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Top Chef withdrawal

Help, I'm finding it hard to move on with my life now that season 3 is over. No new episode, not even a reunion or Bertolli-oil-wrestling smackdown this week. Hung, I miss you. Seems like the only food news being talked about this week is some celebrity homewrecker's brussel sprout brownie recipe or something. I need my Chef Tom!

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  1. Try watching The Next Iron Chef on Food Network. It's got a similar formula: two challenges per episode, a panel of judges at the end, one chef (or more) goes home. Except these are all chefs who are already quite established with restaurants of their own. It's a good competition.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ajs228

      I have basic cable and don't get FN, which is just as well because I'd never leave the house. I'm trying to get into "No Reservations," but a little Bourdain goes a long way and the whole concept I find a bit patronizing. No, I guess I'll have to read some books or make some friends until Season Four comes around. Boo hoo.

      1. re: newhavener07

        I agree. I much prefer his first travel show on Food Network...anyone remember what that was called?

        1. re: yamalam

          Was the FN show "A Cook's Tour," coinciding with his book of the same name?

    2. I'm feeling a strange emptiness as well. Luckily Project Runway will be on soon to fulfill my Bravo/Reality TV fix. But I wish Top Chef Chicago was ready to go already...I miss watching a good cooking competition and the Food Network is really not helping me out in this department

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one looking forward to Project Runway!

        I caught the Next Iron Chef last night. Yeah, they've got challenges like TC, but it's not the same vibe. I think it's because they're already established as opposed to the typical TC cheftestant.

      2. Watch Kitchen Nightmares on Fox also on Wednesday! Not as good as Top Chef but it's an hour of solid TV.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Bunson

          Kitchen Nightmares feels incredibly contrived and, I believe, much of it is. I'm not buying most of it. Like Hell's Kitchen, very phony. I think a lot of tolerance for his shows come down to whether you like Gordon Ramsey's TV persona. Personally, I don't.

          1. re: laylag

            I blame FOX for the cheesy parts of the show. Like the boxing ring sparring last week, or how every week Gordon organizes some corny local event sponsored by the restaurant. Even the free remodels or new kitchen appliances is something he didn't do in the old BBC series. His language and comments are also toned down for US television. Here's a link to some of the older BBC episodes which are a completely different beast.


            1. re: Bunson

              I completely agree with the above post. I thought the original Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares were marvelous. Yet, I could not stand but 10 minutes of a FOX episode. It seemed as though they were trying to dramatize any employee-employer conflict, and the focus was definately not on the food, or the running of a restaurant. It was on internal bickering between the restaurant's people. Very disappointing.

              1. re: Bunson

                He organised lots of corny local events for the BBC series too... it's a great way to get publicity (and look at it this way - they have to get SOMEBODY into the newly rejigged restaurant to create some buzz!) I thought I'd loathe the US version based on the first episode but all the rest have been much better and much more like the GR we know and love... (which reminds me, I haven't watched last night's yet... must fire up the DVR tonight. :)

                1. re: Kajikit

                  I happend to love Gordon Ramsay and started watching his BBC Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen. They were both better than the American versions, but I believe it's because there seems to be some need to 'dumb down' to the American audiences. They certainly lack subtlety.

          2. Celebrity Homewrecker's Brussel Sprout brownie recipe? Hilarious! Although I think he wrecked her home and not the other way around? Regardless, I have been thinking all day that I have really been enjoying Wednesday nights lately between Gordon and Top Chef. And then I (sob) remember it's over. Thankfully I still have Gordon. I miss them all. :(

            1. It's hardly a substitute, but this spoof has some funny bits:


              1. To get my fix, I've been reading the TC3 blog on Bravo. Previously, I only read Bourdain's entry and ignored the others. Now, I'm going back and reading the other blogger's entry.

                Now that the show is over, it appears that Bravo stopped adding to the blog. For example, Rocco had a two part recap of the finale. Part 1 has been posted for a couple weeks with no sign of part 2 of his recap.

                Who's Barton G?

                2 Replies
                1. re: dave_c

                  Barton G Weiss is a big Miami/South Beach caterer/restaurateur, but that's probably an understatement. He was the guest judge in the Chaine des Rotisseurs elimination, which I think was at his restaurant.

                  1. re: dave_c

                    Part II of Rocco's blog went up today on Bravo's website!

                  2. I feel your pain. Wednesday's used to be my favorite day of the week. Now...nothing. They aren't even playing repeats anymore. Sigh...
                    Skip The Next Iron Chef. It is no good. Not even close.
                    No Reservations is good, every once in a while.
                    Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on Travel Channel is good, if you like watching people eat testicles and chicken uterus.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: linz_e_moore

                      Thanks for commiserating. I have never liked any Iron Chef shows but my husband loves them. It's a guy thing, like Alton Brown and the Three Stooges. Likewise, my husband can't watch Paula or Ina. He says their shows are for women. I kind of think Emeril is a man's man too.

                    2. I miss Top Chef too!! Seeing this post brightened my day to know that there are other obsessives out there, just like me! Don't worry, Season 4 will come out about faster than you think...and it's in Chicago: yay!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Chew on That

                        Why is everyone so excited about Chicago? I know they've got good restaurants, but what they do with pizza is scary. The producers made a stab at incorporating Latin food into season 3, what are they going to do in Chicago--make them cook a pork belly?
                        I think a Top Chef in Paris or Seattle would be much more interesting.

                        1. re: newhavener07

                          The tourism board of Chicago probably gave the production company boatloads of money. That was one of the reasons why they shot in Miami. I'm waiting for Top Chef to come to New York.