Jan 11, 2007

Top Chef 2: What a lackluster show

Lackluster. Poor cooking. Abysmal teamwork. Episode 10 was not even particularly entertaining compared to the other shows. In other words, it was piss poor.
I place some of the blame on the writers and producers. The whole scenario of giving the chefs: 1/2 hour to plan, 1/2 hour to talk to a decorator, only $500 for food and $500 to shop for dishes and cutlery, and one day to accomplish this miracle led them down the path to cooking disaster. Yes, Season 1 chefs had the same criteria and had better results, but their space was different. It was smaller and cozier, and furnished with nicer tables and chairs. The decorators this year put a wrinkle on things - they seemed a hindrance more than help, arriving late and not doing much more than mere surface decorating.
As for the wine, who could buy red AND white wine on such a low budget? Should Sam's team have served boxed wine? I think last season, even Stephen had to compromise on the quality of wine they were serving.
I challenge anyone to cook anything brilliant given such poor resources and short amount of time to do the work. (I wasn't much impressed with last year's dishes either, though those teams performed better as a unit.)

If the purpose of these later episodes is to find out what stuff the chefs are made of, then have them concentrate on excellent cooking. If the chefs have to work on every aspect of the kitchen, including overseeing the designer, a helper, and the front room, why not give them more time and a larger budget, and see what stuff they're really made of!

The space they were given completely lacked charm. It would have affected my dining experience, no matter how good the food was. In fact, my dorm room in college looked better.
To make matters worse, the wrong person was auf'd! Though Mikey was the least talented of the bunch, his performance was not the worst. (Think Cliff.)

I suggest you go back to the drawing room, Bravo, and think of more creative, worthwhile challenges towards the end of the competition so that the chefs can shine in cooking, leadership ability, and service to their customers. The viewers would benefit from such an experience too.

Note: I have read Harold's blog and his take on things. He seems to think the challenge as written is worthwhile. I agree with him, except for the time limitations and the miserly budget. Why subject 48 customers to a mediocre dining experience because Bravo is stinting on the budget? I feel sorriest for them, frankly. Imagine eating bad food in such an awful setting. What a waste.


BigAssBelle said...

i thought this was pretty shitty, actually. it seemed an impossible feat and so pointless.

i just ended up pissed at all the smug judges and that valium-soaked padma and her "no winners" snit.

cliff is an ass. i'm not wholly surprised, but didn't realize the depth of his assiness.

Ms. Place said...

Were we separated at birth, Bigasbelle? I sweartogod you read my mind.

Anonymous said...

Sam and crew might have sacrificed the pork and done something else in order to have wine.
I think that Elia should have kicked Cliff in the ass and taken over the front of the house. They might have won. Hell, even Marcel was better in the "Holiday Party" episode.

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought he was making a turn for the better after not picking on Marcel last week like the others, Cliff showed us what a slimey, covert, sabotouer he really is once again. "This time I'll insist on doing the front, serve the judges super slow, and hopefully they'll blame the leader or the chef in the back, just like the holiday episode. Thank God the judges saw right thru that maneuver. For that I was happy, but would've been even more thrilled if he was sent packing. I've worked with slime just like him, but the longer I've been around these types, the easier they are to spot and deal with.

Anonymous said...

Cliff "acted" like he was on a foreign planet and no one gave him the brochure. He knew exactly what he was doing. He could've handled the VIP's like say...VIP's?? But oh no, then my team might beat my buddy's team, and no way would I let that happen. That's like placing a bet in sports on your opponent and then "throwing the game". We're not stupid Cliff. We know you want to see Marcel go and this was your BIG BOY chance, and it backfired on your ass, just not enough IMO. I hope you get DSQ next week or at least eliminated. Aren't you the oldest and most experienced one left?? What a disgrace you are to your profession. Marcel has been nice to you and may even in some perverse way even respect you, and you pull this crap cuz you got stuck with him. Shoot, Dave and Stephen didn't like Tiff, but put that aside in the kitchen. Stop me someone. I could on and on about the blatant stunt he pulled. Scarey dude to work with, OMG. Mia probably said, "I'm outta here, if can he away this BS, I'd rather be away from him".

Anonymous said...

Let me rephrase that. "If he (Cliff) can get away with this BS, I'd rather be away from him (and his pack of scared bullies), with my dignity and sanity still intact".

Ms. Place said...

I'm in total agreement, anon. That was manipulation plain and simple. He was more subtle with Mia; he bared his fists in this one.

Anonymous said...

i'm right there with you anon. i was hoping that cliff would be eliminated this week instead of mikey. did you noticed that when the judges asked him who should leave he said "pick one of them". what a jerk. he was clearly at fault for most of their negative comments (slow service, cold food, etc).