October 3, 2007

Top Chef!

I haven't been blogging it this season, but I've watched every episode, and the winner, announced tonight, was my strong favorite from Day 1.

Spoil away in the comments.

ADDED: Here's the Television Without Pity recap. I must say, the entire series was edited to try to make it seem as though the chef who eventually won had all sorts of problems, but I think you could see all along that he was the most skillful. To create suspense, they edited the show to include every little complaint about the time he didn't work well with others or the lack of sufficient
acidity or whatever. The worse came last week when they told him his food — though clearly better than that of the other contestants — somehow lacked soul or that he didn't include enough of himself -- and it sounded to me as though they were saying: You're Asian, why isn't your food more Asian? No one else got stereotyped like that.

And, as the TWOP recap says, the live element of the finale made the show worse. Padma is boring, yelling repeatedly about how the show is live. And only part of it was live. It was live in the style of a "Survivor" finale, but without any interesting discussion among the contestants. On "Survivor," the contestants are voting, so we see something happen on the live show. Here, it was just the judges, who had already decided on the winner, delivering the news of their judgment -- with less dramatic effect, since the contestants got to see the edit of the show, including what the judges said about them. Which was really mean to Casey.


Ruth Anne Adams said...

I really don't know. I want to believe you. It's hard for me to understand how you could have manufactured the details of your story out of nothing and lied outright...

Maxine Weiss said...

It's Halloween! It's Halloween!

What is the Althouse Blog providing its readers for Halloween?

reader_iam said...

Now, if I were Maxine, I'd be remonstrating with you over your clear lack of disciplined, structured rising and retiring times over the past couple of days (I mean,look at your date-stamp trail!), a sure sign of decadence and the impending Fall.

But then, even Maxine can't be all that all of the time. How, then, can anything more be expectedf of anyone lesser?

Jim Hu said...

Have you been reading the blogs at Bravo? I find the format annoying - having to click through multiple links to read a whole post - but some of them have been pretty interesting.

titus22 said...

OK, I just got home from an orgy and it was hot. I pulled a train with some really hot guys.

The guy on bottom was absolutely delicious. He reminded me of some straight hot college professor. Very short hair, little glasses and a wonderful but. I was the captain during the orgy. I was like you over there, you on your knees, you open your mouth. I was so bossy, I loved it.

Night, night.

tjl said...

Thanks for sharing your orgy details with us, Titus. Let's just hope it won't encourage Maxine to make similar disclosures.

Luckyoldson said...

I kept waiting for the bald guy to kick the judge's asses at some point, especially when they gave him the boot.

Ann Althouse said...


Sarah said...

I think the right cheftestant won.

the wolf said...

Last night's editing was the least effective at masking the judge's ultimate decision. No matter how many cuts and creative edits they used, it was obvious that Hung was the clear winner. I agree that the live format was distracting and pointless. Why were they in Chicago? Never explained. They mentioned that the contestants families were there, but never spoke to any of them. Hey, there's Marcel from last season! Does he have any insight into this season's competition? We have no idea, because apparently he was brought in just to sit in the audience.

Beth said...

I was rooting for Casey, and she's obviously got a great future in the business, but I wasn't disappointed with Hung's win. I enjoyed this season because there seemed to be some really fine cooking on the part of the best chefs, and the eliminations generally made sense to me. Howie and MALARKEY!!! hung on a bit longer than their talents might have warranted, but that's the nature of weekly competitions.

I thought that remark about not seeing Hung's heritage in his cooking was passing strange. Why should he be expected to cook Vietnamese food? I am a devotee and student of Vietnamese cuisine, but it never occurred to me that Hung ought to be whipping out nuoc cham and rice noodles. The French bakery in my neighborhood is owned by a Vietnamese woman, who has had a respected career as pastry chef at some of our highest-ranked hotels and restaurants. Isn't that a normal post-colonial state of affairs? There are no little cups of mung bean tapioca desserts in her display cases, just wonderful brioche, buttercream petit fours and fruit tarts.

Trooper York said...

I'm sorry, I lost track. Was the bald guy and the judge on the show or at the orgy?

Wade Garrett said...

I agree that they edited the show to make Han out to be the villain, but I think the judge's comments about Han's food lacking soul weren't made because he was Asian, but because it was the dramatically appropriate thing to say to his character. Whether or not Han is like that on real life, on the show he is portrayed as a soulless killing machine, and the producers of the show needed a line like that to play up the villain angle.

The other characters were just as stereotyped. Casey was the woman. From Texas. Dale is the Gay Guy From Boystown who looks like a cartoon dinosaur. Look, he even has a gay haircut! The other finalist (I forget his name, he was too boring) was the plain' ol' straight white guy. They're all roles to play, and it barely matters if they're actually like that in real life.

Republican said...

I can't even remember if the other contestants were there. Did they run out and congratulate Hung at the end? I don't remember.

Marcel was there because he is friends with Hung-it was mentioned on the first episode.

I enjoyed the last episode other than the "live" aspect that didn't belong there.

My pet peeve about these kinds of shows is this: If anyone over 40 is lucky enough to be chosen as a contestant, they are almost always voted out fast.

They are always in the minority and made to be the butts of jokes, scorned and shunned and unwanted for not being selfish, self absorbed, or self-centered, enough.

Hell, on Project Runway, the contestants were encouraged to be rude to the moms who appeared.

The only season of Survivor with older contestants was the first season.

Top Chef only only allows forty-something judges.