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Top Chef Sept. 12th. >>SPOILER<<

I have no idea what this week's challenge is going to be I just noticed that in the preview for the episode everyone, for the first time, are wearing ever so glamorous hairnets.

I just hope they do something a little different than 'a black tie dinner for eighty ever so hip and trendy noble prize winners with a budget of $17 using only items found in a magazine store. (This will be followed by shock and dismay at the judges table about how bad the food is. Big Tom C. will throw in his usual something along the lines of 'I would never let a dish like this like this out into my dinning room!')

And this season really seems to be dragging on. Part of me hope there will be a hazing incident so they can throw a whole bunch off and move directly to the finals.

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  1. ::::::Spoilers below::::::::

    OK, you have to admit that making breakfast for Padma in their suite and then cooking on a plane was definitely different!

    And Big Tom C. (with his Kangol cap or whatever it was) said the broccolini was the single worst dish they'd ever been served in the 3 seasons! It was Bourdain who said that the broccolini should never have been served after seeing how it came out of the warming oven - whether it was in a restaurant or on a plane. :-)

    I always get a giggle out of how Tom C. puts his hand over his mouth to stop the outburst of laughing after Bourdain says one of his pithy comments. :-)

    I'm glad that Casey won - her Business Class meal definitely looked excellent! But hello? Look at the prizes she's won - a Mac Notebook and then two business R/T tix anywhere Continental flies in the world? Talk about perfect timing on her wins!

    And C.J. was extremely gracious on his loss. Funny last speech as well saying he'd like to sit down with Anthony Bourdain and have a beer and talk s**t about his broccolini. :-)

    19 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      And who knew a little booze was the way to Padma's heart? heh heh

      1. re: King of Northern Blvd

        LOL! No kidding, huh? She commented more on Hung's smoothie than any of the rest of the food! :-)

        Oh, one other thing - Hung just *pissed* me off when he said to the camera "I didn't break the truffle oil bottle" when he quite obviously knocked it over in his running. And then leaving peppers on the floor outside the fridge door? Arrrrghhh! I'm glad C.J. called him out on the truffle oil bottle.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Hung did it before on a previous episode, when grabbing seafood. He dropped a live Cray Fish. He looked at it and announced that he 'didn't need' and walked away leaving it there wriggling on the floor. No way would he behave like that in Savoy's kitchen.

          http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com

          1. re: Withnail42

            That and almost cutting Casey when he was "running with knives" in an earlier challenge.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              I know Savoy runs a tight ship. So perhaps Hung feels liberated to be his hyperself.

              From my experience in professional kitchens anyone pulling such a knife stunt would be on the reciving end of a serious 'talking to' from his coworkers. Then spending the next few days telling other people how he 'walked into a door'.

              http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com

              1. re: Withnail42

                What we'll never know is whether Savoy or anyone in authority in the Savoy kitchen has been watching Top Chef this season. If so, I can imagine that person sitting Hung down for a little post-competion conversation. "Maybe it was all right for you to run with a knife on Top Chef, but here..."

                I have no illusions that Savoy etc. would watch Top Chef other than the fact that an employee is in the competition.

                1. re: Withnail42

                  There was only one instance where Hung held the blade of the knife against his hand to turn from the cutting board to the stove to deposit whatever it was into his pot (a move I've seen many chefs do a million times). Casey just so happened to walk through while Hung was in mid-motion. No one was injured.

                  I think all this Hung was running around with flailing knives is so exgaggerated by the Bravo producers.

                  1. re: moymoy

                    I used the knife incident to illustrate Hung's general tendency to act in a way that is self-absorbed and contrary to the team work in a smooth-running kitchen. If you don't like the knife example, perhaps the shellfish example will do. After all, picking up the dropped shellfish and handing it to a producer wouldn't have taken away Hung's cooking time. If you don't like the shellfish example, perhaps the dropped bell peppers will do. Certainly, picking up two peppers that haven't splattered into a gooey mess isn't comparable to cleaning up the shattered oil bottle.

                    I am not including Hung's failure to volunteer to help CJ or anyone else. I am talking only about Hung's mess-making for which he assumes no apparent responsibility. If I were Hung's boss, I'd make sure he received a reminder about expectations in my kitchen once the unreality of Top Chef is behind him..

                    1. re: Indy 67

                      Why are you personalizing your comments to me?..."If you don't like..."
                      It's a TV show, Hung's not my brother.

                    2. re: moymoy

                      ...So it would have been Cassey fault for walking on to his moving upturned knife?...That's a good one. The fact IS he at that point was being an idiot. That is not something you do in a busy kitchen. Only once? That all you need.

                      And they did make a point of making him go in front of the judges for that very reason. Perhaps that's why it 'only happened once'. They rightly called him on it.

                      http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com

                      1. re: Withnail42

                        Did I say that it was Casey's fault? It happened once, nobody was hurt, Hung reprimanded and as you said, "called out on it"...so what's the problem? People make it seem like he's running around every episode ready to hack off human heads.

                        I get it Hung's a lunatic. Unsafe to self & others.

          2. re: LindaWhit

            I thought Tre's beet cured salmon was the worst dish they ever tasted. I don't know how Brian skated by AGAIN this week...the dude has barely cooked in a month and then serves up terrible "hash" and a humongous steak and gets another chance?

            I didn't mind CJ going but terrible broccolini aside, I thought Brian's food had more flaws.

            1. re: moymoy

              CJ might have stayed had he not plated the side dish. As Bourdain mentioned, it souldn't have never been served in any environment, even prisons! I predict he'll open an eatery called "Vert" serving stacked food, near a beach, and surrounded by bikini wearing fans. He'll be fine.

              In any case it was an interesting challenge. While I've had some great meals on international carriers, these days I don't even expect to get peanuts on domestic flights. It might have been more relevent to most viewers to have come up with meals served in the terminal and carried onto planes since most of us don;t get meals and have to buy our grub and liquids in the post-security sections.

              A few other observations:
              - Lots of fish dishes. Didn't anyone watch "Airplane?"
              - There was a brief comment from a flight crew member about certain veggies they normally wouldn't serve. I thought this was a funny, yet relevent observation that wasn't taken into consideration when judging. If they have a 10+ hour flight, do you want to be serving fare that will result in noxious gasses?
              - I was also suprised the top dish was veal. I love it but also know it's tougher to find these days. It's a highly politicized item and I'd be suprised to see a big service company offering it as a featured item on a limited menu.

              1. re: tastyjon

                I was surprised by the amount of fish dishes as well as the veal. I just can't see that many people ordering the veal and then whatever other dish is available will end up running out before the end of the service. It's one thing to be creative, but you'd think they'd pick a winner with more mainstream appeal.

                1. re: queencru

                  I was really surprised that someone didn't try to do a chicken dish or at least a cornish hen type thing. It seems like more people would order chicken then veal or seabass...something the general public is more comfortable with. But I guess chicken can dry out easily and doesn't seem classy enough. I think the steaks or a lamb give the air of something fancy and deserving of first class the most. I usually order fish when I go to restaurants but out of everything described on this episode I probably would have ordered Dale's if I was on the plane.

                2. re: tastyjon

                  I think he would have probably been saved as well if he didn't plate the dish. They probably would have actually applauded him if he said "I had originally planned on serving a side of brocolini with the dish. But it didn't hold up to the unexpected heat of the ovens so I made the executive descision to not send it out." He might have been saved with something like that.

              2. re: LindaWhit

                I find it hard to believe that the broccolini could ever be worst then that disgusting looking watermelon with gorgonzola gnocchi served in Season 2 during Restaurant Wars. I mean I know CJ cooked it to beyond recognition...but the worst ever?

                1. re: Elyssa

                  I agree - the watermelon/gorgonzola whatever-it-was just turned my stomach and the thought of eating that vs. the broccolini is way harder.

                  But Bourdain did say the broccolini was actually a LOT worse than what the cameras showed.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I think they said it tasted something like a swamp weed covered in toothpaste...even if CJ hadn't sent it out he should have made better choices, chosen ingredients that he could anticipate would hold up, liek Casey's cauliflower. If I read that menu i am pretty sure I would have ordered Casey's dish.

                    Chicken is way too pedestrian and boring for 1st class, and unlikely to hold up in the ovens. While salmon supposedly could work, Sara overcooked hers, and as Harold repeatedly points out in his blog, "step away from the salmon"...everyone who has used salmon winds up on the bottom! Salmon pykagged Tre! Chefs seem to hate salmon, too...way too boring.

              3. LOVED! Anthony Bourdain's comments on the hideous purple potato lobster hash!!
                "The lobster had the consistency of doll head"
                rofl!

                4 Replies
                1. re: cowgirlinthesand

                  It was good to see that Hung won more than Padma's book as winner of the quickfire challenger. I'm sure he had been thinking, "Is that IT??" when she handed him her book.

                  I must say that I find some of the judge's comments overly harsh. I realize that the chefs are being held to a high standard, but are some of the dishes really "disgusting", "sickening", etc.? I suppose the hyperbole adds to the high drama, but c'mon now... "disgusting"?

                  Although I did love the "doll head" comment. :)

                  1. re: MysticYoYo

                    Anthony Bourdain and Tom Collichio are like two schoolboys getting together and feeding off each other. Don't you think Collichio's comments were more extreme than normal? I think it's Bourdain's influence. They should not have been sitting together on the plane. ;-)

                    1. re: singleguychef

                      Should have been titled "Snarks on a Plane"

                2. Padma seriously looked like she was going to cry when she had to tell CJ that he was out. I thought his speech was very gracious, though.

                  And Hung couldn't be less gracious. Seriously, he couldn't just admit to knocking over the bottle? He could be more careful anyway running around a kitchen -- I'm sure he doesn't run around the kitchen of the restaurant that he works in with that little respect for the other people around him. Breaking glass, dropping things constantly, and almost cutting someone with a knife (as he did a few episodes ago) just is such inappropriate behavior. I'm sure he's learned better safety skills than that, and it just seems disrespectful the way that he's acting.

                  1. Didn't watch it but read Bourdain's blog...very good explanation of food prep for an airline trip.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: ML8000

                      Sad to see CJ go if for no other reason than he seemed to have at least a personality. Still, it seemed justified and yes, Hung is making it easy for me to root against him. I'm changing my tune now and predicting a Hung/Casey finale. Malarkey, whom I initially predicted a finalist after my candidate Tre got the boot, is really showing his non-seafood limitations of late. I like Sara as well but, Casey's is the banner I'll be flying henceforth.

                      And yes, anytime Bourdain gets judge duty makes the episode that much more entertaining.

                      1. re: ML8000

                        I've been attempting to read Bourdain's blog for about 20 minutes now, and the damn Hotels.com banner ads (two of them on the same page!) keep popping up and down and end up crashing my IE page - frustrating!!!

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          That's too bad - it's great - didn't have the problem with the banner - my sympathies!

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I'm still working my way through it...up to Page 8. It seems I have to let the banner ads finish their 4 or 5 pop-ups to be able to read each page of the blog.

                            And as always - loving Bourdain's blog. :-)

                          2. re: LindaWhit

                            Switch to Firefox and install Adblock and Flashblock.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              I'm on my work PC during the weekdays. No installations without IT's say-so. And it's the only time it happened, so I'm assuming it was a glitch somewhere.

                        2. Have to say I enjoyed the breakfast challenge almost as much as Padama enjoyed her alcohol laced smoothie. Well played by Hung. It was fun to watch. CJ was funny when talking about how nice it was to be woken up by her.

                          I even thought the airline challenge was fun. It seem like they had free run of the place to do what they wanted just had to be careful of the storage constraints. Although did hear about the Chilliean Sea Bass (I thought it was endangered.) it's oil content and moistness. Three times by my count. Brian was very generous about his steaks. They seemed large even for a steakhouse never mind a plane. I also found it funny, when they skirted, around the issue as to why they don't serve brocholi brussle sprouts and cauliflower flights.

                          At least the prize has something to do with the challenge. And what a prize two first class tickets anywhere in the world continental flies. Two great prizes in a row for Cassey. At least this week it was more than one appetizer. Still can't help but feel bad for Sara getting sweet f-all for her win two weeks ago. Right before they started bringing out the high end gifts. Hung even got a book for his quick fire win.

                          http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com