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Feb 17, 2009 06:20 PM

Last Restaurant Standing: Organic Pig [spoilers]

The theme tonight of "no waste" is one I try to practice at home, but sadly, no one has gifted me with half an organic pig.

Things that surprised me:

an Asian cook who didn't really seem to know what to do with whole areas of the pig. Where was the pig's feet dim sum? the twice cooked pork belly?

front of the house people that don't set tables properly! We have at least two couples that have a totally clueless front of the house people. "Welcome to the Madness..." what a welcoming line!

a chef using a plastic salt grinder in the kitchen? Get a bag of salt, and some pepper while you are at it! My goodness.

marketing, where is the marketing?

Very impressed that Helen, who was very queazy about the pig to start, overcame her trepidation and excelled.

Nice to see Michele and Russell reasserting their strengths.

I thought this was a very well-conceived challenge. Half a pig allowed each chef to serve their own style of food, while having a measurable outcome. We still have too many couples to really know how they are marketing, learning from each week's mistakes and working to improve their customer service. We should learn about them all some more during the Challenge next week.

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  1. I agree with you on all points!

    I really dislike the Blue Goose team - The father is a tool!
    His greeting was bad - but his only giving out 12 flyers was even worse! And even worse than that was him having the cheek to ask those people if they were going to leave a tip!
    His daughter seems to have talent, but she just seems like a spoiled brat to me, so I don't like her either! I think they were very lucky to win the rest-stop challenge because they had a good team supporting them.

    Oh you didn't mention the Gallery team...I was really surprised they only had 4 tables booked....and how obnoxious the front of house guy was!
    And then the other guy got most of the blame, and he just shook his head in agreement! Yikes!!

    Well, i look forward to next weeks challenge!

    1 Reply
    1. re: NellyNel

      Oh, I don't think Harriet is spoiled at all. I think that she is the daughter and isn't old/confidence enough to communicate with her father as an equal. Imagine being in your 20's and being in business with your father! Now imagine it is the father who can't do anything right? I think they bring a family dynamic to this endeavor that is not going to allow them to succeed.

      I obliquely referred to the Gallery boys above with the "clueless" front of house comment. No cutlery again? Unable to manage 4 tables?

      Both Harriet and Alistair are being dragged down by their partners. Raymond's comments about being a team to the Gallery boys must have been the cumulation of non-aired parts of the conversation. I am guessing that Alistair admitted that he hadn't taken the time to share the menu details with the FOH team.

    2. I agree with you on all points as well.

      As for the dad on the Blue Goose team, here is Mr. Pisang Goreng's take on him: He is one of those food snobs who goes to restaurants and looks down on people who work there and thinks he could do SOOO much better, but he has never gotten his hands dirty and knows nothing about running a restaurant. Now he's in the position of actually running FOH and realizes (but will never admit) that he has no clue what to do so he comes up with "shortcuts" of doing simple things (i.e. taking food orders, marketing) that just backfire on him and unfortunately his daughter. "Welcome to the Madness" indeed.

      As for Michele and Russell, was anyone else screaming at the TV, "GO TO THE MARKET NOW!!!" when they found out their veg order was late and/or not coming?? Obviously it worked out all right for them but jeez!

      I had high hopes fot the Gallery team but the FOH guy, James, needs to step it up. Since they are a team, I think he should have double-checked with Alasdair what exactly is being served. It's not like he didn't have time since his marketing consisted of standing outside of the restaurant doing absolutely nothing. He also needs to lay off the staff because he treats them like crap due to his own stress. For God's sake, how stressed can you be with only FOUR tables all night? Both of them need to take a Valium or something before they go before Raymond. They look like they're going to have strokes when they're being critiqued. It's too bad because Alasdair looks like he's one of the best chefs in the competition.

      Mr. Pisang Goreng and I also wondered why didn't anyone make some tasty creative sausage? I think some of them took using all the parts of the pig too literally (i.e. Chris "sneaking" heart and lungs into a salad and calling it "salad with crispy pork").

      Again, I love how gracious everyone is. Helen and Stephen looked truly happy for Michele and Russell when they won Restaurant of the Week. Looking forward to next week's challenge!

      3 Replies
      1. re: pisang goreng

        Pisang Goreng - YES _ I simply couldn't understand why Michele and Russell were standing around and not DASHING to the market right away!?!!
        I have to admit I was flipping channels so I didnt see how they did handle the situation..

        As for Dad - YES again - he is definitely a SNOB...I know the type!
        This is why I also see his daughter as a spoiled snob...did you see the first episode where the dad is saying "I would do anything for my little girl" As she romped in a field with her horse??? Bleh!
        But I wholeheartedly agree she would be doing really well if she wasn't saddled with her dad! She seems to be able to cook, and she does have a head on her shoulders..

        As for the Gallery team - I must have missed that they didnt communicate with each other over what was being served....Uh - how could you NOT??
        And seriously 4 tables is a piece of cake - I don't think they will last at all if James can't handle THAT!
        I predict the Gallery will be the next to close!

        1. re: NellyNel

          Oh, I hope the Gallery is not next. I think Alasdair has a lot of talent -- much more than say.... that big dummy Chris (giant cake and hidden pig parts guy). I don't know how he makes it through an evening of service without burning the kitchen down or giving someone food poisoning. I could see the Gallery team (yes, even James once he gets it together) in business with Raymond, but I could not see Chris being a chef in one of Raymond's restaurants!

          1. re: pisang goreng

            Yes, I have to agree....I forgot about him!
            But I also can't see James actually getting it together either... It doesn't seem to sink in that he really needs to step it up...and he doesn't take critizism well at all!
            Before last nights episode, I thought they were team to I think maybe Michelle and her partner might surge ahead...

      2. The Blue Goose Dad makes for interesting TV. I think you're right, NellyNel, about the Dad. I choked on my coffee when he got uppity at the table where he received criticism from the woman and he bristled and said "I could get rude right back at you" and the Chef interrupted and tried to diffuse the situation of listening to a contestant verbally attack an important member of his evaluation team. The Dad mistook valid criticism for a woman being rude to him; he's not going to go anywhere if he can't tell that difference.

        The Fronts of House, their lack of understanding of the value of good publicity and general ineptness at the front of house ....did these couples come in with no 'game' plans?

        The don't waste the pork seemed to be more on "use the offal and head" when some (from what I think I saw) made fresh bacon, roasted a classic fresh ham and also roasted a fresh pork shoulder. Those are the 'if you don't use them, you are clueless' uses, but some seemed to use the less common cuts and we never saw if they used the easy bits.

        1 Reply
        1. re: shallots

          "I could get rude right back at you"

          I forgot about that! The audacity!

        2. As it was edited, did the Welsh Wok get any criticism for burning three huge pieces of prime pork? How did that fit with their huge plates of large pieces of pork?

          3 Replies
          1. re: shallots

            I wondered about that too. How did they manage to serve such huge portions when so much of the pork had been burned?? There did not appear to be even any mention of his burning all that pork.

            1. re: pisang goreng

              Yes, but not only that - the Welsh Wok was noted for the "least waste"!!

              I remember thinking "well how can that be - when they wasted those 3 gorgeous hunks of meat!!?

            2. re: shallots

              I didn't notice any commentary on that issue.