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Sep 5, 2007 08:06 PM

Top Chef what the %$@#!!!

CJ and TREY win and they get a trip to Italy. Cassey finally wins one and she gets a laptop. In between Sara wins and she gets NOTHING!!!!!! If I was her I'd be PISSED!

Not to take anything away from the other winners but CJ and Trey worked as a team creating, over the course of two days one frozen pasta dish. Cassey won for one cold hors d’œuvre. Sara won when she took on the role of executive chef and all the responsibilities that went along with it. She did multiple dishes. Managed a service and was able to keep two unruly teams mates in line. Other winners at least got books, wine or opportunities to spend time in guest judges kitchens. I could not believe it when Padama pulled out the laptop. Good for Cassey but I feel bad for Sara.

On a side note I found this episode was quite dull.

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  1. Exactly what I thought when I saw Casey win the laptop - What About Sara????? Totally sucks that she didn't seem to get anything.

    And I didn't find the QuickFire dull - the guest judge was pretty funny when he saw Hung's "aerial view" dish, and the rest of the cheftestants all seemed pretty relaxed throughout most of that challenge.

    When I heard how many canapes they were serving for the party, I thought they were making too many. And Howie's duxelle and crostini thingie? Ye Gods - Hung was right - it looked like dog poop!

    Surprised at Howie attempting to pull himself out of the game; even MORE surprised to hear Padma say it was the judge's decision, not his. Then why did they allow Otto to remove himself from TC2 last season?

    And finally - previews for next week - they're traveling somewhere - and Anthony Bourdain is back as guest judge - woo hoo! Can't wait to read his blog tomorrow morning.

    20 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      Then why did they allow Otto to remove himself from TC2 last season?
      Umn, yeah seriously -- on both seasons 1 and 2, contestants took themselves out (Otto & Mia), but this time Padma answers Howie in this nasty tone as if he's a moron. I'm liking Padma less and less. She was not hired for her biting sarcasm and I don't understand how she decided to behave that way.

      1. re: Adrienne

        I'm glad I'm not the only one who found Padma rather nasty this week. I'm liking her less and less too, especially the little faces she makes when she doesn't like something (my grandma would call it "cara de fuchi"!) like it's a little too over the top or over-dramatic for the sake of the cameras.

        Also, didn't like the tone of the guest judge in the quickfire. Found him really rude and off-putting.

        1. re: tachis

          I was SO thinking the same thing! Not just Padma, but all the judges were particularly harsh this episode. And, IMO, undeservedly. As Brian said, the guests enjoyed every dish. In past episodes it appeared that less desirable dishes took less criticism. In last nite's episode, the judges came across extremely arrogant to me.

          Other commnents - I think Hung is hanging by a thread. First few episodes, I thought he showed true talent, but he just doesn't seem to have the wow factor (although I liked his quickfire dish!). I think he really needs to pull out all the stops if he wants to be in the top 3. Has he ever won a quckfire or elimination? Lastly, so glad to see Howie go - every week it was the same old story with him. Good riddance! Oh! And can't wait for Bourdain!

          1. re: tachis

            It was like they all had PMS...

          2. re: Adrienne

            Oh ya Padma certainly has taken on a much more bitchy tone this season. For comic relief you should check out's recap of Top Chef for their treatment of Padma. They usually say she just parrots what other people will say in a bitchy way.

            There have been several times when Chef Collochio has even told her she was a little severe on her criticism. One time I remember in particular was during the Telemundo episode when she said something (maybe Lia's?) was "inedible" and Collechio said "I wouldn't say it was inedible...that's a bit harsh. But perhaps flavorless."

            1. re: Elyssa

              I thought I even heard her tell some some something along the lines of 'It tastes a lot better than it looks'

              I do remember a few weeks ago when Dale mentioned that his sense of smell wasn't the best she said something along the lines of. 'It's strange that some one with a bad sense of smell would wconsider them selves a top chef.' While the nose is an important part of the tasting process it was a bit much coming from a glamor model with a badly scared arm. If anything I would have thought she would have a little compassion/respect for someone dealing with an obstacle. But apparently not.


              1. re: Withnail42

                Well, Padma's scarred arm isn't exactly her fault. But I think Dale's deficient sense of smell is, at least in part, due to his being a smoker. He could change that.

            2. re: Adrienne

              Howie's behavior totally reminded me of someone who gets called in to the boss's office, knows he's about to get fired and quits instead.
              But as for Padma - ugh. So sick of her! At last season's finale in Hawaii, she was saying how she was getting irritated by the poi at the exact second that the Hawaiian chef was saying how well-made it was. and he totally brushed her off. She needs to be brushed off a bit more often! So high maintenance.
              And who the heck was that guest judge? A total jackass.
              Agree about Sara, she should have gotten something.
              Bourdain, thats going to be great...I'm travelling next Wednesday though so may miss it. Oh well...theres always the numerous replays.

            3. re: LindaWhit

              I'm thinking there must have been a decision after Otto and Mia last season, that the contestants couldn't offer themselves on the chopping block. Padma was very quick and blunt in her response, without seeming to look to Tom for backup in a decision.

              1. re: momjamin

                Maybe after the last time when they immediately accepted Mia's self-removal, the producers told them not to let it happen again. But it was still unnecessary to yell at Howie like that.

              2. re: LindaWhit

                I feel bad for Sara as well. She got a little screwed over on that one.

                I thought this Quickfire was awesome....tons of entertainment value. It reminded me of the vending machine challenge which I actually liked. I think it shows how far these chef's are willing to stretch themselves. And of course Hung had to blame everything on the Guest Judge for not understanding his "food art." Still Hung cracked me up on this one...he certainly never holds back.

                The best part of this episode for me was the fact that a good friend of mine was on the yacht for the party. He was one of the guys complaining about how they didn't get any chocolate mousse yet and were really looking forward to it. lol He said he actually really, really liked Dale's yougurt thingy. His other favorite was the ahi tartar (I believe they called it poke though) that Brian (MALARKEY!) made. Which is interesting because it shows how different the judge's pallets are compared to the general public (mind you a well fed, stylish general public.)

                I mirror LindaWhit's excitement at the return of Bourdain!!!!!

                1. re: Elyssa

                  Very cool your friend was on the boat for the event! But the look of that "chocolate soup" - ick - I agree with the decision not to serve it.

                  And AB doesn't disappoint in his blog at ALL. LOVED it! First, I like that he's calling Brian out on really not cooking ANYTHING over the past few weeks. But his last blog paragraph portends a fun show next week - the man can sure write. :-)

                  "I should point out, by the way, that I'm guest judging again next week. Which means I know what happens. And while I am precluded from discussing future broadcasts by a confidentiality agreement rivalling the NSA's in the severity of its penalties for unauthorized disclosure, I can reveal this: There will be a SlaughterFest of Horror, an Orgy of Bloodletting, Partial Nudity, Flammable Liquids, Unspeakable Misuse of Power Tools and Small Woodland Creatures, and the Plaintive Wailing of the Doomed. It will make Altamont look like Lilith Fair."

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    With THAT description I may not miss Tre so much! LOL!

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      AB blog might be more entertaining then the show and in fact I only skip by the show but I read his blog. The guy can turn a phrase.

                    2. re: Elyssa

                      I found it interesting that after Brian said in the quickfire that he didn't do the canned seafood because Collichio always says that he only knows how to do seafood, then he goes and does ANOTHER tartar in the elimination challenge!

                      I am glad that Howie is finally gone, though. And that it looks like Sara has been doing well, she didn't seem like such a great cook at the beginning of the season, but she's really been hitting her stride.

                      1. re: JasmineG

                        Agreed about Sara especially since (besides the Casey's carpaccio), the only "good dish" was CJ's seafood sausage rip-off from Brian.

                        I hope she wins (or hometown boy Malarky)

                    3. re: LindaWhit

                      Pulling Howie after Padma said it was the judges' choice was kind of like, "I'm breaking up with you." "No you can't, I'm breaking up with you first." And I thought Howie would make a little chop thing last night.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Agreed! I was so pissed when Padma said it was the judge's decision, every other time it hasn't been, and she said it in a tone that implied "Umm nice try..."

                        Some people I was watching with thought Howie was copping out by resigning himself before he got the boot so that he'd look dignified, but I thought it was a decent thing for Howie to try and protect Brian. I think he got to the point where continuing wasn't it worth it for him anymore because he just kept getting beat down. Funny that they let him go just when he decides to be a team player...drama factor?!

                        1. re: Chew on That

                          I agree & think Howie was just fed up with the negative feedback. After that beatdown they got for food he thought was good, I think he just no longer cared what they thought. It was a funny situation for sure.

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          When the Howie thing happened last night, and when they eliminated him, I first thought it was sad, then funny: "I quit." "You can't quit, you're fired!!!"

                        3. I am sorry, when did Sara win????

                          I am more upset that the judges never keep in mind what the challenge was. $350, give me a break.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: strephking

                            She won the 2nd Helping of the Restaurant Wars challenge. (The hard opening night). Check out this link - click on Episode 10.


                            ETA: How the HELL did Wikipedia get tonight's episode info (Episode 11) up there so quickly! They must have someone editing as the show was going along!

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              I totally forgot about that. I guess she had to be thankful that she wasn't eliminated????

                            2. re: strephking

                              Sara won the restaurant challenge two weeks ago.

                              I do need some clarification was $350 per person or for the group?


                              1. re: Withnail42

                                It was total for the group.

                                Maybe Sara didn't win a prize because they had to do a second take on the restaurant wars? It did seem unfair.

                            3. I did not mean to sound arrogant or cocky, and I am not even a cook. However, besides the very uncreative theme (catering again? Hors d'oeuvre again?), I couldn't help but kept thinking: These things seemed like what we - everyday cook or even part-time cook who like to entertain - can prepare easily at home. A challenge for Top Chef? Errr...

                              1. Random observations:

                                The Glad trashbag placement in the beginning made me laugh...the big logo emblazoned on the side...Why cant I buy such cool trashbags as those. I'm sure all the neighbors would want to know what kind I use whenever I set out my trash on trash pickup day. Why cant I advertise to my whole neighborhood what superior trashbags I use? The Rav4 shots and mention were also pretty obvious.

                                I LOVED it that howie didnt serve his quickfire and sara and casey threw the dessert away...Colicchio has always said if it sucks, dont serve it...I was anxious to see if he stood behind his words. And to his credit he handled it very well. However, if casey and sara didnt have another dish, I doubt their "integrity" would have been recieved so favorably.

                                Hung's quickfire dish was awesome! The "screw you" mentality kind of reminded me of Mike's phallic cheeto dish. But obviously Hung wasnt so flagerent in his mockery.

                                However, Hung's elimination dish (cucumber thing) was so BORING! My monkey coulda made that...

                                I really didnt think everyone had such a bad deal when Padma announced the Aisle
                                challenge...I shop at Price Chopper sometimes and really, there are some good things tucked away in those shelves...I mean Hung could have used oatmeal or pancake batter (something deep fried in pancake batter could be really yummy). They all acted like you had unleashed them in a convenience store or something. Just because it wasnt mooing five minutes ago doesnt mean it is crap.

                                Casey made a comment when taking on dessert that to win Top Chef you have to take risks. I beg to differ (Tre, anyone?). To win Top Chef one has to make mediocre dishes long enough to let the more ambitious self-destruct. (Exhibit A: Ilan)

                                I liked the extended judges table conversation...Although it was obviously still edited, they showed significantly more conversation than normal. I thought it was rather enlightening...

                                I was surprised at how many dishes they were trying to pump out with only 350 dollars. However, if they only had 3 dishes (as Colicchio suggested) they would have gotten slammed because this is an "hordourves" (sp!) party. (If I remember correctly, last year during the hor dourves challenge, the losing team got in trouble for the lack of dishes)

                                Howie bowed out not necessarily for the sake of the "team" but as he said very clearly in the back room..."i'm in control of my own destiny" He smelled his own demise and wanted to "quit" so as not to be eliminated by the judges. I think he might have unresolved control issues.

                                I was glad casey won, but I felt kind of sorry for sara. She won the last elimination and got jack squat! CJ already has a trip to no sympathy for him! She oversaw a whole stinkin kitchen and got a big pat on the back....Yeah, it was a redux, but she was the executive chef BOTH times--she wasnt riding the coattails of another.

                                Does anyone think Colicchio recycles phrases?? lol such as "If your not putting out your best, what are you waiting for" or something to that effect. But I know that it's exactly what he said again and again last season.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: asiansensation007

                                  <I liked the extended judges table conversation...Although it was obviously still edited, they showed significantly more conversation than normal. I thought it was rather enlightening...> I'd like to hear the producers' pronouncements.....

                                  I believe they have a whole lot to do with who stays and who goes.

                                2. Agreed about Sara. Heck, maybe she'll wind up becoming Top Chef, and not winning anything for the last elimination challenge won't matter. Funny thing is I'm liking her more, and her talents are finally showing through. Trey's gone, so there went my long-standing favorite. CJ totally pissed me off the previous two episodes with his CYA tactics. Hung, while having some moments of brilliance, simply cannot take criticism - constructive or otherwise. Casey, Brian, and Dale always seem to slip in under the radar when they do poorly. I find myself not really caring who wins at this point. But with Bourdain making an appearance next week, I'll be tuned in for SURE!

                                  I have to agree with the judges this week, however. They truly would have done a better job if they'd used their money to do less variety with more creativity.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: phee

                                    I have lost my fever for the show because Tre is gone.....just is not the same. That being said I thought the guest judge at the Quick Fire was funny as hell when he saw Hung's dish...he said what I was thinking. Hung's reaction was priceless...."I knew I was not going to win with such a close minded judge" shut up Hung! (cough) jackass.

                                    1. re: phee

                                      When is CJ going to get what he deserves??? Why aren't the judges calling him out on yet another shrimp-scallop sausage (remember he served it as a burger for Boulud in that quickfire), a recipe that he stole from Brian??? How can the judges not notice this endless parade of ground-up shellfish??? Harold's is the only blog that even mentioned that.

                                      I am so sick of CJ, especially after his little talk at the beginning of last night's show about how it "sucks" that Tre is gone. Tre is gone pretty directly due to the way CJ set him up and didn't back him up.

                                      Completely unfair that Sara got nothing for her win! Her tomato bread pudding sounded awesome, but then so did Casey's dish. Both of them are showing that they really know how to cook. I hope at least one of them makes it to the final.

                                      Bourdain is a great writer. My favorite quote this week: Hung has become "much more the puppy that eats your sneakers these days than the viper in the woodpile."

                                      1. re: kenito799

                                        Several people have posted on Ted Allen's blog about Sara not getting a prize for winning her Restaurant Challenge two weeks ago....hopefully, SOMEONE will address it!

                                        1. re: kenito799

                                          Bourdain's take is pretty interesting about Hung. Basically go for the mediocre and play to the audience in a case like that. salmon on cucumber is perfect, no one loves it, no one hates it. Perfect. Same thing wioth CJ. Stay alive with mediocrity.

                                          1. re: kenito799

                                            Aha, in their Bravo blogs today, Carlos shares my annoyance with the seafood sausage, and Lee Anne mentions it's overuse this season as well. Colicchio is back, too, and has a very well-written entry that also addresses Tre's elimination.