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Nancy AABB Admin
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PostSubject: Top Chef DC   June 16th 2010, 5:41 pm

Premieres tonight. 8pm Central, 9 Eastern

The 17 new cheftestants come face to face in the nation's capitol for the ultimate power play that will determine just who has the chops to become Top Chef.

This season captures the varied tastes of Washington D.C. and features appearances by some of the town's top names including Apollo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, White House chef Sam Kass, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, CIA Director Leon Panetta and NBC White House Correspondent Savannah Guthrie. The challenges featured will be some of the most creative and inventive yet: the chefs take over the concession stands at the Nationals stadium, go inside the CIA's closely guarded headquarters and literally receive out of this world direction on one challenge from a NASA astronaut orbiting Earth .

Once again returning to the kitchen, cookbook author, actress and host Padma Lakshmi presides over the judge's table alongside head judge Tom Colicchio, recent James Beard Award-winner and chef/owner Craft Restaurants, and judge Gail Simmons of Food & Wine magazine. Joining the series as a regular guest judge is Eric Ripert, award-winning chef and owner of the acclaimed Le Bernardin restaurant in New York City, the 15th ranked best restaurant in the world.

The 17 Top Chef: Washington D.C. cheftestants will be whittled down week by week as they compete to outshine their competition. The winning chef will receive $125,000 furnished by Dial Nutriskin, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and will earn the title of "Top Chef
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 16th 2010, 5:42 pm

Bio and pictures are on this page http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/season-7/bios

It isn't cut and paste friendly, so I didn't bring them over.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 16th 2010, 6:00 pm

I didn't know it started tonight. Thanks Nancy!

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 17th 2010, 12:05 pm

recap from EW

Welcome back, Top Chef fans! It’s been a while since we last spoke (Padma had a baby, if you hadn’t heard), but season seven kicked off last night and with it, we met a crop of new cheftestants eager to take home the prize and achieve reality show fame. Branded non-stick pans and barbecue sauce await!
Last season in Vegas, TC was all about gambling and casinos, so naturally with this season set in the nation’s capital, we can expect plenty of flags and Yankee Doodle music. Best of all, though, Eric Ripert has joined the panel as a permanent judge. Can I get a double amen? He was one of my favorite guest judges, thanks to his focused opinions and clearly prolific resume.
As for the contestants, after six seasons, it’s become our M.O. as viewers to categorize the chefs as soon as we meet them. You may say don’t judge a book by its cover, but I dare you to watch a reality show and not pigeon hole at least one person as “the shy one” or “the racist one” or “the skanky one.” It’s our voyeuristic right (and pleasure) to see if our picks really pan out.
Right now, it’s too early to know what the real deal is with all 17, but here’s the 411 on the lineup and some musings on those that got more screen time. Let’s get on with it and meet the cheftestants!

Stephen, 40
Current gig: Executive chef of Seablue in Las Vegas
Angelo, 35
Current gig: Chef/owner of Xie Xie in New York City
Food for thought: Ego alert! Much like Stefan and Mike Voltaggio from the last two seasons, Angelo seems to talk the talk and, fortunately for him, walk the walk. But his insufferable chatter about Monte Carlo was pure torture!
Alex, 33
Current gig: Executive chef of Ivan Kane’s Café Was in Hollywood
Kenny, 36
Current gig: President/owner of Passionate Culinary Enterprises; chef/partner G’s restaurant group
Food for thought: Take Angelo’s talent, remove the bravado and you have strong but silent Kenny. But will his lack of a fiery personality hurt him in the reality-show long run?
Kelly, 33
Current gig: Chef/owner of Restaurant Kelly Liken
Food for thought: Right off the bat, she asks the other chefs about their style of food. She may crack under pressure (as evidenced by the potato peeling), but at least she’s a tenacious competitor.
Tracey, 34
Current gig: Executive chef of Table 1280 in Atlanta
Food for thought: In response to Kelly’s question about what her food, Tracey responds, “It’s good…?” Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath for her to crack the top three.
Lynne, 51
Current gig: Chef instructor of the Culinary Institute of America
Food for thought: She said she doesn’t have tattoos or crazy hair. Kids these days!
Jacqueline, 33
Current gig: Chef/owner of Jacqueline Lombard Events in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Arnold, 33
Current gig: Chef/owner of Cha Chah in Nashville, Tenn.
Food for thought: Arnold hired a personal stylist and got a facial before taping started. I think this guy’s going to add some much-needed sparkle to the season.
Timothy, 40
Current gig: Chef/owner of Prime Steak House in Baltimore, Md.
Kevin, 31
Current gig: Executive chef of Rat’s Restaurant in Hamilton, N.J.
Food for thought: That has got to be the most unfortunately named restaurant. Also, will he be this season’s Mike Isabella?
John, 43
Current gig: Chef de cuisine at The Lark in West Bloomfield, Mich.
Ed, 32
Current gig: Executive chef of Plein Sud in New York City
Amanda, 27
Current gig: Sous chef of Water Grill in L.A.
Tiffany, 26
Current gig: Executive chef of Go Fish Ocean Club in Dallas, Tx.
Food for thought: She barely flinched when Padma came out. “Hey Padma’s here.” It’s nothing against Tiffany, but it did make me realize the difference between a Padma entrance on TC and an entrance by, say, Tyra on America’s Next Top Model, where shrieks and tears ensue.
Andrea, 39
Current gig: Chef/owner of The Water Club, Talula Restaurant and Creative Tastes Catering in Miami, Fl.
Tamesha, 24
Current gig: Sous chef at the Oval Room in Washington, D.C.
Food for thought: One can never underestimate the youngins’. Just look at uber-successful Christian Siriano of erstwhile Bravo series Project Runway.
Things got underway with a back-to-basics mise en place quickfire challenge, where the cheftestants had to peel potatoes, dice onions, break four chickens into eight parts and prepare a dish with only the top competitors moving onto the next round.
In perfect TV dramatics, the challenge — and high stakes prize of $20,000 — eventually whittled down to Tim, Kenny, Kevin and Angelo. If the challenges continue to go head-to-head between Kenny and Angelo, the other cheftestants can kiss their screen time g’bye. The producers are clearly going to milk this rivalry.
And for good reason. Angelo is on a mission to win every single challenge, which would be a first in TC’s history, and frankly, very impressive. It probably won’t happen. But he’s clearly grooming himself for a post-TC career as on on-air personality.
When time came for the elimination, we got one of those great personality-based projects. In this case, it was to create a dish that reflected where each of the chefs was from. They were working in groups of four and from each group, a best and worst would be chosen.
But they didn’t draw knives for this one. Forming groups was a bit like elementary school kickball. The top four of the quickfire — Tim, Kevin, Kenny and Angelo — picked their competitors, naturally choosing the worst ones first. Tracey was none too happy to be a first pick, but that’s what they call survival of the fittest.
The gang was cooking for 300 Washingtonians attending the kick-off to the cherry blossom festival, and side note: one of the locals in attendance was Andy Baldwin from season 10 of The Bachelor. Local celebrity alert!
Upon first glance, everyone came out the kitchen relatively unscathed except for Jacqueline whose duo of chicken liver mousse looked more like red meat chocolate cake (…and now I’ve made myself sick).
Ripert didn’t have much good to say about it either, calling it coarse and bitter. Gail was more shocked that she nixed fat from the recipe, and she was right. Some things in life — gourmet coffee, ice cream and mousses — are best served with a nice, rich fat.
When time came to actually judge the dishes, it’s no shocker that her mousse didn’t place in the top four. No, that glory of the top four went to Angelo, Kenny, Alex and Kevin, an almost identical combination of the day’s top quickfire cheftestants.
Kenny made one of the evening’s most delectable-sounding dishes — cinnamon coffee-rubbed trout, which the judges loved for its flavor and balance. Kevin got the thumbs up for his tender Pennsylvania lamb that was simultaneously simple and complex — an interesting, if not confusing, description.
Personally I thought Alex’s deconstructed borscht showed the most creativity. Like the judges said, he truly honored what he intended, not to mention the premise of the challenge. But in the end, Angelo took home the win, and was thus one step closer to his win-every-challenge mission.
Based on his Connecticut upbringing, Angelo made an arctic char, marking the first appearance by the fish that got tons of play last season. I wasn’t there to taste his food and his dish probably was quite excellent, but there’s something really admirable about Kenny’s understated attitude. He doesn’t make for the best TV like Angelo, but he seems solid nonetheless.
In the bottom four were Stephen, John, Jacqueline and Tim, which was kind of embarrassing for the Baltimore chef, considering he had made the top four in the quickfire. I think this may foreshadow his inconsistencies to come.
Until then, it was John’s soggy maple mousse Napoleon that did him in. I once had a divine strawberry napoleon in San Diego, and I could see how balancing the creamy ingredients and crisp pastry dough would be tough. Taking chances can be a good thing, but this is the first episode, a.k.a. the weeding-out episode, and dessert was a risky move. Appreciated, but ultimately not smart. John said it himself: “I guess I was just being stupid.” Well, now, that’s just kind of sad.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 17th 2010, 12:07 pm

They are either giving Angelo the winner's edit or more likely the braggart who you will be happy when they leave edit.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 17th 2010, 12:37 pm

It takes me a few episodes to figure out who I like. Plus I don't have their names down yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 17th 2010, 6:52 pm

blueeyed wrote:
It takes me a few episodes to figure out who I like. Plus I don't have their names down yet.

Me too. I usually have to watch the first episode twice.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 17th 2010, 9:37 pm

sammieso wrote:
blueeyed wrote:
It takes me a few episodes to figure out who I like. Plus I don't have their names down yet.

Me too. I usually have to watch the first episode twice.

Three or four episodes in, then I get hooked.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 18th 2010, 12:14 am

I'm so sad I missed this last night! Wicked was awesome but Top Chef and SYTYCD are my shows! lol I guess I'll have to catch it next week when it airs before the new one. Was the premiere just 1 hour or 90 minutes?
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   June 30th 2010, 10:04 pm

I'm so happy to see Jedi Waxman again!!!

Today's episode was boring.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   July 17th 2010, 12:13 pm

is anyone watching this show? Did anyone watch wednesday's episode?
And, uh, did Angelo just admit on national TV that he once had crabs?

I really thought i wasn't going to like angelo but his little fascination about making EVERYTHING sexual, including Tanesha, I am really enjoying.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   August 1st 2010, 4:19 pm

I'm watching, and yes, that's the way I took what Angelo said. TMI, anyone? I was prepared to dislike Angelo, too, but he, Kenny, and Tiffany are turning out to be my favorites.

Whaja think of the pea puree incident? Here's Tom Colicchio's take on the subject:


Tom Colicchio
The Peas that Split

Tom Colicchio weighs in on "Pea-gate."


We’ve all seen the episode, so let’s just get right down to it and address the green elephant in the room. I’m sure that many of you have strong opinions about Alex and the pea puree. Here’s what I have to say about it:

First of all, if there’s a single viewer who still wondered whether the judges know what goes on behind the scenes (and make decisions with any of that in mind), I would hope that this incident would have laid that to rest forevermore. This episode surely proves that we judges absolutely never have access to behind-the-scenes conversations or goings-on, as there is no way on earth that we would blithely have judged the dishes as we did this week without delving into the matter of the creator of that puree. We just judge the food on the plates in front of us. Not even I knew about the controversy, even though I spent some time in the kitchen, as I had arrived there after Ed had gone searching for his pea puree and there was no mention of the issue to me by any of the contestants while I was there. The other judges and I first learned about it just as you did, by watching the episode this week, and I was not happy to learn that there had been any question of impropriety. I’m surprised, frankly, that the producers didn’t choose to depart from normal protocol and say anything to us to clue us in about the matter.

I think, though, that the reason for that lay in Ed himself. Watching the episode, I expected Ed to call Alex out on the matter to his face, but he didn’t. Ed may have been concerned that to do so would make him look unsportsmanlike, but I think there’s more to it than that: I think that Ed himself may not have been wholly convinced that Alex took his puree.

Think about it: There are three possibilities, right? 1) Alex may indeed knowingly have stolen Ed’s pea puree and used it; 2) Alex may have made his own pea puree and been wrongly maligned by his co-contestants; or, 3) Alex unwittingly may have mistaken Ed’s pea puree for his own and taken Ed’s, but truly believing that he was using his own. In two of the three possibilities, Alex did not intentionally commit any wrongdoing.

We will never know. Make no mistake: I care deeply about the integrity of this competition and consider it imperative that cheating be dealt with decisively. But the problem here is that we’ll never know which of the three possibilities actually transpired, and only one of the three possibilities actually involved foul play. And given that we can never know what happened, we need to move on. We can, in fact, move on without needing to belabor the issue because 1) Ed did not get disqualified, or even find himself on the bottom of the challenge. Quite the contrary, he found himself in the top three; and 2) Alex did not win the title of “Top Chef” on the merits of the pea puree in question. He won a single week’s challenge. As we saw with Arnold, one can win a challenge one week and be out of the game altogether in the week following. If it was Alex’s pea puree, then his mug deserves to sojourn on the wall of the Palm dining room. The judge’s were quite taken with Alex’s pea puree, so if it were, however, Ed’s, perhaps it would have cinched the win for him, and perhaps Ed’s caricature would be peering out at future Palm diners. (When Gail said that the peas on Ed’s plate were superfluous, it’s because he served peas (not a new pea puree) that were not well made, and they were the weak link in an otherwise strong dish.) If Alex did pinch the puree, he’ll have to live with himself, which, if he prides himself as a chef, should gnaw at him over time and be penalty enough. Given that, as I wrote above, we’ll never know, we’ll have to leave it at that and move on.

As for Andrea’s losing dish, when you use vanilla in a savory dish, the diner perceives the dish as sweet – even if the dish isn’t – because of the general association of sweetness with vanilla, and because of the frankly sweet smell vanilla has, which spills over to and affects one’s sense of taste. The dish could not support that overpowering essence of sweetness. It was so problematic as to have ruined the dish, even more so than Kelly’s oversalting of her beef ruined hers.

We’re half-way through with this season’s competition. From here on out, there will be less and less room for mistakes, and more and more need, I hope, to chose the best and worst dishes in each challenge from amidst all high-level offerings….

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   August 28th 2010, 11:00 pm

anyone else think tiffany is the front runner?
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   September 9th 2010, 11:56 am

bergen wrote:
anyone else think tiffany is the front runner?

I really thought she was! I really enjoyed her personality and she seemed to be doing really well in the competition. I was gutted when she had to pack her knives. Sad

I'm glad Kelly left last night, though. I did not want her to make it to the finale over the other 3, I feel like they all deserved to go over her.

I think I am rooting for Ed to win at this point. Angelo is a bit of a jerk and Kevin has been too inconsistent to be the winner imo.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   September 16th 2010, 2:51 pm

Did anyone else watch the finale and was surprised by who won?

Also did anyone watch Top Chef Desserts? OMG, i love this show. I sooo wish i was a judge on this show.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   September 16th 2010, 8:32 pm

blech bring on the desserts!

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   September 23rd 2010, 12:43 pm

Don't know if anyone watched the Reunion but they are having an All-Stars edition coming in December, announced the cast last night, all pretty good ones, and Tiffany and Angelo made all stars from this season.

also did anyone watch Just Desserts, good lord the crazies were out last night on TV.
Between the survivor crazies and the complete meltdown from Zach on TC-Desserts my head hurt when I went to bed.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   September 23rd 2010, 1:26 pm

sorry about post above but seth had the breakdown. and here of course is the best recap.


Anyone who watched Top Chef: Just Desserts and Survivor last night found themselves knee-deep in perhaps two of the most entertaining hours of reality TV in months and months. Both shows were absolutely hilarious and amazing on Wednesday, with Just Desserts delivering perhaps the strangest mental breakdown in Bravo history. Now listen — I adored Top Chef: DC, and I felt extremely guilty about not having phtoocapped the last third of the season — but that being said, as much as I enjoyed that installment of the franchise, Just Desserts is kind of kicking its ass in the entertainment department. Why? Well, as Gail Simmons noted, this cast is just full-on kooky. And I love them. This, my friends, is what happens when you take a handful of tightly-wound women, a smattering of catty gays, one or two mentally unstable alpha males, and throw them together in a kitchen.
Rest of article:
http://www.bsideblog.com/2010/09/top-chef-just-desserts-photocap-the-red-hots-are-for-everyones-mommy/
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   September 23rd 2010, 10:50 pm

Tiffany won fan fave Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   September 24th 2010, 4:13 am

catty wrote:
Tiffany won fan fave Smile

I'm really happy she won. I loved her this season and I thought she was eliminated too early, I thought she should have for sure been in the finale. I can't wait to see her on the All-Stars season. Very Happy

Anyone else super excited for that?
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   October 7th 2010, 7:55 am

Does anyone watch "Just Desserts"

OMG some of this group do not give pastry chefs a good name. They are off their rockers.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   November 10th 2010, 7:48 pm

bergen wrote:
Does anyone watch "Just Desserts"

OMG some of this group do not give pastry chefs a good name. They are off their rockers.

I love Just Desserts! It's like Top Chef but with more cattyness and drama. lol

I was super sad to see Eric go last week! I really liked him and he seems so sweet.

I am all about Team Diva! I was sad to see Heather go but our remaining team members kick butt. I think I'm rooting for Zac to win right now.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   November 10th 2010, 10:12 pm

no way I am team morgan!!!
but I do like zac

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   November 10th 2010, 10:15 pm

My bf is totally Team Morgan, too! lol He just rubs me the wrong way. I bet he'll win, though!

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   December 1st 2010, 6:46 am

SO EXCITED FOR ALL-STARS TONIGHT!!!!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef DC   December 1st 2010, 12:53 pm

Me, too!! I have been waiting forever for them to do an All-Star season and I really love most of the people they brought back. It's going to be hard for me to see some of my faves eliminated again, though.

Who are you rooting for, Bergen?
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