Thursday, December 2, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

It's an amazing thing, this Top Chef All Stars. Isn't this what we all wanted to see? Some of our most favorite characters back competing against one another? This first episode really had to set the tone, to plant the flag and claim, We're sorry, fans, Top Chef DC was an utter failure and we will do everything in our power not to lose you even if it means running this first episode eight hours in a row. But how to do that? First you have to get the chefs everyone wants to see. Tre, Tiffani, Asshat. Convince them to come back. Tell them they're an All Star. Build them up. Because here's the meat of the matter. No matter what their bios say, no matter what they've done since, no matter how many fans (outsiders) tell them they should have won, they all lost in their seasons of Top Chef and they all want redemption. For one chef, that will happen. For the seventeen other chefs, each will give themselves back up to their Top Chef masters to dance to the tune they call. Eventually each of those seventeen will be making that darkened exit through the double doors into the apartments (most likely different floor) of shame. Is another taste of fame and fortune worth it?

Rooming in close quarters with people you may not get along with? Sleeping on a bunk bed? In rooms with large windows and no way to shut out the light when you're trying to sleep?

Sleep you desperately need so you can face a thirty minute Quickfire with some semblance of ingenuity and finesse and face a kitchen full of moving, cutting, hustling chefs, if only to avoid the sharp instruments in their hands.

Will you remember all the things that made you successful during your season? Will you forget the Basic Rules of Top Chef Cuisine?

Taste your food. Not just once, but all along the cooking process.

Be prepared for anything because you never know when your fish will fall on the floor or when Padma might come walking into the kitchen to announce a Twist.

Know the difference between confidence and arrogance and when the situation calls for each. These Judges don't care what great things you think you've done outside the closed confines of Top Chef, they only care about one thing and one thing only, the dish you've just laid down in front of them.

Know and follow the rules.

Because for a chance at winning $200,000 any one of seventeen other chefs (except maybe Carla) will rat your out in a New York Minute.

And while this last one isn't really a rule but more of an observation, being angry and pissy at the judges when you're one of the bottom three generally does not work out too well in your favor. However the other seventeen chefs do thank you


Captain Obvious said...

Captain Obvious was actually liking Top Chef this season for the first time since season 3.

Captain Obvious was really hoping that Jen would do better.

sidebar-Speaking of Jen, her employer, Eric Ripert will be over here in LA promoting Avec Eric(the show on PBS and probably a new Avec Eric book) at the Pasadena Whole Foods on Dec 8th at 6:30pm. He'll be at the Huntington Beach Whole Foods the next night.

Big Shamu said...

Captain Obvious makes me laugh.

Ah yes, the Very Pretty Man in Pasadena. I would imagine he draws a huge crowd.

Buzz Kill said...

"...each will give themselves back up to their Top Chef masters to dance to the tune they call." Bwahaha - that's a great line.

And until I saw the picture, I had forgotten about the "bunky beds". To sleep perchance to dream - not in the TC world. I think this is going to be a good show and the TC DC redeemer.

Big Shamu said...

Buzz did you catch Fabio's reason why he didn't want a bunk bed? Something about smashed nuts?

I agree with you that this is going to be a good season but really, better than Top Chef DC won't be too hard to achieve.

moi said...

I was half expecting Elia to stamp her little feet and spin her skirts on outta there. At least she made a well-dressed exit.

Big Shamu said...

Yeah, I'm not sure what passes for maturity where Elia is from but still looks like she's got some growning up to do.

Melissa said...

It was good and much enjoyed by me!

And a Brilliant new phrase from you! growing up + owning up = Growning Up. I LOVE it!

Big Shamu said...

Yeah yeah, Melissa, that's EXACTLY what I meant....

(runs off to scribble excellent new phrase in Top Chef notebook)

Making Space said...

Oh yeah. This season is gonna be delish. Hooray!!!

Captain Obvious said...

If Captain Obvious can make it(it's 10 minutes away), then I will take pictures of the event.

Did you all see the interview that Elia had in the Chicago Tribune?

She SLAMS Tom.

Here's the link:

Captain Obvious said...

Captain Obvious also noticed something right away during the quickfire. Angelo clearly hacks a Rainbow Trout up(after Stephen accidentally runs into him) and when they served the dish to the judges, they called it 'Rockfish'.

Captain Obvious has been fishing all of his life and Trout that is farm-raised(as that trout was and you can tell by the rounded fins from rubbing against concrete tanks) tastes like liver aka fish food pellets.

Captain Obvious would not have been happy eating that Trout. Captain Obvious is surprised that Tom or Padma didn't say anything because they left the skin on and you can clearly see it's a Trout.

Captain Obvious thinks that Eric Ripert would have said something.

Captain Obvious also thinks that Asshat #1 Brian Malarkey would have said that Trout isn't considered real seafood ala when he F'd up streamside in Aspen and couldn't cook a Trout better than a 8 year old boy scout.

Fabio is hosting viewing parties at both of his restaurants here in the LA area. Captain Obvious would have loved to have seen his face and heard what he had to say last night during the premiere :)

Big Shamu said...

Cap't, I've seen snippets of the Elia out interview and here's what I think. I think each chef eliminated will also have an "outrageous" interview or statement. I think they all will be carefully orchestrated by the powers that be at Top Chef. I think such "interviews" are just a ploy to keep interest high until the next episode. I know whatever contracts they sign are structured in such a way that the control of what the chefs say still lies in the hands of the producers of Top Chef. If Elia is out there saying bad things about Tom Colicchio, then it's because that's what the producers of Top Chef want.

Yes, I am that jaded and cynical.

Big Shamu said...

Cap't, I'm curious, was Brian asked to participate in the All Stars? By the way, in my book, a definition of a true Asshat is one who is all hat and no talent. Brian has talent, the hat was just annoying. Asshat is all ass topped by a hat. True culinary talent? Don't think so.

Captain Obvious said...

You know what people say about publicity...any publicity is good publicity. Magical Elves has done things before to bend the truth ala the Marcel head shaving chronological order edit.

Top Chef definitely needs's been so boring that Captain Obvious would almost rather fall asleep watching paint dry.

Captain Obvious is not sure if Malarkey was asked to participate.

Who would want a one-dimensional cheftestant that only specialized in seafood at the time to participate? (He has his own restaurant now that serves things other than seafood) The other thing is that he didn't really bring that much drama to his season and we all know TC needs ratings. Drama in the US=ratings. he was an ok cheftestant, but nowhere near as good as Hung or Dale.

We all saw what happened in Aspen when they had to cook Elk. He basically threw everything they had in the pantry on the plate expecting it to be cohesive and refined.

Captain Obvious agrees about the asshat definition. That damn hat was just so annoying.

Big Shamu said...

So you're saying the method that Asshat used to cook his frozen scallops the other night is the same method used by Brian M. to cook his elk? Asshat gets called a genius and Brian is auffed. Everyone see Cap't point on Drama?

Captain Obvious said...

Captain Obvious doesn't like asshat. Not at all. Captain Obvious would rather see Ken(ONE OWWWW-AHHHH!!!!!) from Season 1 than asshat.

Captain Obvious will bring up a technique that he has seen on a murder mystery on Dateline or 48 hours in case people can't understand what happened last week on TC.

A woman(accomplice) at the crime scene was seen wearing a very outlandish, super hot pink dress. That was done purposely to make any potential witnesses forget any of the other details of the crime scene and they all did. All they remembered was the dress.

Malarkey was supposed to have the Elk be the star in his 'Elk' dish. Not the entire pantry of items.

Captain Obvious is saying that the method that the asshat used the other night to cook frozen scallops was to hide the fact that they were frozen ala murder mystery crime scene misdirection.

And no, asshat is not a genius. He will be eliminated soon to Captain Obvious' delight.