Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Apr 21, 2009 10:42 PM

Last Restaurant Standing- Final couples **SPOILERS**

I have never started a thread for this show and have unfortunately not had the time to comment yet this season, but this is one of my most favorite shows. I just finished watching tonight's episode where the two final couples were chosen andI am scratching my head. What in the world does he see in Alli and James? I honestly feel at this point Raymond wants someone he can mold and influence, which might be harder with someone older and set in their ways, but still they come off as such idiots! idiots making good food, but still idiots!

I also wonder how the couple with the young child had such high food costs? I wonder if maintaining costs for a chain is just much easier since everything is bought in bulk. It seems like all their mistakes would have been easily fixed, but apparently Raymond did not agree.

On a side note I love how child friendly this show is. Last season a couple had their baby living with them and this season the parent couple were allowed weekly visits with their son in addition to at least one trip home.

Finally how could anyone think scallops would be a nice surprise? Seriously lawsuit anyone?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like this show as well. But more often than not the eliminations have left me quite confused as well. Clearly James must be an extraordinary cook for those two to be kept in despite Alisdair. Although at time James comes off as radically inconsistent. It is almost a joke how these two just keep slipping by. Blanc is seemingly struggling to find reasons to send others home.

    I still feel sorry for the girl who got eliminated in week three or four. She was a talented and passionate cook but her lame father show no interest and effort in helping her.

    1. I totally agree about Ali and James! They are a train wreck! I actually found the episode where they had to cook for the dinner party PAINFUL to watch and was shocked they didn't get eliminated that week.
      I have said it before but James must be one heck of a cook to keep getting by!
      (but I don't think they will win!

      5 Replies
      1. re: NellyNel

        Yes the dinner party episode. They were portrayed so badly an incompetent that it made no sense that they should remain on the show, and Blanc looked like a fool for keeping them. I remember thinking that it was so premeditated you might as well declare them the winners. Perhaps if was a fault of the editor. Trying to create suspense and it just came out all wrong.

        1. re: Withnail42

          The other challenge, I think it was last weeks (I just caught up on a few weeks of shows at once) that I couldn't believe was when the parents got all those vegans as special guests. The other couples seemed to get much easier of guests and much less guests. I think in that short of a time frame it was unreasonable for them to be expected to cater to five vegans. It was not very realistic either since I would assume a group of 10 vegetarians and vegans would or pick a more veggie friendly restaurant or call ahead. I know their food costs were really high but I still saw them being in the finals.

          One thing with the judging that makes this show so much different is that Raymond has a huge financial and personal commitment to who wins this show. Opening a restaurant with someone is much different then just handing someone a check or even offering them a job. That still does not explain what in the world he sees in those guys though...

          1. re: elliora

            Ten vegetarian/vegans was beyond ridiculous. It just would not happen in real life. It was unfair to give only one restaurant that kind of challenge. OTOH, couldn't Tim have thrown together a vegetarian pasta or a really great salad? They had two hours to come up with ideas. How could the only extra veg in the kitchen have been cabbage, especially now that we know how high his food costs were? And couldn't he have sent someone to the store to get more vegetables when he heard 10 vegetarians were coming? Still, it was unfair compared to what the other restaurants got.

          2. re: Withnail42

            but, in the dinner party episode, while James and Alisdaire came off badly at the start the food and service appeared to have made up for it (despite not having enough wine). All of the couples on that episode seemed to have had similar high points and low points... BUT the Welsh Wok couple (Peter and Laura) sank their chances of continuing on when Peter said at judge's table that he didn't feel he had the authority to tell his staff what to do and/or really take charge in his kitchen. This was an issue from the beginning and Peter showed absolutely no improvement on that issue. Where as James and Alisdaire, despite many crashing mistakes, have generally made improvements and shown an ability to learn from their mistakes. And they are actually showing that they passionately want this - the last few episodes they have faced criticism and owned up to their mistakes with confidence and "fire". Compare that to the first several episodes when they both looked totally dejected and defeated when facing Raymond (James couldn't even look at Raymond when he was being criticized)

            1. re: djohnson22

              Very true Peter needed to man up. I was very intrigued by his concept however.

              James is the only possible reason that the two are there. And they do seem to have the same wine issues every week.

        2. Interesting to read everyone's reactions. I murmured to the cat at about 20 minutes in, Tim and Lindsie are toast. The cat did not respond.

          I think Ali and James have shown such huge improvements each week that Raymond has not seen limitations, and you know, I agree with him. We are talking about kids in their early/mid twenties who are eager, passionate and are good students. If you were going to mentor someone, isn't that what you would look for?

          Michelle and Russell seem to be forging ahead, in spite of Michelle's clear weaknesses. I think Raymond sees a true "team" in this couple, a very strong chef and again, the potential to grow professionally.

          Tim and Lindsie made too many mistakes this week. Terrible costs, unable to quickly adapt to a new reality when the vegans/vegetarians arrived, but the worst, I think, is that the chef who touted his financial background had not yet made a profit. I think that Lindsie may not have shown the same capacity to grow as a front of house person during their training in London.

          I have very much enjoyed this show again this year. We are down to two couples with strong chefs, and weak front of house. Looking forward to next week's finals.

          1. All I can think is that there must be something really good about James's food. It does appear as if it has come down to the two best cooks/chefs in the competition. I think Russell's and James's food has been the best from the beginning.

            Russell and Michelle have an edge because they work very well together and she's better (smarter) at FOH than Ali is. Poor Ali looks completely flummoxed most of the time.

            As for elimination last night, Mr. PG and I think Tim shot himself in the foot by admitting to Raymond that he would not go into business with himself! Lindsie tried to dig him out of it but honestly, he looked like he'd given up before he opened his mouth to speak.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pisang goreng

              I so agree about Ali. And, he unfortunately just has a look to him that makes him appear all the more flummoxed.

            2. I'm surprised by the comments.
              All along I have been rooting for Tim & Linsey, but I was really disappointed in how they handled the vegans.
              True - it wouldn't happen without notice in real life - BUT - they were WARNED!
              They had Raymonds e-mail - and seemed to disregard it.

              5 Replies
              1. re: NellyNel

                Yes, didn't Tim make something like only THREE of his goat cheese puddings?

                Everyone had two hours' warning. It would have taken FOH 5 minutes to sit down with the chefs and nail down exactly what was celiac-friendly and what was not. All the FOH people seemed to take the email from Raymond much more seriously than the chefs did. The chefs didn't seem to want to hear it or deal with it.

                1. re: pisang goreng

                  Right, and, couldn't they have asked when taking reservations if any one in the party had special dietary needs, etc.?

                  1. re: pisang goreng

                    Exactly - the chefs didn't seem to take notice at all...weird

                    MM Ruth - Yes you are so right

                    1. re: NellyNel

                      They seemed to expect one or two vegetarians... but honestly would it have been that hard for them to come up with something more inspiring when they were actually TOLD to be ready to feed them? What would they have done if the whole restaurant had turned out to have special dietary needs? I couldn't get over 'rice isn't on our menu'. So run to the grocery store when they tell you to expect vegetarians and get a bag!

                      1. re: Kajikit

                        Especially since even non-vegetarians will a particularly yummy meatless dish.... I know I would.