Friday, February 27, 2009

Top Chef Season 5 Finale

Top Chef concluded this week with Carla reverting to one of her earlier bad habits: Not speaking up about how she wanted one of her dishes to be executed. And just as this bit her in the ass in previous episodes, so did it cost her the crown this time around.
Hosea won. Six months from now ask someone who won TC 5 and they may very well look at you blankly, hem and haw, and then ask what Fabio's up to. Nothing against Hosea, but he's no Stephanie, or Hung, or Ilan, or even Harold. Wait. What's with all of the "H" names? 3 of 5 winners have names starting with H. I barely know any men with an H name. Living men, that is. I know a couple of dead Herbies.
But, in a larger context, beyond how immemorable Hosea is, is the alarming manner that the producers have chosen to edit the show. It started with TC4 and Evil Lisa. She provided conflict and villiany, so she got to hang around lost past her expiration date. We saw that once again with Leah in TC5, someone with marginal skill at best hanging on challenge after challenge while more talented cookies crumbled. I thought surely that Leah would be toast after she quit during a quickfire because year after year we've heard about effort and dedication and passion from the judges until we want to take a fistful of xanax with a bottle of cheap vodka.
Still, Leah remained.
Top Chef, I implore you to stick to the tenets of the show that you established. Force the contestants to work at the highest level. Expect more, expect better, accept no substitutions!
Which is my ham handed segue into the problem that is Toby Young. Does this person know the first thing about food and flavors? Even Padma, who is too nice for her own good, had to smack him down with his whole praise of Stefan's dessert by saying, It was pedestrian at best. Doesn't he know this? And then, why doesn't he know this? There have been great men and women of the culinary world sitting at that judges' table, and Toby Young isn't one of them. He cheapens the very process by just being there.
I sincerely hope that we've seen the last of Young on Top Chef. A glib remark doesn't make up for substance when it comes to critiquing food, or anything else for that matter.


drollgirl said...

sadly i don't watch the show, but maybe i should. i could use a few more tricks in the kitchen!

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Droll, this show not only inspires you to cook, but also to pick sides and hate ;)

TheWeyrd1 said...

Not that I care that much about Top Chef but the "H" dude that won is from my neck of the woods. Of course I probably can't afford to eat at his restaurant.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Hosea is primarily a seafood chef, so unless you fancy that, it wouldn't be worth it anyway. You could have a three thousand mile grilled monkfish!
Maybe I'm being nitpicky, and I've been to CO (around Vail, I have a friend who lives there), but you guys have the best red meat anywhere. Seafood seems antithetical, in a way, to being in Colorado. If you're going to eat fish there, it should be pan fried trout, preferably over an open flame on a camp stove ;)

TheWeyrd1 said... it happens, I'm a bad lesbian (i.e. not a big fan of fish) but I do like seafood like shrimp and crab. As long as it's flash frozen right after it's caught, it's pretty good. Salmon (the only fish I can tolerate regularly) is good too that way. But I agree, fresh caught river trout pan fried over a campfire is awesome! Unfortunately, I don't go camping very often anymore...sigh