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Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:44 pm

If you're watching, now that we're down to six, who are you betting on?

My money's on Nina.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Carrie L. » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:53 pm

Watching, watching! I think I'm one episode behind, since I watch on-demand and I don't think they've added the most recent one yet.
My bets are also on Nina too. She hasn't had too many misses, has she? Nick seems to have potential, and so does Carrie, but neither seem to "wow" the judges with flavor like Nina does. I love Shirley. She is adorable and seems to know what she is doing, though, I haven't seen her do much that isn't Asian. Kind of like Carlos doing only Mexican-style cooking.
What do you think of Louis? (Last Chance Kitchen?) I think he was considered the one to win Top Chef, so maybe he'll be the one to join back in at the end.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:27 pm

Carrie, the show transfer to On Demand shortly after the broadcast--it's always there Thursday morning for me to watch over coffee.

I agree about Shirley--she's good, but rather one-dimensional in her focus. I don't know that she can cook anything but Asian--where Carlos does and can. And Luis seems to be eating it up on LCK, which is great. You're right that he was considered a major frontrunner in the beginning based on credentials but it didn't show. Nervous? Whatever, he's got his act together now. If he survives on LCK then he'd be the other I'd pick to be in the finals with Nina. No one else seems quite strong enough. Come back and talk after you've seen this week's episode.

Btw, they all go to John Besh's house for dinner--jealous!!
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SPOILERS Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Carrie L. » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:21 pm

Just watched it last night. John Besh seems like a peach of a guy. His food looked amazing. Oh to be in that kitchen with him while he cooked!
Was sad to see Carrie go. I totally saw her point -- she thought she was showing technique -- with all she did, she was right, however, it didn't showcase the fish in the best way, so in the end I agreed with the judges. I was surprised no one did something like "A tale of two fishes." I attended a day-long class at Cordon Bleu in Paris (a long time ago!), and they had us make sole wrapped around a piece of salmon. When you sliced it after being cooked it ended up looking like a fried egg. Anyway, something like that, that would have equally featured two seafoods. I didn't see anything close from anyone. It was like the second seafood choice was lost in the mix.
Agreed. I think it will be Nina and Luis in the finals. Though, there are always three, aren't there? Hmmm. I'd say Stephanie will be the third somehow, to add drama.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:07 pm

John is adorable--I'd take him!

I agree Stephanie might be one--she got over the nerves and is now unflappable and that alone could get her in. Well, that and everything she's learned from Barbara Lynch. Also, the Korean guy. Mike? Nick is obviously very very capable, but he's so uptight he blows it. And yes too bad about Carrie, she was good. But in the episode, the way she put it in her own defense was something like, "I love it so I thought I'd make it!" Well, fine, but that's not how to win--ditto the broccoli the week before. But back to this episode, were you as surprised as I was that the fried oyster won?
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Carrie L. » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:58 pm

Jenise wrote: And yes too bad about Carrie, she was good. But in the episode, the way she put it in her own defense was something like, "I love it so I thought I'd make it!" Well, fine, but that's not how to win--ditto the broccoli the week before. But back to this episode, were you as surprised as I was that the fried oyster won?


Agree! Who would do plain broccoli with a dipping sauce on Top Chef??? She was lucky to have had immunity that week.
And yes, I was shocked the fried oysters won. (Especially after they showed how long it was taking her to make them.) I thought it would have been Nina's Ceviche or Mike's swordfish. They loved both. It is too bad Nick is so emotional. He definitely seems to have a level of sophistication that the others don't.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:29 pm

Carrie, holler after you've seen last night's show--it's a doozie.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:17 am

Jenise wrote:Carrie, holler after you've seen last night's show--it's a doozie.

Loved it!!
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:12 pm

Oh good, you're watching too!

No stronger reminder that it's just a game, is there?
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Carrie L. » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:47 pm

I watched it this morning. Wow. That was a tough one. Not sure what I would have done if I were in Nick's shoes. I think the fact that they suggested he resign will forever blemish his future in the competition. How will he ever be able to feel good about a win knowing he probably should have gone home…? I feel badly for him because I don't think he really made his dish. Both teams were making their celebrity chefs' food. Not their own. They pretty much just had to trust. I don't like that. The celebrities should have just provided some ideas and left the rest up to the cheftestants, IMO.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:58 pm

Carrie L. wrote:I watched it this morning. Wow. That was a tough one. Not sure what I would have done if I were in Nick's shoes. I think the fact that they suggested he resign will forever blemish his future in the competition. How will he ever be able to feel good about a win knowing he probably should have gone home…? I feel badly for him because I don't think he really made his dish. Both teams were making their celebrity chefs' food. Not their own. They pretty much just had to trust. I don't like that. The celebrities should have just provided some ideas and left the rest up to the cheftestants, IMO.


But didn't you think they had some latitude within their execution of the guest chef's item? Ultimately, they had to serve something that tasted good. Nick didn't. I was surprised the Spain team won, actually, because Serra was so much harder to work with (I thought).

But here's the thing: even if Nick won, he'd never be considered a winner. Like Hosea, or that little guy who never won a single elimination challenge but ended up winning in the Puerto Rican final more or less because Angelo got sick? Those people may have won the season, but they were never a winner in the minds of the public and they've disappeared from the planet.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:19 pm

Jenise wrote:
Carrie L. wrote:I watched it this morning. Wow. That was a tough one. Not sure what I would have done if I were in Nick's shoes. I think the fact that they suggested he resign will forever blemish his future in the competition. How will he ever be able to feel good about a win knowing he probably should have gone home…? I feel badly for him because I don't think he really made his dish. Both teams were making their celebrity chefs' food. Not their own. They pretty much just had to trust. I don't like that. The celebrities should have just provided some ideas and left the rest up to the cheftestants, IMO.


But didn't you think they had some latitude within their execution of the guest chef's item? Ultimately, they had to serve something that tasted good. Nick didn't. I was surprised the Spain team won, actually, because Serra was so much harder to work with (I thought).

But here's the thing: even if Nick won, he'd never be considered a winner. Like Hosea, or that little guy who never won a single elimination challenge but ended up winning in the Puerto Rican final more or less because Angelo got sick? Those people may have won the season, but they were never a winner in the minds of the public and they've disappeared from the planet.

I totally disagree. Why would Nick never be considered a winner -- over this?! While it's a food show and I love to see the creativity, and equally I like to see the flops and what contributes to them, to me it is ultimately a competition. I like the quick-fire round where one of the cheftestants gets immunity. Once I saw who the guest chef/foodwriter, etc was, I would fight like crazy to win the quick-fire just to get immunity. Especially if I thought the challenge round might include a cuisine with which I was less familiar. Why give immunity, then ask the contestant who has it to resign? What's the purpose of a rule if you ask the person who plays by them to break them (so to speak). Okay, so the dish was bad. We all have a bad day. Isn't the whole purpose of immunity to provide you cover from the disaster? I would have done exactly what Nick did and not felt bad about it, because I would have played according to the playbook! But, from this point, I would cook my ass off knowing that I will be seen as the villain to the sweet little blonde thing that just got booted off due to my supposed lack of "chivalry". IN IT TO WIN IT!
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:27 am

Jo Ann Henderson wrote: Why would Nick never be considered a winner -- over this?! While it's a food show and I love to see the creativity, and equally I like to see the flops and what contributes to them, to me it is ultimately a competition. I like the quick-fire round where one of the cheftestants gets immunity. Once I saw who the guest chef/foodwriter, etc was, I would fight like crazy to win the quick-fire just to get immunity. Especially if I thought the challenge round might include a cuisine with which I was less familiar. Why give immunity, then ask the contestant who has it to resign? What's the purpose of a rule if you ask the person who plays by them to break them (so to speak). Okay, so the dish was bad. We all have a bad day. Isn't the whole purpose of immunity to provide you cover from the disaster? I would have done exactly what Nick did and not felt bad about it, because I would have played according to the playbook! But, from this point, I would cook my ass off knowing that I will be seen as the villain to the sweet little blonde thing that just got booted off due to my supposed lack of "chivalry". IN IT TO WIN IT!


Because Nick hasn't been a top contender all along. Best I can recall he hasn't been winning elimination heats, he just hasn't been the biggest loser. And that's what I meant about not being considered a winner. There are several who've won fair and square, but without ever being a top contender all along they were never considered a real winner in the end by the public. Again, can I mention Hosea: he won fair and square, but was he the best chef in the competition? No, not by a long shot, and everyone knew it. And where is he now?
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:06 am

Jenise wrote:Because Nick hasn't been a top contender all along. Best I can recall he hasn't been winning elimination heats, he just hasn't been the biggest loser. And that's what I meant about not being considered a winner. There are several who've won fair and square, but without ever being a top contender all along they were never considered a real winner in the end by the public. Again, can I mention Hosea: he won fair and square, but was he the best chef in the competition? No, not by a long shot, and everyone knew it. And where is he now?

The public decides "winners" based on favorability. If Nick wins in the end, it will be based on the rules in front of them at the time, should he make it in the final 3 circle. And, not all of the Top Chef winners are blazing the landscape as the hottest new thing. Besides Richard Blaise and Michael Voltaggio, do you know where any of them are now and what they are doing? For that fact, can you even remember the names of any of them? At least Hosea walked away with name recognition -- though not for his cooking. All I'm saying is that Nick is playing by the rules and the last episode made for exciting television. Which I think is what the show is really all about. As far as skill, Nina seems to be heads above everyone else. But, I still think it's up in the air about who will ultimately win the competition. We'll see!
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:16 pm

Jo Ann Henderson wrote:The public decides "winners" based on favorability. If Nick wins in the end, it will be based on the rules in front of them at the time, should he make it in the final 3 circle.


Oh yes, I completely get that.

And, not all of the Top Chef winners are blazing the landscape as the hottest new thing. Besides Richard Blaise and Michael Voltaggio, do you know where any of them are now and what they are doing? For that fact, can you even remember the names of any of them?


Yes, actually. I'm not following anyone's career, but I know that the first winner (I didn't start watching until several seasons later, so he was nothing to me but the data stuck with me anyway) was a guy named Howard who started a very successful restaurant in NY, though enough years have passed that it may no longer be there. The person who beat Richard Blaise in the season in which it was really his to lose was Stephanie Izard and she recently opened her second restaurant in Chicago, the first is called The Girl and The Goat and I don't know about the other one. A guy named Ilan, not sure of last name, has opened a successful restaurant in downtown L.A., it's a single word that starts with a 'G' and is otherwise foreign to me, could be Yiddish for all I know, but I'd recognize it if I drove past. A strong and very likable contender named Dale, who flamed out in a tantrum in his season, has a new place in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, I believe, that's picked up a lot of good buzz in the past year. And other likable contenders, like Carla Hall, have parlayed their gametime popularity into a new career. Kristen who won last year is exec chef at one of Barbara Lynch's Boston restaurants. And last year's winner Paul has his own restaurant in Austin--if I were in Austin with no plans for dinner, I'd seek him out. All of which underscores the point I was making--Nick can win the game, but add last week to the fact that his food hasn't exactly been stellar anyway, IMO he's already lost the public.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jo Ann Henderson » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:59 am

Jenise wrote:Nick can win the game, but add last week to the fact that his food hasn't exactly been stellar anyway, IMO he's already lost the public.

Not all of the ones you speak of were Top Chef winners, but each had public favorability, which I surmise is the point you are making. Which is one of the reasons that the show has such high ratings. But, for me it is as much about how they play the game as how well they cook. For instance, I am entertained by how Carlos continues to rub Nick (seeming deliberately) in a way that he doesn't with any of the other contestants. I think it's a head game. I saw Stephanie as a whiner who was too often self-depricating and never certain about which direction to take on each challenge. I thought it was part of her schtick! And, sometimes I believe the chefs have their favorites and the voting shows how they are leaning because periodically we are surprised that someone won the round "with that dish"! Sometimes even the winning food is not that stellar, like Nina's potato and olive salad (not even good olives).
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:33 pm

Jo Ann Henderson wrote:
Jenise wrote:Nick can win the game, but add last week to the fact that his food hasn't exactly been stellar anyway, IMO he's already lost the public.

Not all of the ones you speak of were Top Chef winners, but each had public favorability, which I surmise is the point you are making. Which is one of the reasons that the show has such high ratings. But, for me it is as much about how they play the game as how well they cook. For instance, I am entertained by how Carlos continues to rub Nick (seeming deliberately) in a way that he doesn't with any of the other contestants. I think it's a head game. I saw Stephanie as a whiner who was too often self-depricating and never certain about which direction to take on each challenge. I thought it was part of her schtick! And, sometimes I believe the chefs have their favorites and the voting shows how they are leaning because periodically we are surprised that someone won the round "with that dish"! Sometimes even the winning food is not that stellar, like Nina's potato and olive salad (not even good olives).


You surmised correctly. But yes, it's a head game for sure. I'll admit I get easily caught up in the cooking part but at the same time I love it when the best player and the best cook turn out to be the same person. Loved it when Kristen slayed all the dragons in LCK and came back to win the whole thing, for instance, as Luis has a chance of doing now.

And I know what you mean about Nina's potato salad. She apparently executed it as well as anyone could have, but even she was surprised to win praise for it as she'd have never voluntarily done something that simple.
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Carrie L. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:39 pm

Has everyone seen the finale'???? Would like to discuss, but don't want to spoil the results...
Let me know!
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Re: Who's watching Top Chef NOLA?

by Jenise » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:54 pm

Carrie, just started a separate thread (before seeing yours) to discuss the finale. Let's talk!
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