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Independent George
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It would be perhaps a little silly to suggest that only good things can emerge when the creation of your dish involves six foot flames leaping from the wok. Pfeh. I cannot even conceive a universe where good things do NOT emerge from six foot flames leaping from a wok. I'm pretty sure that's written in the old testament somewhere.
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2013 on The Deliciousness of 2012 at Skillet Doux
Huh. I completely missed the fact that S10 had started. I'll miss the rankings, but hopefully the regulars will make a smooth transition to the forums. I'm going over to register now.
So, might there a Sonoran Dog-off in the works?
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2012 on Spelunking in Tucson at Skillet Doux
That is some beautiful char on the pizza crust. On the top of that crust.
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2012 on The Quarterly Report - Q3 2012 at Skillet Doux
Congratulations, Dom. Well earned, even if it makes me a little sad you're no longer in Chicago.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2012 on A Good Day at Skillet Doux
Funnily enough, I think I started hanging out here right around when you left Chicago.
Toggle Commented May 12, 2012 on Can We Talk? at Skillet Doux
So did Grayson get Fan Favorite, or did the robo-voting win it for Malibu?
Yup, I'm glad I didn't watch. I hated Andy Cohen's schtick even in the good seasons of Top Chef; I was 99% sure I wouldn't be able to bear it last night.
Sue & Ann: Give it time; I followed Steph only because I live in her city, but it took 3 years between her win on TC, and the opening of her restaurant. I haven't really been keeping up with the other winners, but Kevin S already owned his own restaurant when he competed; Mike V is still in the process of opening his. The one I'm most curious about is Hung; I remember reading that he used his winnings to finance a series of stages around the world, but haven't heard anything beyond that.
Congratulations to Paul; the overcooked custard had me worried there a bit, but I'm glad he won out. Those both looked like absolutely phenomenal menus. So, does an excellent finale make up for an otherwise meg regular season? I'm tempted to skip weeks 1-7 on the next go around; at the very least, I'll skip the episode, come here for the recap, and then decide for myself if I want to watch.
Among my issues with Sarah were the chef-killer risotto dishes. Clearly there are many opinions on what makes risotto great or not great, and Sarah twice (not once) served risotto that was not considered properly cooked by the judges. I would not expect that from an Italian specialist with her pedigree. I'm not trying to name drop, but let me confirm Sarah knows how to cook Risotto. When I went to Spiaggia, the risotto was the showstopper of the night; it was a minimalist production, with just a few little greens sprinkled over the rice, but the stock was incredibly intense, and melded perfectly with the greens. I remember it because it was the first time in my life that I actually liked risotto, and finally understood that Seinfeld episode. I think the problem is that people have different ideas on what makes a good risotto, and get locked into a limited view of what it should be. With the lamb's heart risotto, Tom openly admitted he was nitpicking when he said he thought it was on the verge of being underdone. I think that was a pretty clear indication that his personal preference was for a softer risotto, and not that it was objectively wrong. The one judged by Tim Love was a long time ago and has faded from memory, but my impression then was again that it was more a matter of opinion than a technical error.
Thanks, Dom, for that writeup regarding Sarah, editing, drama, and creativity. I toyed with posting a comment over the weekend, but couldn't quite put something coherent together. You took the words right out of my mouth. I think television by nature changes our perceptions of food; because we can't taste anything, we're instinctively drawn to the flashier presentations and techniques. Since I started getting serious about eating, I've noticed that a lot of the things that so impressed with early don't resonate any longer; meanwhile, I'm starting to pick out much more subtle nuances in the things that might otherwise seem boring. Watching on TV, those subtleties disappear, so all you're left with are the flashes. As they've apparently trimmed down judges table comments to preserve the drama in the decisions (ugh), we viewers lose out on seeing some of those highs in the dishes. Ironically, I think the best example of this is one of Paul's dishes, and not Sarah's: the cold vegetable soup. Without Gail's gushing on the Bravo site, I don't think any of us would have really picked up on how good it was. And in this case, the recipe makes it look even more unassuming; but when you combine the reaction with the utter simplicity of the recipe, you realize how razor-thin the margins had to be in the preparation. Based on my experience at Spiaggia (three years ago, admittedly), I can say first-hand that so many things that sound simple and boring in theory are in fact astonishingly good in practice. That might be true of Italian cooking in general, but I don't think I ever really 'got' it until then.
No, I can't say I was thinking of Pat Benetar. I did, however, harbor a secret hope that one of the chefs would have said, "I'm a huge fan of 'Song of Ice and Fire', so I thought I'd serve you a raw horse heart. No no no, put down the knife and fork - you're supposed eat it with your teeth." (WARNING: that link is not for the faint of heart).
I find it amusing the way Sarah gets knocked for cooking Italian, but everybody (rightly) objects when an Asian specialist is knocked for cooking Asian. Asia is a large place compared to Italy, but it's not like Italian food is homogenous.
I guess I'll watch the episode, then, but I just can't bring myself to do it quite yet. I'll join in with comments tomorrow. Whatever problems one might have with her TV persona, Sarah is the EC of a Michelin-starred restaurant and the protege of one of the greats. I've eaten there, and it's astonishingly good. I'm rooting for Paul, but Sarah is undeniably a talented and accomplished chef; if she wins, she will have earned it.
Well? Is it worth watching? I usually try to avoid spoilers, but I was so completely demoralized last week that I just didn't care to watch.
Sarah's already got a Michelin star; the publicity helps, but it's not like she's a heretofore unknown quantity. But for Paul, she'd have likely been the ringer this season.
Now I want one of those YouTube mashups of Top Chef and The Running Man.
Do the producers have no understanding of what made TC popular in the first place? You know what worries me? What if they're right - what if they have a better understanding of what makes it popular than we do, and ratings spike because of this crap?
This whole episode was BS. I've never been this underwhelmed headed into a finale. I can't even comment on the food because, frankly, I didn't give a damn about the food in this episode.
I was joking; riffing on "When Harry Met Sally." ;) But is he LM?
But that's not even close to how the voting broke down in previous years. S3: Casey S4: Steph S5: Fabio S6: Kevin S7: Tiffany S8: Carla I know I'm being ridiculous here - I'm upset over the fake voting on a TV reality show - but the injustice of it is really bugging me.
TX: er, what? This is the actual quote: Who's been most fun to get to know? Wow, we've had so many really talented guys. The Voltaggio brothers are going to have a long career; Kevin from that season is going to have a long career; Sarah from this season is running one of the best Italian restaurants in the country; Paul is amazing, too; Look at their pedigree. These guys aren't going on the show because they want to go do demos and festivals, they really want to cook. I do not think that means what you think it means.
For me, Grayson wins big for the Frog song, but I really enjoyed Ed's sardonic humor. I can't recall much of anything about Malibu, either in terms of food or personality. Heck, I found Chuy more memorable based on 2 episodes than Malibu.
Heck, I've never had a problem with IQF seafood, but the margins are much smaller in a competition than they are for home use. I loved the way Tom & Padma busted out laughing when Ed told them he selected the pork casings. Great job by him using them for the broth.