Monday, August 3, 2009

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

One of the aspects of Top Chef I hate is not getting to know the chefs. Not getting to see how a chef evolved into what they are today. You might think someone is your fav, they might have some interesting culinary philosophies and then POOF, they get eliminated. Top Chef Masters seems to have worked their way around that. In our first Championship Round, the chefs are asked to make and serve their signature dish. If you're like me and are only familiar with one or two of these masters, it's a fun peek at chefs in their culinary prime, doing what they love with passion and excitement. It's also a chance to see them back when they were young and unconcerned about goofy hats or sleeping with the burros.Love those Adidas, Rick. It also shows us the more personal qualities of our Chefs. Maybe a flash of insecurity as one ponders cooking for one's peers.It doesn't appear that they put any time constraints on them except that they are all going to eat together so obviously it's got to be done at the same time. There's no shopping or restrictions on what they can make so I'm thinking the pantry is stocked full of whatever the chefs might want. Yet even in the short flashes of watching these chefs cook you can see their personality shine through. Art Smith seems like someone who has the most fun cooking......haranguing Hubert, the classic French chef, with his Fierce Southern Spatula. Hubert taking it all in stride.Our two quiet stoic female chefs, heads down, working away in their own little flaming worlds.
Michael, ever the showman, speaking with his hands as he describes his dish of quail and wild fennel pollen, almost as if he were orchestrating the ingredients onto the plate.

It was a joy to see the camaraderie and respect these 6 chefs have for one another and their chosen profession.Too bad someone has to leave.


moi said...

I loves me some Hubert. Class act all the way around. All the gents, in fact, have endeared themselves to me. Anita I like because she seems both focused and humble, but her personality doesn't really shine through. She just sort of bears down and does the work. I'm fine with Tracht leaving - she strikes me as a pain in the arse.

Jenny said...


Big Shamu said...

I like them all because they seem to be very different and I love how that difference expresses itself with their food.
I like Tract, I think the challenge was really a challenge for her cooking outside her comfort zone with a fish that's maybe a little finickier to work with.

LaDivaCucina said...

Sham, maybe you can answer for me: If all the food has to come out at once, then how can they possibly get the best from the chefs for the dishes that are served last? What if your food was cooked perfectly and then over-cooked while waiting for the judges to eat? Do they consider that? Weren't the judges bitching about a dish being cold? (or am I thinking of Chopped?!)

I am enjoying getting to know the chefs too, some of them I'm not all that familiar with or the ones I DO know, but I don't know not a lot about them.