cheezepowder

"Top Chef" (2006-) Reality Chef-Competition Series on Bravo - Now in Season 13

1,426 posts in this topic

We don't seem to have a thread on Top Chef on the Bravo network. Season 3 starts this Wed, June 13th at 10pm. Does anyone else watch it? I'm hoping Season 3 will be better than Season 2 (as in, less drama), although the previews don't make it seem that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We don't seem to have a thread on Top Chef on the Bravo network. Season 3 starts this Wed, June 13th at 10pm. Does anyone else watch it? I'm hoping Season 3 will be better than Season 2 (as in, less drama), although the previews don't make it seem that way.

Actually, I'm betting that there will be more drama and the contestents will not be as skilled as the ones from before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was interesting that Lee Ann Wong, from the first season, is now a member of the Top Chef production team. She was probably the most mature, professional chef of the first bunch, but was eliminated in favor of having more of a dramatic good guy/bad girl showdown for the finale, which was ultimately won by Harold Dieterle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, I'm betting that there will be more drama and the contestents will not be as skilled as the ones from before.

You're probably right, dw. But this is one of the guilty pleasures I allow myself. I am sure I'll watch the theatrics. It's gotta be better than Hell's Kitchen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought it was interesting that Lee Ann Wong, from the first season, is now a member of the Top Chef production team. She was probably the most mature, professional chef of the first bunch, but was eliminated in favor of having more of a dramatic good guy/bad girl showdown for the finale, which was ultimately won by Harold Dieterle.
I do agree that Lee Ann was one of the most mature personalities on the show but I do think the right two made it to the finals in season 1. After reading and watching some of the "making of" stuff I think that the judging is actually pretty honest and without influence from producers. I know some watchers will jump to say I am naive but I think it is kind of a Hearst-esque "you provide the pictures, I provide the war" type of situation. I think that they carry out the contest filming every interaction and then after the smoke clears, writers make a story out of the thousands upon thousands of hours they have on film. If the finals had ended up being Leanne and Harold I am sure we would have seen much more shots of the two of them getting into it throughout the season. I know that if I was living together for a month or two cramped up in an apartment in an intense contest with one of my best friends, they would have enough footage to make us look like mortal enemies in a few 30 minute episodes.

Anyways, I thought Harold and red-head chick (blackout on name) were actually the two strongest technical chefs on the first season. I felt that they messed up a bit 2nd season sending Ilan and Marcel. I don't believe it was intentional to create drama but because of the policy that no past contests or behavior affect the decisions. Marcel and Ilan were probably not the two best overall but there isn't much denying that they did the best on the semifinals and due to the guidelines given to the judges, belonged in the final. The other two really crapped the bed on that last elimination challenge I thought.

I thought there was a lot less talent second season in general and most of the chefs in season 2 wouldn't have cracked the top 5 on season 1. Beth and I both commented after seeing the preview for 3 on the number of young attractive chefs in the promo. Nothing against young attractive people I am sure they sell more ad time but when it comes to quality cheffing give me fat old and possibly even ugly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The eG thread on Top Chef suggests that this season's contestants might actually be the strongest yet. An executive sous chef at Jean Georges. . .a sous chef at Guy Savoy in Vegas. . .a former sous chef at Trio outside of Chicago. Some good resumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The eG thread on Top Chef suggests that this season's contestants might actually be the strongest yet. An executive sous chef at Jean Georges. . .a sous chef at Guy Savoy in Vegas. . .a former sous chef at Trio outside of Chicago. Some good resumes.

Likewise Season 2's contestants had more established pedigrees than those in Season 1, hailing from Casa Mono, Robuchon in Vegas, etc.). Overall I thought the challenges in Season 1 were more conducive to assessing the chefs' abilities than Season 2, which brought us vending machine amuse bouche, canned foods, and overt product placements as part of the challenges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought it was interesting that Lee Ann Wong, from the first season, is now a member of the Top Chef production team. She was probably the most mature, professional chef of the first bunch, but was eliminated in favor of having more of a dramatic good guy/bad girl showdown for the finale, which was ultimately won by Harold Dieterle.
I don't know that the words dramatic and Harold belong in the same sentence - I think he's clearly the most talented chef of the two seasons to this point, and likely the most mature as well. I actually think Lee Ann would have fared better in season two - no doubt she would have beaten Andy Nusser Jr. (oops, Ilan) and Marcel...Ilan has no range whatsoever, as shown in the reunion challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hope the judges eliminate the first person who offers a foam on their dish just on principle.

I don't know if anyone else caught the Season 1 v. Season 2 one-off (the top 4 from each season competed for charity and cooked for the judges & the new Season 3 cast), but apparently there are several "Marcel disciples" in the incoming cast. It was not at all surprising that Season 1 wiped the floor with Season 2.

Also, funny story about Stephen Asprinio, the sommelier. A chef I know taught him in culinary school and said he was quite the character -- exactly the same as we see him on the show. He came into school with stages at places like Nobu and Daniel listed on his resume -- some impossibly impressive credentials for a twenty-something. When pressed, he admitted that he had only eaten at all those places! He was told to calm down and realize that he was a little fish at a place like Cornell (where, for example, the son of the Barclay's chairman had a suite in the hotel and ordered room service every day). At first, everyone else hated him for being pompous and arrogant but after while people realized that Stephen was just being Stephen and really came to like him. I have to say, he put in the most impressive showing in the Season 1 v. 2 showdown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know if anyone else caught the Season 1 v. Season 2 one-off (the top 4 from each season competed for charity and cooked for the judges & the new Season 3 cast), but apparently there are several "Marcel disciples" in the incoming cast.
Marcel's "rap" on this showdown special may have been the most cringe-worthy TV moment I've ever seen. Holy cow. There's gotta be a You Tube clip out there if you didn't see the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During the challenge, it really was no surprise that Season One beat up on Season Two, it really wasn't even close. The only person on Season Two that really did well, during the challenge and the entire season, was Sam, he was the best by far. But, I have to agree with an earlier post, you have to be good every week and he did a bad job in the semifinals, so he didn't make it to the finals. It sucks, but that is the way it works sometimes.

Personally, Harold was the best in season one and Sam was the best in season two. And, while I never liked Marcel, I think that he got a bad rap in season two, he was a prick, but it is not like the other contestants were that much nicer or more mature.

Interesting story about Stephen. He definitely seems like a pompous ass, but he also seems to be the most with it all of the time, especially during the challenge. Very calm, not rushing around like a maniac, always in control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At first, everyone else hated him for being pompous and arrogant but after while people realized that Stephen was just being Stephen and really came to like him.

I really couldn't stand him during Season 1 and we did a little cheer when he got sent packing. But he really won me over during the reunion when he stood up and apologized to Candice for the way he spoke to her. He told her that she was great and that she never deserved all those things he said to her. It showed a different side to him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really couldn't stand him during Season 1 and we did a little cheer when he got sent packing. But he really won me over during the reunion when he stood up and apologized to Candice for the way he spoke to her. He told her that she was great and that she never deserved all those things he said to her. It showed a different side to him.

I thought Stephen was having more of an "I love you man!" Bud moment. Like the drunk first bride in "Four Weddings and a Funeral": "I love you, and I love you too. I don't know you, but I love you" ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really couldn't stand him during Season 1 and we did a little cheer when he got sent packing. But he really won me over during the reunion when he stood up and apologized to Candice for the way he spoke to her. He told her that she was great and that she never deserved all those things he said to her. It showed a different side to him.

You know he grew on me too. I think he watched some of those episodes and saw himself going on and on about some obscure wine region or the anthropological signifigance of some root vegetable while the listeners were looking around for someone to rescue them or heard how bad he sounded trying to berate another talented chef and had an epiphany. I like to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he just realized he is a pompous douche and is trying to get better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know he grew on me too. I think he watched some of those episodes and saw himself going on and on about some obscure wine region or the anthropological signifigance of some root vegetable while the listeners were looking around for someone to rescue them or heard how bad he sounded trying to berate another talented chef and had an epiphany. I like to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he just realized he is a pompous douche and is trying to get better.

I wonder if it was also that compared to Marcel's pompousness and immaturity, Stephen simply comes off as someone who is basically a little snotty and annoyingly erudite, but overall has some class. It was an interesting counterpoint that the two "villains" were cooking against each other, and Marcel gave Tom a ton of attitude while Stephen was calm and pleasant. Stephen still managed to outclass everyone from Season 2, except for Sam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder if it was also that compared to Marcel's pompousness and immaturity, Stephen simply comes off as someone who is basically a little snotty and annoyingly erudite, but overall has some class. It was an interesting counterpoint that the two "villains" were cooking against each other, and Marcel gave Tom a ton of attitude while Stephen was calm and pleasant. Stephen still managed to outclass everyone from Season 2, except for Sam.

I liked how Marcel and Dave were going on and on while arguing with eachother and Harold just had to say "ENOUGH!" (or something like that) and they both shut up. It was obvious who the executive chef was among the group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked Stephen, even during Season 1. He was a holier than thou kind of guy, but you could tell he was passionate about what he was doing. I like that. Marcel is just a bit of a weird little man. I am sure he can cook, and cook well, but I think he spends too much time on the frou foru side of cooking rather than assembling a great dish with pure core flavors first and then, time permitting, add in the frou frou.

Season 3 starts tonight and it ought to be interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AS HungryProf point out, there are some serious chefs in this season. Along with the various pedigrees from Guy Savoy and Jean Georges, there's Tre Wilcox who's been nominated for a Beard award twice (in '05 and '06) as Rising Star chef. Makes the Hell's Kitchen lot seem even more miserable by comparison

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the show from time to time. As with all "reality shows" the producers have a real talent for finding people with serious personality issues. And as always, I'm bad at remembering names, so I'm having trouble knowing who exactly you all are talking about.

Likes

Tall dude with heavy 5 o'clock shadow who sometimes pinned his hair back.

Tall dark-haired chick (perhaps with 5 o'clock shadow) who eventually shaved her head for some reason.

Dislikes

Douchebag wineguy with the gigantic tie knots and fondness for foams.

Most of the other women (especially that red-headed broad).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I liked Stephen, even during Season 1. He was a holier than thou kind of guy, but you could tell he was passionate about what he was doing. I like that. Marcel is just a bit of a weird little man. I am sure he can cook, and cook well, but I think he spends too much time on the frou foru side of cooking rather than assembling a great dish with pure core flavors first and then, time permitting, add in the frou frou.

Season 3 starts tonight and it ought to be interesting.

You know what was funny, the judges' favorite dish of Marcel's in the finals was actually Sam's from start to finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know what was funny, the judges' favorite dish of Marcel's in the finals was actually Sam's from start to finish.

And in Season 1, Tiffany stood there bold faced taking credit for Dave's dessert during the finale when she went up against Harold. With her cooking chops, she should have had the humility to give him the kudos. Judging from the competition with Season 2, it appears she's grown a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now