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

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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.

I like Bourdain's show, but who does he think he is? He sold out more than Rocco did, and from what I understand, Rocco was a better cook. Hey, so what if he is selling frozen dinners; he has to support himself somehow.

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I like Bourdain's show, but who does he think he is? He sold out more than Rocco did
Uh, what? How is writing books and/or doing TV shows "selling out" more than hawking your mother's meatballs on QVC, or trying to convince people that frozen pasta is a good choice for dinner when you know he doesn't believe a word of it? Please.

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I like Bourdain's show, but who does he think he is? He sold out more than Rocco did, and from what I understand, Rocco was a better cook. Hey, so what if he is selling frozen dinners; he has to support himself somehow.

Well, I'm not sure he "sold out" more than Rocco did. I guess it depends on how you define it. But the fact that Rocco is a better cook is precisely the point. Perhaps Bourdain recognized that there was a limit on how good he was going to be as a chef, so he moved on to other things for which he's better suited, like writing (at which I'd argue he's very talented).

The issue that so many people, including Bourdain, have with Rocco is the squandered talent. He got 3* from the NYT, and a few years later he's hocking frozen pasta dinners. While Bourdain may be a better writer than he is a chef, is Rocco really a better QVC salesman than he is chef?

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Uh, what? How is writing books and/or doing TV shows "selling out" more than hawking your mother's meatballs on QVC, or trying to convince people that frozen pasta is a good choice for dinner when you know he doesn't believe a word of it? Please.

How do we know what any of these people believe? There is nothing wrong with selling frozen pasta, if it pays the rent.

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How do we know what any of these people believe? There is nothing wrong with selling frozen pasta, if it pays the rent.

I know restaurant margins are tight, but I suspect that most 3* New York chefs can at least pay the rent if they continue to cook.

I suppose there's nothing actually "wrong" either legally or morally with Rocco's career trajectory, but there is something unfortunate about it (note: I avoided the overwrought "tragic."). The guy was at the top of his profession--the rarefied air of 3* from the NYT--and he left it all behind to be a glorified salesman. I'm stretching for an analogy here, but it's like a great filmmaker deciding he's going to make tv commercials for the rest of his or her life.

With Rocco's looks, charisma, and talent, I suspect he could have easily done what Tom Colicchio has done. Heck, in some alternative universe, it's probably Rocco who's hosting Top Chef.

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“Sell Out”, in this context, is a very polarizing term – fighting words for some. I do not think it appropriate to either Bourdain or Dispiritto. I do, however, agree with HungyProf’s point that Rocco’s career took an unfortunate turn – although I would argue that it is more disappointing than unfortunate. It is disappointing when someone of such obvious talent chooses to squander it for whatever reason. Though not knowing either man well, I will not second guess their life choices.

My only quibble: stop calling yourself a chef. Chef’s cook. Many people spend the better part of a career to earn that title but it is not an emeritus position in my mind. I think it a misrepresentation when TV Personalities continue to use the title.

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The guy was at the top of his profession--the rarefied air of 3* from the NYT--and he left it all behind to be a glorified salesman.... With Rocco's looks, charisma, and talent, I suspect he could have easily done what Tom Colicchio has done.
At the 2006 Food & Wine classic in Aspen, Rocco hired several blonde model-type assistants -- all wearing black dresses and the same turquoise colored necklace -- to work the crowds at the event and invite them to a local gallery for a free copy of Rocco's cookbook. The book-signing was sponsored by Fancy Feast cat food :angry: and did not have appear to have any association with Food & Wine at the time. Basically Rocco used their event to promote himself and the book.

A smiling Beau with one of Rocco's 'assistants':

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and Rocco signing a book (hey, it was free...) Notice the "Chevron" jacket. Sponsor perhaps? New job maybe?

post-241-1187217118_thumb.jpg

Back to Top Chef, note the clues they drop in the first few minutes or so about who will be leaving. Last week they focused on the close friendship between Sara and Dale so you knew one of them would be axed. Dale's immunity made the answer pretty obvious. Any bets on when Howie leaves?

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Back to Top Chef, note the clues they drop in the first few minutes or so about who will be leaving. Last week they focused on the close friendship between Sara and Dale so you knew one of them would be axed. Dale's immunity made the answer pretty obvious. Any bets on when Howie leaves?

This might be Howie's week. It's another team challenge--the "dueling restaurants." As we know, Howie doesn't exactly excel at teamwork. Then again, I could see the producers completing this story arc by having Howie have an epiphany this week, realize his past errors, and turn into some great team player. In that case, it's Sarah's time to go.

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Back to Top Chef, note the clues they drop in the first few minutes or so about who will be leaving. Last week they focused on the close friendship between Sara and Dale so you knew one of them would be axed. Dale's immunity made the answer pretty obvious. Any bets on when Howie leaves?

It's got to be tonight, unless he ends up on Tre's team in the restaurant wars. Are we getting to the point where his fellow contestants look to set him up for a fall? The body language toward him (or more accurately, away from him) at the end of last week's show was a killer.

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Two topics gets two replies...

1. I watched The Restaurant and Rocco looked awful on that show. But, I kept reminding myself that someone always looks awful on reality TV, even if they really aren't that bad. My guess is that Rocco was somewhere in between average and awful during that show. At the same time, he was, and probably still is, a great chef. But, when people start giving you serious cash to do a much easier job, it is hard to fault them for doing so. Just because you wouldn't do it doesn't make it bad. Everyone gave crap to Johnny Damon for signing with the Yankees, but instead of a 3 year $30 million contract that the Red Sox were offering him, he got a 4 year $52 million contract from the Yankees. What person, in their right mind, wouldn't take that!? Especially when you consider that the life of an athlete is so short, I would take the money and setup my family for generations to come. And, as far as slinging frozen pasta is concerned, I would never use the stuff, neither would most people on this board, but I would rather somone make the effort to make it better for people that really have to use it. Rachael Ray is popular for a reason, we may not like her, but millions do, not everyone has to be just like us.

2. I knew that no one was getting kicked off that show last night, it had that general feel as they were at the judges table. Maybe that will cause them to get rid of two people next week, who knows. I think that Howie is a bit crazy, but I also think, as I said before, that they play him up that way. He may not be the nicest guy, but my guess is that he is not that bad. And, to be honest, he can cook pretty well, he consistently is in the top tier of the Quickfire Challenges.

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Two topics gets two replies...

1. I watched The Restaurant and Rocco looked awful on that show. But, I kept reminding myself that someone always looks awful on reality TV, even if they really aren't that bad. My guess is that Rocco was somewhere in between average and awful during that show. At the same time, he was, and probably still is, a great chef. But, when people start giving you serious cash to do a much easier job, it is hard to fault them for doing so. Just because you wouldn't do it doesn't make it bad. Everyone gave crap to Johnny Damon for signing with the Yankees, but instead of a 3 year $30 million contract that the Red Sox were offering him, he got a 4 year $52 million contract from the Yankees. What person, in their right mind, wouldn't take that!? Especially when you consider that the life of an athlete is so short, I would take the money and setup my family for generations to come. And, as far as slinging frozen pasta is concerned, I would never use the stuff, neither would most people on this board, but I would rather somone make the effort to make it better for people that really have to use it. Rachael Ray is popular for a reason, we may not like her, but millions do, not everyone has to be just like us.

2. I knew that no one was getting kicked off that show last night, it had that general feel as they were at the judges table. Maybe that will cause them to get rid of two people next week, who knows. I think that Howie is a bit crazy, but I also think, as I said before, that they play him up that way. He may not be the nicest guy, but my guess is that he is not that bad. And, to be honest, he can cook pretty well, he consistently is in the top tier of the Quickfire Challenges.

I missed it last night, but I'll see it tonight. If they didn't whack one this week, they'll whack two next week or the week after that. And Sara will probably go, with Howie being on thin, thin ice. And he's not really too skinny either.

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I love watching TC, not the least is wondering what you would do in their place. This last test was particularly challenging, 'Restaurant Wars' divided the chefs, but not along lines that were quite fair. I want to see all the chefs, operating on a level playing field, with a challenge that is creative & inspiring....

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Wow, as soon as Tre said, "I could make bread pudding in my sleep," I knew he wasn't long for the Top Chef world. Famous last words.

Too bad--he was one of the more focused and professional contestants, and I believe he has a lot of talent and drive.

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Last night's show was pretty good (except for Tre getting the boot)-the Quickfire was awesome, I loved seeing Sara & Hung work the knives! I really think CJ should have been ousted though, he's starting to really annoy me... I thought Tre would make it all the way to the finals, too.

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and Rocco signing a book (hey, it was free...) Notice the "Chevron" jacket. Sponsor perhaps? New job maybe?

post-241-1187217118_thumb.jpg

Wearing a Chevron jacket while promoting Fancy Feast. If this isn't selling out then I don't know what is. :angry:

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Last night's show was pretty good (except for Tre getting the boot)-the Quickfire was awesome, I loved seeing Sara & Hung work the knives! I really think CJ should have been ousted though, he's starting to really annoy me... I thought Tre would make it all the way to the finals, too.

Yeah, that mise en place challenge was probably my favorite moment of the season so far! The "Dream Team" got SMOKED!! Watching Hung breaking down those chicken was a work of art. And the look on Tom's face, as he was doing it, was priceless! I've gained a new respect for Hung over the past few episodes. He seems to be much more humble than I originally thought. And what was Casey doing trying to dice onions with a serrated knife? The "Bad News Bears" really came together for that challenge and it was great. I also liked it when Dale pulled Stephen aside and told him not to talk as much.

I was completely floored when Tre got the boot. This will be the first time that the winner of the first Elimination Challenge didn't go on to win the whole thing. I guess the favorite now has to be Hung.

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Personally, my favorite moment last night was the gratuitous shot of Casey in her bikini.

Hmmm.... maybe that's why she wasn't eliminated last night....

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Personally, my favorite moment last night was the gratuitous shot of Casey in her bikini.

How'd I miss that?

*note to self: go rewatch Top Chef!!*

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My daughter got 2 new Nintendo DS games recently-Hamsterz (she named her hamster Hung) & Cooking Mama, which was not nearly as much fun as I thought it was going to be. Both my kids smoked me on this ( I know cooking, but they know games). I'm almost embarassed to admit one of my favorite knives is a 6.5" Spyderco serrated. After my risotto class on Sat., I think I really need to take a knife skills class...

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Wow, as soon as Tre said, "I could make bread pudding in my sleep," I knew he wasn't long for the Top Chef world. Famous last words.....Too bad--he was one of the more focused and professional contestants, and I believe he has a lot of talent and drive.
What he served didn't even LOOK like bread pudding.

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Last night's show was pretty good (except for Tre getting the boot)-the Quickfire was awesome, I loved seeing Sara & Hung work the knives! I really think CJ should have been ousted though, he's starting to really annoy me... I thought Tre would make it all the way to the finals, too.
I also enjoyed the quickfire quite a bit. I think Hung's knife work was amazing. I so not think Tre should have been ousted. They should have ousted Casey or CJ. The only reason Casey survived was that she's one of the last two ladies and I am sure they're trying to not make this a guys only competition. CJ's dish could have been good, but I think he blew it. Tre took all of the heat for the menu line-up. I am frankly surprised they did not change up more of their menu with all the criticism from the day before.

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Yeah, that mise en place challenge was probably my favorite moment of the season so far! The "Dream Team" got SMOKED!! Watching Hung breaking down those chicken was a work of art. And the look on Tom's face, as he was doing it, was priceless! I've gained a new respect for Hung over the past few episodes. He seems to be much more humble than I originally thought. And what was Casey doing trying to dice onions with a serrated knife? The "Bad News Bears" really came together for that challenge and it was great. I also liked it when Dale pulled Stephen aside and told him not to talk as much.

I was completely floored when Tre got the boot. This will be the first time that the winner of the first Elimination Challenge didn't go on to win the whole thing. I guess the favorite now has to be Hung.

I wouldn't have called them the 'Dream Team' by any means, I mean, their team didn't have Hung on it. And Casey needs to go take a freaking knife skills class. I think many of us here on the site could have beaten her.

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I wouldn't have called them the 'Dream Team' by any means, I mean, their team didn't have Hung on it. And Casey needs to go take a freaking knife skills class. I think many of us here on the site could have beaten her.

The blogs online mentioned that her knives were not sharp--one reason she was having such a difficult time. But the fact that they were not sharp was an error in itself. I called it from the beginnning, with how they featured Tre's attitude of "playing it safe" and taking responsibility for the entire menu, I figured if his team lost, he'd be the one to go.

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I wouldn't have called them the 'Dream Team' by any means, I mean, their team didn't have Hung on it.

I called it that because CJ had won the Quickfire Challenge the episode before and was able to handpick the three others that he wanted to work with, leaving the other four to form their own team.

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