HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Top Chef - Wedding Wars [Spoilers]

There's no immunity in the next challenge, it's a team QF where each team faces off and see who can go through a set of skills the fastest

the teams seem to be broken down into:

Dale, Nikki, Spike, and Lisa

Richard, Antonia, Stephanie, and Andrew

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Did I miss something? How do you know all of this already lol?

    1. here's another teaser, someone from the team with Dale, Spike, Lisa and Nikki gets eliminated

      12 Replies
      1. re: attractivekid

        That sucks. I just hope Dale doesn't go out like Cliff from last season's Restaurant Wars. Imagine, a team of Spike, Lisa and Nikki (why is she still here) left standing.

        1. re: rumgum

          OMG! it couldn't be Dale out of that foursome, could it? otoh, if he were the "head chef" of a team that goes down in flames, he probably would be the one ousted.

          Let's hope that's NOT what happens.

          1. re: rumgum

            Tre got bounced after restaurant wars.

            Cliff got bounced in season two. He took the fall for the season two hazing incident.

            1. re: rumgum

              Love the "Nikki (why is she still here" - totally worked out, didn't it! She annoyed me since the very beginning. I don't understand her - she seems like such a terrible chef on the show but she seems to have command of her own restaurant. Take some leadership in the show!

            2. re: attractivekid

              Do you *have* to post information like this? Yes, the standard answer is "don't read it if you don't want to know", but your subject line doesn't say "spoiler" - you could have been posting where the "Wedding War" was located - not which one of 4 of them gets eliminated.

              Just because you have an "in" with someone who works on the show doesn't mean you have to post it and take part of the enjoyment out of watching the show on Wednesday night.

              ETA: Thanks to the Mods for adding the "spoilers" in the subject line so others won't read if they don't want to.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  I could be wrong, but it looks like the original poster is simply going off what can be found on the Top Chef preview, not an "in" with someone on the show.

                  1. re: biskuit

                    I believe they've said in another TC thread that they knew someone in production, or something like that. If I'm wrong, I apologize to the OP. But I'm not sure how they'd be able to know it's one of a particular team's members that has to leave this week just from previews.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Or maybe we've got a "rahobed" on this board. Judging from the posts, it seems like he's a big Richard fan. Richard, is that you? ; )

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        I was actually coming here to post before I even read the past three posts, that I saw some previews today that showed exactly what attractive kid is saying. Dale and Spike yelling at each other at judges table..now maybe it was another challenge where it was a 'draw' and they were showing that to throw us off.

                        It pizzlled me off. I work from home, and often leave the radio or tv on in the backround..it tends to keep my dogs from tearing the house apart so I can leave them out of their crates all day. Or I'll watch tv on my 'lunch break'

                        I tried to take note so I could mention it, but I think I have easily seen six individually unique previews now..some have the same scenes, but some have a different scene in each one. Why not just one, really?

                        I understand I opened this thread like the rest of you, to get a 'teaser', but I really think Bravo was revealing too much, because I knew which team lost long before I opened up this thread.

                        1. re: sommrluv

                          Bravo's screwed up big time with the wedding wars promo a couple of weeks ago BEFORE last week's episode was even aired showing all of the contestants minus a certain three. So by the middle of the last episode, I already knew who was getting kicked off. But I kept the minus three contestants to myself and just stewed inside as even DH didn't want to hear who they were.

                          Note to Bravo producers if you're reading: Please, please, please be more careful with things like this. I know you sometimes have no control with outsiders and their spoilers. But you certainly have control over what you decide to air on television. There's some carelessness going on.

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            Oh, I do agree. Even though I'd seen the commercial umpteen times, I wasn't about to post a thread about it, and if I felt the need to do so, I would add spoiler, though the episode title of a future episode is a hint, but not complete.

                            Though, for some reason, I LOVE the tv show lost spoilers. I guess because it's a contest it's different to me.

              1. FYI: this is NOT a spoiler...I said "it seems" - I got this impression from the commercials and previews

                we'll see tonight if I am right.

                ...and based on the previews, it looks like Dale's team is on the chopping block (hint: it's the people who are up for elimination that get the close-up pan and scan)

                1 Reply
                1. re: attractivekid

                  No, AK - your earlier statement on May 5th wasn't an "it seems" comment - you said "someone from the team with Dale, Spike, Lisa and Nikki gets eliminated". That's pretty definitive. Now you're saying "based on the previews." Two different viewpoints. All I'm saying is that the former statement is the type of post it would be nice to *not* to have read several days ago.

                2. Piggy backing on this thread.

                  No more immunity. Heat is on!

                  I like this relay race thing! Very cool. I missed it last season. Lisa kills Antonia in the orange part. Andrew catches the other team up because Spike is Spike. Dale Vs. Richard on the monkfish filleting, its a tie. Up to Nikki and Steph on the mayo. Nikki takes a break on the mayo!!! WTF. Steph kicks Nikki's butt. Dale is right, why is she still there? Oh yeah they cut Jen instead of Nikki.

                  Dale loses it. Nice comment about having his diaper changed. Cute. OK, now we have the Bravo foreshadowing about upcoming conflict, how no one on Dale's team like each other. Hmm, I guess the writer's strike is over so they can create conflict now.

                  Now on to the elimination. OK, we knew this but it is still disappointing, no restaurant wars. Andrew, the master of understatements, this is no that cool. Oooh, the happy couple are restaurant and catering people. Nice. The advantage is........the winning team picks the person they want to cater to, bride or groom. Winning team picks bride. Andrew with the B----r comment again. So Nikki is simpatico with the groom. Bride is from Marrieta and Richard is from Atlanta. They should do a Big Chicken fried chicken. groom wants German chocolate cake. They are bringing in cots for them? Wedding for 500 total? Brutal.

                  More foreshadowing, but is it a trap for viewers?

                  HOLY MOTHER of God!! Restaurant Depot is awesome. "Boys just don't know how to pick flowers." Thanks Steph for the words of wisdom.

                  Groom wants simple Italian, bride wants southern.

                  Nikki? Complaining about making pasta? Are you freakin' kidding me? That's all she does!!

                  Now Nikki is chickening out on leading the team. Dale is pouting because he's not the man. On the one hand I can sympathize, on the other, suck it up!!!

                  Andrew is creaming spinich? Creamed spinich for a wedding? OK, I guess its southern. Oh and he is chafing when Richard offers advice.

                  OK, Lisa is beating on Dale. I guess Dale is trying to do everything for everybody. OK, Nikki is a waste. Sounds like Dale is crashing and burning. Can't tell if this this a head fake or not.

                  Fatigue sets in and Andrew stopped talking? Its a miracle!!!!
                  Meat and potatoes for the bride half. Bringing up the first season wedding disaster with Tom, interesting.

                  More set up for the Italian failure. Ooh, ugly cake eh? Tom is ruthless.

                  OK, that cake is ugly. Tom is just calling it as he sees it. I hope they have a back up plan for the wedding reception.

                  You know, that would be a great wedding to go to. Looks like fun, even though I don't usually like wedding food. Lisa versus Antonia on the pizzas. Bruschetta, not so good. more foreshadowing for Dale's demise.

                  I like Antonia's comment: Andrew's not allowed to talk to people. You got it girl!!

                  More of Dale bitching. I guess they really don't like Dale. Andrew's chicken doesn't go over big, as Antonia predicted. So why did they repeat the filet on the groom's side? Looks like there is a winning team, but it could be a head fake again.

                  Steph with the five layer cake!! She be rocking. The groom's cake must taste good cause its ugly.

                  I can imagine how they tired must be feeling at the Chef's table, I think this is the producer's way to squeeze emotions out.

                  Steph steps up and kciks it!!!

                  Richard wins again. Richard gives it to Stef! 2000 bucks at Crate and Barrrel!! Classy, classy guy. And well deserved too.

                  Nikki is really stepping back a lot. She is disavowing all responsibility.

                  Dale is taking a lot of beating. Nikki is really sounding selfish. OK, now they are beating on Spike being a slacker.

                  Now its Nikki's turn to get beat up. No leadership and no sense of responsibility.

                  The editing makes Lisa seem immune this time. She still has the worst attitude. OK, maybe the second worst attitude after Dale.

                  YAY!!! Nikki goes!!!! Finally!!! Uh, I mean, gosh darn, too bad. NOT!

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: Phaedrus

                    Loved the diaper line by Lisa/Antonia (can't remember who said it). Also - was Richard's line about not wanting to do typical catering food - "don't want them to walk in and have Beef Wellington!" a slam at Hell's Kitchen?

                    Loved the relay race - always interesting to see how they can fly through the different challenges!

                    And Richard's line about how they all get when they're tired - Andrew just goes quiet "which is a rather unique occurrence!" LOL

                    Also noticed the amount of Dale bitching going on - but is that editing designed to throw us off? Perhaps Nikki's going out the door.

                    ETA: Kinda figured that Richard would win - was floored when he said he wanted Stephanie to have it....but she sure got a great review from Gale Gand on her cake! And then she said "let's share it" to Richard when the $2K GC for Crate & Barrel was revealed. That was a very well organized team - good for them!

                    And yup - looks to be Nikki packing her knives. They had two forms of leadership - Richard taking the lead, and Nikki refusing to do so. I think that could have factored into her leaving.

                    And finally.......yet again, while nothing was said against Lisa's cake, at least not that we heard edited into the show, she stands there with arms crossed, held tilted, nasty puss on her face - damn girl - her body language is such that she looks like a little street fighting bully ready to take on the entire neighborhood! She simply has no clue as to the vibes she's giving off in front of Judge's Table!

                    1. re: Phaedrus

                      Don't forget that Steph then says.. "we can share it." What an awwww moment.

                      I am not sure that Lisa has the worst attitude actually. I just think she doesn't know what to do with her hands. Behind the banquet table, she has her arms crossed [normal for her] and looks defensive. Richard has his hands clasped behind his back and looks approachable. And at judges' table, Lisa's eyes look like she could fall asleep while standing. Overall, she isn't my favorite, I was just trying to understand her body language this week.

                      And let's talk mayonnaise!

                      1. re: smtucker

                        I don't think I'd ever want to be judged on my body language after I'd been awake and cooking that long.

                        But I was glad to see Nikki go. She's said so many times what an expert she is on Italian food, and every doggone time she makes a mess of it.

                        1. re: revsharkie

                          <She's said so many times what an expert she is on Italian food, and every doggone time she makes a mess of it.> yes, I've been wondering whether I want to try out her restaurant and see how the food is there... or IF she even cooks there! somehow I think she doesn't.

                          1. re: revsharkie

                            This was one of those episodes that you wish they could have kicked more than one person off, just came off so whiny in the end.

                            But I guess if I were up all night and running on fumes, I would also be pretty miserable.

                            all in all, terrific episode- best of the season. make them all an hour 15.

                          2. re: smtucker

                            And at Lisa just kept her mouth shut instead of throwing others her team mates under the bus.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              She kept her mouth shut, but based on the look on her face, I would have loved to hear what she had to say.

                              1. re: chicgail

                                Indeed! It was QUITE a sour/hostile look.

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  At somepoint, didn't the JT say that they preferred Lisa's cake to winner Stephanie's?
                                  That might be why the editors skipped over her in the just before knifing recap.
                                  Lisa's body language is so darned un-subtle.

                                  1. re: shallots

                                    I heard that too... Lisa's cake tasted better but looked horrible. Also, since she was on the losing team, her cake effort was pretty ignored. The judges had bigger fish to fry.

                                    1. re: dave_c

                                      I do think though that the cake "saved" her from being considered for elimination. By telling her that they thought it tasted great despite being ugly they were, in essence, pronouncing her safe from elimination. At least that's how I understood it.

                                      If Dale had been sent home I might have had to quit Top Chef...

                                      1. re: heathermb

                                        tom saying that lisa's cake looked like some kind of battleship was one of the funniest things i have ever heard on the show.

                                    2. re: shallots

                                      Yes, he did say exactly that but also said it was a bit sloppy. for some reason, that cake looked absolutely delicious- maybe it was the description but I was impressed by both of them.

                            2. re: Phaedrus

                              Spike was so wrong to think that Nikki "would lead us to victory" and needed to shop with someone who wouldn't get in her way (himself). Perhaps quality time between Lisa and Nikki at Whole Wallet could have refined the menu. Lisa proved a stubborn force of perfection when she was teamed with Dale and Stephanie and came up with the shrimp and bacon dish. I've lost respect for Dale. He's so sure of himself yet failed to assert himself in the leadership vacuum and did lousy busy work.

                              It was a 180 with Richard and his teammates. Kudos to him for stepping up and taking responsibility, even for the star anise before it was clear they had won the challenge.

                            3. that monkfish was looking mighty unappetizing.

                              1. I am so glad Nikki is finally gone. I really can't believe she so adamantly refused to take responsibility even when the whole team clearly wanted her opinion and respected her experience. I think it could have been a game-play decision but it was clearly the wrong one; how could she think the judges wouldn't expect her to take the lead here?

                                Anyway, she had overstayed her time. But even if she hadn't... bad, bad decisions on her part tonight.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Adrienne

                                  You took my entire post, Adrienne. :) That is, I could not have said it better; my exact thoughts!

                                  1. re: Adrienne

                                    I have thrown parties where I knew there were going to be more than 100 guests, more than 5 or 10 times. I know better than to send food out that isn't better than perfect. It's not that hard. The food that went out less than well seasoned (the roasted vegetables, the creamed spinach, the dry tortollini), none of those would have happened in my kitchen. My qualm is with the food that goes out NOT TASTING GOOD. That's their big issue.

                                    I would never have made homemade pasta for that crowd. Period. Too risky and too hard to make sure it goes out tasting fresh. Nikki deserved to go for that alone. As much as I didn't like this challenge, and don't like Michelle, her cake tasted good, which got her the pass this time.

                                    To all the people out there dissing Dale, he's the one person from that team I'd want at my side when preparing a meal for a group. Granted, I'd tell him not to over-toast the crostini, but other than that, he is exactly the person I'd want around when getting a big dinner out. He got things done, and didn't wuss around making sure "his" dish was the only good one (hi, Spike!). Their whole menu was ill-conceived, but you all are far too savvy to fall for the editing that makes Dale look like the culprit because he worked hard. Are you really going to fall for that b.s.?

                                    1. re: DanaB

                                      i couldn't agree more with you more regarding dale. i would get mighty frustrated too if you do your best in the team challenges only to be held back by people who think too highly of themselves but don't deliver. dale for sure could have handled losing the quickfire more gracefully. but spike's losing the great lead gained by lisa is really frustrating, and so is nikki not knowing how to make mayonnaise. i mean, she did say she made it in culinary school. and if you know how to make it using a food processor, how could you not even imagine how to make it by hand? and of course nikki will tell dale not to point fingers, she's one of the main culprits for their group's failure! and dale did not start pointing fingers, he was dared to do it by spike. dale actually works well with people who do a good job. it's those who are not so good that have problems with him. i remember that richard and dale worked really well together when they were teamed up. if there's anyone who doesn't care about the team, it would be spike. he's concerned only with whatever he's doing. DanaB gave a good example. and with all the work that dale had to do, he was still able to execute a ragu sauce that a judge liked. that's saying something.

                                      1. re: arjaydj

                                        me three.

                                        with most of the challenges, unlike in real life cooking, it really doesn't *matter* how much food goes out in the end, but more good food will make you look better, so the idea of having each person focusing on one dish to display their talents is usually ok. but dale appreciated something none of the others did: this was a freaking wedding! if they don't put out they will ruin this couple's special day. they can't serve a piece of fish and a few tortellini and have that be it! and then he gets no credit from his team for this at all -- granted he's grumpy, but if I were his teammate I would have been grateful for all of his hard work so that the food could get out there, and I would have shared in all that grunt work, not been antagonistic, especially in front of the judges!

                                        from the previews it looks like spike's behavior will get even worse next week.

                                        1. re: Adrienne

                                          Yeah, I saw those previews as well. Looks like Spike's up to his old tricks again - and reveling in them as well.

                                          1. re: Adrienne


                                            By luck of the draw, IMHO, Dale was screwd in this challenge. He drew the three worst cooks and the three people who have a serious dislike for him and he knew it. So Dale doesn't suffer fools very well. Lisa on the other hand, doesn't suffer the emotional peaks and valleys of Dale but her general hostility level seems consistantly higher. Spike is just a back-stabbing little game player and Nikki...well just not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

                                            With his draw in cook talent, and the repore that Nikki had developed with the client I'd have done the same as Dale did; get as far as possible from the decision making, establish as many creds as I could about what got done and let Nikki hang herself.

                                            Personally I don't think Dale punched the locker because he lost the quickchallenge. There was nothing at stake. I believe he was thinking he was going to go through the restaurant wars with his talent draw...the three worst cooks and they all hate his guts.

                                            I'd love to be a fly on the wall during the first private conversation between Dale and Richard after this challenge.

                                            Excellent political move towards Steph. That will help him in the finals if he makes it and she doesn't beat him.

                                            Why am I still pulling for Andrew? I guess I'm a sucker for quirky personalities.

                                        2. re: DanaB

                                          <As much as I didn't like this challenge, and don't like Michelle, her cake tasted good, which got her the pass this time.> Who is Michelle? Do you mean Lisa?

                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                            Yes, I meant Lisa. Where I got Michelle from, I don't know :-)

                                      2. Richard is one stand-up guy, giving the win to Stephanie. And when she said "let's share it", I thought "awww". THEN the drama goes down with the Spike and Dale show. I admit I had to laugh when Spike said, "you're such a little b*tch!" Mostly because that's exactly what I was thinking. As much as Nikki really needed to go, she had the pearl of wisdom for the evening when she told Dale the last thing in the world he should be doing is going off like that in front of the judges. She had her moments - unfortunately they weren't in the kitchen. Now, I missed the part where the losing team was deciding who would do what, so I must know - did Lisa jump on making the cake right away? Because, if she did, she was smart to do so. Had it been me, I would have sized up the team and gone for whatever I could do to be on my own.

                                        Richard and Antonia, to me, are the most consistent. The others have their moments of brilliance, but, at this point, I'll be surprised if it doesn't come down to those two.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: phee

                                          I don't blame Dale considering how Nikki and Spike weren't hustling as hard as he was. That's one of the most important things in a professional kitchen. Dale has been on some good teams and has shined, Spike and Nikki, not so much.

                                          1. re: attractivekid

                                            Dale's strategy on the losing ship was to hustle, but he hustled without caring for the quality of his output or working together with teammates. The brief dialogue between Nikki and Dale showed her lacking in leadership skills and him not welcoming any input.

                                            Hustle, yeah, but hustle fruitfully, not like a burger flipper. If you're gonna play that card, play it well.

                                            1. re: Minger

                                              Did anyone else notice how long the episode was? It's 11:10 (PT) and it's still not over. I'm as tired as the chefs by the end of the show. Are they all this long?

                                              1. re: Minger

                                                The producers/editors are having their bit of fun playing up Dale's foibles (I'm not denying he has 'em) and negative reactions from his competitors. They even gave the ploy away with their little poll on "most annoying" won by Dale of course. He did comment on the lack of leadership, which indicates he probably was open to getting feedback, but then the two women were shown bad-mouthing him to each other and reinforcing that they didn't feel he was worth approaching. Nikki did give him positive advice at the end about not indulging in blame in front of the judges, which means she was also capable of sorting things out as they started the planning and prep--she's supposed to run her own kitchen in her restaurant?

                                                1. re: Minger

                                                  their dialogue was about the ragu and the tomatoes to be used for it, right? sorry, i couldn't recall. but if it was about that, good thing that he didn't follow whatever it was that nikki was telling him because the judges liked what he did with the ragu. but you're right, dale needs to mellow down and not always go off as a way to vent his frustrations with mediocre teammates.

                                                  1. re: arjaydj

                                                    I watched it pretty late, but I thought they didn't have any dialogue specifically, she might have asked him what he was putting in, and then wandered off with Lisa and whispered about how she didn't like what he was doing, and that wasn't what she wanted, but wouldn't say anything to him, just seemed to give him dirty looks.

                                                    It could have been editing.

                                                    And than it cuts to a voiceover or an interview, I can't recall, of Dale saying Nikki wouldn't take control. (to me, that was highlighting what just happened. No offense anyone, but being female myself, I've run into my fair share of poor female managers. It seems like Nikki just wasn't comfortable stepping into the leadership role for whatever reason, and preferred instead to gossip and whine about Dale behind his back and glare, like he would magically realize she didn't like the ragu.

                                                    Lisa didn't want to work with Dale, so she retreated into her work. Spike would have let the whole team go down in an effort to let his one dish shine...and Dale didn't have enough respect for his teammates to delegate any work to them. It was all bad. LOL

                                            2. Bravo sucks. Tonight's episode went from 10 to 11:15 -- didn't hurt me because I was watching live. But I often TIVO the Top Chef broadcast, and I use manual settings. No excuse for them not publicizing that tonight's wedding wars lasted and hour and a quarter, even with all the repeats it would have been a pain to watch the elimination and then be cut off before the judge's table. And since this episode runs long, I don't know if they edit the repeats or rebroadcast them less.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: nosh

                                                They will edit them down to one hour...so some of what's been discussed here won't be shown on follow-up repeats.

                                              2. I'm so glad that Nikki is finally gone, and very pleased that all of my favorites were on the winning team (and that Stephanie and Richard split the win like that, that was great teamwork). Dale though...I was really starting to like him, but after tonight, it's clear that Antonia's "get his diaper changed" comment was right on target.

                                                The food from the winning team looked really good! It made me hungry all over again at 11 at night.

                                                16 Replies
                                                1. re: JasmineG

                                                  It should be apparent that becoming a proficient food crafter by a relatively young age (the older contestants actually do keep things more on an even keel for the most part) hardly requires intellectual, spiritual, or emotional maturity. Antonia's diaper comment was perhaps deserved but I don't think it reflects that well on her--common sense and civility to maintain a minimum of harmony should help one keep those thoughts unspoken. Dale was steamed because his teammates had already shirked from taking on the mayo at the outset of the relay--his task wasn't the easiest and his opponent hardly the weakest in knife skills--and Nikki's whisk technique was in fact pretty inefficient.

                                                  1. re: moto

                                                    My ultimate wedding nightmare: Padma Lakshmi showing up in a skin-tight red dress,her twins spilling out over the top and threatening to roll across the buffet table. However nice my dress, not a single person in the room is going to be looking at me.
                                                    Nightmare #2: My life as a married person starting with me and my spouse representing opposing teams, resulting in the crushed dreams of a kitchen drudge who'd been up all night slaving over my wedding meal.
                                                    Nightmare #3: Tooth-breaking crostini.

                                                    1. re: newhavener07

                                                      Sometimes when I see what Padma's wearing, I gag. Especially on the video-blog... I can't believe they put her on the air with everything showing through like that.

                                                        1. re: Adrienne

                                                          I believe she was the point of reference for Andrew's comment: "I have a culinary b_ _ _ r".

                                                          1. re: Roo

                                                            P: "Is that your box of Glad wrap, Andrew, or are you just happy to see me?"

                                                          2. re: Adrienne

                                                            Padma makes me consider batting for the other team, but then Lisa or Jen come onscreen.

                                                          3. re: newhavener07

                                                            as far a wedding nightmares, newhavener, I heard no mention made of the blessed couple making a donation to an appropriate non-profit to acknowledge the $20k (+/-?) worth of catering they received. Since they're in the trade, that would make them fit right into the exploitative side of the industry. The elimination seemed engineered to inflict brainwashing-level sleep deprivation and stimuli overload, better to expose flaws in the competitors to video-enhance into 'drama'. I think the wedding party was very fortunate there were just a few clunkers and no real fiascos being served them.

                                                          4. re: moto

                                                            Antonia didn't make the diaper comment out loud to any of the chefs, though -- she said it in a one-on-one interview that was edited into the footage as a voice-over.

                                                            To some extent I think Nikki got unfairly blamed for not being a leader. The few times she did try to lead the other chefs second-guessed her, like the preparation of the beets, when she told them how she thought they should be done and then Lisa said she wanted to do them another way. We don't know how often in the course of the challenge the other chefs undermined her in various ways or demonstrated their visible lack of respect for her and her leadership before she finally gave up. It helps to be a leader if the people you're leading will actually follow you.

                                                            That said, she lost it the moment she said that she wasn't taking responsibility for anything but what she cooked. A team needs a leader, she was chosen to be the leader because of her specific skill set, and then she bailed. She deserved to lose.

                                                            Dale was such an ass, though, that I was hoping it would be him, even though I was sure the judges weren't willing to send home someone who has been one of the stonger competitors up to this point.

                                                            1. re: moto

                                                              He punched a wall -- hard enough to dent a locker. Sorry, but that is completely inapproriate in any context, I don't care how steamed Dale was or why.

                                                              1. re: JasmineG

                                                                Inappropriate, of course, but violence against an inanimate object with no harm done to any life form is pretty mild in the range of how cooks can 'act out' in the kitchen. Like I said, young folks adept at a specialized skill will rarely be well rounded intellectually, spiritually, emotionally--have you been around young resident m.d.'s (who are also sleep deprived) with obviously many years of education, entrusted with the care of people?

                                                                1. re: moto

                                                                  I agree that anyone deprived of sleep can do some crazy stuff...and I'm also one of the more sympathetic to Dale's overall situation... but have you really ever seen a resident attack a wall? I sure hope not. And I hope you complained to someone if you did.

                                                                  1. re: Adrienne

                                                                    Equipment was abused on occasion at the hospital...all in a day's/night's work. I'd usually check on the mental status of the "offender" and verify that the damage to the inanimate object was trivial or cosmetic in nature--complainers don't always have a positive effect on the work environment, and it isn't usually healthy to keep all that aggressive stuff repressed, y'know? If no one is hurt or distressed it's the attending physician's place, not mine, to make sure the personality quirks of the residents doesn't impair the work.

                                                                    1. re: moto

                                                                      i have known MANY immature residents in regards to certain personal behavior but i have never seen them damage equipment or act out like that in public - not if they plan on keeping their jobs. because sleep deprivation goes with the territory and that would obviously not be considered acceptable behavior. to IN PRIVATE go "AHHHHH" with hands in air or maybe hit a fist into a table (NOT hard enough to damage it) but not hit and damage a locker in a fairly public scenario.

                                                                      that said i still kind of like dale. and if i'd been put on a team with those three....

                                                                      then again on the other hand, isn't he not even that young? certainly old enough to have learned to control his temper!

                                                                      1. re: moto

                                                                        I'm sorry, I just realized that I assumed you were saying that from a patient's perspective, and I do think that if a patient witnesses such behavior, they should complain. I completely agree with your gameplan. I am still a little shocked that this happens.

                                                                  2. re: JasmineG

                                                                    Not that odd in a "locker room" atmosphere. My wife was just as freaked out. Emotions high, adrenaline pumping. I wasn't so surprised by it.

                                                              2. That big box of glad wrap got more air time than most of the contestants.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. Nikki had a pretty good run considering she doesn’t seem to know anything about working in a restaurant kitchen. She may have been able to skate through last night if she had accepted the responsibility and run with it but she emphasized that she wanted nothing to do with a leadership role.
                                                                  Due to no fault of her own Antonia drops one spot in the rankings because Stephanie bounced back strong after last week’s debacle. I think the naysayers are going to have to consider Antonia a strong candidate at some point. She is almost always top tier and the judges always seem to like her food. She may not be as spectacular as Richard or Stephanie but I can’t think of any disasters on her part and her consistency should be good enough to get her to the final three, and based on what we saw last year with Casey’s meltdown, anything can happen at that point. Antonia may very well win this.
                                                                  Nonetheless I think Richard and Stephanie are still a slight notch above and have to be considered the two strongest contenders.
                                                                  Lisa makes the biggest jump because she often shows that when she isn’t waging war she has very good chops. My wife and I debated which cake was better and my feeling was that Stepahnie’s looked prettier but I would have rather eaten Lisa’s. Maybe it’s a guy thing because Tom seemed to share my perspective.
                                                                  Dale drops another notch and I think if all the challenges were done solo he would have a chance but he has shown repeatedly that he can’t work with other people and he lacks the maturity to run a kitchen. He has the skills but he could go at any time because of his temper.
                                                                  1. Richard
                                                                  2. Stephanie
                                                                  3. Antonia
                                                                  4. Lisa
                                                                  5. Dale
                                                                  6. Andrew
                                                                  7. Spike

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: tofuburrito


                                                                    Based on the Wikipedia rankings, Stephanie and Richard each have 3 wins (they show a shared win for last night's win), but Stephanie still has more time in the "High" group than Richard. BUT....having said that, she also has 2 more "Low" group appearances than Richard. But I still put them at "Even" on my scorecard. :-) Not sure I'd rank Antonia above Dale, nor would I have Lisa above Dale either, but his little tantrum last night just shows he doesn't play well with others.

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      I wouldn't rank Dale below Antonia and Lisa either. He played well with Richard twice and Andrew once for actual wins.

                                                                      1. re: rumgum

                                                                        I don't question Dale's skills, maybe I'm wrong but I think leadership and the ability to run a functional kitchen is part of this competition. On those counts I think he's at the bottom.
                                                                        A lot of people comment on Lisa's body language but I have to ask; where is the love from Dale? Does it appear that he actually enjoys cooking? He seems to have contempt for all his competitors (except Richard) and the judges. He doesn't seem to care when they like his food, as though they don't deserve to eat it.
                                                                        That is in stark contrast to Richard, Stephanie and Antonia, as they appear to actually enjoy cooking and they seemed thrilled when people like their food.
                                                                        I realize we only see edited portions but if what we see of Lisa's "attitude" is fair game, then so is Dale's.
                                                                        I also thought it was very tacky how Dale and Spike immediately kissed and made up after Nikki was bounced.

                                                                        1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                          I agree on the tackiness of them being buddies again, the thick globs of unctuous phoniness is disturbing.

                                                                          Dale has a real intolerance for anyone who he does not take to be equal or better than he thinks he is. That kind of personality usually creates irritating prigs or genius, that the world perceives as irritating prigs.

                                                                        2. re: rumgum

                                                                          Interesting that he plays well with others when it's another guy. Haven't seen him take direction from Stephanie or another woman he might respect in the kitchen. Who else might that be - maybe Stephanie and Antonia are the only two women he might respect?

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            I don't know, he seemed to have contempt for Spike too. I don't think he was all that fired up about any of the other guys, except for Richard.

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              Good point -- I would really like to see him work with Stephanie (just the two of them). That might give us some insight, and it would certainly be interesting to see how he would handle that.

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                I wonder how well he worked with Stephanie in the Elements challenge. So much of the editing showed off the frustration between Lisa and Dale.

                                                                          2. re: tofuburrito

                                                                            For me, the top three are still
                                                                            1. Richard
                                                                            2. Stephanie
                                                                            3. Dale

                                                                            However, Richard is slowly proving that he's in a league of his own.
                                                                            Obviously, he knows how to cook, but what has impressed me is his maturity - not playing those finger pointing games, taking the hit when it's his bad (the creamed spinach comes to mind) and he's not hiding in the background. He's stepping up and accepting the challanges (picking the Bride's side for the wedding wars). From the one-on-one interviews, the other chef questioned his logic. Richard's logic (???) "I'm good. I'll take the challenge. Cooking is what I do very well."

                                                                            Stephanie seems to exhibit similar qualities.

                                                                            All the other cheftestants really seem immature and lacking wisdom gained from ojt.

                                                                            1. re: dave_c

                                                                              Yeah. It seemed like in the beginning they were setting Richard up to be geek-chef a la Marcel. But he turns out to be a pretty cool guy with interesting ideas, the execution to back it up and good leadership skills. On top of that, he seems genuinely nice: not only did he give props to Steph last night, but he gave Dale a lot of credit for their winning dish for the previous team challenge. Him giving the win to Steph and then having her turn around and offer to share the prize without a second's hesitation or a smidgen of "I'm so generous" attitude was one of the nicest moments ever on Top Chef.

                                                                          3. I agree with what has been said about this episode. I really didn't see anything special in the Groom's menu. I love to watch Lidia's Italian Table ,can't recall Lidia's last name right now,but she does alot more than pasta and could cook my wedding dinner.
                                                                            There is so much Nikki could have done.She didn't seem to lead anyone.Glad Lisa jumped in with the cake,i believe the judges said they liked her cake.
                                                                            Wonder if they are setting up Dale as the next to go.
                                                                            Don't know why Andrew picked creamed spinach to do. Will look through some old cookbooks I have at one. One book,"Entertaining at Home" by Modern Priscilla magazine,1926,has wedding breakfast menus in it as well as other stuff,so will look for creamed spinach in the menus.
                                                                            He could have made roasted veggies or aspergaus Hollandaise,a classic which would have been more in line with a wedding.
                                                                            My favorite is Richard for sure,and glad they are sharing the Crate and Barrel 2k.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: HollyDolly

                                                                              Sorry for the slightly off-color comment here, but I had to comment on the idea of asparagus...There's a quote from some bride about asparagus on the wedding menu that's been tickling my brain since Tuesday's Hell's Kitchen Sweet 16 (where the birthday girl didn't like asparagus), and I finally remembered it was from a Katherine Hall Page mystery (the protagonist is a caterer). One of her clients didn't want asparagus on the wedding menu because she didn't want her pee to smell on her wedding night. In any case, I don't remember if maybe creamed spinach was suggested by this bride -- it was a specialty of one of her relatives, IIRC.

                                                                            2. Nikki was the one to go based both on this week and previous performances, but Dale is a little crybaby. He should have insisted the work be shared more equitably instead of crying about it at judges' table. And his little hissy fit when the team lost the QF was just a tad juvenile. He wasn't even the one that gave his team the commanding lead that Spike turned around and lost.

                                                                              He is going to end up like Season 2's Marcel, IMHO. Good skills but pretty unlikable. It cost Marcel dearly in the final and could do the same to Dale.

                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                              1. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                Dale has worked well with people he respects (e.g. anytime Richard and Dale are paired up they pretty much kill the competition like they did in the Movie challange and Improv challange)

                                                                                The Groom's team was pretty much set for failure from the start, remember Dale's comment after his teammates were trying to figure out how to make a mayonnaise?, "Why are you even here?!?"

                                                                                1. re: attractivekid

                                                                                  A few points:

                                                                                  1) There is the editing, of course Dale probably did pout during a lot of it.
                                                                                  2) I can see the Lisa, Spike, Nikki triumphrate trying to throw Dale under the bus. Thinking like a Machiavellian, Lisa nd Spike knows they have nothing to fear from Nikki, so they tank knowing that Dale would go off because he has shown a proclivity for going off. This way, if they just do what they do well, which is exactly what they did, then either they get what they want: Dale gets knocked out or Nikki is going to tank and she gets sacrificed while Dale gets a reputation as a baby.

                                                                                  I can feel for Dale though, its frustrating to work with people who just don't care.

                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                    You bring up a good point about tanking the QF challenge.

                                                                                    I didn't think about that aspect. My assumption is that everyone want to win when challenged. However, Spike is definitely playing this survivor-style so I wouldn't put it past him to tank his team if he sees it as a tactical advantage.

                                                                                    1. re: dave_c

                                                                                      There's something about Spike that just doesn't sit well with me. Don't know what it is. You know what you're getting with Dale. By now everyone knows he doesn't play with everybody. And according to Nikki, half the house doesn't want him on their team. Maybe she could have specified that Team Groom didn't want him on the team. But I digress.

                                                                                  2. re: attractivekid

                                                                                    oh i really like that scene. i keep replaying in my mind dale's reaction (looking around with eyes rolling) as they were talking about the mayo. i think it's hilarious.

                                                                                    i totally agree with the sentiments of many that being a good chef also means being able to work with people well. i felt strongly about this during stephen's and marcel's seasons. i really didn't like them during their respective stints primarily because of their attitude. but for some reason, with dale, i'm giving him more slack with his attitude. does anybody feel the same way? dale doesn't really play in an underhanded manner like spike or marcel. and he really doesn't moan and bitch around when things are difficult (remember marcel when he kept on and on and on complaining about that not-hot-enough burner in the episode where he and betty had a shouting match). he does his best with the hand he's dealt. i just don't really like him when he's putting down people in the interviews... but then, i guess everybody says the same things and it could be that dale's soundbites are the meatiest.

                                                                                    i am starting to think now that their behaviors in the show regarding how the cheftestants handle difficult people couldn't really be used to judge their effectiveness as a chef in the real world. after all, they really aren't working with their "employees" here. technically, they're all on the same level. there is no one who's the acknowledged "chief" that others are obliged to follow. if a person i hired to work with me isn't initially up to the job, i would really exert effort to train the person (which you can't really do with your fellow cheftestants) or let them go (again, something you can't really do). so what are you to do with people who don't like to be led (e.g. spike)? i actually thought dale was good in how he just sucked it up and focused on cooking the dishes that were assigned to him. nikki was just complaining all the time about how she didn't want to be leader, or how she kept making pasta that she really didn't like to do.

                                                                                    back to last night's challenge. just by looking at the team compositions, you know from the very beginning that the challenge was the bride's team to lose. i mean, you have the most capable cooks in one team. in the groom's team, there was only dale (ok, maybe lisa to some extent ...).

                                                                                    1. re: arjaydj

                                                                                      arjay, I'm pretty much with you re. Dale. He's the fiery competitive type, and does more than his part to give his teams a chance to win. He just doesn't have the maturity or serene self confidence to keep everything positive, and I wouldn't place him any lower than the top 4-5 remaining.

                                                                                      1. re: arjaydj

                                                                                        I thought that Tom C liked the horseradish sauce when he tasted it at the wedding..but at the judges table he said it was horrible. Did I miss something?

                                                                                        1. re: melly

                                                                                          He liked the brides team horseradish sauce, but not the grooms team. Both made filet, both made horseradish sauce!

                                                                                    2. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                      Marcel showed a lot more talent and originality by this point. Seems like all of Marcel's unpleasant personality quirks are embodied in Mark and Dale, but I see no evidence of the talent.

                                                                                      1. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                        It's top chef, not top personality. If you want to whine about someone's personality, maybe you should stop watching the show. Hong was just as irritable but he won. Gordon Ramsay is another one who succeeds despite his attitude towards incompetence. I can't stand shirkers and stupid people.

                                                                                        1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                                          It's a TV show with a cast of characters that were chosen as much for their personalities and the resulting dynamics as they were for their skills. Bravo wants people drawn into the drama so that they keep coming back. In my opinion, threads like this one are about having discussions, not whining.

                                                                                      2. dh and i referred to lisa's cake as "the shit mastaba" through the whole episode
                                                                                        glad it tasted good!

                                                                                        whose brilliant idea was it to have clueless nikki make the mayo? you give that to the chef with the best upper arm strength on the team--lisa. spike: nice choke on the chokes.

                                                                                        dale: wow-- you're in a shitty situation, now make it as bad as possible with a wretched attitude. losing the quickfire didn't even matter, because if your team had won, you would have still picked the groom's menu (insert spike's sexist commentary about little girls planning fantasy wedding from age 6 here).

                                                                                        the schedule was brutal. with catering of that magnitude, just the schlepping will kill ya. sixteen hours and i would be done. . .creamed spinach would not be my choice, nor fresh pasta, nor sloppy apps to fall down the front of the bride's dress. . . if the groom's team had had a coherent menu with doable prep (and everyone had carried their own weight), they could have sailed through. nikki has no excuse for not stepping up, particularly since she talks about doing italian food banquets when they are planning the menu. nikki's pizza weaker than antonia's. . .

                                                                                        "andrew doesn't get to talk to the guests" --no doubt!

                                                                                        amazing professional poise on richard's part to look chipper and happy to be serving the food at the wedding after working flat out for a day with no sleep. nikki on the other hand looks like death warmed over wearing her tinted junkie glasses indoors-- she aged 10 years in this episode. twiggy can't handle the real work in a kitchen, she's a paper-pusher more suited to doing her tablescapes and invoicing clients. the food from the happy cook tastes good, the food from the zombie, not so much.

                                                                                        team united prevails, team divided falls. shakespeare wrote the original reality t.v. script. richard accepts leadership role, then graciously hands steph the win-- 100 pro points to richard. unlike practically everyone else on the show, i don't think richard would *suck* to work for. aw, they'll share. the bride's team shows the love and respect for each other that real kitchen crews who pull out amazing feats of cooking madness do. the groom's team rip & tear uselessly at each other like weasels in a cage. nikki obviously deserved to go for not stepping up to executing what should have been a cakewalk for her, but spike tries to take the strongest competitor out by goading dale in front of the judges table. padma falls for spike's tactic, tom c. does not. lisa is her usual black hole of glowering negativity. nikki continues to treat everyone like children-- bet that's how she is to work for too.

                                                                                        i was going to go nuts if nikki stayed for *one* more episode. she is worthless. mayonnaise? c'mon.

                                                                                        spike can be next. (please, god?) or lisa would be good to go, too.

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                          Excellent review, soupkitten, with great analogies (especially the weasels in a cage one!). :-)

                                                                                          As for the mayo being Nikki's in the QF - it seemed no one else would take it, so I think she got stuck with it. But when she was asking how to make it, *someone* should have stepped up and said "I'll do it."

                                                                                          As for next week, with Spike's goading of Lisa, it will be interesting!

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            the reason she got mayo is because it's the easiest to do. (technically speaking)

                                                                                            the other 3 tasks (supreming an orange, preping artichokes, fileting monkfish) take really good knife skills, which Nikki lacks.

                                                                                            It make sense considering Lisa has deep asian cooking experience, hence her supreming the orange (and killing Antonia, put her team ahead by two oranges)

                                                                                            Dale has the best knife skills and a lot of experience with seafood (worked for Morimoto) so having him filet the Monkfish is a no-brainer. Not to mention who else would you have tackle the hardest task to go against Richard?

                                                                                            As for Spike doing the artichokes?, sure, maybe Nikki could have switched places with him, but I'm willing to bet Spike is better with a knife than Nikki is.

                                                                                            1. re: attractivekid

                                                                                              Well, then it's not just knife skills she's poor at - it's whisking skills, since she "took a break" in whisking (or switched arms) while making mayo. Yet another reason she should have gone earlier. (I still think she should have been booted in the Tailgating episode for not having enough food for the judges).

                                                                                          2. re: soupkitten

                                                                                            I'm in the minority opinion on weddings cakes, no matter how good they look, they generally taste gross. Although I'm usually too hammered by cake time to care one way or another but when I've have actually tasted wedding cake it usually seems like a disgusting white sugar tower made with cardboard.
                                                                                            My generally feelings on desserts is that if doesn't have chocolate in it, why take on the calories and even if wedding cake had the nutritional value of broccoli I wouldn't eat it.
                                                                                            Lisa's cake, though not "pretty," looked like it would slice off into the realms of a delicious chocolate experience.

                                                                                            1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                              Agree with you on the taste of the cake, but this isn't any cake, its the wedding cake, and the point isn't that it taste good, the point is to look good. I hate fondants but I must admit Stephanie's cake looked great.

                                                                                            2. re: soupkitten

                                                                                              agreed about richard. he went up many points in my book. not just for sharing the win (because that's an easy way to try and look good) but for how pleasant he was to the wedding guests. he seemed by far the most mature - followed by stephanie. the only one to remember that this was reallly someone else's day. maybe it's because he's the only married one? i don't know but i went from thinking he was a good chef that i thought was a bit annoying to being a fan.
                                                                                              oh and i thought the brisket and the app with the short ribs and blue cheese in phyllo looked yummy.

                                                                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                Agree with you on both of those items - and the guests and judges seemed to like them as well...and recipes are up on Bravo's site:



                                                                                            3. Why did the bride change dresses?
                                                                                              Did an appetizer dribble down the front of wedding dress 1 ?

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: shallots

                                                                                                I just thought she had a "wedding ceremony" dress and a "reception" dress, but maybe there was an unfortunate incident?

                                                                                                1. re: glazebrookgirl

                                                                                                  That's a growing trend these days...a dress for the ceremony and one for the reception.

                                                                                                  1. re: heathermb

                                                                                                    That is the tradition in Chinese weddings. The bride will change dresses with every course of the banquet. This stems from the old practice of the brides family providing a dowry. The idea is that the bride is showing off her dowry to the wedding guests therebye showing how wealthy her family is.

                                                                                              2. Richard showed himself to be A REAL CLASS ACT last night.(As did Steph by sharing the award.) He acknowledged that the work she, which put them over the top did was out of his league. He always seems to give credit where credit is due. Perhaps his being slightly older he has the maturity to do so.

                                                                                                It also seems that any team he is on works like a well oiled machine. Perhaps he is lucky or he is as good leader.

                                                                                                He certainly looks like the guy to beat.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                  I also liked the way he took the blame for the "odd" flavor of the creamed spinach -- his star anise suggestion to Andrew. So unlike so many competitors at JT.

                                                                                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                    When the show first aired and we saw Richard, I was kinda like, who is this guy?! But the more I watch, the more I really like him! He seems to really enjoy what he is doing and approaches each challenge wanting to win, but doesn't sell anyone else out at judge's table. I only hope that this nice guy doesn't finish last. He is a total contrast to Spike, who seems to up the ante on evilness next week.

                                                                                                  2. This is Top Chef not Top Caterer!

                                                                                                    Am I the only one who is seriously bummed that they didn't do Restaurant Wars this year? It's the highlight of the season - the concept, the menu planning, the decor, the service - and a perfect simulation of what all the cheftestants are aspiring to. This was just another catering episode. You could tell that the chefs were bummed as well.

                                                                                                    Ah well, the relay was awesome (though nothing will ever approach Hung breaking down those chickens), and I'm glad Nikki finally went home. Felt bad for Dale - that was a pretty uneven knife draw.

                                                                                                    24 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                      But wait -- there are more twists -- check out episode titles for the next two weeks:

                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                        Cool! It looks like they are going to do the Restaurant Wars when there are 6 contestants -- 3 against 3? If so, I hope they get to pick their teams!

                                                                                                        1. re: DanaB

                                                                                                          yes, who ever wins the QF for that episode will pick their team...meaning that if Richard or Stephanie don't win, they'll be the first two picked (unless Spike wins, who won't pick Richard). If either Richard or Stephanie do win, Dale will be the third

                                                                                                          1. re: attractivekid

                                                                                                            Why are you telling us this? Is it speculation or insider knowledge? If it's the latter, please stop posting spoilers!

                                                                                                            1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                              total speculation, but apparently I'm good at this

                                                                                                              1. re: attractivekid

                                                                                                                Yes, and when it proves to be true, it seems to be proof that you *do* have the inside track vs. being a good prognosticator. So please stop.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Seriously, that prediction had very good odds. Stephanie, Richard and Dale will get picked? Because they've been top runners? I don't see how that's evidence that AK has insider information... and I haven't ever seen anyone else given this hard of a time about his or her predictions.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                                                    Typically I've seen people add "according to this site..." or "my bet's on..." to their predictions. AK is making statements with a more in-the-know tone, and of course, tone is hard to interpret online. I've just started adding my own grain of salt to any AK post about the future ;-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                      Exactly, momjamin. These aren't guesses; they are statements said very matter-of-fact.

                                                                                                                      There isn't any indication that AK is getting the information from anywhere else other than what seems to be insider knowledge. And Adrienne, check AK's posts earlier upthread - s/he specifically states "someone from the team with Dale, Spike, Lisa and Nikki gets eliminated". Can't get much more definitive than that.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        I don't know whether or not AK is an insider, but I have refrained from posting some info that I've read in other articles (so they're technically not spoilers) because I don't want to ruin it for some people who like to be surprised. I may say something like how Stephanie said in an article how she did a lot of meat because she didn't like Whole Foods's seafood. But I won't say anything like who a guest judge will be (unless it's been widely publicized).

                                                                                                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                          Quite frankly, if you link an article here but without any specific information as to what's in the article, that's more than fair enough. It's up to each individual to click on that link should they wish to know what was written even if it's a possible spoiler. But then hopefully not say anything about it here. :-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            I suppose you're right. OK -- if I find those articles I will link it but give ample warning. : ) My fear is that people will start discussing it in the thread and it will kind of become a spoiler, though.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                              I know what you mean....it's just one of those things - read something about a show and immediately want to talk about it, refute what you read, ask questions about it...knowing ahead of time just takes a bit of the fun & enjoyment away while watching the show.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                            Current promos for this week's episode show that the QF guest judge is in fact Sam (yay!).

                                                                                                                            I also have to say that the promos showing heated arguments at judges table are pretty much a giveaway on who is in the bottom of any given elimination challenge - you just don't see the winners arguing like that. I wish Bravo would realize this...although I'm sure they are just trying to milk all the drama.

                                                                                                                            1. re: heathermb

                                                                                                                              Again, it might be the Oliver Stone in me, but I think the shot of judge's table and the follow up of people arguing starts to show up around the half way point, after we have gotten used to certain people and we have picked the heroes and villains. I don't think they have as extended of the arguments early on. Of course that might be due to the fact that people aren't really asses to each other early, except for Ken in the first season and Spike this season. Tiffany was pretty low keyed except for the "I'm not here to make friends" blurb.

                                                                                                                              1. re: heathermb

                                                                                                                                yay- I was hoping someone would mention the quick "preview" shot at the end of this episode... I immediately thought of Sam when I saw it, especially after Antonia's "tall, dark, and handsome.." comment :o)

                                                                                                            2. re: momjamin

                                                                                                              I saw that description as well - but it doesn't sound like it's quite the same as previous Restaurant Wars? Are they running a specific restaurant for breakfast?

                                                                                                              "The contest sizzles when the chefs must labor through a hectic breakfast rush at a greasy spoon. "

                                                                                                            3. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                              I'm just tired of all the team challenges already.

                                                                                                              1. re: rumgum

                                                                                                                hmmmm I'm enjoying this season better than any of the previous ones. Seems to be more really competent chefs. Some of the fol-de-rol is juvenile, but then, that's part of "reality tv," or so it seems...

                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                  Oh yeah, I too enjoy this season better. I would just rather see some more individual dishes. But drama happens when they're forced to compete for Top Chef and work as a team at the same time. And what is a Top Chef without the ability to lead a team in a kitchen.

                                                                                                                  1. re: rumgum

                                                                                                                    A team presupposes a common goal. When there are losers on a team, they're more concerned about covering their own a$$ than win. Last night was a perfect example. Spike did one dish to cover his own A$$. Lisa made a cake. Nikki made pasta. That left Dale to do everything else. If everyone on that team wanted to "win," which is THE common goal, Dale wouldn't have been left out on an island.

                                                                                                              2. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                I don't know, I think "Restaurant Wars" episodes end up with so many compromises that the restaurants aren't that interesting. Can't remember much about last season's RWars, except for Dale's scented candles! I think of them every time I'm forced to inhale one of those Yankee Candle monstrosities--pretty sure the fumes kill brain cells.
                                                                                                                What really struck me about this episode is that the bride and groom--supposedly restaurant owners--had such boring preferences for their feast. Dang, if I ever find someone stupid enough to marry me, I'm going ask for Laotian-style offal smorgasbord, fried bats and side orders of celeriac-durian puree just to weird out my relatives and get them out of their Olive Garden mindsets.

                                                                                                                1. re: newhavener07

                                                                                                                  who knows, the guest judge is Jose Andreas, so it's possible that this restaurant war episode will have another twist

                                                                                                                  not to mention i believe jose andreas and richard blais worked together at El Bulli

                                                                                                                  1. re: newhavener07

                                                                                                                    One of my theories was the bride and groom went in saying "We know what it's like to cater a wedding. We want our wedding to be memorable for good reasons. We saw season 1. The wedding's tomorrow and we're not catering it ourselves, so let's give them something straightforward so that we and our guests have a shot at having some decent food."

                                                                                                                    My own wedding meal planning thoughts went something along the lines of "I'm not going to remember the food, and I may not even remember to eat, so let's get something yummy but not too boring that's in the budget and our family and friends will eat, and we'll eat more interesting things on the honeymoon when we have time to sit back and enjoy." And indeed, I can't remember what we had, but at least I have a picture of the cake ;-)

                                                                                                                2. Something no one's mentioned here so far, but drives me crazy, is the use of unsustainable seafood in Top Chef challenges and in the chef's dishes. I asked Nikki about it when I interviewed her earlier: http://www.chow.com/stories/11093

                                                                                                                  Bottom line is that this show reaches a lot of people and could do a little bit of good if they just said, "I think every chef should be aware of the issues surrounding the fish they serve." I've been a convert on this topic ever since I attended a Monterey Aquarium conference on the topic...

                                                                                                                  OK getting off of pulpit now. Meredith of CHOW

                                                                                                                  27 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: mudaba

                                                                                                                    Very good point! In the show "Last Restaurant Standing," which was filmed in Britain and is currently airing on BBC America, they *have* criticized chefs on several occasions for using unsustainable fish. They also have had "local" food challenges. Clearly, that show is a little bit ahead of the curve, so to speak, in comparison to Top Chef.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mudaba

                                                                                                                      Oh, that bugs me, too. I wonder if chefs in other parts of the country are less aware of the issues than we are on the West Coast. Although, considering the degree to which the Atlantic Coast has been fished out, they should be.

                                                                                                                      1. re: mudaba

                                                                                                                        Actually, they buy all their seafood from Whole Foods, which is committed to only selling sustainable seafood. I assume your comments are specifically in response to the use of Chilean Seabass. Whole Foods buys all of their seafood from the only fishery in the world that harvests Chilean Seabass in a sustainable fashion (as certified by the Marine Stewardship Council).
                                                                                                                        More info here:
                                                                                                                        I think it's great that Top Chef does almost all of their shopping at Whole Foods, ensuring high quality standards, particularly for meat, poultry, and seafood.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                          About the seafood thing -- guess you haven't read the interview where Stephanie says she's cooked a lot of meat in the challenges because Whole Foods is not the best place for seafood.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                            Two different definitions of "best place." Morton praises WF because they have certain standards. Sounds to me like Stephanie's making a comment about a lower selection of seafood -- WF won't carry certain things that might be commonly available except for said standards, and their supply may be intermittent and unreliable (you can't always count on them having exactly what you want). I don't have a WF near enough to me to shop there often (budget notwithstanding ;-), so this is hearsay/speculation on my part -- just pointing out that the two statements are not necessarily contradictory.

                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                              Yes, I understand what you are saying about what Morton may mean by the word "best." In my experience in NYC, Whole Foods has been pretty bad for seafood at all the Manhattan locations. We stopped buying seafood there a while ago. It's not a supply or reliability issue for me -- it's a freshness one.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                              By "quality standards" I refer to their strict (for a supermarket) standards regarding animal husbandry and sustainability. It is not a judgement of the actual taste or freshness of the food.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                                Thanks for clarifying your statement. When I first read it, I understood it to mean that you thought their quality of the goods was high.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                  I respect Whole Foods but I don't actually shop there ;)

                                                                                                                            3. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                              I was thinking of the monkfish in particular from the quickfire...we didn't know where that one came from...but even if that particular Chilean Sea Bass was from a safe source I think that it's irresponsible to feature Chilean Sea Bass numerous times without mentioning the controversy around it for all of the people in the audience who don't know as much about it.

                                                                                                                              I also don't swallow Whole Foods' line hook and sinker (ugh, the puns!). It merits more investigation. M.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mudaba

                                                                                                                                Whole Foods bases all seafood supply decisions on the judgement of the Marine Stewardship Council, so that investigation should be directed at the MSC, not Whole Foods. I have only read positive things about the MSC's credential program. You can learn more about their standards and practices here:

                                                                                                                                1. re: mudaba

                                                                                                                                  mudaba, one reason I rarely buy fish from WF is the virtual absence of whole, head on fish, so if those monks (unless Chi-town WF is extraordinarily unique) came from there, they were through the back door/special request and not the display case.

                                                                                                                                  When I heard they were re-instating patagonian toothfish/"chilean sea bass" because they secured a sustainable source, I considered it a concession to the popularity and profitability of carrying the product. Perhaps it's minimally o.k. to sell such a product, but fish stocks are best restored through total moratoriums or very severe restrictions, as the Californians fond of chinook salmon are learning. The general fish-eating public should be deterred from consuming the toothfish simply because the sustainably caught stuff is such a small portion (should it become the majority,or more significant portion, it's a different story) and needs to be educated. WF's position seems to me like wanting to appear p.c./virtuous but not taking the most rigorous measures. Now, if it set aside part of its fish sale proceeds to ocean conservation and restoration, over and above "supporting by our buying choices sustainable fishing methods", I'd begin to feel differently about buying fish there.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                                  Yes, but of course your average viewer doesn't know that. This is one time when a little more product placement would be nice: ie someone saying, 'and of course, we bought it from Whole Foods, which is one of the few places I would buy Chilean Sea Bass because of their commitment to sustainable fisheries...'

                                                                                                                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                    It would be nice if Bravo featured some information on Whole Food's practices on their website. I think it would be a bit excessive to talk about every controversial food item during the show. For example, when someone uses dairy should they talk about the fact that Whole Foods doesn't carry dairy that contains rBGH? When chefs buy prepackaged or processed foods should they talk about the fact that Whole Foods doesn't carry foods containing hydrogenated oil? What about animal husbandry techniques for poultry, eggs, beef, and pork? These are all controversial issues, and it would seem strange for them to discuss Chilean Sea Bass and not discuss these other important issues.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                                      perhaps you are right, but Chilean Sea Bass is really one of those triggers because a lot of people have heard of it. I also cringed when I heard it last night, and it was not until you reminded me via this thread that if they got it at Whole Foods it was presumably ok....

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                                        First, no dairy contains rGBH -- the cows are given rGHB, and analysis shows that there's no difference between milk from rGBH treated cows and non-treated cows. I consider the use of rGBH to be a humanitarian issue, not a food issue. And lots and lots of stores carry milk from non-rGBH cows -- Whole Foods is not unique or especially admirable in that regard.

                                                                                                                                        I don't know whether Whole Foods' Chilean Sea Bass is politically correct or not, but selling it is still driving demand for the product among people who may or may not care whether it's sustainable and who may decide they like it and why not buy it any place that's convenient.

                                                                                                                                        Finally, in this particular case, since the chefs bought ingredients at both Restaurant Depot and Whole Foods, we don't know where the Chilean Sea Bass was purchased and for a fact whether it was from a sustainable source.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                          agreed. and they have used it A LOT this season. leading people who had maybe just "heard a rumor" that you shouldn't eat it to believe that it's obviously fine.

                                                                                                                                          referring to chilean sea bass by the way

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                            Well, if we're going to nitpick...

                                                                                                                                            The FDA states that there is no *significant* difference between milk from rBGH and non-rBGH cows. Analysis has found that milk from cows treated with rBGH contains higher levels of bovine somatotropin and insulin-like growth factor 1 - so there is definitely an observable difference. The long-term human health impact of an increase in consumption of these hormones has not been conclusively determined. Monsanto maintains that the added hormones are harmless, but as the sole manufacturer of rBGH they are hardly an impartial observer.

                                                                                                                                            My point was not to sing the praises of Whole Foods, or to instigate a discussion of rBGH (both are topics for another thread). I simply wanted to point out that, technically speaking, the seafood that has been served on this season's Top Chef is sustainable according to the MSC. There is *a lot* of controversy surrounding many different types of food, some of which are prepared on Top Chef, and I don't think it is the responsibility of Bravo to preach to or educate their viewers on any of these issues. If people want to learn more, there is a wealth of information available on the internet, at the library, and at their local Whole Foods market. But on Wednesday nights at 10, some of us just want to be entertained.

                                                                                                                                            I'd be surprised if they bought the Sea Bass at Restaurant Depot. It was Spike's dish, he has bought Sea Bass at Whole Foods before, he clearly likes their product, and he was the one shopping at Whole Foods. Since it was his main contribution, I doubt he'd take the risk involved in sourcing his seafood from a new vendor that specializes in bulk foods, especially if he didn't have the option to examine the fish before purchasing it. He is way to selfish a competitor to jeopardize his dish in order to save the team a few hundred bucks.

                                                                                                                                            In fact, Restaurant Depot's website indicates that they don't even carry fresh seafood, though I can't confirm that without a membership:
                                                                                                                                            "We sell a full range of fresh meat and produce, chicken and pork, frozen products as well as dry groceries, paper supplies, cleaning supplies, beverages and equipment."

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                                              I think you're making a lot of unproven assumptions, especially, "I simply wanted to point out that, technically speaking, the seafood that has been served on this season's Top Chef is sustainable according to the MSC." And that given the fact that they don't have a choice of vendors for their foods, that they put much thought into their decisions.

                                                                                                                                              I don't think it's necessary for Bravo to educate us, but I do think it's at least desirable for chefs to be responsible in the choices they make. If they cared about using sustainable seafood they wouldn't be planning dishes around Chilean Sea Bass -- they certainly don't buy fish at Whole Foods for their restaurants. Obviously they have no problems doing so, or they wouldn't be so quick to choose it. That's what I object to.

                                                                                                                                              As for singing the praises for Whole Foods, I often get the impression that you're unquestioningly swallowing the propaganda put out by producers and retailers who support (or claim to support) you philosophical positions on food production. I like to think it's just your enthusiasm, but often it smacks of naïveté

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                I never claimed that the chefs care about the seafood sustainability issue. All I said was a statement of fact - their seafood comes from Whole Foods, and Whole Foods only sells seafood that is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. If you are questioning the standards and practices of this independent, nonprofit organization, or claiming that Whole Foods does not keep to the MSC's standards, then please provide evidence or documentation supporting your claims rather than resorting to ad hominem attacks. (Although in defense of myself, I should say that I have literally spent hundreds of hours researching the backgrounds of the food producers who I choose to support. My enthusiasm is based on hard facts, not propaganda.)

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                                                a couple of notes on restaurant depot, in support of Morton's argument: it isn't a "membership" deal like costco or sam's club or other so-called "buyer's clubs"-- it's a restaurant supply that is *not* open to the public. you must have a restaurant/business tax id to shop there. the stocks at various restaurant depots do change a bit regionally, for example at ours you can get whole, butchered, locally raised halal animals-- but they don't carry fresh fish. they carry more of the industrial packaged, breaded, filet-o-fish stuff, in boxes. they carry produce that you wouldn't necessarily see at the supermarket (i wouldn't touch most of it, let alone serve it). they carry soup in a bag, cheez product in a bag. lots of styrofoam to-go containers. big jars of pickles, dickies chef pants, rice cookers, hotel pans, true double doors, popcorn carts etc. you name it they have it or they can order it. it has--like-- zero percent organic product, more hfcs in product than not. . . it might be where a restaurant picks up salt shakers, to-go containers, coffee syrups or a couple of pots, but if someone told me a place sourced most of its *food* from restaurant depot, that tells me they're either running a fleet of hot dog carts or that their quality is pretty low. a few rungs below sysco. *some* of their products might be okay-- whatever-- and i can see buying some R.D. products for a special event like a wedding-- but:

                                                                                                                                                i can pretty much gauran-effing-tee that there is no way in heck the sea bass came from restaurant depot.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                                                  I haven't been to Restaurant Depot/Jetro for a while, but I don't recall ever having seen fresh seafood there. And the one I went to is the same one they used in the challenge.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                  <Finally, in this particular case, since the chefs bought ingredients at both Restaurant Depot and Whole Foods, we don't know where the Chilean Sea Bass was purchased and for a fact whether it was from a sustainable source.> Ruth, there is no sustainable source for Chilean Sea Bass. some of it is being farmed, but that doesn't make it sustainable.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                    Do you have any evidence to contradict these claims made by the Marine Stewardship Council?

                                                                                                                                                    "Whole Foods Market and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) are pleased to announce that the supermarket is the world's first retailer to offer Patagonian toothfish, commonly known as Chilean sea bass, from an Antarctic fishery that has been certified to the MSC's environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries."

                                                                                                                                                    "The Patagonian toothfish fishers in South Georgia have worked hard to prove their fishing practices are sustainable, and it's great that they have met the MSC's independent environmental standard."

                                                                                                                                                    "Moody Marine Ltd., an independent certification organization, has led a comprehensive assessment to ensure that all aspects of the fishery meet the MSC environmental standard. Moody Marine and an independent team of experts examined the sustainability status of the fish stocks, the impact fishing has on the marine environment, and the effectiveness of the fishery management system. The certificate has been awarded to the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands."

                                                                                                                                                    "The MSC is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to creating sustainable fisheries around the world by using market-based incentives. Committed to the long-term viability of the global fish supply and healthy marine ecosystems, the MSC works with third-party certifiers to reward well-managed and sustainable fisheries."

                                                                                                                                                    Source: http://www.msc.org/html/ni_240.htm

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                                                                                                                                      It is *not* a fact that they bought the fish at Whole Foods. It's an assumption, although not a totally unreasonable one. These chefs are using Chilean Sea Bass on a television program being seen by millions of people, many of whom know nothing about the issues surrounding this fish, who don't know about Whole Food's practices, and who have no idea that they shouldn't run down to their local fish counter and try to replicate the dishes they saw with the fish available to them. It's irresponsible. Furthermore, I see no indication that these chefs would have refrained from using Chilean Sea Bass if they weren't buying it from a purportedly sustainable source, so the fact that it may be okay in this particular case is really not to their credit.

                                                                                                                                                      Morton, I've had to correct you at least twice on statements you've made about producers/products you support, so forgive me for being skeptical about the quality of your research, at least in the past.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                        So if I understand this correctly, you're criticizing the chefs for using a sustainable ingredient because viewers may be inspired to go out and purchase an unsustainable ingredient. You're also speculating that the chefs don't care that the sustainable ingredient is sustainable, though there isn't really any evidence to support or disprove that claim. Sounds to me like they either need to stop preparing any dishes containing meat, poultry, and dairy, or insert a diatribe-of-the-week and change the name of the show to Top Polemic.

                                                                                                                                                        Ruth, you're an editor. What you call "corrections" the rest of us call "nitpicking". Most of the time, I don't bother responding because I don't have the desire to debate trivialities (for example, your "correction" that Prather Ranch only raises Angus Steers was incorrect - 20% of their herd is Angus.)

                                                                                                                                          2. re: mudaba

                                                                                                                                            <Something no one's mentioned here so far, but drives me crazy, is the use of unsustainable seafood in Top Chef challenges and in the chef's dishes. I asked Nikki about it when I interviewed her earlier: http://www.chow.com/stories/11093

                                                                                                                                            Bottom line is that this show reaches a lot of people and could do a little bit of good if they just said, "I think every chef should be aware of the issues surrounding the fish they serve." I've been a convert on this topic ever since I attended a Monterey Aquarium conference on the topic...>

                                                                                                                                            I thought the same thing, Meredith! Unfortunately there are way too many people who think the problem has been resolved, and I'm not sure why. I've been a member of Seafood Choices since its inception, and I continue to be flabbergasted by how many industry people are unconcerned about the consequences of overfishing, or the farming problems...

                                                                                                                                            Good comment!

                                                                                                                                          3. Apoologies if this has been covered ad naseum, but why has "bread" become the Waterloo for so many contestants this year: the Blinis in the zoo episode; the crostini at the Wedding; I think there was a bread issue in the Improv episode. Oh, and Erik's corn dogs were soggy. When I heard Team Italia decide on Bruschetta, I was screaming, "no, no, no, don't you know by now to avoid anything in the bread family!"

                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: forsythia

                                                                                                                                              Good point. The mushroom "kiss of death" has been discussed, but I haven't seen anyone highlight the bread thread. (But at least they didn't do stuffed mushrooms at the wedding!)

                                                                                                                                              FWIW, I read in one of the bravotv blogs (I think the interview w/Gale Gand) that the bride's team did a corn muffin or something that was quite nice.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                I glimpsed Richard & Stephanie's team doing a quick taste-test of one of the mini corn muffins, but didn't hear if they said anything about them.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  Gale Gand's interview blog mentions the corn muffins and says they were great. She actually noticed that they didn't make the show too :)

                                                                                                                                                2. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                  Was watching season one repeats the other day and how Harold was being scolded for the "gritty mushroom". Seems -- as said -- bread stuff is big this year for being a killer, and overall throughout the years, the gritty mushroom and the scales on the fish keep cropping up over and over as big-time killers. Though the number one killer of all time will always be the "failed to taste it" screwup.

                                                                                                                                              2. What strikes me about this season is the unbelievable difference in levels of confidence each of the chefs has. Richard is able to command his team in an eloquent manner because he knows he's basically that damn good. He has confidence in his craft and truly believes whatever product he puts out will taste good. Since he has such a high level of confidence he doesn't need the praise of the judges giving him the altruistic ability to share or give the win to Stephanie. When someone has that degree of self-confidence it is easy to share praise with others; for the same reasons he was able to accept blame for the spinach snafu.

                                                                                                                                                Contrary, the loosing team lacked chefs with self-confidence lending to the lack of leadership. Spike seems very insecure which manifests in his attitude, Lisa hates everyone, Dale just wants to put his head down and work and Nikki knew she didn't belong. Dale has confidence in his skills, but not confidence in his leadership, even in the tofu challenge he leaned on Richard for some direction. Nikki would have been the natural leader for the team but because she is just a pasta maker couldn't come through.

                                                                                                                                                It was interesting to see how the insecurities of the chefs came through on the loosing team but how strong leadership on the winning team prevented any of that.

                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: wingman

                                                                                                                                                  In Nikki's Chow interview she said something to the effect that Dale insisted on doing the bulk of the work and then complained about it the whole time.
                                                                                                                                                  One thing I was curious about was it seemed like Dale made that bruschetta the day before the wedding. As I'm not a pro I don't know if this is normal but it seems crazy to me. Then they showed people practically cracking their teeth in half trying to bite into it.
                                                                                                                                                  This seems like a blunder as bad as scales on fish but no one said anything about it at judges table.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                    They definitely discussed the problems with trying to bite into the bruschetta...I believe both during the wedding reception and a little bit at JT (at JT, more along the lines of who made the toast and issues with how thick it was).

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: wingman

                                                                                                                                                    As I read the comments, I find myself feeling sorrier and sorrier for Lisa. I've never gotten the feeling she hates everyone. what I pick up on is a negative demeanour that is not intentional, but more a tic that rubs people-- but really viewers-- the wrong way. That she has had visible friction with Dale is not something I would use to condemn her. And from what else I've seen (and remember, natch) she seems to work ok with others. She may be difficult, but I don't see her laying on the hate.

                                                                                                                                                    As for quality of cooking, I've said it elsewhere-- chances are these ones left are all superior to those commenting on these boards. And given the number of catering challenges, I'm finding myself a bit tired.

                                                                                                                                                    Finally, Dale: Dale is gifted, yes. He is also very difficult to work with from what I can see (meaning I talk about a a character and not a person, really). He is prone to hissy fits and nastiness. He did take on a lot but it seemed the kind of job taking that spoke of his lack of faith in his teammates' abilities-- not simply industriousness. He cedes to Richard because he respects Richard. Thus, he works well whenever he works with Richard. This does not say much for Dale's leadership skills. Unhappy? He should have recognised that Nikki was useless in terms of leadership, planned a menu with her, and then delegated the tasks in a way that seemed to work best-- he should have capitalised on her skills and then driven the bus that people on reality shows are so keen to toss each other under.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                      I don't blame Lisa for not liking Dale. And I do think she's a better actual chef than we're sometimes giving her credit for on this board. But if you watch the reruns (as I do over and over, which makes me lame, I know) she really always seems negative towards everyone -- most vocally towards Dale, yes, but she argues with the judges (her dish was not underseasoned with the kids episode), makes nasty little comments about everything (she REALLY annoyed me on the improv episode, saying the audience member was a drunk idiot or something, not cool), and most importantly you never really see another side. Whereas Dale has hissy fits but at other times you see him interacting really well with other people -- when Zoi and Jen were kicked off, you could see he was really upset on their behalves, and he's always hugging other contestants and caring about who's kicked off, while Lisa seems to never be included in those goodbye shots. I don't think it's a coincidence. I think Dale is very immature but a good chef and down deep a good guy, whereas Lisa is in much better control of herself and also a good chef but not a very nice gal.

                                                                                                                                                      I don't really recommend watching the reruns as many times as I have, but if you do, you may notice this as well.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                        I watched this episode again yesterday and wanted to point out something I missed the first time. At the reception when the bride and groom are cutting their cakes you can see Lisa in the background...she is waiting anxiously to see their reaction to her cake and when they like it she does a spontaneous happy dance - such a strong and honest reaction. So I think there is a LOT of editing done to highlight her more negative demeanor and downplay her more positive reactions.