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Top Chef Miami-Ep: 2

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Anyone else looking forward to the Joey and Howie rumble? Kind of fun eh? It looks like this is what Bravo is pushing by their promos on the web site.

I really wanted to taste the seafood sausage and the watermelon cocktail.

I am glad the Mica and Sara came back and did so well on the second elimination challenge.

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  1. Well, since I'm not from New York, I can't say anything bad about Joey.

    Actually, I hope he stays around so he embarasses himself further.

    I was surprised Micha and Sara persevered......Hung's dishes are always going to be interesting.....hopefully he doesn't have a random snafu that eliminates him early.

    hah..."these burners suck!"

    nice product placement!

    Also...maybe Trey is all talk.....

    17 Replies
    1. re: Xericx

      Yeah, what happened to Trey this episode? His and Hung's dish both seemed visually dull and uninventive, not my go-to upscale BBQ choice. Wasn't surprised by the elimination, it seems they lead up to it.

      1. re: cocktailqueen77

        Just gotta say I am sooooo much more impressed with the food this season. I'm still rooting for my San Diego boy, but we will see..

      2. re: Xericx

        Where is Joey from? I'm not sure he's mentioned it.

        Also, who the heck is Camille? I thought it was some editing fluke when she appeared on the screen. Where's she been?

        1. re: Mushroom

          Joey's from NYC. I believe he's a chef at Cafe Des Artistes or something like that.

          1. re: gyp7318

            Given the fact he mentioned he was from NY about a dozen times I thought my sarcasm was obvious. Guess not.

            1. re: Mushroom

              Sorry---didn't pick up on that at all on your post! :)

              1. re: gyp7318

                No worries...I really should change my call sign to "The Sardonic Mushroom". Might set the tone a little bit better.

                Anyway...here's to what looks like is gong to be fantastic season of Top Chef. Cheers! (BTW, there is no sarcasm in that statement - it really does seem like it's going to be a great season with the focus being back on the food.)

              2. re: Mushroom

                Joey is a wanna-be from NYC...he is from LONG ISLAND. His boorishness is not the norm in NYC...far more common in the outlying areas in my experience (I live in Queens)...

                1. re: kenito799

                  i'm from queens as well...
                  but as for long island...it is not known for boorish-ness either....it's just suburbia.
                  although, saying that...he is kinda a LID to me. haha

            2. re: Mushroom

              Mushroom, I thought the same thing about Camille - didn't recall seeing her at all on the TC website or seeing her during Ep. 1. But she *is* one of the cheftestants. Guess they just wanted focus on Clay and Sandee and Hung and Tre these first couple of episodes.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                We watched the credits again after the show was over and...sure enough there she was! Is this a sign she's going to be a final contender that Bravo is trying to sneak under the radar? Or, does she go out early and therefore not worth the airtime and she'll finally get her airtime on the day she's eliminated, as Clay & Sandee did? Or, are there just 15 (now 13) cheftestants and they can't possibly focus on them all? Hmmm....time will tell.

                1. re: Mushroom

                  I have noticed that they're not showing ALL the dishes each cheftestant creates, as they've done in past seasons.

                  And after reading the most recent blogs on Bravo's TC website, I *also* noticed that the Marcel blog link is gone. Never did see anything on it after Ep. 1, so I guess he backed out. Chicken. :-)

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Well, hopefully they have a lot of Camille and also Casey in next week's hot tub scene!

                    :)

                    there are a few under the radar people...perhaps their food isn't outstanding or neither is their personality....a lot of "boring" types.....they're probably just milking the big personalitites before they get eliminated...

                    back to the show....i wasn't overall impressed with the inventiveness of the dishes last night.....Upscale BBQ.....i thought they would have gotten some more "out there" type of things or bust out some caviar, truffles, etc.....

                    1. re: Xericx

                      Well if you get Camille and Casey, I want Sam from TC2. <vbg>

                      As for the show, I was a little irked they called it "BBQ". Call it like it is - it was grilled food, not BBQ. As for what I'd like to try, I'm thinking the lamb dish Micah made would be very tasty.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Norman said Barbecue needed to be slow & low, but it was impossible to do that consisdering the time constraints which were 2 hours start to finish with no fire going at the start of the 2 hours. So they had to build a fire & cook in 2 hours so that was not barbecue,

              2. re: Mushroom

                Joey is from "strong" island not Manhattan - he is the type of person who gives NYers a bad name.

              3. re: Xericx

                Joey definitely has maturity issues on the show. I'm afraid he may give New Yorkers a bad name. And I also had an issue with his "BBQ chicken with Korean Pineapple Sauce." Coconut milk and sambal?

              4. Joey and Sara N are graduates of the Culinary School I'm currently attending. While I'm satisfied with Sara's performance, I'm not so sure of my support for Joey. Either with the clashing with Howie or Hung(who was right in saying that Joey didn't have a copyright on the watermelon drink), Joey isn't displaying the professionalism necessary to make his school proud.

                3 Replies
                1. re: trueqwest

                  No joke about the drink--I would say they're two different things entirely. Joey's was some watermelon/grand marnier shooter w/coriander, if I"m not mistaken. Hung's was champagne w/watermelon. They both have watermelon but so what?

                  1. re: trueqwest

                    I was a bit concerned that Sara N didn't seem to know what a Scotch Bonnet pepper was!

                    1. re: jzerocsk

                      um, yah. she seems pitiful i'm afraid. she bought a culinary education and doesn't know about scotch bonnets? sad.
                      and her dish that won looked weak: steak in lettuce. pf chang anyone? they dissed joey for making homecooked food and she did the same thing. (joey seems equally uninspired - neither are making whatever culinary school they attended look good)

                  2. It's pathetically obvious who is going to get voted out each show. Last week before they voted out Clay they featured the story of him talking about his father's suicide. This week before eliminating Sandee they featured her story - "three years ago I had never been in a professional kitchen. I went from line cook to chef in 3 months." They tell the story of the contestant before letting them go.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Boston Foodie

                      It isn't a live show, after all. These episodes were taped in early spring, and clearly edited to make a good show. I do think showing the piece on the exiting chef would be more appropriate at the end, tho...

                    2. I can't stand Joey! But Howie should be gone too! Their food just isn't strong enough

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: foodgimp

                        I watched it last night.I think Sandee made a mistake by not doing a bbq.I think she said that she was from the south,and that that was what people would probably expect,so she wanted to be different which wasn't a bad idea,but the execution was.
                        I might have tried like oysters with a strip of jalepeno and munster or monterry jack cheese and the whole wrapped in peppered bacon or pancetta,with maybe a jimaca and mango coleslaw,sort of a tropical version being from the heart of TexMex,San Antonio.
                        Or do honey curry tiger shrimp or something.
                        maybe to Joey chicken wings is upscale,but not to that crowd.Too bad no one thought to do say halves of quails with some nice bbq sauce and fresh fruit kabobs brushed with a plum preserves and wine or orange marmalde sauce.
                        Should Howie go,not sure yet.I think there is some reason he's still there.Will have to see how the Joey and Howie thing plays out,though Joey is after anyone who he thinks
                        is competion.I had a hunch Sandee and Cliff or Clay would go.He didn't seem to have the experience of the others and did have a lot of problems.

                        1. re: HollyDolly

                          Ooooh. I think I'll try your oyster idea, but just chop a little pancetta and put it on top of the jalapeno then add the cheese. I didn't quite understand how you mean't to wrap the pancetta around the oyster with it still in the shell. Or did you mean to take the oyster off the shell, wrap it, return it to the shell, add toppers and then grill? BTW - how long do you think something like this should sit on the grill?
                          I also thought of quail but maybe with some kind of thai seasoning for the sauce.

                          1. re: Mothership

                            Mothership,The oysters would be out of the shell,though if left in the shell,I would put a piece of bacon or pancetta on top.The thai seasong for quail sounds good.
                            Bought some jamican jerk seasoning from The Pampered Chef which I may try on
                            ground round or chuck this weekend.Salsalito Mexican restaraunt in San Antonio takes large shrimp,shells them and deveins them.Then they put a strip of cheese and jalepeno where the vein was,and wraps the shrimp in bacon.Then these are broiled or grilled.Very tasty indeed.That is where I got the idea from with the oysters,kind of different from oysters Rockerfeller.
                            I definetly like Sam from Season 2.I really think Sam should have won Top Chef.
                            Don't have any favorites yet on Season 3,but that may change.
                            Yeah,they really didn't have time to do a real bbq.But I don't think the guests are the type to go to a real bbq joint unless they are slumming.You know,checking out how us poor folks eat but wouldn't be caught dead in Walmart or McDonalds.

                      2. Only one cheftestant made a real barbecue and that was Micah. Most of the others just grilled. Norm Van Aiken said it himself,"Barbecue is about low and slow".

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: KTinNYC

                          How did Micah do BBQ? She roasted/grilled a leg of lamb. Here's her recipe on Bravo:

                          http://recipes.bravotv.com/top_chef/s...

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            My mistake, I was under the impression she did a real barbecue. None of them should have won.

                            1. re: KTinNYC

                              No problem. There was no way anyone could have won in a "BBQ" contest, as they only had 2 hours prep, and then (I think) an hour to cook on site. So "low and slow" it wasn't, all across the board. I'd say it's TC's bad for calling it BBQ - and there have been several posts on Tom's blog taking them to task for calling it such.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I actually felt like Van Aiken said that specifically to preserve his own credibility...pretty much saying "I know this isn't what the purists consider BBQ...I just want to get that on the record."

                                But the fact is, in common parlance BBQ often means "Cooking outdoors on a grill." Considering the amount of time they were given to prepare, it was pretty obvious what definition they were using.

                                1. re: jzerocsk

                                  Words have a meaning. BBQ is low and slow, grilling is cooking over fire. They should have called it a grilling challenge.

                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                    I've been invited to a 'barbecue' this weekend and when I asked what was being served (so I can bring an appropriate side dish), I was told burgers and dogs. And, while it might create havoc, here is what dictionary.com calls barbecue:

                                    bar·be·cue /ˈbɑrbɪˌkyu/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[bahr-bi-kyoo] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, -cued, -cu·ing.
                                    –noun
                                    1. pieces of beef, fowl, fish, or the like, roasted over an open hearth, esp. when basted in a barbecue sauce.
                                    2. a framework, as a grill or a spit, or a fireplace for cooking meat or vegetables over an open fire.
                                    3. a dressed steer, lamb, or other animal, roasted whole.
                                    4. a meal, usually in the open air and often as a political or social gathering, at which meats are roasted over an open hearth or pit.
                                    –verb (used with object)
                                    5. to broil or roast whole or in large pieces over an open fire, on a spit or grill, often seasoning with vinegar, spices, salt, and pepper.
                                    6. to cook (sliced or diced meat or fish) in a highly seasoned sauce.
                                    –verb (used without object)
                                    7. to cook by barbecuing or to entertain at a barbecue: If the weather's nice, we'll barbecue in the backyard.

                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                      I understand the word barbecue is used interchangeably with grilling in common usage but Top Chef is a show about cooking. There is a distinction between the words when used by people that cook or that is interested in cooking and eating. For example, if you go to a barbecue restaurant and order barbecue ribs and get ribs that were baked in the oven and smothered in sauce you wouldn't post on Chowhound about the restaurant passing off bogus barbecue?

                                    2. re: KTinNYC

                                      Words can have multiple meanings. BBQ is one of them.
                                      The short time limit obviated any need to be overly literal. Heck, maybe they did it intentionally to get the purists all riled up.

                                      1. re: jzerocsk

                                        The definitions are regional, but here my fave (#7):

                                        http://uglybrothers.net/grillosophy.htm

                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                    I think what this issue of culinary semantics comes down too is what the folks at Kingsford wanted 'their' challenge to be called.

                                    http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com

                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                      I think you have a great point.

                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                        Yes, the almighty advertising dollar strikes again. :-/

                                2. re: KTinNYC

                                  When did 'cheftestant' become universally used? They don't say that on the show do they?

                                  1. re: Joanie

                                    The term isn't used on the show. I probably saw it first on the television without pity forums but it's one of those contractions that are so useful I started using almost immediately.

                                    1. re: KTinNYC

                                      I thought I also saw it on message boards for Hell's Kitchen as well. But it very well could have been borrowed from TWoP. (I keep forgetting to go there to read their synopses - they're hysterical!)

                                3. Who won??!! My station went to "this is a test of the emergency broadcast system" right when Padma said, "and the winner of the challenge is..." Ugh! Oh, and I thought the same thing about Camille - her picture was even smaller than the rest on the intros!

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: nancyhudson

                                    Brian won with his seafood sausage.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      Brian seems absolutely insane. And what's up with his inability to control the volume of his voice??

                                      1. re: mollyomormon

                                        He has absolutely gorgeous blue eyes, tho......

                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                          Yeah, definitely cute. Just comes across as possibly a little unstable. I did think that the seafood sausage looked completely delicious.

                                          1. re: mollyomormon

                                            all i know is that i'm kicking myself for not making it a point to eat at 'oceanaire' [where brian is the executive chef] in san diego before i moved back to l.a...a friend of mine has been raving about the place for months now. says it's his favorite restaurant in s.d.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              I live in S.D. and I should really try Oceanaire soon!!!

                                              1. re: Ela0427

                                                From the Oceanaire website:

                                                Executive Chef
                                                Brian Malarkey
                                                Chef Brian Malarkey of San Diego is a native of Oregon, and cooking seafood is like breathing air for Brian. A graduate of Western Culinary Institute, Le Cordon Bleu Program, in Portland, he then apprenticed under Executive Chef Michael Richard at Citrus, before taking time to travel Europe and Northern Africa to sample the cuisines firsthand. Brian joined the Oceanaire in 2001 working his way through Minneapolis and Seattle before settling in San Diego. His work at The Oceanaire has garnered local awards for his restaurant including Best New restaurant, Best Seafood, and Best Fine Dining among scores of others. Two invitations to cook at the James Beard House and he was recently named 2007's Best Chef in San Diego. He will bring his high intensity and competitiveness to “Top Chef” this season.

                                  2. here's CHOW's podcast with Sandee:
                                    http://www.chow.com/stories/10613

                                    1. TOTALLY disappointing show this year. The food has been low grade compared to Sam, Marcelle & Cliff, etc season 2. I am digusted with Bravo for taking it to the mudpits of reality shows, brawling all over each other, no visible signs of culinary talent in many of the contestants :(. Too much blah blah about personal crap, and not enough FOOD focus. Sure, Padma looks hotter that ever, and seems to have cleared some of the "molasses" out of her speaking style (time for a frappucino product placement?). That shit's getting old, too. Did y'all catch the shameless plug for the glad wrap trash bag! Am I watching an infomercial! Project Runway tramples over top chef in every way. At least Tom still shows integrity.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: culinarian

                                        I'm not sure what show you're watching, but the focus is on food WAY more than in TC2, IMO, as well as the overall batch of cheftestants being of higher quality.

                                        And Project Runway has just as much, if not more, product tie-ins with the Loreal makeup room, etc.

                                        1. re: culinarian

                                          I think that TC 3 is much better than TC 2 so far. The contestants are of higher quality and no ridiculous promo competitions (yet) dealing with Kraft products, etc. About product placement -- while I hate it, I do believe it's necessary. Bravo needs to plug a company's products if they're giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to a show.

                                          I've noticed this year that the contestants are of a younger age range -- no Cynthia or Otto. I wish that they would mix it up a bit.

                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                            Not sure if it has already been posted, but in this age of TIVO and DVR many people don't watch "regular" commercials anymore, so I don't blame the sponsors for paying for product placement. I do find it a bit aggressive though, and annoying, especially when they linger on a logo (like the RAV4) too long and it interrupts the rhythm of the show. JMO.

                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                              Anything without Marcel, his hair and his foams is a great show.

                                            2. re: culinarian

                                              What I thought was funny was all the trouble they had with the burners in their Kenmore Kitchen (or is it GE now?). In either case, perfect example of how too much product placement can come back to bite you!

                                              1. re: heathermb

                                                I thought it was odd that they let that into the show. Everything is edited so much how did dissing a sponsor sneak in?

                                                http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com

                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                  Trying to "keep it real" perhaps and not seem so pathetically beholden to all their sponsors?

                                            3. Thanks for pointing out the (should have been obvious) faux pas.

                                              Major poohpoohs to Top Chef for promulgating the ill-found notion that cooking or heating things up with a grill is barbecue.

                                              1. Anyone else think that Howie needs to stop standing next to CJ? Howie's not a tall guy, and when you contrast him with CJ the giant, he looks like a hobbit.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: ajs228

                                                  Or a troll...

                                                  LOL

                                                  I like this season very much so far. While I don't watch other reality shows, I'm guessing the longer they run the better the competition gets because contestants get to analyze past performances.

                                                  I was also very impressed with the 1st episode pitting the previous participants against each other. I used to think both Steven Aspirino and Marcel were insufferable tools, but they have obviously both matured. Their skills were never in question, just their attitudes, and I think both of them will go very far given what they are capable of at such an early stage in their careers. But Adam Kreisel would eat them up and spit them out with one hand tied behind his back. <wink>

                                                  1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                    I did notice some maturation in Stephen in that season 1 vs. season 2 thing they did. It appears his leadership skills have improved; he seemed more willing to listen and more able to direct those he was working with, and also it looked like folks respected him more.