Top Chef Season 10

Food news, food media and other food-related topics
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Skillet Doux
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Woo, I'm hoping it's Kristen over Lizzie. Nothing against Lizzie, but... yeah.

So has there been any more info about the finale format? I can't see them reinserting the LCK winner next week, then not eliminating anybody. So LCK reinsertion has to be in the second half of the finale, right? Brooke or Sheldon advance to a two-person finale with Kristen or Lizzie? That'd be a bummer of a way to lose out on a Sheldon/Brooke/Kristen finale.
Dominic Armato
KFrankMN
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Since they already eliminated one person from the three person LKC, what is to stop Tom from declaring it a Kristen/Lizzie tie, taking them both to the first part of the finale, eliminating one of those four next week to then make a three way finale?
CWeb
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As much as I like Sheldon, Brooke / Kristen is the only fantastic final.

Has the potential to be what Stephanie / Richard (I'm ignoring Lisa) wasn't; the two best chefs from the whole season going head to head.

On a side note, the penultimate challenge looks incredible. Tom's letting each of the chefs run his kitchen it seems. No complaints from me.
nom
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So has there been any more info about the finale format? I can't see them reinserting the LCK winner next week, then not eliminating anybody. So LCK reinsertion has to be in the second half of the finale, right? Brooke or Sheldon advance to a two-person finale with Kristen or Lizzie? That'd be a bummer of a way to lose out on a Sheldon/Brooke/Kristen finale.
Previews spell this out. LCK winner comes back this week and all signs point to a head to head finale. In fact, nothing at all points to a 3 person finale right now.
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Skillet Doux
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If so, that makes the whole "win LCK for a direct ticket to the finale" misleading in an exceedingly lame fashion, even if calling both parts the "finale" makes it technically true.
Dominic Armato
KFrankMN
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This isn't on topic for season 10, but it is Top Chef related - the application for season 11 cast is linked online here ( http://www.bravotv.com/media/casting/TC ... tion_F.pdf ), which I read because I am insatiably curious as to what their application procedure is like. It's 24 pages long, and even if you discount that the last third is all legalese, it looks pretty intense.

I was amused by this question and wish I could read what the applicants answered:
Pretend for a moment that you are a contestant on the show. Tell us the dish you would create for each of the three challenges listed below; describe the presentation and ingredients you would use.
- Create a culinary interpretation of the lyric “Partridge in a Pear Tree” from the song“Twelve Days of Christmas”.
- Create a dish inspired by the texture of ‘velvet’.
- Recreate meat pie into a gourmet dish.
nom
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Skillet Doux wrote:If so, that makes the whole "win LCK for a direct ticket to the finale" misleading in an exceedingly lame fashion, even if calling both parts the "finale" makes it technically true.
Finals and Finale have always been used interchangeably by Padma. I'm not sure she understands the implications/definition of each.


"Part 1 of the two-part Season 10 finale features the remaining chefs showcasing their culinary skills at an eatery in Los Angeles owned by Tom Colicchio, who serves as kitchen facilitator. Guest judges: John Besh and Martin Yan."
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Skillet Doux
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I'm not saying they're not (mostly) internally consistent. Just lame :-)
Dominic Armato
anonman
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Oh, come on. I certainly always assumed that LCK winner would come in at the first episode of the new location. The "finals" really are period where they reconvene and do the final challenges. I can't believe that anyone really thought LCK winner would be right into the head to head match for the winner. That doesn't seem fair.

Anyway, kind of underwhelmed here.
CWeb
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I'm with anonman. There's no way they would send the LCK winner straight to the final challenge. Imagine that from the perspective of the non eliminated winner. It'd be a disaster.

This is really the first season I'm keeping up with in real time (I watched the rest after the entire season had aired), so I'm curious how you guys think this season stacks up to the others (in terms of food and entertainment).
anonman
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As much as I have said I haven't been that invested this season, my first reaction was "nooooooooo"
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Skillet Doux
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Don't mind me... just coming to terms with the fact that we had to watch one of these three go tonight. Seriously, what a bummer. Hey, no matter who's eliminated, I love the final match up! Oh wait... no matter who's eliminated, my heart's broken! That's a disappointing exit for Sheldon, though. You want to see him go down doing his thing. A misguided decision on his part, I think.

I dunno, this season's really grown on me. Seriously, I'll take talented, lovable people over drama any day. And man, if it had to be two rather than three, I can't think of a better final matchup than this. I know some folks think it isn't what it once was, but I think this show's still got it. I feel like it's matured. It's the grande dame of competitive cooking shows. It doesn't have to resort to dumb tricks, it doesn't have to resort to stupid setups, it doesn't have to resort to under-talented chefs who are thrown in just to make noise -- talented people cooking their hearts out makes great television. Full stop. I dunno, maybe I'm in the minority there.
Dominic Armato
CWeb
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I came across this article on Grantland, and it had a passage that I think echoes what SD just said.
Still, even at its best, Chopped is what happens after boiling and reducing the sumptuous master sauce that is Top Chef. In its 10th season, Bravo's flagship remains a well-oiled, overly sponsored juggernaut. Despite the deplorable lack of trademark spoonery, it's here that the Bourdainian ideal is best expressed: skilled, overly tattooed tradesmen (and women) competing solely on the strength of their cooking. The occasional backstabbing or head shaving or Grand Theft: Pea Puree serve as side dishes,14 never mains. The best seasons by far — Las Vegas, All-Stars — have been the ones with the most talent, not the most fights. As with the NFL, parity here is a better idea in theory than in practice. The Texas season wasn't dulled by Paul Qui's dominant brilliance, it was saved by it.
The article in general is about the evolution of FoodTV, and also takes some shots at Sandra Lee, Guy Fieri, and the dumbing down of Food Network. Link: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/896 ... te-food-tv
anonman
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Dom, I guess that's right. The three of them are all very talented, but it is a competition and not everyone gets a trophy. I do like this season. As I noted before it seems to be edited with less b.s. at the house and more cooking which is great, but I also feel like I don't really know as much about these two chefs as I did in other seasons.

Food wise, my general sense is that I would give this season a "B". Very few things jumped out at me, but very few looked like they completely stunk either. Playing it safe. Advancing = publicity = winning.
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BarbaraToombs
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Gotta jump in here.

This is the very first season I've ever watched Top Chef, believe it or not! Although I like it (I like pretty much all "competitive" cooking shows, where chefs literally have to fly by the seat of their pants to come up with something in a limited amount of time...to me, that's what a great chef is all about!), Padma kind of creeps me out, and the blatant product sponsorships/placements drive me crazy.

I especially enjoy Chopped because of the craziness of the ingredients, but really don't watch all that much else on Food Network (okay, Worst Chefs in America is pretty damn entertaining!).

Let's face it, though, as my husband and I were talking about the other day, Top Chef, Next Iron Chef, The Apprentice, etc, etc...ALL of them are variations on the format of a show I can't stand to watch any more: American Idol. Can't someone come up with a NEW idea???
pepperjack
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Disappointed? Yes. Surprised? No.

Sheldon is the only chef who doesn't get a second chance. Very sad.
nom
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Nobody is rolling their eyes at the Iron Chef format for the last episode? It looks just horrid.

Still shocking how little advance prep the chefs do. They basically had their whole roladex available and all 3 came up with shitty desserts by and large. Sheldon had better looking food cooking on that rusted out beach grill than what he put out for the judges. I was like, hey, what is that? Paul won cooking his way the whole season.

It seemed Brooke is at least more prepped her first 2 came straight from her time off, no doubt. Kristen, wasn't even sure she'd get a shot or what kind of a shot it would be so maybe she didn't prep as much.

I wonder if the producers are pissed they didn't have an antagonist this season? Really it's been since John left that they tried to cast someone in that role. Josie wasn't a villain as much as untalented.

Not sure where this season winds up all time. By and large the chefs have been nice, but boring both in and out of the kitchen. It still probably for me is the best thing since S6. Certainly the production content and challenges are a massive improvement and that is worth a lot to me.
CWeb
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nom, you didn't like All-Stars?

Admittedly, my food knowledge is pretty paltry, so some of the finer points of the food is certainly lost on me, but I thought that was a pretty good season.

Any particular reason why you didn't like it?
doktarr
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Pretty happy that we got the results we wanted at the end of the season. As soon as Kristen walked through the door last episode I was assured of being happy with the final result.

Two random responses to earlier comments:

- Barbara: Top Chef, et al, are not variations on American Idol. They are variations on Survivor. Survivor was the show that took the modern "reality TV" concept (first made popular by MTV's Real World in the early 1990s) and gave it the episodic elimination format that allowed it to be applied to anything and everything. American Idol didn't come along until a couple years after that.

- It's a bit unfair to call things like Restaurant Wars "catering challenges". If they are plating dishes from a full kitchen and having those brought out to the diner, that's not catering. The number of dishes involved is not really relevant.
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BarbaraToombs
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doktarr wrote:Top Chef, et al, are not variations on American Idol. They are variations on Survivor.
OMG...you are SO right!! How could I forget?? (Well, I know how I could forget...I think I only watched one episode of Survivor in my life!). Anyhow, my point was: would be nice to see a new idea. :)

Back to the latest: totally agree, doktarr, that it was great when Kristin walked back in...that is one sharp, talented young lady! But was bummed when Sheldon left; really liked his spirit. Made a big mistake, though, like the judges said, departing from the Sheldon we had all come to know and love.