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Top Chef, or Should I Say Top Scallop?

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Although this year's all star lineup is shaping up to perhaps be my favorite season, there are certain ingredients I'd prefer they retire. If someone new to Earth were to tune in, I'm afraid they'd think the oceans have little more to offer than the cosmopolitan bivalve and the only edible part of the pig the belly. Are there any ingredients you wish the producers would 86?

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  1. i was about to say pork belly...and then i finished reading your post :)

    they'd probably also think that the only way we prepare our food is either by cooking it in a plastic bag - sous vide - or serving it raw - carpaccio, crudo, sashimi.

    i'd love to see an entire episode - QF and EC - in which the chefs aren't allowed to employ their favorite/fallback techniques or ingredients. no sous vide or liquid nitro for Blais, no pasta for Fabio, no scallops or soup for Jamie, no foams for Marcel, no fish sauce, soy sauce or curry for Angelo...

    11 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Definitely no foams.

      An 'outside the comfort zone' episode would be great fun, maybe not for the chefs, but their creativity and skills would certainly be called out and viewers would have a clearer idea of who really knows their stuff.

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        Carla would crush this challenge as she uses the fewest tricks.

        jb

        1. re: JuniorBalloon

          But I also think that Blais could/would do well in such a challenge, as long as he remembers not to load up the plate with a gazillion flavors.

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        -no scallops of soup for Jamie-

        im actually pretty positive that Jamie's favorite fallback technique is avoiding cooking in the competition altogether.

        1. re: mattstolz

          ha! you're absolutely right :)

          1. re: mattstolz

            Agree!

          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Obviously scallops are a fav because they cook quickly or don't need to be cooked at all, which is perfect for a Quick Challenge

            1. re: scubadoo97

              "obviously" is exactly the point.

              scallops cook quickly. and doing carpaccio, crudo or sashimi is even quicker because they don't need to be cooked at all. but we all know that, and so do the judges...and it's just a bit too predictable and uninspired when it's done over. and over. and over again.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              They could easily create this challenge by siting it in a "normal" home kitchen instead of a commercial kitchen - that would be really fun! They could have access to a blender and toaster - that's it. Maybe this has been done already (I haven't seen all the seasons) - but I would love to see it.

              1. re: aching

                They did this in a Vegas season. They all had to cook with unusual items that were in the house they were all stying in. If I remember correctly Brain almost went home because he failed to control the heat on an electric griddle and over cooked some fish.

                jb

                1. re: JuniorBalloon

                  That was his brother Michael. Ash was having some serious man-crush issues with him that episode. It's also the episode where Eli threw Ashley under the bus. Why do I remember this stuff? Nobody in my real life knows this about me.

            3. The ubiquitous arugala salad.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jackbauer

                Gnocci!

                1. re: NellyNel

                  but what would Fabio do (WWFD?)

                  Oh I know, I made my own penne from a potato dough!

                  1. re: NellyNel

                    Thankfully you said it...........I'm waiting for the obvious soundbite........Fabio will criticize Jamie for something, then the scene switches to a Jamie interview where she comes back with "This is Top Chef, not Top Gnocci!!!"

                    Tre is the guy that I think can catch fire and win some upcoming challenges. I do like the way he kept his mouth shut (granted he had immunity) when the only things his dish got hammered for were handled by Angelo. That being said, it's your dish, you have the right to say "leave me alone, leave my dish alone"......given Tre's size, I would back the F off if he asked me to.....just sayin'.

                2. Yes, and tie Angelo up with duct tape so he keeps his hands out of other people's food!

                  1. Frankly, I'd like to see the whole concept 86'd. It's tired, formulaic and paralytically boring. Its survival obviously hinges on dirt-cheap production values and an inexplicable hunger for watching hapless/arrogant clowns run amok. Gee, isn't that why people watch Dr. Drew and the Celeb Rehab crew?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      What exactly are you referring to, Kagemusha?
                      Do you mean Top Chef, itself?

                      If so, I couldnt disagree more.
                      These guys are talented chef, who seem to be far more creative - spur-of the-moment wise than I could ever hope to be - certainly not "hapless/arrogant clowns"

                      What must you think of the Real Housewives???!

                    2. Lose the liquid nitrogen once in a while.

                      1. I agree with the OP although I would buy and cook pork belly at least once if I ever saw it in the store. (And I live in a big hog production state).

                        Does anybody here prepare and eat carpaccio, crudo or tartare at home?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: John E.

                          Does anybody here prepare and eat carpaccio, crudo or tartare at home?
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~
                          not on a regular basis! ;) no crudo, but i have done carpaccio & tartare for special occasions.