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Lister Sage said on February 26th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Obviously Hosea used plenty of “confidence”.

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I’d be more interested in their decision if I actually felt that winning one of these ridiculous Bravo style game shows actually did anything to either improve their abilities or insure patronage to whatever restaurant they wind up flipping their avant-garde burgers at.

This analysis also includes Project Runway, Top Design, and Shear Genius. While I do enjoy the occasional silliness of Project Runway, I fully acknowledge that these shows will never have a serious impact on their respective industries.

The main reason for that is because the judges final decision is usually one based entirely on fluff over substance.

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I love that people kept saying Stefan shouldn’t win because he was a jerk or arrogant. To which I would reply, “Yeah, because a chef who’s an arrogant jerk, that would be WEIRD.” :)

I wanted Carla to win, but only because of the way she’d been cooking for the last few episodes, while Stefan seemed to be phoning it in. But when you are in the FINAL CHALLENGE, and you let someone who didn’t win convince you to do a technique you DON’T KNOW…bad news.

Favorite moment of the night – Stefan calling Marcel a twat, and the network not bleeping it. Beautiful.

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I don’t watch Top Chef, but I have watched enough other cooking competitions to have learned that “didn’t feel fully conceived” is actually chef-speak for, “I don’t care what this tastes like, I don’t like this guy and I don’t want him to win.”

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Steffan is the better chef – but the public can not taste the food. Welcome to Television.

My wife and I discussed that Carla “did the woman thing” – she didn’t want to offend, so she took suggestions she probably should not have. Knowing she should not have. Her closing comment was true – she made it to the finals as the best human being on the show… but it was also her weakness.

Hosea – obviously he’s a great chef. And he played a game, which he won – where winning was as often a matter of mistakes the OTHER guy made, as much as genius you show.

Steffan’s dessert was stupid. There is nothing about him, or his style of cooking, or his genius that lets him make a better dessert. It was good, but it was plebeian. It was more like something you would see on Food Network “Semi-Homemade” than a real dessert. It was a safe bet. Steffan is a genius chef – I am certain that he would have won, had he made a plate of his very best for a final plate. I leave restaurants without ordering dessert ALL THE TIME.

Hosea’s first course was a little better than Steffan’s. His second course was a little worse than Steffan’s. The passed appetizers were tied. Hosea served a third course, Steffan served a plate of Howard Johnson’s ice cream, all science and jars, and no cooking.

Steffan took a half-step back – and that’s why Hosea won. Rather, Steffan lost, and Hosea was still standing.

And if Carla had cooked as SHE intended, she might well have won. She’s a great chef, and a nice person, it would seem.

(About 9 months ago, I was in a restaurant in Chicago – one of the finalists from a previous season was tending bar. TV is great, but it burns you up and discards the ashes. I was more impressed to see one of this years competitors working as a sous chef on a recent Iron Chef America – and kicking it hard. She’ll do well. http://www.foodnetwork.com/iron-chef-america/flay-vs-freitag/index.html)

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piranhtachew said on February 26th, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Eh, I’ve really fallen out of it since that episode where the fridge broke down.

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I’m glad that your blog is at the bottom of my news feed list because I was ALREADY SPOILED when I got there.

I’m waiting for them to replace Padma. She’s pretty useless. I preferred Christie Brinkley 2.0 (aka Billy Joel’s third wife) in the first season.

Carla needed to bring less love, more game, but she did impress more and more as the competition progressed. Stephan seemed to be phoning in his dessert, a dessert for the sake of dessert. Hosea seemed to impart strategy, to think, to ask himself what would impress the judges. He seemed to make really good food. I was rooting for him as the underdog before I learned of his win.

I agree, hearing Stephan use the word “twat” was great- although maybe not as great as Fabio calling one of the contestants a “pussy”.

Gail’s comment about Stephan’s dessert being stuck in 1982 was strange because she was 6 in 1982. I then decided to interpret it as an arbitrary number that indicated “a long time ago” rather than an actual year.

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Andrea,

You actually liked that 2×4 with lipstick from the first season? I’m shocked.

“Stuck in 1982?” I’m sorry, but did someone actually refer to someone’s recipe as being outdated as if to suggest there was such a thing as culinary fashion that would change on an annual basis? Unless the recipe called for a can of Crystal Pepsi, I just have to lose respect for that individual and their judgment.

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solipsistnation said on February 27th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Heck yeah. Why Hosea? Not only did he spend the whole season saying “I am totally a seafood chef!” BUT he regularly screwed up seafood dishes! How does that happen?

I didn’t like Stefan to start with, but he sure grew on me. The weird thing about the finale episodes was that he LOST the confidence he had during the first part of the season. (He also gained about 5 pounds, it looked like.) He spent the New York parts being smug and working his butt off, and then in New Orleans he suddenly got all nervous and worried and started second-guessing himself.

I really wanted Crazy-Eyes Carla to win, but, you know, I think the person who observed that she did the “woman thing” is right. And sheesh, what an awful person to listen to. There’s a reason Casey didn’t win way back when. Eesh.

I like Padma– she’s a Worcester girl (well, kind of. She went to Clark at about the time I was busy dropping out of another college nearby) and seems pretty interesting. Gail, I suspect, gets on the show because she has HUGE BREASTS. She’s at least a better actual judge than Young. Someone else I know pointed out that Tom Colicchio appeared to be getting annoyed at him, since Young seemed to be more into making snarky comments than actually judging the food. He did tone it down after his first couple of episodes, but still.

Anyway, yeah. Hosea was a tw[ia]t and I really wish Carla had stuck by her strengths. At least she didn’t serve a crappy souffle and hope, though. She’d have really heard it if she had…

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buzziecat said on March 7th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I watched the finale but turned off when I knew Carla’s goose was cooked. (Maybe she should have made goose.) Howevah- – > I read a comment from Casey that sheds a totally different light on what went on during the last episode and I think it wasn’t as ‘Casey wanted to do this and that’ as it was made to seem. And Carla (so likable I wished she’d won) is an adult and was the chef in charge and did not have to take the ideas of her sous chef.
BTW. I also recall Casey making some very good dishes when she competed.

Marcel did deserve to win when he was a contestant and Tom-thinks-too-much-of-himself C once told someone in an earlier season that he didn’t care what went on in the kitchen or who though what about whom – and then wrings out Marcel for not having better interpersonal relationships (IPRs).
Oh, and Tom? Lobster is, in fact, LOW in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol so, when you criticized someone for using it to make a low-cholesterol dish, you didn’t know shit.

I agree that Padma is useless except for whatever window dressing the producers think she adds. Bleh.

Young (is that the name of the milquetoast creep who said one dish tasted like cat food?) is an example of a loser who feels powerless and so jumps to dump on others when he is in a position to wield a (culinary) axe over someone’s head.

I watch the show sometimes to see what the contestants cook because that’s interesting to a degree, but the judges? Let’s see them do some of the quick-fire and other challenges. Bet they’d bomb more than once.

The guy from La Bernardin (Eric Ripert?) – what a nice, thoughtful, gracious person. He tried so hard to give constructive comments, didn’t seem to take any pleasure from having to criticize some dishes, and looked very uncomfortable when the other ‘couldn’t-get-over-themselves judges made nasty, snarky comments. Cheers to him.

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