Tom Colicchio



"Restaurant Wars"

This was the week that the chefs look forward to the most. This was the chance to basically open up your own restaurant for a day and do everything from scratch. A freeform menu with no restrictions; a blank canvas for a dining area that they can decorate any way they choose; and the chance to really show what the end result of winning this competition could be. And boy, did these eight screw it up.We start with the Quickfire, which no longer results in immunity but instead will result in a favorable start in the elimination challenge for the winner. In this case, the winner got to choose his own team for restaurant wars. Top Chef brings in Daniel Boluud, whom the chefs consider one of the top 10 chefs in the country, if not the world. One of the things he is famous for is a burger that costs $120! Lord. That better be the best thing I have ever and will ever eat in my life. It better be 40 pounds and 9 feet wide. Anyway, the challenge is to create a unique burger, sort of like the ... read more

"Guilty Pleasures"

The term "guilty pleasure" has always been interesting to me. I don't like using the term at all, but if I had to, in my mind it would define something that I really like but I know I'm not supposed to. But just because I think I'm not supposed to like Culture Club or What Not to Wear doesn't mean that anyone else thinks those shows shouldn't be liked, either. In this case, though, it seems like "guilty pleasure" is being used to describe a food that will make you fat, but you want anyway, which is a different definition than mine. I mean, who doesn't like Cold Stone Creamery ice cream? If I'm supposed to feel guilty about eating my Love It!-size cake batter with brownies and black cherries, I don't. Ever. Anyway, what school did Hung and Marcel go to that told them to use these ridiculous ingredients? We were just recently reminded of Marcel's bacon and avocado ice cream from last season, and this week his buddy Hung adds in tempura flakes with a white chocolate and cauliflower foa... read more

"Freezer Burn"

Ah, now this was what I missed so much last week. Forget reunions. I need Joey and Howie opening their big mouths, Sara whining and Hung being a “douche’ as CJ called him. Right from the moment Joey spoke for the first time, you knew it was going to be fun. He said if he had to “throw someone over the bus” he’d do so at this point in the game. I definitely would choose that over the more traditional throwing someone under the bus. I mean, under the bus you really have no shot at making it, but over it just gives you so many more opportunities. You could land on your feet or in a row of bushes. There could be a trampoline on the other side or maybe a river and you could just swim to the bank. If I were those chefs, I’d take that option rather than the second choice of throwing someone “over the balcony.” They probably can’t fly but I’d bet they could walk away from landing on the hood of a 2001 Honda Accord. In all seriousness though,... read more

Watch What Happens

So I know some of you are wondering why a reunion episode is taking place in the middle of a season. I would have asked that myself, except I have to confess that it’s partially my fault. About two weeks ago Bravo and I had a string of text messages going back and forth. Let me show you how it went:Bravo: Wazzup, dog?Dave: Just chillin’.Bravo: So what’s the 25th look like for you, bro?Dave: Out of town. Busy. Thanx for asking. Bravo: You are awesome at this blogging thing. We’re thinking of giving you a break from all your linking for a week. Dave: Word.Bravo: How about a reunion show?Dave: In the middle of a season?Bravo: Dude, don’t question what we do. Dave: lolSo that’s how we got it, folks. And it’s true, I have nothing to link up this week, so I can actually get to bed at a normal time. Nothing wrong with that now and again. The episode itself was pure fluff. We saw a few funny and interesting moments but not a whole lot of important items. P... read more

"Latin Lunch"

Oh, what a fun episode of Top Chef this week, wouldn't you say? The curveball thrown to the chefs tonight made the episode for me, but we'll get to that shortly. This week certain personalities really got to me. If you go back to my first blog, you'll see that I've liked Hung from the beginning, but he's been wearing me down a bit. His arrogance has certainly gotten notice from the judges, and while it was always prominent, it never really came back to bite him as much as it did this week. Sara N. on the other hand has always annoyed me with her whining about how hard things are, how she doesn't have some expertise, or how this went wrong or that went wrong. I wanted to strangle her when she starting whining in the Quickfire challenge. But she surprised the heck out of me during the Latin cook-off when she said she wasn't worried about the lack of time. I would have naturally assumed that she'd moan that it wasn’t fair, but for once she kept her poise. And finally, what do you ... read more

"Cooking by Numbers"

Hello folks. I missed all of you on the Fourth of July, when Bravo decided to be nice and air a rerun so you could watch fireworks instead (or if you aren't in the U.S., then revise that to read "so you could sit around in your undies and eat Doritos until you passed out"). But after the very brief hiatus, they come back with one of my favorite parts of the show: teamwork!!!I just love the first time the chefs get to work as a team. You have to enjoy seeing their brains churn as they try to make their own dish great while still worrying if they should help their teammate or let him do his own thing. The bitching, bickering and overall back and forth is wickedly fun to see. But before we get into the team challenge, we had a cool Quickfire this week. A mixologist named Jamie Walker creates cocktails made from the Bombay Sapphire Gin that he represents. The contestants have to make an appetizer to complement the drink, and each one has something different. First of all, I love the ter... read more

June 27, 2007: Yuck!

Hello, everyone. Unfortunately, right off the bat, I'm telling you that this blog will be short. Why, you ask? Because it's stormin' like Norman out here in Pennsylvania and I'd like to keep my hard drive in one piece. So today, we're skipping all the attempts at humor (at the start at least) and getting right to the chatting about what went on in this week's contest. Chef Alfred Portale from Gotham, in New York, was the guest judge this week for the quick-fire challenge. He's billed as having the most breathtaking platings in the world, so much so that you almost don't want to eat the food. (Um, look at the menu at Gotham: A four-course meal with a glass of water is going to run about a hundred bucks. I don't know if you print money in your basement, but I don't. So he could take a piece of salmon and make it sing "New York, New York" in front of me and I'm still licking the plate until it looks like it's clean enough to serve the next meal on it.) Clearly, though, a good-looking d... read more

Top Chef's Tom Colicchio Shares His Recipe for Success

Tom Colicchio, Top Chef

As Season 3 of Bravo's addictive cooking competition, Top Chef (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET), enters into its third week, we dished with head judge and famed restaurateur Tom Colicchio. TV Guide: Tell us about this season. Colicchio: Most of the contestants are either sous chefs or executive chefs, some have their own restaurants or their own catering companies, and so it's definitely a deeper talent pool this year. TV Guide: What qualities does a Top Chef need? Colicchio: Obviously they have to have a lot of food knowledge, they have to really understand their craft, they need passion and drive and to love what they do. Otherwise they won't stay in the game. TV Guide: Do you have some advice for this season's contenders? Colicchio: Simple is better than complicated, especia read more

June 20, 2007: The Upscale BBQ

So last week I told you that I love Top Chef mainly because I love food. But there's also one thing I didn't tell you: I'm on a diet. My wife calls this a "lifestyle change" instead of a diet, but I like "diet" instead. When I talk about a "lifestyle change" to people they immediately think I'm going to start wearing panties (the I Heart Clay Aiken Underoos don't count as panties) and calling myself Davida instead. In the end, I have to explain that I'm on a diet anyway, so it's just easier. OK, so now you're wondering why I told you this. Well, it plays into a hotly contested topic on the string last week — whether the chefs should cook food that's on the lower end of the food scale, aka "stuff we'd eat." My answer to that question is that I like seeing them cook this outrageous stuff. Foods like geoduck that I'd see on a window display menu for $45 a plate and walk right by are the kinds of items I need on Top Chef. There's almost no chance that I'll ever get to try most of t... read more

A Reality Smorgasbord

Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi by Glenn Watson/Bravo Photo

For someone whose kitchen prowess pretty much stops at the microwave and the George Foreman grill (New York-apartment size), I am unusually caught up this year in the hot summer-reality trend of cooking competition shows. Those who can’t do, watch in rapt fascination.Two in particular are among my tastiest guilty pleasures: Bravo’s scintillating Top Chef, which looks better than ever in its third season set in Miami, and Food Network’s more modestly entertaining The Next Food Network Star, also in its third season, though this is the first time I’ve watched. My least favorite of this batch, though also popular in the way that some people can’t seem to avert their gaze from any sort of train wreck, is Fox’s shrill and unceasingly unpleasant Hell’s Kitchen, also in its third go-round. (And this is the second consecutive year I’ve decided to bail after just a few weeks. I need to give my bleeding ears some time to recuperate.)Top Chef and Food Ne... read more

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