Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Jan 22, 2009 04:34 AM

Our local Top Chef celebrity? Stephen Starr as guest judge last night

Curious what folks thought of Stephen Starr on Top Chef last night, esp. people that have eaten at his restaurants.
Kind of annoying that they portrayed him as an NYC guy, but they are in NYC.

Seemed like he had a few memorable quotes, but now that it's the morning after I can't remember them.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Liked the Top Chef episode with Starr, although it did bother me there was not even a slight mention of his Philly roots, restaurants or other top chefs that got their start with him. That being said, I did note that his eye for detail in service (which we always appreciate at his restaurants when dining at one ) a did play an important part in the final dicision making process.

    1. Padma saying he has restaurants 'all over the country' is bit of a lie, isn't it? I thought he only had places in Philly, NYC, and AC. I thought he held his own as a judge, he's said in interviews that he's not actually into food all that much but most of his comments were astute, and of course he is an expert on the service side, which is probably why he was judging Restaurant Wars.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Buckethead

        Yeah, I guess my reaction was a lot like both of yours:
        -surprised he was so perceptive about the food (although in retroscpect, that shouldn't have surprised me);
        -and it was annoying that they downplayed philly that much. but then, maybe that's just my philly inferiority complex ;-) i'd have been just as annoyed if they'd said that he dominates teh philly restaurant scene.

      2. I thought he looked very uncomfortable, at least during the QF - kind of liked he was squeezed into a jacket that was a couple of sizes too small. Since the show is Top Chef, NY, I'm sure that's why everything was all about his NYC connections, but I was a litle miffed that they "forgot" about Philly. I found his comments on point, although he seems to have the personality of a chair. He also does not have a reputuaion for being Mr. Warm & Friendly.

        1. Thought all the same things -
          I was SO annoyed that it was Padma started with "restaurants all over the country" bc as mentioned, it's only Philly, NYC and AC. I understand that Buddakan and Moriomoto NYC are really well known but c'mon....when someone started in Philly and has the majority of his, not to mention the most restaurants under one person in a city, restaurants'd think they could some how work that in. I felt like Starr kind of tried with his "cheesesteak" comment on Fabio's sandwich, but if the general audience doesn't know Starr is based in Philly then that is just going to go over their heads.

          I think it was great though that finally there was a judge from Philly and it was really appropriate it was Starr for restaurant wars. Say what you will about him - he has been extremely successful doing what he does and to act as a judge on the service, overall concept/design is perfect. And he may not be the one behind the line in his kitchens, but he has had a habit of selecting/building top rate chefs (Garces, Rodriguez, Talula's Table duo...) so he should know what he's talking about regarding the food too.

          Maybe we can look forward to a few more top Philly chefs in upcoming seasons!

          1. Although the producers didn't say he was from Philly, I thought he didn't hide his Philly roots- remember during the quick fire when he looked at Fabio's dish and proclaimed, "Cheesesteak!"
            Local boy done good...

            1 Reply
            1. re: JCap

              ps- I live in Bucks Co., but work in New York. I can't tell you how much I love saying, when the topic of Buddhakan or Morimoto comes up, "The first ones were in Philly." I LOVE THAT!