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

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Ilan, in his trademark attention-starved wardrobe, suggested that Simple-pickle Sam surrounds himself with attractive women as a result of his insecurities.

What the producers and Ilan omitted, notably after Episode 9, Season 2, aired Jan 3, 2007 in which he instructed Marcel to continue producing foams and then locate a corner in which to cry, was that on the last day of Ilan's 2001 externship at a reputable New York City restaurant he himself cried in the corner cavity of a changing-room locker after a prankster colleague soaked, vacuum sealed and froze his civilian pants (wallet included).

Heavily edited, contrived drama and humiliation deserves the paltry $60K after taxes and stigma of being “that clown” throughout an industry and is very entertaining.

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Interesting story about Ilan. I can tell you right now, I really dislike that guy, he does not seem genuine at all and, honestly, he didn't seem like a very good cook. He won, that's fine, but his personality and skills pale in comparison to many others on the show.

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Yeah, I can't STAND Ilan!! A typical example was during the final 4 episode when he orchestrated the whole "we need to tell the judges about how unprofessional Marcel is" thing. He went on and on about how the judges needed to know how he acts in the kitchen. During the Judges Table, Elia initiated the debate about Marcel's professionalism, she turned to Ilan for support and Ilan just stood there speechless. He wouldn't defend her. He just made her look like a cry-baby.

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Perilla review from the NY times.

Only 1 star.

Friends of mine went and liked it. They said it feels more like a neighborhood restaurant rather than a big name place.

They blogged about it.

One star for a place like this, in New York, is pretty good.

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Yeah, I can't STAND Ilan!! A typical example was during the final 4 episode when he orchestrated the whole "we need to tell the judges about how unprofessional Marcel is" thing. He went on and on about how the judges needed to know how he acts in the kitchen. During the Judges Table, Elia initiated the debate about Marcel's professionalism, she turned to Ilan for support and Ilan just stood there speechless. He wouldn't defend her. He just made her look like a cry-baby.
Did anyone notice how when discussing people brought on for looks Collichio said that one girl from first season, "Can't compete with the skills of someone like Harold or Sam". I thought that was hilarious. I was waiting for Ilan to be like, "Yo I won second season!". Also about 4 or 5 times during the show they mentioned Sam along with the two winners or talked about how he got screwed. At first I thought Ilan made that insecurity comment as a joke but then it started to look like they had a falling out at some point after the show. I think he is just pissy about Sam getting all the attention.

Also when they showed Sam making the duck fat comment I was really expecting Padma to be stripped down slathering duck fat all over herself when the camera came back to her. She loves that guy. It is so obvious.

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Interesting to see the recurring themes/challenges between the chef competition shows. HK did a 'home cooking/comfort food' challenge this week and we saw that on Top Chef a few weeks back. This week TC had a taste/sight ingredient identification quickfire; HK did a blind taste test a few weeks ago.

I thought this week's episode was a good one. I enjoyed both the ingredient ID quickfire and the challenge to recreate a package frozen meal. It was interesting to see how the 'science' behind the deconstructed packaging of the ingredients was lost on most of the contestants. (And what the hell happened to Rocco Dispirito - he looks like the freakish lovechild of Martin Short or David Gest and Jocelyn Wildestein :angry: - I much prefer the 'old' Rocco!)

I wasn't sorry to see Joey go, but he kind of got to me with his over the top emotional exit interview (the extras on the Bravo website are priceless - he holds nothing back in sharing his opinion of Rocco).

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So who among our talented YOUNG restaurant chefs in town is willing to take 3 months off of work to do the show next season? We could work up a list and draft someone.

I had a chance to talk to Joey Zumpano last night--he's the former executive chef and current manager of BlackSalt. I was pitching him on the idea of applying for the next season, and he's actually been considering it already! He'd be PERFECT. He's a very talented and experienced chef, plus he knows front of house issues as well. And it doesn't hurt at all that he's young, attractive and an extremely nice person. He wouldn't be another Marcel or Stephen--they would have to look elsewhere for their bad boy. He's more the calm, organized leader like Harold who really has all of the Top Chef qualities. Seriously, Joey could WIN this, if he could get in.

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Bartender at 18th Street Lounge, Shouting Over The Noise: "I CAN'T HEAR YOU! WHAT DID YOU SAY YOU WANTED TO DRINK, MR. BRANDO?"

inside-dvd-streetcar2.jpg

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Bartender at 18th Street Lounge, Shouting Over The Noise: "I CAN'T HEAR YOU! WHAT DID YOU SAY YOU WANTED TO DRINK, MR. BRANDO?"

It must have been the torn muscle shirt you were wearing ;-D

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I thought this week's episode was a good one. I enjoyed both the ingredient ID quickfire and the challenge to recreate a package frozen meal. It was interesting to see how the 'science' behind the deconstructed packaging of the ingredients was lost on most of the contestants. (And what the hell happened to Rocco Dispirito - he looks like the freakish lovechild of Martin Short or David Gest and Jocelyn Wildestein :angry: - I much prefer the 'old' Rocco!)

I think it was a pretty good episode overall. Joey's departure was pretty emotional. I think that had it not been for Rocco speaking up when the other judges were questioning whether the truffles were Mediterannian, CJ and Tre wouldn't have won.

Wow! Anthony Bourdain REALLY doesn't care for Rocco much!

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I thought it was refreshing to see a male contestant actually showing some real emotion when he got kicked off....I still think Joey was destined to not last into the top half of the competition, though. I actually expected him off a while ago.

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Wow! Anthony Bourdain REALLY doesn't care for Rocco much!
No, apparently he doesn't - what a well-written piece with lots of great observations about the various contestants. Interesting that Bravo allowed this trashing of one of their guest judges to be posted! Well, they did allow Rocco to respond :angry: (and it sounds like he's not done yet).

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No, apparently he doesn't - what a well-written piece with lots of great observations about the various contestants. Interesting that Bravo allowed this trashing of one of their guest judges to be posted! Well, they did allow Rocco to respond :angry: (and it sounds like he's not done yet).

It sounds like Rocco took the trashing well. What did Rocco do on his "The Restaurant" show that pissed so many people off? I only caught a few of episodes, but he made the comment: "Apparently, I have a long road ahead of me before I am forgiven for my behavior on 'The Restaurant.'"

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What did Rocco do on his "The Restaurant" show that pissed so many people off?
It pretty much boils down to him spending the bulk of his time during the run of the series either off site promoting his book, or chatting up women in the dining room, while the FOH and BOH staff, including his mother, were dealing with all the pacing and supply problems you'd expect at a new restaurant. Add to that Jeffrey Chodorow, who kept throwing various "managers" into the equation to try to fix things, and you have a massive trainwreck.

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It sounds like Rocco took the trashing well. What did Rocco do on his "The Restaurant" show that pissed so many people off? I only caught a few of episodes, but he made the comment: "Apparently, I have a long road ahead of me before I am forgiven for my behavior on 'The Restaurant.'"
I actually thought that Rocco was a decent judge. I think that Bourdain, and many others, are dissapointed in Rocco more than anything else. I still remember the meals I had at Union Pacific during Rocco's tenure there - he was (is?) an incredibly talented chef. Bourdain correctly notes that since leaving UP he has crashed and burned - I mean Rocco ran a 3 * NYT restaurant, and is now not cooking, but rather hawking Bertolli frozen dinners and hosting an on-line cooking show. Were it Rachel Ray or some other purveyor of schlock, I doubt Bourdain would be as bothered. Rocco is tremendously talented - it's just a shame that he would rather be a b-list reality star.

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Add to that the borish "Are they real?" as he stares at a woman's chest.

Yeah, I can see where some might find that offensive

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The svelte 4-episode French version "Plus Près des Etoiles" (Closer to the Stars) follows 7 of the country's highest rated apprentices as they compete, without flabby saddlebag drama, for a 6 month internship in judge Joël Robuchon's restaurants... possibly more substantial to a culinary career than a lifetime supply of disposable tupperwares.

The televised distraction's host station suffers in terms of limited budget, audience (4am. Sunday time slot preceded by "Riptide" reruns) no cultured tension or silly Whole Foods sourced reinvent-the-bagel-sandwich-with-traditional-Ashkenazi-condiments challenges. It's sensational liabilities are compensated by the presence of elite chefs. Cameras focus on technique and horsepower rather than producer prodded squabbles and horse shit. 3 final candidates must create as well as write a methodical savory and sweet recipe with artisan products and are coached by starred stove heavyweights: 4th Generation chef Marc Haeberlin, Bruce Willisish Thierry Marx and creepy Raider of the Lost Arkish Marc Veyrat.

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It was obvious almost from the start which team was going to lose on last night's episode. And so it came to pass. It's also no surprise that Howie was associated with another losing team (he's never under the radar, either winning it or more often being near the bottom of the barrel). After watching the episode as edited unravel, it also became obvious that either Sara or Howie were going to get whacked. Howie is more 'entertaining' if you can call it that and this is likely why he avoided being ejected.....

And why the heck weren't there more fried foods? The falafel idea was a great idea that never got made.

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I became a bigger Casey fan last night, not because she looked great in her club gear, but because she gave mad props to my favorite condiment: Sriracha Sauce. (despite that it didn't go so great with the cold stone)

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I just love how the show very subtly weaves in the product placements. You hardly notice them at all.

BAHAHA! That's a hoot!

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Well, they did allow Rocco to respond :angry: (and it sounds like he's not done yet).

Rocco's next reply here. Alas, I think Rocco's attempt to equate Bourdain's often (but not always) interesting and intelligent work on No Reservations with his own shilling of frozen pasta dinners falls more than a bit flat.

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