Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: top chef richard wins

BlendAbout Banner

Showing posts with label top chef richard wins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label top chef richard wins. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Richard Blais may be the Top Chef All Star but we’re still Proud of Mike Isabella

Mike Isabella is a Top Chef
And the Top Chef All Stars Finale is over (finally)! Congrats to Richard Blais for winning the title “Top Chef”!!

But seriously guys, why so much hate for Mike Isabella? His only flaw is that he talks too much and doesn’t know when to zip it. But can anyone say he’s not an amazingly talented chef? And if you move past the hyperbolic chatter and insecurity, he’s actually a good guy that could probably cook circles around some of the best.

Richard Blais may be the new “Top Chef”, but Mike Isabella deserves mucho credit for stepping up to the plate and giving it his all x10. Aside from the verbal diarrhea, I really loved Mike’s energy this season and his will to win. So much so, that I found it really tough to choose between him and Blais.

It’s a given that Mike’s response to Richard’s Top Chef win was less than cordial: "To come in second is tough. I felt like I beat him. I just didn't get the prize." But any other response just wouldn’t be the Mike we know (and sometimes love).

And for those of you who are reading this and thinking “WTF FG?!?”, just take a moment to put yourself in Mike Isabella’s shoes and try to forget all of the crap that has come out of his mouth over the last few episodes. He knows he lost to the best competitor, but have you ever seen any Top Chef contestant’s skills improve that much over the break before the finale?

Mike Izzy may not have a filter, but he did play the game to his best advantage – which is what you’re supposed to do when you’re competing. Aside from stealing Richard Blais’s dish concept in the “Paula Deen Fried Cook-Off” Quickfire, he did exactly what a contestant should do: He brought his best to the table and took the advantages that were offered to him.

Mike Izzy, congrats for making it to the finale. You're a Top Chef in my book!

Stay tuned for the less biased Top Chef All Stars Finale Recap...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Top Chef All Stars Episode 7: RESTAURANT WARS RECAP!

Top Chef All Star's Marcel
This week on Top Chef All Stars…

Opening: Carla is happy she won the elimination round last week, but bummed to see Tiffani Faison and Jamie Lauren depart. Now there’s only 3 girls left. But she thinks they’re all strong: “Go girl power!” Antonia was nicknamed the “Black Hammer” in her season because every person who worked on a team with her ended up going home. This season is deja vu. Could Antonia be a jinx? Keep reading…

10 chefs remain. Who will survive? And Who will pack their knives and go? (I just love saying that)

This week’s Top Chef Quickfire challenge
- Anthony Bourdain takes the chefs to Le Bernardin : The best seafood restaurant in America
- The chefs have to butcher one cod and one flute to Le Bernardin standards in 10 minutes, two minutes longer than it takes Justo Thomas. At least they gave the chefs a fair shot this time.
- Butchers two fish in clean, perfect, quick portions in 8 minutes

Who is the guest judge?
- Justo Thomas (Justo who?): He wakes up every day and butchers at least 700lbs of fish each morning. It takes 3 chefs to do his job when he’s on vacation. Justo, get a website – or at least a Facebook page. You have no internet presence, Chef Justo Thomas.

Quickfire Happenings

- Fabio cuts his thumb and says “I’m not Jamie, I’ll take it like a man”. Jamie Lauren will never live that episode down, but just for the record, Fabio, Jamie isn’t a man. Are you saying she took it like a woman?
- Tiffany owns a seafood restaurant, but doesn’t typically butcher so quickly. She cuts the fish the wrong way. Woops.
- All the ladies struggled
- Richard used to work at McDonalds as the Filet-o-Fish chef! He sent his first batch of Filet-o-Fish out without the top bun – so avant garde…
Who was on the bottom? Fabio, Carla, Angelo, Antonia, Tre and Tiffany. That’s a lotta bottoms.

Who was on the top? Dale, Marcel, Richard and Mike. These top 4 had 45 minutes to create a dish of made up of leftovers form their butcher job.

Who won? Dale won immunity. He cooked two dishes: Fluke Back and Bacon Dashi.

Top Chef Elimination Challenge:

What is the challenge? Restaurant Wars!!! The chefs are split into 2 teams and must create a “pop up” restaurant that offers a short term menu. The chef’s pop-up restaurant must be a fun, one of a kind experience. And the diners will decide which restaurant wins.

Team 1: Marcel, Angelo, Mike, Antonia, Tiffany
- They name their restaurant “Etch”
- Marcel is leading the team
- Tiffany takes on the front of the house
Team 2: Dale, Richard, Tre, Fabio, Carla
- They name their restaurant "Bodega"
- Dale is leading the team
- Fabio takes on the front of the house

What is the prize? The winning chef will walk away from the elimination challenge with $10,000

Who is the guest judge? Chef Ludo Lefebvre, owner of Ludo Bites 5.0 in Los Angeles, a pop up restaurant.

The actual Elimination Challenge

Bag of Potato Chips with Fried Herbs and Sea Salt
Bodega: Opens up with a bag of chips, Richard asks “What would your redneck cousin do if he won the lottery? He would dip his caviar in ranch”. This is how the unconventional style was thought up.
-     Bodega’s menu: Bag of chips, Bacon egg and cheese, canned tuna, chicken fried sauerkraut, braised pork shoulder, and cheese cake
-     Tom calls it “A Bodega in someone’s fantasy world.”
-     Dale goes postal on the wait staff. Fabio is trying to protect the wait staff from the angry-man (Dale).
-     The team is only nervous because there are no arguments
-     Bodega has that fun “pop-up” feel that a pop-up restaurant is supposed to have.
-     Restaurant Bodega ran like a well-oiled machine after a shaky start
-     Fabio directs the wait staff like a pro and the judges are impressed
-     The diners love it and the judges do too (has that EVER happened in a Restaurant Wars competition??)
-     Anthony Bourdain says, “I’d be very happy to have this restaurant pop up in my neighborhood”
-     Richard isn’t too optimistic, but Fabio is (when is Richard EVER optimistic??)

Etch: Mediterranean food
-     Team Etch decides to go with a Mediterranean theme.
-     Etch’s menu: 6 minute egg, octopus, monk fish, lamb and cauliflower, oxtail
-     Marcel is telling Tiffany how to cook an egg and the process goes all wrong. She has to change the dish, but she is managing the front of the house. Tiffany says “Shoulda just cooked the eggs the way I knew how to freakin’ cook the eggs”
-     Antonia is over-confident because her dishes are full, but the diners don’t like the egg, they feel Antonia’s lamb is under-cooked and they send the plates back
-     Marcel is bitching at Mike and Mike bites back. Go Mike Isabella!
-     The waiters aren’t getting enough direction from Tiffany. Tiffany is being social, but does not know how to work the front of the house beyond socializing.
-     Diners have complaints about the plates and all the food is cold.
-     Marcel's Monk fish is called "Baby Food" by the judges.
-     Dana Cowin from food and wine magazine made an appearance and was not impressed.
-     The boys are arguing and it’s getting worse. Marcel is a rude, mess
-     The dessert presentation is spot-on, but the taste isn’t up to par
-     Antonia becomes realistic and Marcel is blindly optimistic. Antonia says Marcel is on drugs. That could be very likely. We know he’s an alcoholic.

The Elimination
-     Bodega wins Restaurant Wars (Dale, Richard, Tre, Fabio, Carla). The judges loved the potato chips, Fabio’s service was fantastic and Anthony Bourdain said Dale’s Breakfast was “stoner food at its finest”. Compliments all around.
-     Richard wins this episode of Top Chef All Stars and $10,000 for his concepts and techniques that impacted the whole team.
-     That means Etch failed Restaurant Wars (Marcel, Angelo, Mike, Antonia, Tiffany)
-     Etch was least preferred, only 17 out of 76 diners preferred them. But they had no game plan, none of their dishes were up to par, no one liked their dessert and Bourdain said “it was a thumb in the eye”
-     Moreover, the front of the house was a mess, arguments in the back made everything worse, Marcel sucked as a leader. “It was a shit show”. Anthony Bourdain says, “Prison breaks are organized with more efficiency and team work”

Owch.

Marcel is Eliminated from Top Chef All Stars
Who had to pack their knives and go? Marcel

Why? Marcel was a terrible leader who no one respected, he made a dish that tasted like baby food and he made a desert that was all presentation, but a total flop. Marcel says, “I didn’t really make any mistakes per say, besides picking the wrong team”
He says about himself “I’m the most notorious diabolical top chef. I’m a personable likable person”.

Marcel, stop smoking crack and check yourself into rehab. You are seriously clueless, dude.

And let me just add: It probably didn’t help that Marcel was on the same team as Antonia.

Preview for next week
Fabio feels like the Godfather is walking in. The theme screams Italian. We get a glimpse of Fabio struggling a bit too. Don't crack under the pressure!


More on Top Chef: