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Thread: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

  1. #41
    Magical Elf MFWalkoff's Avatar
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    Probably what did it for Richard is that one of the chefs (was it Carla?) told the judges that Richard helped to elevate everyone's dishes.

    Also, Fabio already rocked the front of house in his season's RW, so maybe the chefs didn't think he was stretching himself as much since they knew he could do it already?
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by MFWalkoff;4159817;
    Probably what did it for Richard is that one of the chefs (was it Carla?) told the judges that Richard helped to elevate everyone's dishes.

    Also, Fabio already rocked the front of house in his season's RW, so maybe the chefs didn't think he was stretching himself as much since they knew he could do it already?

    Trouble is, none of the other chefs got to see how Fabio was handling the front of house, so naturally, they're only in a position to talk about Richard. I suppose they could have felt Fabio wasn't "stretching" himself enough, but again, I think that's a sort of bias the chefs have that bugs me. They tend to think front of house and dessert are both, somehow, not really as important as being a "chef," but they're almost uniformly uncomfortable doing either. Some of them purely panic at the notion of having to make a pie, for instance, and yet denigrate pastry chefs as somehow not being as important as they are. I hate that kind of attitude. For that matter, Richard wasn't doing anything he hadn't proven that he could do before either, so the decision shouldn't have been based on whether anyone was doing something they hadn't done before. I don't really mind Richard winning--it's not like someone who hadn't done anything to deserve it had won--but I thought it would have been nice to acknowledge someone who had done two completely different things that no one else much likes to do and had done them well. For that matter, front of the house, in a real restaurant, is an extremely important factor in whether people return to eat there again. No one wants to wait around for indifferent service, even if the food is good.

    I'd also be more likely to eat at a restaurant run by Fabio now that I know he's decent to waitstaff and tries to keep things calm in the kitchen. Mike V. might be a great chef, but he's so arrogant that I'd just as soon not give someone like him my money (as much as he put Kevin down, I'd much rather patronize a restaurant run by Kevin, because he's got the skills without the attitude). Of course, I also happen to really like gnocchi, so it wouldn't be any big sacrifice for me to eat in a restaurant where Fabio was chef either.

  3. #43
    Magical Elf MFWalkoff's Avatar
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    I don't think the chefs weren't aware of Fabio's contribution -- he came back and reported how things were going like any other front-of-house would do, and the news was good.

    Also, IMO there's a degree-of-difficulty thing to consider. Fabio worked front because he & the team knew he could do it well. But since he didn't win the Quickfire in order to have a bigger say in the concept, there was no way he would be Exec Chef because he's too Italian-focused. Would he have done as good a job in Richard's place as Richard might have done in Fabio's place? We'll never know for sure, but I'm thinking Richard, while his personality is different, has his own charm with judges and customers too. It's more boyish-mad-scientist and less suave, but it's still charming (to me anyway).

    Lawd knows Dale wouldn't be as good at front of house, but maybe that's why he didn't win either, even though technically he was the Exec Chef. Maybe if the food wasn't quite as good as it was, Fabio's contribution would have stood out more to the judges. Marcel's team and food were soooo bad that there was plenty of room for Dale's team to screw up and still win, so it's really tough to figure out the best criteria for winning.
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  4. #44
    *it's crazy* rfromp's Avatar
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by Tilden;4159881;
    They tend to think front of house and dessert are both, somehow, not really as important as being a "chef,"
    For me, it's about the food. It's not "Top Front of House" but "Top Chef". I disregard the front of house and anything else that doesn't have to do with food. This show needs to be renamed if it wants to focus on teamwork and whatever else instead of the individual dish prepared by each chef. I've completely written this season off and view it as invalid in determining who is the best chef among these contestants. When people can skate by without cooking or be eliminated for not taking charge, the show ceases to be about who is the top chef and is more like a weekly cooking challenge program.

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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by MFWalkoff;4159927;
    I don't think the chefs weren't aware of Fabio's contribution -- he came back and reported how things were going like any other front-of-house would do, and the news was good.

    Also, IMO there's a degree-of-difficulty thing to consider. Fabio worked front because he & the team knew he could do it well. But since he didn't win the Quickfire in order to have a bigger say in the concept, there was no way he would be Exec Chef because he's too Italian-focused. Would he have done as good a job in Richard's place as Richard might have done in Fabio's place? We'll never know for sure, but I'm thinking Richard, while his personality is different, has his own charm with judges and customers too. It's more boyish-mad-scientist and less suave, but it's still charming (to me anyway).

    Lawd knows Dale wouldn't be as good at front of house, but maybe that's why he didn't win either, even though technically he was the Exec Chef. Maybe if the food wasn't quite as good as it was, Fabio's contribution would have stood out more to the judges. Marcel's team and food were soooo bad that there was plenty of room for Dale's team to screw up and still win, so it's really tough to figure out the best criteria for winning.
    --The problem is, Fabio did cook, prior to taking over front of the house, and from everything we heard, he did a very good job on dessert, which is something most chefs would really rather not do. We don't know for sure that Richard would have done as well with dessert either. I also don't think it was just Fabio's charm that was what was impressive about front of house--Tom specifically mentioned he'd never seen anyone managing waitstaff quite so well, and Tom didn't even see how Fabio handled Dale's mini-meltdown with the waitstaff. As anxious as Richard seemed to be on that particular day, I'm not sure he could have done what Fabio did with regard to people managing. Normally, he's fairly calm, but for some reason --maybe having been in the bottom the competition before?--he was worrying about everything, even that there didn't seem to be anything to worry about.

    And as I said, I think part of it is just that most chefs on the show don't want to do front of house or dessert and act as if it's less important/prestigious, but they also don't seem to regard it as hard, which always confuses me. If it's difficult, they ought to be more impressed when someone can do it, not less impressed. The only chef I can remember being truly impressed by front of house skills was Harold, who spoke up about Dave's ability in that area in season one.

  6. #46
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by rfromp;4160494;
    For me, it's about the food. It's not "Top Front of House" but "Top Chef". I disregard the front of house and anything else that doesn't have to do with food. This show needs to be renamed if it wants to focus on teamwork and whatever else instead of the individual dish prepared by each chef. I've completely written this season off and view it as invalid in determining who is the best chef among these contestants. When people can skate by without cooking or be eliminated for not taking charge, the show ceases to be about who is the top chef and is more like a weekly cooking challenge program.
    --But dessert is food, isn't it? And normally, I wouldn't think front of house was as important on this show, but they make it important in some challenges, particularly in restaurant wars, and if they're going to do have a restaurant war graded by customers, then service is important. People don't generally go back to restaurants where the service isn't good.

    I would agree with you, however, that there have been way too many team challenges this season. I never like team challenges as much, because it's far too easy for the wrong person to go home. I'd prefer fewer contestants and fewer team challenges than so many contestants and so many team challenges.

  7. #47
    FORT Fanatic texasgal26's Avatar
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by rfromp;4160494;
    For me, it's about the food. It's not "Top Front of House" but "Top Chef". I disregard the front of house and anything else that doesn't have to do with food. This show needs to be renamed if it wants to focus on teamwork and whatever else instead of the individual dish prepared by each chef. I've completely written this season off and view it as invalid in determining who is the best chef among these contestants. When people can skate by without cooking or be eliminated for not taking charge, the show ceases to be about who is the top chef and is more like a weekly cooking challenge program.
    I feel like these chefs - and even most who go on the show, have proven they can cook good individual dishes, and many of the team challenges allow for them to continue showcasing that. In the past I haven't been a fan of too many team challenges, but this season I like them - I feel like they're trying to find chefs that not only can cook a good individual dish, but can succeed in the other areas it takes to be a successful chef. Someone who wants to be an executive chef, or wants to have his/her own restaurant, has to do more than cook good food. I like that the challenges look for things like leadership, assembling a team, coordinating front-of-house, butchering, speed and efficiency, being able to cook a cuisine beyond one's usual repertoire, being able to crank out a lot of portions quickly, or being able to cook under difficult or unpredictable conditions.

    For example, I don't doubt that Marcel can produce a good dish, even if he were forbidden to use any molecular gastronomy techniques. But he can't work well with others, he can't lead, and he has a hard time getting out of his own comfort zone. I am noticing how much stronger a chef Dale is this season (though I actually liked him his season) because he's got his temper more under control - and can work much better with his teammates.

  8. #48
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    in regards to judging them on qualities beyond their obvious talent at cooking, I think it was one of Anthony Bourdain's blogs where he makes the point that the definition of a chef is a leader of cooks. He wrote that a person could be the best cook in the world, but if they can't lead a team of other cooks, they will never be a successful chef.

    I think that might be why they're doing so many team challenges this season. These are All Stars, they can obviously all cook well. What the judges want to see now is who has the overall skills to be the next truly big name chef-and being an executive chef, managing front of house, expediting, all that plays a part.

    After all, remember season 1-they eliminated Chunk BECAUSE he never stepped up as a leader, and a big part of Harold's win was that he was much more effective in the leadership role than Tiffani (I'd kinda like that finale to be replayed now that Tiffani's seen how she came off and has matured so much)

    As for whether Fabio or Richard should have won....I'm kinda torn on that. I do believe that Fabio's contribution in doing a desert and rocking front of house was underappreciated by both the judges and his teammates. But I think maybe Richard's hasn't been fully discussed either. Dale might have been nominally the head chef, but it looked to me like it was really Richard who was in charge. Didn't the concept of a play on the bodega come from him? And the playful plating was definitely more of his style than it was Fabio, Carla, Tre, and Dale, all of whom have more straight forward, classic plating styles. All that along with the fact that the other chefs praised Richard's work was probably what got him the win.

  9. #49
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    Marcel's interview with TV Guide. Top Chef's Marcel Interview - Today's News: Our Take | TVGuide.com

    I like how Marcel explains how it is Mike Isabella's fault that he got eliminated. Seems that Mike I undercooked Marcel's monkfish that was served to the Judges table. Mike I also acted childish.

    Oh, and Carla loves him and Jaime must have been sleeping with someone else she would have been kicked off sooner.

    Also he is a really friendly guy and everyone loves him and he and others got a really bad edit. Watch his new show on the Syfy to see all the Marcel love.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  10. #50
    FORT Fogey Maybaybie's Avatar
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    Re: All-Stars 1/19 Show Discussion **Spoilers**

    No new Top Chef episode tomorrow, 1/26?? Boo!!

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