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"Top Chef" (2006-) Reality Chef-Competition Series on Bravo - Now in Season 16

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Carla fails on a consistent basis. She can't get things done on time. She can't overcome obstacles. I can't imagine hiring her and having to rely on her to do anything. Over the course of the competition, she's had some highs but overall, not top chef material. Hosea is consistent but I really have no interest in eating his food though. Stefan - did he overlook Hosea again?! Why do that dessert if it isn't anything special?

I enjoy watching Top Chef in general. My only question is, how well would they do if they open a restaurant in DC? Would the best contestant in the history of the show be in the top 20 in DC? I'm pretty sure no one from this season would but I have alot of respect for Richard Blaise and Hung.

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Carla fails on a consistent basis. She can't get things done on time. She can't overcome obstacles. I can't imagine hiring her and having to rely on her to do anything. Over the course of the competition, she's had some highs but overall, not top chef material.
Ahem, can you turn the volume down a bit? If you read the DCist interview, I think Carla quoted Fabio saying "this isn't cooking, this is rushing," and truly that's what it seems like on this show. Cut some slack! You may need to watch the whole season again, if you're making these comments on her. Yes, she does have some consistency issues, but so did the other chefs. I think the top three did a nice job and was glad that at least part of this season was very entertaining compared to past seasons.

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I have to say one of my favorite aspects of this season was how much the chefs were willing to help each other plate dishes and get them out.

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Did anyone else feel like Casey (sp?) was out of place amongst the 3 helpers? I mean I remember her, but didn't really remember she was a finalist - whereas I definitely knew Marcel and Richard were strong contenders. Could just be that her season - I don't even remember which at this point - was one of the earlier ones.

Also Stefan got moved a few notches down on the jerk ranking for me tonight - he was really sweet in comforting Carla when she was crying. Also I think Josea was a dick in hogging ingredients.. did he even use any of that caviar??

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Did anyone else feel like Casey (sp?) was out of place amongst the 3 helpers?
All I could think was uh-oh worst sous chef ever. She took forever to chop onions two seasons ago.

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All I could think was uh-oh worst sous chef ever. She took forever to chop onions two seasons ago.
And now has the dubious distinction of being the only cheftestant to blow two finales. Too bad Carla listened to her. Although Hosea "won", I think that media-wise, Fabio and Carla are the two clear winners here. Ultimately this was a disappointing season, and Hosea is a level below prior winners (save Ilan). I think that viewers will remember Carla and Fabio far longer than Stefan and Hosea.

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All I could think was uh-oh worst sous chef ever. She took forever to chop onions two seasons ago.

I wanted Carla to win, but am happy with Hosea. I was in Boulder a few weeks ago, and my sister and her boyfriend are regulars at Hosea's restaurant (since before the show) so we went. I have to say, it was one of the best meals I have had in months. We had a number of starters, but I remember really good pork belly sliders and a great salad with goat cheese and dates. My main was a seared Cod with browned butter, braised brussel sprouts, pork belly and pomegranate seeds. Really, it was fantastic. Earthy, sweet, sour, rich, but not heavy. My sister's cioppino was also fantastic, as was her boyfriend's tuna. The guy clearly knows fish.

We met him at the end of the meal when he came to the bar (where we were eating). Nice guy about my age. He said Stefan was really arrogant, Carla was really nice, and I wished him well. Jax in Boulder is already filled every night, and I can only guess that either the restaurant group that owns it will have to offer him a lot more money to stay, or he'll strike off on his own.

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All I could think was uh-oh worst sous chef ever. She took forever to chop onions two seasons ago.

Hosea got very lucky. Richard Blaise was the only sous chef who seemed genuinely interested in winning and he's by far the most talented among the 3. Hosea also got to pick his protein for the hors d'oeuvres. Did Stefan set aside some foie gras which Hosea subsequently took away?

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Did Stefan set aside some foie gras which Hosea subsequently took away?

From what I saw, it looked like when Stefan and Marcel were in the walk in, Stefan took 2 of the foie gras packs and set it on his tray (or shelf of the walk in, hard to tell) - then Josea swooped in and grabbed all 3.

I really wish Carla hadn't taken Casey's suggestion of sou vide-ing the beef!

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Ahem, can you turn the volume down a bit? If you read the DCist interview, I think Carla quoted Fabio saying "this isn't cooking, this is rushing," and truly that's what it seems like on this show. Cut some slack! You may need to watch the whole season again, if you're making these comments on her. Yes, she does have some consistency issues, but so did the other chefs. I think the top three did a nice job and was glad that at least part of this season was very entertaining compared to past seasons.
Yah and her technique sucks, and making food with love isn't an excuse for crappy food. I'll take the food made without love that comes up right.

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From what I saw, it looked like when Stefan and Marcel were in the walk in, Stefan took 2 of the foie gras packs and set it on his tray (or shelf of the walk in, hard to tell) - then Josea swooped in and grabbed all 3.

That's what I thought. Stefan should've kicked Hosea's ass at that point. And then Hosea had the gall to say he grabbed them first.

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That's what I thought. Stefan should've kicked Hosea's ass at that point. And then Hosea had the gall to say he grabbed them first.

and then it seemed he took ALL the caviar too! and I swear he didn't use any, although I seem to remember Stefan did, so maybe he negotiated a can away from Hosea (just realized I've been spelling his name wrong all along).

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Did anyone else feel like Casey (sp?) was out of place amongst the 3 helpers? I mean I remember her, but didn't really remember she was a finalist - whereas I definitely knew Marcel and Richard were strong contenders. Could just be that her season - I don't even remember which at this point - was one of the earlier ones.

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. I thought both Marcel and Richard were 2nd place winners. I remember she came in 3rd, but I'm blanking on who was the 2nd place winner that year. I think it was the season that Hung won.

Overall I felt the chefs this season were not as talented and the food not as interesting as in prior seasons. I was rooting for Carla because (1) she's from DC and (2) she seemed like a decent person with decent talent, but I would have never picked her as a top three contender. The other two? Meh. I just couldn't get interested in the battle of the baldies.

On the other hand, it was refreshing to see a season without petty drunken arguments, crotch grabbing, assault and battery, etc. The cheftestants seemed to get along pretty well (in some cases, too well....)

Also on a shallow note, when the introduced the three sous chefs, all I could think was, what a freakshow lineup! Whether it was bad lighting or makeup or whatever, Marcel looked like a stoned vampire, Casey looked like she had come out of a bad spray tan session, and Richard looked like a creepy age progression of the spiky haired kid from Jerry McGuire.

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Yes, I was thinking the same thing. I thought both Marcel and Richard were 2nd place winners. I remember she came in 3rd, but I'm blanking on who was the 2nd place winner that year. I think it was the season that Hung won.

I'm pretty sure Casey came in 2nd that year and Dale got 3rd. I remember Casey making such a big deal about Hung winning and how she was robbed.

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I'm pretty sure Casey came in 2nd that year and Dale got 3rd. I remember Casey making such a big deal about Hung winning and how she was robbed.
Not that it matters, but I think Dale came in second (with the winning dish overall), and Casey came in third... but either way, Casey thinking she was robbed is delusional.

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I looked it up because I couldn't remember - it was Season 3 and it just says runner up for both Dale and Casey - also Casey won fan favorite, which I don't remember at all. I think Carla is a lock for fan favorite.

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Yah and her technique sucks, and making food with love isn't an excuse for crappy food. I'll take the food made without love that comes up right.
I haven't watched all the episodes, so perhaps I missed something. Can you recall specific examples in which she exhibited a lack of technical skills? If so, what would you have done differently?

* * *

An earlier exchange in this topic concerned editing and transparent foreshadowing. It seemed inevitable that Carla wouldn't win simply because we were all rooting for her at the beginning of the finale, largely because she was the talented, sweet and quirky underdog who was just starting to win challenges. Kind of an anti-Stefan. Yet, over and over, we saw signs of a lack of confidence as opposed to modesty. She undermined herself, for example, when she had second thoughts about a signature vegetarian dish and therefore added a superfluous protein. And yes, Tom C's reaction after she explained the roots of her two final disasters pretty much was our own: trust yourself--don't go making your sous-chef's dishes when you already know what you want your menu to say.

The Finn's supercilious attitude became so much of a theme of the series that, of course, it ended up seeming like a fatal flaw, though a combination of one flavor-diminishing technique (freezing fish) and a poor choice of a hyper-stylized, dated dessert plate was what really did him in. If contestants were as familiar with past seasons as they appear to have been, then they had to have spent some time planning show-stopper menus and dishes before filming. So much of his food was clearly wonderful, he was perfectly capable of making a fabulous sweet final course, say, playing with the idea of a chocolate turtle to look back at the alligator soup. Who knows what it's like to deal with all that pressure, though. (I kind of liked him not for the hugs, but for the proud bit about his mother's career, the bemused, tight-lipped expression and the spark.)

What was disappointing about Hosea's victory was the fact that he never really made for good drama. Just didn't have as vivid a presence as his two final competitors. His final menu was thoughtful, pretty, and he worked hard to win. Moral? Extremes bad. Moderation. Almost political.

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I'm pretty sure Casey came in 2nd that year and Dale got 3rd. I remember Casey making such a big deal about Hung winning and how she was robbed.
Casey choked in the finale in season 3 and was pretty much out of the running at judges table. Talk about deja vu.

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I really wanted to see Carla take the prize and if she had stuck to her guns and did what she had planned, she could have had a chance. But trying out a technique you've never done before in the finale!? I guess being in the moment, it seemed like a good idea.

I felt so bad for her when the judges asked why she should be Top Chef and she cried. She probably had the best answer of the three and knew at that point that she was out. Regardless, she's still my favorite chef from the season. And even though she didn't get the top prize, she still won the Super Bowl tickets and the new car. Not bad.

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Road trip, anyone? Now casting for Season 6 near here:

NEW YORK

Sunday, March 1, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

CraftSteak Restaurant

www.craftrestaurant.com/craftsteak_newyork.html

PHILADELPHIA

Wednesday, March 4, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

XIX NINETEEN at Park Hyatt at the Bellevue

www.nineteenrestaurant.com

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TC Casey's Take On Finale and Carla:

"Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course."

http://sidedish.dmagazine.com/2009/02/26/c...about-top-chef/

P.S. I can't get the link to work. I copied the above from CH.

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Suffice it to say that there's a lot of Casey-bashing vitriol flying around other TC blogs today about her alleged statements regarding Carla and the finale. More here and here, but the link in Ericandblueboy's post upthread has the bulk of it (their server is probably overloaded today, but you'll eventually get through)

Bravo Carla, for making it to the big game even if you didn't take home the trophy. You made a lot of DC foodies proud along the way.

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