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Top Chef Finale Pt. 2(spoilers)

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  • AMFM Feb 25, 2009 06:02 PM
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starting this just to get it over with... :)

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  1. they brought Casey back! how cool!

    12 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      yeah but the sous vide makes me nervous...

      1. re: AMFM

        i said it was cool that she's back *before* she was paired with Carla & convinced her to attempt this sous vide nonsense :)

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I WANT TO KICK CASEY'S ASS.
          What a total disaster for Carla. Fine, foolish her, paying any attention to Casey.
          Wish Carla had Blaise....

          1. re: pitu

            I do too. But it wasn't like Casey put a gun to Carla's head. This was a painful elsson for Carla but it will make her so much better as a chef. A hell of a lot better than Casey.

            1. re: pitu

              I really do want to put Casey on my shitlist. She made me so mad! However, it was ultimately Carla who decided to listen to Casey.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Carla's a big girl. She should have taken control...but she gave it up. Really too bad.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  It really was too bad...I was hoping Carla would get Richard. And whmuo does a SOUFFLE for a Top Chef finale? Too much can (and did) go wrong.

                  While I was not supportive of Hosea throughout the season, he clearly had the best meal of the night.

        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

          NOT! she was Carla's undoing, imho.

          1. re: ChefJune

            Not Casey's fault. Carla made her own choices. If she had trusted her own instincts instead of second-guessing herself with Casey's suggestions, she just might have won the whole thing.

            1. re: chicgail

              Totally agree - esp. for Carla. Her biggest errors, early in the season, were not taking charge and 2nd guessing herself. Listening to Casey got her into the old pattern where she was less successful, instead of the more recent pattern where she'd been kicking butt.

              1. re: Bob Loblaw

                If you read her comments, she completely realizes what happened even though she specifically knew that she had to guard against second guessing herself and remaining true to her own vision. I imagine it is difficult NOT to get swept away in the intensity of a Top Chef finale. So sad, though.

            2. re: ChefJune

              "she was Carla's undoing, imho."
              ___________________________
              I agree. While I also agree that it was Carla's fault ultimately, Casey should have Kept Her Mouth SHUT. She's been in the finals and she should have let Carla run the show instead of trying to take over. D*mmit!! When I heard Carla say regarding sous vide, "What's that? I've never done that before," I said to Mr. PG, "She just lost. She's toast." Carla was overpowered by Casey because she is too kind and doesn't have confidence in her own cooking (which I guess is why she doesn't deserve to be TC). I'll bet she will never let that happen again.

              In the words of Kevin Kline's character, Otto, in A Fish Called Wanda: DISAPPOINTED!!

          2. interesting sous chefs! also interesting who they picked!

            10 Replies
            1. re: AMFM

              "He's a bit of a t***, but who isn't?"

              Edited before the FCC comes in ;-)

              1. re: momjamin

                awesome!

                1. re: momjamin

                  isn't that one of the 7 dirty words?

                  1. re: momjamin

                    It wasn't edited on the West Coast, even during the THIRD repeat of the episode last night.

                    1. re: momjamin

                      Yeah, how did that get by???

                      1. re: pisang goreng

                        maybe the censors caught it as twit???

                        1. re: AMFM

                          Seriously there's no way that that could be mistaken for anything but what it was! LOL Obviously, being a cable station (and being on after 10pm) there's a bit more leeway.

                          1. re: AMFM

                            Either way, I thought it was hilarious- Stefan's gotten away with alot this season, including his *cock* comment from Blue Hill episode- LOVE IT(and agree a little bit- talented, yes, but that hair and tude...oh boy!)

                      2. re: AMFM

                        DAMN - I missed the first 5 minutes because of watching LOST, which went to 10:06 - who had first pick, etc. And I'm assuming Stefan said the twat line about Marcel?

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Hosea had 1st pick, Stefan 2nd, Carla 3rd.

                          and yes, Stefan called Marcel a twat.

                      3. I think Hosea has the advantage. Hoping Marcel screws Stephan. BIG.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Phaedrus

                          Hosea has a HUGE advantage - Blais could really help him win this thing...even with scallops (i can't believe he's doing scallops.)

                        2. Did Stafan just call Marcel a tw*t?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: amethiste

                            I can't believe I missed that - I'll have to watch it again at 11pm (at least the first 5 minutes! LOL)

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Yes. Tw*t was said.

                          2. Uh oh. Casey talked Carla into the sou-vide. This could be killer.

                            18 Replies
                            1. re: Phaedrus

                              Yeah I don't feel good about that. How are you going to experiment when the stakes are sooo high

                              1. re: amethiste

                                The thing with Carla is that she is all about flavors and simplicity. This is just not her style. Be true to thine self!

                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                  oh my God STAND UP FOR YOURSELF CARLA!

                                  1. re: LaLa

                                    Carla so needs to stop, take a breath and remember what got her to the end.

                                    1. re: LaLa

                                      agreed!!!!!! who the h____ wants to eat a sous vided NY strip? and while a perfectly executed blue cheese souffle sounds fine her idea was too and easier to execute. so will be hosea. and really not loving casey. she should keep her mouth shut.

                                      1. re: AMFM

                                        casey is pushing down paths that are potentially wrong for Carla.

                                        1. re: smtucker

                                          imho, Casey should have kept her mouth shut. Sous job is to back up the top gun, not change the direction.

                                          Ah well, she has the car, and all that publicity!

                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                            Like I said above, Casey did not change the direction. Carla didn't trust herself and it was her undoing. A shame, but not Casey's fault.

                                            1. re: chicgail

                                              not her FAULT. agreed. carla was responsible. but casey should have shut up. it wasn't her job. not too mention they weren't very good suggestions. seriously it almost seemed like sabotage.

                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                You know, that thought had crossed my mind. Perhaps it was subconcious sabotage?

                                                1. re: AMFM

                                                  It is the job of a good sous chef to offer input. In Richard Blais' blog about the finally he states that he and Hosea discussed the idea of sous vide for the venison but the idea was ultimately rejected. Should Richard have "shut up" as well?

                                                  1. re: kmcarr

                                                    It could be very smart to discuss sous vide as an option. You prepare the protein, season and bag it, and then it requires very little attention while you attend to other parts of your menu.

                                                    I will admit I am not as enthusiastic member of the Carla contingent as many on this board. I like her sense of humor and heart, and I'll agree she has had a couple of recent unexpected triumphs. But she does tend to take a lot of time before her ideas emerge, and even last week she was shucking oysters forever. Some of Casey's suggestions should have been rejected out of hand -- sous vide is not for a strip loin, and not unless you've practiced it for competition -- but some of her allegations or explanations, like the time management or sauce, should be easily factchecked.

                                                    1. re: nosh

                                                      I'm puzzled by the "I worked on a sauce that didn't go on the plate" allegation. The third course definitely had a sauce, which the judges loved (regardless of who made it, it was on the plate!). The fourth course was cobbled together literally at the last minute, and even if there had been a sauce planned, it didn't necessarily belong on the plate that went out.

                                                      That leaves the other two courses. The judges liked the first course and loved the second course, so if there was a sauce for either one of those that Carla didn't put on the plate, obviously it was the right decision, AND, more important, it was Carla's decision to make. She wasn't obligated to put a sauce on a plate just because Casey had made it!

                                                      In other words, the more carefully you look at what Casey said, the more it's clear she's full of shit.

                                                      1. re: nosh

                                                        Carla does indeed take a long time to emerge with an idea, but the idea is always pretty darned impressive, given she had the time. The bit about Casey's input which was troublesome wasn't that she offered the ideas, but it is the matter of fact way that she assumed that this is the ways its going to be. I think Casey saw the carla worked and thought either benignly or malevolently, that she could bully her way into having her input used on the show.

                                                        In a way, this is her way of showing off even after she'd lost. I kind of pieced this view together by the way she reacted to the criticism of her. She knew that she was put one over and the fact that it failed miserably put her on the defensive and she then tried to slither out from under the weight of her part of the responsibility. She obviously had her own ego in mind when she made the suggestions.

                                                        The difference between her and Blais as far as input is concerned, is that Blais had a chef who was able to make decisions quickly, which was actually part of his downfall, but in this case it helped him. Blais also assumed nothing as far as getting his ideas accepted.

                                          2. re: LaLa

                                            Carla's had this problem before - i said it was her Achilles' heel a long time ago, and it's why i was skeptical that she had what it takes to win this thing. she's not very good at thinking on the fly or dealing with twists, and Casey's just going to railroad her into doing things she doesn't want to because she can't make a decision herself.

                                        2. re: amethiste

                                          agreed. her method of simple is working! why switch now!

                                        3. re: Phaedrus

                                          sous vide or not, i just get the feeling that Blais is due for redemption. uh oh.

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            It certainly looks like they're setting it up that way.

                                        4. previews showed a gator tail; wonder how that is going to be incorporated.

                                          1. Thanks for starting the thread. ; )

                                            OMG! Sorry to comment on this, but I laughed out loud when I saw Marcel with those big shades. That look doesn't quite work for him. I definitely think Hosea has a HUGE advantage (especially as it seems that these sous-chefs are allowed to put their two cents in). And I'm also getting a bit apprehensive with the whole Carla sous-vide thing.

                                            1. okay the voodoo doll comment was funny!

                                              1. There's the twist - Hosea gets the King Cake baby and assigns Stefan the alligator. Interesting!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  Yes, it does seem like Hosea has been really lucky so far.

                                                  Oh, can't Carla just do her own thing! I'm getting really nervous about this. I think Casey is having way too much influence. I prefer how Marcel is treating it -- it's the contestants' meal.

                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                    Marcel is surprising me!

                                                2. That is deadly. Pick your own protein and then pick what everyone else gets to use. Hosea takes it. Stefan gets alligator. Cute. I am confident in Hosea's ability to f___ it up.

                                                  And Commander's Palace, how cool is THAT!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                    no dessert is not good hosea

                                                    1. re: LaLa

                                                      I actually think it's smart for Hosea to not to do a dessert. He's never really shown any strength in dessert challenges.

                                                  2. Now Carla is changing to a souffle from a tart. i don't like this.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: amethiste

                                                      She's definitely reverting back to her old ways and second-guessing herself.

                                                    2. ok, i REALLY i can't take Marcel seriously...he looks like Teen Wolf.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        ROFLMAO!!!!!

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          i thought it was the Heat Miser.

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            lol

                                                          2. Sous vide and soufflé. Oh my oh my. It will either crash or be out of this world.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                              i'm hoping maybe it's the edit of deception. the soup plan sounded good.

                                                            2. so hosea nails the app. course he got the rockfish! it did look good. man and stefan too. uh oh...

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                                All three seemed to nail the app.

                                                              2. TOBY is back!

                                                                1. did padma forget to wash her hair? nice dress though.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: AMFM

                                                                    agreed, her dress is stunning.

                                                                  2. I like having all these local exec. chefs as judges. I can't remember, is that the norm?

                                                                    1. Branford Marsalis! That's impressive.

                                                                      And WTF! Fabio gets to go too?

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                        Crap! Here we go. Sou vide killed her. She lost the soul.

                                                                        Irony, Stefan is impressing with squab.

                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                          Oh, I think Casey is not going to be very popular tomorrow as so many people are rooting for Carla.

                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                            Boiled and curdled souffle. She's screwed.

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              Sometimes you just have to go with your own plan. This is so sad.

                                                                            2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                              Personally, I never understood how Casey got as far as she did. I was never a fan.

                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                I totally agree. I haven't been big on her and her dishes.

                                                                        2. how the hell does Fabio get to come in as a guest? He'll have to favour Stephan..

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: burlgurl

                                                                            not necessarily - he acknowledged that the first course lacked seasoning.

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              no that was hosea's. but he just said hosea closed better.

                                                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                                                hmm, i thought he said Stefan's needed seasoning too. my bad.

                                                                            2. re: burlgurl

                                                                              Fabio was already in New Orleans for the first part of the finale. Instead of sending him home, they let him remain as a judge. They did the same thing with Brian Malarkey in Aspen during Season 3.

                                                                            3. so they all can cook... which is good at the end of this season. yeah. carla hasn't screwed up yet. but the trouble is yet to come!

                                                                              d$%^ casey. they know it too.

                                                                              1. ok, first course definitely goes to Carla...but we all *knew* the sous vide was going to tank.

                                                                                1. "The lady can make a sauce." But not happy with the strip steak dish. Wow. Someone else said "She lost the soul she had on the first dish." Carla's in trouble.

                                                                                  1. Oh man..Casey totally torpedoed Carla with that sous-vide.

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: aecs

                                                                                      There are a lot of things that sous vide can be great for -- a strip steak is not one of them. A shortrib, a tiny piece of kobe or wagyu, something butterpoached. With a strip steak you want char, caramelization, sizzle, fat, crust.

                                                                                      1. re: nosh

                                                                                        Fish sous vide is my favorite. Sirloin I'd never even attempt.

                                                                                        1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                          Sous vide beef done well is devine. Have you ever had it?

                                                                                          1. re: hawaiigrl2003

                                                                                            NOT Sous vide New York Strip -- or any steak ftm!

                                                                                        2. re: nosh

                                                                                          See, THAT is what I cannot understand - if Carla has never done sous vide, why would she choose to do it on a beautiful NY strip steak? Very poor decision on her part.

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            I think it is that lack of self confidence coming through. Also, they got the instruction from Tom to learn and trust the soud chefs because they have gone through this before. Maybe she took that to heart.

                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              I completly agree. Very poor decesion not only to sous vide sirloin and do a Souffle but to attempt dishes she had never done before at such a pivital moment.
                                                                                              If she would have followed her heart I think she could have won.
                                                                                              Stephan deserves big props for trying to console her.

                                                                                              1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                I think NONE of this had to do with sous vide problems. More with confidence and personality problems. Casey is very type "A". Carla followed suit.

                                                                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                  Sous vide wasn't wrong they just chose the WRONG temperature to cook it at. Sous vide is precise. Casey just isn't skilled in that department!!

                                                                                          2. Fois gras foam - Marcel strikes again!
                                                                                            Damn - I knew sous vide was a bad idea for Carla

                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: amethiste

                                                                                              LOL! And boy, did Gail just NOT want to hear what Rocco was saying about the fois gras!

                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                The less attention paid to Rocco, the better I like it. So very yesterday.

                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                  Agreed. He had very little screen time, thankfully.

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    aww, leave poor Rocco alone. he's been bashed enough. i still have a soft spot for him. plus, we have bigger fish to fry now :)

                                                                                                    BTW, did anyone else find it odd that Rocco was introduced as an award-winning chef, and then Hubert Keller was introduced simply as "chef-owner" of Fleur de Lys? i imagine Keller couldn't have been too thrilled about that.

                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                      Rocco shall always get shite from me due to the debacle "The Restaurant".

                                                                                                      And I missed that intro (how the heck to you remember all of this stuff and watch and type at the same time? LOL)

                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                        ghg - i TOTALLY noticed that. i figure it was editing but i thought it was weird that there was the big deal about susan whoever (not that i'm knocking her, i just didn't know her) and then rocco and thenhubert was like "whatever". AAHHH! :)

                                                                                                        1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                          Susan Spicer has matured beautifully. The city almost gasped when a !woman! opened a restaurant inthe Quarter. Our neighbor said we had to eat there (the second week it was open) because it was good and because he didn't expect it to last. So we walked down to Bayona. It was good and I hoped she would break into the chef/owner fraternity and stay there.
                                                                                                          She did! and continues to thrive.

                                                                                                          I know this sounds sexist as hell. It is. And NOLA was when she had the audacity to open Bayona less than 20 years ago.

                                                                                                          1. re: shallots

                                                                                                            When I was in New Orleans a few years before Katrina, Susan Spicer was one of the hottest chefs in town. S
                                                                                                            Had a beautiful meal at Bayona, and really wanted to get her other place Herbsaint, but did not make it.
                                                                                                            I believe she was an apprentice of Emeril.

                                                                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                          In a way it's justified to introduce Rocco in better terms than Hubert Ketter. When Rocco first opened his stellar Union Pacific in New York, a reasonable judge might have concluded that he would one day outrank THOMAS (let alone Hubert) Keller.
                                                                                                          http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/17/din...

                                                                                                          That's why people are appalled by the very name of Rocco It's as if Michelangelo gave up painting the Sistine Chapel in order to be the mediocre lead singer of a mediocre but super-celebrity rock band. Like Milli Vanilli or Menudo.

                                                                                                          1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                            Hadn't read that article before. Fascinating.

                                                                                                            1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                              Part of a conversation between Daniel Halpern and Anthony Bourdain published in the 2007 updated/re-issued Kitchen Confidential (Harper Perrenial).

                                                                                                              . . .

                                                                                                              D.H. [Most] overrated chef?

                                                                                                              A.B. I'm not goint to give you an answer, because that's what's great about this business: when you're overrated, they grind you down, or the business shakes you up. The easy answer would be Rocco DeSpirito. That guy was a fantastic cook. Overrated as a chef, underrated as a cook.

                                                                                                              D.H. I like that. Very generous.

                                                                                                              A.B. You can sit around with a group of ten chefs. All of them will seem to hate him and what he represents. Then, some lone voice will say, "Yeah, but can he cook?" And everybody at the table will say, "Yeah, fuck yeah."

                                                                                                              1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                Brian S, to be clear, i wasn't saying that Rocco didn't deserve to be introduced as an award-winning chef...i was blessed with the good fortune to eat at UP before it closed, and it's still one of the best meals i've ever eaten. but i couldn't help thinking it might have irked some of the other chefs that Rocco was singled out as more than simply a chef and/or restaurant owner.

                                                                                                                as for the article, i posted a link to it on another Rocco thread when it was published back in December...

                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/575962

                                                                                                                i've always been one of his biggest defenders/champions here on CH, and i'll continue to be.

                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                  The fall of Rocco was his reality series. Nothing more, nothing less. Too much demystifying. I've always thought Bourdain modeled the chef in the fiction piece in "The Nasty Bits" on Rocco, as a way of karmic apology. The protagonist certainly seems modeled on him.

                                                                                                          2. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                            Rocco? Have you SEEN the restaurant? Eek. If I were Rocco I'd be humbled to appear on ANY t.v show,

                                                                                                      2. ok, second course is a toss-up, either Hosea or Stefan. let's see what happens with the third...

                                                                                                        1. Double Damn - the souffle doesn't make it

                                                                                                          1. AAAAHHHH!!!! back to her old problem of not listening to herself.

                                                                                                            1. Carla could have won this on her own!

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: burlgurl

                                                                                                                AND THEY SHOULD HAVE TO DO IT ON THEIR OWN....its not top team

                                                                                                                1. re: burlgurl

                                                                                                                  agreed. she was stumped by someone telling her her food wasn't "fancy" enough. i thought it was the "love" that made it good? and it wasn't there today. bummer. but i think she'll do just great though from this experience. and never sous vide again! (which i personally think is no loss).

                                                                                                                  1. re: burlgurl

                                                                                                                    <Carla could have won this on her own!> and she knows it. That's why all the tears. Not that she didn't win, but that she didn't do it "her way."

                                                                                                                  2. Fabio says the overall best is Hosea (as much as he'd like the title in Europe). That's pretty big of him to say that!

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      i thought (and i could be wrong - don't tell my hubby but it does happen) that he said specifically in regards to who closed the meal best. (so third course)

                                                                                                                    2. Did Gail get a boob job?

                                                                                                                      Carla is this year's Blais.

                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                        Re: the boob job - either that or she's pregnant from her honeymoon! LOL I thought something similar - NICE push-up bra, Gail! LOL

                                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                          She could be pregnant?

                                                                                                                          Or she is this year's Casey.

                                                                                                                          1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                            i assumed Gail is pregnant.

                                                                                                                            and yes, Carla definitely choked, a la Blais *and* Casey.

                                                                                                                            oy.

                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                              I did too -
                                                                                                                              There was a side shot of her that showed her belly - and she looked quite pregnant!

                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                Good to look for in the repeats. :-)

                                                                                                                          2. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                            No, Gail is just wearing one major push-up bra. She's always been known for her "friends." Plus her low-cut V-neck empire waisted dress just highlights her assets.

                                                                                                                            I'm so bummed about Carla. Hosea was on my fantasy team but I was rooting for Carla all the way.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                              I picked Carla as final winner on Fafarazzi - looks like that's out the window.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                              No one is Blais.

                                                                                                                            3. Going to be Hosea - oh, how I wish Carla had been true to herself..........

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: FlyerFan

                                                                                                                                Carla was true to herself. She failed miserably because she can't handle pressure, that's how she's been during the entire contest.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                                                                                  How was she true to herself? The sous vide was Casey's idea (something Carla doesn't do). The souffle was Casey's idea.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                                                                                    Had nothing to do with pressure. Why would she try a technique she admittedly had never done when preparing the "Best meal of your life" unless she thought Casey knew something she didn't about the judging in the finals?

                                                                                                                                    Had Casey not offered her advice, Carla likely would have offered a killer sirloin and an amazing cheese tart (and may have been TC as a result)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: FlyerFan

                                                                                                                                      still it's the crazy sushi roll with eugene and the scallops on the risotto all over again. when she just cooks she's awesome. but when she overthinks or doesn't listen to herself it all goes wrong. bummer. but hopefully she'll learn. and as she said she's still a great chef!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                                                                                      I don't agree at all. The two dishes that failed were the two dishes that she allowed Casey's ideas to take over. She had never done a sous-vide before! How is that being true to herself?! It sounds to me like you simply do not like Carla because she definitely had it in her to win this. They loved both the dishes that were "her."

                                                                                                                                  2. Oh man. I can't believe it's going to be Hosea...

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: aecs

                                                                                                                                      It looks like it's going to be Hosea, but Carla can cook for me any time. Stephan ... well, whatever.

                                                                                                                                    2. OK, being completely Oliver Stone here but is Casey Machiavellian enough to torpedo Carla deliberately?

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                        I can't believe she'd do that.

                                                                                                                                      2. NO NO NO NO NO.

                                                                                                                                        It CAN'T be Hosea!! This has to be "throw us off the trail" editing!!

                                                                                                                                        If not Carla (so sad), then at least Stefan!!

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                          I completely agree. It cannot/should not be Hosea. He definitely doesn't deserve it.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            This sucks. Hosea does not deserve this at all. He barely deserves to be in the final.
                                                                                                                                            Phooey.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: pitu

                                                                                                                                              And he's STILL talking about it coming down neck-and-neck against Stefan! What a little baby! It's like who can piss longer in the snow!

                                                                                                                                              I really detest that he won. He did NOT deserve it.

                                                                                                                                        2. Tom's assessment of Carla was spot-on...she let her sous-chef talk her out of doing the food that got her to the finale.

                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                            She's definitely third.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              And she knows it.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                and SO SO sad. :(
                                                                                                                                                she's breaking my heart!!!! they ALL feel bad.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                  this is so sad. She could have had it all.....

                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  that was so sad just now when she broke down!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                    I thought it was so sweet how Stefan consoled her.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, she heard that line, it sunk in and rang true and then she was thinking about nothing else for the next 15-20 minutes while they talked with Hosea and Steffan and she couldn't hold it together when they got back to her.

                                                                                                                                                4. Carla just admitted that she knows she's not THE top chef for this competition. Was pleased to see Stefan comfort her!

                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    Stefan is showing his humanity, or excuse me, the editors are finally showing Stefan's humanity.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                      EXACTLY. The editors are showing it. We never got to see it before.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                        but if you watched - it's really been there all along. frankly hosea said nothing. think he's going to win but i still don't like him. that wasn't editing. i just don't like him as well.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                          He's a softy, and it's been there all along, way back when he was making little gifts for Jamie. (It looks like he still has a crush on her -- apparently the lesbian thing hasn't sunk in yet).

                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, he's competitive: it's a competition. What's he supposed to say, that he's there to lose? That he doesn't think he's the best? If you don't think you can be the best, then you shouldn't compete!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                          If I may,
                                                                                                                                                          I believe the editors were showing his soft side for I'd say the last 4 or 5 episodes, but many viewers already had their idea of him set in stone.
                                                                                                                                                          I had been pleading with folks to re-watch the episodes because his kind and compassionate side was there, but many were not convinced!
                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes a first impression costs a lot!
                                                                                                                                                          If you do re-watch the shows - look for him being sweet in more than a few instances.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                            not completely. they still hid it. they didn't show that he helped with the oysters. you had to want to see and go look for that info.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                              I agree when I rewatched them all yesterday I noticed Stephan really wasn't all that bad but Hosea had beeen bitching and complaning about others since the beginning.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                Nah - If it was hidden - then how come I saw it!

                                                                                                                                                                there were loads of bits - just the way he kissed the contestants good-bye showed he had compassion... LOADS of bits...telling Leah "Love you forever" and helping her in the Le Bernadine challenge...I'm not going to beat a dead horse - but it was there - I know because everytime I noticed something my heart melted a bit!!
                                                                                                                                                                Even just the way he told Carla "be there in a minute honey" was sweet

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                  I liked when he asked the voodoo priestess if Jamie would be in his love life.
                                                                                                                                                                  I always thought Stefan kidded around a lot and didn't think he was mean spirited. He always had an opinion and voiced it but I don't see anything wrong with that.
                                                                                                                                                                  I think he enjoyed playing the role he was cast in and hammed it up. I also think he was one of the few (like Hung) who never feared a challenge, bring it on, whatever it is. I think that's what turns people off of Hosea, he won by playing it safe every step of the way and never challenged himself. It was a winning a strategy but it seems he made a lot of food that most people aren't the least bit interested in.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            I was pleased about that too.

                                                                                                                                                          3. Carla's breakdown was kind of hard to watch. It was the first time that someone lost it this season that I really felt for them.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aecs

                                                                                                                                                              "It was the first time that someone lost it this season that I really felt for them."

                                                                                                                                                              If you think about it - there was not allot of tears this season!
                                                                                                                                                              I remember Arianne crying in the stew room very early on, and I think Jamie - once...other than that the chefs really kept thier composure this year.

                                                                                                                                                            2. TY just uttered his most thoughtful and accurate line of the season:

                                                                                                                                                              "If we're going to give it to the most soulful chef, then we should give it to Carla."

                                                                                                                                                              it almost made me not hate him for a second.

                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                I KNOW.

                                                                                                                                                                And new record - yours was the 100th post (I was tracking) - started this thread at 10:02, and 100th post went up just 52 minutes later. <vbg>

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  Nice! :)

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                  he's right too.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                    AHHHHH NOT HOSEA!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                3. Ugh can't believe it. He shouldn't have won. Grrrrr.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I KNEW IT! She looked at Hosea, and then looked at Stefan - AWAY from Hosea....I knew it would be him.

                                                                                                                                                                    Dammit!

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                      LOL, Linda i was watching her eyes based on what you said last week about her!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                        Did you see it? They had TWO different shots of it - close-up and then the long-shot from behind Stefan.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. knew it. still don't like him and have no interest in eating in his restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I haven't felt this let down since the Ilan fiasco. This is depressing.

                                                                                                                                                                        The only consolation is that he has to go home to face his ex-girlfriend and also having to deal with Leah. that is a fate worse than death.

                                                                                                                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                          Seriously wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                          And next week's reunion show should be awkward - they ask Hosea and Leah if they're together. Good. I hope they really squirm.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                            i just said the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                              Did you see the KISS that Laeh laid on him?OVER? i DONT THINK SO.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                I can't decide if that's a tease that will be disproved next week, or if it will just be that much more hideous and disgusting that lame old Hosea won the prize and is dating that other not-the-best chef.
                                                                                                                                                                                And no, I can't believe I care. But Ewwwww. Damnit.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                  OK, please tell me that does NOT happen! I'm hoping it's one of those teases that NEVER gets shown on the actual show.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                    <Did you see the KISS that Laeh laid on him?OVER? i DONT THINK SO.> d

                                                                                                                                                                                    oesn't mean anything except that Leah doesn't want it to be over. Boulder, CO and Manhattan are about 2K apart, and a 4 hour plane ride, How's that for geographically undesirable?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                      I just saw the ad for the reunion show, and I'm pretty sure that kiss was a clip from the restaurant wars episode -- they were showing it at the reunion and then there's a shot of Leah apparently watching it and looking embarrassed.... At least that's what it looked like.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                      not sure it will help him as much as he hopes. and carla, fabio, and even stefan, jamie, and jeff - and ariane probably - should all benefit.

                                                                                                                                                                                      i think the award goes to richard by the way! who i do like! so i'm going to keep telling myself that!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                        True ...the others will benefit more.....but I still would like that money.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I'm a bit bummed as well. I'm sure Hosea is a good chef. However, I really felt like it should have been either Carla or Stefan judging from the whole season.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It was heartbreaking to see Carla so upset. Usually I don't give a damn.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                          did you see his real girlfriend in the photos on Bravo....she is beautiful.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                            OK, now I KNOW HOsea is deranged. She is gorgeous. And probably doesn't whine as much as Leah.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                              Ex-girlfriend according to his burning questions blog a few weeks back. http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                                where is that photo? and i know - how sad that i care! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/hosea -- scroll to #3 in the photo gallery. She's in a couple other shots, but that's the closest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks! that was super fast! :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    she is pretty. and while leah annoys me... you can't tell about whiny and compatibility from a picture. i wish everyone happy. i bet (particularly at that age) i could look quite bad on reality tv too!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Another year where the wrong person wins. Phooey!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                The second year in a row where the wrong person wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hurner

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I quite DISagree! Last year there were two contestants who deserved to win, but only one could. Richard "slipped" in the final, if you remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stephanie was very deserving of the win.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Worst season, worst "top chef" ever

                                                                                                                                                                                                I can't believe they gave it to Hosea... Stefan deserved it way more than him

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Most whiny, bitchy, annoying, mediocre top chef winner of all time. Wow what a disappointing season. I'd take Jeff, Jamie or Stefan over him easily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This didn't bother me nearly as much as Ilan winning... Overall, it was a weak season skill-wise, and Stefan's flaws were evident to most viewers quite early, even as he kept winning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's funny that both Richard and Casey were there tonight, as they both produced the food I'd be most interested in having of all the top chef candidates over the years, especially compared with this season...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Garris

                                                                                                                                                                                                      IIan has more skills in his toe than Hosea could ever dream of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's my point... It's about what they do that day and the quality of contestants in a season. Take a field of mediocre finalists and any one of them can win on any given day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's the weakness of a show like this... We can't taste the food. It seemed clear that they preferred Hosea's dishes, and who was absolutely clearly stronger than him over the course of the season? Stefan yes, but who else? Maybe Jamie, but after watching her last three episodes, perhaps not... Carla only came into her own the last few weeks, and after seeing they were going to be paired up with someone (which Carla always did poorly with the entire season), I knew she had no shot...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Garris

                                                                                                                                                                                                          According to Toby Young's blog on Bravo, Hosea's dishes won by just a smidge over Stefan's. He said he and Tom Colicchio came to loggerheads going back and forth as to who should be the final winner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Exactly, Hosea did win, by a smidge or otherwise... Thus, he was Top Chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think the show has to clarify, for itself and its viewers, how they judge eliminations... Is it like sports, where a unstoppable juggernaut of a team or performer can have a bad day and get eliminated, or does past performance count to tilt or massage one's performance that day?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd like to formally see them announce that both are true... That during the "regular season," past performance and consistency is considered, but that during the semi-finals and finals, it's that meal and that meal only that matters. If they did that, I think there would be a lot less debate and unhappiness like there is now...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Garris

                                                                                                                                                                                                              They've clarified how they judge countless times...it's on that one individual meal. Toby Young said he asked Colicchio whether or not, if it was tied at the last two (after agreeing that Carla was out of the running) would they go back to look at past performances? Tom said yes to that. THAT is where the issue of who wins came up - Toby thought they were completely tied, whereas Tom thought Hosea had edged out Stefan...and eventually, Padma and Gail agreed with Tom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do like your idea of them telling us that past performance and consistency count towards eliminations (or not) during the season, but once it's down to the end - it's that one meal that can push you over the top or do you in. Agree on the "less unhappiness" from the viewers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Even though I am totally opposed to making anything so legalistic that there are no wiggle room, I do think that the way they do all these shows: TC, Project Runway, etc. are just way too loosey goosey with their judging. They keep jumping back and forth and bringing up issues that were black and white preivously. Some of it has to do with the guest judges and a lot of it has to do with the permanent judges. You can not help but remember how the contestants did in previous challenges. I also find it disingenuous that Tom always starts off by telling a shaky contestant that they did badly a challenge or two ago when the judging criteria has to do with just that one challenge. I understand he is using the comment as incentive for the contestants, but it IS rather confusing when he says it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The problem is that these competitions are judging aesthetics, which are very personal. There are very few objectives to measure and there are multiple items that need to be weighed -- it all comes down taste and preference, and to some extent even experience, when they start talking about whether food is boring or dated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The judging on Top Chef does seem to be a little more subjective than on Project Runway, where the judges actually write down comments and point scores for the designs before they discuss them. I think it's too easy for someone to get swayed during the discussion by extraneous factors (and to be honest, much as I like Tom, I suspect he bullies the panel during these discussions).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Where is Ilan now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry no contest most bitchy and whiny, contestant let alone winner, by far is that silly little Ilan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            (He) is the least talented ‘chef’ by far to have won. He slid through by luck and only cooking recipes he ‘borrowed’ from his boss.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It will be the end of TC if a cook of less ability was to win. At that point why even bother with a cooking competition?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. blogs are totally already up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Looks like Toby Young fought for Stefan to win!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            and Toby Young apparently fought for Stefan to win. he has one very amusing line toward the end:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Did I want Stefan to win because, like me, he’s an obnoxious bald guy? "

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              the blogs are good that are up. i liked richard's comments. and stefan's were pretty cool too. but i've never been a hater.... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Hosea? Why? whiner... big sandy va....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I overlooked it when Ilan won; now with Hosea's win, I may have to quit Top Chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. This. Sucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sad. What an inauspicious ending. I'm just not even into talking about it now. That's just ... wrong. Really. It's the wrong ending. Out of the 17 chefs, I don't believe he was the best. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh well. <sigh> Thanks for the chat each week guys. It was fun. See you next season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wait, there is the reunion show next week. Maybe the big twist is that everyone pummels Hosea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    he should totally suffer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guarantee Fan Favorite and Top Chef aren't going to be the same this season!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        everyone pummels Hosea except for Leah...she sits in his lap & coos at him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        charmedgirl, I share your sentiment exactly! What a let down!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I feel like I wasted 4 months or however long this show was on for - You cant have a top chef that may be 7th behind - stefan, carla, jeff, jaime, fabio, and the kid who was eliminated 1st out of culinary school (ok maybe not him).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hate casey and I hate stefan for freezing a fish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. AHHH! Carla did the same thing she did in the previous competition. She didn't listen to herself. I thought she was over that since she was making great dishes. How DISSAPPOINTING! Because you know if she pulled it off, that she would be TC right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Carla: "I wanted you Casey!"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Carla -- didn't you remember Casey's "kiss of death/black widow" curse?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh crap I *forgot* about the Black Widow Curse!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But interestingly, Richard Blais described Casey as having food with "soul" and as being "made with love".....perfect match for Carla - IF Carla had just kept control of the situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The thing is, Carla is such a thoughtful soul, she will replay this endlessly in her head. Listening to Casey was a terrible mistake, and it is Carla that paid the price. Carla had the prize in her sights, and gave it away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, Carla was TOO nice. She listened to a loser. She substituted a loser for her personal muse. Yes, it was ultimately Carla's fault for listening to her, but Casey should have backed off a little more realizing how tough it is to be in Carla's position. Instead of inserting herself into the competition, she should have take more of a supporting role. Says a lot about her character and her desire to redeem herself instead of getting Carla to win. Sous vide a sirloin? Souffle under intense time pressure? You've GOT to be kidding. No wonder she's the wannabe coming back. Yeah, I'm bitter. That biatch did my girl wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly....look at Marcel's comment - he definitely wouldn't have done the dessert that Stefan did but it wasn't *his* competition to lose. He did what he was told to do by Stefan (although I did catch one shot of Marcel giving a look to Stefan when Stefan was barking out orders like he was a dink! LOL)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Richard Blais said it well - "Among the three teams, it was Goldilocks and the three bears: Carla’s team, over-utilized Casey. Too hot. Stefan under-utilized Marcel. Too cold. And Hosea makes chesnut and celery root porridge. Just right!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  but he also describes their style as completely different. to be honest i think he was doing that to not make everyone hate casey!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  oh and did you see where stefan said he picked marcel because he knew marcel could cook and because he saw the freaked out look in carla's eyes about the possibility of getting marcel. maybe she would have been better off?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stephan and Casey,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Carla and Marcel would have been much better. O WELL.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Still, serious grudge against Casey. yeah yeah, Carla's fault for being a team player and not keeping control of her deal. Wolverine was at least acting like a sous -- ready to execute whatever was asked of him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hosea really lucked out with all the first picks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    O WELL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pitu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      except that carla would've picked casey i bet. maybe richard but i really think casey so...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        no way. did you *see* the look on her face when she drew #3? carla knew she was sunk/stuck with casey, and made the best of it with her loving embracing self.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and then she lost her mind and listened to that sous (and blarh, tom c's advice about listening to your sous who had been through it before)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was never a fan, but now . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pitu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          honestly i still think she thought she was stuck with marcel. i bet she thought she couldn't work with him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pitu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here is what Stefan said in his interview on the Bravo site:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "I picked Marcel because I looked in Carla's eyes and she was freaked out if she would have been paired up with Marcel."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So he believed that she was freaked about getting saddled with Marcel, not Casey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kmcarr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought that was really interesting. Stefan looking out for Carla right from the start. It's too bad he can be so arrogant, because he really does seem to have a good heart when it comes down to it. It should be noted he was equally looking out for himself too since Marcel isn't exactly a slouch in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But as it turned out, Stefan picking Marcel was the death-knell for Carla. Nicely ironic. I must admit, unlike a lot of the other posters here, I thought this was the most interesting finale of the series. Not because of the cooking, which was frequently mediocre, and rarely interesting (it was telling, that a lot of the praise for winning dishes over the series was because of their simplicity), but because of the personalities, and the twists and turns (in a unique, non-TV manufactured manner). In fact, a lot of what occurred over the two-part finale went deeply against the grain of pre-manufectured/edited TV reality shows: Stefan's transformation from villain to softy, Carla's complex personality and up-and-down technique, Hosea's "luck" and muddle through strategy to ultimate success. To me, all very enjoyable and intriguing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jbw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's the basic conflict on this show. The producers (and most of the audience) want a really interesting show with lots of drama and surprises and lovable/hatable contestants. The chowhounds want a fair contest where the best cook wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    very good observation, Brian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with Brian and Patticakes, and wish that chowhounds' wants could control just one season.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lots more pictures of food, of the decisions that are made. (Stefan's comments on how he knew what to do with alligator should be replayed in the ears of the editors until they forget the word shomance.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let me just add that the people who make Top Chef are very good at what they do. If there were an Academy Award for "Best editor of a documentary" and TV reality shows were allowed to compete, Top Chef would grab that award every year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jbw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But I think that Carla would have picked Casey if she'd had the first choice, so it really didn't make any difference. She knew that Casey's cooking style was closer to hers than the two molecular gastronomy wizzes and that Marcel, at least, would not be a personality she would work with well. Who knew that Casey would turn out to be such a disaster!?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ruth,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My first thought was OK, take Blais, but if that doesn't happen, avoid Marcel at all cost which meant taking Casey. Who knew, indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i forgot about that too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          damn, we should make a crib sheet of all this stuff for future reference!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't remember the Black Widow Curse. Refresh my memory? Stephan called Marcel a twat (but you know who isnt?) that was priceless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            THe ending was so anticlimactic. Ugh, I feel like I wasted an hour of my life seeing Hosea win. Seeing him just reminds me of all that crap that went on with Leah. And would you really want that to be the first thought people think of when they see you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: porkbutt03

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the season 3 reunion show, they showed a montage of everyone Casey teamed up with being sent home. The chefs even had a running tally in the stew room, IIRC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Of course I'm disappointed in Carla's choke, which if you think about it was a LOT like how Casey lost, too. At least Carla didn't have to suffer the ignominy of sitting backstage and watching the finale live, like they forced them to do (SO sadistically) in season 3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But viewers LOVED that woman, and her final words about wanting to show she could compete with love...well, I actually broke up a bit at that. The woman will do wonderfully, prize cash or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stefan showed exactly why I always said he had no business up there. Same problem I had with Hung. Stefan's a robot. And that dessert? TOTALLY unappealing. Can you in a million years imagine any fine restaurant offering up such a nightmare of nonsense flavor combinations, textures and plating? Maybe he can find a nice cruise ship that needs a pastry chef. And his first course was so bad nouvelle. Ick. No interest in eating any white fish raw with salmon, thanks. I'm very pleased he didn't seem to have come close.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hosea? Seems he clearly made the best meal overall, though I didn't think the foie foam looked appealing. Obviously, I didn't taste it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hosea certainly ties with Hung for least inspiring Top Chef. Neither one of them holds a candle to king of the d-bags Ilan. But I deffo won't seek out Chez Hosea any time soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Could either one of the men have been more dismissive of Carla? Was she not even there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Poo for Carla. I've never loved a reality show contestant half as much as that woman. What a sterling example of humanity, even in the pressure cooker they were in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          well at least Carla got a car and superbowl tickets. I think we won't be seeing the last of her. :) Yeah she's awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, Hung was my all time favourite top chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I like Hung too. Not a robot. A pain in the ass who could cut up a chicken like nobody's bidnes....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                He was a very good technician and extremely fast. If I could really cook and had a restaurant, I'd hire him. But I just saw him play the judges so baldly. They kept saying he had no heart, and in his final "why I should win this" monologue he played up how much of himself he'd put into it. This after serving a boatload of models salmon mousse on cucumber slices, then calling the judges stupid for saying it's a bad '80s cliche.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I actually didn't think Dale or Casey deserved to be up there that season, either. But I've never really been all that blown away by the innovation or chops of most contestants on this show. Harold is the only winner who I can say I truly think embodies what I think of as a "Top Chef." Stephanie is a very good cook and seemingly a delightful person. But she doesn't exactly light my fire like my favorite locals do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Again, Hung certainly is a very good cook. I just saw someone playing the game too transparently -- and that combined with his extreme arrogance wasn't my cup of tea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  what about handsome sam (as I called him in my head)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LPhila

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did you ever read the televisionwithoutpity.com blogs that season? The recapper called him "Son of Sam," and I thought it was hilarious. But his participation/acquiescence in the attack on the (extremely-d-baggy) Marcel was reprehensible to me. That whole season was dead to me by the final few episodes, which I quit watching in disinterest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I actually thought he made some very interesting food. Pickles are under-appreciated, but he understands how great and surprising they can be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    agree to disagree - who else has prepared a meal with the 'three star michelin' tag or 'i'm almost a little jealous' bestowed on them by someone like English or Bernstein. No one else over the five seasons - including Harold, my personal favorite - had that type of flattery put upon them (and don't blame editing, they wouldn't leave those comments out). I think Hung's the best of the series run thus far and other than Blais, its not really close.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Though Hosea wouldn't be my first pick of a chef this season to choose to frequent (that would be Jeff), I'm a little surprised at all the animosity on these boards. The rivalry/jealousy with Stefan proved pretty justified over the last few episodes, where for me, Stefan went from being a potential victim of shitty editing to an ass determined to laud his skills over Hosea at every point, when they weren't in actuality that far above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All in all, a fine result - I still hope Ilan is working at a Waffle House somewhere....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, add me to the list of Hung lovers. He is arrogant, but he's got the chops. He even made it to the finals for the American team for Bocuse d'Or this year. You can't get that far if you're just a technician.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So funny because I was thinking, "At least it was more exciting than when Hung won". I knew he was a great chef but that final was the most boring ever....did they even do a reunion show for that season?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bummed about Hosea winning, heart broken for and about Carla, I was hoping she would take it, but loved that she talked about being a different kind of competitor, so true....loved her for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also liked Hung. I think people think he's a robot because he's an immigrant and doesn't speak perfect English. You can't cook with soul if you have a think asian accent....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      they were not dismissive of carla. seriously.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and i loved hung and while this wasn't stefan's best showing he was a step above hosea. read the blogs. it was close.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      don't get me wrong i was rooting for carla but still...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Gail, you ignorant sl.....star....Stefan's deserts were 1992? but you and the bald Tom didn't notice that Hosea's treatment of redfish (blackening it) (Hosea appetizer) was old and tired in 1992.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The inconsistancy of the judging....someone on TWOP talked about last years when the unpleasant chef had more bests, but Stephanie won.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not sure if this winner is more of a (fill in your favorite four letter descriptive curse word) than Ilan. But this definitely goes down as one NOT to rewatch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stefan showed the man he is by his concern for Carla. Hosea showed the man he isn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        shallots, blackening is hardly outdated. Blackening is now considered a solid classic technique, particularly in New Orleans -- as opposed to a weird, over-composed dessert and a watery, frozen-and-thawed raw fish dish. Freezing fish at its height of freshness is a bizarre, non-Top-Chefly thing to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Blackening redfish? is classic. Nope. I was there when it had been done a decade. Backening other fish...or seafoods...or proteins with very strong tastes might be an interpretation of a classic....but blackening redfish is trite. And has been for over three decades.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (I would guess the Boulder Library cookbook section got a workout from Hosea.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Freezing protein to make clean cuts ....etc. ....I'll go with Keller over your interpretation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hosea showed his true colors by giving Stefan alligator and shouting "F-- you, Stefan", by taking ALL the foie gras and by taking ALL the caviar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Hurner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He didn't take ALL the fois gras -- he took two out of three packages. And it was Stefan who took all the caviar. Someone had to get the alligator, and Hosea was quite right in saying that if Stefan had been making the assignments, he would have given it to Hosea -- it's the nature of the competition. Basically, I think the whole incident was hyped by the producers looking for drama.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Are you sure about Stefan taking the caviar?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The issue isn't that Hosea assigned the croc to Stefan it's that Hosea was given two advantages based on the luck of the draw.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd rather it be settled by cooking, not by knife pulling and Stefan should have gotten a lot more credit for that croc soup. He presented a wow dish using something he'd never used before that he was given at the last minute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A correction, if my recollection is faulty: Hosea took the majority of the foie gras (certainly more than was necessary for his dish). And it was Hosea, not Stefan, who took all of the caviar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hurner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I remember correctly, Hosea took all three of the foie gras packages initially. Stefan said something about it and Hosea brought one of the packages back and offered to split the second one so they would each have 1 1/2 packages. Stefan said something that I didn't catch and Hosea walked away with the two packages he was holding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LabRat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and it was def Hosea who took the caviar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (is anyone else having trouble posting?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hosea took all the fois and all the caiviar initially but gave back some of each. That included three packages of fois and six caviar. He was taking from the other other chefs more than he was planning to use.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If Stephan would have won he surely would would have stuck Hosea with the gator as well. I'm not sure he would have flipped him off with the vigor to match hoseas shoulder chip but I'm certain their would have been some appropriate comment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "I'm not sure he would have flipped him off with the vigor to match hoseas shoulder chip but I'm certain their would have been some appropriate comment."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL!!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    absolutely!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, it's true....Snaggletooth initially took three packages of foie gras (far more than it took to top a seared scallop on pain perdu) and six jars of caviar for himself! Sabotage?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I see I'm in the minority, but I'm glad Hosea won. I like him. He was solid all season in the kitchen, and he was refreshingly human in his interactions, succumbing to a stupid feud with Stefan and permitting himself a dalliance with Leah. His cooking was solid -- not too many wins, but rarely facing removal. He made a lot of smart decisions, including picking Blais and finishing just smart enough with his venison rather than risking a dessert which was not his or his sous chef's strength.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sure, Carla started impressing me in the final weeks and she certainly became a fan favorite. But she was on the verge of elimination more than a couple of times early. Stefan has cooking chops, but he's a jerk, arrogant, and anyone who risks $100k to take a smoking break is just stupid and undisciplined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm happy for Hosea. But in retrospect, you would hope that the competition would get stronger season by season as more cheftestants tried out. They should learn and be more and more prepared as the tasks and seasons become variations on a theme. Stefanie and Richard from last year seem more consistent and stronger than this year's trio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Umm... made a smart decision by picking Blaise? That was decided for him by picking the right knife... erm duh! And if the app situation was reversed and Stefan stuck him with the alligator, he would have been DEAD. (And did I mention that his whining is still really lame?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: theonceler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, it wasn't made for him by picking knife #1. He still had first choice - he *could* have chosen Marcel or Casey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I actually thought that this was a little unfair -- I completely expected that Carla would get first pick as the winner of Part 1. I was so surprised that they picked knives for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's what I thought as well. But I guess they're considered two completely separate competitions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          doesn't matter who she picked. she let her sous chef guide the meal, instead of stepping up. a top chef runs a kitchen. a top chef takes charge, and a top chef produces from their own vision. carla did none of that, and lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He could have also made the choice to pee on his food. Maybe its just me but choosing either of the other two over RB would have been insane.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "anyone who risks $100k to take a smoking break is just stupid and undisciplined"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By playing little mind games with the other contestants ( This is SOOO easy I'm going for a smoke break.....What do you think of that?) Stephan was able to fluster 50% of his competition. Since he moved on it clearly was not a "stupid" or "undisciplined" move.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Those would be great descriptives for Hosea who has shown us he is neither loyal or trustworthy and some a real chip on his shoulder.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If Stephan would have sunk Hosea with the gator Hosea would have gone down in flames.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hosea faced elimination 4 times throughout the season, more than anyone else on the show. I wouldn't call that 'rarely facing removal'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Ugh, this just shows how flawed the judging is by just basing the win on one challenge. Hosea won like two challenges only and they were a long time ago. He's so unremarkable! And he's an ass. I don't know why the editing team chose to make Stefan seem like the evil one of the season, he did not cheat on his girlfriend. And he helps other contestants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hosea had luck. That's all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Poor dear Carla. I feel sooooo bad for her. What an awfull time for a life lesson. For the first time in my life I was standing yelling at the TV.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NOOOOOOO Not Sous Vide sirloin.......Noooooo Not Souffle. Arrrrgghh. She totally gave control to a previous loser.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have to ask all of those who felt that Stephan was such jerk if they noticed he was in tears at the judges table realizing what Carla had done and the mistake she had made.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stephan was robbed of the title. I enjoyed this season and the show but if they really want to continue to call the show top chef and not top meal then they need to revamp the way they judge and give some credit for prior wins.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't even bother eating at Hosea's place.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd drive a very long ways to eat Carlas Food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I have just two things to say: "Boo" (re:Hosea) and "Boo hoo" (re:Carla).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Hmmm.... Hosea wins. I'm not happy about that. The seafood chef that still can't cook seafood. His last course is probably what gave him the win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Carla! You have to have more confidence in yourself! Kind of ironic that Casey would recommend sous vide. Didn't she complain about sous vide during her season?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After the Ilan win, TC has been rebuilding its rep with me. Now, I'm not sure I trust the judging and editing again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. This morning in CT is dark and gloomy, matching my mood after the finale. Hosea won fair and square, but the producers should have done their job and made him at least a tiny bit likeable. Come on, he's got to have a sick relative or cute puppy or something. Show us! At least Ilan knew his limitations. Stefan redeemed himself completely in his comforting of Carla--and in the end I had to come out of my closet with my secret crush on his bald Euro ass. But none of the food seemed to have much to do with Nola and none of it looked that appealing, frankly. Only bright spot in the show was the freeing of Gail's twins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: newhavener07

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hosea's dad has cancer. I'm surprised that they didn't work that into the storyline more. And I was a bit suspicious of the public apology Hosea made in late January on the bravo website (when the finale was taped). I think that was Bravo trying to make him a bit more likeable and do some damage control because we just couldn't go through the Ilan thing again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's right, I forgot about that. I guess it's to Bravo's credit that they didn't hype that part more. But what about his life in Boulder? His charity work? Why do I feel like I've just woken up after a distasteful one-night (one-season) stand?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: newhavener07

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Why do I feel like I've just woken up after a distasteful one-night (one-season) stand?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're not the only one. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good reminder on the public apology that Hosea made. But sorry - it didn't make him any more likable in my eyes. His behavior throughout was childish, and despite what his defenders say, that has to be part of his personality if it came out *so often* throughout the entire show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Was it as bad as Ilan? No. I doubt anyone can be as much of an a$$hat as Ilan was. But Hosea continued to act like a petulant child throughout, stomping his foot because Stefan kept beating him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. i was pulling for stefan, but hosea won the challenge. it seemed close, but this game is always about the individual challenge , and not the overall performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and to all of you who though stefan was an uncaring ass.. do you think anyone else would have teared up the same way and called carla kitty, and been as clearly moved? he wasn't an ass, he just had a strong game face.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was very touched in his support of Carla and he was clearly moved by her disappointing evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I come in so late, but when a person lives in Europe, watching American television is always delayed. It's gotten worse since you all started live blogging the thing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Even so, I have some comments:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. To those who commented that the editing FINALLY showed Stefan to be a nice guy (going to comfort Carla), I think I would say that what you saw explicitly rendered is something some of the posters here had been observing in a more casual way throughout the series.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Did anyone else get the feeling (from the editing at least) that Tom C. seemed distinctly ready to cut Stefan out of the competition at any cost? I have yet to read Toby Young's account, but I'm not surprised to hear that he and TC were at loggerheads. At every tasting TC's comments hinted at a fault-finding mission. I'm not going to say that's what caused Hosea's win (the desert. while decent, seemed uninspired, but I'm not a sweets fan) but I did find the selected comments on display to indicate some sort of hostility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I'm not too worried about the loss of Stefan and Carla. I mean, my heart went out to Carla and I would have loved to see the meal she would have done without Casey's suggestions. But I suspect that runners up in Top Chef may not do so poorly. They get publicity for their businesses and continued opportunities, none of which come with a promise that Bravo owns something of you in perpetuity (at least, that is or was the case with Project Runway).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I agree with you, Lizard - there were some posters who were able to realize that Stefan was much more of a softie and had empathy than others of us - myself included in that latter group. It does soften a good bit of the animosity I had towards Stefan throughout the season to see how he treated Carla so sweetly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tom's been more of a bear this season, for some reason. He just hasn't seemed to have enjoyed this round as much as he has in the past. Not sure why - I think he was opening up some new restaurants (his blog disappeared from Bravo's site for awhile, which is disappointing, as I like to hear his side of things after viewing the show). Is he getting tired of the show? Not sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I have to believe that Carla's going to win Fan Favorite. I *think* that comes with a $10,000 prize - so that, the Superbowl tix, and the car, should be some consolation to her, I hope. I agree that I would have loved to have seen what Carla would have done with the blue cheese tart she had originally envisioned in place of the souffle that dumb-ass Casey suggested. (STILL bugs me that Casey had so much influence over Carla, AND that Carla went along with it. Grrrr.....)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will be very interested to see how the reunion show goes next week; I do hope that Carla has stopped second-guessing herself, and uses the experience to do HER food in the future. And don't they tell us where the next TC will be filmed during the reunion show? I hope so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Linda,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think your item 2 needs exploring. Tom turned on Stefan for reasons as yet unknown.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Did Tom not like something he heard in the editing of one of the early shows? Some of the other contestants merited his ire from the edit we saw.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or did Stefan not like some of the things he saw on the Judges' Table that the contestants weren't privy to?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stefan came to NOLA either with a "what is this man Coliccio?" wonder or a "I won't be judged on the same plane as others so I'm screwed" Or Tom read him the riot act (Tom version) in an extended judging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There have been reports that Tom is renegotiating with Bravo; that report surfaced about the time when his blogs slowed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are also reports that next season is set for Las Vegas.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Does Tom own part of Top Chef or who does and who holds the purse strings? Money makes lots of people grumpy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This also has to do with the production company being at odds with Bravo over Project Runway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting on the contract renegotiation with Bravo, shallots. I hadn't heard. And I hope it's *not* Vegas. There are other areas of the country that need exploring, as has been discussed on other threads. I like Savannah, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest as choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually I believe they recently did a casting in Philadelphia, so depending on filming cycles that may be the next season's locale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Edit: whoops... my mistake. It was just the standard multi city casting call. Top Chef Las Vegas here we come?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kasiav

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Castings are done all over the place, just like on most reality shows. Has no bearing on where the next season's locale will be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also want to comment on your second point. I agree with you, Tom really has seemed to be "displeased" this entire season. I don't think he is tired of the show, although he may be tired from a busy schedule. I think he wasn't happy with the quality of contestants this season, and it showed. He had a "you need to do better" talk with the cheftestants this season, he has used the words "don't embarrass me" before a dinner with famous and well respected chefs and these are just a couple of examples. If I remember correctly, he has had a hand in the casting in the past. I am pretty sure he has asked his chef friends to recommend people for the show. I will look it up to make sure I didn't dream this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stefan - I think he is definitely nicer than how he was portrayed on TC, and that was proved last night. He has shown a willingness to help other cheftestants, and I think it comes from a place of wanting to win fair and square. I can't decide if I'm sorry he lost, he definitely has the skills but I think he lacks the soul.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hosea - I really wish he didn't win. I've never been a fan of his. For a chef in a fish restaurant, it's nice to see in the finale he cooked a piece of fish properly. I wasn't happy when Ilan won, but when Hosea won last night I was just kind of meh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Carla- I was really rooting for her last night. She was easily my favorite, but I'm still unsure if it is because I like her as a person or because I want to eat her food. I'm sorry she didn't learn from her previous mistakes and cook food that was reminiscent of her. I would have liked to see who would have come out on top if it was a three way race. I know she is kicking herself, but she did walk away with some great prizes, including exposure. I hope she beats out Fabio for fan favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Casey - I think she should have retracted her suggestion to sous vide the beef after she found out Carla had never before used that method of cooking. She has been in Carla's shoes before, and she should have realized what the judges would think. I do realize that everything I just said about Casey can be said in reverse about Carla, and I agree. I do think that Carla is to blame, but I also think that Casey deserves about 2% of the blame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Richard - Seeing him last night really made me want to take a road trip out to try his new restaurant. My fiance said while watching the finale, Richard is probably kicking himself for not applying to be on the show one year later because he would have easily won. Funny, but true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After watching the sous chefs from seasons past, I wonder if the results would have been different if the cheftestant/sous chef pairings were different. The one thing that was clear to me, all of the sous chefs could run circles around this past season's final three.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lastly, I had to laugh when Gail did her head bob and roll her eyes at what Rocco was saying...too funny!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After watching the sous chefs from seasons past, I wonder if the results would have been different if the cheftestant/sous chef pairings were different. The one thing that was clear to me, all of the sous chefs could run circles around this past season's final three.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly one of my thoughts from last night when I couldn't sleep after the finale. I wonder what, say, a 4 show mini-challenge would be like with ALL of the previous 2nd or 3rd place runners-up being put against each other. I think the strongest would be Tiffani, Richard Blais, and Dale Levitski.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would love to see the runners up compete against each other. I agree with you that Tiffani, Blais and Dale would be the strongest, but I think I would also add Sam to that list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know if you have read the recaps at Gawker, I find them funny and I think this one is hilarious. One of the commenters said that this was really Blais' win, the plates were prettier & refined and some of the food was clearly his, think foam. While I'm not sure what I think about that just yet, although I think it's interesting, that comment has really got me thinking. Not just about what could have been if the pairing were different, but what did the sous chefs do for the cheftestants. Clearly they focused on Carla and Casey, but not so much with the others. I would have liked to know what the sous chefs thought the job entailed going into the challenge, what specifically they did and what they thought about the chefs and the food after the challenge. I remember in past seasons the judges sought the opinion of the sous chefs. They didn't do that this year, and I'm a little disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://gawker.com/5160829/top-chef-en...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While I love my honey, Sam, I'm not sure if he could compete with the other three. But I would enjoy seeing him again. And again, and again, and again. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And I agree - it looks like Blais helped a LOT with plating - much more refined. I would love, love, LOVE to see the sous chefs' JT - I'd bet a LOT would be revealed there! (I don't recall them showing that before - did they?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just looked it up to make sure I was correct. Yes, they have brought back the eliminated cheftestants as sous chefs and after the challenge they were brought before JT. In season 2 sous chefs Betty, Elia, Mike and Sam were asked for their opinions....all of this was courtesy of the recaps at Television Without Pity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OK, I remember seeing that in Season 2. Just don't remember seeing it in 3 or 4. Wish they would show it, however.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh - yes - you're right I forgot about that!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the season 1 finale they asked the sous chefs what they thought, who they wanted to win, and who they most would like to work with...they should def not edit that out if indeed they still do that!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In fact - I wouldn't mind a less edited two-hour finale so we get to see more of what is really going on (in this case we might have seen how much of what Casey had to say was true!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I didn't really look if they did or didn't once I found they had indeed brought back the sous chefs in season 2. Maybe they didn't in 3 & 4 because they had well respected chefs, Eric Ripert, Dan Barber, etc., as their sous chefs on day 1. On day 2 those celebrated chefs joined the judges at the tasting table. I don't recall, but maybe they were asked for their opinion at the tasting table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ETA: I also wish they would show the sous chefs at JT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wanted to throw this out there, and I'm not sure if you have read Richard's blog on Bravo's site, but according to him there was I sous chef judges table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "At first, and even at the sous-chef’s judging table (did you know there was such a thing?)."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess it just didn't make the final edit. It's too bad, like I've said in past posts, I would have really enjoyed seeing a sous chef JT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After watching the sous chefs from seasons past, I wonder if the results would have been different if the cheftestant/sous chef pairings were different. The one thing that was clear to me, all of the sous chefs could run circles around this past season's final three.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ---------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I couldn't understand why this season's sous chefs were only the former
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chefestants. In Season 3 the sous chefs also included Todd English, Michelle Bernstein and Rocco DiSpirito. In Season 4 there was Dan Barber, April Bloomfield and Eric Ripert. I know that a number of these chefs appeared elsewhere throughout the season, but I certainly missed the professional chef participation in this finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with Lizard- Stefan was nicer than what most of the episodes portrayed. He was always one of the first to help another contestant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the final challenge it makes sense that they cook their "best meal ever" but I think they should have more time to execute each course. If they had had time to identify and fix their mistakes I think the decision would have been different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the next season, the twist should be that contestants identify one course that didn't go over well and then they should have a chance to fix it or replace it. Then, that new course would be judged with the other courses. Stefan could have made another dessert and Carla could have re-done her souffle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I didnt read this whole thread but WTH! HOSEA! i didnt watch the final ep and I dont think i will

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i would have been happy with stefan or carla NOT hosea-what a gip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sugarsnapp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You should watch to see if you agree with what we're all saying here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sugarsnapp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was over as soon as Hosea pulled the knife with the #1 on it. What a huge advantage to randomly give someone in the finals. Richard's signature was all over Hosea's final dishes whereas Carla couldn't say no to Casey and Marcel just did what he was told. Why give one chef such an undeserved boost in the finals?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I guess it's fitting that a mediocre mid-pack chef wins in a season when playing it safe was rewarded from beginning to end. Unfortunately for the viewers we endured week after week of canned crab, romance and professional jealousy while chefs who showed talent, flair and creativity (Radhika, Jamie, Jeff) were sent packing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was so torn at the sous chef choosing...I wanted to pull for Richard as my favorite (by far) among the 3 sous, but Hosea was my least favorite (by far) of the 3 finalists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's funny tofu -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was typing my report as you typed the above - and basically we said exactly the same thing about the sous chefs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. WOW. I have to say that watching the finale was PAINFUL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't know where to begin, so I'll just offer some random thoughts -

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hosea made my stomach turn most of the episode with his bratty attitude - It was appropiate that he got the baby in the King Cake - A baby for the BABY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really thought Carla had found her feet and come into her own - I simply couldnt believe how easliy she let Casey lead her astray...and shame on Casey for doing it. How dare she???
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure how much she knew about Carla and her style of cooking, but either way it was tottally out of line of her to start imposing her ideas. ughhh i'm still angry!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was so happy that Stefan made a good dish out of the alligator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also think his dessert looked fine, and was shocked at how "dissed" it was...at least he offered dessert!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I personally think that for the finale - the whole season should be judged

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to wonder how much influence all of the sous chefs had on the competition.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              - We KNOW Casey ruined Carlas chances
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              - Marcel was there to do a job. He did what he was told. He neither hurt, nor helped Stefan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              - Blais -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmmmm - He was the only one who was eager to help his chef win. He was very enthusiastic and arguably the most talented of the three.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really have to wonder if his pressence pushed Hose to the win, and how much influence he ended up having on the dishes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At the very least he was an adavantage to Hosea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Watching Carla at judges table really was painful, she knew she second guessed herself and it cost her. while she was tearing up, she was trying so her to keep her dignity, and I myself teared up a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Stefan really showed his "true colors", and let me tell you - that was genuine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (Gosh I really like the guy!!!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm so glad - at least some of you can see now a bit of what I have been seeing in him for the last few weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was obvious to me that Tom and Toby were at odds on this one, and I knew that Tom would win the fight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ughh I can't remember if Ilan's victory was worse to me, but this one was really tough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Good write-up Nelly. And yes, I finally saw what you saw in Stefan. Still think he's arrogant, but finally balanced out with his softer side makes him less a PITA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And as for Ilan or Hosea being worse - I didn't like EITHER finalist in TC2 (Marcel or Ilan) but I disliked Marcel more - so Ilan was the default "winner" in my case. Doesn't make him any less an a$$hat tho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Whereas with TC5, I came to really like Carla and had been hoping for her to pull it out. So I still say Ilan was the worst for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks Linda !
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah - he's really a big softie! :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My 2 cent psychology is that he is really very INSECURE, so to compensate he comes across as a pompous ass...but he is sweet at any rate...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OBVIOUSLY, I was really rooting for Stefan, but I think Carlas mistake killed me more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  She could have won it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would have been very happy for Stefan OR Carla to win,....but Hosea......
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just think he got lucky...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not even basing this on his whiny baby personality - I honestly don't think he was very talented..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  he just got lucky!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If Carla *had* stayed true to herself (making a great NY strip and the cheese tart) she most likely would have been TC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A woman at a dinner party said to Sir Winston Churchill accusingly, "Winston, you're drunk!" He replied, "Madam, you're ugly, but tomorrow I'll be sober."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hosea will always be what he is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Patti, I *LOVE* it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To which she should have replied, but you'll still be a mean SOB and no gentleman! (no gentleman would ever call a lady "ugly" even when drunk!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          All women are not ladies - why assume he was talking to one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodhypnosis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A true gentlemen treats all women like ladies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              .....drum roll and CHA-CHING! Ruthie, you are da best!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                She shoots, she scores!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There was an ongoing battle of insults between Churchill and that particular woman. Here's another famous one:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She: Mr Churchill, if I were your wife, I'd feed you poison!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He: If you were my wife, I'd eat it!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                heh heh. I remember that one : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I have not posted on this thread all season but last nights episode drove me to. One thing I have not really seen mentioned is all the gimmicks they insist on continuing to use. Last week we had catering again. Wasn't Jeff's dish ruined because it had the taste of, blanking on the name, but the gas to keep the dish warm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Then this episode Tom says just cook the best meal of your life, thats it, which gave me some hope. But then they bring the old contestants which we all know they must have something to prove. They could have just found some great local sous chefs to help them. Plus they threw in that extra course which I felt was a bit unfair when they are already under so much pressure. I just don't get why the finals at least can just be cooking. I can see how maybe that would be boring all season long, but for the finals I think it would be the fairest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally as others have said this episode highlights the issues with judging. Anyone can make one good meal, is that a Top Chef though? If you at a restaurant 15 times and you got one amazing meal on the 15th meal and the rest had been mediocre at best, what would your opinion be of the chef? (Don't know why you would still be eating there, but it makes my point I think)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: elliora

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In the start I thought Carla was very odd but she really came on and showed her classical training. I was really hoping she would win this season. When she didn't stick to her guns and mentioning how the appetizer was throwing her, I knew she was having a hard time holding it together. At the end, I kept repeating 'poor girl' and almost had a tear in my eye for her. I felt really bad for her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stephan had some skills but I never took on to him. He took the easy way out more than once. And early in the season in an interview he said he didn't give a $h-t about these people. Probably part truth and part interviewing but came out the wrong way to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As far as Hosea, he pulled off a couple of very nice meals in a very timely manner and got very lucky being able to pick proteins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As far as the editing goes, that's what the producers do. They have interviews, I don't doubt they lead the witness so to speak and ask loaded questions. Then after all is said and done, they put pieces of tape together to get reactions from the viewing audience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know how much credence I put in the show, but I find it entertaining. I find that on more then one occasion I took a dish someone did on the show and either tried to duplicate it myself, without knowing what it tastes like, other than tasty by my tongue. Or I tried to create something new for me using techniques that the show gave me opportunity to try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: elliora

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            elliora, that point about eating at a restaurant 15 times sums it up better than anything else I've seen. And it's a conceptual problems with all the Bravo reality shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think this time, it was clear that Hosea's final MEAL was the best, but he clearly got to the finals more by attrition of better chefs than by his own skills. Of the final three, Carla is clearly the most creative, and I'd imagine has classical skills equivalent to Stefan's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And as I've complained in the past, they DO sometimes take whether someone acts "like a Top Chef" into account. Don't forget they bounced one contestant for pure backstage behavior (and almost took out three others with him).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I really wish there were a formalized element of conduct in the mix somehow. That would have avoided several questionable top-three appearances, and would have kept good chefs who had one major flub still in the game. Then we'd probably have some really interesting final challenges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They didn't bounce Cliff because he didn't "act like a Top Chef" -- they bounced him because he violated one of the explicit rules of conduct of the competition, one which applies to every reality show as far as I know. The judges didn't even do it -- the producers did. They had to. They have legal liability when they bring a bunch of people together, confine them in close quarters and have them compete against each other. Marcel could have sued them, and there's a good chance he would have it they hadn't kicked Cliff out. I would have!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And Tom actually wanted to boot off all FOUR of them and give Marcel the win by default - the producers were the ones who convinced him not to do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fair point. But they've still taken conduct and leadership into account many, many times. It's simply not all about the meal, regardless of their trotting that out when it serves them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's simply not all about the meal, regardless of their trotting that out when it serves them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I think that's what irks us long-time viewers - we've seen it being used, despite the judges saying they don't take it into account.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks dmd-kc! On the flip side of that analogy if I ate 10 times at a restaurant and on the 10th time my fish was overcooked, even if the sauce was off too, if all the other times were amazing I'd chalk it up to a mistake or an off night. Plus I'd have the option to have it recooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This has always bugged me about top chef, but this season it became so obvious what a major flaw it is to judge just by that meal. There is of course the issue of the judge chef who has not tasted previous meals. I think you could get around this by having the current meal be worth say 80 percent of your score and overall performance 20 percent. Of course now we open the door to bias, but it seems more fair this way

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hmm, maybe even have scorecards, current meal rate up to ten and rate the chef overall up to 10, combine all together for final score, lowest score goes home. Highest score for current meal wins. Any thoughts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: elliora

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i think judged each challenge on its own makes perfect sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: elliora

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It would have been interesting to have Susan Spicer, John Besh and the chef from Commander's as the three sous chefs. Bravo had to at least have been considering it and may have changed the plan. Plan A may have been to have the three second place finishers and Plan B to use those chefs. How else to explain having exactly three local chefs there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Wait a minute -

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just read Richard's blog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is it me - or did he rather strongly imply that he helped Hosea ALLOT???
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll have to re-read it , but that's the impression I got from it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And he says this: "Padma says it best when describing Stefan’s food. He exhibits an elegant classicism. The guy's very talented. The pigeon was the best thing I tasted that night. Sometimes, the best team doesn’t win the game. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hmmmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I noticed that comment re: "the best team doesn't win the game" as well and thought exactly that. Which just proves to me more that Hosea didn't deserve to win. He lucked out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've seriously got to get over my obsession with this show. :-/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I've seriously got to get over my obsession with this show. :-/ "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You are not Alone!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I couldn't sleep after the show. I kept telling myself that there are much more important things in the world than a "questionable" Top Chef finale but it didn't help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OMG, I wasn't going to say it, but it was the same with me! LOL I looked at the clock after awhile, and it was 12:37am. Sheesh, Linda - it's just a TV show! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      it wasn't a one dish competion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i will tell you what disappointed me most about this season. they were in NYC and other than the very very very 1st challenge, new york did not play into it at all. here you have one of the most diverse, most food oriented cities in the world, and this entire thing could have been done as easily in a studio in podunk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree--they didn't even do a Union Square greenmarket challenge! All of us in the region would kill to see that. There is so much interesting stuff there. Not to mention no love to the five boroughs after episode 1. The Nola influence was also pretty superficial. Just shoot the thing in LA so the chefs don't have to freeze their butts off on outdoor challenges!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What disappointed me most about this season was that is was poor overall. With the exception of the NYC neighborhood challenge thew mentions and, arguably, the Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Westchester, though), the NYC portion could have been anywhere. Opportunity squandered. At least New Orleans was factored into the show more seamlessly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Overall, the contestants were weak, and each of the finalists had at least one fatal flaw. Carla lacked confidence and allowed Casey to to derail her chances (those who ignore history...). Stefan who, I will say, is not a beast but rather arrogant beyond his talents; he predictably pumped out his usual culinary school/cruise ship/Kennedy era continental restaurant cuisine. Hosea, well, guess he's got the money--sure doesn't have inspirational talent IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Best line of the night goes to Padma, rebuffing Toby's assessment of Stefan's dessert--"It was pedestrian." [insert withering tone here].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Worst disappointment of the night--Hubert Keller's judging. I had always thought I might be missing something by not having tried Fleur de Lys, but I don't think I need to try it now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Worst disappointment of the season--Tom Colicchio's dour and odd demeanor. His unhelpful commentary, apparent contradictions (e.g. Carla's peas and squab being served separately as a problem for him, the chef at Craft), anti-Stefan orientation, new-found near-religious "respect" for proteins (does he cry or something when he has to refire a steak at Craft?)--very bizarre. Not really loving him anymore. Perhaps the economy has him off his game. Dunno.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Finally, I got the sense that at some point this season the judges recalibrated to the low quality level of the food and got artificially excited over not much. As always, I'll say that, not having tasted the results, I can't be certain. However, as an avid and frequent diner, former culinary student and prep cook and as one whose current career is in F&B, I would not seek out any of these contestant's establishments. Well, I might throw some catering love Carla's way, if I could VERY CAREFULLY choose the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I was disappointed last night. Last year on Top Chef: Chicago, the winner (Stephanie Izzard) created a dish so startlingly innovative that at least one of the very famous chefs at the dining table was caught blurting, "I wish I'd thought of that!" She paired ingredients no one would have thought of combining, and when you tasted it the two ingredients seemed predestined, Beshert, for each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's what should happen at a Top Chef finale. But you didn't see any of the chefs saying that about any of the dishes tonight! Even as sarcasm, it would have been just too heavy-handed. (though I will look up Stefan's squab recipe on the Internet...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Top Chef: Chicago last year's winning recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.suntimes.com/food/1002712,...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the one chef (susan i think) really liked the modern boullabaise (sorry i can't spell that) of carla's though and said she would eagerly order and eat it again because of the way it brought back classic taste memory in modern ways. that's pretty cool actually.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and all of their apps were apparently quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. This finale was sad...just sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. From TWOP, a pointed commentary from Casey on, among many things, why the beef was tough.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Magical Elves editors continue to loose their magic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://sidedish.dmagazine.com/2009/02...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Holy. Crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have officially left the "I used to like Casey" camp and entered the "What a beeyotch and thrower-under-the-bus Casey is" camp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While I understand her wanting to her get own point across, there's certainly a better way to have done so. I do believe she'll regret that Email to the article's writer. (It seems to be an EMail, based on the writing style.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That was a hard statement to read. Moves her into the "mean girl" camp. Clearly, the editing last night was hard for her to watch, but this was not a great way to respond. Always remember what Blais said about the "golden egg."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Carla will be harvesting a lot of "golden eggs" going forward. Casey may loose a few.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm still stunned at the venom from that Email of hers! Talk about Gail's comment about "true colors come out"...wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh my that Casey email is awful....what a hateful BIATCH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                out of control bitchy. seriously. and carla is trained. in french cuisine. wow. and being that carla DID NOT throw casey under the bus i just don't get it at all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                you're right. she will seriously regret that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yup. It's clearly all a product of Casey's jealous little imagination!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WHOA!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WTH???
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is that for real?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I find it very hard to believe Carla was "unprepared" and had "no plan"...and what about the "Carla isn't classically trained" comment??? WTH ? We all know that she IS?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WOW - I am just so shocked. What a nasty cow!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well if anyone out there still liked Casey after last night - I doubt anyones left after reading that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow. She just made my Dead to Me list. That is just horrible. And evident that she chose not to actually bother knowing what the hell she was talking about. Apparently being classically trained in French cooking doesn't make you classically trained....wait, wtf?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Casey" was the name of my very favorite Golden Retreiver. I am renaming her posthumously. Maybe "Carla", because she was very classy and didn't have a mean bone in her body.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Carla not prepared? I though she spoke about her planned menu before Ms. Sabotage started giving "friendly" input.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On another note, why did the sous chefs remain for the 2nd day? Hasn't it been the custom to have them help the 1st day, then let the contenders go it on their own the 2nd day?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If that had happened (going it on their own) Carla probably would have done MUCH better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Casey's comments are just needlessly bitter. It was obvious to anyone (except it seems Casey Thompson) that Carla took it all on herself, almost crushingly so. Casey acts as if the competition was once again hers to lose and doth protest far, far too much. What WAS hers -hers and hers alone- to lose was her reputation and she did a fine, fine job of trashing it. I am astounded she could think that email was in any way a smart move. My, how the tiny have fallen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for our Stefan, I might never call him a "class act" across the board (he's way too irreverent), but the comfort he showed Carla certainly reeked of being classy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Scortch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it was more than class. It was genuine concern. He likes her and knew she was worth more than that final meal and hated seeing her take it so hard. I still think he is arrogant about his cooking and thinks more of his skills than he should, but he is also a decent human being. He does feel for others. It is possible to be both, but it's easier to appreciate humanity when it comes without cockiness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh I agree that it was genuine concern. I meant that to say "damn EVERYTHING else right now, my friend needs some reassurance" has always been the class move!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        after reading that, i officially want to retract everything nice i've ever said about Casey. that was petty, malicious and classless...and she can suck it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That link is dead now -- I guess Casey realized she was just making a bad situation worse. If you want to see it, someone copied the bulk of it here: http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.c...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But what's bizarre is that she said "And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained!" when Casey herself is self-taught! In addition, you're supposed to finish a sous-vide piece of meat on the grill to brown it and crisp the fat, otherwise it's just icky, and just because Casey would NEVER do a cheese course doesn't mean it was a bad idea -- other chefs have done a cheese course for Top Chef finale. I think Casey's lack of classical French training is what makes her so uncomfortable with a cheese course. ;-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think probably you could take that blog piece and swap Casey and Carla and it would be a whole lot closer to the truth!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to be fair. it could've been fake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, it's not dead. It just keeps going down because I think the site is being overwhelmed with hits coming from people from other sites (like CH). I've read the site several times today (although it keeps going down).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I guess I was wrong in attributing some common sense and judgment to Casey, then!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You and me both, Ruth. And obviously a lot of other people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Casey's comments, aside from doing little to endear her to anyone, in some instances - including "why the beef was tough" - seem just completely off the mark. It's typical when preparing a steak sous vide to still apply some direct heat immediately before serving in order to get some maillard reaction going and to give some color (otherwise you have basically a uniformly raw-looking piece of beef). None other than Thomas Keller in "Under Pressure" (pretty much the sous vide reference book) does a sirloin sous vide at 59.5C for 45 minutes, and then pan-sears it for another 10. Makes me wonder if Casey really knew what she was doing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            www.foodforthoughtmiami.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Makes me wonder if Casey really knew what she was doing."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              based on her ridiculous comments in that Dallas Magazine interview, i'd say she's got her head up her ass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BTW, Frod, i like the new blog!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just want to point out for anyone that is interested, Casey made a comment on her own site about those comments that came out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://chefcaseythompson.com/wordpress/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In it, she says "Just after the airing, an acquaintance contacted me on facebook and, it turns out, was seeking to create some controversy. She did not represent herself as a reporter and did not ask for a quote. Instead, she took advantage of me."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                doesn't make them any less mean, but it sounds like her comments were made in the heat of the moment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And Dallas Magazine Sidekick has already refuted that, saying that they identified themselves and that it was on the record. Heat of the moment or not, Casey should have known better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And while her "friend" on the comments section said Casey was planning on apologizing, no apology ever was put forth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    v. interesting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks for the info
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    don't know what to make of Casey anymore.. once loved her, then hated her, tried to love her again and now... who knows

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Carla did a chat with the WaPo on Weds (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She gets a lot of love, but also has some fun comments, like when she says if Toby was a food he'd be ugli fruit, he would be ugli fruit "because it looks ugly but it's really delicious, so what you see is not necessarily what you get."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The one thing I'll say about Toby is that he made me appreciate the rest of the judges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Doh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your link didn't work for me, but this one did: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry about that-- looks like it picked up the last parenthesis mark as part of the url and that caused as error.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I realized something after reading both Tom's and Gail's blog on crowning Top Chef 5 - I really have to fault both the editors and the producers for the way they conducted the one on one interviews. If you review the episodes you can guess what questions are being asked of the contestants and very few of those questions and answers have anything to do with food. What does this have to do with Hosea's win? That we have no idea who Hosea the chef is, just Hosea the cheftestant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It occurred to me I can't recall more than two interviews with Hosea about the challenges or the food he prepared. They may have asked those questions and not used the footage, choosing instead to focus on Hosea bitching about Stefan or how much Hosea really didn't want to cheat on his girlfriend. All that juicy 'reality TV' crap that I don't really enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wanted to hear about the challenges. I wanted to hear the thought process of choosing fennel or the technique used, or plating choices. I wanted the nerdy obsessive stuff Leann's blog used to fill the gap, but now it feels like The Real World with cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aside from the poor answers Hosea gave during those interviews It's the choices made by producers and editors to amp up the 'human interest' that painted and tainted this whole season for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A link to Gail's blog entry for those interested: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thiis reminds me of something I read a few years ago. According to that article, dialogue something like this happened when selecting participants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Producer: We gotta choose this man, he's the best possible contestant. He's personable, articulate, and he looks great on camera!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Colicchio: BUT HE CAN'T COOK!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Producer: So maybe he'll learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wonder if this is why Chef Colicchio was such a grumpy bear throughout this season - he knew he didn't have the best of the best on the show?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And MplsM_ary says: "I wanted to hear about the challenges. I wanted to hear the thought process of choosing fennel or the technique used, or plating choices. I wanted the nerdy obsessive stuff Leann's blog used to fill the gap, but now it feels like The Real World with cooking."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bingo. But unfortunately, I think those of us who want that are in the severe minority.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I myself want more about the food definitely, and I'm sure they showed us less than then did in the previous seasons (not too sure about that but it does seem that way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    but at the same time, I do enjoy seeing a bit about them personally as well. I would miss it if they took that part entirely away...I like to see their personalities - it does help me "root" for one person over another. I have to admit that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't mind some of the personal stuff; it's interesting to see how they interact at the TC house as well. But this season seemed to be more of that than I personally would prefer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think the majority of people who watch the show want more about the food. This is what makes this programme more frustrating to watch than Project Runway, where Tim Gunn's visits and the overall discussion has always been about the decisions regarding fabric, execution, and style (although the last series had some very lame contestants-- there to be reality stars rather than designers).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TC could have more of this, I think. They do struggle with the fact that the audience can't taste the food, and possibly do wonder how to express taste in ways that don't rely on foods that may be mysterious to audiences. (Not that I approve of 'dumbing down' but I have been thinking about this struggle that makes TC less educational about food than PR has been about fashion.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        while casey was at fault and she carried on like an idiot carla should of stepped up and planned her own menu and cook her own style that she is comfortable with. Not learn and exacute a cookery technique that she has not tried before, for the final.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Where can I find info on what kit, knives the top chef contestants use?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: wustof

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I believe they all bring their own personal knife rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wustof

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Casey is the main spokeswoman for the new FumbleFingers line of kit that refuses to cut onions properly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Because, you know, when she couldn't cut them like a 3-week cooking-school student in the QF, it was her own knives' fault.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not quite relevant, but I just learned (via Colicchio's interview in, I believe, Time Magazine (amazing the publicity this finale got) that the challenges are designed by the producers and they don't even seek the judges' input.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also been looking at photos of Hosea's food from his restaurant website, and they look better than what he did on Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.jaxfishhouseboulder.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His dishes in the finale looked better than what he cooked during the rest of the season.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder why. Could it have had anything to do with the Richard Blais influence?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On a second watching over the weekend I noticed that the people at the dinner other than the judges who had a vote were a lot more impressed with Stefan's dishes than Tom/Padma/Gail.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There was enthusiasm for his fish dish and his dessert. It seems that if the judges are going to completely dismiss their opinions they shouldn't even bother having them there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think the Tom/Padma/Gail completely dismissed the other judges' opinions (perhaps with the exception of Fabio -- he was just Season 5's Brian Malarkey). If you remember in Season 1 of the Napa episode, Tom's favorite was Harold, but Dave ended up winning the challenge (and hence going to the finale) as he said that he was outvoted by the other judges there. Honestly, I don't think Tom Colicchio really liked Dave's food very much as he said that he was somebody who just always squeaked by and did better than he deserved to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Re: Fabio/Brian Malarkey: I remember last year that Brian didn't seem to have much to say at the final dinner, but this season they seemed to be talking at lot to Fabio. I know that a lot of it could have been edited out last year, of course, but maybe there's a reason that they gave so much exposure to Fabio in this year's finale (like his own spin-off show or something).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              More from Toby (sorry if this has been posted already):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "I can give you some gossip. After the wrap party, Stefan and I went to Jamie's girlfriend's lesbian bar in the West Village and Stefan ended up sucking face with this cute lesbian working the bar. It was an astonishing performance -- almost as impressive as the way he skinned that eel. Afterwards he said, "There you go. She's back on our team now."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  double ew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is it about some men that have them think they have some kind of magic power over women? I'm a straight woman and I'm adding to chorus of "eeeuuuwww."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "...Stefan ended up sucking face with this cute lesbian working the bar. It was an astonishing performance..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I assume, of course, that the astonishing performance was given by the cute lesbian working the bar.