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Which previous TC winners would be competitive in TC All Stars?

chowser Dec 12, 2010 09:13 AM

The TC All Stars didn't win their season and yet, many are top chefs (not in terms of the competition but in terms of skills). When someone as talented as Jen sizzles and burns so quickly, how do you think previous winners would do this time? Who do you think could make it to the finals against the All Stars:

Season 1: Howard Dieterle
Season 2: Ilan Hall
Season 3: Hung Huynh
Season 4: Stephanie Izard
Season 5: Hosea Rosenberg
Season 6: Michael Voltaggio
Season 7: Kevin Sbraga

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  1. y
    yuyu RE: chowser Dec 12, 2010 09:28 AM

    Bryan Voltaggio for the win!

    1 Reply
    1. re: yuyu
      chowser RE: yuyu Dec 12, 2010 09:30 AM

      Yeah, I think both of the Voltaggio brothers would do great this time around.

    2. ipsedixit RE: chowser Dec 12, 2010 09:33 AM

      Hung (Season 3)

      Anyone think that Howard (Season 1) was the weakest TC winner?

      12 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        d
        donovt RE: ipsedixit Dec 12, 2010 09:37 AM

        I would think Hosea would be the weakest winner.

        1. re: donovt
          chowser RE: donovt Dec 12, 2010 09:40 AM

          I agree--Hosea.

          1. re: chowser
            ipsedixit RE: chowser Dec 12, 2010 09:43 AM

            You think Howard could hang with Hosea?

            1. re: ipsedixit
              d
              donovt RE: ipsedixit Dec 12, 2010 09:58 AM

              I'm not sure who Howard is, but I think Harold is a way better chef than hosea.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                d
                debbiel RE: ipsedixit Dec 15, 2010 07:25 PM

                I would put both Hosea and Ilan below Harold.

                1. re: debbiel
                  Withnail42 RE: debbiel Dec 16, 2010 04:17 AM

                  Hosea and Ilan would certainly be in a tie for the bottom.

          2. re: ipsedixit
            c
            charmedgirl RE: ipsedixit Dec 14, 2010 05:17 AM

            Harold the weakest?? No freakin' way!! ;-)

            IMO, Hosea was the weakest, followed by Ilan. I also have a really hard time buying that Kevin Sbraga made the best finale ever, or whatever it was that Colicchio said. He flew under the radar for me the entire season. None of his food ever excited me. Maybe I'd feel differently if I had tasted it, but based on just watching the show, I'd put him below Harold as well.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              cowboyardee RE: ipsedixit Dec 16, 2010 08:52 PM

              I'll go there:
              Harold was one of the weakest winners at the time of his win (Ilan was probably weaker, though it's hard to judge his abilities since so many of his dishes were ripped off). Of course, he's had time to develop since then, and he might be more formidable now - I know his recent restaurant is well reviewed (which, BTW, doesn't have all that much to do with how good of a Top Chef contestant you are). It's more than fair to suspect Hosea would have the advantage going into a Top Chef style contest.

              People tend to put too much emphasis on how well a contestant did within their season, without factoring in that the talent levels were not by any means even across the seasons. Harold beat amateurs, line cooks, private 'chefs' and caterers in fairly convincing fashion and he did so mostly with straightforward dishes that wouldn't have stood out past the first two seasons. His most impressive dishes - a duo of beef with creamy polenta, steamed snapper with squash puree, and a competent ceviche with popcorn fritters. Delicious, I'm sure - but nowhere near as ambitious as the dishes that win challenges now.

              1. re: cowboyardee
                Miss Needle RE: cowboyardee Dec 17, 2010 10:38 AM

                I'd have to agree with you. Harold had a tendency to play things safe. His technical skills were strong, but he didn't extend himself too much. Safety was fine for Season 1 where he was going up against a culinary student, granola chef, etc. If Tiffany nailed her finale dishes, she would have probably won. But in order to make it through certain seasons (eg. Seasons 4 and 6), he would have had to step up his game. When competing against contestants like Richard Blais and Michael Voltaggio where they pushed the envelope, yet are still able to deliver technically, a duo of beef with polenta probably wouldn't have been enough.

                1. re: Miss Needle
                  SDGourmand RE: Miss Needle Dec 17, 2010 11:00 AM

                  I agree but then again look at Kevin G.. He held up well to the Voltaggios and has a similar style to Harold.. I think Kevin could take Harold though..

                  1. re: SDGourmand
                    Miss Needle RE: SDGourmand Dec 17, 2010 11:14 AM

                    True. You bring up a good point about Kevin's style being similar to Harold's. But I think Kevin G is a lot brighter than Harold and knows how to play the game better -- ie. describing his meat as "toothsome" (even though he misused the meaning of the word) in the Napa finale so the judges can't fault him for that.

                    I also think my views are colored by the fact that I've eaten Harold's food several times. The food for the most part was delicious. But was it super memorable with a wow factor? Not for me. I found a lot of the seasoning to be on the timid side. But the food was very well executed.

                    1. re: SDGourmand
                      cowboyardee RE: SDGourmand Dec 17, 2010 11:45 AM

                      Kevin's and Harold's styles were similar only in a vague sort of way - they cook from different culinary bases (upscale Southern vs New York francophile haute cuisine), but both tend to win on flavor and comfort rather than wowing with technical prowess.

                      But Marcel's style was similar to Ferran Adria's. Doesn't say much about how they'd fare in competition compared to each other. Talent is a big factor.

              2. t
                tldmatrix RE: chowser Dec 12, 2010 09:41 AM

                All of them would do really well, besides Hosea. Finals would be voltaggio, blais, angelo if the winners were added to the season.

                http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                1. ipsedixit RE: chowser Dec 14, 2010 09:33 AM

                  Did anyone know that Kevin (Season 7) named his recent newborn ... Angelo?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    gaffk RE: ipsedixit Dec 14, 2010 03:56 PM

                    I did see that--hysterical.

                  2. LindaWhit RE: chowser Dec 15, 2010 05:32 PM

                    I think Hung and Michael Voltaggio would hang with this crowd. Stephanie wouldn't win, but would probably do pretty well. I'd *love* to see Bryan Voltaggio in this group - he'd have a very good chance of winning.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LindaWhit
                      goodhealthgourmet RE: LindaWhit Dec 15, 2010 06:07 PM

                      agree on all counts, LW. i also think Harold could hang...he's wuiet but dangerous :)

                      Ilan & Hosea wouldn't have a prayer, and i have no idea how Kevin S would do. he did manage to win over some good competitors last season, and i'd actually be curious to see how he would fare against Angelo a second time.

                    2. Withnail42 RE: chowser Dec 15, 2010 05:50 PM

                      Ah poor Howard such a weak chef we've already forgotten about you.

                      As for Harold...he just got two stars in the NY Times for his new restaurant.

                      1. SDGourmand RE: chowser Dec 15, 2010 05:53 PM

                        Hung vs M. Voltaggio. Hung for the win

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: SDGourmand
                          goodhealthgourmet RE: SDGourmand Dec 15, 2010 06:01 PM

                          hmm, i think i'd actually take Voltaggio in that one...but it'd be close.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            cowboyardee RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 16, 2010 08:56 PM

                            I'm not even sure it'd be close. M. Voltaggio had an uncanny knack for swinging for the fences on every challenge and actually hitting most of em out of the park. He's just perfectly cut out for this type of competition. I'd give him the advantage over most of the Top Chef Masters contestants.

                            I think Hung is pretty great, btw - not trying to take anything away from his cooking.

                            1. re: cowboyardee
                              SDGourmand RE: cowboyardee Dec 17, 2010 06:54 AM

                              As I think of it more Volt probably would take the win.. was he ever in the bottom 3 at all in his season?

                              1. re: SDGourmand
                                John E. RE: SDGourmand Dec 17, 2010 08:26 AM

                                He was in bottom of the cactus quickfire and the bottom of the dinner party challenge (overcooked halibut).

                        2. John E. RE: chowser Dec 15, 2010 07:47 PM

                          I think every one of them could make the finals. They've already proven they have the ability to do so. Now which of them would actually make it to the finals has too many variables to say with any certainty. Plus with 25 chefs competing, it would be even more difficult.

                          1. g
                            gastrotect RE: chowser Dec 16, 2010 09:03 AM

                            Other than Hosea and Ilan, both of whom are appreciably weaker than the others, I think all the winners would be right in the mix. Michael and Hung in particular would be serious contenders. I think Kevin would hang for a bit, but not do too hot ultimately.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: gastrotect
                              SDGourmand RE: gastrotect Dec 16, 2010 09:30 AM

                              It's pretty crazy that both Kevin and Hung have worked under M. Voltaggio and all three won there seasons of TC.

                            2. John E. RE: chowser Dec 16, 2010 09:13 AM

                              One thing to keep in mind when dissing Harold and Ilan...their seasons were produced over 5 and 4 years ago. Their cooking skills have likely improved since their TC days.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: John E.
                                NellyNel RE: John E. Dec 16, 2010 11:44 AM

                                I don't know - but I have a sense that the fact that Ilan and Hosea are not respected as chefs has a lot to do with how unpleasant their personalites were.

                                I watched a re-run of Ilans season yesterday, and I couldnt believe how obnoxious he was. I wanted to jump through the tv and punch him one!

                                I'm not saying either of them are great, I mean, I don't remember being blown away by their food, but I think the dis-taste has more to do with THEM than their food.

                                1. re: NellyNel
                                  d
                                  debbiel RE: NellyNel Dec 16, 2010 06:30 PM

                                  I just don't recall ever being interested in either one's food. I do, however, remember thinking that there were several challenges where Ilan just skated through, where he could have easily been sent home. But...that was a long time ago and my TC memory might not be great.

                                  1. re: debbiel
                                    Ruth Lafler RE: debbiel Dec 17, 2010 09:28 AM

                                    Ilan was the original one-trick pony -- most of his dishes were based on dishes he'd done as a line cook at Casa Mono, which weren't even "his" dishes.

                                    I think winning Top Chef probably was bad for Ilan: it gave him an over-inflated sense of his own abilities.

                                  2. re: NellyNel
                                    John E. RE: NellyNel Dec 16, 2010 06:52 PM

                                    Ilan did go overboard with his animosity for Marcel. Except for his behavior with Leah, I didn't mind Hosea at all. In fact, I thought season 5 was one of the more entertaining seasons, certainly more entertaining than season 7. The parameters of the challenges are enough different so I don't see how comparing food from one season to the next is particularly valid. A lot of people seem to think Stefan was the best chef that season and yet Hosea did out cook him in the finale.

                                  3. re: John E.
                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: John E. Dec 16, 2010 02:50 PM

                                    Harold's doing quite well for himself in NYC...and Ilan's place here in LA is still open, so that's something :)

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                      Withnail42 RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 17, 2010 02:26 AM

                                      I though that Ilan's place was shut down by the health department a while back.

                                      1. re: Withnail42
                                        SDGourmand RE: Withnail42 Dec 17, 2010 06:48 AM

                                        they shut him down after a week of being open because of a plumbing issues I think.. Took him a month to fix and then reopen..

                                        1. re: Withnail42
                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Withnail42 Dec 17, 2010 08:10 AM

                                          as SDG explained, it was temporary. and while i hate to defend Ilan, that happens more often than one might think.

                                      2. re: John E.
                                        cowboyardee RE: John E. Dec 16, 2010 09:00 PM

                                        That's certainly true. But it's more interesting to discuss them as they were at the time of their seasons, since most of us don't know anything much about how they've developed since.

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