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Hubert Keller

Was anyone else surprised to see him as a contestant on Top Chef Masters? (Or whatever it's called.) I'm not enough of a foodie that I'm familiar with every chef who is making a name for him/herself, and I didn't recognize any of the other contestants on sight. And I came in late on the program, but.... Keller as a contestant was rather like finding Tiger Woods in an all amateur golf tournament. Am I the only one who felt this way? AND........ What if he had lost!!!

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  1. i too was surprised. i don't usually watch the chef reality shows, but when i saw him, i thought "what? i've seen him on his own dang show!"

    1. Well I guess he agreed since it's for charity.

      1. All of the chefs on Top Chef Masters are well known and/or respected, hence the name "Masters". While there are certainly some lesser known chefs, I don't think Hubert Keller is any more distinguished than most of the other contestants. And it is for charity, so I would imagine that was a nice draw for some of them.

        1. I had a very different reaction. I was surprised at how well known some of the contestants are: Rick Moonen, Anita Lo, Wylie Dufresne, Michael Chiarello, Rick Bayless. Much more impressive lineup than I anticipated when I first heard of the show. It would have been no great shame, nor a great shock either, if Keller had lost to some of these chefs.

          9 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            Ahahhhh... The light dawns! I don't watch FN that much any more, and had not heard of the show, or the charity aspect, before stumbling onto the episode that Keller won. As I said above, I came in late and obviously stayed confused! I'll have to set my VCR to record future episodes. Now that I know what's going on, It should be interesting.

            Thanks, JoanN, and everyone else too!

            1. re: Caroline1

              just as an fy- Masters is on Bravo not FN...

              1. re: liveloveat34

                Thanks. I guess it shows I don't watch much of either lately! '-)

                1. re: liveloveat34

                  These are accomplished and talented chefs. FN would never have them on.

                      1. re: Old Spice

                        I sure FN has security on standby should a chef enter the building.

                        1. re: Withnail42

                          heheheheh they seem to have deep-sixed all the chefs they did have.

                2. re: JoanN

                  I had the same reaction - I thought the lineup (of those chefs I know of and have read about) was quite impressive. They are all respected and, I think, all respect each other. If they had lumped Shamdra in with them - then the entire show would have been a farce, and I doubt many of them would have joined the show. But playing for their favorite charity, and enjoying themselves outside of their specific restaurant(s)' world, I think, makes for good TV all around.

                3. I wasn't surprised because he was on TC before as a judge. In fact he was the very first guest judge on the very first episode, when he had to put up with the obnoxious Brit. I guess the producers owed him.

                  5 Replies
                    1. re: Withnail42

                      OK, if you say so. It was such a long time ago, the memory is hazy. I just remember the guy was a jerk and he challenged Keller on something.

                      1. re: Phaedrus

                        Keller got on his case for dipping his finger into a sauce to taste it....that may not have been the ONLY issue, but it sticks out in my mind...and he was Irish...and obnoxious.

                        1. re: HungryRubia

                          Then later he shouted over and at Keller asking if he used tasting spoons. I think that was got him kicked off.

                          1. re: Withnail42

                            IIRC he asked Keller whether he threw the sauce out after he'd dipped his finger into it, and Keller got mad at him for challenging him, but didn't directly answer the question. ;-)

                  1. I did catch the WHOOOOLE show on my VCR. Tim Love is the only other chef I've heard of before, but then I'm a cook, not much of a "diner-outer." I've been familiar with Hubert Keller for some time. He owns a great restaurant (location) that has a long history of great food. It was my SF favorite way back when it was simply named "777 Sutter Street." He has upheld the tradition of greatness.

                    As to the show, in the first round, someone had equipment problems, both with his mixer and again with the oven. Or it may have been two different people who had those problems. My point is, budget be damned, when there are major equipment failures like that, I think they should stop shooting, correct the problem, then start from scratch to re-level the playing field. I've been watching more cooking shows again lately, and someone had the same problem (equipment failure) on Chopped. Whether FN or Bravo, you can't have a skiing contest if you put one guy on broken or no skis, and the same holds true for cooking equipment in a cooking contest. Then there's the added fact that malfunctioning equipment from a company that has paid a fortune for product placement and sponsorship just ain't gonna win a lot of new customers! Duh....

                    After seeing the show in its entirety, I still think the other three chefs were waaaaay over matched going up against Keller.

                    But I would love to see a Top Chef Masters that pits H. Keller, Thomas Keller, Eric Ripert, and Mario Batali. Well, that's just off the top of my head. And just for the first show....

                    Who would you like to see???? '-)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Caroline1

                      I disagree that shooting should stop and they should "fix" the equipment. My bet is that they're purposely doing this to see how they deal with it. The equipment failure (or inability to use said piece of equipment) is SOP on these shows. It's to see how the chef is able to deal with an emergency such as this. If an oven goes down in a real kitchen, how do they cope with it?

                      As for a "dream roster" - another thread was started back in April on that very subject: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610437

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Your idea of "testing" to see how a specific chef handles the problem isn't a test. It is simply a handicap. Why would they do that to just one contestant? Doesn't make sense to me. At least when they had to prepare a meal with a hot late and a microwave, they all had the same problem.

                    2. I keep missing the show. Who are the judges and do they even have a JT for these chefs?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Withnail42

                        They do have a JT....and according to the Brit, JT does take hours as it does on the regular TC.


                        And you can catch the first show at 9pm on Wednesday night before Ep. 2 at 10pm.