or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › General Discussions › The Late Night Cafe (off-topic) › Top Chef Finale - I have some issues with it!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Top Chef Finale - I have some issues with it!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Last night I was very surprised watching the finale of Top Chef. When Angelo became very ill (food poisoning from the looks of it) they kept the show going. I understand there are huge production costs etc etc but I think they should of postponed the final cook off for a few days till he was ready. Angelo did not have the flu or a cold it was food poisoning and I think making the guy try to cook the meal of his life while he has food poisoning is ridiculous.

 

For those of you reading my rant that have not had food poising you need to experience to understand it. Ed's comments about "Well you have to make your body just do what you need it to do" do not fly when it comes to food poisoning. You feel like you want to die. I was in a hospital with fluids being pumped into me and also got the shot in my behind I was so sick. I was down for three days minimum and all I wanted to do was go home. I think that Ed and Kevin had an advantage because they made Angelo cook when he was so sick.

 

Last thought, what was up with Ed's dessert. I mean how did he let that happen. It looks like a dessert you would get at a cafeteria.

 

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
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 #2 of 16

I felt the same way about Angelo's illness.  I especially think that the other 2 contestants should have spoken up about that.  If it were me competing I would want my competitor up to par.  Being sick like that makes you sick being around food and can really mess with your palette especially when testing for seasoning and balance.  I really wanted to support Ed because he's from Queens but his attitude made it impossible.  He was glad that Angelo was sick and he had a very passive aggressive behavior towards him in the kitchen.  What was up with that?

 

All in all I was glad Kevin won.  He's the only one that didn't cook with an ego and seemed to respect the process of cooking much more than the others. 

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

Reply

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

Reply
post #3 of 16

I don't recall seeing Angelo's ego.  IMHO, he was cleared to cook, he gave it everything he had, and he competed strongly.  A bad day (of any type) on that show will send you packing.  While Angelo had an illness, I don't believe the show should have waited for him (or anyone).  There are simply days when we're better than others, physically, mentally, creatively, etc.  At some point, you have to deal in "absolutes".  In this case, the schedule was laid out beforehand and everyone had the same risks.  I'm not suggesting that it was fair to Angelo, but it was fair to everyone. 

 

What I don't recall seeing is Angelo making any excuses or blaming the illness. He was there for a competition, he competed, he gave it all he had (which certainly was less than 100% if for no other reason than not doing the shopping himself), and in the end, he didn't win. 

 

It would have been "nice" to have pushed it off a few days, but what if Ed was having a "perfect" day on the day it was supposed to be held, but then on the pushed out date, he had an off day?  It wouldn't seem reasonable to push the date again for "I'm having an off day", but when they're competing at that level, an "off day" is the difference between hero and zero.

 

I wish they'd given info on who got second or how close it was, etc.  They seem to edit the judges comments in such as way as to not reveal the ending -- and it's tv, so that's pretty much the only way to do it; however, I'm left wanting to know more.  Fortunately, next week, there's the reunion and we have to watch it to see what else we can learn.

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblygook View Post

...I wish they'd given info on who got second or how close it was, etc.  They seem to edit the judges comments in such as way as to not reveal the ending -- and it's tv, so that's pretty much the only way to do it; however, I'm left wanting to know more.  Fortunately, next week, there's the reunion and we have to watch it to see what else we can learn.


They kind of used to do this like the season that Hung won they eliminated the woman first and then made Dale runner up.  However on Season 4 they didn't want to do that because Richard Blais was all in all a much stronger contendant than Lisa, but Lisa did a great job in the finale.  I don't think they wanted to give her the distinction of 2nd place.

 

In Season 5 they made a point to show us that Carla wasn't in the running for 1 st place to begin with at the finale.

And last season they put Kevin in 3rd place.  So to sum up, sometimes they want us to know who's in 3rd place, and sometimes they don't want us to know.

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

Reply

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

Reply
post #5 of 16

I agree with Nicko. There are on and off days, and then there's being seriously ill. If the object is to find the top chef in a group, on and off days are part of the game, but serious illness is not.

 

Think about it in professional terms. Suppose you have a fabulous restaurant, and the chef does 90% of the labor. This isn't common in the US, but it's normal in Japan, for example. If chef is so sick he can't work, I don't want to be a customer that day --- I want him to close the shop, not fob it off on an assistant or do a dreadful job because he can't function. If I'm going to assess him as a chef, I want to see what he cooks like, which doesn't mean how he cooks when he is absolutely having the best day ever --- it just means when he's within some reasonable striking distance of normalcy for him.

 

This is, of course, a more common problem in Top Chef than this one instance. You know how they always beat people up about "no decent chef would ever have let that dish go out?" Okay, but how do they respond when somebody actually stands on his integrity and refuses to let a dish go out? Suppose Angelo had said, "I am too sick to perform appropriately today, as I cannot be certain that any dish I send out will be up to passable standards. Therefore I cannot compete today." If the Top Chef people actually believed what they say, they should respond, "that's what you should say, and we admire and salute you for having the integrity to say it, and we agree that you cannot be judged today, so we'll delay." That wasn't an option, so what they really said was, "we like to play the whole integrity and seriousness game, but actually this is a TV game show and you being sick is good drama, so the heck with quality and let's watch you suffer."

post #6 of 16

Look at it the other way though, as a chef you have a client that you are catering their wedding for.  You end up sick as a dog on the wedding day and the day prior.  Are you going to cancel catering that event?  No you get it done some how, some way.  Either you suck it up and do it yourself, or you have a sous chef do it for you but you find a way to get it done.  It also happens in "professional" competitions all the time.  Do you think the PGA cancels a round if Tiger is sick?  No.  He either plays or forfeits.  The favored young skater from Russia slips and falls, spraining her ankle, does the Olympic committee postone the finals until she is well?  No. The star quarterback gets injured in the last playoff game before the Superbowl.  Do they postone the Super Bowl until he recovers or does the team have to play with their second string QB?  Yes, it would suck to have to forfeit, and it would also be kind of a let down to the winner to win that way, but I think it was the right decision to say this is when we are cooking, either be there or miss the opportunity.

http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
post #7 of 16

I missed the episode  but I have to add something about food borne illness.  I have had it hit me at work and not that I have consumed bad food but that I've ingested something I'm allergic to and it is a very serious problem  I'm incredibly allergic to eggs (actually it albumin that I am allergic to and it is in the white and encases the yolk) and I have had it happen that someone has peeled a hard boiled egg beside me and I have had to leave the line just the smell of eggs is enough to make me sick.  As soon as I get a whiff of the egg smell I either move the plate if I can or I excuse myself.  I'm not faking this because if I stick around I will become very ill very quickly and in an open kitchen.. not a good idea.   Not having seen the show and just based on what I've been reading here I think that the other two contestants should have stepped up and asked that they wait until he was 100% before competing.  His illness gave them an unfair advantage and to make him work in such a state to me is just wrong. 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Having the flu or a cold is one thing but full blown food poising is totally different in my opinion. Even if you had a catering or whatever you would bow out and let someone else handle it. I am telling you if you ever have full blown food poising (and I hope you never do) you can barely even stand. I am sorry but I think Bravo should of held off on the competition for 2-3 days. I am sure they have plenty of money.

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
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 #9 of 16

In a similar vein with history only remembering the winner...

In the '95 Rugby world cup final depicted in Clint Eastwood's movie 'Invictus' with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon most of the All Black team were suffering from food poisoning, most noteably a national legend Jonah Lomu was seen to repeatedly step over the sideline to throw up. While it was their one opportunity to make a different history perhaps Nelson Mandela just deserved to enjoy that day a little more...

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
Reply
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
Reply
post #10 of 16

While I understand that food poisoning is a terrible thing, I don't see how this competition is any different from any other competition.  The Daytona 500 wouldn't be postoned because Dale Jr. is sick, the Freestyle Half Pipe Olympic competition wouldn't be postoned because Shaun White broke his leg.  I fail to see how this is different.  Does it suck, yeah, sure, but that's how it is.  I can't think of one sport or competition, other than boxing, that would allow its schedule to be changed because one competitor was unable to compete due to illness or injury.  Do you think the Bocuse D'or would reschedule if the American competitor was unable to compete due to food poisoning?

http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
post #11 of 16

Pete speaks the truth

                               Time waits for no one. It was not this competitors time. I beleive the most important part of competing is not the winning but the taking part.The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well. This competitor had no chance. Why not just opt out? How can you take part or fight well when your sick?

                                When competing in anything in life we have to be prepared. Sleep ,eat well and stay fit and hydrated....I do understand food poisoning is sometimes unavoidable and so should the competitor. I would have bowed out gracefully and saved everyone else the agony of having to watch.

 

It is what it is

 

Wayne Gretzky Quote:

A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player, plays where the puck is going to be"

 

                                 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #12 of 16

The difference between a sporting event and a top chef finale is that a sporting event is live.  There are major financial considerations to consider postponing it including moving the time slot on television, tickets that are purchased for the event by spectators, etc.  This is Top chef, not some live competition.  The final elimination took place a while back and has no doubt been edited within an inch of its life.  Postponing for one day would have elevated their production costs a bit but nowhere to the degree of what you are all comparing it to.  Yes, I agree that the whole world couldn't wait for the Olympics to be postposed for Lindsey Vonn, but how big was the production team in Singapore that they couldn't pay for an extra night for Padma's hotel room?

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

Reply

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

Reply
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

The difference between a sporting event and a top chef finale is that a sporting event is live.  There are major financial considerations to consider postponing it including moving the time slot on television, tickets that are purchased for the event by spectators, etc.  This is Top chef, not some live competition.  The final elimination took place a while back and has no doubt been edited within an inch of its life.  Postponing for one day would have elevated their production costs a bit but nowhere to the degree of what you are all comparing it to.  Yes, I agree that the whole world couldn't wait for the Olympics to be postposed for Lindsey Vonn, but how big was the production team in Singapore that they couldn't pay for an extra night for Padma's hotel room?


     Have you ever participated in a Professional Chef Cooking Competition? Or worked in a Professional Kitchen? There lies the answer. Physically, mentally, intellectually and even emotionally you have to be100% on your game to make it to the finish line on time. Professional Cooking might as well be considered a sport. Those who have been in that euphoric moment in the height and heat of the moment of the kitchen when time is of the essence and you know  you may be up $#!%'s Creek without a paddle....and it all suddenly falls into the perfect place you intended. That feeling is something you have trained  for all your life.


 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsy2727 View Post




     ... That feeling is something you have trained  for all your life.


 

 

No I have not participated in any food competitions but I would imagine that if you have trained for it all your life you would feel cheated if you couldn't compete because of a stomach flu. 

 

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

Reply

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

Reply
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post



 

No I have not participated in any food competitions but I would imagine that if you have trained for it all your life you would feel cheated if you couldn't compete because of a stomach flu. 

 


Koukouvagia ,

                    have you ever heard the saying " Life happens while your making plans" We cannot look at this  with a negative bird's eye view. I never look back  on bad things that have happened in a negative light ,only 'What have I learned from this? Can I change these events of the past? No. So move on." Things happen for a reason. I never feel cheated. It is way to negative of a response to something. I never really got the impression this sick competitor was a complainer . Has he actually said he was cheated ? Most Chefs suck it up and move on.

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #16 of 16

i've been seriously sick at work, but i still made sure the food was good when it went out and cleaned up before passing out. i do not want to do that again, but you have to tough it out if people are hungry and you have to make them food.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › General Discussions › The Late Night Cafe (off-topic) › Top Chef Finale - I have some issues with it!