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Top Chef Masters Thread....Linda???? Where are you?

This is reminding me of the first time I saw the Jackson Five on the Ed Sullivan show. I'm running around the house like a crazy woman, and my husband is not feeling it. Where IS everyone?

I liked the camaraderie from the sky diving thing. I thought their reaction was endearing. I don't think I could have done that.

Before it started I was rooting for the "underground legend" guy....I think he's pretty cute....but "I was going out with a pretty high profile person...and I haven't had to open oysters in awhile...."...huh?

What do folks make off the Volatggio jump from top chef to Top Chef Masters. Husband says "where does he get off", but his peers seem impressed with him.

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  1. Doesn't Linda recap just Top Chef? Someone else took the lead in recapping TCM.

    10 Replies
    1. re: trolley

      Oh.......dang.

      I looked at last year, and noticed I also rushed on and complained about nobody doing it.

      1. re: Shrinkrap

        I nominate Shrinkrap as official recapper of TCM!

        1. re: tracytrace

          I submitted something to Check Please! Bay area, but I can NOT do that food review thing. I do like cauliflower though, and might try that cauliflower recipe.

          But I DID learn that Herb's celebrity was probably Star Jones. Husband says he would NOT be publicizing THAT!

          1. re: Shrinkrap

            Lol, I couldn't believe THAT was one of the few things he chose to introduce himself!

            1. re: Shrinkrap

              Watching again; cauliflower and anchovy salad! Yes! I am SO making that.There is also cauliflower with caramelized onions.

              And remembering Lynn from "Pitching In".

              I'm going to try the carrot dish too. I get SO many carrots in my csa box.I hope the recipes are up.

              They are! The plates;
              www.bravotv.com/top-chef-masters/seas...

              Also, being visibly happy when you win; didn't some folks have a problem with that on another show or another season? I thought it seemed right, at least this time.

              Oh, and you can rate the plates on bravotv.com

              1. re: Shrinkrap

                He deserved to lose for that alone. Even worse, the photo sequence on the show teased us into thinking the high-profile celebrity was Julia Child!

                1. re: ratgirlagogo

                  what is with culiflower now? it is taking over plates like hydrilla in a waterway... it is being used in crusts..being pawned off as tater tots.. purried..souped...

                    1. re: nikkihwood

                      I think that would be a sign of the end of times.. that and sharks falling from the sky

                    2. re: girloftheworld

                      I like cauliflower, but I'm a little sick, as well, of it being disguised as something else. I have celiac disease and I saw a fellow celiac promoting cauliflower pizza where the crust is made of cauliflower. For the record, it does NOT taste like pizza. It tastes like cauliflower with pizza toppings.
                      Also, pureed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes and people commenting that their guests didn't know the difference? I doubt it!

          2. That was tonight??? Dammit!

            But for me, it does not bode well that the first episode involves skydiving...

            1 Reply
            1. re: mariacarmen

              They were allowed to opt out (but only one did). The catch? Skydivers got 2 hours to cook, car riders only got 1 hour.

              1. LOL! I was watching. I'm *not* going to recap TCM, however. :-) I just get to watch TCM and enjoy.

                I *LOVED* the skydiving thing! I'd probably pewp my pants doing it, but I would love to try it - once. :D

                And didn't Bryan Voltaggio have Volt before his season of TC? I did enjoy seeing him laugh and be MUCH more relaxed on TCM than he was on his season of TC. He's definitely the more introverted one between him and his younger brother, Michael, but he seems a bit looser - at least so far.

                Quick article about him seeming a bit embarrassed at being on TCM5 - but he sees himself more as a mentor:

                http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidetheb...

                And I just realized he was born in April 1976. I graduated from high school that June. Oy.

                I *knew* that "underground legend" guy was going to go when he didn't get his oysters on the plate. But to volunteer to go? Wow. Good for him. And yes, that was Star Jones that he was dating. Nothing to write home about, that's for sure.

                19 Replies
                1. re: LindaWhit

                  From the article

                  "... "Top Chef Masters," which begins its fifth season Wednesday, July 24, while driving to one of his four restaurants."...Awkward sentence...just sayin'....

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Yes, Volt existed before Voltaggio was on TC. In fact, Bryan acknowledges that it was the Sous Chef he has with him on TCM that ran Volt while he was away filming. (Not sure if this was on the episode or the on-line SC competition.)

                    But did anyone else feel sorry for the guy who had to parachute David Burke down? That's a lot to hold onto.

                    1. re: gaffk

                      "But did anyone else feel sorry for the guy who had to parachute David Burke down? That's a lot to hold onto."

                      pretty sure the laws of gravity helped out a lot there.. as well as the fact that he is a professional who is probally non fazed by such things

                      1. re: girloftheworld

                        Soon you will take physics and learn the heavier the package, the harder the fall (sans friction). If the pro is 200 lbs, the 100 lb chef will rise to the pro's chest and propel him upward. The 300 lb chef will tend to fall through the 200-lb arms and require great effort to contain him.

                        But, as you say, he is nonplussed. . . probally ;)

                        1. re: gaffk

                          I seem to remember that two things falling fall at the same rate no matter their weight.. gallilo wise anyway... so the weight has nothing to with the fall.. Now about the the draft when the chute is pulled which actually stops the "the fall " and changes the physics. from Gallilo to newtons second law of motion which the parachute actually increases the cross seccional area of wind resistance.This force of air resistance fightt the gravity. The skydiver keeps going faster and faster, the resistance grows more and more until it becomes close to the magnitude of the force of gravity. Once the force of air resistance is as big as the force of gravity, a balance of forces is reached and the skydiver no longer accelerates. The skydiver is said to have reached a terminal velocity. and then he hopefully lands safely with nobody making fun of how much he weighs.

                          is that how it works?

                          1. re: gaffk

                            um...you know the pro diver isn't just holding onto the novice, right?
                            they're strapped together.

                            1. re: linus

                              Linus,
                              I had the same thought! No one would ever go tandem skydiving if they were only being held up by the professional. Although, when I went tandem I had the irrational fear that I was falling off the pro since I was strapped a little lower than the pro. My head was under his chin and the thought that I was not securely attached to him scared the shit out of me.

                              1. re: dmjordan

                                I have had one tandem jump (and no solo). Absolutely incredible experience. Incredible. I might have to go check this episode out.

                                1. re: debbiel

                                  Usually I hate when they pull this type of stunt on Top Chef, but here I didn't mind because I knew that no matter how scared they were they wouldn't regret it after they landed. Well, unless their chute didn't open.

                                  I also did two solo static line jumps from 3500 ft. (no free fall). Now twenty years later I can't believe I did that and wouldn't do it now--we'll, not the solo. Would you do it again, debbiel?

                                  1. re: dmjordan

                                    I do think I'll do it again some day. There's that absolute thrill when you're falling. Then the chute opens and...the most peaceful feeling ever. Just amazing.

                                    I can't do solo, probably shouldn't do tandem, because of a heart issue. But maybe just one more time... :)

                                    1. re: debbiel

                                      we have a thing here that is "indoor skydiving" it is really just a jet turbine that blows you up in the air so there isnt a "jump and fall" componant but it is really cool

                                      1. re: girloftheworld

                                        I've seen that before. It looks like fun--and safe!

                                        1. re: dmjordan

                                          Not too fun but safe. Far too expensive for what you get. I'd rather pay more and do the real thing.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            but for those of us who dont want to wait...it the best we can do

                      2. re: LindaWhit

                        Haven't been on this board in a while but with TCM back...
                        I too thought Bryan had a lot more personality this time around and didn't question his being there. I thought the skydiving was fun, surprised only one person sat it out. I think that Laura woman is a riot. In general tho, I wish they'd give better intros to the chefs on the show including what city their restaurant is in.

                        I don't like that so much is reliant on the sous chefs. I feel bad for both sets of chefs being put in that position. Altho the dude who picked like 15 ingredients wasn't thinking.

                        And it's all well and good to suggest that Herb grill his oysters or serve them raw, but they were in the fryolator already, not much he could do if it didn't get hot.

                        Now I've got Top Chef and The Bridge on the same nite but since there's been next to nothing on, that's ok.

                        Edit: Oops I mean Lynn.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I spent a week in Frederick, Maryland in March 1977. I was in grade school and we were visiting friends and doing the D.C. thing, but it does make me feel old too. The family we were staying with had rabbits and goats. We ate rabbit and milked the goats. I asked if we could have goats and rabbits when we got home. I was told we could have rabbits if I took care of them. We didn't get any rabbits.

                          1. re: John E.

                            It's now a bedroom community for D.C., but in the old days we Baltimoreans used to call it "Fredneck."

                            1. re: JonParker

                              I remember we went to Laurel, MD to the movies and saw the movie 'Silver Streak'. The friends we were staying with (we actually parked a motorhome in their driveway) had kids about the age of myself and my brothers. We were talking about what movie to see. They said they had already seen Rocky. We said, "who is Rocky?" They thought we were real hicks. Back in the day, the movies did not start out nationwide and neither did the TV commercials. We were oblivious.

                              The night we went to the movies in Laurel was also the same night I first ate at a restaurant called Arby's. The only fast food we had back home were the local drive-in and DQ.

                        2. I thought the sous chef twist was an interesting one - not that I think I'll be watching the online shows with them, but I thought it was interesting that the Masters are going to be impacted by their "students".

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: thimes

                            Somehow the sous chef of Richard Sandoval makes me think of some kind of villain from an old james bond movie.

                            What is it with skydiving these days (reference to first episode of Project Runway). Did the sky-divers of America decide they needed to popularize their sport?

                            1. re: DGresh

                              I thought it was really odd that they both started with sky diving as well. Must be the same producers - or someone left one show and told the other show what they were doing . . . . too coincidental otherwise.

                              Or maybe the skydiver union is a force to be reckoned with in productions now :D

                              1. re: DGresh

                                During the episode, I checked out some of the chefs' bios on the Bravo site. Weird thing is I don't think Sandoval or his Sous have actually cooked in a kitchen in years--Sandoval runs a multinational restaurant empire and his Sous runs said empire's food and beverage program.

                                I just thought that was a strange choice. If I wasn't a hands-on chef, I'd sure want a Sous who was grinding in the kitchen every day.

                                1. re: gaffk

                                  I thought the same thing, after I read their bios, I understood the 'deer in the headlights' look-they were lucky the other guy had oysters & couldn't prep them in time.

                                  1. re: thistle5

                                    Yep. I predict an early exit for thatpair.

                            2. Volatggio looked puffy and seemed to be channeling all of Blaise's stress in his upper lip.

                              And Mr. "I only had a butttttter knofe and my suuuuuchefff gave two protines" Yuck!

                              Didnt like how the guy who left said his suchef was cooking for himsefl not him when he chose oysters

                              Like. Jen and Odett, David

                              1. I've always wondered where the line was between Top Chef and Top Chef Masters when you're talking about the best of Top Chef, not the others who fall along the wayside early. There is definitely an overlap. First, I'd guess that Bryan was invited to be on Top Chef Masters and not that he asked to be. So "where does he get off" is that they think he's the caliber of those chefs and given how he performed, he deserves to be there. Besides that, he has one highly acclaimed restaurant, plus two newish ones which have also gotten high praise. Yeah, in case you can't tell, I'm a big fan of his.;-)

                                One thing I love about Top Chef Masters is the camaraderie among the chefs and the respect. The other is that they're there to win because they're the best, not because the others screw up. The skydiving was an interesting challenge. I was thinking, "Lucky them!"

                                ETA: Bryan and his wife just had a baby girl, named Ever. As in Ever Volt...

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: chowser

                                  I confess to a huge crush on Bryan. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at Volt in May. Amazing. I can't see that anyone would think he doesn't belong on Masters. Volt is considered a top restaurant by others than me :). And he came in second on an extremely strong season of Top Chef.

                                  1. re: DGresh

                                    Me, too. :-) LOL, my husband and I also celebrated our anniversary there and I asked to take a picture w/ him at the end. He obliged and asked if my husband should be in the shot. I said, "Nah, this is fine." Volt was acclaimed before TC. I had wanted to go and when he ended up on TC, I was disappointed because it meant the already too long wait to get in would only get longer.

                                  2. re: chowser

                                    I love Bryan too. Count me in his fan club. I wanted him to win TC but I get why his brother did. DGresh - I have been wanting to go to Volt but have not been in that area in years. Bryan showed he belonged there last night making one of the top dishes and all he had to work with was carrots!

                                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                                      Well we decided to go to Maryland for our long weekend mostly because of Volt! And one of the best dishes on my vegetarian tasting menu (my husband got the omnivore menu) was carrots!

                                      1. re: DGresh

                                        They did look amazing. One of these days we'll do that to.

                                  3. We taped it and just watched it. My first impression is that if this episode is typical they're being just plain MEAN to the poor chefs. There was no one unexpected twist but four and when you put them together, some of the chefs really got a lousy hand. Anybody watched the online sous chef thing to see if it's worth the bother? I never usually watch any of those 'online' series - I don't have the patience.

                                    7 Replies
                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                        I kind of enjoyed it. I hate that Bravo makes you go to the website to watch (I'll have to check if it's on demand). But I'll keep watching . . . otherwise I'd feel I was missing the first few minutes of every episode.

                                        1. re: gaffk

                                          I was not able to watch it on my android tablet (anyone know a solution for that? Something about flash players), which was frustrating, so I had to wait until I left the gym. I had waited until yesterday to watch it, and was pretty worked up by the time TCM started.

                                          At first, I thought I was going to have to watch the same thing, but they blended the two story lines rather nicely.

                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                            Yeah, I think if you don't feel like watching the online thing (and actually on-demand on Fios anyway, they've already shown the next sous chef battle), you won't really miss much as they summarize it in the onair show, at least if they continue in this vein. Since I'm a junkie, I'll watch both.

                                            1. re: DGresh

                                              Thanks for telling us it's OnDemand on FiOS. I'll have to catch it this weekend.

                                      2. re: Kajikit

                                        BTW, if anybody's trying to go to the bravo website make sure you go to bravotv.com - bravo.com is a scam site trying to harvest all the email addresses it can.

                                        1. re: Kajikit

                                          It's too early to call it, but I think the top teams will be Odette/ Bene, Douglas/Drew, Sang/Ted, Bryan/Graeme- (but that's only after the first episode)...way too early to try to predict the finalists...it's fun to watch, though...

                                      3. So I read Hugh's blog, which explained Battle of the Sous Chefs immediately followed each episode of TCM.

                                        There was a link, and I couldn't wait. I thought it was pretty awesome.

                                        1. I agree, Shrinkrap. I loved the skydiving scene and I thought I'd hate it. And I love the Bryan Voltaggio is on TCM. He's a terrific chef and I hope he takes this one. I was very surprised to see David Burke at the bottom. I ate his food when he was still the chef at River Cafe in Brooklyn and it was great.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: wincountrygirl

                                            To me it was only because they gave the chefs a choice. Otherwise I would have hated it (because as others have said, the non-cooking parts of challenges are the less-interesting). Smart choice on the producers' part I'd say.

                                            1. re: ennuisans

                                              Agreed , because if I was one of those chefs and as made to skydive I would have had to drop out, then and there.

                                              1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                I would have loved it! I've always wanted to skydive. That's one reason I thought it was an unfair challenge. For some it is exhilarating and not even worth a second thought, for others terrifying. I did like the skydiving scene, though.

                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  Count me in the terrified. I could not have gone on the helicopter as they had to in the last season of TC either. I admire those who can!

                                          2. I have a question that maybe I missed when watching: How come some chefs had real knives, and others did not? Was it something to do with the ranking of the Sous?

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: cheesemonger

                                              That was their penalty because their sous chefs came in last in their challenge. The winner got their chef immunity.

                                              1. re: cheesemonger

                                                Yes. The bottom 3 sous gave their bosses the disadvantage.

                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  ahh- thanks, I assumed that I missed something there. They usually repeat (and repeat) the twists and challenges during the competition, but once I saw that some had no knives, I was waiting for the explanation that I missed, and it never seemed to be re-stated.

                                                  Thank you!

                                              2. OH CRAP! Did I miss it?!?!!??? I'll have to check on demand tonight. ;)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: jujuthomas

                                                  I'm so glad that they have the sous chef battles available on demand also. I hate watching on the computer.

                                                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                    thank goodness for on demand. :-D I am all caught up now... I missed the first few minutes of last night's episode. I guess I'm really going to have to keep up on the sous chef challenges as I was a little clueless about what they were trying to do in the quick fire. I thought the elimination challenge was fun. that pop up market sounds so cool - loved the comment that it was a little POW-chic.