Posts filed under 'Top Chef'

Giveaway: Top Chef – New York

topchefnewyork_cast

Carla’s “hoodeehoo.” Stefan’s failed attempts to woo a lesbian. Fabio’s theatrical “spicy meatball” disposition. Remember the shenanigans on Top Chef: New York?

To celebrate the show’s release on DVD, we’re giving away a copy to one lucky reader.The DVD has never-before-seen stew room footage, cooking demonstrations and more.

To win, you need to send us an e-mail to tifaux -at- gmail -dot- com with the subject line “Top Chef.” But THAT’S NOT ALL.  Since this might be a hot competition, I want you to send me a recipe that I might like. You don’t have come up with it on your own — just send me a link.

Here’s a list of foods I like:

  • Mexican things
  • Pumpkin-flavored things
  • Seafood (ex. crabs with tons of old bay…  mmmmm….)
  • Fancy burgers and pizzas
  • Cheesey things
  • Carrot cake
  • Chocolate and orange mixed together
  • Booze

Recipes featuring pork and/or mushrooms will be disqualified (as they are disgusting).

If you’re already convinced you won’t win, you can order the DVD here.

1 comment October 13th, 2009

Fall premieres: Things I am watching

Hello, friends. Long time, lots of bad TV. Well, with the exception of What Would Brian Boitano Make? and brand! new! shiny! Project Runway on Lifetime. But starting, erm, last week, the long summer drought has ended, and we’re getting factory-direct new episodes of scripted TV, which is awesome. Herein, a few things I am looking forward to, and a few more I am giving up on.

Because we are so very pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die. Huh? Look at that chiseled jaw!

Because we are so very pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die. Huh? Look at that chiseled jaw!

As you may know, Gossip Girl returns for a third season tonight, with everyone on the show attending NYU because they are too poor/stupid/antisocial for Yale, Brown, and gen pop (Blair and Dan, Serena, and Chuck, respectively). I suppose it doesn’t even matter if I point out yet again that NYU costs more than Yale, and that CCNY would actually be more on these dimwits’ intellectual levels. I don’t think I’ll be following the Gossips too much this year, because everything became both unbelievable and unbelievably boring last year. And although I do enjoy watching boys make out almost as much as Dan (our Dan, not Lonelyboy. Well, I think Lonelyboy likes it too) does, the prospect of Chuck sucking face with this guy isn’t going to bring me back.

A show I will be following, religiously? Castle! Because Nathan Fillion is a very nice man and it’s fantastic to see him finally get a second season of something. The man works hard, selling the hell out of the show via Twitter, and also he sometimes shows up on Craig Ferguson’s show wearing a kilt. Which is the kind of commitment we like to see in our tall, dark, and handsome Canadians. Besides that, the show itself is quality. It was a midseason replacement last year and turned out to be a nice blend of procedural and romantic dramedy, with Fillion providing most of the giggles and the quite lovely Stana Katic playing the straight man. Also, his interaction with his TV daughter is wonderful. Seriously, I may be most excited about the return of Castle, and that’s saying a lot, since back in April I was inappropriately anxious to find out if Amy Brenneman would survive having her belly sliced open by that psychotic woman from Alias and Felicity.

I am also very excited about How I Met Your Mother, and not just because my crush on NPH really doesn’t care that he’s gay (remember what I said about boys making out? Yeah, I could stand to see a little PDA on the Emmy red carpet, is all). I’ve been rewatching the early seasons of HIMYM on DVD, and honestly, I just love that show. It’s so sparkling and delightful, and even SagetTed doesn’t weird me out anymore. I am really in no hurry to find Your Mother, as that might bring the show to an end, and I just love it too much. More Barney! More Marshall! More everyone!

Avec Eric is like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, but with less swearing, fewer snide remarks about my beloved Food Network, and far more inventive use of a toaster oven. Famous, fantastic French chef Eric Ripert travels the world for boar hunts and visits to the greatest restaurants there are, then he whips up something tasty in his palatial home kitchen. And he does it all with the most wonderful accent, a sense of humor, and a deep sense of respect for food, people who grow food, people who kill food, and people who eat food. If you only know him from Top Chef, record the show. There are no commercials! And it’s just incredibly relaxing and beautiful. If Eric Ripert’s accent doesn’t make your ears purr, I will refund your money.

I’ve seen the pilot of Community. It is quite funny, and of course, Joel McHale can do no wrong. I hope it prospers magnificently. I’ve also seen the pilot of Trauma, which is quite unintentionally funny in places, but you know I will watch whatever Peter Berg throws at me. You know who’s interesting on that? Cliff Curtis, who plays a crazy adrenaline junkie helicopter paramedic. He kind of wins the TV Diversity Sweepstakes (at first I thought he was Indian, but he’s actually from New Zealand. And once played Pablo Escobar! Far better than Adrian Grenier did). Speaking of Peter Berg, I have no idea what’s going to happen on Friday Night Lights when it returns to DirecTV, but I will be there. Er, here. In my office, where we have DirecTV. I understand that Riggins will be back (RIGGINS!!) but not Tyra. And Matt Saracen is sticking around Dillon to break our hearts like five thousand more times. Plus, Coach and Mrs. Coach! I almost forgot how deeply I love Friday Night Lights, you all.

And that is kind of it. Yeah, there are other returning shows I’m looking forward to, and I will give a looksee to Flash Forward, The Good Wife, and Modern Family, but with Jay Leno effectively blacking out five hours of primetime a week to me, this appears to be what my DVR will be filled with this fall. And! The Daily Show returns tonight! That is making me very happy. What are y’all looking forward to?

2 comments September 14th, 2009

Top Chef Masters: Chiarello, thou art a villain

topchefI really had no hopes for Top Chef: Masters. As with most competitive reality shows, for me, the human drama always takes center stage over whatever the actual competition is. That is, while Project Runway is allegedly about dresses or whatever, I’m really only interested in allegations of cheating and bitchy in-fighting.

So, when I found out that this show would essentially be a showdown between established chefs who wouldn’t be living/fighting together (just competing in a tournament of high caliber cooks), I can’t say I was counting the days to the premiere. To a certain extent, I’ve been proven wrong as the show is consistently entertaining, albeit not as addictive as the original. A slightly more grown up version of its predecessor, Top Chef: Masters really emphasizes the food, and it’s actually pretty interesting to hear about the chef’s careers and why they are so obsessed with food.

This week’s episode featured the final four contestants utilizing the help of former Top Chef contestants to create a buffet for 200. The chefs had to interview the potential staffers and select who would assist them playground-style.

During the course of the episode, Michael Chiarello emerged as a surprise villain — evolving from humble TV chef to sneering egomaniac.

At the beginning of the series, Chiarello oozed insecurity — clearly uncomfortable being surrounded by “real” restaurant chefs while he remained best known for hosting a show on Food Network. It was sort of painful to watch him desperately vie for the approval of the other chefs, but at least he seemed to really focus on creating a great product and want to prove that he deserved his spot in the competition. But after winning his first competition, he moved from trying to be respected to trying to be liked — out-nicing all the other chefs with effusive compliments and copious smiles.

Now, in this most recent episode, not only did he get into a dust-up with former contestant Dale (the Asian one, not the gay one) and badger the contestants by asking them how to pronounce his last name — but he generally treated the incoming staff in a bossy and unfriendly manner. Before you say it, I know — chefs are supposed to be larger-than-life, ego-driven lunatics. But I don’t like to think that treating people badly is acceptable as an industry standard (especially when the other chefs didn’t seem to find it all that hard to treat their staff as peers).

I was a bit disappointed at the elimination of Anita Lo last week. Anita wasn’t exactly a firecracker of personality, but I liked the fact that she clearly had little interest in being on television — it made her seem more authentic. In fact, she sort of seemed embarassed to be on the show at all (while Rick Bayless and Hubert Keller are taking it in good spirit and enjoying themselves).

At this point, I’m rooting for Hubert because he is adorable and French. He is my French grandfather who makes me fresh croissants and delights me with tales of the old country by the fire.

August 19th, 2009

Top Chef: You no a-like-a tha sauce?

Last week, Padma and company gave the boot to spicy meatball Fabio in the episode before the finale. Now that leaves bald and obnoxious Stefan, bald and desperate-to-defeat-Stefan Hosea and Carla, the spazzy underdog whose remarkable ascent has been really fun to watch. I’m completely obsessed with her and I think I want her to win more than any other Top Chef contestant ever.

In any case, here’s Fabio’s exit interview with scenery-chewer extraordinaire Andy Cohen.

Also, my posting might be spotty for a while.  I just moved and have no TV or internet — two vital ingredients for running a TV blog.

February 24th, 2009

Sizing up the pieces of meat on Top Chef

I’m tired, y’all. So it’s going to be a day of clips for you.

First up, good old Leanne from season one (who’s made a career behind the scenes of the show), gives us insight into the Food Porn Room where they do the close-up sexy shots of the dishes.

February 11th, 2009

2008: Best performance by a body part

heidi-klum-on-project-runway

2008 saw a lot of great performances by whole bodies. Tina Fey couldn’t have told a lot of funny jokes if she hadn’t been able to say them with her mouth. And learned the lines by reading them with her eyes. And walked to the studio with her legs.

But there are some body parts that worked overtime this year, picking up the slack where other body parts just took up room (I’m looking at you Ellen Pompeo’s forehead!).

As such, let’s take a quick vote — which TV body part deserves recognition for its Outstanding Achievement in Being a TV Star Body Part? Let me know in the comments if I’ve left off a deserving part. Otherwise, going clockwise from the left…

Which body part gave the best performance in 2008?
View Results

1 comment January 7th, 2009

Top Chef: Our favorite lesbians

Top Chef ended just a couple weeks ago and it still seems like forever. A woman won, which we were all happy to see, but sadly our two favorite lesbians (of the three) bit the dust a bit early in the competition.

Well, Zoi was probably a bit swamped by the competition — Jen could have stayed around a little while.

Here’s a Hulu Web exclusive about the couple, looking back at all the lesbionic drama.

June 23rd, 2008

Top Chef Scorecard: Episode 13

So it’s agreed: We, the internet, hate Lisa. I still can’t get over the congratulations comment, she stole a spot from a deserving single mother who could use the money and then had the hutzpah to ask for praise? And what was up with the Rosie O’Donnell Taboo haircut? Just because a bad haircut helped Ilan win 2 seasons ago doesn’t mean it’ll work twice.

As far as scoring, Stephanie and Richard are still tied, and even if Lisa won 5 more Quickfire and Elimination challenges she’d still be trailing behind them. One interesting thing I’ve noticed is Stephanie is probably the first contestant in Top Chef history to never appear in the middle. She either wins, scores poorly, or near the top.

Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Quickfire
Winner
None Mark Rich Dale Ant. Jenn Rich Ant. Drew
Ant.
Rich
Steph
Spike Antonia Spike Steph
Lisa IN IN IN HIGH WIN IN LOW LOW IN LOW LOW LOW LOW
Richard HIGH IN IN WIN LOW IN WIN IN WIN IN HIGH HIGH WIN
Stephanie WIN LOW WIN HIGH HIGH HIGH LOW LOW HIGH HIGH WIN WIN HIGH
Antonia HIGH IN HIGH LOW LOW HIGH LOW WIN HIGH IN HIGH HIGH OUT
Spike IN IN IN LOW LOW IN HIGH IN LOW LOW LOW OUT  
Dale IN IN IN HIGH HIGH WIN WIN IN LOW WIN OUT  
Andrew IN WIN IN HIGH LOW IN HIGH HIGH IN OUT  
Nikki HIGH LOW IN IN IN LOW IN HIGH OUT  
Mark LOW HIGH HIGH IN LOW LOW IN OUT  
Jennifer IN IN IN IN IN IN OUT  
Ryan LOW IN LOW IN IN OUT  
Zoi IN HIGH LOW LOW OUT  
Manuel IN IN IN OUT  
Erik LOW IN OUT  
Valerie IN OUT  
Nimma OUT  
 

Rank based on scoring: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a Quickfire win or appearance in top, -1 point for appearance in bottom

Rank Contestant Point Total
1 Richard 13
1 Stephanie 13
3 Lisa -3

June 11th, 2008

Top Chef: Are you kidding me with this?

It’s the penultimate episode of Top Chef and I thought we were all in agreement. There were three great chefs — Stephanie, Richard and Antonia — and we were supposed to quietly go through these last few episodes systematically giving the rest their walking papers.

However, the message never seemed to have gotten to Padma and company as they gave Antonia a jaw-dropping “smell ya later.” Here’s her sad exit interview:

Take a look at John’s OCD scorecards. With the number of poor finishes in Lisa’s record, don’t you think they would have cut Antonia some slack — especially given the fact that this was not a blow-out at all. Naturally, with the even tempers of the thre superior chefs, the finale might not have been as dramatic if they had people handling their stress responsibly. I don’t want to sound all conspiracy theorist-y, but something ain’t right.

I’m not saying that there always has to be an asshole in the top three, but, historically, there always has been. In season one it was Tiffani (although she seems to have cleaned up her act in previous show appearances). In mean-spirited season two everyone was kind of an asshole. In season three the asshole won.

It just seems all-too-convenient that the gal no one seems to care for and who has barely scraped by this whole time makes it to the final.

Eh, oh well. Hopefully Stephanie will take it in the end.

By the way, the moment that Richard incredulously interviewed that he didn’t know why he had to congratulate Lisa on “getting the bronze fucking medal” is probably the moment I’ve liked him most this entire season.

4 comments June 6th, 2008

Top Chef Scorecard: Episode 12

Unsurprisingly, Spike got kicked off. I fucking love that the producers snuck frozen scallops into the kitchen, it’s brilliant and extremely dick. Otherwise it looks like Richard and Stephanie are now tied point-wise with Antonia trailing slightly. I’m fully expecting Lisa to get canned in tonight’s episode. Once she’s gone I think it’s going to be an interesting finale.

Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Quickfire
Winner
None Mark Rich Dale Antonia Jenn Richard Antonia Drew
Ant.
Rich
Steph
Spike Antonia Spike  
Antonia HIGH IN HIGH LOW LOW HIGH LOW WIN HIGH IN HIGH HIGH  
Lisa IN IN IN HIGH WIN IN LOW LOW IN LOW LOW LOW  
Richard HIGH IN IN WIN LOW IN WIN IN WIN IN HIGH HIGH  
Stephanie WIN LOW WIN HIGH HIGH HIGH LOW LOW HIGH HIGH WIN WIN  
Spike IN IN IN LOW LOW IN HIGH IN LOW LOW LOW OUT
Dale IN IN IN HIGH HIGH WIN WIN IN LOW WIN OUT  
Andrew IN WIN IN HIGH LOW IN HIGH HIGH IN OUT  
Nikki HIGH LOW IN IN IN LOW IN HIGH OUT  
Mark LOW HIGH HIGH IN LOW LOW IN OUT  
Jennifer IN IN IN IN IN IN OUT  
Ryan LOW IN LOW IN IN OUT  
Zoi IN HIGH LOW LOW OUT  
Manuel IN IN IN OUT  
Erik LOW IN OUT  
Valerie IN OUT  
Nimma OUT  
 

Rank based on scoring: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a Quickfire win or appearance in top, -1 point for appearance in bottom

Rank Contestant Point Total
1 Richard 11
1 Stephanie 11
3 Antonia 9
4 Lisa -2

June 4th, 2008

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