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Top Chef Season 8 !!

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I cannot wait until Top Chef Season 8 (December 1st). All of the chefs in the competition are extremely talented. No chefs cannot cook this time, everyone has tons of skill. I am excited to see how Marcel does. He was Michael Voltaggio's sous chef at The Bazaar after his Season 2 performance. I have a feeling that Marcel is much more talented now then when he was on Season 2.

I think the top competitors will be Richard, Jennifer, Angelo, and Tiffani Faison. They are my pick for the top four. Richard and Angelo should have won their season, but choked in the finally.

The All Stars are great, but some of the best chefs in Top Chef were left out (Kevin Gillespie, Bryan Voltaggio, Stefan, and Kenny) :(

Who do you guys think will be the toughest competitors?

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  1. Okay no one has commented on this yet and the premier is Wednesday! I can't wait.

    Who do you think is first to go home?
    Who looks like they could be the top 4?

    Elia or Stephen I think could be the first to go home.

    Blais, Marcel, Jennifer in the top maybe along with Tiffani F. or Mike I.

    and Anthony Bourdain Returns!

    1. definitely excited, but cautiously so...this needs to be a pretty spectacular season to make up for that train wreck in DC. what a disappointment!

      random observation for any of you who watch Top Chef *and* The Next Iron Chef. i had a realization the other day when i caught a clip of a TNIC repeat...Mary Dumont totally reminds me of Tiffani Faison!

      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Ditto on definitely excited. I'm really hoping with this lineup, this will be heads and tails above TC-DC. ANYTHING will be better.

        I'm not going to make any predictions...there's definitely a group of "won't make it", definitely a group of "how the HELL did they make it?" and I suspect, based on a few interviews I've read, there will be a couple of eliminations early on that are going to surprise the hell out of the viewers (as it "WTF are they THINKING by eliminating him/her?")

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Altho I'm commenting on a different show, the above about how the he!! Did they make it is what I think about the other train wreck He!!$ Kitchen, which isn't worth my time or effort

      2. I agree with your assessments of the top tier. I would say Tre interests me the most as far as potential, he was a strong contender on his season and was sent home for hazing Marcel rather than his food.

        4 Replies
        1. re: chris2269

          Cliff was sent home for hazing Marcel, not Tre. Tre went home - generally thought prematurely - for bad potatoes and leadership in Restaurant Wars.

          1. re: WNYamateur

            actually, Tre's undoing was bread pudding, not potatoes. i'm very much looking forward to his redemption!

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Wonder how I confused the two...I don't even remamber Cliff.

              1. re: chris2269

                Umm....two black guys? You can say it....but maybe that wasn't it.

        2. Jennifer appears to have gone home early.
          http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.c...

          30 Replies
          1. re: huiray

            Could or could not, that is just one person reporting but she can let pressure get to her. I'm still routing for her.

            1. re: huiray

              If you are going to put spoilers in a post, please list it in the title...

              1. re: christy1122

                agreed, however I'm not so certain this is a spoiler.

                It's a link where one person swears they can confirm chefs they saw and couldn't even remember 2 of the girls names, then another person quotes it and says Jen is one who was eliminated. Sounds sketchy to me.

                Don't believe everything that you read. :P

                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                  It doesn't matter. huiray *could* have said "there's interesting reading over at TWoP - but warning - there *could* be spoilers there!" That way, people can CHOOSE whether or not to go to that link.

                  The way huiray has written it, s/he's named a specific person in THIS thread. So s/he takes away the element of surprise AND choice for those of us who DO NOT want to have the show spoiled for us.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Agreed.

              2. re: huiray

                OK, can you please NOT post any spoilers like this in this thread? I'd really like to watch the show without any spoilers being noted - whether true or not. Thanks a LOT!

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Apologies.

                  As an aside, though, these Bravo cooking shows to me have become just dramatainment with gross manipulation of the viewing public anyway. They weren't as blatant in this way once. I'll watch, but no longer expect to learn anything useful in way of actual technique or cooking.

                  1. re: huiray

                    While I did't watch all of the TC seasons, I've enough of the reruns going back to the first season to realize that TC has never been really about cooking techniques and a learning situation for the viewers.

                    1. re: John E.

                      "TC has never been really about cooking techniques and a learning situation for the viewers"
                      --------
                      I never said it wasn't. I said it used to be less blatantly dramatainment-y in nature overall, even though seasons 2 and 5 were pretty 'up there' in dramatainment. I could actually learn a few things in past seasons. Now, essentially nothing.

                      1. re: huiray

                        I guess my point was that I haven't learned much about actual cooking from any of the TC shows.

                        1. re: huiray

                          Season 1, episode 1, had drama guy Ken.
                          Season 1 also had the 30 minute spat between Stephen and Camille (?) where she called him a tool and a douche bag.
                          That's entertainment! :-P

                    2. re: LindaWhit

                      You think that's a spoiler? First, there were two women whose names she couldn't remember (maybe Jaime? Maybe Jen? Who knows?)

                      Second, it could have been a restaurant wars competition, where 1/2 go food shopping and 1/2 go dish shopping.

                      I saw nothing there to spoil the show. It's not like the first Masters when I knew Rick Bayliss won before the first episode even aired (and he had given the charity the $ already).

                      1. re: gaffk

                        Look - I didn't read the link huiray posted. But I *did* read what huiray wrote HERE. S/he specifically said one of the TC All Stars. And yes - that is a potential spoiler. Not sure how you can't see that name someone who "is off the show early" isn't a spoiler? And then the fact that YOU just gave another name - well, thanks again.

                        I don't WANT to know who is gone ahead of time and there are many people who also don't want to know. That's why the TC threads always always ALWAYS have the word "spoiler" in the subject line, so anyone who doesn't want to know then knows *not* to read the thread until they've seen that particular episode.

                        And yes, whoever posted that Bayless had won pissed me off THEN, too. It was removed (and I recall reporting the blatant spoiler as well), so the entire TCM was partially ruined in knowing who won.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Wow, you really take your "reality" tv seriously. Me, not so much.

                          And how did I give another name? "Maybe Jen? Maybe Jaimie? Who knows" I haven't seen the first episode, haven't been at the NYC market, don't know who survives the first week and who goes to the finale.

                          It could have been a restaurant wars competition, where 1/2 go food shopping and 1/2 go dish shopping. That's the attraction of non-"reality" tv.

                          1. re: gaffk

                            Fine, you don't take it seriously. It's not life-changing for me, but I do like to watch it as it happens without prior knowledge. I don't go to movies already knowing what's going to happen by having read all about it ahead of time - I'd hazard a guess that 99.9% of people who go to the movies feel the same way. So why ruin Top Chef for others who wish to see the show unfold as it does without any spoilers?

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              OK, my T'giving rule is to not be argumentative. But why do you think I spoil your pleasure? There have been no real spoilers. I don't yuck somebody's yum. If you think I have prior knowledge, I don't. I am really non-judgmental, and just conjecturing at this point with no prior knowledge of any episodes

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I think what he's trying to say is that there is no validity to the spoiler. So don't sweat it. :P

                                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                  Thanks sister. I was trying to say:
                                  !) no validity to the spoiler
                                  2)spoiler didn't know the names of two of the female contestants, so there's no way to know who was or wasn't there
                                  3)spoiler didn't know the nature of the challenge; it may have been one where only a subset went to the market

                                  Looking forward to 10 pm!

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  You never went to a movie based on a book you have already read?

                                  1. re: gaffk

                                    Within the last 35 or so years? No. Not that I can recall.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      there's no point - the book is always better!

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        Let's call a truce. Please? This is pointless and I don't want to argue.

                                        1. re: gaffk

                                          You asked a question and I answered it. Not sure how that's arguing, but OK.

                                          I would still like to suggest that if anyone knows of potential spoilers, they NOT be posted in various threads about the TC-AS episodes, but as a separate thread with a link so people can *choose* to click the link - or not.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            The all caps was yelling, the asterisks were snarky, to my way of on-line reading. But I get it, the TC threads are different. So noted.

                                            1. re: gaffk

                                              Both are used for emphasis, since we don't have the ability to bold, underline or use italicization here. I'm pretty sure both methods are used elsewhere on the Internet where a website uses simple text, as is done here on CH.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Oh for the love of all things holy please just stop. This is getting ridiculous.

                                                Both of you are egging each other on and yes I think it's the words YOU chose to emphasis that makes your post sound rather snarky.

                                                See what I did there :P

                                                He offered a truce so just take it and be done with it.

                                                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                  Yes, thanks sandwich ;) No more postings for me on anything TC related.

                                          2. re: gaffk

                                            But, gaffk, you wrote, "Wow, you really take your "reality" tv seriously. Me, not so much."

                                            That struck me, an impartial observer, as a bit aggressive. I'm glad you've decided to call a truce, but perhaps in the future, you might consider the choice of words in framing your replies?

                                            People watch the show and enjoy the contest part, especially as it allows for speculation, etc. Spoilers are called so for their ability to spoil the suspense of particular dramas. And, if as we have already noted, the ability to teach and demonstrate technique is limited, this is a significant part of the viewing.

                                            And yes, spoilers may not be reliable, but they should still be prefaced and people warned off as a simple matter of civility. That said, I appreciate how the etiquette of television-based discussions may not be familiar to people on a food board. Perhaps it is then simply respectful to adhere to that etiquette when the discussion is television-related.

                                            Finally, the comparison of film/novel adaptations is not an effective one. This is an entirely different issue and both forms offer their own discrete pleasures and one can easily watch a film for what it will offer, regardless of our knowing in the outcome. In that case, I cite Aristotle, who in the Poetics noted that a good story is one that can be told and told again. Moreover, the variations in adaptations and the choices made add something. This is a significantly different experience than something that is predominantly contest (the narrative of this show is based entirely on the question 'Who will be Top Chef?'

                                            That said, I have watched episodes knowing the outcome, but personally, i still prefer to hone my television reading skills by guessing outcomes based on editing, attention, and the creation of a dramatic narrative.

                                            To each their own, yes? And perhaps, just as with food, we try not to denigrate the tastes and tendencies of others?

                            2. re: huiray

                              nice

                              really nice

                              1. re: huiray

                                Was Jennifer the ne that said she was "in the weeds" a few times? Good cook tho as I remember

                              2. Kenny has to be the most overrated chef in TC history. For all his talk about being a beast in the kitchen, he didn't perform all that well in the challenges.

                                I think this is Jennifer's to lose. I'm sure a lot has changed, but in terms of what I saw on the shows, I can't put anyone in the same tier as her. To add to the top four, I'll guess Marcel, Richard and Dale Talde (the wild card pick).

                                One of chefs I want to see for a while will probably get sent home first - Doesn't it usually turn out that way? So, Jamie, Stephen or Fabio.

                                1. There are so many really talented chefs in this All-Star round, it's hard to pick a favorite. For me the sentimental favorite is Tre, because I think he definitely went home too soon for us to really have seen what he can do.

                                  My least favorite in this bunch is Casey. I never saw what was so wonderful about her in the first place.

                                  If I were a betting person, I'd put some $$ on Tiffani. Having eaten her food this past spring, I'd say that she has probably grown as a chef by a lot since Season 1, and she was a monster then.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    I agree about Casey.

                                    and having missed the first season I never got to know Tiffani F. until she won tan All Star event which was a 1 day cooking challenge.

                                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                      I meant to say an All Star even not tan, she is far from tan. lol

                                    2. re: ChefJune

                                      I think Casey is there because of the drama she created with messing up Carla in her finale. Drama sells.

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        But her talent doesn't go quite as far

                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                          She was in the finale for TC Season 3 so she must have had some cooking talent.

                                          1. re: John E.

                                            we all see things differently. I did wonder how she'd gotten there. the finale...

                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                              I think there have been others in the finale (or close) less deserving than Casey. Lisa Fernandez (season 4) comes to mind or Elia (2).

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                You know Casey this first episode really did make me like her. I was a little bitter over the Carla thing and I believe I read an interview where Casey came off nasty in it after that. But so far she's doing well, got major props from Gail and has buried the Hatchet with Carla.

                                                Agreed on Elia

                                        2. re: chowser

                                          I wasn't a fan of Casey after the Carla thing but this first episode has me thinking twice about her skills and talent. She did very well on her season, and I liked her then.

                                          Gail gave her props for her dish she was from what it sounds like scored pretty high. I think the Carla thing was just circumstance and bad luck. I don't think you can play the blame game, Carla messed up by not cooking her food and Casey messed up for pushing her to do so.

                                          I'm glad that it looks like that hatchet is buried though.

                                      2. The only Top Chef I enjoy is Top Chef Masters. And give me Iron Chef any day over anything else. I don't care about personalities, I care about food.

                                        1. I am really happy to see that Tiffany Derry is one of the "uh-oh's" that are returning. Her undoing on season 7 was a quirk of bad luck with a malfunctioning refrigerator turned rogue freezer. Adding insult to injury, Dallas news recently reported that the owners of her "Go Fish" restaurant, closed up and stole away in the night leaving her and her staff in a bewildered quandary.

                                          Edit: just looked at all who will be returning. This is going to be a fun (provide your own definition of "fun) season, for sure!
                                          http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                          1. my dvr is set and ready to go! yipee!

                                            1. so excited for the premier on wed! DVR is set to go (even though theres no way im gunna miss it! haha)

                                              1. Bravo has some preview clips up. The first quickfire is to team up with the chef(s) from your season and cook the season/location's food. The elimination seems to be recreating the dish that got the chef eliminated.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ediblover

                                                  Hah! That is a double blow isn't it. Being eliminated first and getting eliminated for the same dish that sent you home in the first place.

                                                  Should be a pretty good episode, nerves of steel, balls of brass, and vah jay jays of diamonds.

                                                2. I cannot wait until season 8 begins! I, like a lot other hounds, was pretty disappointed with season 7...didn't really have a favorite cheftestant.
                                                  For the upcoming season I'm rooting for Jen from Season 6. That was absolutely my favorite season, and wouldn't have minded if any of the top 4--Brian V., Michael V., Kevin, or Jen--won.
                                                  Can't wait for the show to start and being able to come onto Chowhound to read everyones' thoughts! 3 more days!

                                                  1. I'll have to watch a couple episodes of this all-star TC before I can pick a favorite. I do have some that I think are not too likable, at least they weren't in their TC appearances, they are in no particular order: Spike, Mike, Stephen and Marcel. I found each of them to be annoying for differing reasons. Out of the other 14, some I like and others I don't care one way or another. An interesting part of this new TC is that we won't have to spend the first several episodes trying to remember who is who. (In season 6 I think it was about the 4th episode before I could reliably figure out which Voltaggio brother was on screen).

                                                    1. Hey LindaWhit - you are gonna run your synopses again aren't you? Please? I'm away from cable and any decent Internet for downloading for a while so I may be relying on your detailed commentary! Thanks so much.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: applehome

                                                        LOL! If folks want me to do so, I guess I can start that up again. :-)

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          oh, please do Linda!

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            LindaWhit - you're the greatest! TIA! Your synopses were the best thing about last season's snore of a show...

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Yes, please do it! Thanks in advance!

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                YES, PLEASE!

                                                            2. not REALLY any spoilers in this. interesting that they're getting even showier. not sure i'll like that but i'll still watch...

                                                              http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch...

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                                Paula Deen as a guest? ::::gritting my teeth::::

                                                                Tony had better be on that episode - I wanna hear his snark. :-)

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  Paula and Tony mud wrestle for oysters. You heard it here.

                                                                  jb

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    "Tony had better be on that episode - I wanna hear his snark. :-)"
                                                                    ~~~~~~~
                                                                    now *that* should be fun :)

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      Why oh why would they pull her no-nothing cackle in to ruin even one episode?

                                                                      1. re: CocoaNut

                                                                        maybe they have a butter elimination challenge.

                                                                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                          +10 on a scale of 1-10 for that one!

                                                                  2. when we're talking about "last season" here, are ya'll referring to just desserts or season 7 of top chef?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                                                      season 7

                                                                    2. I always liked Marcel, I didn't say his hair so much tho. Think he has unique talent, that's a positive

                                                                      1. Bryan Voltaggio and Stefan were both asked to be in All Stars, but both declined.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: sibeats

                                                                          Got Blais in the fantasy draft, I think my chances are good.

                                                                          1. re: sibeats

                                                                            Im surprised Stefan declined as I'm sure his ego would have enjoyed another season. Maybe too much drama for two talented chefs

                                                                          2. Is there a list on here who's participating? Haven't read all posts

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                              This earlier thread has it all, or you could go to Bravo's TC website:

                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/735782

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                thanks to Linda and Graydon, I found both.

                                                                                watched it at 1:30am when I got home from work our son had taped it for me.
                                                                                liked it, still like Marcel and really liked and got a kick out of the Italian guy is it Fabio?
                                                                                anyway, loved how he stood up to AB regardless of AB's reputation as being a great and talented chef. Thought the one who was first to be sent home this season deserved it. Also thought that chef [saying it that way as to not spoil for those who haven't seen it yet although it may already be posted here, no time to look/read] seemed very fragile to me viewing it anyway, just my opinion.

                                                                              2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                Television Without Pity did a fun "Love, Hate or Love to Hate" photo gallery:

                                                                                http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/...

                                                                                1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                  I think they're WAY wrong re: Tiffani Faison: "She's going to be the one who picks fights with everyone this season, and it's going to be awesome. " Disagree. I think she's entered a much mellower stage and she doesn't seem anywhere near as harsh.

                                                                                  As for their comment re: Marcel - there' s no way he'll remain "awkwardly polite."

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    There are several comments I don't agree with. I'll keep posting with you guys ;-)

                                                                                    1. re: momjamin

                                                                                      You're right. They're wrong about Tiffani, Marcel and Elia. Marcel never got his head shaved and while Tiffani was a b*tch in season one her reign as the moated hated was quickly over due to Marcel's arrival. Ellis would not have been eliminated if Cliff hadn't wrestled Marcel to the floor, the judges all said on camera that he had the worst food and would likely have been eliminated anyway. Oh, and Richard didn't deserve to win, he chocked, remember?

                                                                                  2. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                    im honestly still trying to figure out why everyone loves Jen Carrol so much. i thought she was OK on her season, and had some great dishes every once in a while, but i think it was more a rare spark than a normal thing that was just effected by pressure. plus, if you cant handle the pressure on top chef, you're not gunna do very well. especially on a season of all stars. would have much rather seen Kevin come back than Jen from their season.

                                                                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                      Really? Seriously?

                                                                                      Of course you would like to see Kevin come back. He was the final 3 and not the 4 that jen was but Jen was 4 on a tough season and for that she is a bad ass.

                                                                                      Kevin declined and that is why he isn't there.

                                                                                      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                        mattstolz said "plus, if you cant handle the pressure on top chef, you're not gunna do very well. "
                                                                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                        I guess being personally selected by Chef Eric Ripert to be his Chef de Cuisine at 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge in Philadelphia since its opening in 2008 -- a restaurant that is now a 3-star Michelin-rated restaurant -- isn't "doing very well", S_S.

                                                                                        Sucks to be her. :-)

                                                                                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                          i didnt know kevin declined. but honestly he was by far my favorite chef on that season all the way through. he was consistent, he was humble, and he cooked food that looked and sounded delicious and relatable. i was hoping he would win right up to the finale. i would much rather see a chef who takes familiar, homey food and can elevate it well win every time.

                                                                                          with the exception of richard blais. i pretty much just think he is awesome.

                                                                                          but i stand by my statement that if the pressure got to someone in a normal season of top chef, this season is only gunna be that much more intense. i just got tired of her sitting there complaining of her self doubt for like three episodes in a row.

                                                                                  3. This is a little off topic...but in the finale reruns Bravo is showing Mike Voltaggio had a good line. He's making soft boiled eggs sous vide style and is a little worried they won't be done in time. He said "It's up to the egg at this point".

                                                                                    1. This season already seems kinda boring because we know none of these chefs is going to have a disaster, a complete failure. Which is why you need somebody flamboyant like Bourdain to CALL a dish a disaster, when in fact it probably is simply just not completely perfect.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                        i dunno i think several of these chefs are still capable of disasters in the right circumstances. plus, it makes it even more interesting when someone DOES have one, because youre not expecting it.

                                                                                        1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                          agree and we have a lot of chefs that have been known to teeter up and down. It's still anyone's game.

                                                                                        2. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                          There's always going to be a disaster. All of the chefs are talented, but something, whether it's something in their control or not, will inevitably happen that will lead to an absolute wreck of a dish. Odds are better that you bet on it happening than not.

                                                                                          The only thing that would surprise me is if an underdog wins the competition. In every season we can identify the contenders from the not after a few episodes and I can't recall a single season in which a contestant that was weak early on won the whole thing.

                                                                                          1. re: ediblover

                                                                                            While Kevin in TC 7 did well in the first episode, he didn't do well in the next three eliminations, in fact he was in the bottom in episodes 3 and 4. In fact, I just looked it up, Kevin the winner of TC 7 was in the bottom of the elimination challenge 5 times. Hosea (5) was in the bottom 4 times, Hung (3) and Stephanie (4) 3 times and Harold (1) and Ilan (2) were in the bottom 2 times while Michael Voltaggio (6) was at the bottom of an elimination challenge only once. My OCB made me look them up on Wikipedia.

                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                              It goes up and down. The strong chefs make their presence felt (early) and while they may end up in the bottom at times (with things like safe Puerto Rican food) they've already establish themselves. The other chefs in the house certain thought highly of Kevin (or at least they were in their commentary).

                                                                                              An underdog from last season would be the young female chef. I recall her having only one successful dish (the bbq ribs) and she made several mistakes such as making a soup to disguise her soup, improperly cooking grass-fed beef, using up budget on buying alcohol to serve to kids, not cutting veggies the same size, the great minestrone and pasta debate, etc.. In the Vegas season it was Robin (Or was it Robyn?); even though she got far (top 5?), no one thought she'd win it all.

                                                                                              This season, Stephen certainly fits the bill. I also don't have much confidence in Dale L, Antonia, and Tiffany D.