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

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    Magical Elf MFWalkoff's Avatar
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    Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    "Po' Boy Smackdown" in case you were worried that a week might go by without them doing New Orleans cuisine. But the po' boys are just in the Quickfire; it looks like they will have a little more leeway in the Elimination Challenge.

    Enjoy the show!
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    The guest QF chef was totally right; those po boys looked so damn sad. There wasn't nearly enough filling in any one of them. OTOH, I'm glad they're off the NOLA theme for the EC.

    I so want Nicholas to PYKAG tonight. I'm sick of him.
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    Mixing Old Fashioneds PhoneGrrrl's Avatar
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Ugh! Brian goes home for a skinless boneless chicken breast? WTF is wrong with that? It's healthy, tasty, and versatile. Nicholas should have gone for his Carrot Top plate. And another thing that bugged the crap out of me was the Dunkin' Donunts product placement. There's like 1 DD in the greater NOLA area and there are a ton of independent coffee shops and a local chain (PJ's) and the practically state wide chain/store brand (Community). I need to move or quit watching this season.

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    Didn't see Brian coming. The only clue was the preview showing him flambaying his chicken breasts. I liked Brian. No drama. Cool guy. And I liked his out-of-the-box thinking. The toad-in-the-creole-tomato-hole, the green yuzu hot sauce, the soup he made with his drumsticks, even the spa cuisine in the Halloween challenge: unlike other chefs, he really tried to look at things differently, and I appreciated that.

    Louis has really become a beast in LCK. The parameters there are far more tightly prescribed than in TCK, so it'll be interesting to see if he gets into the finale if he's really learned to rein in his wayward tendencies. The guy has the skills, but like Nick tries to do too much when given the latitude. I still see Nina taking a detour, so that would be Louis' last and toughest test.

    I looked a second time at the scene where Nick puts his quinoa into the oven and the temperature on the dial showed 500F. It seems he misread it.

    One last thing. I always wondered why they didn't put Shirley in the 30 sec opening credits segment, but I finally noticed there is a brief close-up of her just before they jump into the cuts showing 12 chefs posing (in groups of 3) with the fleur-de-lis. Does this mean Shirley wins the whole thing? I'm beginning to think so. Right now, I have them ranked Shirley, Nina, Carlos, Louis, and Nick. And it does appear 4 chefs will be headed to Hawaii. Can't wait to see Nick erupt on the islands...

    I've noticed that whenever a chef says that he's finally achieved an important goal, milestone, or redemption his run is about to end. So Stephanie redeemed herself in John Besh's eyes on the banks of the Mississippi and next episode she is gone. Travis finally finds acceptance in the kitchen as a gay man (in the front of the house) and he is gone. Brian tells us he finally found respect in the kitchen working with the Peruvian chef in LA and he is gone. This week, Louis tells us Tom finally understands what he is capable of as a chef. Does this mean King Louis' reign about to end? This was his toughest victory yet. He had to make the best dish of the season and to beat Brian. I'd like to see what Louis can do in Hawaii, but I think it's going to be the current final 4 in Maui.

    Another thing. Nick still had about 8 mins when he pulled his quinoa out of the oven. I've never toasted quinoa but it seems he could have put another batch into the oven. Why not try? He had nothing to lose at that point. Odd.

    And I enjoyed it that Carlos came out of his shell this week and showed how annoyed he was with Roy Choi. A Korean-American food truck owner lecturing a Mexican-American owner of a Michelin-starred Mexican restaurant about Mexican food? Sure, why not? Makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by penne View Post
    I've noticed that whenever a chef says that he's finally achieved an important goal, milestone, or redemption his run is about to end.
    By this logic both Shirley and Carlos should also be up for imminent elimination since each finally expressed himself in this week's challenge. Shirley would be a real shocker. Carlos, not so much. The flags have been waving for him for a while, now, and his choice to make tamales in next week's NO-inspired challenge may get him booted. Nick has been on the bottom 3 wks running and those kinds of streaks usually end with an appearance in LCK. The preview shows him doing something complex again, but he says he knows what his weaknesses have been, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him pull it off this one time, but that would be his climax. So my alternate Maui F4 would be Shirley, Nina, Nick and Louis, who will beat Carlos and run the table in LCK.

    And I noticed Bravo has announced a new series, "Top Chef Extreme"! Sounds like TC Allstars and is supposed to pit familiar faces from past seasons in a kind of abbreviated super-challenge to determine the "Ultimate Top Chef". Allstars didn't have any Top Chefs, only the runner-ups, but Bravo has pics of past winners like Kristen Kish, Paul Qui and the Voltagio bros (yeah, I know, only one was a winner), etc., so this could be the bomb, as Brian likes to say. Series is supposed to air this summer. Yippee!
    Last edited by Arielflies; 01-16-2014 at 08:06 PM.
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Ugh. I felt like they only eliminated Brian to keep the Nick-vs-Carlos-conflict going. Boo.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by penne View Post
    I looked a second time at the scene where Nick puts his quinoa into the oven and the temperature on the dial showed 500F. It seems he misread it.

    Another thing. Nick still had about 8 mins when he pulled his quinoa out of the oven. I've never toasted quinoa but it seems he could have put another batch into the oven. Why not try? He had nothing to lose at that point. Odd.
    The obvious answer to the latter is he didn't have any more quinoa to toast.

    And the funny thing about Dial-gate is that the shot of the temperature dial was not contiguous with the shot of Nick putting his tray in the oven. Instead, the camera cuts to a close-up showing the dial set at 500F. But why would the cameraman think it was necessary to do a close up of the dial right after Nick turned it? That seems odd. And then we get another close-up of the same dial after Nick pulls his tray out of the oven and it still appears to read 500F, even though we see Nick fidgeting with the dial. And this second close-up looks identical to the first. So what exactly was going on there? The editing is confusing, to say the least.

    If Nick really set the dial at 225F, as he claimed, then someone else must have changed it. We never see anyone do this, and the many shots of Carlos' reactions to Nina saying "something is burning" and to Nicks explanations of what happened don't suggest he sabotaged Nick. Nick's explanation itself, however, is not entirely accurate. He told the judges he "heard the buzzer and discovered the dial set at 500F, etc". But the camera showed it was the smell of burning quinoa (first detected by Nina) and not the buzzer that alerted the kitchen to the problem. I'm not suggesting Nick lied to the judges. But his stress in the kitchen may be affecting his perceptions, not only of the position of the dial but also of what transpired. It's also possible the oven is just broken and is stuck at a high temp when it is on. I'm not sure there is enough on the camera to get to the bottom of this.

    Nick, on his twitter account, reiterates his opinion that Brian deserved to stay. So kudos to him for being honest. I see in the preview he's making a dish that looks like the one he won with in RW. Nick really peaked in RW, but somehow I think he makes it to the finale.
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    Re: Top Chef New Orleans - 1/15 Show Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by ClosetRTWatcher View Post
    Ugh. I felt like they only eliminated Brian to keep the Nick-vs-Carlos-conflict going. Boo.
    I had trouble discerning Brian's storyline, but in the end it was the fact he produced a lot of good dishes but could never win an EC--ie, good but not good enough. Plus, he never produced a successful fine dining dish. His RW effort was messed up by his gel; his last effort was undermined by his choice of protein. His successful dishes--like his food truck ceviche, Vietnamese spring roll, fried chicken, boucherie pork dish, shrimp cakes--were all fast casual kind of fare. So judging by what he put on the plate, Brian was not quite in the same class as Nina and Shirley. And, I don't know if anyone has ever made it to the finale without at least one EC win. Even Josh had one last season. So, despite their denials, it wouldn't surprise me if all this factored into the judges' deliberations.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by penne View Post
    So judging by what he put on the plate, Brian was not quite in the same class as Nina and Shirley. And, I don't know if anyone has ever made it to the finale without at least one EC win. Even Josh had one last season. So, despite their denials, it wouldn't surprise me if all this factored into the judges' deliberations.
    I don't think Brian, Carlos, or Nick are in the same class as Nina and Shirley. If the judges/producers feel the same then they could easily have given Brian the boot to keep the opportunity for a blow-out between Carlos and Nick. Didn't Tom even ask at the judges table if Nick thought someone else changed the oven temperature? It's like they are egging them on!

    I freely admit that I'm cynical about reality television producers!
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    Interestingly, immunity was awarded again this week. I think the problem may be that corporate sponsorships are drying up for TC and they just don't have the cash to dole out as prizes. This announcement of a TC Extreme pitting familiar faces from the past against each other can be seen in this light as a somewhat desperate move by the show's producers to draw old audiences back to the franchise.

    Whatever the case, I'd be very surprised if immunity is offered next week.

    Carlos' weaknesses are his lack of formal training and unfamiliarity with many cuisines (he wouldn't be alone in this), but in the finale where he can cook Mexican he would be a formidable chef. Basically, he would produce a Michelin star meal. That is a high bar for any chef to match, much less surpass. Curiously, the only chef with similar credentials is Louis. He worked in a restaurant that also earned a Michelin star. Carlos' challenge has been navigating the minefield that is TC in order to get to the finale. We saw a glimpse of what he would do this week. I don't count him out, at all, and in a head-to-head cook-off, put him at the top of this group along with Nina and Shirley.

    Nick is the weakest of the chefs remaining, including Louis. He (Nick) struggles to produce even one coherent, properly seasoned dish. Imagine what would happen to him in the finale if he had to make 4 or 5 dishes. Yikes! The man's head would explode just from (over)thinking about it. As an all-around chef, I actually rank Brian higher than Nick. Shaggy is more versatile, more creative than tricky Nick. And his talking heads are actually funny sometimes, although Nick's rants are pretty entertaining, too, albeit in a different way! And, finally, and most importantly for a TV chef, he's got better hair. Yippee!
    Last edited by Arielflies; 01-17-2014 at 02:39 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by penne View Post
    Carlos' weaknesses are his lack of formal training and unfamiliarity with many cuisines (he wouldn't be alone in this), but in the finale where he can cook Mexican he would be a formidable chef. Basically, he would produce a Michelin star meal. That is a high bar for any chef to match, much less surpass. Curiously, the only chef with similar credentials is Louis. He worked in a restaurant that also earned a Michelin star. Carlos' challenge has been navigating the minefield that is TC in order to get to the finale. We saw a glimpse of what he would do this week. I don't count him out, at all, and in a head-to-head cook-off, put him at the top of this group along with Nina and Shirley.
    Those are big weaknesses for a top chef to me, accompanied by his time management skills. Mexican or Southwestern cuisines do not have flavors that I like, so I'd never eat in his restaurant anyway, but for me Carlos is not top chef quality. I was hoping he'd be gone several weeks ago.

    The only one left I'd like to see with the win is Shirley. We all have our opinions, I guess, especially about food.
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