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Thread: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

  1. #21
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Judging by their twitter accounts chefs have to stop tweeting while they are filming. Everyone has a big gap in their posts between mid-May and early July '13. Then, many of them have a smaller one week gap between Oct 3/4 to Oct 9/10. I checked and counted about 8 chefs who went dark that week, including Nina, Shirley, Carlos, Nick, Louis, Brian, Stephanie, and Sara. Carrie continued to tweet. So either there is an episode of LCK in Maui or Louis appears to emerge as the champ. Or, maybe he loses in the last round but is invited to Hawaii because of his excellent performance. In short, twitter doesn't shed any light about who the finalists are! Dang.

  2. #22
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Statistics can't make fans like or respect a winning chef. Look at Hung, Ilan and Hosea. Ilan got a lot of support in his finale because he was up against Marcel, who virtually no one liked, but Ilan could be pretty douchey himself. Hung was a selfish competitor, which may not be a bad thing, but the structure of the show makes it so that you don't have to be cut-throat to win; it's up to each chef how they treat their fellow chefs. And nobody was all that enthused about Hosea winning in a finale where the clearly superior Stefan and the fan favorite Carla both tanked.

    Carlos may win this, but I don't have to like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by penne View Post
    Judging by their twitter accounts chefs have to stop tweeting while they are filming. Everyone has a big gap in their posts between mid-May and early July '13. Then, many of them have a smaller one week gap between Oct 3/4 to Oct 9/10. I checked and counted about 8 chefs who went dark that week, including Nina, Shirley, Carlos, Nick, Louis, Brian, Stephanie, and Sara. Carrie continued to tweet. So either there is an episode of LCK in Maui or Louis appears to emerge as the champ. Or, maybe he loses in the last round but is invited to Hawaii because of his excellent performance. In short, twitter doesn't shed any light about who the finalists are! Dang.
    Usually the most recently eliminated chefs (sometimes the entire cast) are asked to come back, and the finalists draw knives to select sous chefs from them for the first day of prep/cooking. In some seasons they offer more famous chefs to help out, but it's normal for the other chefs to at least attend the finals as audience members.
    Last edited by MFWalkoff; 01-20-2014 at 05:03 PM.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by MFWalkoff View Post
    Statistics can't make fans like or respect a winning chef. Look at Hung, Ilan and Hosea. Ilan got a lot of support in his finale because he was up against Marcel, who virtually no one liked, but Ilan could be pretty douchey himself. Hung was a selfish competitor, which may not be a bad thing, but the structure of the show makes it so that you don't have to be cut-throat to win; it's up to each chef how they treat their fellow chefs. And nobody was all that enthused about Hosea winning in a finale where the clearly superior Stefan and the fan favorite Carla both tanked.

    Carlos may win this, but I don't have to like it..
    Who said anything about liking Carlos? Many people have criticized Carlos for not being the chef Shirley or Nina are. I cited the stats to show that he is actually right there with the frontrunners. In fact, the numbers show he has done at least as well, if not better, than Shirley.

    People who don't like Carlos should just come out and say they don't like guys with long hair, they don't like Mexicans, they don't like people with funny accents, or whatever the reason is. But saying I don't like Carlos because he isn't a good chef doesn't make sense.

    Me? I don't like any of the F4 because each wants too much to be Top Chef, and you can see it in their faces, and it's not a pretty sight. That's why I like the losers, people like Bene, Carrie and Stephanie who aren't so full of naked ambition that they become ugly to behold.
    Last edited by penne; 01-20-2014 at 06:14 PM.

  4. #24
    Magical Elf MFWalkoff's Avatar
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    This is a TV show. You keep looking for logic everywhere, which is why you can find disappointment in some corners.

    Tom has said on many occasions: this is Top Chef, not Top Cook. I see Carlos as unworthy because the show sets up the title to Top Chef to be something distinctive and prestigious. They represent the show, and they reflect not only on the show's reputation, but Tom Colicchio's as well.

    I would compare it to Project Runway in that the show is looking for a designer who will use the show as a jumping point to start a much bigger career in the industry. Some winners have achieved that level of success, like Christian Siriano. Others, like Chloe Dao, took their prize money and went home to their little boutiques, and never really extended themselves any further. That feels like a wasted win to me.

    When a chef is overly focused on one cuisine and utterly ignorant of others, it just seems like they should be crowned Top Mexican Cuisine Chef, or Top Scallop Chef, but not Top Chef. But, the show has the rules it has, and a winner is a winner I guess.
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by MFWalkoff View Post
    This is a TV show. You keep looking for logic everywhere, which is why you can find disappointment in some corners.

    Tom has said on many occasions: this is Top Chef, not Top Cook. I see Carlos as unworthy because the show sets up the title to Top Chef to be something distinctive and prestigious. They represent the show, and they reflect not only on the show's reputation, but Tom Colicchio's as well.

    When a chef is overly focused on one cuisine and utterly ignorant of others, it just seems like they should be crowned Top Mexican Cuisine Chef, or Top Scallop Chef, but not Top Chef. But, the show has the rules it has, and a winner is a winner I guess.
    Carlos has a Michelin star. That's pretty prestigious. Also, he has cooked in French kitchens and his restaurant employs elements of French cuisine, so much so, his food is often described as fusion cuisine. This is from a review for his restaurant:

    SOUNDS BETTER THAN “FREXICAN” Before you toss quizzical looks toward West Town’s new Mexique
    for pairing ratatouille with roast pork and duck confit with a cranberry tamale, read up on Mexico’s
    history and you’ll learn that the country was introduced to France’s culinary contributions long ago.
    “In the 1860s when the French invaded Mexico, they brought their own chefs with them but cooked with
    Mexican ingredients, so the result was this beautiful Franco-Mexican,” says Mexique’s owner and chef Carlos Gaytan.
    “But after the French army left, no one was really interested in continuing it, and the food was lost.
    I want to resurrect it, but in a modern style.” At Mexique, Gaytan, a Mexico native, will fuse Mexican flavors with
    techniques he learned cooking at Frenchie faves like Bistro 110 and Bistrot Margot. For instance,
    he mixes duck fat rather than lard into masa for a trio of sopes, one filled with escargots,
    the second with shrimp provençal and another with sweet plantains in Xico mole.
    And in a true nod to France, each sope is paired with a small wine pour.


    Nina is mainly Italian but sometimes Carribean. Shirley is mainly Chinese with some French and Italian influences. Nick is French.

    Why is Carlos less of a chef because he cooks Mexican/French?

    I don't get it.

  6. #26
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Because when Nina, Shirley, and Nick were told to cook an étouffée, they had a clue what it was.
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  7. #27
    Magical Elf MFWalkoff's Avatar
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Well shucks, ya got me. Carlos wins! Hooray!

    Maybe part of the blame should go to the show -- since it now has to over-promote its host city to a ridiculous degree in exchange for money, the scope of the challenges has become more narrow, so that any chef who doesn't specialize in the local cuisine looks a lot more lacking in skill than they may be in reality.

    If Tom's happy with whoever wins, what do I care?
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcookerTV View Post
    Because when Nina, Shirley, and Nick were told to cook an étouffée, they had a clue what it was.
    If that's the criterion for a top chef then give the title to the person who won the etouffee challenge.

    Plus, Carlos said he misunderstood the challenge and if asked to do it again would know what to make. To me, it's not a deal breaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by MFWalkoff View Post
    Tom has said on many occasions: this is Top Chef, not Top Cook. I see Carlos as unworthy because the show sets up the title to Top Chef to be something distinctive and prestigious. They represent the show, and they reflect not only on the show's reputation, but Tom Colicchio's as well.

    I would compare it to Project Runway in that the show is looking for a designer who will use the show as a jumping point to start a much bigger career in the industry.
    Mexican cuisine in this country is still largely seen as Taco Bell or Chipotle. Since there are so many Latinos in the US and this demographic is growing in both number and wealth, it is entirely reasonable to think Mexican food here will only go upscale. A chef like Carlos is perfectly positioned to exploit this trend and make an even bigger name for himself.

    Shirley has a similar opportunity since Chinese food here is pretty much confined to straight-up traditional cuisines, like Cantonese, Szechuan, Shanghai, etc. There is definitely room for upscale, modern Chinese food.

    Nina with her straightforward Italian and Nick with his modern French are nothing special. The culinary landscape is littered with restaurants serving that kind of food. Otoh, if Nina can tap into her St Lucian roots then she has something to work with. She may still be a work in progress. I don't know if she's really found her voice yet, since she's still cooking for someone else (Scott Conant--yeah, that guy on Chopped).
    Last edited by Arielflies; 01-20-2014 at 09:45 PM.

  9. #29
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    My étouffée point was not declaring that making that dish best is the criteria to win. Rather, it was just one example of how narrow Carlos' knowledge of food is. A top chef, in my mind, should have a very broad knowledge of cuisine. Other chefs may specialize in one type of food, but they are knowledgable in others. Carlos is not.
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  10. #30
    FORT Fogey TripleGemini's Avatar
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Why can't I just not like Carlos because of his attitude? I'm married to someone with long hair (longer than Carlos'), I have friends who are from Mexico, I love accents, etc. I don't not like him because he is or isn't a good chef...I can't taste his food, so I really have no idea how good he is. But I think his attitude stinks.

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