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FN Mac&Cheese Challenge: Barbara Lynch

Did anyone else watch the mac & cheese challenge? Barbara Lynch came across as a total witch. She kept running down the one contestant about not making his gnochi; no one else had home made pasta. She also seemed to harrass the contestants when they were cooking. I do not know much about this woman, but this first impression is not very good. What do ya'll think?

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  1. Didn't see the show but I am a HUGE fan of her cooking and a patron of her excellent restaurants.

    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster

      I didn't see it either. Is this the Barbara Lynch from Boston?

    2. Yes, I totally agree - Barbara Lynch is the worst boss from hell that we have all had at one time in our sorry restaurant worker lives or another. But then a la TV land the more evil the judges I would imagine the higher the ratings, no?

      Now, let's get down to the food. Bottom line - I WANT 2 recipes - the lobster and mac n cheese, and Delilah Winder's "Ah Ha" mac and cheese that was apparently featured on Oprah's show. If anyone has these recipes could you email me from my "my chow" page e-address, or put up your facsilmile recipe on the Home Cooking board here?


      My greatest regret about that throwdown was that the charming Delilah Winder did not even place! Where's the justice! She admitted to, and was dissed for having, some processed cheese among the many cheeses in her first "classic" version. This is the recipe I want to get. I think she must have used eight or nine different cheeses, but her first version style is THE classic soul food custard rendition and I am salivating wanting some right this minute! And what a cutie pie - I would love to see her with her own FN show.

      13 Replies
      1. re: niki rothman

        Niki, agree with you re: Delilah. I think her "classic" mac & cheese was the best, and she placed among the first of the pack on the first challenge, and I don't get that she didn't win ANYTHING at the end!!!
        On a related note, an old Throwdown with Bobby Flay just re-ran, and it happened to be with Delilah over mac & cheese - and guess who won? Bobby Flay!!!!
        Go figure.

        1. re: aurora50

          Quel surpris? Bobby works for the TVFN. Ms Winder does not.

          Isn't she from Philadelphia? if so, her mac and cheese is something imbedded in my taste memory!!! Ican't imagine Flay even coming close to how good hers was!

          1. re: ChefJune

            They bring in at least supposedly independent judges for the "Throwdown" shows, the tasting and judging is done blind and each contributor's dish is only identified by a number. I have often seen the person challenged by Bobby Flay win, (in this case, Flay is really the challenger) though not a FN celebrity or affiliate.

            1. re: susancinsf

              Throwdown Crepes here in Austin, Texas. Judges: Chefs from two local restaurants. Flip Happy won.

              1. re: amysuehere

                in the earlier episodes there was only one judge and the tasting wasn't blind...and i think as a result those battles were less genuine or realistic.

                now there are two judges and they have no idea whose dish theyr'e tasting...although i get the feeling that sometimes bobby's dishes scream 'bobby flay' thanks to the southwestern spin he sometimes puts on tried & true traditional american preparations.

                regardless, he doesn't always win. and sometimes when he does, he looks sheepish and almost embarrassed to have taken some innocent, unsuspecting challenge victim down on his or her home turf in what was supposed to be their shining moment of 'food network special' glory.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Bobby usually loses, BECAUSE he tweeks the dish - often for the better IMHO, or at least it looks/sounds that way.

              2. re: susancinsf

                In most of the Trowdown episodes I've seen, Bobby loses...YIPPEE! I think it's because he puts his own "spin" on what is supposed to be a regional dish aka the muffelatta (sp) challenge. No self respecting Cajun would DARE put mayo on a muff

              3. re: ChefJune

                a) Bobby won because he had bacon in it.

                b) If it weren't for Flay and his Throwdown I would never have heard of a lot of these brilliant little cooks. Her included. Sorry, real men don't watch Oprah.

            2. re: niki rothman

              Lazy Niki! Niki just googled Delilah Winder mac cheese and got several postings of Delilah's recipe - so it is easy to find for those who want a classic soul food mac n' cheese to stick into their binder or computer file it...

              Trouble is - it is HUGE! Two pounds of macaroni and a total of NINETEEN cups of cheese and a DOZEN eggs. So just cut it down, cut it WAY down!

              I see from a quick google check that Ms. Winder also has a cookbook out called "Delilah's Everyday Soul" - I'm going to buy it. I just liked her so much.

              1. re: niki rothman

                Delilah's mac and cheese recipe is posted widely around chowhound and the internet.I am not sure if this is "the" recipe, this is the recipe used on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Be prepared to break out the pocketbook, last time this topic came up someone made the recipe and it cost somewhere in the area of $20-30 to make.

                Here is a quick link:

                1. re: mkel34

                  Thanks mkel34, I DID google it and found a couple of different versions - with the same ingredients, but with different directions - and I will be looking forward to all that unctuous oleagenous comfort food! I think the key is that she has given a restaurant sized batch recipe and we home cooks are probably going to want to quarter her recipe amounts - even for a dinner party.

                  1. re: mkel34

                    I don't think $30 is too much to pay for a large amount of excellent mac&cheese, but I admit I'm a helpless fool for it...

                  2. re: niki rothman

                    I believe you can find Delilah's on the Food Network. I looked it up awhile back after a trip to Philly and sampled her AMAZING mac and cheese. I looked up the recipe because I was certain there was dijon mustard in the recipe because there was a distrinctive tang. Turns out there is no mustard but at least 5 different types of cheese...including Velvetta!! :)

                  3. I sort of half watched while doing some catch up work, and yes, I agree with your impression. I know nothing about her, but she didn't come off well. The gnocchi thing really bugged me too since everyone else was using dry pasta. She also told one contestant that she looked 'uncomfortable' cooking: what does that have to do with the taste or presentation of the food? (It was only supposed to be about the product, not about how they performed...)

                    but what I really want to know is: all the times I've been to Philly and the Terminal Market, and I've never noticed Delilah's Place, or whatever her stand there is called....have I really missed out on some great mac and cheese?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: susancinsf

                      Delilah's Place is at the end near the Ice cream or a little further down by the oyster bar. It is good standard mac n cheese - exactly what you expect at a souther BBQ. The fried chicken there looks great and there is always a line.

                      1. re: meginAB

                        Wowie! I just found Delilah's book, "Delilah's Everyday Soul: Southern Cooking with Style" for sale on alibris.com for $6.99 in hardcover new! It's list price is $18.99 so that's a great price for what should be a great cookbook. All you have to do is search her name on the site under author to find it.

                        She shoulda won that cookoff on FN - she wuz robbed!

                        1. re: niki rothman

                          The recipe she used on Throwdown is on FN

                    2. I was at this taping. It was taped in Denver in April. I haven't yet seen the episode. When the chefs were cooking all the judges were walking around talking to them but it was hard to hear what was going on. We only stayed for the Classic Mac challenge, which took over 6 hours. By then we were tired and hungry so we left. They were having problems with the ovens and the reheating for the judges so it took a lot longer than they were expecting.

                      What I found interesting during the judging was if a judge was not saying enough "bad" comments or only "good" comments on the recipe, they would stop the taping and tell the judge to make more critical-type comments. It will be interesting to see what is said on the final version.

                      It looks like all the recipes for the challenge are on the Food Network website. If any of them are missing, I might still have the recipe handout around somewhere.

                      They had taped the Extreme Cake challenge with Duff Goldman and crew judging the same week, for which we also had tickets. There was a huge snowstorm that day in the mountains where we live and we couldn't make it to the studio. I really wish I could have seen that one too!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Squint

                        Yeah, if I'm not mistaken, that was the one where the "Revenge of the Sock Monkey" won? That would have been awsome to see!!!

                        1. re: aurora50

                          Yes, that's the one. It was taped 2 days before the Mac and Cheese challenge. Keegan Gerhard was telling us that it was pretty wild for the whole taping. He said the studio was even colder than it was for the Mac challenge, which makes sense since no ovens would have been on. Seeing how the studio was absolutely freezing when we were there I can't image how cold it was.

                          I've seen the Ace of Cakes episode where they are discussing the challenge filming but haven't seen the actual challange show. Stupid mountain snowstorm...I would have love to been there!

                      2. i watched it too-- to me, it seemed like she highlighted that one contestant b/c he was the only one who used a fresh pasta though he had a friend make it -- everyone else used dried pastas. Her point was that if you are going to do fresh, do it right.

                        1. I thought Chef Lynch came off as a world class witch! Not surprising though her reputation in this city (Boston) is as such. IMO she should take some PR classes before returning to TV. When she told the girl that her three macaroni cheese did not work, all I could think was 'have you ever had your own pasta tasting?"

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: looseygoosey

                            So glad to see it wasn't just us thinking she was being a witch. In additon to the judge how about the two female contestants that thought oh so highly of themselves. The one went so far as to call one of the judges a moron (and that wasn't creative editing, she said it) because he didn't "get it".

                            1. re: looseygoosey

                              Lynch was AWFUL. She is the kind of woman whose cooking I wouldn't want to eat, sort of an anti-Nigella. (I'm sorry, but skinny, stingy bitches can't cook -- at least in my mind. Amande Hesser, anyone?)
                              Can anyone tell me the name of the cute girl with the barette? Estes, I believe? What's her situation? She was really charming.

                              1. re: ctscorp

                                Duskie Estes and her husband, John Stewart, own 2 restaurants in Sonoma County - Zazu (http://www.zazurestaurant.com) and Bovolo (http://www.bovolorestaurant.com). She is very highly regarded around here, and does a lot of charitable work. And she's a lovely person with 2 adorable young daughters.

                                And by the way, she & John were the ones who hired Zoi Antonitsas (Top Chef 4 contestant) to be the executive chef when they opened Bovolo a few years ago. Zoi left in late '06, but returned after TC4 to cover at Zazu for the exec on maternity leave. Don't know if Zoi's still there.

                            2. Ugh. I agree with the notion that Lynch came off was a witch. Maybe it wasn't even editing.
                              Is it me or was that challenge actually hard to watch. I felt uncomfortable viewing it in my kitchen. I can't imagine how the contestants felt. It just didn't need to be confrontational and also, the 2 female contestants needed to lighten up (not Delilah). They acted like babies when they didn't win first place. Very sore losers with no introspection as to why their dishes did not take top prize.


                              1. I watched the show a second time and it hit me like a ton o' bricks just WHY our lovely, brilliant Delilah did not win. She used up all her juice by making her "ah "ha" apparently brilliant BUT classic soul food version that she serves at her restaurant the contender in the FIRST challenge - the CLASSIC version WAS the theme, after all - which had mucho fewer points than the second challenge, I forget what they called it but it was supposed to be mac n' cheese's leap towards immortality - unique, different.

                                I would not have done what she did if I had been in her cloche, to be sure. IF I had wanted to WIN, as opposed to have integrity and follow the rules - which she did. You need to use your WMD mac n' cheese where it will garner the MOST points. IF she had entered her "ah" "ha" heavy hitter in the second round with the vast majority of potential points towards a win. Well...ahe WOULD have won.

                                I think that was chef Bonnano's (was that his name?) strategy - didn't he enter his own restaurant's standard menu item, the lobster mac n' cheese in the second round where it won over Delilah's imaginative but lesser, when compared to her "ah" "ha" dyn-o-mite mac n' cheese. It was kind of unfair to allow him to do that as his standard menu item was NOT anything imaginative, breakthrough or envelope pushing (I mean, add lobster to anything and it's going to taste wonderful, right?) - which was supposed to be the theme of the second round, wasn't it? He knew exactly what he was doing - he was entering his own best in the round with the most points irrespective of the theme. He SHOULD have entered his classic, which WAS the lobster, in the first round, but he never could have won that way, given the much lesser weight of points possible.

                                It's called strategy. But that IS why he won with his lobsters and she didn't even place with her great mac n' cheese, which I bet tasted better than anything else served that night that did NOT contain lobster.. But, frankly, deep down, given the choice of eating the best mac n' cheese in the world or LOBSTER all buttered up and creamy - fied. I'm going to go for the lobster every time. Wouldn't you?

                                But that is NOT what the contest was supposed to be about AT ALL.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: niki rothman

                                  "But, frankly, deep down, given the choice of eating the best mac n' cheese in the world or LOBSTER all buttered up and creamy - fied. I'm going to go for the lobster every time. Wouldn't you? "
                                  Actually, I'd take the best mac and cheese before the lobster. :-)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Sigh...tragically, I just have not been in the income bracket to be jaded towards lobster ever in my life. Linda Whit, you are spoiled rotten. :-)
                                    Jealous Niki

                                    1. re: niki rothman

                                      Don't be jealous or sad. It is only good if you have it once in awhile, its way overrated.

                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        You know, that IS a good point - I have heard that in the early 19th. century lobster was considered a "garbage" fish by the New England fishermen and was not even widely sold. They mostly ate it themselves when times were tough. It was the advent of the great hotel dining rooms and the social scene in the big cities in the late 19th. century that saw lobster getting all gussied up and fancified for serving to the wealthy diners of the day. Still...I'd rather have a big plate of perfectly steamed lobster and some melted butter than some good ole mac n' cheese. And that is not to denigrate great mac n' cheese for the wonderful comfort food that it indeed is.

                                        1. re: niki rothman

                                          Oh you know everything is subjective isn't it? I like lobster too, (shrimp more) but then I really love my comfort food. Mac and cheese is just in a class by itself, for me anyway.

                                        2. re: chef chicklet

                                          Agree with chef chicklet. It's never something I order on my own, other than an occasional lobster roll. Otherwise, I just pick off my friend's lobster plate whenever she orders it - she's the one who LOVES lobster. She'll give me part of a claw, and that usually satisfies me.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            Ever notice on Iron Chef America when the secret ingredient is normally a supporting player that the best chefs will pick things like lobster (as opposed to beef and pork) to accompany it because theres such little taste or such neutral taste in something like lobster that the main ingredient shines through? :)

                                            I say this because like the both of you, I'd pick the Mac and Cheese instead too!

                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                        That dish reminded me of an earlier post. The combination of fish and cheese. Yuck. I wasn't feeling well when I watched that and it really made me sick. It's an Italian thing, I know, but I just can't get past that. With the noted exception of the McDonald's Filet-o-Fish. But that's probably not real cheese. Or real fiash. LOVE THEM.

                                    2. agreed. every time she opened her mouth i wondered what had crawled up her a** & died. what a sourpuss!

                                      how the heck could she know if melissa mayer was 'uncomfortable' when she was cooking? she's never met her before. perhaps that's just her demeanor.

                                      i loved when derek wagner said he'd challenge HER to make her own gnocchi in 15 minutes :)

                                      she really pissed me off.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Barbara Lynch is from South Boston and is related to Congressman Steve Lynch. She came up the hard way and used to be a really nice person. I am sorry to hear that she has become such a witch. I guess she has let "it" all go to her head.

                                      2. I saw the challenge, and Barbara Lynch mystified me. I seriously don't get why judges whether they are chefs, or whatever, feel that they need to act with such disdain for the contestants food. Why do people go on National TV with the intention ( or not) to act IMHO so foolishly. I was embarrassed for her.

                                        I was disappointed that Delilah didn't place, mac and cheese should be just that. Why are they messing with it? And making a dessert out of it? WHAT?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                          It's about ratings. Nastiness and bitchiness are much more entertaining than boring old sweetness and kindness. Everybody loves to hate a villain, and it feels really good to feel all righteous and virtuous that we know our favorite contestants were unfairly defeated. There is a psychological term called "schadenfreude" which is the pleasure we experience at the suffering or bad luck of others. It's an embarrassing but very real part of human nature.

                                          1. re: niki rothman

                                            I guess I understand what you're saying I did experience that "schadenfreude" thing you mentioned, when she was put in her place by Chef Wagner.

                                            1. re: niki rothman

                                              ratings or no, on a show like this the 'drama' should come from fallen soufflés, crumbling sugar sculptures, or flaming cookware. these people are bona fide professionals, this is NOT american idol, and there's no need for a judge to be so condescending or blatantly bitchy. john besh and andrew smith both managed to criticize [nearly all] the dishes without channeling simon cowell.

                                              i [and many other viewers] had a similar problem with giada's behavior when she was a guest judge on the next food network star...and even that is more of a 'reality' program than this was.


                                          2. I joined this website specifically to reply to this post. I just watched the mac & cheese challenge and I was so utterly disgusted with Barbara Lynch and her ridiculous elitist attitude, that I just had to find a place to express my annoyance. She was incredibly negative and I wished that I could reach through the television set and slap her. She bothered the contestants as they were cooking and was overly critical and nasty during judging. I don't care if she is the best cook in the world, I will never go to her restaurant or eat anything she prepares. Uck!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Abby_Lia

                                              Me too, Abby. I joined for the same reason.

                                            2. Remember, chefs used to be chefs. A third-rate under-appreciated job with back-breaking work in a 140 degree kitchen for nothing. Now adays its the entree into a potential multibillion dollar empire and a television career.

                                              That said, not all chefs are meant to be celeb chefs or meant to ever leave their little kitchen. This is definitely one of those times.

                                              1. Barbara Lynch was just awful. It appears she's a very unhappy and bitter woman. I felt so bad for those contestants for being subject to her vicious behavior.

                                                1. Though I didn't see the show, and I've never worked for her, I have met B. Lynch, and, as edgewater said, she's a pretty tough Southie broad all around. She's a curser and a fighter. She's angered many people, often through fault of her own. But she's not, in simplistic terms, a "witch." She's a pretty interesting person all around—and she knows talent, both F and BOH.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                    Wow...after reading this thread, I watched the episode, and I have to say that I don't share the popular opinion here that she came off as a "witch". Humorless, yes, overly serious, definitely. Vicious? Not that I saw. I think that John Besh and the other judge made equally harsh comments, they just did it with a smile on their faces!
                                                    And I agree that the lobster mac looked awesome!

                                                    1. re: sibeats

                                                      Agreed, I didn't think she came off as a "witch" per se.

                                                      1. re: sibeats

                                                        I had the same feeling. People in this thread overreacted extremely.

                                                      2. re: tatamagouche

                                                        I think you have offered the best analysis in this strangely emotional thread. I knew Barbara quite well a few years back, and spent quite a bit of time with her personally and in her restaurants. She is absolutely a "tough Southie broad" and a "curser and fighter". She is as brutally honest to those she knows personally, and utterly generous and warm at the same time. People may not have liked the way she acted on the show, but the character assassination she is undergoing here is absolutely off the mark.

                                                        And of course, the gender issue arises when we wonder why Ramsey can make millions for abusing so many for so long, but Lynch gets reamed for it.

                                                      3. I saw this episode on Saturday and wondered her deal on that fresh vs pre-made pasta. At least his gnocchi did not appear to be the mass produced kind when obviously the elbow macaroni used by the other chefs was boxed. I do not think there is anything wrong with using frozen or even boxed macaroni for mac and cheese. It's comfort food, not dinner at the French Laundry.

                                                        And I thought the lobster mac looked delicious.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Dax

                                                          I loved her comment that it takes 15 mins to make gnocchi. That comment was just obtuse.

                                                        2. Yesterday while I was exercising I decided to watch the Food Network, and to my excitement discovered the Mac and Cheese competition. To my utter dismay I was introduced to the famous chef/owner Barbara Lynch. All I can say is, “Who the heck does she think she is?” She was profoundly rude, condescending, and arrogant to boot! I was utterly shocked by her behavior and can only encourage the Food Network to dismiss her from evaluating anyone on their T.V. show. Not only did this pompous woman insult and hurt the quests on both a personal and professional level, her ghastly demeanor interfered with my enjoyment of the show.

                                                          The spectacle on this show was certainly not the sort of kitchen drama of interest to me, and I am hopeful that the Food Network does not see the likes of Barbara Lynch as an attraction to viewers. This woman simply comes off as bitter and filled with staggering malice. She must be a damned good cook for anyone to put up with the likes of her abusive personality. This show was filled with a lot of ugly interaction between people, but I blame Lynch for setting such a negative tone. If this was the Apollo Theater she would have been instantly and sensibly booed off during Amateur Night!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Pammy54

                                                            hey, i watch food network while i work out too. i like to catch the morning essence of emeril/boy meets grill/easy entertaining block of shows. makes for a nice run.

                                                          2. I had lunch at B&G oyster recently. Barbara happened to be cooking that day and as you sit at the bar you can watch her cook. She never smiled or engaged with the customers. I ordered lobster risotto. She opened up a white bucket of cooked rice and threw a handful in the pan to cook. I always thought that true risotto was made using Aborio rice and cooking it slowly adding stock every 5-10 minutes. This was a quick version and it was just ok nothing stupendous. The worst part was when she cooked she kept sticking her fingers into the pan and tasting the sauce. It kind of grossed me out. It was my risotto she was tasting and while I know she is a great chef I didn't need her fingers in my sauce. I saw the episode and I had to laugh when she complained about the gnocchi because I thought back to the cooked rice she used to make risotto.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: macadamianut


                                                              We think you could have gone through the effort to make your own risotto. It takes just 15 minutes, and it would have created your signture on the dish.

                                                              Back at ya sweetheart!!!

                                                              1. re: WineAboutIt

                                                                Ever notice they never bitch at the people using *dry* pasta why they didn't make theirs? How annoying! LOL!

                                                              2. re: macadamianut

                                                                I had lunch at B&G recently and a male chef was cooking and also did not smile or engage customers... that said I would have puked if I saw her tasting my sauce with her fingers - ick!!! That said, my fiance is a restaurant owner/chef and the reality is that they all taste things - yeah, gross! And B&G is NOT her best restaurant.

                                                                She is an amazing chef and No. 9 is clearly the BEST of her group... she is also a "tough Southie broad" who made it on her own. She was one of a brood (I think like 9 kids) and definitely had a hell of a lot more challenges to overcome given her gender. Like someone posted above, Ramsey makes millions for being a "witch." Criticize her commentary, but not her style - very unfair.

                                                              3. I too, saw this for the first time this past Sunday.

                                                                I couldn't believe she was blasting him for fresh pasta at all, considering the only other pasta I saw was dried. Especially since he mentioned it's a vendor he regularlly uses, that makes each batch to order.

                                                                But what sent me over the top about the remark, was not just her putting her (possibly unclean) hands all over the food and making negative comments before she was even judging him.

                                                                But the fact that she again knocked him for the pasta BEFORE she took a bite of it.

                                                                1. I think Barbara's point was valid: making your own pasta puts you in a separate class. And that woman knows from pasta, I have dreams about her bolognese. If he wanted to win that's what he should've done, nothing else he did was any great shakes. Plus, 2 hours to make frickin mac and cheese? Gimme a break. And his reaction was stupid: "what, should I make my own pans too?..." What a moron.

                                                                  I don't know where they get some of the challengers for these shows, most of them are definitely not best in class so I usually tune out.

                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Niblet

                                                                    Actually, he said in a perfect world, he is a control freak enough he would love to make his own pans, and dishes. He also said he would love to raise the animals and grow his food, but at this point, he is unable,there's a point you need to draw the line..

                                                                    But way to misquote to make your point.

                                                                    1. re: Niblet

                                                                      I was thinking about the fifteen minutes quote again earlier, too....unless they had an 'instant hot' faucet, or allowed water to be boiling when they start, like iron chef...it would be difficult...

                                                                      Gnocchi are mashed potato based...and he'd still be making a dough. I'd imagine it would still take 30 minutes. And his pasta baked, didn't it?

                                                                      Though to be fair, I probably would have made my own sausage..but I don't know for a fact that he didn't. (wild boar sausage)

                                                                      1. re: sommrluv

                                                                        I love it that I misquote, then call him a moron. Awesome.

                                                                        I just can't understand lambasting someone for making what I consider a valid point -- i.e., homemade would've been better than pre-made -- esp when none of us tasted any of it nor saw what else transpired. This contenstant must have been twiddling his thumbs for the better part of 2 hours, there was little else for him to do based on (granted: what we were permitted to see) the components of his dish. Lobster man should've made his own pasta too, in my opinion, but in the end he didn't need to. It looked delish.

                                                                        1. re: Niblet

                                                                          I'm not disagreeing on that point, that homemade anytime is better than boxed.

                                                                          But he did essentially bring homemade pasta. Just not HIS. :)

                                                                          They had an hour for each dish, didn't they?

                                                                          I know a lot of people on the show, and here disagree about the lobster dish not being appropriate, as it was an everyday restaurant dish, but that part of the challenge was also for that particular chef's "Signature" Mac & Cheese, and wouldn't something that he serves that is popular, that he is known for, be his sig? Regardless of how easy it's made? (with my devil's advocate hat on)

                                                                      2. re: Niblet

                                                                        I think his point was perfectly justified. I've watched many a judging show and when the judge gets on his or her high horse -- there's always one crackpot -- and says why didn't they make the pasta or whatever, I've yelled at the screen the same thing as what he said.

                                                                        Where do you draw the line? Making your own cookware? Raising and killing your own pigs? Where? Where? There's a line that is ridiculous is what he was trying to express. Which I got fully even though it sailed over your head. No, saying why didn't some one make pasta is like whay didn't they cure the chesse for two years. It's freaking ridcious.

                                                                        What is the old adage? Don't ask a stupid question, and you won't get a stupid answer? Well Barb there said a stupid thing, and he replied with a very intelligent (funny you say moronic) remark trying to demonstrate how much SHE is a moron. And she is.

                                                                        1. re: HarryK

                                                                          i actually constructed the computer on which i typed this post. i feel it really took it to the next level and added that signature artisan touch.

                                                                          1. re: HarryK

                                                                            I think comparing home made pasta to curing cheese for two years is a little much. Home made pasta can be ready to cook in well under 30 minutes...

                                                                          2. re: Niblet

                                                                            Hey Nib!

                                                                            Haven't seen this episode, but I have to say - reading through this discussion, the minute I saw you mention bolognese, I started missing her pasta. I'd kill for the prune gnocchi with vin santo and foie right about now. I greatly admire her as a chef, and have met her on occasion, once joining her and her then-fiance for a glass of wine. She was as pleasant as can be. She may more often be brusque, but wow can she cook, and is very hard-working. I've always been impressed too that she is self-taught and never went to culinary school. We'll be back for a visit mid-August, and one of the first places we're heading to is of course No 9. Care to join? You too heathermb.

                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                              Wouldn't miss it...or you and E. And those gnocchi at No. 9 are AMAZING.

                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                Most definitely. Ryan will be so psyched to see you and E, and I will be too. Can. Not. Wait!

                                                                                And: let us begin the festivating with bolognese and prune gnocchi.

                                                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                                                  I miss that gnocchi too, and the lamb fondue. I wish I were going to be there when you were!

                                                                                  She has also mentored some of Boston's other talents...Michelina, the Galleria Girls...

                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                    Good point about Chef Lynch mentoring Michelina and the girls - extremely talented chefs.

                                                                                    Ironically, they are among the nicest and friendliest chefs I've ever met - Michelina a couple of times when he was at the Vault, opened Saint and later Domani, and Marisa often when she was at Umbria and Mare. I'm a huge fan.

                                                                                    Sure you can't extend your trip? ; )

                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                      I wish! Come to Denver.

                                                                                      No. 9's the first place I ever had a Sazerac or a Pisco Sour. She must be doing something right.

                                                                              2. I've always felt that the judges depending on weather he wanted to kiss up to BF could pick accordingly. The only thing missing from his dishes is a big illuminated sign saying 'Bobby Flay!' Can BF even cook with out using chipotles, smoked habanero, and cayenne? Or as he says to bring a little heat. It seems each week he acts like this is some new seasoning idea. Unaware he has become a parody of himself.

                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                  Barbara Lynch may be my favorite chef in Boston.

                                                                                  That said, her bedside manner leaves a little to be desired. A little gruff.

                                                                                  1. re: wittlejosh

                                                                                    She always has been. But this thread leaves me to ask with Cachetes why she gets brutalized for it while Ramsey gets immortalized.

                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                      ramsey is a jerk too. the real tragedy of ramsey is that the more he gets recognized and rewarded for being a complete jackass, the more pronounced his jackassery becomes. it's obscene.

                                                                                      1. re: beelzebozo

                                                                                        jackassery - perfect. my favorite new word of the week.

                                                                                      2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                        Because Lynch is a professional judge at a professional competition judging professional chefs on their food. Where as Ramsay is acting as both performer and ring master of a circus of idiots.

                                                                                        Hers is real. His is scripted. Hers is a genuine competition, his is a lowbrow farce.

                                                                                        That's my two cents.

                                                                                        1. re: HarryK

                                                                                          i would wager there's quite a bit of truth in the idea that ramsey is a tough guy who can be very crass. if lynch were given lots of attention for being a hard-nosed chef who pulled no punches, and were perhaps even given her own show because of that factor, you might see her acting just as extreme.

                                                                                          i'm not trying to indict or excuse anyone, mind you. i think you're right that there's a difference in what each is doing in this instance, but it could have started that way with ramsey as well.

                                                                                          1. re: beelzebozo

                                                                                            Ramsay came across his image almost by accident. Documentary cameras caught him screaming at staff during the opening of his first restaurant. He was then an unknown who suddenly had a public bad boy image. He has been running with it ever since. His staff however is hugely loyal.

                                                                                            1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                              Very true, withnail. For one thing the staff of each restaurant, front and back of the house, meet for an event once a month. Could be watching a sports game, playing one on a field against each other (half and half), but something that gets them all out and together. And whenever possible he tries to be part of those himself. Plus he's one to insist on the shared meal thing each day.

                                                                                              And the other thing, he's said it. Without the television money he could would have to kowtow to investors and figures he's have about a quarter of his restaurants (and money) at this stage. So if he has to appear to be a bastard and a bully, and is given by Fox mostly morons each season as opposed to asking for better chefs which he is denied, he's pretty much going to go with it.

                                                                                              1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                As is much of Lynch's (though there have been rather highly publicized fallouts). She employs one of Boston's best bartenders and best GMs (unless he left No. 9 to run the cookbook shop? I'm not quite clear on that since leaving town).

                                                                                                Anyway, I'm still with yumyum and Cachetes about the difference. It's TV—it's all fake in some way. Who knows how this was edited to make her look her worst?

                                                                                          2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                            Could it be because she's a woman? You know that women aren't supposed to be bitchy and sweary and bossy. I don't care where in Southie you hail from. Ramsay can be a prick because there is a long history of male prickery in restaurant kitchens (mind you, one of the nastiest chefs I ever worked for was named Alison). I'm not getting all girl power on you, but I wonder if some male chef had done the same things if they'd be taking the same heat?

                                                                                            1. re: yumyum

                                                                                              I love this thread - both "jackassery" and "male prickery" have been used. You learn something new every day. <vbg>

                                                                                              1. re: yumyum

                                                                                                There could be some sexism involved, yumyum. Not from me personality. As explained it's a totally difference circumstance thing here, not a gender one. But who knows, it's possible for some.

                                                                                                Btw we need a good word for "male bitch". :)

                                                                                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                    Not bad. :) Unless of course your name is Mitch. :))

                                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                        LOL at that one...yes, I suppose it is Mitch's problem!