Rewatching top chef
I always liked Top Chef and it's probably only reality tv show that I watch. To me, it's the best mix of fun and cookery + I feel like the way judges pick winners is most reliable measure of the best dish. I don't always agree with what they decide, but I at least dont think anything funny is going on.
Sometimes, when one of the chefs does some stupid thing, that even I know not to do, it makes me wonder if it's the pressure that is getting to them. One of the things I heard that their 'stew room' often lasts 2-3hrs, so it makes me wonder how much time they really have to decide or think about things.
I do wish though that they showed a bit more into how certain dishes were done. I remember watching s5 I think, where a chef who won it, made a chicken thigh dish that they loved, and he specifically deboned it. I tried to do that but rarely had any luck...
The most famous challenge they have is restaurant wars - I hate it. I know why it's famous and why everyone loves it. To me, it feels like creating a restaurant in 24hrs is, while entertaining, kinda missed the point of what is a restaurant (a finely oiled machine that does great good day in/day out).
What do you guys think?
The thing that annoys me about Restaurant Wars is that they make a chef work FOH. They're at a pretty big disadvantage because someone else has to handle the execution of their dish. I haven't actually fact checked this, but it feels like it's always either the chef that does FOH or executive chef that goes home. I liked that this past season they made every chef take a turn at either FOH or exec.
People make astonishingly stupid decisions in competition under pressure - it happens in every cooking competition show.
What I'm more baffled by is in a show like MasterChef Australia, the contestants are people who love cooking so much a bunch of them quit their jobs to go on this show, many in hopes of switching to a food related job. They're much, much better at cooking than I am, and yet some of the most basic things are unknown to them. Last season Marco Pierre White was doing a MasterClass episode, and when he seasoned something, he did it from a distance, and one contestant (who made it very far) asked why. This season someone didn't know what it meant to chiffonade something. Most of them have very poor knife skills as well. I find it bizarre.
Top Chef seemed kind of flat to me this last season. MasterChef Australia is my favorite cooking competition show, I think. It's generally well produced, and the development you get to see in the skill of the contestants as the competition moves along is really cool.
You can't expect these guys to know everything.
And as for knife skills. They are ultimately home chefs... you have to have a great desire to practice to get them. And ultimately simple skills work in a home setting.