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Mar 11, 2009 05:58 PM

Chopping Block Premiere [Spoiler Alert]

Gotta say, I like this SO much more than HK. White's controlled intensity is thrilling.
I like the look of it, too, HD, and the graphics, with the host's asides.

HK feels like LA, this feels like NYC.

At the risk of sounding like a reality junkie, this brings all that I like about Tabitha to it- it's a BUSINESS. Opening a resturant in New York is one of the hardest business ventures possible. This brings that out in a way that I find enjoyable and unpandering.

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  1. I really liked it. There are just a few couples that seem out of their league but over-all I can see some of them owning a neighborhood place but nothing earth shattering.

    I really, really like MPW. We need more of him and less of the others.

    Spoiler Alert:

    I can't believe Khoa just gave up! WTF! Didn't he know he was going to be on a reality show?

    1. To my surprise, I liked White. He was tough, but straight and he coached and mentored the contestants.

      Are all food critics gratuitously snide and nasty? I hated Corby Kummer, wouldn't want to be his friend, dine with him or interact with him in any way. If there's not a little humanity or compassion, please spare me your arrogance.

      The contestants, for the most part, were more impressive than I expected. They pretty much all had chops. Maybe not Top Chefs, but we have yet to see.

      1. julietg, next time please include a spoiler alert in the title of the thread so we don't ruin the show for anyone who hasn't watched yet. i sent a "report" to the mods asking them to do it for this one.

        ok, on to the show...

        after reading Devil in the Kitchen (which i loved, by the way), i didn't expect MPW to be quite so subdued, but it was nice!

        i'm with KTinNYC, i have no idea why someone who can't handle pressure, confrontation, or foul language would sign on for a reality show OR want to be in the restaurant biz! Khoa really gave the brothers a gift by bowing out...and after Than told Angie that she should learn how to cook before she goes back in to the kitchen, i really wanted to see him go. it was petty, childish, and completely unnecessary.

        Corby Kummer was a weasel. but something tells me that he'll seem to have almost been warm & fuzzy after next week's critique from Jeffrey Steingarten! gotta say, i'm looking forward to seeing how his snark plays outside of ICA's kitchen stadium...

        8 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Totally looking forward to Steingarten.

          But I do wonder how eliminating a couple at a time will work. It's a high percentage of the small teams.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I'm still not sure about this show. I disliked MPW's Yoda-like commentary on each couple (perhaps it was the lack of socks on his leg crossed over his knee that irked me <g>). I also don't feel like I have a clue as to the contestants other than knowing one couple is from Millbury, MA - I think I can figure out which by the accent. :-)

            Khoa was an idiot for just bowing out. What a waste of time - too bad someone else who wanted it more couldn't have been chosen. The brothers really needed to go - the FOH idiot brother was completely off-base, and MPW knew it, as did everyone else, it seemed. Wonder how that will play out in future episodes - doesn't look like the FOH brother plays well with others.

            And major ick on Corby Kummer. I've disliked his reviews in Boston Magazine for years, and he just solidified why with this show. Steingarten ought to be interesting next week. I'm not sure if I'll stick with the show; but I will try one more episode, at least.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              I didn't like the commentary either! I thought it felt kind of like Trump and was just overall unnecessary. I also wish they would have done a bit more background on the contestants. Also, ITA on the reviewer, he seemed to be hamming it up quite a bit for the camera.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                It will be interesting to see Steingarten in this role. I thought last night the critic was supposed to be unknown to the contestants. Corby Kummer was not (until last night) very recognizable, but Steingarten certainly has had lots of TV exposure. Cannot imagine all the chefs wouldn't know who he was.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Well, I'm not going to go as far out on the limb as you, June, and call these people "chefs". :-) But if they're as into food as many of us are - yes, they should know who Steingarten is.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I posted my comments in the other thread, but suffice to say, I didn't really like it. I am, however, SUPER excited to hear Jeffrey Steingarten is the guest critic next week! I didn't catch that last night. I like him on Iron Chef, but I absolutely LOVED his books. Love, love, love. At the very least, I'll be keeping up with this show for one more week.

                1. re: charmedgirl

                  I loved his books, too, but fwiw, he is every bit as egotistical as Kummer. imho, more so.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    Eh, I don't think he's as egotistical as he would have us believe. And even if he is, I find him entertaining and informative, so I don't mind. :-)

              3. Was anyone else turned off by the fact the black team's entire restaurant was painted black? The exterior, interior, kitchen. Who wants to eat in an all black restaurant? I actually think it puts them in a disadvantage.

                2 Replies
                1. re: KTinNYC

                  That is a very interesting point. I hadn't thought of that.

                  And ist red used in fast food places so people will eat quickly and leave. This could mean better turn over for the Red Team.

                  1. re: Withnail42

                    I thought red was suppose to stimulate the appetite?

                2. I have to watch this show a little more.... the editing style seems similar to HK. I'm on the fence about MPW, I don't think he comes over very well on the show. I'd like it more if he was in there mentoring. Is he watching the kitchens via monitors?

                  In regards to Khoa, WTF! He can't put up with cussing, yelling, bad service, a chaotic kitchen! He must have been sheltered working in the family restaurant. It's a big world out there, full of good and trying adventures, and he's running home with his tail between his legs.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: dave_c

                    I do get it that the restaurant industry is tough and the back of the house not exactly gentle and that reality shows aren't always pretty and sure, Khoa should have known that. At the same time, I kind of liked his integrity. He got that the show was not where he belonged and he took a tough stand for himself. It would have been worse if he had hung around trying to make it ok with him. I did wonder how his sister felt about that and if they conferred before he made his statement.

                    1. re: chicgail

                      IIRC, Khoa's ?cousin just sat there and nodded. Never asked if it was what she wanted to do. Or was she there because he needed someone to partner with and didn't plan to be there after his win? Did they show her front of house at all?

                      MPW looked more interesting on the blip of him at the UK Hell's Kitchen, but his hair and restaurant kitchens should stay far, far apart.

                      1. re: shallots

                        I'm sure Khoa and his cousin discussed their bowing out earlier off camera or it just wasn't included in the show.

                      2. re: chicgail

                        I thought MPW was excellent but the the contestants don't seem very experienced. I'd like to see more impressive displays of cooking skills.
                        I thought it interesting when MPW said of one of the dishes (jambalaya I think) that he would have been happy to to have it at someone's house but would be disappointed to be served it in a restaurant.

                        1. re: tofuburrito

                          We actually didn't see much cooking at all. Just an occasional finished dish. It was one of the missings in the show, along with more background on who the contestants were.

                          1. re: chicgail

                            I read a preview of the show and the critic had seen the first 2 episodes. He mentioned that MPW will be mentoring and doing a demo for the cheftestants next week.

                        2. re: chicgail

                          Please explain what integrity? You'd have to be a complete fool to think that there wouldn't be some very tough stuff going on in a competative reality situation like that. If you aren't prepared to put up with that, then at least have the integrity to not apply for the show & give someone else a chance to compete. What a shame.

                          1. re: PattiCakes

                            I think what upset him was not the toughness, but the backstabbing. He was clearly uncomfortable having to name someone to be eliminated, and as he said, for a restaurant to be successful, the team has to work together, and this particular format was extremely divisive. I think it took integrity to say that's it's not worth winning if you have to behave like that (not that everyone should or does feel that way, but that *he* clearly did).

                            Too bad, though, because I wanted to slap both those brothers, especially "I taking care of my customers while their food is getting cold in the kitchen how dare you" Zan, although Than lost me at the end with the "learn to cook" crack -- apparently it escaped his notice that the only dish the critic was shown praising at their restaurant was Angie's crab cake.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              That was my feeling about him, too. He didn't like the backstabbing, the yelling, the undermining. It sounds like he had this idealized image that everyone would work together to the best of their abilities and the best person would win. I agree that it took integrity for him to realize he wasn't going to play that game. At the same time, I'm wondering if he has ever seen a reality show before.

                              1. re: chowser

                                If he spends all his time working in restaurants, he probably doesn't watch much of any kind of TV in the evenings.

                              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                I think Than also served up the bloody chicken.