seattle), and was a bit put off by the obvious commercial plugs. This season seems even worse. Philadelphia cream cheese? Dunkin Donuts coffee? Geez...surely they don't need that extra marketing cash. Having worked in television in the past, this appears to be one of those sad cases where the show's marketing/sales staff triumphed over the production team. Drives me crazy.
Not to mention, literally the entire season is an advertisement for Louisiana in all its splendor. The recent episode at LSU featuring the gleaming dining hall with the gee-whiz pizza oven is sure to attract a couple of foodie freshmen next year.