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Top Chef Masters Finale.....nobody is doing it?..... [SPOILERS!]

Shrinkrap Sep 26, 2012 11:00 PM

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!

So it's Chris.

The whole time I'm thinking...are they playing us? Chris' letters ( love, apology, to self, and....??? ) seem more authentic, but Kerry's food might be what most folks want to eat. The Saveur guy wants Kerry, but Ruth wants Chris. That gifttaste guy says best in thirty years, and he doesn't even look thirty years old. I want to know more about him. Maybe I will order something.

Wish I could do this justice, but it's pretty late here.

I'm impressed with how young Chris seems, looking for a res at Incanto, and digging his Boccalone pig jowls out of my freezer. But I don't want no babies. Husband says "Hell, no!", to the res, and probably the babies. Daughter says this is "edgy".

What's next?

  1. Brian S Oct 1, 2012 08:40 PM

    Look at any art and you'll see a defining moment when fresh young winds swept in and blew the old guys away. In painting, when the stuffy academics of 1860 rejected the Impressionists and those young guys set up their own show. Or film, when Godard's "Breathless", which looks as fresh now as it did 55 years ago, first hit the screens and began the New Wave. Or music, when Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry first hit the airwaves and a snoozing young generation turned on their radios and woke up.

    Most of the judges viewed this show as one of those moments. And perhaps they are right (though Kerry isn't much older than Chris). But the thing is... Kerry cooked better food!! They called him safe, calming, soothing... but if I'm looking for a food to take me to the heights of epiphany and ecstasy, if I'm wanting a meal to prove that Gael Greene was wrong when she said sex is better than food, well then I'll go with Kerry's cooking style, thank you very much. Yes Chris is flamboyant and he would have cut a brash and brazen swathe through, say, the Paris of Picasso and Hemingway... but blood sausage and an egg? I can get better blood sausage in any joint in Newark's Ironbound neighborhood.

    19 Replies
    1. re: Brian S
      d
      debbiel Oct 1, 2012 09:07 PM

      I can certainly see how you could say you would prefer to try Kerry's food, but I'm not sure how you would know that he cooked better food. Or that you could get better blood sausage at any joint in Ironbound. You didn't taste it, did you? The editing sure suggested that pretty much all of the food--Kerry's and Chris'--was very, very well received. As in delicious.

      1. re: debbiel
        Ruth Lafler Oct 1, 2012 10:57 PM

        I agree -- you can't know what it tasted like, so you can't compare it to anything else. You can't even tell from the editing. For example, the show included very few comments about Chris's tripe dish, but if you read the judge's blogs, they all raved about it. The editors underplayed the success of this dish to make it less obvious who was going to win (although I thought Chris was getting a "winners edit" from very early on).

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          Brian S Oct 2, 2012 11:21 AM

          I based it on what the Las Vegas critic said... that he'd had better blood sausage. I still remember when Jonathan Waxman, guru of California cuisine, got sent home in a Top Chef Masters round. He was famous for roast chicken and he presented a perfect roast chicken. When they sent him home, the critics said that it takes more than a perfect roast chicken to win one of the later rounds in Top Chef Masters. Evidently a blood sausage is better than a chicken.

          1. re: Brian S
            f
            FoodPopulist Oct 2, 2012 11:40 AM

            What conclusion do you come to when one critic is positive and another negative about the same dish? If you were paying attention, there was at least one dish from each chef that garnered both kudos and criticism from different critics. How do you interpret a critic saying that Kerry's branzino was one of the least expressive dishes he has ever seen?

            1. re: FoodPopulist
              ChefJune Oct 2, 2012 12:29 PM

              Just remember, the Elves edit everything so that we will hear what THEY want us to hear. and some of it CAN be taken out of context. Could it be?

            2. re: Brian S
              Robert Lauriston Oct 2, 2012 12:50 PM

              Curtas didn't get a vote. Oseland described the blood sausage as "flawless" in his blog, Reichl said it was "a joy to eat."

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                LindaWhit Oct 2, 2012 12:59 PM

                Nor did the critics eating at the table with them. The votes were from Ruth Reichl, James Oseland, Francis Lam, and Krista Simmons.

              2. re: Brian S
                LindaWhit Oct 2, 2012 12:57 PM

                That's one critic out of all of them plus the judges at the table.

                1. re: Brian S
                  Ruth Lafler Oct 2, 2012 12:58 PM

                  But you didn't say the judge said he'd had better blood sausage. You said YOU could get better blood sausage "in any joint in Newark's Ironbound neighborhood." How can you know that? You have no idea where in the universe of blood sausage Chris's fell. For all you know, the Las Vegas critic hates blood sausage. He clearly didn't like the *concept* of the dish, which may not have had anything to do with the relative worth of the blood sausage.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    LindaWhit Oct 2, 2012 01:03 PM

                    It always goes back to the fact that we, the viewers, cannot taste the food presented.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                      chowser Oct 3, 2012 03:28 PM

                      That's exactly what I was thinking, too. Based on the edited comments of one critic, that's a big jump. Francis Lam absolutely loved it, as did the others. The one critique just said that it didn't seem to be a stretch for a finale, as the type of food goes--that could be said for Kerry's entire meal. Chris failed to stretch for one course. Kerry failed to stretch for the whole dinner.

                      1. re: chowser
                        Robert Lauriston Oct 3, 2012 03:44 PM

                        Cosentino's blood sausage failed to impress one non-judge who was at the table during dinner. That guy just "reviewed" a restaurant that hasn't even opened yet.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          chowser Oct 3, 2012 03:59 PM

                          Really? I wonder if he tasted the blood sausage first... As Hugh Acheson put it:

                          http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...

                          "John Curtas continues the trend of men as critics being complete douchebags when he rails against Chris’ egg dish but don’t you worry, Lam has is playing contrarian and gives Chris’ dish a resounding thumbs up as a retort to the douchebag’s comments. We like Francis. I like the egg dish. Gutsy."

                          1. re: chowser
                            huiray Oct 3, 2012 11:50 PM

                            Two articles about Curtas, by way of a poster on TWoP (http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?showtopic=3214272&view=findpost&p=15263513):
                            http://eater.com/archives/2012/07/17/bourdain-calls-john-curtas-a-fucknut-over-idiotic-lazy-steakgate-reporting.php
                            http://www.vegaschatter.com/story/201...
                            The second one is a hoot, with many embedded links too. :-)

                            1. re: huiray
                              chowser Oct 4, 2012 04:32 AM

                              I liked the last article, and article in the link that Francis Lam wrote about whether critics should be trained chefs. I didn't know he'd gone to culinary school but that explains his cooking skills in the blind challenge. His knife skills were very impressive. I hope we see more of him.

                              http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...

                              1. re: chowser
                                f
                                FoodPopulist Oct 4, 2012 04:45 PM

                                I can imagine a Top Chef challenge where the contestants pick assistants based on a blind taste test of dishes and they turn out to be cooked by critics.

                    2. re: Brian S
                      Ruth Lafler Oct 2, 2012 01:06 PM

                      How is beef tenderloin and potato gratin -- no matter how perfect -- not almost the exact equivalent of a perfect roast chicken?

                2. re: Brian S
                  Robert Lauriston Oct 2, 2012 01:04 PM

                  The judges liked the blood sausage per se, but I think they were also impressed by the fact that he made it from scratch in the limited time allowed.

                  1. re: Brian S
                    chowser Oct 3, 2012 03:35 PM

                    From Oseland:

                    http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...

                    "It was a flawless sausage, an exquisitely fried egg, oysters that were the very essence of oysterness, and a bright green salad that spoke to everything else on the plate and brought it all together. Was it bold, was it a crazy leap of faith, was it a strange and potentially alienating last supper to serve to the critics? Yes, but I'll take it. It was perfect, and it was brave. It was the ideal finale to the finale."

                    If you can get better blood sausage in any joint in the Newark area, I need to pay a visit!

                  2. The Dairy Queen Sep 27, 2012 02:00 PM

                    By the way, is anyone familiar with Gilt Taste? It seems like mostly a catalogue to me, but it does apparently have some food writing too. (It describes itself as "a groundbreaking digital-magazine-catalog hybrid"). Ruth Reichl is listed as Editorial Advisor and Francis Lam is listed as Features Editor. I wonder if the writing is any good?

                    http://www.gilttaste.com/company/abou...

                    ~TDQ

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2012 02:11 PM

                      It's part of Gilt Groupe, an online retailer that specializes in high-ticket luxury items. I guess the hope is that the magazine part will draw people to the site.

                      http://www.gilt.com

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        Shrinkrap Sep 27, 2012 03:10 PM

                        Oops! I called him the "giftatse" guy, because that's how I think of it. I "subscribe" to it, and get emails about great things to buy. I have probably read a bit of their stuff as well.

                        1. re: Shrinkrap
                          k
                          Kirk_T Oct 4, 2012 10:23 AM

                          I don't subscribe to any of their emails, but I like their recipes section, where the three main writers are Lam, Reichl and Whitney Chen, who I gather was once a contestant on Food Network, but more importantly ex-Per Se. I remembered reading about this corn pudding from the TFL cookbook, but didn't try it until Chen wrote about it: it's a must-do during corn season.
                          http://www.gilttaste.com/stories/5659...

                      2. huiray Sep 27, 2012 09:19 AM

                        I was reading about this finale on another forum and I found it noteworthy how many posters there were doing the "ick etc routine" about Cosentino's offal offerings, his raw meat, and blood sausage. Yet further exemplification of the general USAmerican public's squickiness with such stuff?

                        I have to wonder if none of them had ever eaten German sausages/"lunch meats/head cheese/sausages" etc. No one had ever eaten Zungenwurst, say, or black pudding or other blood sausages?

                        18 Replies
                        1. re: huiray
                          LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 09:41 AM

                          I've had blood sausage in Ireland twice. One was downright bad - I think it was way overcooked. The other wasn't bad.

                          1. re: LindaWhit
                            chefhound Sep 27, 2012 09:51 AM

                            You should try Korean blood sausage. It's really delicious. It's a bit more accessible to the non-blood sausage lover because the blood is tempered by the vermicelli (I think that's what it is).

                            1. re: chefhound
                              LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 10:15 AM

                              I'd have to go to the large Asian market a few towns over (H-Mart) to find this, I suspect. As I just said to huiray, I'm not as adventurous as many hounds, and probably wouldn't go out of my way to either buy this for myself or order it for myself. However, if someone else ordered it at a restaurant and I was able to try it, I'd probably give it a go.

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                huiray Sep 27, 2012 10:31 AM

                                Maybe at this place? http://incanto.biz/

                                I would like very much to try that place myself and meet with the chef if he was in the house.

                                (Blood sausage is not on the sample menu http://incanto.biz/food-wine/sample-m... although I remember reading somewhere that it was (?). But note the second-from-bottom item in the "Starters" section. Heh.)

                                1. re: huiray
                                  Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2012 10:59 AM

                                  Incanto's menu changes daily and blood sausage turns up occasionally. In addition to the printed menu there's also a chalkboard with limited-quantity items, often including offal.

                                  You don't have to eat offal or even meat to eat well there.

                                  1. re: huiray
                                    Joanie Sep 28, 2012 06:51 AM

                                    I was at Incanto 5 years ago and we had a photo taken in front of the case filled with meats and random stuff, w/ my vegetarian friend haha. It was a fun meal, little did I know what a big deal that place would be. With that said, I really had no idea who would win and thought it could very well go to Kerry (as I think Kerry did too). Kind of wish I'd taped What Happens Next, just saw the first few minutes but it seemed better than usual.

                                     
                                    1. re: huiray
                                      LindaWhit Sep 28, 2012 07:02 AM

                                      A bit far for me to travel for blood sausage. :-)

                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                      ChefJune Sep 28, 2012 01:58 PM

                                      Linda, <However, if someone else ordered it at a restaurant and I was able to try it, I'd probably give it a go> that's how I "got into" sweetbreads years ago. It was ab Biba. and I've loved them ever since.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        roxlet Sep 30, 2012 05:41 AM

                                        I think Padma would be in your camp, LindaWHit-- as I am. Ironically, I saw a brief interview with Padma on the red carpet at the Emmys, and the interview asked her if there would be anything she'd be unhappy eating on Top Chef. Her answer? Tripe! Good thing she wasn't the judge in this TCM finale!

                                      2. re: chefhound
                                        l
                                        linus Sep 27, 2012 12:34 PM

                                        i find european blood sausages infinitely more accessible than korean blood sausage. soon dae, i think it's called, has a weird funk i don't dig. french and spanish blood sausages are less "different" tasting and highly spiced, in a warm (not hot) way.

                                        1. re: chefhound
                                          paulj Sep 27, 2012 12:46 PM

                                          All blood sausage is 'tempered' in the sense that sense that there's a lot of filler, or non-blood ingredients. There's a lot of variation from country to country. The Korean sausage that I've had, used a rice and cellophane noodle filling. Swedish is somewhat sweet, Mexican some heat.

                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                          huiray Sep 27, 2012 09:53 AM

                                          What about curdled ("set"/solidified) blood? (Blocks of "set" pig or chicken blood are not uncommon ingredients in various Chinese/SE Asian dishes and soups)

                                          ETA: Some images...
                                          https://www.google.com/search?q=%22%E...

                                          1. re: huiray
                                            LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 10:14 AM

                                            I'm definitely not as adventurous as many hounds. The thought of "curdled blood" doesn't sit well with my tummy, I'm afraid.

                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                            ChefJune Sep 27, 2012 10:17 AM

                                            I think it all depends upon the Blood sausage (and probably who made it!) I've had some that was delicious and others that were off-putting. I'd eat Chris' though!

                                          3. re: huiray
                                            Ruth Lafler Sep 27, 2012 12:28 PM

                                            The first time I had blood sausage was in France. It's hard to understand where the American squickiness about innards comes from. The Brits are famous for their innards as well (steak and kidney pie, and kidneys seem to have been a standard part of an English country-house breakfast).

                                            1. re: huiray
                                              Shrinkrap Sep 27, 2012 01:14 PM

                                              When the sausage was leaking a bit, and the sous chef described it as "out the ass"...yeah, that helped....

                                              1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                huiray Sep 27, 2012 01:44 PM

                                                That was "...coming out the ass..."; which Cosentino went on to refer to as "spoog[ing]" in the follow-on chit-chat they exchanged. :-) I'm sure you know the, uh, common meaning of that word. ;-)

                                                1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                  Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2012 01:52 PM

                                                  "I learned a lot about myself throughout this process [such as] why you shouldn't refer to Sriracha as 'cock sauce' when taping for a major network ..."

                                                  http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...

                                              2. huiray Sep 27, 2012 07:17 AM

                                                Hugh Acheson's blog contains the wonderful phrases "... just a simple four-course dinner for a bunch of sanctimonious paid yelpers. I think you call them dining critics."

                                                Hee! I think there are quite a number of those here on CH too except they do it for free. :-)

                                                http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...

                                                33 Replies
                                                1. re: huiray
                                                  LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 07:37 AM

                                                  I just broke out laughing at his letter to himself:

                                                  “Dear Hugh,

                                                  You are rocking a good hair day today. I want you to put this moment in a snuggly. Keep on keeping on.

                                                  Sincerely,
                                                  Hugh

                                                  P.S. Your fly is open.”

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                    j
                                                    jeanmarieok Sep 27, 2012 08:52 AM

                                                    He made me laugh with that. He's a really funny guy.

                                                    1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                      LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 09:06 AM

                                                      His entire blog was a joy to read. :-) And it looks like he's back as a judge on TC-Seattle. YAY!

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                        The Dairy Queen Sep 27, 2012 09:09 AM

                                                        Hugh is hilarious. And way to go Chris. And I'm thrilled Takashi won the Fan Favorite!

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                          j
                                                          Janet from Richmond Sep 27, 2012 09:46 AM

                                                          I am so glad to hear this!

                                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                            LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 11:02 AM

                                                            Ditto that, Janet. I'm hoping for some great comments from him at Judges Table.

                                                    2. re: huiray
                                                      chefhound Sep 27, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                      I'm sorry but I must repeat myself. I love Hugh Acheson! I mean I love, Love, LOVE Hugh! There's nothing sexier than a man with a quick wit, a way with words and some serious cooking skills.

                                                      Overall, this season turned out more or less as I had hoped. I would have preferred Takashi in the final over Kerry but at least he won fan fave. Chris won, which was the outcome I was hoping for.

                                                      Kerry's meal looked delicious but pretty safe. I mean, steak and potatoes? Really? I agree with the critic who said that Chris' food was more challenging. That's what I'm looking for. You can go to lots of fine dining places and get Kerry's style of food. I don't want to seem jaded but I need something more challenging than a perfectly prepared steak and potato.

                                                      Also agree with Debbiel above - Francis Lam has been a wonderful addition to the judging panel. I hope he's invited back for next season.

                                                      1. re: chefhound
                                                        d
                                                        Dee S Sep 27, 2012 08:30 PM

                                                        "There's nothing sexier than a man with a quick wit, a way with words and some serious cooking skills."

                                                        Yup.....and this is why I married my husband! ;-)

                                                        Great finale....hands down the best one yet. I loved Francis' comment about the oyster. Now I'm not a fan of offal and mollusks but I would have tried both of meals in a heartbeat.

                                                      2. re: huiray
                                                        l
                                                        linus Sep 27, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                        i wonder if hugh has ever taken the time to read the posts on yelp or chowhound, and then the writing of, say, ruth reichl or francis lam?

                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                          d
                                                          DGresh Sep 28, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                          I thought the episode was gently making fun of food critics. The editing seemed to purposely put wildly divergent opinions next to one another. "worst thing I ever ate" "a pig giving me a back massage" (that's a good thing?) "And that gal who seemed to have a one track mind? (second base, make-up sex).

                                                          And did anyone try to imagine Padma cooking dinner for the final two. Ha! I don't know much about Curtis, but apparently he really can put food on a plate.

                                                          1. re: DGresh
                                                            Miss Needle Sep 28, 2012 03:29 PM

                                                            I can definitely picture Padma cooking dinner before Kelly Choi.

                                                            1. re: Miss Needle
                                                              d
                                                              DGresh Oct 3, 2012 03:37 AM

                                                              I guess I meant my original comment as much as in "can she cook" (which I didn't know she could) but her personality as displayed on screen doesn't often come across as warm and welcoming.

                                                            2. re: DGresh
                                                              Robert Lauriston Sep 28, 2012 03:54 PM

                                                              Curtis Stone worked as a chef for Marco Pierre White before going into TV.

                                                              1. re: DGresh
                                                                l
                                                                linus Sep 29, 2012 09:06 AM

                                                                padma has published two cookbooks and hosted programs on the food network, including ones where she cooked.

                                                                1. re: linus
                                                                  p
                                                                  piccola Sep 30, 2012 05:10 AM

                                                                  I wish they would show her cooking more often, instead of emphasizing her other attributes. It would give her more cred as a judge.

                                                                  1. re: piccola
                                                                    l
                                                                    linus Sep 30, 2012 08:08 AM

                                                                    but cooking on that show isn't her job. you don't see gail simmons or colicchio (well, maybe once or twice) cook on the show, either.

                                                                    1. re: linus
                                                                      p
                                                                      piccola Sep 30, 2012 04:24 PM

                                                                      No, I know, but when they do the "get to know the host/judge" bits, they rarely give her a chance to show off her food knowledge in a concrete way. Her appreciation of food is clear, but I sometimes feel like her cooking cred isn't as showcased as much as the others.

                                                                      I feel like Gail gets her cred more from the magazine than from actual cooking, while Tom does get hands-on once in a while.

                                                                      1. re: piccola
                                                                        Ruth Lafler Sep 30, 2012 04:59 PM

                                                                        I actually don't have a problem with the critics not being chefs or even cooks -- 95 percent of their paying customers aren't food professionals either, and those are the people they're serving day in and day out.

                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                          p
                                                                          piccola Oct 1, 2012 06:18 PM

                                                                          No, I don't think it's necessary for critics, either. What I meant is, given that Padma seems to have cooking credentials, why are they not showcased more? Tom and some of the others who cook seem to get more opportunities to show their skills.

                                                                          1. re: piccola
                                                                            l
                                                                            linus Oct 2, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                                            because the show isn't about padma/colicchio/simmons/michelle obama/judge ted du jour cooking.
                                                                            the contestants cook. the judges judge. hijinks ensue.

                                                                            1. re: linus
                                                                              p
                                                                              piccola Oct 2, 2012 05:55 PM

                                                                              So then have none of the judges cook.

                                                                              1. re: piccola
                                                                                l
                                                                                linus Oct 3, 2012 06:03 AM

                                                                                i remember colicchio cooking once. how long has this show been on?

                                                                                1. re: linus
                                                                                  huiray Oct 3, 2012 06:16 AM

                                                                                  There have been 9 broadcasted seasons spanning March 2006 to March 2012.

                                                                                  Colicchio cooked the "lead dish" to establish a time for cooking that the contestants could not go over when it was their turn, in the Quickfire in Episode 5 Season 8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                                    l
                                                                                    linus Oct 3, 2012 08:21 AM

                                                                                    as someone once said, exactly my point.

                                                                        2. re: piccola
                                                                          huiray Sep 30, 2012 05:58 PM

                                                                          I personally don't think Tom Colicchio has much expertise outside of American and Italian-American cooking. His "pronouncements" on E/SE Asian cuisines for example is cringe-inducing and sometimes just plain wrong.

                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                            Ruth Lafler Sep 30, 2012 06:28 PM

                                                                            Indeed!

                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                              p
                                                                              piccola Oct 1, 2012 06:20 PM

                                                                              True. I don't think being a good cook necessarily makes you a good critic, I'm just wondering why we see some judges cook and not others.

                                                                              1. re: piccola
                                                                                Robert Lauriston Oct 2, 2012 09:17 AM

                                                                                Colicchio is a chef, or ex-chef, and has spent his life working in, running, and owning professional kitchens. Lakshmi is an ex-model and actress who has written a couple of cookbooks.

                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                  l
                                                                                  linus Oct 2, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                                                  and they're both on a t.v. show.

                                                                            2. re: piccola
                                                                              Robert Lauriston Oct 1, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                              I don't think working long hours in a restaurant kitchen doesn't given you much as much perspective for judging food as editorial jobs where you get to eat out all the time.

                                                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                p
                                                                                piccola Oct 1, 2012 06:21 PM

                                                                                I'm not sure I agree - I think both jobs can be equally useful in teaching someone to evaluate food. I just meant that Padma, who apparently can cook, doesn't get the chance to show her skills -- unlike some of her colleagues. She sometimes talks about her food experiences and her book, but that's it.

                                                                              2. re: piccola
                                                                                l
                                                                                linus Oct 1, 2012 02:59 PM

                                                                                top chef is an entertainment program. i don't get overly concerned about the "cred" of the judges. as long as they're articulate, funny and support what they say with some thought, it's enough for me.

                                                                                1. re: linus
                                                                                  p
                                                                                  piccola Oct 1, 2012 06:23 PM

                                                                                  Well, I'm not losing sleep over it, let's put it that way. :) But I find it interesting.

                                                                    2. b
                                                                      Berheenia Sep 27, 2012 06:57 AM

                                                                      The whole episode was refreshingly civilized, without the major screw-ups and over the top personality grumbling/shouting. Happy with the winner, he deserved it more, and all the food looked and sounded incredible but I would be more interested in eating at Kerry's restaurant than Chris's. Going to google a fennel gratin recipe after I finish this post.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Berheenia
                                                                        The Chowhound Team Sep 27, 2012 10:46 AM

                                                                        We split a discussion of how to prepare fennel to the Home Cooking board, here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/871013 . Enjoy.

                                                                      2. huiray Sep 27, 2012 06:31 AM

                                                                        No complaints about Cosentino's win, although I would have been fine with Heffernan too.

                                                                        I thought Cosentino did put more of himself into the food, as others have commented on; whereas Heffernan's food was perhaps "sleeker" but closer to the surface, if that makes sense. In both cases what they presented almost seemed like a continuation of the ethos and approach that came over to I as the viewer from the penultimate episode when they were coaching and driving their charges.

                                                                        1. LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 05:55 AM

                                                                          That's what I was thinking - that Kerry was going to win it *because* Chris took it pretty far out there. But I like that he stayed true to himself and his cooking.

                                                                          Francis Lam seemed very taken back by Kerry's explanation about the food he cooked for the "Letter to Yourself." And I *LOVED* that Francis loved Chris's blood sausage and fried egg, whereas the guy from Eating Las Vegas was totally dismissive. In "Watch What Happens" after the finale, Chris said he was fully aware that that guy didn't like him.

                                                                          Very glad Chris won. When he chose to go to the butcher shop, I was thinking "he'll get the ingredients he *wants* vs. what Whole Foods carries" and thought that might carry him through for the win (although I was a bit nervous with his last minute plating on several courses). And what was Kerry thinking when he asked if WF had lobsters? They didn't "run out" as Kerry said - they haven't carried lobsters in at least a year.

                                                                          OH! And on Watch What Happens, the top two vote getters for Fan Favorite were Takashi and Lorena. (REALLY? Lorena was a fan favorite?) But Takashi pulls out the FF win.

                                                                          And Top Chef-Seattle starts November 7th.

                                                                          41 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            d
                                                                            debbiel Sep 27, 2012 06:27 AM

                                                                            I also noticed that Francis Lam seemed taken aback with Kerry's explanation. And by taken aback, I mean he looked unimpressed. I thought Eating LV dude was pretty rude. Obviously I was not there to eat the food, but could it really have been THAT bad to someone who apparently enjoys blood sausage?

                                                                            I was really impressed that Chris stayed true to himself. I am not suggesting that Kerry did not do so. It's just that Chris' self is a little less comfortable for many folks. Good on him. And of course, I know that at least one of his love letters was really to me; he just couldn't say so on television.

                                                                            I liked Frances Lam as a judge. I hope they have him back.

                                                                            1. re: debbiel
                                                                              huiray Sep 27, 2012 07:05 AM

                                                                              He might need to have certain procedures done if he is to return as Frances Lam. ;-P

                                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                                LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 07:17 AM

                                                                                Hah!

                                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  debbiel Sep 27, 2012 07:18 AM

                                                                                  Oops! :-)

                                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                                    C. Hamster Sep 29, 2012 12:34 PM

                                                                                    BWAH!!!

                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                  ChefJune Sep 27, 2012 08:25 AM

                                                                                  I am so glad Takashi won FF. I wanted him to take the whole thing. I missed that part on WWHL.

                                                                                  But last night I was very glad Chris won. And when I go to San Francisco in April I HAVE to eat at Incanto!

                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                    The Dairy Queen Sep 27, 2012 09:29 AM

                                                                                    Does Takashi get more money for his charity for winning FF?

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                      LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 09:38 AM

                                                                                      Yes, Andy said that he'd get a donation, but didn't say how much.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        ChefJune Sep 27, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                                                        I think FF gets 10k

                                                                                    2. re: ChefJune
                                                                                      LulusMom Sep 28, 2012 02:03 PM

                                                                                      Ditto my next trip to San Francisco. And on being glad that Chris won. They really edited it so that I thought Kerry was going to win.

                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                        Miss Needle Sep 28, 2012 03:32 PM

                                                                                        That's funny because I had the exact opposite reaction. The editing made me think that Chris was going to win.

                                                                                        1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                          Robert Lauriston Sep 28, 2012 03:45 PM

                                                                                          In the judges' last discussion I counted Reichl, Lam, and Simmons for Cosentino, so was pretty sure he was the winner.

                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Sep 28, 2012 07:32 PM

                                                                                            I was pretty sure from the editing Chris was going to win as well -- especially the clips of him telling Kerry he was sure Kerry was going to win.

                                                                                        2. re: ChefJune
                                                                                          p
                                                                                          piccola Sep 30, 2012 05:02 AM

                                                                                          I really like Chris and his approach to food - despite the fact that as a vegetarian, I will never be able to eat anything he makes. Which says something about his on-screen charisma.

                                                                                          1. re: piccola
                                                                                            pamf Sep 30, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                                                            Not necessarily true, the late summer sample menu from his restaurant in SF shows lots of vegetable options.

                                                                                            http://incanto.biz/food-wine/sample-m...

                                                                                            1. re: pamf
                                                                                              p
                                                                                              piccola Sep 30, 2012 04:18 PM

                                                                                              Sorry, I should have been more clear -- I meant the stuff he makes on the show. :)

                                                                                              1. re: piccola
                                                                                                Robert Lauriston Sep 30, 2012 04:53 PM

                                                                                                He did at least five vegetarian dishes this season.

                                                                                                http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/portobello-bordelaise-with-mashed-potatoes-and-spinach
                                                                                                http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/romaine-lettuce-with-radish-egg-and-soft-herbs
                                                                                                http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/zabaione-and-summer-fruit
                                                                                                http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/marinated-wild-mushrooms-with-toasted-pine-nuts
                                                                                                http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                  p
                                                                                                  piccola Oct 1, 2012 06:14 PM

                                                                                                  Hey, thanks - I'd forgotten those in all his offal talk. Although the zabaglione doesn't really count, since dessert doesn't normally have meat :)

                                                                                                  1. re: piccola
                                                                                                    Robert Lauriston Oct 2, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                                                                    I've had a number of non-vegetarian desserts at Incanto, though most if not all were part of special head-to-tail / quinto quarto dinners.

                                                                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen Oct 2, 2012 09:24 AM

                                                                                                      Did they all involve bacon?

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                        Robert Lauriston Oct 2, 2012 12:40 PM

                                                                                                        Not that I recall. He's made candied coxcombs, chocolate-pork blood gelato and panna cotta, chocolate pork liver ganache, mincemeat pie, suet pudding, candied beef tendon, and foie gras panna cotta.

                                                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                          The Dairy Queen Oct 2, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                                                                          Wow! Were they all good and truly dessert-y?

                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                            Robert Lauriston Oct 2, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                                                                            Yeah. Most of them I might not have known they weren't vegetarian if the menu hadn't said what they were made from. The very meaty mincemeat pie was an exception.

                                                                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen Oct 2, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                                                                              Interesting!

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                          2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                            paulj Oct 2, 2012 07:34 PM

                                                                                                            Didn't Andrew Zimmern make some sort of blood dessert at his LA popup dinner?
                                                                                                            http://www.travelchannel.com/video/l-...
                                                                                                            (a warm chocolate pudding, at 2:20)

                                                                                                        2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                          p
                                                                                                          piccola Oct 2, 2012 05:54 PM

                                                                                                          Well now he's just being contrary. :)

                                                                                                2. re: piccola
                                                                                                  Robert Lauriston Sep 30, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                                                                  Where did you get that idea? Vegetarian dishes have been highlights of many of my meals there. I took a vegetarian to Incanto and she said it was the best meal of her life.

                                                                                                  http://incanto.biz/food-wine/sample-m...

                                                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                    piccola Sep 30, 2012 04:19 PM

                                                                                                    Yeah, as I said above, I meant what he cooked on the show. I'm glad to see he takes veg as seriously as he does offal! I wish more people realized loving meat and loving veg aren't mutually exclusive.

                                                                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                      Shrinkrap Oct 1, 2012 12:24 AM

                                                                                                      How about that

                                                                                                      " Seared foie gras, copy of California Penal Code 422 & dry oats  AQ"!

                                                                                                      How does that work? I guess I have to read the link.

                                                                                                    2. re: piccola
                                                                                                      f
                                                                                                      FoodPopulist Sep 30, 2012 08:06 PM

                                                                                                      I've read that half of the recipes in his new cookbook Beginnings are vegetarian and that he only has one offal dish there.

                                                                                                      1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                        piccola Oct 1, 2012 06:15 PM

                                                                                                        I'll keep an eye out, thanks!

                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                    huiray Oct 1, 2012 01:15 AM

                                                                                                    I finally got round to watching that WWHL episode (on the bravo.com site; in two parts plus the FF winner announcement). I thought Colicchio didn't seem much into it and seemed to try to distance himself somewhat from Cosentino and Heffernan.

                                                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen Oct 1, 2012 04:08 AM

                                                                                                      That's a little odd about the distancing (I didn't see WWHL so I don't have any personal perspective on this), especially after we heard about Tom being best man and caterer, etc. at Hefferman's wedding.

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                        LindaWhit Oct 1, 2012 05:21 AM

                                                                                                        I thought perhaps he was more trying to distance himself from Andy Cohen.

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                          LulusMom Oct 1, 2012 05:27 AM

                                                                                                          I agree - the distancing was more from AC (whom, unlike you, I love).

                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                            LindaWhit Oct 1, 2012 05:37 AM

                                                                                                            In small doses, I can deal with him. In earlier shows, he was always schnockered (or seemed it) at the start of the show...and it would get worse as the half hour went on. He seems to have toned that back a bit.

                                                                                                            I guess I just more dislike his interruptions and "over-command" of the airtime. Yeah, I know it's his show. But let your guests talk a little bit.

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                              LulusMom Oct 1, 2012 05:41 AM

                                                                                                              Totally get your point. I guess I see it more as being a fly on the wall at a cocktail party. I love how toasted they get. That episode with Cloris Leachman about a week ago was jaw dropping.

                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                LindaWhit Oct 1, 2012 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                OK, now *THAT* one I might have to go find on Bravo's website. :-)

                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                            huiray Oct 1, 2012 06:53 AM

                                                                                                            That could be - I should have mentioned that too. Perhaps his "distancing" from AC spilled over into the interactions he had with CC and KH, perhaps. What did come over to me was his sort-of reluctance to be on that episode.

                                                                                                          3. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Oct 1, 2012 09:08 AM

                                                                                                            I've seen Colicchio on WWHL before and he seemed to be having fun. Maybe, if he's close friends with Kerry, he was disappointed, and also was trying not to be all chummy with Kerry and leave Chris out.

                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen Oct 1, 2012 10:11 AM

                                                                                                              Good point. Could be one of many things, or maybe he was just not feeling well or something. You just never know.

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                                        Janet from Richmond Sep 27, 2012 05:03 AM

                                                                                                        I recorded it as we were at an anniversary dinner with friends last night.....I couldn't help but find out if my beloved (LOL!) won. So glad he did & I can't wait to watch it tonight.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                                                                          d
                                                                                                          debbiel Sep 27, 2012 06:27 AM

                                                                                                          Your crush on him is only going to intensify when you watch it. Which will make it that much harder on you when HE CHOOSES ME! :)

                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                            Janet from Richmond Sep 27, 2012 06:32 AM

                                                                                                            In your dreams :-D

                                                                                                        2. moto Sep 27, 2012 01:26 AM

                                                                                                          it appeared that everyone other than oseland of the judges were moved by how directly personal cosentino's food struck them, and how it reached higher and deeper : the oysters were lauded as that one taste in thirty years, and reichl appreciating that she ate something new and different after thousands of meals. at the dinner what richman said about how one meal revealed the cook and the other revealed the person was also pretty fair.

                                                                                                          there were probably the fewest words said by the kritiks about the tripa napolitana dish at the meal, but it might have been the single dish that all of them enjoyed unreservedly. no comments from the judges about it either at the conclusion and summary made it into the final edit.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: moto
                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Sep 27, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                                                                            I'm guessing that they didn't say anything about the tripe dish because it would have been obvious that Chris had won.

                                                                                                            I thought Kerry really lost it with that last dish. Bor-ing!

                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                              Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2012 12:35 PM

                                                                                                              " It is, hands down the best tripe I’ve ever eaten ..."

                                                                                                              http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-masters/season-4/blogs/ruth-reichl/the-generation-gap?page=0,1

                                                                                                              "Love Letter: Dearest Tripe, when people ask what was the singular dish I connected with this season, I just keep coming back to you ..."

                                                                                                              http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...

                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                LindaWhit Sep 27, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                Ruth raved about the tripe on her Bravo blog:

                                                                                                                "Chris’ tripe is something else. This is tripe so soft and sensuous it would make a tripe-lover out of the most fanatic offal-phobe. It is, hands down the best tripe I’ve ever eaten, and I know this: Wherever she is, Grandma Rosalie is smiling."

                                                                                                              2. re: moto
                                                                                                                Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                Oseland apparently appreciated Cosentino's stuff as much as the others, they just didn't edit it that way. http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-masters/season-4/blogs/james-oseland/ill-take-it?page=0,2

                                                                                                                Wow, they filmed this a year and a half ago, and Cosentino had to keep it to himself all that time? Damn. http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...

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