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Thread: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

  1. #21
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    Quote Originally Posted by Veruka;2572996;
    For the judges, I'd put Padma on hosting duties only. Let her moderate and participate in the discussion for judging, but not have a vote. That would make room for both Gail and Ted on the judges panel. I'd also move Tom off the judges panel and replace him permanently with Bourdain. Tom, I'd move exclusively to the kitchen in a Tim Gunn advisor type of role. Tom has the encouraging side to him, but we don't get to see it when he's got to be the crabby judge.

    For the judging of single challenge vs overall competition, I agree that it's not fair when a strong competitor has one bad night and is sent home. But I think a point system could allow some people to get too far ahead and complacent. Instead of that, I'd set a rule that the dish for the elimination challenge alone determines the bottom three. However, once those bottom 3 are determined, their full work in the competition is taken into consideration for deciding who goes home.

    Lastly for the challenges -- I like the way skill sets are tested by having some degree of absurd challenges - whether that is in cost, conditions, or ingredients. I don't want to see that go away, but I want to see it taken into account more in the judging. If the conditions are unrealistic, reward those who are skilled enough to make the proper adjustments without bashing those who don't. If the budget is low, don't wonder why the finest ingredients weren't used. Perfection can't be the only acceptable level of performance each challenge when perfection is not in the challenges.
    I don't believe that Gail, Ted, or Padma get a vote. Colicchio mentioned that he has already picked a winner and a loser at the start of the JT and it is up to the other judges to get him to change his decision if they differ from him.
    By the way, Gail shares judging duties with Ted because of her Day job at Food And Wine magazine.

    As for replacing Tom as head judge with Tony, that's a bad idea. Tom is a multiple James Beard award winner among many other accolades. He is a world class chef and a successful businessman who knows the restaurant business from the ground up. Tony Bourdain, by his own admission, is a "journeyman chef" whose writing skills are what got him to where he is today.

    As for having a mentor in the kitchen, Colicchio explained last season why there isn't a Tim Gunn in the Top Chef kitchen.

    As for cumulative scoring, that is good if you are a multiple winner, not so good for the nonwinners. Cumulative scoring could create the situation where one guy gets so far ahead that he/she cannot lose in the finale (unless the points are set back to zero at the start of the finale), or somewheres in the competition it becomes mathematically impossible for several chefs to have a chance of making the final four and they just pack up their knives and quit. So we are somewhat in agreement on this aspect of cumulative scoring. I for one like it the way it is now. Every challenge is a new day and previous successes and failures are thrown out. In other words, you have to bring your A-Game every day. If you screw up, you can only hope that someone screwed up worse than you did. At least one guest judge has said that in real life a restaurant cannot afford to have a bad day. Maybe that is why so many restaurants fail.

  2. #22
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    Quote Originally Posted by shoepie;2573262;
    I find this show almost flawless. The one change I would make is to extend it to 90 minutes so we could see more of the judges deliberation. I would love to hear more of the critique.

    I will also throw in that I like Padma. I don't get the criticism. She knows her food and it makes sense to have the host a judge, as well. Whe she tastes something that she adores it is compelling.
    I totally agree! I would love to hear more of the judges' deliberation. This is one show where the hour seems to fly by...there's rarely any "filler" (Hello, Big Brother!).

    I also like Padma and don't get why so many people dislike her.

    I think it would be interesting if, for a challenge, a top chef (Tom, Anthony, Rocco, one of the guest judges, etc.) participates, so we can see what a "real" TC would do within the constraints of the challenge. (Sort of like, in ANTM, when we see a shot of Tyra right before the judging panel and it's always in the same theme as that episode's shoot.) Since the argument at the judges' table always seems to be that whatever constraints they've been given are not impossible, I'd like to see what one of the judges would do in that situation. Then at least (presumably) the bar has been set and we can see how far below it the TCC are.

  3. #23
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    Quote Originally Posted by MMLEsq;2573632;
    I think it would be interesting if, for a challenge, a top chef (Tom, Anthony, Rocco, one of the guest judges, etc.) participates, so we can see what a "real" TC would do within the constraints of the challenge. (Sort of like, in ANTM, when we see a shot of Tyra right before the judging panel and it's always in the same theme as that episode's shoot.) Since the argument at the judges' table always seems to be that whatever constraints they've been given are not impossible, I'd like to see what one of the judges would do in that situation. Then at least (presumably) the bar has been set and we can see how far below it the TCC are.
    I LIKE that idea! It would add a whole new dimension to the show, and something else for us to root for/against... (Add a blind tasting to the mix, and perfect TV...) The possibility of the Top Chef being upstaged by the wannebes, would be "delicious"...

    But for that reason, they will probably never do it. These Top Chefs have egos the size of their kitchens, and would not take kindly to being upstaged...
    Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. ~Mark Twain

  4. #24
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo1;2573539;
    I don't believe that Gail, Ted, or Padma get a vote. Colicchio mentioned that he has already picked a winner and a loser at the start of the JT and it is up to the other judges to get him to change his decision if they differ from him.
    I believe that the comment from Tom that you're referring to was in regards to HIS vote -- not the only vote. HE goes into the discussion with a winner in mind. If the other judges disagree with him, and want to sway him to their way of thinking to get a majority, it's up to them to change his decision. But the decision does not rest entirely on his shoulders.
    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo1;2573539;
    As for replacing Tom as head judge with Tony, that's a bad idea. Tom is a multiple James Beard award winner among many other accolades. He is a world class chef and a successful businessman who knows the restaurant business from the ground up. Tony Bourdain, by his own admission, is a "journeyman chef" whose writing skills are what got him to where he is today.
    The explanations you've given are precisely why I'd like to see Tom as mentor and Bourdain as judge. As a viewer, the most entertaining thing about judges table is the comments made. Bourdain, having a way with words, is a natural to make that segment both enlightening and entertaining. I think Tom's vast food knowledge and talent would be better exhibited as a mentor and teacher as opposed to a judge.
    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo1;2573539;
    As for having a mentor in the kitchen, Colicchio explained last season why there isn't a Tim Gunn in the Top Chef kitchen.
    Yes I know. But just because Tom said it doesn't mean I have to agree with it.

  5. #25
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo1;2573539;
    By the way, Gail shares judging duties with Ted because of her Day job at Food And Wine magazine.
    But that didn't stop her last season...?

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo1;2573539;
    As for replacing Tom as head judge with Tony, that's a bad idea. Tom is a multiple James Beard award winner among many other accolades. He is a world class chef and a successful businessman who knows the restaurant business from the ground up. Tony Bourdain, by his own admission, is a "journeyman chef" whose writing skills are what got him to where he is today.
    I agree completely. Seeing Anthony Bourdain on that show twice in one season is enough, thankyouverymuch.

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo1;2573539;
    As for having a mentor in the kitchen, Colicchio explained last season why there isn't a Tim Gunn in the Top Chef kitchen.
    He did? I don't remember...what was his reasoning/logic?

  6. #26
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    Colicchio's reasoning/logic on not having a mentor in the Top Chef kitchen:

    Tom has noted on his blog that he has wanted to help people as he is doing his rounds but the two roles could conflict -- What if the person didn't listen to my advice? Would that subconsciously affect my feelings about his or her dish? Would I be biased toward dishes I had somehow helped along?

    There is simply no time for a mentor to come in, critique the food as they are cooking, and allow the chefs to alter the food based on his comment. This is an intense, difficult competition -- the time the chefs have to get it right is short. Tom has pointed out that in cooking it is incredibly difficult to change course based on even the most helpful ideas.

    We think there is value in our chefs forced to go with their instincts to create food in a flash, unguided. It makes the competition more intense, fair, and exciting to see what these great chefs will create.

    The above is an excerpt from Andy Cohen's blog (November 16, 2006)

  7. #27
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shady64;2572768;
    They should take past challenge performance into account as well when deciding who to boot rather than just basing it on 1 challenge only.
    YES!!!!!

    and I really dislike Gail so they should kick her off

    can we do a petition online for them to get rid of her, I dont know who actually likes her?

  8. #28
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    For one season, get rid of the elimination round. Let's just see the chefs compete against each other and earn points toward the final four.

    A quick-fire win would earn you some sort of privilege. The elimination competition would instead be a point competition. A win gets you 3 points, 2 place earns two points, 3rd place earns one point.

    After 8 weeks, send the top four off for finals. That way it really would be Top Chef, not Chef-who-managed-not-to-be-the-worst-chef-one-week.

    OR .... make the Restaurant Wars the first elimination. The team of eight who loses ALL of them pack up their knives. And then go with weekly eliminations after that.

    But let me see more cooking from talented chefs.

  9. #29
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    I would actually get rid of restaurant wars all together or change it back to how they had it during season 1. Personally, it's my least favorite challenge but I think it could be better if the chefs didn't have to design the space as well as come up with a concept and menu. I liked season 1 when they had a furnished space and all they had to do was come up with a menu and buy the plates and some other decorations. I think it would eliminate some of the stress in that challenge and ultimately they would end up with better food.

    Also I think the chefs should get more realistic budgets for some of the challenges.

  10. #30
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    Re: What changes would you make on Top Chef?

    While the contestants always seem to hate the low-budget, shop at a convenience store type challenges; those are my favorites to watch. Any chef worth his salt can submit a winning creation with a large budget but I like the creativity that comes from working with very little money or resources. The last two seasons have had way too many "cook with exotic foods" challenges(brains, snake etc) for my liking but that's just me.

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