Top Chef: Season 5

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I am guessing that they decided a long time ago that Carla was going to be Top Chef... Jeff should have won the competition tonight. Now we are left with three less than desirable options (in my opinion) for the title. There were all these good Chefs at the start and this is what we are left with? Very disappointing.
Hootie. Hoo. :) I don't know that I think it's fully decided who is going to be Top Chef until they get to finals... I remember during Miami thinking that Casey had it in the bag until she got to finals and fell apart in Colorado. Same with Chicago - I thought for sure the Final 3 were going to be Stephanie, Richard, and Antonia until Antonia choked and Lisa wound up in the final round. Really though, between Stefan and Fabio, I wish they would have sent Stefan to pack his knives and go. He just seems so apathetic about being there. But I think the Stefan v. Hosea rivalry has been being built up all season though, so of course it's going to play out in the finale. Question: How much time elapses between the point where the chefs going to finals are determined and the finals begin in the new location?
[quote=roomie;49304]Question: How much time elapses between the point where the chefs going to finals are determined and the finals begin in the new location?[/quote] I believe it's somewhere from 6 weeks to two months... Watching this episode reminds me of being there two years ago...they don't call it the Devil's Playpen for nothing!
[quote]I remember during Miami thinking that Casey had it in the bag until she got to finals and fell apart in Colorado. [/quote]Right, just like they made it look like Stephan had it in the bag until they could conveniently rip him apart and bring forth the new victor. I guess I have a different idea of what a Top Chef should be than the judges (and [I]some[/I] of the audience.) I feel they should be able to leave the show and immediately and step into the kitchen as the defacto leader in one of the hottest restaurant in New York City (for example.) Being a chef is more than making a creame sauce or poaching an egg. Carla is not going to be able to do that. Either is Hosea. I've lost respect for Hosea as time has progressed (i.e. cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater) and although he might be a skilled cook, he is no chef. I know this is probably an unfair bias that I hold, but there are rare cases in the industry these days where a self taught chef becomes the next big thing (and if someone brings up Rachel Ray I'll just snap, lol.) You either need to attend culinary school or work under the tutelage of a renowned chef in order to have a broad base of refined skills. Technique is important. There have been many times throughout this competition (weekly) where Hosea proved he needs to hit the books. Most of the successful chefs I know went to college and earned a degree in a hospitality or business field, then attended culinary school, then worked for 5-10 years under the careful supervision of a master chef - before even considering striking out and making their own brand. Anyway, Carla clearly has good technique when it comes to her simple home cooked food. Obviously the deck is stacked in her favor at this point with the theme city being in the sweet spot of her forte (southern cuisine.) The regional requirements of the dishes at this point do offer her a huge advantage...
Hey B - how gorgeous did Padma look in her masquerade ball ensemble? And yay! Gail is back!! :)
[quote=roomie;49376]Hey B - how gorgeous did Padma look in her masquerade ball ensemble? And yay! Gail is back!! [/quote] Oh ya, change the subject to something I'll bite on. :D
[quote=Bacchus;49387]Oh ya, change the subject to something I'll bite on. :D[/quote] Now, when you say "bite on", are you referring to the new subject or... ? ;)
I'm so torn... clearly I was rooting for Carla, but that fell through (ironically enough, a la Casey in the Miami finale, actually) tonight. :( But between Stefan and Hosea, I didn't know who to root for! I believed Stefan to be more talented, but Hosea to be, well, nicer... but then again, Stefan was the one to comfort Carla when she started to cry and almost started crying himself... so I don't know! If the poll during the episode is any indication, though, I'm pretty sure that Carla will take Fan Favorite at next week's reunion.
Ugh. I did not like Hosea at all. I think Stefan was the true all around Top Chef and that Tom maybe couldn't get over the dessert. Oh well, I wish Carla had done better, I think her nerves got to her when she decided to cook what she thought the judges would want instead of trust what had gotten her to the finale. Hootie Hoo for fan fav!
It was like good vs evil (and I thought it also was ironic that Marcel was paired with Stefan). Hosea put together an all around better dish. If it were an individual challenge, he would have easily won. Stefan only won 2 more (elimination) challenges than Hosea throughout the season. Even Carla won more than Hosea. In quickfires? Absolutely he was hands down the best. He was also more well-trained. But to me, watching Stefan in a kitchen was like watching a step by step tutorial...no heart, and no passion. And I hate to say this, because I didn't really like Stefan's attitude, but I do wonder if they look at the entire season instead of just one dish. I feel like they should, but (probably thanks to some editing) it was never mentioned. I think the only obvious thing is Carla being fan favorite. I had this DVR'd, and turned my TV on right toward the end when they had the update on who people thought should win. I saw the overwhelming majority go to Carla and had a small hope that she nailed it! Oh well.
As is almost always the case, I was left quite uncaring about the winner. Hosea seems like an alright guy but as I have dictated out earlier in this thread, he is not my idea of a Top Chef. It was quite clear that Tom was not a fan of Stephan and that pretty much sealed the deal. You could hear him whining about the frozen fish technique during dinner (as well as the blandness of desert) but in immediate juxtaposition was noted Chef Hubert Keller saying the technique was excellent with the fish and the desert was actually fine (I am surprised Tom did not have all the disagreeing comments edited out.) Also, the very best dish of the night was the squab and we know at least one of the judges (Toby Young) thought the meal progression and food was better. The reality was that Stephan was set for a downfall before a burner had been lit or a fish filleted. It stuck me as odd that Stephan went over to comfort Carla at the final judges table and was on the verge of tears. How could this evil man break down like that out of no where? Then it hit me. The edit. He was the villain and that dictated that we never see a glimmer of light in the presentation of his character (except at the very end when the result was set.) Anyway, I am ready to move on to Top Chef Masters. Maybe that show will actually annotate "Top Chefs" rather than "Top Line Cooks." [B]Show notes:[/B] [LIST] [*]Rocco is such a loser. I loved it when he made the comment about the Foie gras and everyone looked at him like he had two heads (which he does!) [*]Toby is obviously just there to insult the cast. Tom blows off everything he says. I can tell Tom is pissed he was brought on and just deals with him as best he can. [*]Carla finally imploded, Yes! [/LIST]
The only saving grace of this episode was seeing my favorite past season chef: Casey.
[quote=Bacchus;50316]...It stuck me as odd that Stephan went over to comfort Carla at the final judges table and was on the verge of tears. [B]How could this evil man break down like that out of no where? Then it hit me. The edit.[/B] He was the villain and that dictated that we never see a glimmer of light in the presentation of his character (except at the very end when the deal was sealed.)...[/quote] I was in the camp that Stefan was evil, but I read a blog that has hilarious Top Chef recaps and he hinted that one of the chefs had contacted him saying how much he loved reading the recaps. About halfway through the season the mystery chef decided to reveal himself and it was Stefan! He has been able to comment on two or three episode recaps and seemed nice and funny. Yeah maybe a little cocky, but not "evil" like his edit. His broken english posts are almost as funny as Fabio's sayings! So I gave him another chance and then started to see the humor in him and the little bits of kindness they lit slip through the editing room. I also agree that it was Tom's dislike for Stefan that was his downfall.
There is dissension in the ranks... [URL="http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/toby-young/in-defense-of-stefan"]In Defense of Stefan[/URL] And I agree!
[quote=Bacchus;50666]There is dissension in the ranks... [URL="http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/toby-young/in-defense-of-stefan"]In Defense of Stefan[/URL] And I agree![/quote] The world is coming to an end when I agree with Toby Young ;)
[quote=tatertots;50701]The world is coming to an end when I agree with Toby Young [/quote] Hahaha, I suspect you may just be right. :D
[quote=tatertots;50701]The world is coming to an end when I agree with Toby Young ;)[/quote] I'm in the same boat... who'd-a-thunk I'd agree with Toby when all was said and done.... and I love what he says about Casey, haha
Somehow I think "head judge" has gone to Tom's head.
The reunion show was a snoozer. I fast forwarded through some of it, um....actually most of it. Besides the drunken Chef's table footage, it was all pretty much a clip show of stuff that we had already seen and at times it edged on awkward. With some reality series, the reunion show is the best part. This is not one of them... (Actually, I think Bravo just always drops the ball as all their reunion shows suck.)

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