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Top Chef Season 5. - Page 6

post #151 of 173
Tom Colicchio: Does anyone get an odd feeling about this guy? I'm not convinced he truly truly knows what he's talking about. I haven't been to Craft yet but I'm planning on it to see for myself. I get the feeling that he is incredibly insecure around the guest judges and seems to voice his opinions very timidly when he's around them. He's more up to snuff when guest judges are not around.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #152 of 173
My college roommate is pretty high up his staff in Vegas at Craft and says he knows everything you see and more. I asked him, my friend, about that since it seems to have gone on for some years and its just Tom being humble and letting the guest judges be the voice of the group. I know what you mean and its just him stepping back.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #153 of 173
NYC Craft=good food....
:D
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #154 of 173
Thread Starter 
noone caught the new episode of iron chef this past weekend? ariane duarte made a special guest appearance as a sous-chef for chef freitag.
post #155 of 173
Unfortunate that Craft NYC lost its Michelin Star a year or two ago... though it really isn't the be-all-and-end-all of restaurant critiques it's still too bad. Can't judge the place since I've never eaten there.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #156 of 173
I am rested, ready, wine is chilled, got a little snacky plate--lets go, actually it's five more hours here, so take a little trip with Clive Cussler and stand by--

I always think Top Chef should be someone I could work with and respect. I respect Stephan's skills and think a lot of his dumb*ss bravado is for the camera, I could work with him. Carla not problem would be fun and I think very productive and profitable. Hosea seems somewhat talented, but wishywashy as an head chef.
All the chefs who make it this far have the cooking chops--but Top Chef must run a place? right?
Go Carla!!!
Nan
post #157 of 173
Thread Starter 
seriously wack ending... geez louise.
post #158 of 173
I have to agree, I would've preferred it if Stefan or Carla won... in general Hosea's food didn't tickle my fancy, though I think the plating and garnishes for Stefan's dessert could've looked more impressive (think like an architect when you do dessert) and probably cost him the win.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #159 of 173
Thread Starter 
hosea isnt/wasnt a good cook/chef... coupled with his insecurity complex... i would have much rather have seen carla win over him. if you look at the entire season she prepared better food than him, however over those three it really shouldve been stephan.
post #160 of 173
Carla should of won her food was the best.
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Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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post #161 of 173
that seems to be the consensus as well across the interwebs
post #162 of 173
Thread Starter 
shame... this season really let me down...
post #163 of 173
but, to play devils advocate, no one on this board tasted any of the food.
post #164 of 173
In the end Carla's insecurity got the best of her. I can't believe she let her sous-chef take the reins. I would not attempt a souffle for a competition if I didn't know my oven intimately. When she said Meat & Potatoes I thought Sweeeeet! But as soon as she said sous-vide I thought ok nevermind she's out. I would have prefered Stefan, even the judges didn't really want to give it to Hosea.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #165 of 173
I think Hosea was pretty solid in the last competition, but overall Stefan was the better cook.
As far as Carla, great food overall, but this isn't Top Cook, and to let her Sous influence her shows her lack of control of her kitchen.
As far as her souffle, I give her credit for guts.
I know all too well the risks of attempting a souffle in an strange kitchen. :(

I have to give Stefan a lot of credit for working with the unfamiliar 'gator, and doing it well.
He pushed himself, and took risks, which Hosea did not do.

I have to say though that I am happy for Hosea.
I hope he makes the best of this opportunity.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #166 of 173
Thread Starter 
true and non of us were ever on top chef... so its easy to critique from the comfort of our home / kitchen... but simply going by what has been presented to us in its edited form, id say carla deserved to win over hosea but stephan over both... i would preferred if fabio made into the finals, and leah went home a lot earlier...
post #167 of 173
I'm happy with how the competition turned out. That might have something to do with the unbearable smugness of having "called it" when Linda and I were trying ot outguess the stove at the round of six, or with the actual merits. Here's how I figured it.

Whether Hosea deserved to make it into the top five or not, once he did, he deserved to win the final competition. His weaknesses during the season seemed to result more from his concern (to the point of near obsession) with Stefan as with any weakness in technique or imagination. Those of you who spent time in any high-level competition are familiar with the consequences of "letting" your opponent "into your head."

Pnce in the final four, Hosea had the opportunity to go home and prep for New Orleans. The break did him good, because when he got there he was a far more confident, focused and relaxed chef who responded to the specific challenges instead of Stefan's smack. I think Leah's elimination ultimately worked in his favor as well. It's worth repeating that to do well, you've got to get out of your own head.

Fortunately for Hosea, not only did he peak at the right time (at least according to the judges), the other chef's self-destructed.

While I give Carla all the props in the world for the many things she does well, she doesn't seem to have the self-confidence to be a great chef. She has the creativity and the execution but not the leadership. Sometimes you have to say no. Sous vide a sirloin? It's so wrong, and yet so wrong. In Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez and all the other California central coastal valleys they wept.

Also, there's something you see every season in the finals -- and that's the chef who, with the competition on the line, is so insecure (s)he tries something for the first time. That's your cue, as a watcher, to say "buh-bye."

Stefan is a talented and (by and large) disciplined chef, who chose New Orleans and the "Final Four" part of the competition as his opportunity to phone it in. It was very clear last week, when he should have gone home instead of Fabio. (It was close between them. But in my view, Stefan ultimately prevailed because had some carry-over from winning so many previous competitions and because he was (and is) better television.)

Stefan would have won the $100,000 if he hadn't frozen the salmon. Why did he freeze the salmon? To be sure to get better looking slices (thinner, more consistent) at the expense of quality. Think about it. He either lacks the knife skills to do the dish right, or he was unwilling to take the time and concentration it takes for a gravlaks type of presentation. Either way...

Also, it's a mistake to say that Hosea wasn't bold in his choices and solid in his execution. His first three courses were seafood. You might not regard that choice as bold, but it is. The venison was as perfectly blocked (butchering skills) as I've ever seen a piece of meat. It might have been done by machine -- but it wasn't, it was a demonstration of perfect knife work. It was something the judge's never saw, something one can't really see on the plate. But it's there nonetheless paying the on-the-plate dividend of everything done comme il faut. Class, compare and contrast with Stefan's salmon.

One man's opinion,
BDL
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post #168 of 173
Thread Starter 
thats playing it safe, bc hes a seafood chef.
post #169 of 173
I agree he played it safe but I would of done the same thing in that situation. Go with what you know.
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #170 of 173
Thread Starter 
oh same here with out a doubt... if i just went through 14weeks (or whatever that was) of ****, i would definitely do the same... i wouldnt risk it all just to try something new on the finale.
post #171 of 173
And the person who did (sous vide striploin and souffle) tumbled badly. With regards to the freezing for slicing technique, we use that pretty prevalently in the hotel for finicky items such as a smoked halibut "cigar" rolled around crab salad. The smoked halibut is frozen then put through the meat slicer to give the slices necessary to do the cigars. I'm not saying it's impossible to do while the fish is floppy and with a sharp knife, but it's almost impossible to get the same amount of precision. If you look at Stefan's fish it certainly looks like he rolled the smoked salmon inside the halibut, froze it then sliced it thinly. I don't see how the roll could've possibly held together or had a very good shape if it was sliced while not frozen. Of course, this is where we run into an issue of whether visual impact trumps taste/texture, or vice versa.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #172 of 173
If safe is staying within your power band, than he played it safe. I don't think that's safe so much as smart. Look at what happened to Carla. There are informal rules regarding menu creation and one of them is not to repeat yourself in adjoining courses. That's why Victorian era menus are so formalized into fish, foul, game, joint courses; and it's a convention which persists for (generally) good reason. IMO (and it's just my opinion) three fish in a row is pretty daring. I would have thought four or five times before doing so -- and in fact probably would have totally talked myself out of it. Had the the competition been arranged so each contestant presented his entire meal in sequence, rather than all of the contestants presenting each course in ensemble, Hosea's service might have crossed the boundary into too much -- no matter how good it was. But everyone brought seafood for the first two courses (alligator = amphibian = seafood), and in the third Hosea was saved by the others' variety.

Furthermore, I don't think it's fair to comment on the presence or absence of dessert since the rules of the contest expressly removed it from consideration. It drove Toby Young nuts, which was funny.

"Daring" isnt' (necessarily) a synonym for stupid. Stupid is cooking something which wasn't perfected (in the culinary sense) in a "for money" situation. It's unprofessional, lacking in respect for the ingredients, the craft and the diners. I can't believe Carla tried to make souffle instead of tarts when her pastry is so darn good. That and the sous vide were panic choices; she cracked under the pressure. Too bad because she's so good when she's comfortable.

BDL
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post #173 of 173
one of my buddies worked at Commander's Palace until Katrina hit, he's now exec at fine dining down the street. He's still got strong ties down in NO at Commanders, I'll see if he's got any inside info to share.

Interesting turn of events....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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