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Feb 26, 2009 10:41 AM

Top Chef Winner - 10 comments/Questions

Here's justa few thoughts to throw out that I am sure will be bashed to bits.

1. The right chef won based on last nights dishes.

2. The best chef in the season wasn't there....Jeff.

3. The show's choices for sous chefs was brutal. I know they were all runner-ups, but Casey isn't in the same league as Marcel & Richard (based on past seasons). Both men should have probably won their seasons, and Casey was lucky to be there.

4. Carla's choice to listen to Casey, not once but twice was not only her downfall, but a huge professional faux pas.

5. While I love squab, the dish I would have loved t have tried was Hosea's trio of sashimi, even though it was probably the least well-plated dish.

6. Richard was probably a much bigger contributor to the win than anyone will ever admit.

7. While his honesty was incredible, I thought the inclusion of Fabio in the tasting table was questionable and somewhat biased.

8. Did Rocco make any comments other than his silly foie gras comment?

9. Was Gail trying to boost ratings among male viewers? Isn't that why we have Padma?

10. Has the show jumped the shark?

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  1. 1. Disagree. I still think that Stefan should have one based on having a full 3-course meal. Fish app, fish 1st course and venison main doesn't make a complete meal for me. But that's just me.

    2. I think I agree.

    3. Agree - Casey didn't even remotely belong in the same league as Marcel or Richard. If Tiffani had been there, it would have been different (although I think Carla would have been steamrolled by her as well.) ETA: Although I do believe that Stephanie EARNED her win. Either Richard or Stephanie winning TC4 was a good thing.

    4. Agree.

    5. Disagree. Squab for me.

    6. HUGELY agree.

    7. No - they had Malarkey! there last year as well (final menu tasting) and did ask his opinion, IIRC. Not sure if it made a difference to the judges.

    8. Who cares? ;-)

    9. Pregnancy is the probable cause. Someone said a side view showed a belly bump.

    10. God I hope not. I think this was just poor casting AND poor choices by the judges as to who went home earlier. For instance, either Hosea or Leah should have gone home in place of Ariane - it was Leah's piss-poor tying up of the lamb roast that Tom commented on and then sent Ariane home. But they (the judges) don't know that - and you *know* Hosea and Leah weren't going to be honest and say "we let Ariane do the butchering, even tho I, Hosea, have better skills at it and I, Leah, tie up roasts all the time."

    5 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      In retrospect a little clue as to who would win was when they showed the scene where Colicchio stresses they didn't have to make a dessert.

      And you are right, Brian was at the final service. Good memory!

      1. re: LindaWhit

        1) According to the judges whose votes are the only votes that count, that is true (dagnabbit).
        2) Disagree.
        3) I wish they’d stuck to the cream of the professional crop like last year’s cast of sous chefs.
        4) Agree.
        5) None for me of either, thanks.
        6) Agree.
        7) Come on, how could they not give Fabio more camera time? He was the one true entertainment this season.
        8) No,
        9) ???
        10) No.

        To say that Top Chef jumped the shark is to imply two things: 1) That the producers acknowledge that the show is fading and that 2) The producers put forth an effort to turn the fading franchise around. I see neither of those and frankly I am peeved. How could they film in New York and only have one NYC-centric challenge? Good golly, set ‘em loose in Carnegie Deli for a sandwich challenge or have the entire cast from New York restaurants or – well – anything! Why employ the tried and tired vans? Send them off on the subway with 3 hours to shop anywhere they want (which I realize would be a logistical and permit nightmare but would at least make for some great TV). Lastly, cast for skill and not what the producers think will be entertaining.

        Edit - meant to be a response to the OP.

        1. re: MplsM ary

          You did not feel as though, just possibly, their letting one of the last three eliminated back in, but with the stipulation they had to win, was there way of saying "we do not believe the best three are in the finale?"

          1. re: jhopp217

            possibly, BUT I think most of the posters around here are reading FAR more into things than there really are. Personally, I thought it was just another twist they hadn't used before, to spice things up.

            1. re: ChefJune

              Remember this is a contest, and they can't for the most part make it up. Any twist and turn had to be planned ahead of time, to avoid the "Quiz Show" accusations of fixing something.

              That being said, they did make an accomodation when the freezer broke, getting replacement food, and in the end, not eliminating anyone. I think they made a fair call there..

      2. 9. Worked for me!

        Every time I try to think of Padma in that oh so special way I get visions of Salman Rushdie being intimate with her. Yep she used to be Lady Rushdie after he was knighted.

        1. by any chance did anybody notice Casey's knife skills? she was way quick and way precise in the brief snapshots they showed of her. I don't know, it caught my attention, because I never really saw knives flashing this year in a remarkable way.

          1. 1. Disagree, Stefan is the better chef and I would have liked to see Carla do a better job so she could have been a serious contender. I think Hosea is at the bottom of those 3 chefs.

            2. Possibly, if we had the Jeff who showed up to NOLA then yes, if we had the Jeff who couldn't edit himself on the plate then no.

            3. Yes Casey was the weakest link, and I agree with Linda that Tiffani is a stronger choice. Even though I would have been just as happy if Richard had won season 4, Stephanie also deserved her win....I don't think he "should" have won.

            4. Totally agree.

            5. I would have liked to try either Stefan's squab or Carla's first course before I would have liked to try anything Hosea made, but if I had to pick it would have been the venison.

            6. The more I think about this the more I agree.

            7. They have brought back contestants before for the tasting, and when asked Fabio picked Hosea.

            8. If he did the editors were wise enough not to show them.

            9. All I can think of is Seinfeld, "They're real and they're spectacular."

            10 No, I think it call all be redeemed with a better quality of cheftestants.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lizzy

              Re: your #5 - yes, I agree - Hosea's venison was the only thing he made that interested me. *Maybe* his appetizer, but I know I'd rather have tried Carla's and Stefan's apps first before his "blackened redfish".

            2. 1. I agree

              2. Disagree. This would depend on what you like to eat I guess, but I think the best were Stephan, Carla, and Eugene. For Eugene to show what he did with no formal training was outstanding.

              3. Can't comment, I started watching at season 4, during which I really liked Richard.

              4. Totally agree, that sous chef had terrible judgement and Carla too for listening to her. Lesson learned.

              5. Disagree, while the sashimi looked good, how difficult is it to prepare sashimi? It isn't that difficult preparation=good, or that I wouldn't want to eat it, but in the final round I think you need to do more than find a good piece of fish and slice it and make the plate look pretty. I would have tried the venison, personally.

              6. Agree.

              7. Agree- what is he doing there? However, producers control everything and Fabio boosts ratings.

              8. I don't think so.

              9. Could be, but no questions asked from me.

              10. I think yes, but it can recover. For me, there is way too much sponsor influence (Quaker Oats Quickfire??) and way too much producer influence on who stays and who goes. Too much focus on the drama and interpersonal relationships and not enough on the food and the actual preparation of it. Also, and it almost made me stop watching, was the idiotic, token inclusion of a wisecracking British judge. He is not funny, very annoying, and seems to know even less about food than how to deliver a rehearsed wittily derogatory remark

              4 Replies
              1. re: stewy

                Perhaps Fabio didn't need to be there, but for god's sake, they'd already flown him down to NOLA.. can't you just let the guy eat dinner and be there at the end? What are you going to do - give him $100 and tell him to get sloshed on hurricane's at Pat O'Briens? Its not like they made him a judge at judge's table..

                1. re: grant.cook

                  Speaking of Fabio - i wonder if anyone caught him on "Ellen"?
                  I'd have liked to have seen it

                  1. re: NellyNel

                    Oh now *that* would have been fun to see. Are her shows on Hulu? Wait - they're on her site: Click the "Next" button a couple of times - it's in the lower right. Cute. :-)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Thanks Linda!

                      I'll have to watch it at home sound on work computer.