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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Top Chef Season 5 - Predictions

posted by snekse
Guess what's on TV tonight?

Top Chef: Season 5 - New York

Granted, you probably already knew that.

So it's time for thoughts and predictions before it all begins.

First off, let me say that this season's cast looks rather boring - at least from a culinary perspective. The pedigree of the Top Chef Miami and Chicago casts were far more impressive than what they seemed to have dug up this year. I'm wondering if it was a response to some criticisms that the cheftestants were too experienced in the past and some fans felt it wasn't in the "spirit" of the show. I for one think that's hogwash and enjoyed the show more as the dishes got more impressive. [UPDATE: It looks like the reason for this is due to another show being introduced called "Top Chef: Masters" which will unite "some of the brightest stars in the world of food, award-winning, widely-renowned Chefs who will compete against each other in a series of weekly challenges". Also announced was "Top Chef Junior" which will feature teen chefs, though the details are sketchy at the moment.]

Anyway, based on the bios that I read and taking into consideration past seasons, these are my top picks to win Top Chef New York: Stefan, Alex, Fabio

Possible surprise spoiler - Ariane

Who do you think has a good shot at taking the Big Apple? Who do you think will get eliminated early? Let us know your Top Chef predictions.

***UPDATE***
Check out the comments below for a link that reveals the Winner of Top Chef Season 5 - New York.

***UPDATE 2***
So the mid-season "spoiler" was obviously bogus. My predictions were close as 2 of the people I chose made it to the final four. None of them won, but still represented well. It was an enjoyable season, but I have to say I'm looking forward to the Master's version of Top Chef than I am to Top Chef Season 6.

RELATED LINKS:
Top Chef: Miami (Season 3) - Predictions
Top Chef: The Cookbook

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Omaha's Next Food Network Star

posted by snekse
Okay, now that you got that out of the way, it's time to vote in The Next Food Network Star contestant search. A local Omaha chef is asking you to cast your vote for her as The Next Food Network Star. Check out her audition video and leave your comments.

You can also see more videos on her blog, CHECK IT OUT @ AVESTA CUISINE.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

REVIEW: The Gourmet Next Door

posted by snekse
This past weekend I happened to catch the premiere episode of The Gourmet Next Door, hosted by Amy Finley: the winner of The Next Food Network Star ~ Season 3.

I have to say, I was kind of impressed. Or at least happy that it wasn't a complete disappointment. So here are some of my random thoughts about her first episode, entitled "Nod to the Bistro".

Over all I liked the content. I liked the style of food that was prepared and the way it was presented. I was also pleased that they didn't shy away from recipes, techniques or terms that might "scare away" the their Sandra Ray demographic. Personally I don't think they give their audience enough credit. That's not to say Finley's bistro menu was all that scary. The only thing I was really surprised to see was the fact that she made a pâte à choux.

I also appreciated that the show was done mostly in real-time with very little "TV magic". She prepped and cooked almost the entire menu on-air and only used pre-made ingredients when it made sense -- though she could have easily melted some chocolate for her dessert instead of using a jar of chocolate sauce.

For the most part Finley was very comfortable on camera. I think the rehashing of some phrases, like mentioning her husbands birthday like 3 time in 5 minutes, was simply nerves and will get better with experience. I was a bit surprised when the first words out of her mouth were "When I lived in France", considering she was criticized by producers during The Next Food Network Star competition for constantly referring to her time in France and possibly sounding condescending when doing so. I didn't watch the competition enough to comment on that, but I still found it interesting that was how she chose to start off her new show.

Another bit of interesting reading was this little tidbit from an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune and her MySpace page.
"She hadn't seen a reality show before her Food Network experience because she doesn't own a television."
"We download programs off my mother's cable onto our computer using a SlingBox"
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