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Top Chef- Bridal Shower

s
smtucker Dec 10, 2008 07:18 PM

Where is Phaedrus?

Just wanted a place to start chatting about tonight's show. Very pleased that they let it run 1.25 hrs. I think they could make it even longer so we see more of the cooking.

  1. e
    Evilbanana11 Dec 10, 2008 07:38 PM

    Ok these are the people I like: Leah, the indian chick. I would like the blonde lesbo because she can cook but she is quite the whining biatch. That deconstructed sushi course was the dumbest thing I've ever seen. I cannot comprehend how all 3 of them agreed to having people make their own sushi (and to have them eat the sorbet at then end rofl)wow wow wow.....

    I know a lot of people hate Stefan but I'm a fan of his. He's cocky and arrogant but he can back it up. He brings some pizzazz to the show and for that reason I don't think the producers will let him leave anytime soon.

    These are my predictions for who will win it all: lesbian girl, Leah, Indian girl or skinny blonde dude.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Evilbanana11
      duckdown Dec 11, 2008 12:00 AM

      The lesbian girl is such a whiner, I agree, highly irritating... Not a fan of hers at all

      Stefan has the skills I think as well

      Not sure why so many people think Hosea is that good , he doesn't do anything that I find extra-ordinary most of the time..

      3 cheers for the old lady, she couldn't even believe she won, lmao

      1. re: duckdown
        pescatarian Dec 11, 2008 08:45 AM

        why is everyone referring to her as an old lady - she's 42 not 82, lol (ps - I am under 40). I know that she is older than other contestants, but she is far from old!

        1. re: pescatarian
          Caitlin McGrath Dec 11, 2008 01:04 PM

          She's not even the oldest lady there - Carla is 44.

          1. re: pescatarian
            viperlush Dec 12, 2008 09:04 AM

            I think because she refers to herself and they refer to her as the old lady (Thanksgiving episode).

        2. re: Evilbanana11
          a_and_w Dec 12, 2008 08:12 AM

          I was at Thanksgiving with some women (also lesbians) who know Jamie. According to them, she's kind of obnoxious and whiny in real life, too.

        3. m
          melly Dec 10, 2008 09:50 PM

          I enjoyed the taste testing at the beginning and was impressed with the bug-eyed chick. I like Hosea most. I thought it was funny that Stepan thought the sorbet was a stupid dish for lunch and it was everyone's favorite...besides the lamb. You go old lady!!

          10 Replies
          1. re: melly
            ChefJune Dec 11, 2008 06:34 AM

            sorry.... unless you are all babies, 41 is not even close to "old!" OldER than the others, perhaps, but Carla is the oldest.... a whopping 44!

            I think Ariane was surprised that she won because Jamie was so fixated on being the leader and winning...

            1. re: ChefJune
              j
              Janet from Richmond Dec 11, 2008 06:36 AM

              44 is young.

              Signed,
              Janet...born in 1964

              1. re: Janet from Richmond
                pescatarian Dec 11, 2008 08:46 AM

                I just commented above on the "old lady" comments also. I'm pretty sure she said last night she's 42 - hardly old!

                1. re: Janet from Richmond
                  biscuit Dec 13, 2008 07:51 AM

                  My stepmother said life begins at 40. I think I understand that now.

                  Andrew, also born in 64. :)

                2. re: ChefJune
                  m
                  melly Dec 11, 2008 08:48 AM

                  I am 55. She is the one who keeps calling herself the "old lady"....so I did too. I like her lots. I KNOW 41 is not old...nor is 55. Now 80...that is old.

                  1. re: melly
                    c
                    ClaireWalter Dec 11, 2008 09:53 AM

                    Eighty is old -- unless you're 90 (which I'm not, BTW).

                    1. re: ClaireWalter
                      ChinoWayne Dec 11, 2008 10:17 AM

                      I am 112 and no one calls *me* an "old lady"...

                      1. re: ChinoWayne
                        ChefJune Dec 11, 2008 11:24 AM

                        They know better!

                        1. re: ChefJune
                          b
                          BaseballNut Dec 11, 2008 01:48 PM

                          I think Eugene was on the lobster/shrimp sauce when he guessed fish sauce. I don't think he thought fish sauce was in the mole. But that's just my memory.

                          1. re: BaseballNut
                            Miss Needle Dec 11, 2008 01:54 PM

                            The only people who made it to the mole stage were Carla, Hoesa and Stefan (?). I do believe Eugene was out on the first stage of shrimp/lobster soup.

              2. ritabwh Dec 10, 2008 10:58 PM

                huh? fish sauce?
                actually, i can't believe the chefs didn't recognize what they were tasting...especially the mole sauce. seems to me, once you know what it is, it would be easy to call out the ingredients. wow. fish sauce? in mole? it still blows me away.

                ..and! are pickles new??? i would have played with new/baby stuff, like new potatoes, baby veggies.....

                stepan, i am sure, is trying the male fantasy of being so studly, that a lesbian will fall for him. i don't like stephan. he's fun to watch on tv, but i would hate him in RL.

                sushi doesn't have to be rolled or cold? but sushi *is* vinegared rice!!!
                what heck was that plate? looked like some deep fryed appetizer sampler plate you get at a bar.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ritabwh
                  duckdown Dec 10, 2008 11:59 PM

                  Fish sauce wasn't from the mole, Carla thought the mole had peanut butter and got eliminated on the first guess

                  I think he thought the fish sauce was in the thai soup... not too farfetched really

                  1. re: duckdown
                    b
                    Blueicus Dec 11, 2008 05:42 AM

                    actually, he thought it was in the bouillabaise.

                    1. re: duckdown
                      Caroline1 Dec 11, 2008 01:46 PM

                      If Carla had simply said "peanuts" and not added "butter", she's have had a right answer.

                  2. a
                    AMFM Dec 11, 2008 03:28 AM

                    i was surprised though that since they commented on how FLAVORFUL the rice was, that no one commented on radthika who actually spiced it. i mean without her it wouldn't have tasted the same. i actually thought that group was TRULY a group effort and i was impressed with everyone's helping them with plating. jaime was quite annoying in her loss.
                    agreed about the sushi course. ugh. but daniel's just adding mushroom's to carla's part was very not cool.
                    and i also thought it was funny that stefan hated the sorbet... love it when cockiness bites people in the ... :)

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: AMFM
                      Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 08:47 AM

                      I'm tired of Jamie's whining, too, but I think she did deserve the win: it was her idea, her vaduvan spice and her leadership. Since Ariane admitted that all she did was cook the lamb (although she did a very good job of prepping it and cooking it), I don't think she should have gotten credit for the *flavor* -- and the judges did say they chose the most flavorful dish.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                        s
                        shallots Dec 11, 2008 10:49 AM

                        The spelling Vadouvan has more links on google than Vaduvan.
                        The link below suggests it will be the next big spice.

                        http://studiokitchen.typepad.com/stud...

                        1. re: shallots
                          Miss Needle Dec 11, 2008 10:55 AM

                          Yes, they're using it at Ubuntu in Napa Valley for their famed cauliflower (which, btw, is very delicious). It will be 2009's ras-el-hanout.

                        2. re: Ruth Lafler
                          fame da lupo Dec 11, 2008 03:42 PM

                          But, you could also argue, that all Jaime did was make a carrot puree.

                          1. re: fame da lupo
                            Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 10:26 PM

                            You could. But to do that you'd have to disregard the fact that the whole course was her concept.

                          2. re: Ruth Lafler
                            a_and_w Dec 12, 2008 08:15 AM

                            I agree -- Jamie may be obnoxious but she deserved the win. Even if the meat was cooked perfectly, Ariane's miscalculation of the cooking time almost caused a disaster. If others hadn't pitched in to help plate, they wouldn't have finished in time.

                          3. re: AMFM
                            a
                            AMFM Dec 11, 2008 10:09 AM

                            i so didn't mean the rice. i meant the lamb. duh. anyway - i would agree that perhaps either jaime or radthika deserved it more than ariane since it was the flavor they were complimenting and really she did little other than cook it (admittedly she did that well.)

                            1. re: AMFM
                              goodhealthgourmet Dec 11, 2008 01:07 PM

                              i agree with AMFM, i really didn't think Ariane deserved the win...particularly since they said the winner was responsible for the "most flavorful" dish of the day. Jamie or Radhika should have gotten credit for that. and quite honestly, i was surprised that Ariane didn't offer to share the prize - or at least the recognition - with either one of them.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                a
                                AMFM Dec 11, 2008 02:04 PM

                                i had that thought too! i was thinking of sharing prizes last year...

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                  m
                                  momjamin Dec 12, 2008 03:00 AM

                                  Yes, I half-expected her to say, "Actually, Radhika did the marinade; all I did was cook the lamb." But then, Blais and Stephanie are fresh in memory.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                    chowser Dec 12, 2008 05:02 AM

                                    I think the classy thing would have been for her to share her prize, too, since it was a group effort, like Richard and Stephanie last time. I'm still not impressed with Ariane. She's in a box and I haven't seen her think outside of it.

                                    1. re: chowser
                                      thew Dec 12, 2008 05:25 AM

                                      the meat was PERFECTLY cooked. that was what clinched it

                                      1. re: thew
                                        k
                                        KTinNYC Dec 12, 2008 05:29 AM

                                        But all three of them timed the cooking of the meat so it really was a group effort.

                                        1. re: thew
                                          chowser Dec 12, 2008 09:39 AM

                                          She had problems with the timing of it and everyone (hats off to them) jumped in to help plate it so they would be done on time. I thought it was nice to see everyone pitch in to help. I know they edit and she might have complimented her team but they didn't show her acknowledging Radhika's marinade/sauce, Jamie's idea, or everyone helping out. They said the meat was perfectly seasoned and cooked. She did half.

                                2. Phaedrus Dec 11, 2008 04:31 AM

                                  I really liked the QF challenge. Very creative and made it personal by putting the chefs head to head. Stefan was pretty amazing when he identified eight ingredients.

                                  Daniel just didn't get it. In the conversations that happened at the penthouse, it was obvious that Eugene and Daniel had swallowed the Kool aid while Carla was being a little reticent about the whole ordeal. I feel bad for her because Daniel screwed her over, I would have gone off on his little pompous ass if I was sent home because of him.

                                  I too liked the justice of everyone loving the tomato sorbet.

                                  I have had it with all the flirty scenes, with Leah and Hosea, with Stephan and Jamie.

                                  Has anyone else noticed that Fabio's accent is slowly getting less pronounced? i couldn't understand the guy at the beginning of the show.

                                  The lamb looked amazing coming out of the oven. The raita I thought was a very interesting idea.

                                  Blue corn was what I thought of when they were having problems with coming up with something blue. I mean ocean blue? Not so creative.

                                  20 Replies
                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                    k
                                    KTinNYC Dec 11, 2008 05:15 AM

                                    The QF was flawed for one season, salt? You can name salt as an ingredient?

                                    I think Fabio's accent has been pretty consistent, maybe you are just getting accustomed to it.

                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                      Phaedrus Dec 11, 2008 05:43 AM

                                      I would agree on the salt and pepper being a given part of the recipe. They did give Hosea a hard time when he said oil, I thought that was lame to just say oil.

                                      Maybe my ears are figuring out his accent. That is a scary thought.

                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                        fame da lupo Dec 11, 2008 03:43 PM

                                        Oil, salt, peper should not be allowed as guesses.

                                        1. re: fame da lupo
                                          viperlush Dec 12, 2008 09:07 AM

                                          I agree but weren't the chefs smart to guesses them? 3 freebies

                                      2. re: Phaedrus
                                        LindaWhit Dec 11, 2008 05:45 AM

                                        LOVED the QF "I can name that tune in 3 notes, Tom" type of challenge. Pretty amazing that Stefan came up with 8-ingredients. But salt and pepper are considered "ingredients"? Come on. I call bull**** on that one. Good on Hosea for besting Stefan!

                                        Daniel was definitely the one to go, but Eugene *could* have gone in the Elimination Challenge. I do think it was that close. The entire concept of their round was completely and utterly flawed. WTH were they thinking?

                                        And the fact that Carla did not speak up could also have caused her to be booted - hasn't she seen any of the other seasons? LOL She didn't say anything to Daniel upon finding the mushrooms underneath her contribution, the salad? It was HER salad and he was screwing around with it? Take the damn mushrooms off and stand up for your dish! But no matter what - everything on that plate had major issues, and all three could have gone home, as Chef Colicchio said. But I think the fact that Chef Colicchio was stunned that Daniel still stood by the entire dish and thought it was good - in taste and concept - was what pushed the decision Daniel's way. And then the voiceover by Daniel saying he thought he still shouldn't have gone - completely clueless.

                                        I got the biggest laugh when Jeff's sorbet was called out as the best on that plate - Stefan's look was priceless. However, I doubt it knocked him down a few pegs. Still don't like his overbearing attitude, and I'm still thinking that's going to be his downfall.

                                        The lamb looked amazing - even when it was taken out and deemed "too rare". The entire dish looked wonderful, and I was surprised when Ariane won it over Jamie's carrot puree. (BTW< has anyone had this spice mix, vadovan?) But Jamie claims that both of the others on her team thought she should win? I'd like to hear that from her teammates first. Her whining is grating on me. And quit with showing the flirty baloney - it's so incidental to the show and not necessary. But since this has probably ALL been edited together, I think we're bound to see more of it.

                                        The team who had "something blue" definitely had the toughest round. I immediately thought of blueberries, but as Chef Colicchio said - they're actually purple. Could edible blue flowers have been used in some way?

                                        OK, that's it for now. Need more coffee.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                          t
                                          tofuburrito Dec 11, 2008 06:26 AM

                                          I think last nights choice of winning chef was worst ever on Top Chef. That win was Jamie's. People may not like her and think she is whiney but I see her as competitive and determined. She orchestrated that entire presentation but Ariane gets the win after almost serving raw lamb! The entire kitchen staff had to convince her to put the lamb back in the oven. It's unbelievable to me the last three wins have been for toaster oven turkey, sliced watermelon and tomato on a plate, and then last night's near catastrophe. Her sole responsibility was to monitor the temperature of the lamb and she had to be rescued. How does she get a win for that?
                                          We have some serious talent with Stefan, Leah, Jamie, Jeff and Radhika and we're supposed to buy into the concept that Ariane has been the best the last three weeks in a row.
                                          Are they passing around a crack pipe at the judges table?

                                          1. re: tofuburrito
                                            LindaWhit Dec 11, 2008 06:42 AM

                                            Ariane knew it was raw - I don't think she had to be convinced to put it back in....they were all concerned there wasn't going to be enough time to get it up to med-rare is what I saw.

                                            And yes - while Jamie orchestrated the entire presentation, those judging and the "guest eaters" didn't know that (at least not that we saw). They were going on flavor....and I guess the lamb with the yogurt marinade that Radhika made was considered better than the carrot puree.

                                            Also - keep in mind that previous seasons, there's often someone who got a lot of early/mid-season wins, as Ariane has, and then screws up and are gone. Perhaps that's coming up within the next few weeks. :-)

                                            I agree on the talent from Radhika, Leah (although she's won a couple of QF, to Jamie's chagrin), Jeff and, grudgingly, Stefan. (Although I still think attitude is going to be his downfall.)

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              t
                                              tofuburrito Dec 11, 2008 07:00 AM

                                              I could be wrong but my memory of the scene is of Ariane saying "what should I do?" and everyone telling her to put it back in the oven while she was trying to convince them she had to get it on the plate. I'm sure I'll see it again at some point so I'll take a closer look.
                                              I think talent-wise Radhika is a top contender but I wonder if (what appears to be) her very passive nature, will be her downfall.

                                              1. re: tofuburrito
                                                g
                                                gastrotect Dec 11, 2008 07:23 AM

                                                Ariane knew it wasn't ready. She even said something along the lines of "shit, it's not ready" when she checked its temperature. But Jamie was getting antsy and Ariane wanted to make sure they got plated. She knew it needed to finish cooking, she just needed someone to back her up on that. And if you remember, she didn't win for her turkey, she was praised for it however. Cooking meat properly is no easy thing and it obviously tasted fabulous. All the judges agreed. At this point in the competition, Ariane is winning because she is doing solid, well-done food. With some weak contestants still around, the riskier/unique chefs don't always get noticed, because the judges are just happy when a catastrophe of a dish (deconstructed sushi) is followed by a tasty, perfectly done dish (the lamb). That said, based on Ariane's reaction it was pretty clear she did not think she was going to win. Jamie probably deserved it, but she needs to get over herself. She is consistently high which means she will probably be around when the finals come together.

                                                1. re: tofuburrito
                                                  LindaWhit Dec 11, 2008 07:38 AM

                                                  OK, that I think I remember now that you've mentioned it. But I think the overall concern was the time it was going to take to plate it in the time frame they had. Could they continue to cook it to get it to med-rare, or should they plate it now? That seemed to be the discussion at JT.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                    goodhealthgourmet Dec 11, 2008 01:10 PM

                                                    the issue here isn't that the lamb was cooked properly, it's the fact that Ariane won because the judges deemed the lamb the "most flavorful" dish of the day, and she wasn't responsible for flavoring it - Radhika was.

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                      LindaWhit Dec 11, 2008 02:05 PM

                                                      Well, in this part of the thread, it *was* about whether the lamb was going to be cooked properly and whether or not it should stay in the oven or plate it when Jamie wanted/thought it should be plated.

                                                      Yes, I agree that *we know* that Radhika was responsible for the flavoring of the lamb with her yogurt marinade and the side raita. The diners were going strictly on the flavor of the dish - yes, Ariane cooked it, and yes, Radhika flavored it, and yes, Jamie was responsible for the interesting carrot puree. However, without seeing the entire JT, we have no idea whether or not Radhika spoke up saying that she was responsible for the flavoring of the lamb. And if she didn't - that's obviously to her detriment.

                                                      All of the judges in their blogs have said what we see on the show is being seen by them for the first time as well (except JT, of course). So unless they're told specifically who did what, they have no idea that it was Radhika's marinade and raita that made it so flavorful.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                        goodhealthgourmet Dec 11, 2008 03:25 PM

                                                        oh, i'm not saying the judges knew any better...it's Radhika's own fault for not piping up.

                                              2. re: tofuburrito
                                                s
                                                skrillcakes Dec 11, 2008 07:03 AM

                                                sorry... how was that jamie's win? she may have "orchestrated the presentation" but what she brought to the dish was the carrot puree. she even introduced the dish by starting with "what you have here is a carrot puree... with lamb." radhika made the marinade for the lamb and the raita that sauced the lamb. it was a lamb dish and radhika was responsible for how it tasted. she really should have spoken up.

                                                1. re: skrillcakes
                                                  t
                                                  tofuburrito Dec 11, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                  After looking at the recipes and who made what, I agree it was Radhika's win.

                                                2. re: tofuburrito
                                                  s
                                                  shallots Dec 11, 2008 10:56 AM

                                                  Tofuburrito echos my tirade last night to Mr. Shallots. Turkey, sliced watermelon and baked lamb should not be the determinants of the winner. What's next? Best slices of butter?
                                                  Oh, how I wish Tom had gotten his wish and sent three home last night.

                                                3. re: LindaWhit
                                                  Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 08:52 AM

                                                  I think Carla was screwed by the time -- she didn't know the mushrooms had been added until the dishes were plated and she didn't have time to deconstruct and replate every single wonton to get the mushrooms out. I thought that it was nice of her not to throw Dan under the bus on that, even though it didn't make a difference. I think the judges dinged him for that -- both for the bad idea and for messing with another chef's dish without telling her -- even without her making a big deal about blaming him.

                                                  Blue ... my first thought was bluefin tuna (or bluenosed bass) with blue oyster mushrooms, but I don't know if either of those was available. Since they were doing the last course, they could have done some kind of blueberry dessert.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                    fame da lupo Dec 11, 2008 03:47 PM

                                                    Once you know how to make a coconut curry, naming 8 or even 10 ingredients is easy. I imagine most Thai curries have coconut milk, fish sauce, palm sugar, kaffir lime, birds eye chili, garlic, ginger, coriander, galangal, pepper, salt.

                                                  2. re: Phaedrus
                                                    e
                                                    Ericandblueboy Dec 11, 2008 07:52 AM

                                                    Fabio said green and yellow in the color spectrum made blue and the crowd bought it. WTF? Blue and Yellow makes green. All you gotta do is to piss in a bowl of blue water to prove that.

                                                    Why is Hosea and Leah flirting on TV when they both have S.O. at home?

                                                    As for Stefan, I think he criticized the sorbet from a logistics standpoint, not that it wouldn't taste good. He said it was be hard to plate 41 sorbet without them melting. Obviously he was wrong on that.

                                                    I also don't understand why Jaime thought she deserved to win.

                                                    1. re: Phaedrus
                                                      scubadoo97 Dec 13, 2008 06:14 PM

                                                      Once you could identify what the sauce was you should be disqualified if you couldn't name 6 or more ingredients just based on what it is without tasting it given that salt and pepper were acceptable ingredients.

                                                    2. m
                                                      Mushroom Dec 11, 2008 06:19 AM

                                                      We're finally getting down to a manageable amount of chefs. At this point in the game I start to become more emotionally involved (and thus the yelling at my TV commences).

                                                      All signs point to Stefan being a big know-it-all, however, I'm not hating on him. I even find him a bit amusing. I just don't have that visceral response that I had with Stephen (Season 1), Marcel and Ilan (both of season 2).

                                                      Jaime - barring any major screw up - I absolutely think she's going all the way to the finals. However, I find her sense of entitlement a bit annoying.

                                                      Colicchio - Does he seem more cheerful this year?

                                                      Gail - I know many people on this board (and other boards) find her superfluous - but I've always enjoyed her involvement. Her happiness in last night's episode was almost tangible.

                                                      Melissa - Does anyone alse think she could be David Lee Roth's long lost love child??

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: Mushroom
                                                        Phaedrus Dec 11, 2008 06:56 AM

                                                        Gail's happiness last night stood out because she has been so grouchy previously. especially when it comes to eggs. ;)

                                                        On Melissa, now that you mention it. YES!

                                                        1. re: Mushroom
                                                          m
                                                          melly Dec 11, 2008 08:53 AM

                                                          Yes..Melissa does look like David Lee Roth! I thought she was transgendered the first few times I saw her. ??

                                                          1. re: Mushroom
                                                            Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 08:56 AM

                                                            I bet Colicchio likes being at home for once. I would think being able to sleep in your own bed, see your family and keep an eye on your business would make you a lot more cheerful!

                                                            1. re: Mushroom
                                                              m
                                                              momjamin Dec 12, 2008 03:12 AM

                                                              Re: Stefan -- I agree. Even though they showed nearly all of the other chefs grumbling about his arrogance and bossiness, he's not grating on me like Marcel did. I can't pinpoint why.

                                                              1. re: Mushroom
                                                                y
                                                                ysb Dec 12, 2008 05:26 AM

                                                                Was anyone afraid that when Melissa was talking about the blandness of her team's dishes and mentioning that it needed "....some pizazz" it was going to cut to her chopping up a habanero pepper into the sauce?

                                                                I bet she has an arsenal of chilies in her chef's coat.

                                                                1. re: ysb
                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Dec 12, 2008 05:34 AM

                                                                  yes! i knew there was something we hadn't discussed yet :) i totally thought she was going to suggest adding some habanero powder!

                                                              2. dave_c Dec 11, 2008 07:41 AM

                                                                As I was talking to the TV last night....

                                                                New Team:
                                                                Surf and turf sushi is new? How the heck is that new?
                                                                How can you screw up rice using a rice cooker?
                                                                The only way I see the rice being mushy is that Eugene used too much water...
                                                                Are these fancy electronic rice cookers too smart for their own good?

                                                                Borrowed Team:
                                                                What Arianne wins for cooking the lamb... Why didn't Radhika get the props? She's the one that created the marinade for the lamb.
                                                                Wow! Jaime get over it!

                                                                Old Team:
                                                                Why isn't Arianne on this team?
                                                                Stephan in your face! LOL!

                                                                Blue Team:
                                                                Boring.

                                                                1. g
                                                                  gastrotect Dec 11, 2008 07:50 AM

                                                                  Each week I am pleasantly surprised that these chefs don't throw each other under the bus. A lot of people say this is a competition and they should be sniping each other to win, but this is also an audition of sorts. If you were to hire someone in your kitchen or go to work for someone else, you would not jump at the opportunity to work for someone that would quickly pass the buck or blame you to save themselves. I'm sure as the numbers dwindle it will happen, but for now it's nice to see some respect being shown by the chefs. Now a few notes:

                                                                  Stefan- I am not a fan. He is talented, though it seems he believes himself God's gift to the kitchen. But I think he is not all bad. Eugen obviously did not like Stefan's two cents on the patio, but Stefan was right. And what's more, Stefan was actually trying to help by saying I think you should know this probably won't work. But his personality is so grating, no one wants to hear it. I had fellow student in architecture school just like that. He would walk around and critique people's work with an air of authority and it really got under people's skin. The truth of it was that he just wanted to see good work all around, but didn't know how to not be a dick while trying to help.

                                                                  Danny- I think it was the right decision. Carla and Eugen both recognized that they failed. Danny thought it was good. His judgment couldn't be trusted.

                                                                  Eugene- He got very lucky. The idea was his, and two terrible parts of the disaster was his. This is the first time I have been disappointed with him. I still like him and still think he is strong, but this was about as close a call as there could be.

                                                                  Ariane- Ever since Thanksgiving she has come to the realization that she belongs in the competition. Now she is cooking with more confidence it seems. When she has to leave her comfort zone she may fall once again, but I think she might just be on a roll now. I think she is better than we give her credit for and her food, if nothing else, obviously tastes wonderful (and shouldn't that count for something?).

                                                                  Jamie- She is good, but she needs to realize she is not entitled to win. No one is. Her attitude may hurt before too long, but she's got the talent for sure.

                                                                  Radhika and Leah- Both quietly doing well each week. Don't be surprised if they make it to the finals.

                                                                  Jeff- Revenge is a dish best served cold. Stefan's face was priceless when they complimented the sorbet. I like him more and more each week after hating him the first two weeks.

                                                                  Melissa and Hosea- Neither one seems all that talented. Melissa especially. Barring something really crazy, they will probably be two of the next three to go, if not the next two.

                                                                  Also, does anyone think this Leah/Hosea stuff has been present in other seasons and they just never bothered to include it? I really hope this is all they do with it because I can barely stand it as it is.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: gastrotect
                                                                    d
                                                                    Daniellabelle Dec 11, 2008 08:25 AM

                                                                    I'm so tired of hearing all the contestants complain about Stefan's attitude--if you ask me, it's Jaime that's got the ego problem. You all are right--It was really Radhika who deserved to win last night...Jaime was way off by thinking she was entitled to it just because she put some special magic spice in her carrot puree. If Team Blue's food was old people food, Jaime's was baby food =p

                                                                    Also I'm sick of Ariane calling herself "the old lady"...Carla's the oldest one there!

                                                                    AND can we talk about Melissa's horrendous hat???!!! It's a good thing they didn't show much of her...she pissed me off so much last week that more than a couple words from her would have made me throw the TV out the window (or at least change the channel).

                                                                    All complaining aside, it was a pretty good episode last night. I would've liked to see more creativity on Team Blue's part (although I loved Fabio's half-BS explanation of the yellow and the green in the color palette etc. etc.), it's not like I could have really been more creative, especially on a tight schedule.

                                                                    Dear Bravo, Please stop showing me chef romances. Please.

                                                                    1. re: Daniellabelle
                                                                      fame da lupo Dec 11, 2008 03:54 PM

                                                                      It strikes me that Jeff's ego is less pronounced now. I imagine its a combination of not doing well the first few weeks (probably a shock to him), and negative feedback from those around him.

                                                                      1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                        b
                                                                        Bunson Dec 11, 2008 08:28 PM

                                                                        I think Jeff's made the most "improvement" so-to-speak since the first episode. He's managing his time and not self-destructing with his decisions...it seems like he's more in the rhythm of, and not letting the format of, the challenges hurt his food. I think he's going to make a deep run.

                                                                        1. re: fame da lupo
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                                                                          gastrotect Dec 12, 2008 07:27 AM

                                                                          I noticed a change during the Thanksgiving episode. He quietly took control of the group, but never claimed he was the "leader" or should be recognized as such. And he stood behind his team completely, which surprised me at the time. I think he was just overconfident at the onset, realized how hard it really would be and took a step back; but he was never actually arrogant (like I first thought he was).

                                                                    2. s
                                                                      smtucker Dec 11, 2008 08:07 AM

                                                                      I thought that the QuickFire was a clever mutation from past year's versions. I like the sauce idea, but agree that salt and pepper and maybe even oil should have been off the table in terms of ingredients. However, the people who thought to mention these ingredients did much better in the long run. Again, it is how you play the game!

                                                                      The sushi concept was so wrong right from the beginning. A surf and turf deconstructed sushi roll? On what planet? The dynamics of that team were just off with two "gruff don't-read-body-language" guys and new age Carla. Adding the mushrooms to someone else's dish was just plain rude and I am pleased that Carla wasn't sent home due to this addition.

                                                                      The Borrowed food looked great. I am a sucker for a rack of lamb, and I thought the entire plate looked wonderful. Jamie's not winning.... oh cry me a river. Her contributions to the team, from concept to her "secret" ingredient might have earned her the win, but the judges don't see any of that. All they see and taste is the plate. If you want to win, you have to cook the star of that plate.

                                                                      The blue team was in the snore zone.

                                                                      Loved that the tomato sorbet won huge accolades. The editing made the point that the sorbet was either going to be in the top or in the bottom.

                                                                      Okay, snippets. Did Stefan really say that he had been married twice, to the same "chick?" or that he doesn't care about any of these people, he is just here to win? Aren't these competitors his future colleagues? This guy has no concept of perception and may find it hard to interest investors for any future plans. He may be "tone-deaf" but he certainly thinks he can cook!

                                                                      1. e
                                                                        Ericandblueboy Dec 11, 2008 08:40 AM

                                                                        From Lee Anne's Blog:

                                                                        "Poor Radhika doesn't want to corner herself as knowing only how to cook Indian food but she makes herself cliché in the fact that it's really all she's cooked since she's been here."

                                                                        This is why I really have no respect for Radhika. Every week she says she wants to show that she's not a one trick pony and then she cooks Indian food.

                                                                        And Rich had this to say about Stefan:

                                                                        "I didn't like Stefan's dismissal of attempting sorbet. Although, I agree it's technically difficult and a risk for a large plating. It's also that exact philosophy that makes caterers boring."

                                                                        LOL. Stefan definitely thinks he knows it all....and Jeff proved him wrong.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                          t
                                                                          tofuburrito Dec 11, 2008 08:51 AM

                                                                          It's kind of a weak case for "no respect." I think she'll show us more in the upcoming weeks. I've looked at most of the menus of the chefs who work in restaurants and I think I would really like the food at her restaurant.
                                                                          In support of Jamie: I don't think she feels entitled, I think she just really wants to win and is putting her heart in soul into every challenge, which may not be the best strategy. I don't think it's a crime to show disappointment when you try hard to win something and come up short. She has the mindset of an athlete.

                                                                          1. re: tofuburrito
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                                                                            gastrotect Dec 11, 2008 11:15 AM

                                                                            You can be disappointed without being entitled. Jamie is both. She consistently gives off the sense (or makes comments) that she thinks she should have won. That's different than simply wishing you had won. Personally I think she should be content, if she can't be happy. Top Chef is a marathon, not a sprint, and in that sense she is doing wonderfully. Consistently on top and rarely makes big mistakes. She'll be fine.

                                                                        2. LindaWhit Dec 11, 2008 09:29 AM

                                                                          Just read Malarkey!'s blog on Bravo - and he brought something up that no one's discussed here yet - and that I just laughed at when it was talked about last night:

                                                                          Carla's HOODY HOO! when she and her husband are in stores and can't find each other. Just sort of cements the oddness of Carla, for me. :-)

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
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                                                                            Daniellabelle Dec 11, 2008 09:41 AM

                                                                            Lol---I was falling off the couch as well when she was walking around WF making that absurd noise. Especially since it wasn't clear if she explained the whole "answering back" thing to her teammates!

                                                                            1. re: Daniellabelle
                                                                              l
                                                                              LabRat Dec 11, 2008 09:48 AM

                                                                              And here I've been missing out on all the fun (and strange looks) by just using my cell phone in that situation.

                                                                              1. re: LabRat
                                                                                Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 09:59 AM

                                                                                Well, Carla is 44 -- presumably she and her husband have been married since before the prevalence of his-and-her cell phones. I think it was weird, but it's also kind of endearing when you see the little rituals that married couples develop.

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                  a
                                                                                  AMFM Dec 11, 2008 10:17 AM

                                                                                  i agree. she's quirky in a cute way. i like her. :)

                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                              dave_c Dec 11, 2008 10:53 AM

                                                                              LOL on the Hootie Hoo!

                                                                              It must be an old person thing... my wife and I occasionally call each other that way too... probably not as much as Carla.

                                                                              Hootie Hoo was from Gomer Pyle... which a lot of you young bucks aren't familiar with... :-)

                                                                              1. re: dave_c
                                                                                LindaWhit Dec 11, 2008 11:02 AM

                                                                                I'm MORE than old enough for Gomer Pyle, but I definitely don't remember a Hootie Hoo! call in that show. :-)

                                                                            3. Miss Needle Dec 11, 2008 10:29 AM

                                                                              I was ecstatic that it ran 75 minutes. I had no clue until I looked at the clock at the end of the show. I was too engrossed in it. And, then, of course, as I was flipping through channels during the commercials, I missed a few parts. So I had to watch it all over again!

                                                                              Not the hugest fan of Stefan. Couldn't stand how he was wagging his finger when he was lecturing Eugene about the sushi. I think he was wagging his finger in the first episode when he was lecturing somebody about emulsions. I'm sure he's very knowledgeable, but he comes off as a smarty-pants. Score for Jeff when the judges said they liked the sorbet the best. I like Jeff and hope that he and some other quieter ones like Radhika will get some more air time in the future.

                                                                              Jamie is kind of super competitive and annoying, but I can see why she thought that she may have won it. However, that girl's got to learn some sportsmanship. Personally, I thought it was going to be Radhika or Jamie. Radhika because she made the marinade for the lamb and the raita. Jamie because she came up with the overall concept. But Ariane wins the prize. While it seems that she's won an awful lot, I don't think she's got the skills to make it all the way to the end.

                                                                              OMG! Melissa does bear a resemblance to David Lee Roth! Not sure why, but every time I look at her, she reminds me of a scrappy 12-year-old boy. The hat just seals the deal for me.

                                                                              To the poster who mentioned about the Josea and Leah thing, and about how it probably happened in other seasons -- they never really showcased any flirtations in other seasons. In the reunion show for Season 1, they did show Brian Hill(the "succulent" guy) always making passes at Candace, but Candace was always creeped out by him (and rightfully so). I'm sure people came up with their own stories about some of the contestants -- eg. Lee Anne Wong and Harold in Season 1. But I distinctly remember watching some interview or Bravo special about Season 2 where they did say that there was some "shower" scene going on between two of the contestants. I've been racking my brain trying to think who it could be -- my vote is for Marissa and Sam or Frank and Betty.

                                                                              Ok, enough gossip and to the food. I thought that the whole salt, oil crap in the Quickfire challenge was kind of BS. And some of the contestants were being pretty easy on each other, making them list all four ingredients in something. But it's a good variation of the taste challenge.

                                                                              Holy crap! The "New" course was so messed up on so many levels. Even though they also called Team Blue for JT, I knew it was going to be somebody from Team New. Carla was safe. It definitely seemed like it was between Danny and Eugene as the person to go. My vote was for Danny because it seemed like he was really clueless while Eugene was willing to say he screwed up. Honestly, I've got no clue why Danny thought he was great for TV. It was difficult listening to him as he had this really halting manner of speaking. Every three words he would have to take a pause and a breath and resume. It was quite a pet peeve of mine -- don't think I could have dealt with that for any more shows.

                                                                              Conceptually, the blue team did have the most difficult theme to work with. The most obvious thing would have been a blueberry dessert. Most likely they were shopping at Whole Foods so they probably didn't have access to things like the blue-footed chicken or a silkie (which kind of looks blue) chicken. If they did, I thought a chicken with blueberry sauce served with a blue cornmeal thing could work for a savory course. DH noticed it in the very first episode, but women do seem to eat up Fabio's accent. Guess he was the right person to pitch it. And DH also exclaimed when Padma made a toast to Gail during the bridal shower, "Wow! Padma really is an actress!"

                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle
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                                                                                grant.cook Dec 11, 2008 11:05 AM

                                                                                The two teams that did well functioned together very well.. and in that case, its hard to pick an absolute winner from them.

                                                                                Now the teams that did badly you could see coming - rice is the foundation of a maki, so screw that up you are already batting down in the count. Having them roll their own? Fifty women, perhaps a bit tipsy, at a fine dinner, with manicured hands, handling sticky rice? I've rolled a decent amount of maki, and its not a "whip-up-your-own" type of thing for most Americans. Even doing a hand roll is tough - especially when you don't even explain what they need to do. I generally am dipping my hands in a water/vinegar mix to keep rice from sticking - what did they think the audience was going to do?

                                                                                Things like mentioning that there is an "inside/outside" to the nori, how much rice to use, etc. Plus, I'd be wary of using tempura in a large-scale dish, prep-wait-mass plating dish.. fried stuff in my mind never holds well..

                                                                                But the guy that went was clearly the best target - he messed up someone else's dish, didn't accept that maybe something was wrong, so he seemed generally clueless.

                                                                                As for the quickfire, in the first round the smart people realized they could pull off salt, cream, oil, and the holy trinity for that cuisine style. so yes, salt was kind of cheap (as was cream), but everyone knew it after that. I would have been a bit more impressed if the competition had forced them to get to higher #'s - 10, 12 ingredients.. but I do understand. A mole may have 3-4 peppers in it, but picking out a pasilla or a guajillo is tough. A fish soup/sauce could have any one of two dozen kinds of fish/crustaceans used in its prep...

                                                                                1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  Daniellabelle Dec 11, 2008 11:20 AM

                                                                                  I'm not too familiar with mole sauce...but what was up with Carla's guess? Is peanut butter something usually found in mole? It seemed a little bit of an oddball guess to me, especially when the "holy trinity" were admissible as guesses.

                                                                                  1. re: Daniellabelle
                                                                                    dave_c Dec 11, 2008 11:28 AM

                                                                                    Mole is one of those sauces where families have their own style... Peanut butter is common... it just depends upon the recipe/family.

                                                                                    I just read the bravo blog and Leann did use peanuts... Since the sauce is (typically) fairly smooth, I'm guessing they did grind up peanuts... It may not have come out of a jar, but isn't ground up peanut essentially peanut butter?

                                                                                    I'm surprised the chefs played it really safe by passing the ball at 4 or 5 ingredients at least Stefan went for 7 or 8...

                                                                                    1. re: dave_c
                                                                                      d
                                                                                      Daniellabelle Dec 11, 2008 11:34 AM

                                                                                      Thanks Dave!

                                                                                      I would have liked to see them go to higher numbers as well...or have one chef guess until he was wrong and see if the other chef could guess more or something...oh well.

                                                                                      1. re: dave_c
                                                                                        Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 11:43 AM

                                                                                        Right. That's why Padma paused (to get a ruling yes or no) before she said "incorrect" on the peanut butter. Whether ground up peanuts are peanut butter depends on how finely they're ground.

                                                                                        I think eight ingredients should have been the minimum if they were allowed to use salt, pepper and oil. And how stupid, once you knew they were allowed, not to start with those in the last round and leave the harder ones for your opponents!

                                                                                        1. re: dave_c
                                                                                          Miss Needle Dec 11, 2008 01:59 PM

                                                                                          If peanuts were in the mole, that's a pretty tough call as I'm sure the peanuts were pretty well ground up in the mole. Many people may think of peanut butter as Jiffy or Skip but the only peanut butter I eat are from those freshly ground peanuts from Whole Foods or health food stores.

                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                            s
                                                                                            shallots Dec 12, 2008 07:34 AM

                                                                                            Who got eliminated for guessing tomato paste instead of tomatoes?

                                                                                            Very much the same sort of thing....were they asked to identify ingredients or flavors?

                                                                                            1. re: shallots
                                                                                              Miss Needle Dec 12, 2008 07:49 AM

                                                                                              I don't remember who guessed the tomato paste (Ariane?). But you are right -- tomato paste is essentially tomatoes cooked down (which was done during the cooking of the shrimp/lobster stock). I think that they should have just used whole ingredients (eg. tomatoes as opposed to tomato paste; peanuts as opposed to peanut butter) and let the contestants know that. Either that or have accepted tomato paste and peanut butter.

                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath Dec 12, 2008 09:48 AM

                                                                                                Stefan lost the final (mole) round by guessing tomato paste. I don't fault the producers on this issue, because it was the contestants who guessed very specific ingredients (peanut butter, tomato paste) instead of the foods they're made of. If Carla and Stefan had said peanuts and tomatoes, Padma could have asked them to be more specific, as she did with Hosea.

                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                  Miss Needle Dec 12, 2008 02:11 PM

                                                                                                  Good memory! Guess you're right about the contestants guessing really specific ingredients. While this has something to do with palate, I think it was more about if you're smart enough to play this game.

                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                    Bunson Dec 11, 2008 11:41 AM

                                                                                    Some thoughts about the contestants after watching Top Chef last night -

                                                                                    - Fabio - I still think he's a favorite for the final, and that he has the best soundbites in 5 seasons of Top Chef. He played it safe last night and paid for it at judges table, but from what he's shown so far it was an aberration. I was actually expecting him to go bluefin tuna for the fish, not the chilean sea bass.
                                                                                    - Eugene - He went with a variation on sushi again after doing sushi for his 2.5 minute demo last week. Didn't he also do a sushi dish for a quickfire challenge a few episodes ago? He's one of those chefs you watch and feel could be one of the most proficient at cooking out of his comfort zone; that at any moment he can make a dish that will blow you away, but he needs to show more to his repertoire or he'll be gone soon.
                                                                                    - Stefan - one of the most annoying contestants I've seen on any show, he's not even entertaining to watch. He's just as interested trying to prove someone else is inferior as much as he's interested in trying to prove his own skills. "My Way Or The HIghway" is a failure both in leadership and working with peers. I hope his food is good because an attitude like that will not get him very far in life (except for a spot on Top Chef). Nothing would be better than to see Eric Ripert on the show bumping heads with Stefan, because I could easily picture Stefan showing the same attitude towards Eric if any critical comments were thrown his way.
                                                                                    - Melissa isn't on the radar to go very far, nor is she entertaining for television. She just isn't adding anything to the show. I think picking her as a contestant was a mistake and will be going home shortly.
                                                                                    - Jamie - I would absolutely want to eat at her restaurant with no hesistation. Her food seems to be among the best from any season, but her pouting is a big turnoff. If she could handle her perceived snubs with more class she'd be one of the stars of the show.
                                                                                    - Ariane - her accolades are deceiving and more in line for someone vying for Top Cook...assembling a salad, cooking a turkey and cooking a lamb...shows she's a good cook, but where is the creativity you expect to see from a chef?
                                                                                    - Carla - great for TV but so far the cooking hasn't been up to par with some of the other chefs.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Bunson
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                                                                                      Daniellabelle Dec 11, 2008 11:44 AM

                                                                                      I agree about Jaime--I would LOVE to eat at her restaurant...as long as I didn't have to look at or talk to her! :-p

                                                                                    2. Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 12:55 PM

                                                                                      BTW, for the first time I can recall on Top Chef someone pointed out that Chilean sea bass is not a politically correct (i.e. sustainable) seafood choice. Up until now, that's been overlooked when the cheftestants have used it, which has bothered me. Kudos to whoever of Gail's friends brought this up.

                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
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                                                                                        DougOLis Dec 11, 2008 01:23 PM

                                                                                        Chef Colicchio and Brian Malarkey brought it up on their blogs too

                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                          Miss Needle Dec 11, 2008 01:33 PM

                                                                                          Ok. I may be wrong but I'm operating under the assumption that they got their Chilean sea bass from Whole Foods (as it seems to be a big sponsor of Top Chef) and don't quite recall them showing footage of where they did their shopping. I don't buy seafood at Whole Foods but do recall seeing signs that they found a sustainable source of Chilean sea bass. If that is the case, I would think pointing that out on the show would have made the sponsors very happy.

                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                            Caitlin McGrath Dec 11, 2008 01:39 PM

                                                                                            Actually, it was Gail herself who brought it up, all the more interesting considering its being ignored in past seasons.

                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
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                                                                                              gastrotect Dec 11, 2008 01:40 PM

                                                                                              Keep in mind Fabio chose it. Of most countries, the US is the one of the most politically conscious when it comes to food (though not so much with regards to many other things). I don't think the thought ever crossed Fabio's mind.

                                                                                              1. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 02:22 PM

                                                                                                I don't believe that it's true that "Of most countries, the US is the one of the most politically conscious when it comes to food." Just off the top of my head:

                                                                                                1) Slow Food was founded in Italy.
                                                                                                2) Europeans have been in the forefront on issues about GMOs in foods
                                                                                                3) The first time I heard the term "food miles" was from my aunt in England -- they're actually quite conscious about food sourcing issues there.

                                                                                                Most Americans are woefully ignorant about socio-political-economic issues surrounding food. Chowhounds (and people who live in major foodie centers) are not a representative sample of the population when it comes to those issues.

                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
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                                                                                                  gastrotect Dec 12, 2008 07:44 AM

                                                                                                  While I certainly cannot disagree with you on most Americans being ignorant when it comes to food, in my personal experience I have always found people of other cultures more willing to eat foods such as Chilean Sea Bass, Veal, Horse-meat, Kobe, Foie Gras. Maybe I am over generalizing, but it always strikes me as a willingness to overlook possible evils in the name of great food.
                                                                                                  Obviously you are right about both Slow Food and GMOs, but both, I feel, have more to do with a return to the best quality of food. The socio-political-ecological aspects of both are bonuses and selling points more than the driving cause.

                                                                                                  1. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler Dec 12, 2008 07:58 AM

                                                                                                    Veal, horsemeat, Kobe and foie gras are not endangered/unsustainable -- it's a different issue. I'll agree that people in Europe (we're talking about Fabio, not people from other parts of the world generally) seem to be less concerned with humanitarian/animal welfare issues (veal, Kobe, fois gras, horsemeat) in their food production than many Americans (although I think you could argue that their more traditional animal husbandry methods are more humane to begin with than U.S. factory farming methods), but I think they're ahead of the US when it comes to environmental/sustainability issues.

                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
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                                                                                                      gastrotect Dec 12, 2008 11:11 AM

                                                                                                      Well clearly you got me there. When it comes to sustainability the US is about as out of the loop as you can be. But when it comes to Europeans, how much do they care about CSB? Dolphins, whales, even sharks I've see talked about in relation to sustainability or endangered issues, but one really has to search out CSB stories. The more I think about it, as I'm writing this, I think really, not very many people anywhere know about Chilean Sea Bass. It just doesn't have a good PR rep apparently.

                                                                                                      1. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                        Ruth Lafler Dec 12, 2008 11:21 AM

                                                                                                        It could be that Chilean Sea Bass never became popular in Europe -- maybe they stick to their more traditional, local species, or maybe they call it something else (turns out Chilean Sea Bass is a trade name used in the U.S. -- other names are used other places). The wikipedia article is quite interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patagoni...

                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                          jgg13 Dec 12, 2008 12:57 PM

                                                                                                          Ah thanks. I was saying while watching that I knew that the chilean sea bass weren't really bass and just renamed to make them more palatable to consumers, but couldn't remember what they were

                                                                                                    2. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                      thew Dec 13, 2008 06:25 AM

                                                                                                      i can disagree with any broad statement that speaks of what 300 million people know as a group. easily.

                                                                                                      1. re: thew
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                                                                                                        gastrotect Dec 15, 2008 08:16 AM

                                                                                                        But that is what the lovely little qualifier "most" is for. Do you not think that the majority of Americans are ignorant in matters of where their food comes from? It is no secret that a society's culture plays heavily into the practices of that society. Mainstream American culture often times takes pride in the "ignorance is bliss" attitude. I don't think it's out of line to recognize that food consumption is something that falls into that category. I know I am guilty of it certainly and I would say I am an at least moderately informed person.

                                                                                                        1. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                          thew Dec 15, 2008 08:55 AM

                                                                                                          do i think they are more ignorant that urban dwellers in any modern post-industrial society of where their food comes from? no

                                                                                                          1. re: thew
                                                                                                            g
                                                                                                            gastrotect Dec 15, 2008 11:10 AM

                                                                                                            Ok, fair enough. You don't want to say Americans are more ignorant than Europeans in their food source knowledge. But that doesn't answer the basic question which, are most Americans ignorant of where their food comes from? I say yes, and I gather you do as well, but you see at is a post-industrial issue in general, not a national one. I could agree, but I don't think I'm generalizing when I say that many cultures (post-industrial or not) take a great deal more pride in food and dining than Americans do. Or at least, up until very recently. That's not to say Americans don't like eating, but rather, in general, Americans don't value food quite as much as many others.

                                                                                                            1. re: thew
                                                                                                              Ruth Lafler Dec 15, 2008 11:30 AM

                                                                                                              I disagree. My experience is that urban dwellers in Europe are still much closer to the sources of their foods than Americans. And in thinking about the word "urban" I realized that in America the people who -- on average -- are the most distanced from their food are not urbanites but suburbanites; many urbanites still patronize local butchers, farmers' markets, etc., but suburbs were designed for people who go from their house to their car to their supermarket without ever having to think about the insanely artificial world they live in and anything "unpleasant" (see the other thread on this forum about the "Real Housewives of Orange County" and their reaction to unfamiliar food). And when it comes to living in suburbs, Americans have Europeans beat by a long ways (even when Europeans live in suburbs, they're usually small towns that have been pulled into the orbits of growing cities, not communities that came into being as suburbs.

                                                                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler
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                                                                                                    grant.cook Dec 12, 2008 06:08 AM

                                                                                                    People will bring up the evils of eating Chilean Sea Bass while they wolf down Bluefin tuna... at least with foie gras, its pretty easy to grow more geese..

                                                                                                    1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Dec 12, 2008 09:53 AM

                                                                                                      of course then the topic becomes animal cruelty as opposed to sustainability...

                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                        ChefJune Dec 12, 2008 10:04 AM

                                                                                                        <the topic becomes animal cruelty > and in many cases and places, that is simply NOT an issue. I'm not aware of "feedlot meat" in Europe.

                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Dec 12, 2008 10:23 AM

                                                                                                          actually, i was talking specifically about foie gras in reference to grant.cook's comment.

                                                                                                  3. thew Dec 11, 2008 01:59 PM

                                                                                                    i happen to like stefan. he seems to have skills. if we didn't eat food from arrogant chefs we would all be at mickydees. those strong type of personalities are an asset when you are running a kitchen - a top chef is not a line chef or a sous chef - he is the one who runs the show. I have no problem with his attitude, if his skills back it up. i also like fabio, for much the same reason. Im not sure if i like jaime or not, i think she might be a good chef, but she hasnt proved that to me yet. Carla is cooky - but i do not thin she has the skills to go all the way. I think its hysterical that radikha keeps saying she does not want to be pigeonholed as an indian chef, but those flaver profiles show up in just about everything she has cooked so far

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: thew
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                                                                                                      Ericandblueboy Dec 11, 2008 02:34 PM

                                                                                                      You and me think alike. I'm not a big fan of Jaime....so far she's showed me she can make babyfood. Although Stefan should've kept his mouth shut about the sorbet. If the sorbet fails, Jeff goes home. Instead, he made himself look like a fool.

                                                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                                                        Phaedrus Dec 11, 2008 03:14 PM

                                                                                                        I don't know, some of those pimply faced Mickey Dee's fry cooks are pretty *((*$&%&^ arrogant.

                                                                                                      2. fame da lupo Dec 11, 2008 04:09 PM

                                                                                                        My thoughts:
                                                                                                        1) Unlike most of you it seems, I find Stefan hilarious, and I hope he sticks around.
                                                                                                        2) Jaime made a carrot puree, which in my mind, does not entitle her to win. Win should have gone to a combo of Radi and Ariane.
                                                                                                        3) Fabio got boring with his food, sad.
                                                                                                        4) Thank god they kicked out Bababooey. That guy was a total tool, from his stupid mugging on his demo to the bad potatoes to this weeks disaster. His side interviews normally demonstrated a complete lack of self-awareness.

                                                                                                        And lastly, the food on the whole has been sub-par in terms of novelty and execution this season. This season seems more character-driven than food-driven, which bothers me. Hopefully sifting some of these weak contestants out will help. Those I would label "strong" at this point are Fabio, Jaime, Stefan, and Leah.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: fame da lupo
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                                                                                                          grant.cook Dec 12, 2008 06:11 AM

                                                                                                          The team challenges are always tougher to showcase individuals.. as they wean contestants off, they can cook as individuals more, and their food starts to come to the forefront.

                                                                                                          I think Radi has some real under the radar potential.. bringing Indian spices and flavors into the palette gives her a LOT of freedom to develop interesting dishes....

                                                                                                          1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Dec 12, 2008 08:14 AM

                                                                                                            But will she? It seems like under the pressure of challenges the weaker competitors are those who lose their vision -- who like Radhika don't cook the way they say they're going to. Say what you want about season 1 Stephen or Marcel, but they always produced dishes that represented their philosophy of cooking.

                                                                                                            You get people saying in their exit interviews "I didn't get a chance to show what I can do" or like Jill, "I went home with a dish I didn't believe in" and the question is, why? Jill could have made anything she wanted to for that meal at Craft, and yet she chose to go with something that she claims didn't represent her cooking. That's squarely on her -- she did in fact have a chance, but she got caught up in trying to second guess the judges and impress them by doing something outrageous instead of having enough faith in her cooking to believe that she could wow the judges with something that was reflective of her vision.

                                                                                                            Even in a team challenge where the team determines the menu, you can always fight for your dish. Last season, Zoe made a lackluster pasta salad because she didn't want to make it. Why? Didn't she have enough creativity to either come up with a version of pasta salad she could be excited about or to develop and fight for an alternative? If she didn't, then she deserved to go home.

                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Dec 12, 2008 09:59 AM

                                                                                                              i'm in complete agreement with Ruth here. in this particular challenge perhaps Radhika wasn't completely free to make a choice - her teammates wanted to "borrow" from her culture. but she's had plenty of other opportunities to step outside her comfort zone and try to prove she can cook something other than Indian food, but she has yet to do it. she needs to put up or shut up...and while i do think she's talented, if she doesn't show some versatility AND start standing up for herself, she's not going to make it much farther in the competition.

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                                                tofuburrito Dec 12, 2008 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                I disagree, scan through the recipes at the Bravo site. Rahdika hasn't been sticking to Indian.

                                                                                                                1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Dec 12, 2008 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                  actually, you're right- thanks for pointing it out. she has used curry & tandoori spicing in several dishes - shrimp, white bean soup, hot dogs - but not all of them. that may also be the bad news for her because apparently i didn't remember any of the other dishes she made! ;)

                                                                                                        2. Sam Fujisaka Dec 12, 2008 08:28 AM

                                                                                                          Just back again from DC, so I got to watch a few episodes.

                                                                                                          Folks, remember that the film crew shoots a lot of each and every contestant and then puts the show together. Jamie's "whining" is probably 60% a product of the editors' and producers' inputs / manipulation.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Dec 12, 2008 08:43 AM

                                                                                                            May be. But if so -- if production is deliberately making her less likable -- then I think I'd say that doesn't bode well for her success, in that she's not getting a "winner's edit" nor is she getting a "villian/love to hate" edit. Besides, I think she does have a bit of a negative attitude, based on what the judges said about her demeanor during the demo challenge. Not Lisa negative, but still, she's clearly being perceived as someone who doesn't have a good attitude. It could be, though, that they actually are attempting to portray her as someone who is intense and competitive, and it's just coming off as whiny to some people.

                                                                                                            I would say that Leah and Jeff are getting "potential finalist" edits; Stefan and Fabio and to a lesser extent Eugene and Hosea are getting "strong/interesting personality" edits that may or may not have anything to do with their cooking (I guess Jamie also falls into this group); Carla and Radhika are getting the "kooky/alternative" edit; Ariane is getting the "older woman/drama queen" edit (see, Betty, season 2); Melissa is getting the "are you still here?" edit, in that I forget that she's on the show until judges' table.

                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                              LindaWhit Dec 12, 2008 11:41 AM

                                                                                                              I love your analysis of the edits for each cheftestant, Ruth! I think you're dead on with all of them - but I especially like Melissa's type of edit - I completely agree - I don't even realize she's there! Whose team was she even on in the bridal shower episode?

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                Ruth Lafler Dec 12, 2008 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                She was on the "blue" team, which, to be fair, was boring and got less air time than the others. But after the show I only figured that out by process of elimination!

                                                                                                              2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                Sam Fujisaka Dec 12, 2008 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                Yes, the producers and editors create the side stories to continue throughout the series. They need stuff to be interesting and for each person to have a screen personality - albeit based on each of the cheftestants. Winners are selected on the basis of their food; but bulding in the human stories makes the show a winner.

                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Dec 12, 2008 01:16 PM

                                                                                                                  Right. For a competition to be successful as entertainment, the audience has to care who wins or loses -- otherwise it wouldn't matter who made the best dish each week and who got eliminated. So they build narratives around the participants to make them into characters the audience can root for (or against). That's why it's hard to follow the contestants in the early episodes of each season: not only are there more of them, but their characters haven't been developed yet.

                                                                                                                  This is the basic formula for "unscripted/reality" shows. Basically, the series are "scripted," but they're scripted after the fact instead of before hand, with the editors building stories out of the material they have.

                                                                                                              3. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                Miss Needle Dec 12, 2008 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                Sam, I think I told you this before but you can see all the episodes online on bravotv.com.

                                                                                                                http://video.bravotv.com/player/?fid=...

                                                                                                                So don't relegate yourself to watching only when you're in DC. You can watch it in Colombia and join us week after week for our borderline obsessive discussions.

                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                                  Sam Fujisaka Dec 13, 2008 08:14 AM

                                                                                                                  Thank you, Needle!

                                                                                                              4. r
                                                                                                                rochfood Dec 12, 2008 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                Was it Melissa that wore that dopey backwards offset hat ? Just a terrible look. I guess no professional standards. How old is she ? If I was Tom I would have taken it off her head when he saw it? What look is she trying to go for ? Hip Hop Spanky ? I can see her getting up and going.".what will look good today..? ohh yeah..slightly offset backwards mesh hat..sweet ! " "Word !" "Yo Yo Tom C..check out my spicy H to the ab- anero ! "

                                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                                  mselectra Dec 12, 2008 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                  On the 1.25 hours -- I didn't stay up late enough to watch on Wednesday, but last night's rerun was only an hour. Bummed I didn't see the longer version and wondering what I missed. Does anybody have any ideas about how they cut it down for reruns?

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: mselectra
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                                                                                                                    Daniellabelle Dec 15, 2008 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                    Don't worry, all you missed was about 1000000 commercials for that real housewives show...I swear if I would have heard whats-her-face talk about how she was "obssessed with being young" one more time...

                                                                                                                  2. dave_c Dec 12, 2008 12:05 PM

                                                                                                                    Did anyone notice during this episode when the "girls" were talking around the kitchen table, Melissa sat down and put her head on the table? I don't think she was pounding her head on the the table, but I thought that was odd thing to do.

                                                                                                                    Hung over from all the free booze?

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Dec 12, 2008 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                      I do remember seeing that, but can't recall if it was a specific reaction to something that someone else said.....or if she was just tired or hung over, as you said. :-) (Sheesh - I'd hope she wouldn't get drunk the night before catering a judge's bridal shower!)

                                                                                                                      1. re: dave_c
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                                                                                                                        queencru Dec 12, 2008 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                        She could hate girly discussions. I know I don't react well to them at all, and while putting my head on the table really isn't my style, I probably do other odd things in reaction.

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