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Reviews & Ratings for
"Top Chef" More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

I Love Top Chef

10/10
Author: nancysparkle from Massachusetts
1 December 2006

This show is just so much fun! You can root for your favorites and rag on the ones you don't like. I have found that my favorites change as the show moves on, but there are some I simply did not like, right from the start. The first few episodes were kind of "getting to know the players" episodes. Then I chose Elan as the most likely to win. He just seemed to be the most professional of the bunch. Now, mid-season, I have changed my favorite three or four times. Now I'm torn between Elan, Cliff, and Sam. Then again, I think Marcel has real pizazz! He also has real potential as a celebrity chef. But who knows where it will go. Each week, I await the next episode eagerly. And not just incidentally, they cook some pretty amazing stuff. I really can't wait till this comes out on DVD.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Show Has Gone Donwhill and Fast!

6/10
Author: ShelbyTMItchell from Seymour Tennessee
12 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The show has gone on downhill and fast as the show not completely stopped being a cooking show and contest. But it also shows that the judges are partial and also that they are showing favoritism to contestants and wants that contestant to win not by food but by looks, appearance, or loving to hate the person, etc.

Really the show has gone downhill. Since 2010 and onward. Wished that Gail Simmons who knows her food more than host Padma does. Padma is there for the eye candy. Gail is that but also she knows her food more than Padma.

Tom C is a great judge but at least he is not abusive like Gordon Ramsey is on his shows. But still the show needs to go back to cooking and not appearances.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

a dash of cooking, a splash of personality mix well

8/10
Author: ponyiq from United States
9 January 2007

I started watching this reality series with the second episode during the first season. I have loved it ever since. I really like the challenges. I have heard the complaint that it is not always about the cooking but being a top chef is about the cooking.. the challenges in my opinion are set up to evaluate how the chefs interact with each other, co-workers, underlings, and customers. I think the show is designed to challenge the chefs in ways that they are not accustomed to but yet, the effect is the same as things that happen every single day in the kitchen. THe challenges force the chefs to look deep within themselves. What I mean is that the challenges are set up to encourage out of the box thinking, what happens when half the staff is out with the flu, the delivery truck is 6 hours late, the market sent the wrong type of lettuce/squash/herb, the freezer went out, the house is overbooked by double, as someone got a date wrong on the books so 2 whole seating's are scheduled for the same time, when something gets burned etc. This show just puts what normally might happen over 6 months of problems squashes it into a couple of days, a group of people stuck together away from home, living together, working together,cooking together-from all walks of life, all kinds of cooking experience and education. Add it all together, stir it up and you get a great show

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Disappointed

1/10
Author: chlswatson from The World
30 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow, I used to love this show, it had so much integrity. But I'm totally done with watching it after this season. Kicking off two of the only chefs who belong in the finale, major blow to the psyche. Just shows the influence of corporate America on what was once a cooking show that demonstrated the actual prowess of the chefs. Now it is all a bunch of crap. I don't even care to watch the very last show. I don't want to even engage in this show any longer. I am wholly disappointed in the judges and hosts of this show who I looked up to for so long. Two of the worst chefs going to the finale after kicking off two of the best, boo-ya! Lame. I'm sorry I wasted my money purchasing this episode off Amazon. I just couldn't wait the three weeks it takes Bravo to upload their video to their site. This show used to be so great. Ever since the new producers took it over (Texas season), it has made my blood boil. So sad to let go. But, I guess Bravo makes their money on senseless money-making garbage like "The Housewives" that having a decent cooking challenge show is too boring for the moronic American public. I despise this country and what it has come to. I used to look up to Tom, Gail and Padma, now they have entered an area of my heart where they can reside with the sponsors, such as their wine sponsor (mafia related) and modern day Toyota. Sell outs. Basic human souls. Pathetic. I still love Emeril, though. Bam! You go, my friend. I know you see it all as it really is. Your eyes have been open with the yea-yeo and I love you, brother.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Recipe Is Drama

10/10
Author: TEAQUIEMORO from United States
25 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love this reality show, and the food looks great. The chefs are the one's the really get me attached to the show. The first three were good and I was happy for Harold and Hung to win, I thought in Season 2 Marcel should have won over Illan. Marcel did all these stuff a person or a chef couldn't do, Illan did all Spanish. Also Sam should have went to the finale 2. In the 4 Season things really cook up when 2 lovers in Top Chef double there chance. In each season I hated Tiffni, Illan, Howie, and now Lisa. At first she was okay, but when she thew Dale and Andrew under the bus and made them both go home made me sad. Ihope she doesn't go 2 the final, she's a b###h. Lot's of hope to Richard and Stephine. Tom is one tough judge to please, an even harder one is Eric. He is one mean son of a gun, he can take you down with one word. Glad that Ted and Gail are back and the lovely Padma. She really beats season 1's judge. And now the competition continues, watch Top Chef the best cooking show. Never missed one Episode, hope you watch it cause you won't be disappointed.

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Sometimes Unfair! Sometimes Brilliant!

9/10
Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
15 January 2009

The chefs who compete in this series are all seasoned and professional and work in top rated restaurants around the country. Until now, I was watching it because I found it interesting that the group of chefs in this series and season were compelling and real to watch. If I was teaching culinary arts, this show would not only be a staple but mandatory in the world of restaurants and culinary fare. The fact that they shop at Whole Foods rather a normal supermarket would have saved them some money. I was rooting for Ariane Duarte in this season and thought she might make it to finals. I won't spoil who gets eliminated when. I think the fact that your colleagues are not voting you out helps a bit. I found them to be supportive of one another during those tough times like students in a class. In fact, Ariane started out on the bottom and suddenly redeemed herself by cooking turkey, lamb, etc., and she won Martha Stewart's choice during a quick challenge and a guest spot on the Today show. But Ariane's luck can change in a matter of days on this show as it does for some other seasoned chefs. Unlike other reality shows, this competitiveness is rather healthier and more entertaining. During their time, they live together while they are working. Their views and comments are often enticing. The culinary world is tough in itself and fiercely competitive just as it is on the show. I wouldn't know because I don't cook but go out to eat in restaurants. I'll probably keep watching this show to see who becomes top chef even though my first choice was let go.

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9 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

This show cooks - literally!

7/10
Author: Rogue-32 from L A.
4 May 2006

So here we have a simple premise: people cooking, with a big prize as their incentive. As a most excellent cook myself, I'm a sucker for this kind of entertainment. Brought to us by the people who created Project Runway, it's very similar, in tone and in attitude. I particularly like the way the judges discuss the food before making their weekly decision regarding who wins and who is eliminated - sometimes I can almost taste the dishes myself.

The show is down to the final three now - I truly don't really care which one of them wins, so long as it wasn't Stephen, who couldn't have been any more obnoxious and obvious in his outright contempt for his follow chefs. He spent most of his time trying to avoid contact with them as much as possible, which is why he wound up getting kicked to the curb finally. Au revoir, I say.

I was really pleased that Dave made it to the finale; he's very high-strung, he cries a lot, and the other contestants - particularly Stephen and Harold - have laughed openly at him during his generally emotional presentations. I was happy his soulful Macaroni and Cheese with Truffles dish was picked last night in the Napa Valley show as the BEST ONE. Surprised the heck out of the other three, especially the two women, who seemed certain he was going to be sent home, assuring them both their spots. Hard to swallow, especially for LeeAnn, who wound up being eliminated instead of Tiffani. I have to say, neither one of those two impressed me, but I'd rather taste their food than anything Stephen even remotely touched, any day.

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6 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Note: This review is only based on Season one that is currently into its concluding episodes in India

7/10
Author: sashank_kini-1 from India
13 December 2007

Top Chef is a new show that they are currently viewing in India. I was surprised when I read that three seasons were already over over there. And therefore, I cannot comment much on the second season and the later season of the show.

Top Chef is a light-hearted show. It doesn't focus too much on drama like other reality shows do. Many people want more drama in reality shows in America, I think so- that's because many of the shows over there focus more on humor.

But once they have a trip to India, they would realize how much drama the audience is being viewed to in the countries. Daily soaps bring with them tons and tons of melodrama and utter rubbish that now has made me red with fury. Only a few shows are hilarious and make you laugh. Therefore, I have got tired of watching old grannies weeping on the television screen all the time.

Even the reality shows have adopted the new policy of including melodrama in them. We have fights during the shows between the judges and the contestants, with judges walking out of the show, people fainting, everyone weeping and judges yelling at the contestants in a hammy voice that hurts your ears. People are so gullible that they actually believe in these and gives more votes and watch the show with more drama persistently.

Therefore, when I saw Top Chef, I was relieved that it didn't focus too much of drama. The idea is simple, twelve people or rather cooks compete for winning the coveted title of the 'Top Chef' and winning some prizes.

The idea of this reality show isn't that new or unique. We have heard of such shows based on cooking before. Yet, it offers a mild pleasure as you watch the delicious dishes made by the contestants which make your mouth water.

The episodes aren't boring, dull and mundane but not even that great but just good. The manner in which the judges converse with the contestants is sophisticated. They do not yell at the top of their voices but discuss the pros and cons of the contestants in a well-behaved manner. Though there are some snide remarks by the judges, they're not hurting the feelings of the contestants that much ( remember Simon of American Idol).

The problems with this show are mentioned below:

1) Katie Lee looks beautiful but she is a bad host. Her speech seems rehearsed and monotonous and her behavior is like a Barbie prototype. She has no expressions on her face, even when she tells the contestants to leave the show and her conversation with the other judges about the contestants and the food is about nil.

2) The judges don't seem to guide the contestants even that much; they just point out their pros and cons. Unlike Hell's Kitchen, they don't go to the kitchen and assist the contestants and thus, are not their helping hands in any way.

3) In the reunion episode where all the contestants are called back together, there is unnecessary drama created which looks absolutely fake. You can see some of the contestants smiling as they argue with the other contestants. Plus, as there is not much drama in the show, why show so much drama in the special episode? I mean, highlighting the fights and calling them controversies is 'silly' as none of the fights have that much effect to cause a controversy.

Overall, its a good show that is entertaining to watch and a upliftment for a person like me who is exposed to the abominable drama of the daily shows that make you doze off. 7 out of 10.

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9 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Fairly derivative take on the reality knockout model (aka ANTM) but is entertaining enough for those that likes this sort of thing

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
15 March 2007

A group of budding professional chefs come together to compete in a contest to see which of them will become "Top Chef". Each week they have a challenge and a "cook off" with the winner lauded by the panel of judges, while the individual deemed the weakest is sent home and takes no further part in the competition.

Yes, here we are in familiar territory with the reality contest model of a group of gradually dwindling people competing for a dream job. Fans of America's Next Top Model will recognise it and I'm sure it has been done many times in other guises in shows I just not aware of. Like ANTM, the contestants want to get a major jump in their chosen career and compete to get it. Each week we have the challenges, the in-fighting, the tensions and then the removal of one of the group. It is a winning approach so I can understand why others have just tried to apply that model to other disciplines – in this case cookery.

As with ANTM, the subject isn't really important because it the show is driven by the tension tensions between the characters. It may be clever editing but the most is made of the minor snaps at one another and the "diary room" comments are used to feed the minor fire. As such it is engaging enough guff that I find easy to watch without actually having to commit any emotion or brain power in watching. Everyone hates some characters and likes others and this is where the entertainment comes from. I confess that I found the judges quite dull and lacking in the sort of character and extremes that other similarly structured shows tend to have.

Overall then a fairly derivative affair perhaps but it is a formula that works and those that like this short of show will enjoy it. For my money though, it is distracting enough nonsense but nothing that I remember for more than five minutes after watching an episode.

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