Ultimate Top Chef
I'd love to see a season of Top Chef with previous cheftestants. Put 2-3 from each season and give them a whole season with challenges designed to showcase their talents. My roster would include:
Season 1: Harold, Leanne & Dave
Season 2: Sam & Cliff
Season 3: Tre & Brian
Season 4: Stephanie & Richard
Season 5: Stephan & Carla
Who would you like to see compete in Ulitimate Top Chef?
Oh and what kind of challenges would you like to see? Personally, I'd like it if they had the same ingredients and had 30 min for the quickfire. Less catering challenges. More time/money/stores for the cheftestants to plan and prepare, let them show us their best work without alot of contstraints.
There are some good chefs whose knives were packed early and vice versa, therefore All-Stars:
(in alphabetical order)
Season 1: Harold, Lee Anne, Tiffani
Season 2: Cliff, Elia, Sam
Season 3: Dale, Hung, Tre
Season 4: Antonia, Dale, Stephanie
Season 5: Carla, Jamie, Stefan
Yes, that's correct. No Ilan or Marcel (season 2) and No Richard (season 5).
The challenge should be simple.
Using the exact same set of ingredients,make a 3 course meal. Give them plenty of time to plan and prepare. You want to see who's the best chef under good circumstances with real food. Not who's the best chef cooking using only spam, marshmallows and cucumbers on a camp stove in 10 minutes.
By unique ingredients, I didn't mean blasphemy in the kitchen ;-)
I think a protein, veg/fruit a not so common herb or spice as mandatory components would force them into one aspect of the competition that hasn't been, or is difficult to demonstrate for the viewers. Taste everything, and create something wonderful.
I hated that quickie mart challenge and the vending machine challenge. Allow these chefs to be chefs and bring on challenges that chefs face in the kitchen every day.
My ultimate Top Chef would have new rules that basically allow previous challenges to count so it's less "Top Meal" and more "Top Chef."
Basically, my scheme includes a scoring system like Iron Chef (creativty, exceution, presentaion and taste being the parameters). The quickfires and EC would be judged using that. Then to find out who to eliminate, it would be the person with the lowest score. The QF would be weighted at 25%, and the elimination challenge at 75% for the first challenge.
Every subsequent EC would be measured as: 25% for QF, 50% for EC, and 25% aggragate of previous scores. Prizes for QF and EC winners would still be given.
Basically, I'm angry about Jaime and Tre. The numbers don't have to be exactly what I suggest, but I think it's a good starting point.
season 1 - Tiffany, Dave
season 2 - Ilan
season 3 - Casey, Dale
season 4 - Stephanie
season 5 - want to see it all before deciding
I based it on whose food I might go out of my way to try, which for me involves notions of "cooking from the soul" and a "culinary point-of-view". Tiffani would be the head of the pack, still the one to beat of any season, combining skill, creativity, intensity, and a clear point-of-view. I don't see any reason not to trust the judges on Ilan, that he really was a good cook and that he cooked the best in the finals. Seasons 1 and 3 had the best talent pools, and hence more "ultimate top chefs" from those seasons.
As for the challenges I would want to see: I have often wished that they would have a season where all they do is let the chefs loose. That is, every single challenge is the same: "here is your budget, here is your timeframe, shop anywhere you want and blow our minds with your meal." And just repeat that over and over until you have the top chef. But I don't think they'll ever do that.
for the challenge I wouldn't mind seeing a few mandatory ingredients, odd pairings,,if you will.Somewhat reminiscent of Ready Set Cook.
A signature Dish round
Just desserts would also be a good challenge as so many contestants constantly whine, I am not a pastry chef..desserts aren't all about pastry, and surely if one can cook, one can come up with a dessert of some sort