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Vegas Chef Prizefight

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Vegas Chef Prizefight, hosted by Anne Burrell on Food Network

Eight Chefs Compete for the Position of a Lifetime on Vegas Chef Prizefight

One chef will win a coveted position at a new restaurant on the Las Vegas strip.

Las Vegas is a place where dreams are made, and Chef Anne Burrell hosts as eight handpicked, hotshot chefs interview for the job of a lifetime -- a head chef position in a brand-new restaurant at the Flamingo Resort and Casino. Each week the chefs will take over a restaurant within the Caesars Empire for one dinner service to prove they have the talent, leadership and determination to run a ten-million-dollar restaurant in the biggest culinary city on earth -- Las Vegas. Recurring judges include Scott Conant and Eileen Moore.

Culinary dreams come true in the new series Vegas Chef Prizefight, where the next generation of elite chefs will face the toughest job interview of their lives for the opportunity to be named Head Chef at the brand-new $10 million dollar restaurant at the Flamingo Las Vegas, right on the Las Vegas strip.

Each week, host Anne Burrell puts the chefs through their paces at a Vegas restaurant within the Caesars empire for grueling fine-dining challenges to prove they have the talent, leadership and determination to run a high-profile restaurant in one of the biggest food cities in the country. With clashing egos, extraordinary dishes and unexpected twists and turns, the six-episode series mirrors the storied world of first-class restaurant kitchens.

Restaurant experts Scott Conant and Regional President of Caesars Entertainment Eileen Moore join Anne in every drama-filled episode, along with other special guests, to determine who moves closer to the ultimate job offer. Vegas Chef Prizefight premieres Thursday, March 5th at 10|9c!

I noticed a few people asking about a thread for this show and figured I'd start one since I'm watching it myself and want to know what other people think about it.

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It's not horrible.  Anne Burrell is quite toned down, and the contestants seem pretty reasonable.

The Guy Fieri restaurant food looked like crap - no surprise there.  White trash portions of white trash food presented by a guy with white trash earrings (presumably diamonds but could just as easily be CZ)..

The mustachioed guy (Jeff?) commenting on the "old" chefs was ironic considering that between his porn 'stache, glasses, and oil slick hair he styles himself as a 50-year-old.

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4 minutes ago, Brookside said:

The Guy Fieri restaurant food looked like crap - no surprise there.  White trash portions of white trash food presented by a guy with white trash earrings (presumably diamonds but could just as easily be CZ)..

I ate in one of Guy's restaurants in NYC once and the food was just awful.  No surprise it was poorly reviewed by the New York Times and ended up closing a few years later (I'm surprised it lasted that long).  I wondered if the bad squid Anne smelled in this episode came from Guy's restaurant's walk-in.  If so, not a great advertisement for the place.

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Ah, this forum is up just in time for me to say I'm done with this show 😄 . I had been enjoying it up until tonight, but wow, was the ending of tonight's show quite the dumpster fire.

How does an executive chef hear someone say they're not good with flour, and then assign them something that's pretty much entirely dependent on flour?! Let Janey do the frittata, or the Benedict, and have someone else do the pancake/waffle. It's that simple -- a leader would recognize that immediately and course-correct. Jeff should have gotten booted just for utterly biffing that simplest of decisions, and yet the judges didn't even give him any flack for it.

But that's not the end of it. I sort of get them calling Janey unprofessional for changing her dish without telling Jeff, but did Jeff really not notice this until well into prep? Scones are so hard to make he can't take five seconds to check in with Janey? Oh, and Jeffrey and Juan were the most professional for keeping their mouths shut? Apparently, "professional" to the judges just means "shut up and stay in your lane". Bah.

This whole thing made me legitimately angry, and has pretty much cemented my utter dislike for Anne Burrell. I thought Scott Conant was better than this, too. After tonight, I don't think any of these people should get this job, and if they do I'll know what restaurant to avoid next time I'm in Vegas.

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 Nobody came out looking good in this episode.  I get that Lamar sees himself as mentor, but these aren't kids or entry level line cooks.   They're professional chefs vying for an executive chef job.   No one should have to help them conceptualize or execute a dish.   If her dish failed, it was on her.  They weren't even competing against another team so there was no reason for anyone to baby her.  Also, if it was so important to help and Jeff wasn't, Lamar should have stepped  up and done it himself.  He didn't care about Janey or Jeff.; he's like everyone else trying to win a game.   Jeff's a jerk no doubt and Janey was kinda flakey.   Like I said, no one came out looking good.  

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55 minutes ago, Maverick said:

Nobody came out looking good in this episode.

They've been sort of a sorry bunch from the beginning.  Anne says in the intro that she hand-picked them.  I wonder from where.  I doubt that highly skilled fine dining chefs are flocking to a FN game show.   So far none of them seem to have what I would think it takes to manage a high end operation.  The first woman out reminded me of Claudette from Top Chef a couple seasons ago - not a good memory.  The woman last week was sullen and had a chip on her shoulder.  Janey seemed nice but she was a meek little oddball with a limited skill set.  I'd love to see the chefs Anne supposedly rejected.  The rest of them don't look very promising so far.

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5 hours ago, mlp said:

So far none of them seem to have what I would think it takes to manage a high end operation. 

No kidding. And what real $10M restaurant would want to put their operation in the hands of a winner of reality TV show? My guess is that they will get to make up a few menu items, get their name on a plaque, and get some kind of light duty job (with a fairly light duty paycheck) unless and until they can prove their worth.

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The first couple of eps were mildly entertaining, but with this one (Giada, of all places) I thought I was watching Worst Cooks in America.

They were all inept, disorganized and the dishes were pedestrian.  No leadership qualities in any of them.  I wouldn't have these guys cater my backyard barbecue let alone run a "$10 million restaurant".

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13 hours ago, mlp said:

Anne says in the intro that she hand-picked them.  I wonder from where.

The reject pile from her other FN shows, no doubt.

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If it's any consolation, that brand new hotel is probably still under construction and/or is currently shuttered. 

Hasn't this kind of gig been the top prize on Hell's Kitchen for a while?  And in most cases the winner gets the Executive Chef title and a paycheck for a year but that's all.

 

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On 3/27/2020 at 10:17 PM, Maverick said:

 Nobody came out looking good in this episode.  I get that Lamar sees himself as mentor, but these aren't kids or entry level line cooks.   They're professional chefs vying for an executive chef job.   No one should have to help them conceptualize or execute a dish.   If her dish failed, it was on her.  They weren't even competing against another team so there was no reason for anyone to baby her.  Also, if it was so important to help and Jeff wasn't, Lamar should have stepped  up and done it himself.  He didn't care about Janey or Jeff.; he's like everyone else trying to win a game.   Jeff's a jerk no doubt and Janey was kinda flakey.   Like I said, no one came out looking good.  

I agree about Lamar and that no one looked good in this episode, but what also struck me is that Jeff spent time collaborating with and assisting both Lamar and Juan but just let Janey swing in the breeze and then acted like it was her doing alone and not his responsibility at all when she failed.  Even my own 64 year old husband commented that it looked like a boy's club with fist bumps and back slaps while the one woman is left on her own and then blamed for her failure when they themselves had the benefit of each other's support and help.  I noticed it myself and was happy I wasn't alone.  My husband said that if it was that glaringly obvious to him it must be true because sometimes he misses stuff like that or resists seeing it in terms of a male/female thing.  And then Lamar acting like it was all Jeff's fault when he himself could have helped her but did zero was just the height of hypocrisy.  Dude, if you can't walk the walk then STFU.  I actually don't think all of this was lost on Anne but she didn't call them out enough on it, which is regrettable.  

Truthfully, though, this kind of boy's club crap is common in cooking competitions.  Even on GGG the guys often act like they're in a friendly competitive sport with each other complete with fist bumps and bro hugs while they just completely ignore the women or give them the cold shoulder and act like they can't wait until they're eliminated.  And it comes from guys much younger than my generation, too, so they really have no excuse as far as I'm concerned.

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After having just watched the latest Top Chef episode this show is a very poor second. Way too much fill and Anne being over dramatic. I'll keep watching but more as background than anything else.

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The show is one big plug for Caesars restaurants.  Ironic that they're all closed during the show's run.

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7 minutes ago, spiderpig said:

The show is one big plug for Caesars restaurants.  Ironic that they're all closed during the show's run.

LOL- yes I went to look up the Guy Savoy restaurant to see what "the most expensive one in the Caesar portfolio" looked like and that's the first thing I saw.

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Aurgh.  There's no way anyone would hand over a ten million dollar property to this pack.

Pornstache Jeff is a terrible team leader.  He cherry picks the dishes at which he feels most likely to excel and then devil take the hindmost.  He just assigns the course, almost haphazardly--except Juan gets the double load.  Then Jeff congratulates himself that his "hands-off" approach is a testament to the confidence he has in his team.  gaaag

 

But Anne just loves him.  She always visits him last, like you save your boyfriend's Christmas present to open after all the others.

I also object to her standing there carping at them while they're preparing their little quickfire dishes.  She must feel some responsibility for the pedestrian offerings, since she claims to have selected each chef personally.

 

The Guy Savoy dishes were a LITTLE more impressive than we've seen before, but that bisque was pure glop.  The restaurant's French host was struggling to keep the incredulous look off his face.

Edited by candall
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43 minutes ago, candall said:

There's no way anyone would hand over a ten million dollar property to this pack.

 

I agree.  A place like Guy Savoy needs their upper management people to have top level skill, business experience and class.  None of them qualify.  I think Lamar might be the most competent of the three left but I can't see him meeting all their requirements.  

Juan seemed sincere so I was glad they let him down easily.  I wonder if he got the job he applied for.

 

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3 minutes ago, mlp said:

Juan seemed sincere so I was glad they let him down easily.  I wonder if he got the job he applied for.

I sure hope so. And yes, these folks are suited for an entry level sous job. What a joke. 

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Lamar?! Who failed at French Toast AND served over-cooked salmon with a dry pretzel crust?? Who couldn't make a sophisticated dish if, well, a job in Las Vegas depended on it?

Fine, judge; you'll have punters lined up for Lamar's Fried Chicken. Wow. 

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26 minutes ago, LennieBriscoe said:

Lamar?! Who failed at French Toast AND served over-cooked salmon with a dry pretzel crust?? Who couldn't make a sophisticated dish if, well, a job in Las Vegas depended on it?

Fine, judge; you'll have punters lined up for Lamar's Fried Chicken. Wow. 

Ha!   I'm still watching the episode, but I'm so bored and annoyed with the whole thing, I don't even mind being spoiled about the winner.

"Prepare your signature dish ugh they're all awful I'm just going to pick two of you."

 

Inasmuch as any of this is real, I'd say the die was cast when Lamar presented himself to the panel as a dependable workhorse and Jeff went the whimsical pixie route.

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Anne said it was the best either one of them had cooked and I'm sure the judges were privately aghast.   "Srsly?"

Jeff made another soup that splatted onto the dish and remained in discrete dollops.  Then he decided that "tongue in cheek" was so clever, the concept alone would outweigh botching half the dish so thoroughly it couldn't be served.

On the other hand, the restaurant is supposed to be a steakhouse and Lamar is a shrimp and grits comfort food kind of guy.  The only slab of meat he offered was an anemic-looking porkchop.

Eh, who knows?  Can someone report back here if Bugsy & Seigel's Steakhouse ever happens?

 

 

 

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I couldn't concentrate on anything about this episode in the last half because I couldn't stop focusing on the older judge eating at the table with Anne and Scott, and trying to figure out what was wrong with her lips. Some botox job gone bad or did she forget how to properly apply lipstick?

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Jeff seemed pretty clueless to be presenting himself as a sort of every-day-a-different-menu chef (as would make sense for a 40 person neighborhood place) for what is going to be a high throughput huge restaurant.

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21 hours ago, LennieBriscoe said:

Lamar?! Who failed at French Toast AND served over-cooked salmon with a dry pretzel crust?? Who couldn't make a sophisticated dish if, well, a job in Las Vegas depended on it?

But, look at the competition. . . 

That was certainly anti-climatic. I get the feeling that the winner was picked before the show even started to film. The winner was supposed to become the head chef at the Flamingo's high end Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse.  I wouldn't be surprised if the concept picked the winner. They were never going to pick whimsical Jeff for a steakhouse.

According to Eater Las Vegas it was scheduled to open in May, but that's probably on hold.

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I found Lamar by far the most palatable of the group. Sad reason to root for one ... but yeah, if the restaurant is up and running (if Vegas is up and running) when we move to the west coast and do a Vegas road trip (c. 2021-ish) I’d be willing to check it out. 

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I didn't think that either Lamar or Jeff would be ideal for a steakhouse.  If that was the concept, why didn't the challenges put the emphasis on steakhouse type fare?  Lamar has proven himself in seafood, which is often served at steakhouses, but even so I'm not seeing the great fit.  Same for Jeff and his small whimsical plate concept.  Why was he even chosen for this competition if his focus is not compatible with the steakhouse concept?  I'm leaning toward the idea voiced above that the winner was already chosen and the others were selected only to make good foils for him in other ways.  It's no wonder the show didn't reveal what the restaurant's concept was until the very end.  Because we'd all have been scratching our heads all through about how any of these contestants fit the bill.  Actually, if I had to choose one person that fit the bill better than the others it would have been Jeffrey, warts and all, although it is true that he probably needs a few years to be up to the leadership aspect of the job.  But again, how could they not have known this before casting him? 

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On 4/10/2020 at 12:26 AM, candall said:

On the other hand, the restaurant is supposed to be a steakhouse and Lamar is a shrimp and grits comfort food kind of guy. 

I must be totally misremembering, but I thought that when we were introduced to Lamar, he was the main "steak and red meat" guy. I know he cooked a lot of different things along the way, but I had thought he was a steakhouse guy at heart. Wondering whether they may have come up with the steakhouse concept for the "new restaurant" once they had their winner chosen, otherwise it would be so obvious that at least two-thirds of that original crew would have been completely out of their element (I know, I know, how crazy to think something may not have been fixed behind the scenes). 

 

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This is how FN introduced Lamar on their website:

Quote

Lamar Moore — Chicago

Lamar grew up cooking alongside his grandmother and went on to receive a degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. His eighteen-year culinary career spans restaurants, hotels and sports stadiums. He has traveled extensively to Europe, Greece and throughout the U.S. extending his knowledge and expertise of international cuisines from Latin American to Peruvian to French fine dining. Lamar has leveraged his platform to mentor aspiring chefs and share his culinary experience in public schools.

His resume seems more suited to being the head chef in a Vegas restaurant than the rest, even Jeff, who is mainly a food truck guy.  I think that once again, similar to other FN competitions, there's always the constant push to make the chefs cook in their signature style or that of whatever regional background they come from, and that's why we mostly saw Lamar cook southern food.

Still, I'm not feeling him particularly as a "steakhouse guy".

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French toast for dessert at a (supposedly) high end restaurant?  That's worse than the ubiquitous French toast and icecream on Chopped.  It screams chef's ego to me that people go on these competitions thinking they don't need to know a couple of basic desserts.

And that butternut squash "soup" deserved to be presented in a Gerber's jar..

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On 4/11/2020 at 10:46 AM, PamelaMaeSnap said:

I must be totally misremembering, but I thought that when we were introduced to Lamar, he was the main "steak and red meat" guy. I know he cooked a lot of different things along the way, but I had thought he was a steakhouse guy at heart. Wondering whether they may have come up with the steakhouse concept for the "new restaurant" once they had their winner chosen, otherwise it would be so obvious that at least two-thirds of that original crew would have been completely out of their element (I know, I know, how crazy to think something may not have been fixed behind the scenes). 

 

I remember him being introduced as a steak guy too. I think he was the one who made a steak right at the beginning, and they complained because he served it in a small dish and it was hard to cut. But they said the steak was perfect. 

Which leads us to... 

Lamar wants to make a steak during the final challenge, and Anne rolls her eyes and tells him to make fried chicken. For a job at a steakhouse. 🙄

 

 

Edited by Maya
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