- Exclusive cookbook
- Never-aired stew room footage
- Extended interviews
- Cooking demonstrations
- PC game demo
Top Chef: New York - Season 5
No enhanced packaging
DVD | Box Set
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The world-class culinary competition only gets hotter in TOP CHEF: NEW YORK - the No. 1 food show on cable - as 17 new cheftestants head to the Big Apple to test their skills and compete for culinary stardom.
Featuring some of the biggest names in food and entertainment, including Martha Stewart, Foo Fighters, Jean-Georges, and Rocco DiSpirito, the fifth season of this Emmy®-award winning series welcomes newbie Toby Young (How to Lose Friends and Alienate People) to the judges' table alongside host Padma Lakshmi, head judge and celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons. Each episode features two challenges for the chefs: a Quickfire test of basic abilities and an Elimination Challenge designed to test versatility and inventiveness as the chefs take on unique culinary trials, such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients.
In the most challenging season yet, the cheftestants battle to prove they have what it takes to be crowned the next Top Chef.
- Exclusive Cookbook
- Never-Aired Stew Room Footage
- Extended Interviews
- Cooking Demonstrations
- PC Game Demo
DISC ONE: Melting Pot / Show Your Craft / Foo Fighters Thanksgiving / Today Show / Bonus
DISC TWO: Gail's Bridal Shower / 12 Days of Christmas / Focus Group / Down on the Farm / Bonus
DISC THREE: Restaurant Wars / Super Bowl Chef Showdown / Le Bernadin / The Last Supper / Bonus
DISC FOUR: Finale Part 1 / Finale Part 2 / Watch What Happens / Bonus
Foodies and budding chefs love the reality show Top Chef, but so do millions of other viewers, as evidenced by Top Chef's position as the number one food show on cable. Season 5 of Top Chef takes place in the food city of New York as well as in New Orleans and pits 17 chefs against each other in a test of culinary skill, creativity, flexibility, and performance under pressure. While the show is all about food, it's also about personalities, and this 14-episode season is full of strong personalities. There's the brashly confident Stefan, hyper Carla, ladies' man Fabio, overachiever Jeff, gay and lesbian "team rainbow," and many others, and everyone's antics in the kitchen, the stew room where they await judgment, and their shared apartment translate into some great entertainment. Host Padma Lakshmi is joined by head judge Chef Tom Colicchio, judges Gail Simmons and Toby Young, and an array of guest judges, including celebrities like Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart, Jean-Georges, and Wylie Dufresne. The judges are demanding, exacting, and sometimes downright harsh, but they push each chef to deliver the very best food that he or she can--all in hopes of escaping Padma's dreaded words "please pack your knives and go."
Each episode consists of a quickfire challenge and an elimination challenge. The quickfire challenges test the chefs' culinary techniques and palates as well as their ability to think on their feet and create winning dishes with very little time and some particularly odd ingredients. The elimination challenges give the chefs more time but test their versatility and creativity, requiring them to cater to groups such as rock's Foo Fighters and other Top Chef contestants and highly regarded food legends; to cook in specific styles that may lead them far from their comfort zones; to employ highly exotic ingredients; to make do with severely limited kitchens; or to engage in the highly competitive restaurant wars at the very last moment, among other trials.
Just as entertaining as the food challenges are the unpredictable interactions between contestants, which range from unlikely friendships to romantic liaisons and ugly shouting matches. This fifth season gives rise to several burning questions: can a person get voted out for serving deviled eggs or s'mores in a cooking contest? Is making an ostrich egg omelet original enough to keep a contestant in the competition? Is the Top Chef competition all about food, or does service count, too--and if so, how much does it count? Is this purely a cutthroat competition between chefs, or is there room for compassion and maybe even a little holiday spirit? Bonus features include footage and interviews from inside the eliminated cast house, extended interviews with the top four chefs, some pretty amusing stew room footage, and cooking demonstrations of selected contestants' dishes on "The Wong Way to Cook." The DVD also comes with a cookbook insert that features five recipes from past Top Chef seasons. --Tami Horiuchi
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Top customer reviews
The quickfire challenges are fascinating: watching what they can come up with on the fly with such limiting requirements and directions. The delicious looking and creative dishes the contestants were able to come up with in 15 minutes to an hour were incredible.
The elimination challenges were fabulous. I can't imagine the stress the chefs were under, especially with all the harsh criticism from the judges, but they usually managed to produce wonderful looking dishes. They may not have wowed the judges every time, but I have a feeling I would have enjoyed almost everything they made.
The tension in the kitchen creates enough drama to captivate your attention, and I'm sure you'll find yourself rooting for one or two favorites. If you're not a fan of cooking shows, don't be too quick to turn your back on this show. It really is entertaining.
I didn't really care for this particular season, and candidly, I don't know whether it was because of the challenges or the chefs. There were some very colorful chefs. This is the season that gave audiences the arrogant Stefan Richter (who I was set up to loathe, but I found him enjoyable to watch and nowhere as nasty as others described him – he comforted Carla Hall, when she was upset at Judges’ Table during the Finale, Part 2); the charismatic Fabio Viviani; and the energetic Carla Hall.
Most of the elimination challenges appeared interesting. Except the cooking on television was silly, extremely intimidating, which only a chef with the character traits of a psychopath would succeed at. I also didn't like the Super Bowl Show Down, where a chef could be rattled by the audience. My two favorite challenges were definitely the Le Bernardin challenge, where I found Eric Ripert to be both complimentary to the contestants as well as full of humility (notice no criticism for Jamie Lauren's faux pas about confessing that the bass and celery was not a favorite of hers). I also liked the Last Supper elimination challenge, which was both illuminating and a joy to watch.
Hosea has been criticized as one of the weaker Top Chef winners, but I thought his biggest flaw was personality. Being immature like Ilan Hall denouncing Marcel Vigneron's food. Hosea's performance was inconsistent, but I will applaud him for his ambition. I was particularly impressed with him in the New Orleans's challenge, going the extra mile unlike Stefan, who had gotten way too cocky. But during that challenge, Hosea taunted Jeff McInnis. I tried to understand Leah's infatuation, but I just couldn't.
I wouldn't declare Season 5 the worst, but it was mediocre like Top Chef: Washington DC, which was season 7.
Disclaimer: In my world a product that performs as expected will never receive more than four stars. I think that to deserve a five star rating, a product should surprise me with value, benefits and deliverables that exceed my expectations and reasons for choosing it in the first place. Otherwise, how can I give an adequate rate those truly exceptional products that every once in a while, we our great delight, happen upon......
These contestants work hard at their craft and most seem to be accomplished chefs but it's the fiery interaction that makes this show interesting. You sometimes wish the better cooks would just drown in their big vat of bouillabaisses due to their out of control egos.
The judges on this show are enormously classy; much more so than others of the same genre. They bring real finesse to the kitchen and seem to judge the contestants on merit and not (as I did in the previous paragraph) on personality.
For anyone who likes the cooking show genre - this is a good show and a good season. I just wish more seasons were available.....bg
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