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TC Casey's Take On Finale and Carla

"Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course."


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    1. Interesting - I've been at that link reading the comments, and all of a sudden, you get a big "SERVICE UNAVAILABLE" without anything else.

      Do you think Carla lovers shut down their server? LOL

      ETA: And it's back up....

      51 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        To be fair, last night's episode was really damaging to Casey, dissipated all the goodwill she built up in her season. Carla basically threw her under the bus by her statements on camera--although she was very clear that she didn't blame Casey in later comments. What was Casey thinking when she agreed to come back? I think they'll have a very hard time recruiting future "all-stars" to come back in the future after this, I predict.

        1. re: newhavener07

          Sorry - completely disagree that Carla threw her under the bus - how are you seeing that she did so? Carla took the blame - during the show - and more importantly, afterwards. Whereas Casey's response in that EMail to Sidedish.com is just plain nasty.

          Casey cooked her own goose, IMO. And it was WAY overdone with that Email response.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Carla did take the blame but made it very clear that it wasn't "my food." I'm not saying Carla was nasty about it, but the editing made it very explicit that Casey's contributions brought Carla down, and Carla seemed to acknowledge that. Of course, that could be far from what really happened...

            1. re: newhavener07

              Yikes, check out the comments on that thread. Scorching, nasty denunciations of Casey. Come on, people. Let's take a deep breath and concentrate on keeping economic armageddon at bay. It's just a TV show!

              1. re: newhavener07

                Yes, I know that. But I truly believe she was saying "I let myself be swayed by my sous chef and didn't make what I know I can make well." I most certainly do not think she was intentionally throwing Casey under the bus at all.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  OK, maybe "throwing under the bus" was too strong. "Letting her be dragged under the bus by the weight of evidence" might be more accurate, to strain a metaphor. Horrors, I'm sounding like Toby Young! Let's all get back to some butt-rubbing.

                  1. re: newhavener07

                    ::::::SMACK!!!!!::::::::: newhavener, snap OUT of it!!!!!

                    ::::::Shaking newhavener by the shoulders::::::::::: Come back to us!

                    U there? U OK? You're not morphing into TY, are you? :-)

                2. re: newhavener07

                  I don't see it that way at all. Carla didn't have to take Casey's suggestions, but she did instead of going ahead with her plan. When talking about the second course at the dinner table, Tom commented that it didn't even look like Carla's food. Unfortunately it wasn't until after it was too late for Carla to do anything to correct her mistakes. At JT she may have used the phrase, "my food," but it was because her food was not reminiscent of her style of cooking. I in no way took it as throwing Casey under the bus. She realized her mistake, she truthfully talked about it at JT and she put all of the blame on herself.

                  As for the email, it's over the top. Not to excuse it but, I guess Casey must have been bombarded with phone calls after last night's finale. Talk about throwing someone under the bus!

                  1. re: lizzy

                    Yeah, and a friend of hers (Catherine) came to her defense. Sorry. Casey should have had better sense than to write something like this.

                    1. It's not like Email and the Internet were just invented by Al Gore.

                    2. It's not like she didn't know she was writing to an online magazine that might (definitely) publish any response.

                    3. And it's not like people aren't going to find and read that published EMail and comment about it.

                    You reap what you sow.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Why is Casey over the top? I would bet everything she said is true. Woe be the person who is seen as sabotaging a fan favorite. Carla is a nitwit. She showed it in the finale. Casey is not a nitwit, why should she take the blame for Carla's incompetence?

                      1. re: Ericandblueboy

                        What on earth makes you think Carla is a "nitwit"????????????

                        She's tallented, intelligent, gracious, etc.....

                        Certainly, and Clearly NOT a nitwit

                        1. re: NellyNel

                          Oh she forgot to turn the temperature down....that's a nitwit move.

                          1. re: Ericandblueboy

                            Casey also MAJORLY bit it during her finale! Maybe its less Carla and more Casey's bad luck lol

                            1. re: Ericandblueboy

                              So the 4 weeks leading up to that when Carla expertly crafted dish after dish was also a nitwit move? I suppose making far and away the best meal in the first part of the finale was also being nitwit. Not to mention perfectly recreating Ripert's sauce on her fish. Only nitiwits do those sorts of things.

                              1. re: gastrotect

                                It isn't the success that defines a nitwit, it's the failures.

                                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                  You mean like not being able to chop onions or choking in the Season 3 Finale?

                          2. re: Ericandblueboy

                            Sorry, but Casey IS a nitwit for taking Carla down personally. Casey could have found other ways of defending herself, rather than suggest that Carla is LYING about her training. She could have blamed Bravo completely but instead she chose to attack Carla's integrity and skills. If Bravo made Casey look bad last night, she just made it worse for herself by her own words.

                            1. re: pisang goreng

                              but instead she chose to attack Carla's integrity and skills. If Bravo made Casey look bad last night, she just made it worse for herself by her own words.
                              Bingo. Casey stepped in deep into shit of her own making, and seems to refuse to take ownership of her major gaff.

                            2. re: Ericandblueboy

                              No, I sincerely doubt that everything she said was true. Her friend has said she already regrets saying it. And it's been proven throughout this season that Carla does know what she's doing - she wouldn't have made it as far as she did without her classical training (Casey said she didn' t have any) and her own ideas (which she has shown she does have with previous dishes she's produced).

                              Casey is a nitwit for saying what she said. And if you'd bother to read anything else, you'd see that Carla has taken FULL blame for it. She never blamed Casey. So your entire post is completely invalid.

                              Oh, and Eric? I was never an early fan of Carla's. I thought several times early on that she should have gone. But others were worse than her. And over time, she was able to prove to me that she deserved to be there. So while I'm a Johnny-Come-Lately to being a fan of hers, I wasn't always so.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Screwing up 2 out 4 dishes in the fiinale makes her a nit wit. 50% failure rate....a big fat F.

                                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                  No that means she let her underconfidence get the best of her and not do what got her there. Had she simply stuck to her original plan, she very well could be Top Chef right now. Or do you think Casey is also nitwit as well as Richard? (Both had similar failures.) If she were a nitwit, how did she do so well for the past 4-5 weeks, including winning several ECs and QFs?

                                  1. re: gastrotect

                                    Did anyone else absolutely bomb 50% of their dishes in the finale?

                                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                      I just said it. Richard did last year. Is he a nitwit? Casey did too if I'm not mistaken.

                                      1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                        *Did anyone else absolutely bomb 50% of their dishes in the finale?*

                                        You mean like Stefan with his frozen fish chips and '80s banquet dessert whose only fan was Toby Young (take that for what it's worth)?

                                        My initial reaction when watching the episode was "Casey: STFU" (though it's ultimately Carla's fault for listening to her and doing dishes that weren't her own - it was Carla that was up for Top Chef, after all, Casey already had her chance and blew it).

                                        After reading that email? "Casey: STFU". Carla's post-verdict response has been the epitome of grace. Casey - not so much.

                                        As a side note - Casey's griping about Carla grilling the sous vide steaks - among any number of things - seems particularly off-target. Most chefs who sous vide meat will still apply some direct heat immediately before serving to get some maillard reaction going, and for more appealing color. e.g. ->
                                        Indeed, Thomas Keller in "Under Pressure," which is pretty much the sous-vide reference book, does sirloin at 59.5C for 45 minutes and then before serving pan-sears it for 10 minutes.
                                        It's clear Carla had no clue about sous vide, but I have to wonder whether Casey really knew what she was doing either.

                                        By the way - does Commander's Palace really have liquid nitrogen and an immersion circulator just hanging around the kitchen???


                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                          That is supremely informative. I would never -- and I mean never -- have thought sirloin could stand up to sous-vide and THEN 10 minutes in a pan.

                                          But then again, I'm not likely to sous-vide at home. Like deep-frying, it's something I prefer to leave to the pros with pro equipment.

                                          1. re: Elyssa

                                            I never said Casey isn't a nitwit. This season isn't about Casey.

                                      2. re: Ericandblueboy

                                        Wow do you have a personal stake in hating Carla, I see you are from DC.

                                        1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                          50% success rate - a hall of fame baseball player

                                          1. re: thew

                                            Wow, that's a terrible analogy. What about a player that only fields 50%?

                                            1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                              its no more terrible than your big fat f analogy - because both are meaningless w/out context.

                                              it is hard to hit a basevball. so hard that doing it 3 time out of 10 is great and 4 times is nearly undoable.

                                              i think cooking on top chef is also difficult.
                                              i stand by my anaolgy

                                      3. re: Ericandblueboy

                                        You'd lose that bet -- one thing she said definitely isn't true, that Carla has no classical training, when in fact, Carla went to a French cooking school.

                                        It's Casey who has no formal training, which makes me think this whole blog post is Casey projecting her own frustration and disappointment with how *she* did in the Top Chef finale. Hell, Casey had a sous chef who was a real top chef helping her, and she still crashed and burned!

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          "Carla went to a French cooking school."
                                          Um....sort of.
                                          The school's name was L'Academie de Cuisine. It's located in Gaithersburg Maryland. It offers over 1000 courses and does have a professional program. There's a second L'Acad. in another city in Maryland.

                                          1. re: shallots

                                            I knew that -- I guess I should have phrased it, a "school of French cooking." Regardless, of the two, Carla has the most formal training.

                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                              Just to prove that training doesn't mean squat when you're a nitwit and can't think on your feet or perform under pressure.

                                              1. re: Fritter

                                                Agree with that Fritter.

                                                Just because Carla didn't win the finale doesn't mean she can't perform under pressure. The entire show is a pressure cooker. She got as far as 3rd in the competition. Better than how many others?

                                                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                  You clearly have something against Carla personally. Why have you refused to recognize that Carla is not the only contestant to struggle in the finale on Top Chef?

                                                  Here is a straight forward question: Do you think Richard Blaise is a nitwit?


                                              2. re: shallots

                                                Lacademie has two campuses. the original bethesda campus now houses the recreational school (a huge variety of classes for home cooks) and the professional program which is based in gaithersburg (and some rec classes are out there too). They are only 15 minutes away from each other tops.

                                                The professional program is french and very classical. for what its worth- I've seen a ranking that put it in the top 10 culinary programs nation wide.

                                    2. re: newhavener07

                                      casey was not in competition, and thus could not be thrown under the bus. she didn;t have bus tickets to begin with.

                                      carla made a bad decision. however casey acted is really irrelevant. she was not a contestant. carla should not have given an inch on what might have been the single most important meal she has ever cooked.

                                      1. re: thew

                                        I agree that Carla should have stood up for herself, but this is the way she works, slowly, nonlinearly, and in a scattershot way. BUT, Casey, out of a sense of whatever, ego, hurt feelings, whatever, pushed her own agenda. Casey should have had the sense that this isn't about her. If Carla is going to crash and burn, it has to be from her own ideas not Casey's.

                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                          From Tom Colicchio:

                                          "Although it would be easy to blame Casey for Carla’s loss, I’m afraid the blame lies squarely with Carla, for abdicating the decision-making and control. She may have wanted to be collaborative with Casey and respectful of her input, but at the end of the day, Carla needed to assert her vision, and the two times that she didn’t proved calamitous and put her out of the running for the title. Casey was right to make suggestions, particularly when Carla was as vague as she was (“I want to make meat and potatoes.” Um …yeah … could you be more specific? No? OK, I’ll start riffing, then). "

                                          Carla had no plan and can't make decisions, so she did crash and burn on her own. If Casey didn't step in, I think Carla would've only produce 1 out of 4 dishes.

                                          1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                            But that is up to Carla, not up to Casey. Like I said, if she is to crash and burn, she should be allowed to crash and burn on her own without any help from the sous chef. if she made only one out of four, so be it.

                                            1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                              Carla had a plan. She changed it upon listening to Casey, which was her downfall. Regardless, as Phaedrus said - it was Carla's decision to make. She did, she owned it, she lost. She's fully aware of it. She's still not a nitwit, as you seem to always want to call her.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Not only is she not a nitwit, she most certainly showed the greatest self-knowledge of any chef I have ever seen on that show. As much as I liked Jeff, I thought his attitude about his loss approached the merely perplexed and humiliated -- whereas Carla is crystal clear about what led to her flubs. That's inner strength.

                                              2. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                You're seriously claiming that Carla would have produced one dish only without Casey's direction? It's not as if she has a track record of putting nothing in front of the judges throughout the competition. She began Top Chef by putting indifferent food in front of the judges -- food she knew to be flawed -- but she didn't send out empty plates.

                                                I think Carla was terrified and, in her, panic, seized on the guidance that Casey offered. Unfortunately, Casey's suggestions took Carla into areas in which she had no expertise, intensifying the panic. Carla made the wrong decision to accept Casey's suggestions. She owns that decision and its consequences. Still, Casey's suggestions were poor.

                                                One of the Top Chef blogs discussed the difference between Marcel and Casey in the finale. The writer pointed out that Marcel is used to the sous chef role whereas Casey is used to the executive chef role. I think that accounts for Casey's poor suggestions; she is used to directing others to execute her vision rather than identifying Carla's strengths and enhancing those.

                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                          And between 4:30 and 5pm, I've been unable to access the site - "Database Error" or "Service Unavailable" or "Network Timeout: The server at sidedish.dmagazine.com is taking too long to respond."

                                          I've got to believe that their server has gone down. Talk about a s**tstorm! LOL

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            A phenomenon referred to by net geeks as having been "Slashdotted". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slashdotted

                                            1. re: kmcarr

                                              Hadn't heard of that - but it looks like at 6pm it's back to being available....

                                        3. FYI, L'Academie in Gaithersburg Maryland proudly proclaims Carla a Graduate.


                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: shallots

                                            Can anyone tell me of L'Academie is a reputable school. I looked at their alumni page and really don't see anyone of note having graduating from there. TIA.

                                            1. re: KTinNYC

                                              There are several local DC chefs of note who are graduates of L'Academie. Jonathan Krinn is the only one coming to mind at the moment. He created 2941 and, then, opened his own place, Inox. The old 2941 web site used to have a detailed bio of Krinn. The new web site seems quite limited, so I wonder if the web site -- like the restaurant itself -- is still in the soft opening phase.

                                              I'm a family friend of a relatively recent grad of the professional program who was hired by Eric Rippert for his Washington, DC restaurant. She describes the program as very rigorous and very classical.

                                              ETA: I went to the L'Academie web site. Other than the chef of PS7 (a restaurant with excellent food) and Carla, I didn't recognize the name of a single chef included in the alumni pages.

                                              I wonder if the L'Academie alumni themselves send in updates and puff pieces, sort of like the class notes in an alumni magazine. Neither my husband nor I has ever sent in an announcement to our collegiate alma mater even though we've received some notable awards on a national level. It simply hasn't been important to us to write to the alumni magazine. Since I know Krinn is a L'Academie grad and since I don't see his name on their web page, I wonder if he -- and other illustrious grads -- simply haven't seen the need to write to L'Academie.

                                              At any rate, L'Academie is well-regarded in the DC area, although I don't imagine folks from out of the area would travel here to attend school in the way others might travel to enroll in the CIA or Johnson and Wales, or equivalent schools.

                                              1. re: Indy 67

                                                Thanks Indy, there are just so many schools out there these days I was just wondering what L'academie was all about.

                                          2. I would guess that Casey had been getting a LOT of flack from people who think she torpedoed Carla's chances and made the cardinal mistake of emailing angry. One email does not an (expletive deleted) make.

                                            1. Wow, Casey, bitter, defensive and guilty much??

                                              1. I wonder if Casey will regret that email when the hang over wears off. Talk about bitter.
                                                I don't think she has to worry much about getting invited to another food show.
                                                Talk about professional suicide.

                                                18 Replies
                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                  She's going to feel like a complete turd when she sees that Carla is begging people not to blame her: http://amuse-biatch.blogspot.com/2009...

                                                  I still think Case has a guilty conscience.

                                                  1. re: pisang goreng

                                                    Let's face it - i don't think any of us "blame" Casey.
                                                    I think we can all agree it was Carla's decision to listen to her.
                                                    Which was Carlas fault and downfall.

                                                    What I do think is odd is that I just don't know where Casey had the audacity to start dictating ideas..

                                                    Do you think it's possible Carla was really thrown and Casey felt she HAD to give her some direction?
                                                    From what I remember, it almost was as if Casey was the leader -literally telling her what would be a good idea....
                                                    I don't know...I can't actaully believe that ...but ....

                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                      "What I do think is odd is that I just don't know where Casey had the audacity to start dictating ideas.."

                                                      Exactly. If what Casey says is true that Carla had no idea what to do, then possibly the editing made it look like Casey trying to run the show. But OTOH, why would she encourage Carla to use a technique (sous-vide) she had never used before -- IN THE FINALE? That to me is unforgiveable, especially since she choked in her own finale. She was there to support, not to direct Carla or to redeem her own poor showing in her finale.

                                                      1. re: pisang goreng

                                                        I just don't believe that the producers and editors wouldn't have shown us that Carla had fallen apart and wasn't able to deal with getting 3 courses out. Talk about drama gold for the show! They've shown us others who have completely fallen apart (i.e., Richard a bit last year and Casey herself).

                                                        Sorry - I don't believe Casey one bit. Carla has proven herself towards the back half of this season - she's MORE than capable.

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          I don't believe Casey either. I can't believe she questioned Carla's training/background. I wonder if Casey was drunk when she wrote that??

                                                          1. re: pisang goreng

                                                            " I wonder if Casey was drunk when she wrote that??"

                                                            would that make it better or worse?

                                                            1. re: thew

                                                              Thew, neither better nor worse. I just wondered what would possess Casey to say things with such vitriol in a public forum, i.e. put into question a peer's qualifications. It made me think of how people drunken dial their exes, only worse. The venom seemed out of character from what we have seen of Casey in the past.

                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                            No I don't believe it either -
                                                            I don't even know if I believe Casey even actually really said all that because it just doesn't sound like her....but who the heck knows!

                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                              I doubt the online magazine is going to publish something online that wasn't said. That's slander if it was, and they could be sued for it.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                I know -
                                                                It's just that the tone of it is so darn nasty....
                                                                Casey never came across as nasty the whole season she was on....and so then to turn on a woman as gracious as Carla just defies the brain!
                                                                I'm still a bit shocked by it to be honest!

                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                  Yes, I was a fan of Casey's and I was happy to see her back last night, until she started calling the shots. And now this bitch-o-gram tearing Carla down. Bad form, very bad form. Wait 'til the anger and the booze wears off, then respond.

                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Agreed. The editors would have show Carla falling apart more than the goof over the temperature. We have proof of this from Casey's own cooking in the finale.

                                                              Then, the editors made sure to foreshadow Casey's problems. I know they included Casey's comments about not feeling well -- about feeling out of it -- the day of the competition.

                                                              I remember watching the beginning of the show and, recalling my own problems with altitude sickness, feeling that TC was wrong to have held the finals in a high altitude location without letting the cheftestants get acclimated. The morning of the finals, when Casey said she felt "out of it" I realized the altitude had claimed a victim on TC.

                                                            3. re: pisang goreng

                                                              Here's how it should have gone:

                                                              Casey: "how about if we sous-vide the meat?"
                                                              Carla: ""I've never done sous-vide before."
                                                              Casey: "Oh, then it's probably not a good idea to start now. I've been through this final thing before, and believe me it's not a time to break out something you've never done before. Stick with what you know, girl."

                                                              Call me silly, but I would have to think that one of the reasons that past contestants were brought back was to give the newbies the benfit of their experience going through the final challenges. Otherwise, why not just give them any old good sous chef? And if those past contestants are not willing/able to fulfill that role in an honorable and collaborative way, shame on them. Shame on Casey.

                                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                PattiCakes that was very well said !

                                                                1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                  Casey: "how about if we sous-vide the meat?"
                                                                  Carla: ""I've never done sous-vide before."
                                                                  Casey: "Well, let's do it anyway. I know it will be good."
                                                                  Carla: "STFU , i'm the finalist, you're the sous chef"

                                                                  carla, sadly, threw herself under that speeding vehicle

                                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                    I wouldn't be surprised if Casey had thought it would all work, the souffle and sous vide and she'd end up with everyone talking about how brilliant she is. Instead it went the other way.

                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                      <I wouldn't be surprised if Casey had thought it would all work, the souffle and sous vide and she'd end up with everyone talking about how brilliant she is.>

                                                                      If it had worked, NO ONE would have been talking about Casey, because it would have been brilliant, and it would have STILL been Carla''s win.

                                                                      However, sous vide steak has NEVER worked, and the whole thing fell apart, and so NOW we ARE talking about Casey, because she should not have encouraged Carla to do something she did not know.

                                                                      Suggesting is one thing, but when Carla said "I Never," I would have said "Then let's not go there!" Sorry, Casey, you lost twice, and helped Carla lose, instead of win.

                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                        Well, you know.... When they brought on that group from previous shows to help the finalists, I thought to myself, "WHY are they bringing in a bunch of losers as sous chefs? Why not WINNERS!!!" And I still think that.

                                                          3. Casey said: "She is not even classically trained!"

                                                            I wonder if Casey has learned how to chop onions yet.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: pisang goreng

                                                              Ouch! Yes, we shouldn't forget Casey's really embarrassing showing chopping onions in a basic-skills challenge.

                                                              I hope this was an impostor or something. Maybe she was temporarily possessed by Tiffani Faison.

                                                              1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                Ooo...good call on that. I recall at the time Casey was full of excuses as to why she couldn't chop onions even though she really could.

                                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                                  If Casey could "really" have chopped onions, she would have then.

                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                    Mis-typed: Casey said she could chop onions. Although I don't know how you can't if you really can.

                                                                    I think she said it was something to do about the knife even though it was hers.

                                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                                      Always someone/thing else's fault with Casey, it seems.

                                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                                        Yes, it was something about the knife that led to her not being able to chop onions. That something was the person holding it.

                                                                        1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                          Supposedly the knife hadn't been properly maintained- which says EVERYTHING about the person holding it!

                                                              2. Wow!! I really liked Casey in the past but this comes across as particularly catty and unnecassary. No one was saying Casey's ideas were bad or that she is a bad cook. I think what the judges and Carla herself was saying was she should have stuck to what she knew instead of co-oping someone else's ideas and therefore not being able to properly execute them.

                                                                Casey could have been a bit more understanding. She had the help of Michele Bernstein in her finally and still managed to choke!

                                                                One correction...Carla is in fact classically trained from my understanding and mentioned this a few weeks ago. Ouch!

                                                                1. Comment from Richard:

                                                                  "It was an interesting dynamic to observe and be a part of. 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!

                                                                  It’s worth mentioning that most of my off-camera time was spent with Casey and Marcel. Casey, who I’ve worked with a few times, has this untangible quality about her work. It’s what we so often describe as “love” or “soul.” Whatever it is, she’s got it. If you live in NoCal, find her. I’d eat her food every day. "

                                                                  Casey still just a bitter talentless liar?

                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                    No one said talentless. (She was a TC finalist, you can't be utterly talentless and get that far. You just can't.) Bitter and a liar yes. The email carries a strong, strong, strong tone of venom and bitterness. One need only read it to see that. As for the lying, well there is an easy one: she claims Carla is not classically trained. Which is completely untrue. She studied at, and graduated from, L'Academie de Cuisine. Where they classically train their students in French techniques. So to revisit: Talentless? No. Bitter? Yes. Liar? Yes.

                                                                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                      Yes. Obviously still bitter.
                                                                      Perhaps not talentless, as she made it to TC3's finale. (And no one above has said "talentless").

                                                                      But a liar? Yeah. Based on all of the background information we've read on Carla, and what we've seen her produce? Yes. Absolutely a liar. And bitter and venomous.

                                                                      1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                        Well bitter yes. Talentless, no, she is too accomplished to be talentless, and no one has said anything of the sort. A liar? While she may have said some things that were untrue, I think liar is harsh. I think being overwhelmed at the response to the finale is a much more likely scenario, and I choose to believe that got the best of her.

                                                                        What I don't understand is why you are taking Casey at her word, but everyone else is suspect.

                                                                        1. re: lizzy

                                                                          What I don't understand is why you are taking Casey at her word, but everyone else is suspect.
                                                                          I've seen Carla flail through most of the season. This is exactly what I expected of her at the finale. The woman doesn't know how to shuck oysters, pick up crabs, can't clean fish, can't can't turn out dessert for Restaurant Wars, thinks love makes up for her inability to cook....

                                                                          I bet that Casey wasn't there to sabotage Carla. I bet Casey was frustrated because Carla doesn't have a clue so Casey felt she had to make suggestions. When Carla failed, viewers blamed Casey. If I were Casey, I'd be pissed too. I'd love to fact check Casey's e-mail. From Richard's blog, it certainly sounded like Casey had to do most of the work.

                                                                          1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                            Well, if she did most of the work, and the dishes failed, then how does that say anything good about Casey?

                                                                            There are enough incorrect "facts" in Casey's email to make it all suspect. Not to mention self-serving.

                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                              This is the most likely scenario. Casey was asked to come back and she agreed. She didn't choose who to work with. When confronted with Carla's lack of direction/vision, Casey made her suggestions. Carla accepted Casey's decisions. When things didn't work out, Carla's fans lashed out and blamed everything on Casey. Casey's understandably annoyed so she airs her side of the story.

                                                                              As for facts , the only we know for sure is that Carla went to L'Academie de Cuisine. That really doesn't mean a whole lot. What else is factually wrong with Casey's e-mail?

                                                                              I'm not a Casey fan and I'm not here to defend Casey. My point is that Carla is a nitwit and that's amply demonstrated throughout the season.

                                                                              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                                Okay, what else is factually wrong with Casey's email:

                                                                                That Carla shouldn't have seared the meat after cooking it sous-vide -- wrong, it needs to be seared to brown the exterior and carmelize the fat

                                                                                That Carla was wrong in not putting a sauce Casey supposedly slaved over on the plate. As I wrote on the episode thread, "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!"

                                                                                Funny, none of the judges who actually worked with Carla and tasted her food thought she was a nitwit -- a little eccentric, yes, but not a nitwit. Do you have some kind of inside info? Because just saying something over and over doesn't make it so! Personally, I'm going to trust Eric Ripert, Emeril Lagasse and Tom Colicchio's judgment over yours.

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                    Personally, I'm going to trust Eric Ripert, Emeril Lagasse and Tom Colicchio's judgment over yours.
                                                                                    Exactly. When Eric Ripert and Jacques Pepin wax rhapsodic over a meal you've prepared, that's pretty damn good testimony as to the fact she's good at what she does.

                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                      "When Eric Ripert and Jacques Pepin wax rhapsodic over a meal you've prepared, that's pretty damn good testimony as to the fact she's good at what she does."


                                                                                      Exactly, especially when Carla made those meals on her own, without the "benefit" of Casey's suggestions and expertise.

                                                                                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                      According to a comment on the SideDish blog (take it for what that's worth), the sauce Casey made that she complained Carla left off was for the fish dish. According to the commenter, the reason Carla didn't get the sauce on the plate was that she had to spend a lot of time redoing the dish, since Casey had left scales and pin bones in the fish. Clearly, Carla showed good judgment in leaving it off, since she won that course with the dish without the sauce.

                                                                                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                                  So she's not the fastest at shucking oysters, so what, the dish with the oysters was a big part of the reason she won that challenge. Anyone can get accidentally nipped by a crab, it happens, but that doesn't make her a nitwit. I don't believe she thinks love makes up for poor cooking in the TC competition. I do, however, think she believes love or soul is a big part of cooking, and can be obvious if left out of the equation. It's what the judges called Stefan out on at JT, and it is, in part, why he lost. No one is perfect on TC, and everyone has made stupid mistakes, Casey included, but I don't think that qualifies Carla as someone who cannot cook.

                                                                                  Nobody on this board is suggesting that Casey sabotaged Carla, and I don't think anyone is suggesting that the blame doesn't lay squarely on Carla's shoulders. I just reread Richard's blog, and nowhere does he say that Casey had to do most of the work. He does say that Casey was over-utilized, but it's a big jump to go from that to she did most of the work.

                                                                                  1. re: lizzy

                                                                                    Right. "Over-utilized" means Carla took too many of Casey's suggestions. That's all. Casey's the only one claiming Casey did all the work, and given the tone of her email, and the fact that she's wrong about several things, her claim is suspect.

                                                                                  2. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                                    Can't clean fish? In the Le Bernardin challenge she turned out a runner-up dish in which she had to clean and filet a fish, so I think she can clean a fish. You were remembering the Quick Fire which involved cleaning a sardine. I'm guessing quire a few American non-seafood specialty chefs cannot, and probably have not had to, properly clean a sardine.

                                                                                    As for her incompetence, let's look at the numbers before the finale:

                                                                                    High Appearances + Wins = 6
                                                                                    JT Appearances = 3

                                                                                    High Appearances + Wins= 6
                                                                                    JT Appearances = 3

                                                                                    High Appearances + Wins = 4
                                                                                    JT Appearances = 4

                                                                                    Stefan, considered the actual best by most, started strong but limped in the finale. Carla, struggled a bit early, but steamrolled her way into the final. Some of her weaknesses reared their ugly heads at the end, but her talent is undeniable. Aside from the finale, she performed at the highest level when the pressure was the strongest. When being judged by the toughest critics and facing fewer and fewer opponents, she hit home runs. Hosea barely survived and Stefan hung on by a thread thinner than hair.
                                                                                    She is to blame for not doing what got her there in finale, but I also think Casey did a poor job as a sous-chef. I believe Carla took her advice thinking she had been there, made the mistakes and knew better than her on what would fly. Had they used eliminated contestants instead, I have no doubt the finale would have been a photo finish and Carla very well could have been our Top Chef.
                                                                                    And after the fact? Carla has taken all the blame and Casey has been a bitch. I would almost go so far as to use an even harsher c-started word, but I won't.

                                                                                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                                                      If Carla had actually failed through most of the season, she would not be in the top 3. Carla did better than Hosea through the season as a whole.

                                                                                2. I don't usually get involved in these discussions because my feeling is "The telecast is what it is and we have no way of knowing what has been edited out and what has been 'rearranged' for the producer's convenience."

                                                                                  But I will say this. Carla made it all the way to the final show by doing things Carla's way. Unless my memory is radically off, Casey was NOT Top Chef in her season. We all have moments of weakness when we listen to the wrong people. It's a shame Carla's came at this time. And I think the quote from Casey is a lot of vitriol she will come to regret. But hey, who doesn't have regrets at some point in life?

                                                                                  As for food and cooking methods, sous vide a STEAK? I'd rather sous vide a bowl of ice cream. '-)

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                    >I'd rather sous vide a bowl of ice cream.

                                                                                    I think that's pretty much what happened to Carla in restaurant wars.

                                                                                    Your umbrella point is a good one. I myself am fully aware that reality shows are largely manufactured by story editors. But that also means if Casey has this side to her, the editing gnomes did her a HUGE favor in her season by never letting us see any of it.

                                                                                    1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                      Well, I'm also wondering what may be going on in Casey's life that prompted her to make such bitter venomous remarks? Even if TC is her only media experience, one would expect her to know better. When she was on the show, she was executive chef at Shinsei, here in Dallas. It's a sort of "fusion-ish" Japanese restaurant. Then she left last year, I think sometime during the summer. I haven't kept up, so I have no idea what she's doing now, but I do have to wonder whether things are going badly in her professional life? Having experience under her belt as an executive chef, surely she knows it's not the job of a sous chef to make strong suggestions... Unless the sous chef is feeling unloved, unlistened to, and looking for some way to contribute something somewhere to someone. This just was obviously not the right place and time.

                                                                                      BUT...! It was Carla's choice to listen.

                                                                                  2. You really must listen to Carla's interview on "Talk of the Nation." She absolutely OOZES class here, and could not possibly be kinder to Casey, or more circumspect about her own performance:


                                                                                    I love her more and more every day.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                      Thanks for that link!

                                                                                      And here's a report from a cooking class/viewing party with her last night, thought you all would enjoy: http://dcist.com/2009/02/no_joy_in_ho...

                                                                                      She says it just wasn't a good piece of meat, sous-vide or no....

                                                                                      1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                        Terrific interview - I love Carla, and think she's a class act. In the end, the lack of confidence that we saw at the beginning, did her in.

                                                                                      2. Casey has a right to be bitter. Carla threw her under a bus by blaming both failed dishes on Casey. Casey suggested sous vide and doing a tart instead of the souffle. At the judging table, Carla lied and said that Casey suggested the souffle. I'm shocked that people are fooled by Carla's lie. (Unless I remember the clip of Carla and Casey discussing it wrong, I wanted to rewatch to make sure but didn't record it.)

                                                                                        Toby Young blamed Casey in his blog. Some news articles suggest that Casey deliberately sabotaged Carla. Some fans of top chef on other boards have make very negative personal attacks on Casey. Casey does look bitter and unprofessional. I would rather work with Casey who makes occasionally bad and pushy suggestions, than Carla who throws you under a bus when she messes up.

                                                                                        32 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: cookie_eater

                                                                                          You remember it wrong. Carla was planning on doing a tart, and Casey suggested doing the souffles instead. You might try basing your opinions on facts.

                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                            Your right Ruth, I recall Carla mentioning about the tart, and Casey suggested the souffles. Maybe Carla went with the suggestion because she thought that since Casey had been in the finale before, she might have some ideas as to what the chefs might enjoy or might give her a bit of an edge.I don't think regardless of who is to blame with Carla not winning Top Chef, Casey should not have been so nasty in her comments.
                                                                                            Stefan didn't win because he did two stupid mistakes. The frozen fish thing, and the retro dessert. Marcel thought the fish dish was dumb, and I recall him mentioning it on the show, and saying "Whatever dude".Even Fabio thought Stefan screwed up with the dessert and that, though the other two dishes were very good.Stefan had noone to blame but himself.He should have listened to Marcel, but he was a typical bull headed german, and wanted to beat Hosea. By the way, can't wait to see the show next Wendsday for the reunion.I'm sure more will come out about this Casey/Carla thing as well as other stuff.

                                                                                            1. re: HollyDolly

                                                                                              Holly, I don't think Stefan blames anyone but himself. I don't remember seeing Marcel question Stefan to his face, I may be wrong, but I think he did what he was told and offered no input to Stefan. He did critizize freezing the fish to the camera - not Stefan.
                                                                                              I myself have never been faced with a dessert and thought "Well this is sooo 1980's!" I see a dessert and if it tastes good I enjoy it.
                                                                                              I highly doubt that if the judges and food experts had'nt deemed it "1980's" You or any of us would consider it that way.

                                                                                              I also find your "typical bull headed german" comment - to be rather insulting.

                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                AND - He's not even German! He's Finnish!

                                                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                  Do you mean "finished"? Sorry, had to get that in.

                                                                                                  Actually, I have not been fond of Stefan at all, mostly based on the face the producers have shown us. I was touched and impressed that he was the one who reached out to Carla when she broke down. And it did not look contrived -- it look like a friend reaching out to another friend who was hurt. Mr. Ladies' Man just stood there looking, well, dumb.

                                                                                                  I choose to believe in Karma. What goes around comes around, as they say. By the way, the aprons being hawked on Casey's web site & mentioned by LindaWhit (below) are generic aprons/tee shirts with a logo printed on them. The same marketing company will do it for you too -- after all, they represent Stains the Hypnodog and carry a lot of St. Partrick's Day merchandise. http://www.cafepress.com/

                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                    he may have some connections to finland, but Stefan is a German. Richter is a German name, and his personality is 100%! not saying that in a bad way.

                                                                                                    I think if his dessert items had tasted great, no one would have cared that it was "Retro!"

                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                      I think that he was trying to dispel the impression that he is German. Did you notice the "Suomi" t-shirt he wore during the final episode?

                                                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                        He's Finnish - was born in Finland but lived in Germany while growing up. There is a video clip of him refusing to toast with coffee because "It's considered bad luck in Finland"

                                                                                                      2. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                        I noticed that Stephan was wearing Soumi college shirts and a hat in NOLA. This is a very small college in Michigans UP and is predominatly Finnish.
                                                                                                        As a Michigander I wonder what's the story behind that.

                                                                                                        1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                          Suomi means "Finland." Stefan is Finish. That's the story. It did not say Suomi U.

                                                                                                      3. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                        Quite frankly, Stefan lost because Richard was helping Hosea. Look at those dishes of Hosea's. Nothing he's ever put out the entire season looks like that. Foam? Richard's. Plating styling? Richard's (IMO). Richard Blais won Top Chef 5, IMO. :-)

                                                                                                        And it seems the link at Sidedish.com has been closed to comments (after about 300+ of them!). Someone else posted a comment from Casey's website:

                                                                                                        "Meanwhile over at chefcasey dot com ../.

                                                                                                        The Top Chef experience has been a good one and everyone there has been genuine and wonderful. It was nice to return and working the Carla was a lovely experience. These are truly challenging tests and I am sorry that together we were unable to secure her victory. As I was once in the same position myself, I know how she feels and respect her performance. I know she will continue to shine.

                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                        I’m a fan of Carla’s and as disappointed as her fans are that she came up short. I’m more disappointed that my great experience with a fellow female chef of Carla’s talent would be damaged by such reckless and unprofessional reporting.

                                                                                                        I feel hurt and compromised. The publication who is involved has always treated me well, but in this case– it should be embarrassed.


                                                                                                        The editor of Sidedish.com says in response: "Sarah e-mailed Casey and asked her if she wanted to make a comment about the show. Casey responded. Sarah cut and pasted. I have seen the original exchanges. Sarah followed professional guidelines."

                                                                                                        I'm still on Sidedish's side on this one. GIve me a break - an "acquaintance" contacts her and she spews this venom? Not bloody likely! The very definition of "acquaintance" is: "a person known to one, but usually not a close friend." There is NO WAY she's spout off like this to someone who's not a close friend. And if she did? She's stupider than I thought.

                                                                                                        Casey was foolish and her backpedaling isn't getting her anywhere. And no surprise, no apology to Carla yet.

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          So I gather that Casey was speaking (mailing)to someone in an "off the record" type way, and the person ran with it..
                                                                                                          I feel sorry that it got leaked because I could see myself saying something to a friend that I would never ever say in a professional environment.

                                                                                                          But still she was really harsh...and nasty...."true colors"!!

                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                            No, there was no leak whatsoever. According to the Nancy Nichols or whoever at Sidedish, the blog at Dallas Magazine - Casey was contacted by Sarah at Sidedish.com and was contacted in that context, so Casey KNEW it was an online publication, and it most certainly was not off the record.

                                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                              Well, as has often been said, don't put anything out on the internet unless you'd be happy seeing it on the front page of the NY Times. Casey's the "nitwit," to use a previous poster's unwarrented name for my BFF, Carla.

                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              Wow, thanks for the news, Linda. I was kind of hoping that it was a hoax, just because I hate seeing women cut each other down this way. This whole thing could be some karmic spillover from "The Real Housewives of Orange County," perhaps the lowest point of womankind in history. Sad, sad, sad.

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                "I’m a fan of Carla’s and as disappointed as her fans are that she came up short. I’m more disappointed that my great experience with a fellow female chef of Carla’s talent would be damaged by such reckless and unprofessional reporting. I feel hurt and compromised. The publication who is involved has always treated me well, but in this case– it should be embarrassed."

                                                                                                                THEY should be embarrassed? You said what you said when you thought no one would see it, and now you're peddling your own self-serving version. Really, Casey, take some responsibility for something, somewhere!

                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                  Bingo, Ruth. One of her (very few) defenders on that Sidedish thread said she was going to issue an apology -"as early as today!" And yet nothing yet.

                                                                                                                  And of course, the apology wouldn't be necessary if she hadn't said anything in the first placed and acted like an adult. Instead, the petulant child "everyone's picking on ME!" came out.

                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                    Casey would have been much better off issuing a *real* apology where she said something like "I was very disappointed when Carla lost, and it was very hurtful when everyone seemed to be blaming it on me. I lashed out in an email I thought was private. I'm sorry -- I never meant to hurt anyone, especially Carla. Carla is a wonderful person and a fine chef, and I'm still regretful that our teamwork couldn't have been more successful."

                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                      THAT would be a lovely apology, Ruth.

                                                                                                                      But why am I thinking self-serving Casey won't be wording it that way? It will somehow remain everyone else's fault (including Carla's) that Casey is such an a$$hat.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                        Casey should hire you as her advisor!

                                                                                                                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                      OMG You are so right!
                                                                                                                      The significance of that comment did not sink into my brain when I read it.

                                                                                                                      "THEY" should NOT be embarrassed ! YOU should Casey! VERY embarrassed!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                        Exactly. As if her cooking suggestions weren't bad enough, she had to top it with this and then blame them? It's like Sarah Palin's blaming Katie Couric for those interviews. Slamming the other person, especially when it's easy to be proven wrong, only makes you look worst.

                                                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        She is just digging a bigger and bigger hole for herself

                                                                                                                      3. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                        I don't know about 1980s dessert, but it did look like cruise-ship-dessert-buffet to me. But I'd be happy with a yummy and coherent "retro" (can we call the 80s retro already?) dessert.

                                                                                                                  2. re: cookie_eater

                                                                                                                    "Casey does look bitter and unprofessional"

                                                                                                                    Ya think?

                                                                                                                    1. re: cookie_eater

                                                                                                                      You definitely remember it wrong. Carla did not throw Casey under the bus. She took full responsibility for her failed dishes.

                                                                                                                      And if Casey is bitter and unprofessional (she was in that EMail!), why would you rather work with her? Carla is the epitome of professionalism. Much better choice.

                                                                                                                      1. re: cookie_eater

                                                                                                                        Third vote for "you remember it wrong." Watch it again; there will probably be reruns this weekend. It was Carla's idea to do the cheese tart, Casey suggested souffle. As noted above, when Casey suggested sous vide and Carla told her she'd never done it before, Casey should have said, "Well then this isn't the time for you to try it." Carla did not lie and has been nothing but gracious about this, asking people in interviews to please not blame Casey. Gracious cannot in any way be used to describe Casey's *poison* email.

                                                                                                                        I was excited when Carla got to work with Casey because I thought I would love to work with her too. After this email though, I wouldn't. Talk about throwing someone under the bus!

                                                                                                                        1. re: pisang goreng

                                                                                                                          I did remember it wrong. I watched tonight's rerun and I feel very bad for blaming Carla and hope that she never sees my post. Before I go to hide in a hole, LindaWhit I said that before because people can get hurt badly by being thrown under a bus and working with a bitter and unprofessional person is only unpleasant.

                                                                                                                          I no longer think that Carla threw Casey under a bus. I'm very sorry for posting those negative comments about Carla.

                                                                                                                          1. re: cookie_eater

                                                                                                                            Well don't beat yourself too badly. This is precisely why cops don't put a lot of stock in eyewitness statements. '-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                              and why a lot of us don;t put a lot of stock in cop's testimonies :)

                                                                                                                            2. re: cookie_eater

                                                                                                                              No hiding in a hole is necessary. Hey - you owned up to your misremembered memory - notice how Casey hasn't done so yet? ;-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: cookie_eater

                                                                                                                                There are a number of people on this board who would not go back, review and reconsider. Nor would they entertain the idea that they may have misjudged or misspoken. Kudos to you.

                                                                                                                          2. I'd rather have a burger flipper from Mcdonald's on my team than Casey.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                              LOL Now that's funny. Can you sous vide a chicken nugget?

                                                                                                                            2. sorry, Casey, it is you who are not classically trained. Carla is a graduate of L'Academie du Cuisine, a well respected culinary school in the DC area. You are self taught.

                                                                                                                              and if the things she said were even half true, she still should have kept her mouth shut. However, we heard Carla spell out to Casey what she wanted to do, and then heard Casey saying "Oh, you should sous vide the steak."

                                                                                                                              I didn't understand what the "thing" was with Casey when she was on the show, and now I am really through with her.

                                                                                                                              1. Hey, all. My nephew is thinking of applying for next season's Top Chef. Working on resume and video now. I'll keep you posted if he follows through. Based on how we dissect everything on these boards, and on how one is at the mercy of the show's editors, it could be a risky move. If he makes it, and gets to the finals, he could do worse than to get Carla as his sous.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                  It would be fun to "know" of someone on the show - keep us up-to-date, Patti!

                                                                                                                                2. Wow Carla has repeatedly told the audience she was clasiccaly trained in French cooking, so why would Casey refute that. From what we saw, the first app and the fish dish were all Carla's idea, but if Casey had to prepare, that was her job. You didn't see Richard or Marcel complain about having to do "the work." Richard asked for it. I think the best part is that she commented on Carla's knowledge of French cooking, but when she made her caq au vin in season 3, Tom seemed like he wanted to send her home for not knowing what it was. (chicken not rooster) but she got emotional and said it was her grandmother's recipe and without her she wouldn't be where she is today, boohoo).

                                                                                                                                  Casey runs an Asian themed restaurant and from what I've read has done less with the Top Chef notoriety than anyone else. She was also hired to blog for TC last season and didn't fulfill her commitment. She claimed she was too busy. Maybe she did this because she owed TC some time.

                                                                                                                                  It should also be noted that Casey took a similar path to Carla. She was very slow out of the gate. She was in the bottom 3 in four or five of the first few epsidodes and then came on strong at the end. Although I do believe she got by on someone else's coat tails in one team competition She also made the finale when they decided to bring three for the first time. It clearly would have been Hung and Dale that season.

                                                                                                                                  When she was in season 3, the only quickfire challenge she won (I think) was the identify the ingredient challenge. She also didn't have any dish in the finale that was seen as the first or second best.

                                                                                                                                  While I stick with my statement that Carla committed professional suicide in the finale by letting someone tell her what to do, I hope that there is some backlash on Casey. The term throwing someone under the bus is overused and may not be right in this situation, but Casey seems to have a bigger axe to grind with the producers of TC than she does with Carla. I think an apology to Carla is in order and maybe an invitation for Carla to come to her restaurant.

                                                                                                                                  Either that or Top Chef Wives of Aspen!

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                    I think that Asian-themed restaurant was in Dallas, and she hasn't been there in awhile. I think her website has her selling aprons with her brand name on it. And private dining chef work.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                      I wouldn't say "Carla committed professional suicide in the finale by letting someone tell her what to do," just that it lost her the TC title and prize. I think she's a winner overall, and will end up with plenty of chickens to lay potentially golden eggs.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                        Momjamin: From your mouth (pen) to God's ear.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                          In fact, in this Washington Post chat from brfore Wdnesday's episode, Carla says she's already gotten major new catering business as a result of TC, even before anyone knew she was in the finale.


                                                                                                                                      2. Thoughts...

                                                                                                                                        1. A true competitor and professional has class. Casey has exhibited the very opposite of class.

                                                                                                                                        2. Carla should not have listened to her, but Carla did not throw her under the bus at all. Whenever I’ve taken advice that turned out to be bad advice, I’ve usually been pretty angry. But that anger was directed at myself. It wasn’t anger that I was advised to do something by someone else and it was a bad idea, it was anger at myself that I didn’t listen to my own instincts. I felt like that was where Carla’s emotions were stemming from. To me, that made it far more heartbreaking to watch than if her anger were directed at Casey.

                                                                                                                                        3.I found it odd that Casey would suggest a sous vide. I recall her deriding one of her competitors (Hung?) for always doing a sous vide and she seemed to poo-poo the technique. Or perhaps she was only poo-pooing a competitor doing it more than once. Regardless, it didn’t seem like her thing so I was surprised she would want to try it.

                                                                                                                                        4. Carla is an excellent chef, based on what she has done on the show. Did she deserve to win TC? No. Had she shown the confidence in herself to do her food her own way, I think she would have had a strong chance. That doesn’t mean that she’s not great at what she does when she's in her own kitchen. I bet she will remember that lesson for years to come.

                                                                                                                                        1. Wow. What a venomous comment from Casey. Well, whether or not she was casually asked or she made a comment for a magazine, I can't say that I'm too surprised. I know she was the darling of Top Chef Season 3, winning the Fan Favorite. But ever since I heard the chow interview with her where she didn't exhibit graciousness to Hung for winning and where she kept making excuses why she didn't win (ie. I had to work during my break while Hung and Dale had some time off), I'm really not terribly surprised by her comment. I've made this statement before during Season 5 when people were saying how everybody was getting along so well and were so helpful to one another. True, I'm sure there are wonderful people there, but you can't always take their behavior (whether it's good or bad) at face value. There is editing involved, and contestants realize that being gracious will get you further in your career than acting like Ilan Hall. So unless I know these people in person, it's really difficult to say what they're really like. That said, I loved Carla and have read reports from people who know her to say that she is really genuine. So I've got to say that it totally made me ill to read that comment from Casey.


                                                                                                                                          1. I just feel very sad that Casey chose to respond in this manner-If she had waited a day or two, until things settled down, & folks were more reasonable, maybe she wouldn't have felt like she needed to defend herself so vigorously-we'll never know what the real truth was at the taping of the finale, but we are left to deal with the 2 very different takes on it, presented by Carla & Casey, & if you're going by words, Carla is much more believable, because she's more under control.

                                                                                                                                            I think Casey just lost it, unfortunately, & probably regrets it, & didn't realize that she could have put such a bad spin on it...I know she should have realized what could happen, but was naive, for some reason? Anyway, I feel for her, & for Carla, & for Stefan (who should have won Top Chef), but I think they'll all be OK, w/out my concern...

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: thistle5

                                                                                                                                              Bear in mind that this happened much more than a few days ago. Ostensibly Casey has had LOTS of time to think about what happened, which makes her comments even more unpalatable.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                Which is exactly what makes me think that she either was slammed or thought she'd be slammed when the show aired and she saw the editing (and Carla's honest and straightforward answers to the judges' queries), and slammed back (or did so preemptively and in a fit of pique without any thought of the upshot for her. Which was silly, because if you put yourself out in public you...put yourself out there. It's not as if she has no experience with media contact.

                                                                                                                                            2. It's pretty amazing how Carla went from cooking fabulous food in the first finale to just butchering it in the real finale. This starts to explain it.

                                                                                                                                              1. Just read this entire thread- Great debate! A few thoughts:
                                                                                                                                                - A Top Chef has to have "stones." Carla demonstrated she had none. If you look at the show like a 15 part interview (each episode being an interview), then it definitely came out in the end that Carla is the kind of person you'd love to have as a neighbor, love to have over to cook dinner with, but she's got ZERO leadership skills, and therefore not a "Top Chef".
                                                                                                                                                -Deferring on two meals in the finale is most definitely a nit-wit move.
                                                                                                                                                -Regarding Casey: Let's remember, Top Chef is a show, but it involves real people. Casey is someone who has worked thousands of hours at her craft developing a reputation. She goes on a show and her reputation is now at stake - just read the venom from the Carla fans. Who knows what really happened, but she has to live with what that show depicted. This could affect her real life, and if I was wronged, I'd be ticked.
                                                                                                                                                -Perhaps Carla's class in defeat is the guilt she feels in how Casey has been blamed for her defeat

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: JCap

                                                                                                                                                  Casey has done more to undermine her own reputation with this email, which has been linked and copied all over the web (and is the second result if you google her name), than any outcome of the show itself could have. She attacked Carla, also a real person. She was a contestant, and knows that the editing is beyond her control. If Casey didn't want to put herself on the line, she shouldn't have agreed to do the show.

                                                                                                                                                  "Perhaps Carla's class in defeat is the guilt she feels in how Casey has been blamed for her defeat"

                                                                                                                                                  I think Carla's class in defeat reflects her class in general, as we have seen it all season, as well as the maturity to see (and own) that she, no Casey or anyone else, is respnsible for her performance.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin you are right on the mark. Roxlet made a very good point that I think most of us missed: the final actually took place weeks ago, so Casey's infamous email did not come about until well after the fact. And Rox is right -- it makes her look all that much worse.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                      Right, Csey threw her tantrum the night the finale aired - in other words, when she saw the edited show, and did not like how the way it was edited reflected on her. She knew she had no control over how the comprtition would be portrayed, but she alone controls how she portrays herself after the fact, and yes, how she's done so speaks poorly of her.

                                                                                                                                                2. I heard a nasty little rumor that fanta pants called Casey a hot little weaselfu**er .


                                                                                                                                                  1. Hey has anyone had a chance to re-watch the finale?

                                                                                                                                                    Okay maybe I am imagining this - BUT
                                                                                                                                                    when Carla realizes that her souflees are not salvagable - it REALLY looks like Caseys eyes light up and she makes a face like someone is is secretly thrilled but trying to look upset! The next moment she is just silently continuing to plate while Carla is upset.
                                                                                                                                                    It was VERY strange. Very strange indeed!
                                                                                                                                                    I really hope someone else noticed this.
                                                                                                                                                    Sure I could be reading WAY more into it than it was - I could in fact - be imagining it - after all this Casey business - but honestly - I don't think I am!!
                                                                                                                                                    For a fleeting moment - the woman looked happy that Carla was about to flop!

                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                      why would casey want carla to lose? what does she get out of it?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                        Well, maybe she would feel that it reflected badly on her attempt to be named Top Chef if two women, two years in a row, won the title. It's a little paranoid maybe, but that's the only reason I can come up with. I do think that her original comments are so out there that one can only opine all kinds of things about her motivations...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                          Well, if you watch her body language closely, and read her crazy statement - It is very clear that Casey did not enjoy being told what to do, and having to do the "little people" tasks . That is obvious.
                                                                                                                                                          So, I would assume she was unhappy having to take orders and just did not like Carla for whatever reason...
                                                                                                                                                          Casey din't have anything to gain or lose by Carlas winning/losing, but I think she just personally seemed happy that Carla flopped.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                          I actually noticed that too. (Again, me with the DVR rewinding multiple times). Though I don't know enough about her usual body language/expressions to know if she really wanted her to fail. If she wanted Carla to truely flop, why not suggest one of the multiple of recipes she uses Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix that she repeatedly uses in the recipes on her website?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jules127

                                                                                                                                                            Does she then wrap up her food in something from the "Glad family of products"?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jules127

                                                                                                                                                              Believe me, I was not happy about what went down, but I think someone else mentioned that Casey was sick. That could account for her less that cheery facial expressions and body language. There are just too many darned posts for me to go back and check. I don't know that it's productive to go back frame-by-frame and dissect -- the audience is so manipulated by the producers. Kind of like the Zapruder film: don't know if we'll EVER know.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                I think the discussion of Casey being sick referred to her having altitude sickness when she cooked for her own finale.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Deal with it and move on, Casey.... no one likes seeing a grown woman in a full blown tantrum... you could have dealt with it in a mature and reasonable way, making people hear you and consider what you are saying instead of attacking and ranting in a way that makes you look sour and pathetic. No one hears someone who is screaming injustice and ranting at maltreatment..all we see is a spoiled child and sore loser...

                                                                                                                                                            BTW- it is moot anyway, Carla lost and Carla was at fault- she allowed someone else to suggest a menu she never prepared before, and buckled under that peer pressure- which shows she was not ready to win Top Chef - even if the dishes were executed to perfection...Carla really lost, after all she did not stay true to what got her to the top three.

                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alyias

                                                                                                                                                              Exactly--Carla lost, she's accepted it was her fault and has been gracious about it. Why run salt on the wound? It would be one thing if Casey just defended herself but she didn't. She could have said she suggested the sous vide and Carla embraced it and reassured her that it sounded like a good idea; after all Carla did agree to it. She chose to attack Carla, instead, and made herself look worst.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                I'm not so sure Carla has accepted that it was her fault. Carla she is now saying that the steak was of inferior quality.
                                                                                                                                                                Remember Spikes frozen scallops? Ya gotta choose your protein wisely.
                                                                                                                                                                As far as Casey goes what stood out to me was her hugging Carla at the end and saying;

                                                                                                                                                                "I'm so sorry I didn't get to show you off"

                                                                                                                                                                To me that clearly said Casey thought she was the one in charge. Sadly with Carla now blaming the meat quality I'm loosing any respect for her as well.
                                                                                                                                                                They may just deserve one another.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                                  Carla didn't "blame" the meat. She said it was tough -- as sirloin can definitely be. However, she could have braised it and made it wonderful if she wanted.

                                                                                                                                                                  I can't count the number of times and places she's said it was her responsibility. I have no idea how she could state it more clearly.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                    What she said was;

                                                                                                                                                                    "The meat was tough. It didn't have any marble in it. Even if I just grilled or seared it, it's still gonna be the same meat. That was the problem."

                                                                                                                                                                    Ahhhhh I dont think so. There were multiple problems. Carla listended to Casey, in fact she let Casy run her. By Carla's own admission she choose poor protein and if that's not enough she then opted to make dishes she had never prepared before. Then there was the oven temp and the souffle.
                                                                                                                                                                    I was all for Carla until I read her statement about the steak.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                                      Actually it sounds to me like Carla is trying to find a different way to deflect the criticism Casey is getting. It sounds like she is blaming the meat for her failure, but what I think is doing is saying don't blame Casey because the meat would've been bad anyway. She obviously feels bad Casey is taking so much heat and this strikes me as another way of combating that. Had the Casey thing not been an issue, but the meat was still bad, I'm guessing we wouldn't be hearing much about it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                        Gastrotect, that's an interesting observation.
                                                                                                                                                                        LaLa, Thanks for the info! :)

                                                                                                                                                                        The one thing I would add about Casey after watching on DVR rewind waaaay too many times is that Casey's expression when Carla tells her that the Souffles fell appears to me to be an honest OMG! look.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                                    "I'm so sorry I didn't get to show you off"
                                                                                                                                                                    Actually that is just a Southern niceity.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I've seen some other blogs that have mentioned Casey's smirk when Carla realized her souffle was a goner, so I'm assuming the poster here was correct on that one. Interestingly enough Casey did a meat & potatoes dish in her finale also. Hung did a sous vide with Duck and won, so possibly that was Casey's inspiration.

                                                                                                                                                                I did not like Casey at all in season 3 and truly felt she should have gone home about 4 times before the finale, but I do agree with her about cheese course in some ways, because in one of the finales Tom Colicchio ripped someone for not actually doing any cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                  Re: the cheese course - remember it wasn't JUST going to be cheese on a plate. Carla had originally planned on a cheese tart, and Casey suggested the souffle, which ended up burning/curdling in the oven because of the high temps. So Carla would have had something "cooked".

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                    You are correct, I forgot about that!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                      Plus, there were some other components, some of which I think were cooked, which were what she plated and served.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                    Carla's "cheese course" was going to be way, way more than plating some store-bought cheese. Watch the episode again.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. A comment about cooking... I watched this episode in yesterday's marathon of reruns and the thing that struck me was that Casey is the one who suggested sous vide and Casey is the one who removed the beef from the cryovac bag and trimmed it into serving portions. It became immediately obvious to me that Casey doesn't have a clue about the principles of sous vide cooking. She trimmed ALL of the fat off the steaks, including the nice and thick cap. Sous vide was developed specifically to be able to cook foie gras while keeping all of the fat within the liver, thus maximizing the profit line on foie gras by not loosing any weight to rendering. When they trimmed away all of the exterior fat from those steaks, unless they're cooking a very upscale grade Kobe beef, it's not going to have enough fat marbling within the steaks to accomplish the tenderness that people associate with sous vide. If they salted the beef prior to sealing it in the souse vide cryovac bags, they compounded the problem, thus ensuring the beef would be as tough as possible.

                                                                                                                                                                    The problem with the steaks was not the quality of the beef. It was the limited knowledge of the cooks! Casey didn't know what she was doing. Carla listened to her. Thank god they weren't building a bridge for people to drive across! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                      Interesting, Caroline - thanks for the update.

                                                                                                                                                                      And I do see that there is still no apology from Chef Casey on her blog. Don't expect to see one, either. I'm sure she's hoping it's just forgotten about.