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Something to look forward to - Top Chef Masters

  • c

Most of you have probably heard about this, but starting June 10, Bravo will have a Masters version of Top Chef, with truly professional chefs competing against each other for $100k. Here's a list of who's signed up so far:

Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill, Chicago
Wilo Benet, Pikayo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
John Besh, Restaurant August, New Orleans
Graham Elliot Bowles, Graham Elliott, Chicago
Michael Chiarello, Bottega Restaurant, Yountville, CA
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Wylie Dufresne, wd-50, New York City
Elizabeth Falkner, Orson, San Francisco
Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys, San Francisco
Christopher Lee, Aureole, New York City
Ludo Lefebvre, Ludo Bites, Los Angeles
Anita Lo, Anissa, New York City
Tim Love, The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, TX
Rick Moonen, Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Nils Noren, French Culinary Institute, New York City
Lachlan McKinnon Patterson, Frasca Foood & Wine, Boulder, CO
Cindy Pawlcyn, Mustards Grill, Napa Valley, CA
Mark Peel, Campanile, Los Angeles
Douglas Rodriguez, Alma de Cuba, Philadelphia
Michael Schlow, Radius Restaurant, Boston
Art Smith, Table Fifty-Two, Chicago
Suzanne Tracht, Jar, Los Angeles
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York City
Roy Yamaguchi, Roy’s Restaurants, San Diego

This list is from Restaurant Hospitality (http://restaurant-hospitality.com/new...). The URL will give you the entire article.

I suspect this show will produce a lot of new threads and heavy discussions. Let's hope it lives up to its potential and doesn't get ruined by product endorsements...

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    1. It already has spawned conversation - see this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610437

      1. Sorry 'bout that - the URL doesn't work because you have to register (free).

        1. Should have done a search first. Perhaps this thread should be added to the original.

          6 Replies
          1. re: cmvan

            I didn't realize they were actually going to have GOOD chefs...I had heard about the spinoff months ago, they are also going to do a junior for children.

            I'm excited to have another forum to root for John Besh! He's not my only favorite, lots of great ones! I'm surprised at some of those names, and I'm surprised for the people I DON'T see.

            I'm also a little disapointed....money not going to charity?

            Anyone have a favorite on that list? I don't know much about Tim Love, wasn't he in the Capsicum battle with Morimoto? If that was him, I thought it a little weird...all or almost all of his plates were directly from his restaurant's menu. Makes me think he wouldn't do so great in the "think on your feet" atmosphere.

            1. re: sommrluv

              Sure there were a lot of floaters in the group of standard top chef cheftestants, but I think it's a little harsh to not consider at least some of them to not be good.

              1. re: sommrluv

                In the other thread they said the money WAS going to charity and that was the primary reason a number of the chefs were participating. What makes you think otherwise?

                1. re: sommrluv

                  I'm also a little disapointed....money not going to charity?
                  The money IS going to charity - see the "About" here: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...

                  1. re: sommrluv

                    <I'm surprised at some of those names, and I'm surprised for the people I DON'T see. >

                    The characteristics that make someone a great chef and restaurateur are not necessarily the same ones that make for a terrific TV chef. Perhaps some of the names you didn't see are missing because they are terrified of the camera? Others may have contracts with other tv stations or groups that prevent their appearance in a Bravo show, and some may have had scheduling conflicts!

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      Good point, Chef June!

                      Guess I need to make a point of coming here more often! From my experience with celebrities, and those who want to be one, participating in this kind of event and donating that money to charity is fabulous PR, and deservedly so. That it wasn't stated was glaring, charmed girl. (this wasn't the only place I had seen a press release or statement they were going to compete for cash and/or prizes, and seeing the above statement, I Assumed that was the final word, money going to the contestants.

                      I'm very much pleased LindaWhit posted an article to the contrary...I shall go see it now.

                2. Ok, I am so excited about this TOP CHEF MASTERS, can't wait

                  My Favorites...

                  John Besh, Restaurant August, New Orleans

                  Michael Chiarello, Bottega Restaurant, Yountville, CA

                  Wylie Dufresne, wd-50, New York City

                  Elizabeth Falkner, Orson, San Francisco

                  Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys, San Francisco

                  Christopher Lee, Aureole, New York City

                  Tim Love, The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, TX

                  Michael Schlow, Radius Restaurant, Boston

                  Suzanne Tracht, Jar, Los Angeles

                  Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York City

                  Roy Yamaguchi, Roy’s Restaurants, San Diego

                  1. Thre are a lot of potential winners in that list, but I will be cheering for my long-time friend, Rick Moonen. ;)

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I'm rooting for the kind person and wonderful chef and example setter, Roy Yamaguchi !!!
                      Roy no ka oi !!!!!!

                      1. re: manomin

                        My pre-series prediction is that Anita Lo will win. If memory serves correct she beat Mario in Iron Chef and anyone who can accomplish that is a strong contender.
                        I think Rick Bayless will do well also if he can maintain his zen-mode under pressure.

                        1. re: tofuburrito

                          I'm not familiar with all the chefs and who's judging, but my take is any chef that specializes in "ethnic" cooking may do well, but their chances of winning are less (especially if Tom C is the judge).

                          Anita Lo, Rick Bayless, Roy Yamaguchi and Wilo Benet will be long shots.

                          1. re: dave_c

                            Tom's not a judge for this show. Kelly Choi is this show's Padma, Gael Greene and Jay Rayner are the two main judges (Tom and the Toby Young characters <g>), and they have lots of guest judges.

                    2. A quick blurb in TV Guide about the first episode next week: "The tables turn when 24 of the world's most celebrated cuisinières [NOTE - TV Guide needs an editor to check word meanings, as that one most definitely doesn't fit!] battle for the title and $100,000 for their charities. Week 1 proves the chefs' dessert dishes are no match for the palates of four Girl Scouts who are more biting than Tom Colicchio."

                      And online, it looks like the first four chefs up in competition are: Hubert Keller, Michael Schlow, Christopher Lee and Tim Love. And the following week, Wylie Defresne, Suzanne Tracht, Graham Elliott Bowles and Elizabeth Faulkner compete (and producers from "Lost" are on that show - I guess as guest judges) .

                      I'm a *bit* concerned about the Girl Scout opening episode - I wonder if the chefs who are competing know who they're cooking for? But no matter what - I can't wait for the start to this show!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        I like that they're limiting it to four chefs competing in each episode, at least in the beginning when there are so many. Clearly, different format and perhaps in part to avoid these chefs having to give up as big a chunk of their time as contestants in normal seasons do. But I hope the fewer chefs and, I presume, no emphasis on personal drama, will mean more emphasis and time spent on showing cooking and dish development.

                      2. I'm so excited! Go Rick Bayless and Art Smith! :)

                        1. If you check out the teasers at the Bravo site, you can get a sense of one of the more interesting aspects of this challenge.

                          Like when the first group is sent to shop at Whole Foods. Veteran chefs such as Hubert Keller are long removed from the more mundane tasks of the kitchen, and he himself comments about how his restaurant's supplies pretty much come from distributors and food purveyors directly. He becomes totally lost in Whole Foods.

                          It will indeed be interesting to watch as these chefs have to go it alone, and do all the prep, sous-ing, everything themselves. Even the best of the best should have a rough time of it.

                          1. Once again Canada gets the s%^t-stick with our friends at Food Network Canada. I thought after the last Top Chef was actually shown on FNC at the same time as Bravo in the US, that they might be able to do continue with the new series, but it is not scheduled to be shown. I am lucky in that I know how to download the show from the Internet, but that forces me to wait a day before I can check my fellow CHers comments.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: mramage

                              How do you download it from the internet? What site? I think last season it wasn't available online - you had to wait for the mini-marathons each Thursday evening before the new episode at 10.

                              1. re: sasha1

                                Most often, you use a peer-to-peer downloading program. It's not quite legal, but it's reliable and safe for your computer if you know where to go. And you can often find fresh episodes on YouTube before they get taken down.

                                1. re: spellweaver16

                                  I'm so non-techno hip. And have taken the socratic oath :). I can check out youtube, but otherwise, it will be the week after for me if I miss. Thx!

                                2. re: sasha1

                                  I use newsgroups rather than the BitTorrent sites - no spyware being loaded. If you know how to use newsgroups, look in the alt.binaries.multimedia folder using a newsreader. The shows are usually posted a few hours after they are shown on US TV, and commercial free. I am currently enjoying Master Chef Australia doing the same thing.

                                3. re: mramage

                                  According to this press release, it will be shown on the FN in Canada in the Fall 2009 season.


                                4. I just hope Anita Lo doesnt get cut soon or at all... I've always found her so fascinating...

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: rozz01

                                    I did a class with her at the New York Culinary Experience at the French Culinary Institute last fall. She was great. I loved her approach, how she worked with all of us "students" and what we all made together.
                                    As someone else mentioned, it will be interesting to see how all these great chefs work under these very different circumstances.

                                    1. re: sibeats

                                      She seems to have really good energy...