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Jul 26, 2009 07:04 PM

TNFNS #8 (spoiler)


Boy, this one should cause a lot of activity on the board!

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  1. i feel really not nice saying this but every part of debbie is making me angry and im only 5 minutes ok

    2 Replies
    1. re: shoelace

      yes. finally!
      man, that was a tough table of culinary critics! i felt bad for Jeffrey, but risotto was a REALLY bad choice. I thought Melissa was brilliant. I hope she wins. :)

      1. re: jujuthomas

        i like jeffrey, i wanted him to do well, but im sitll behind u guys, im watching debbie present now

    2. I don't know about others, but I think that this outcome was predictable. Melissa continues to surprise the judges with snippets of her background. It was very moving to hear her story about her life as a child and hearing that after all her mother went through, she committed suicide. Wow!

      8 Replies
      1. re: araknd

        totally! you could see a couple of people wiping away tears.

        1. re: jujuthomas

          "you could see a couple of people wiping away tears."
          i was right there with them. seriously, i couldn't believe myself, but i got choked up!

          i'm just so relieved that Debbie is finally gone.

          did anyone else find Marcus Samuelsson's comment just a wee bit harsh?

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            "i think i understand the whole population of america"?!?!??!

            shut up debbie, just shut up

            1. re: shoelace

              Sounded a little cocky to me! I am yipee yipee glad she is gone, gone!!

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Which comment? the "insult to Italy"? that was tragic.

              1. re: jujuthomas

                The "this is the worst risotto I've ever tasted" was an ouch as well.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Did anyone notice Bobby Flay's comments to her though? Something about I still want more from you, or I still don't think you're giving us all of you.....something like that. I deleted it now so I can't even go back and check. Was he not in the same room???

            3. re: araknd

              i thought it was predictable, but i also thought it was predictable for them to drop debbie a couple of times, so im relieved

            4. I really, really wanted Debbie to win because I wanted to see a mainstream Korean American cook on TV. That would be interesting and different.

              She was great on camera and her food won big points on several challenges, but her Soul to Seoul concept did not seem to come through. Southern American and Korean Fusion? Short ribs and grits? Maybe if she did a "Seoul Girl" concept of Korean comfort food for an American palate and went 100% Korean?

              So now we have Jeffery, a guy who "cooks without boarders," but can't cook a risotto?

              And Melissa, the nice, clever, everyday cooking mom. That is fine, but that is pretty much most of the food network already (Rachael, Giada, Contesa, Paula, Sandra Lee).

              I think that Melissa will end up winning if she does not screw up, but I do not plan on watching her show. I do not feel that she will offer anything new to food programing, but maybe that is the point. They really do not want anything new.

              TNFNS is the food network's top chef and it is a hit. Even if the "Star" only lasts a season, the network still walks away a winner.

              6 Replies
              1. re: chefbrian1

                It's "borders," not "boarders" who are people that pay rent to live in your home. And Rachael, Ina and Sandra do not fit the "every day cooking mom" description by any stretch. Rachael grew up in restaurants; Ina owned a gourmet store and neither have kids.

                We only heard the concept of "Soul to Seoul" in the last couple of episodes, so I don't think Debbie got her act together early enough. And the edits clearly set her up to be the villain this year, by questioning her integrity.

                I'm sorry FN won't pick an Asian host. But Jeffrey comes from an Arab-American background, not that we've seen it in his cooking, and you have to admire Melissa for really raising her game in the past few weeks. Of course, it could have been the edits that set her up to be the every day cooking mom, too. She lived in Paris, after all.

                1. re: chefbrian1

                  Even though I wasn't too cool with a few things that Debbie did throughout the show, I think that from the three finalists, I would have probably wanted to watch her show the most because it was different. The culinary viewpoint Melissa and Jeffrey provide isn't really new, and I'm kind of perplexed by what Melissa meant when she said that her point of view targets a new demographic on FN.

                  I actually feel pretty bad for Debbie with all of the super-negative feedback she's getting. True, her actions did show a lapse of judgment and integrity at times. But some of the names that she's been called (on other food boards) aren't really too cool. I also kind of felt bad for some other reality TV villains like Lisa and Tiffany from Top Chef. But I guess if you put yourself out there, you're probably savvy enough to realize the consequences.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Fortunately for Debbie, other TNFNS "losers" have gotten their own shows, so she is not without hope.
                    I think the name calling has been a bit excessive, we all have our lapses. I think the editing was very tough on her, but MAN she did frustrate me! :)

                    1. re: jujuthomas

                      Sometimes they make it easy to edit. I think Debbie wanted it so badly that she did anything to win.

                  2. re: chefbrian1

                    I don't think that Debbie really had an appeal. She kept touting her Korean background, but didn't really show us what Korean cuisine was all about and how it meshed with southern cooking.

                    Jeffery's problem in this challenge was an error of omission. He didn't pay attention to his sous chef's (Katie) progress with the risotto. The dishes that he prepared were well received, but Katie couldn't translate his instructions for the risotto AND he couldn't fix it. At least when he was pounded on for the poor quality, he just took the criticism and didn't try to deflect it to Katie.

                    Melissa was able to think on her feet and rearrange menu and presentation to compensate for the mis-timing in the kitchen. She also really rose to the challenge and went out her "comfort zone" making two pastry doughs from scratch and still managed her sous chef well enough to give the judges what she wanted.

                    1. re: araknd

                      You got that right - risotto takes long enough to cook, and so gradually that it's easy to oversee its progress, and make adjustments. Thanks for pointing out that he didn't blame Katie - I missed that. He seems to be such a nice guy, but pretty bland.

                  3. Two comments:

                    If this group that the contestants were cooking for was so "elite," what were the Neelys doing there?

                    So Jeffrey spent $317 for his ingredients. What did the other two spend? Unless the contestants had to supply the wine (not mentioned), I can't see how you'd spent $1,000 in what appeared to be an ordinary market. Bobby Flay said Jeffrey should have buried his risotto in lobsters. Okay, that would have upped the checkout total, but neither Debbie nor Melissa did that.

                    P,S., My money is on Melissa.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lscanlon

                      "Unless the contestants had to supply the wine (ot mentioned), I can't see how you'd spent $1,000 in what appeared to be an ordinary market."
                      really? i could do it *easily*...particularly if cooking a three-course meal for such a large group. i actually couldn't believe that Jeffrey spent so little, but my first thought after he decided he really did have everything he needed was that he should have used some of the remaining money to buy wines to pair with the food - one for each dish. i'm pretty sure that would have impressed the judges and given him an edge.

                      1. re: lscanlon

                        Could it be that the Neely's together with Sunny (can't remember her last name) were there because they work for FN? I'm going to have to watch last Sunday's show again, because over at the FN board someone said that sometime during the evening Pat Neely is shown asleep LOL. Debbie had to go, she was a liar, manipulative and just a pain in the behind. She told some sort of untruth in every episode except for last week's. But you could see the judges favored her, probably because they wanted an Asian cooking show. I like both Jeffrey and Melissa, it will be tough choice next Sunday.

                      2. On both the finale of TC, and last night, we've seen contestants make decisions under pressure that turned out to be a disaster. Carla decided to make her tenderloin sous vide, which she'd never done before, and Jeffrey made risotto which is not something that holds well. Given that these folks are food professionals, why does this happen? Producers, or just that thinking goes astray?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: brendastarlet

                          I was totally pulling for Debbie until she started to get on my nerves after the caper caper and, despite Flay telling her to leave it alone, her incessant useage of the word "Korean." We know you're Korean, already, Debbie! Too bad, because she had the best personality despite that. And her food sounded interesting.

                          Jeffrey puts me to sleep. He's pleasant enough but a Food Network star? Forget the risotto, too. His personality is drippier than the dish he offended all the chefs with last night. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

                          Therefore, I think Melissa is the clear winner. Although her shtick isn't new or original, per se, though I did appreciate her EZ-POT tip to making bouillabaise, she has a great, natural, bubbly if not a bit manic, personality and the ability to cook great food.

                          I give 'em all credit for last night though. How daunting a task, to cook for all those 'names'.

                          1. re: HabaneroJane

                            That EZPOT was for ratatouille -- don't try it for your bouillabaise ; )

                            I think that both Melissa and Jeffrey have been trying to inform as well as demonstrate when they are in a demonstration situation; Debbie just demonstrates. I am definately not a big Debbie fan, but I don't think she looked bad last night. Her food seemed to be better than Jeffrey's and she didn't throw anyone under the salamander. I was just so disappointed that Jeffrey didn't
                            "bring it" when he had the opportunity. I've got to think that he's got more wowzer dishes up his sleeve than risotto; even a polenta would have have more sex appeal. What a great opportunity it would have been for him to have pulled something from his culture. It's possible that it just took him too long in the market to formulate his menu & then he was stuck for time.

                            Can you tell that Melissa is "driven"? Hearing about some of her background, I can see why.

                          2. re: brendastarlet

                            I believe it is purely "thinking goes astray." Keep in mind that not all food professionals act under the same pressure. I own a catering company and can tell you that it may take an hour or two for me to develop a custom menu, taking into account all of the variables and factors. Everything is planned and calculated down to the most minute detail. And these menus are developed weeks, sometimes months ahead of time. Carla is also a catering chef, so she may be used to having everything planned out, where making a decision on the fly may just be a bad choice. On the flip-side, a restaurant chef may be able to run circles around me in the kitchen (culinarily speaking), but may have a challenging time orchestrating a dinner for 150 to be served simultaneously. It really just depends on the strength of the contestant and their normal line of work.

                            1. re: UptownKevin

                              Thanks -- I'm sure Jeffrey thought risotto would be a good choice but forgot the actual timing of the cooking.

                              1. re: brendastarlet

                                He actually does mention that the timing was critical in serving risotto but was not paying much attention to Katie as she prepared it. He specifically said on camera that he did not want it to be soupy, but it appears that it went the other direction and seized, but was the rice was under done. I cook risotto all the time and every time it stresses me out because it can turn bad. It was just not a good dish to serve on this occasion to so many experts in the field. But 2 out of 3 was good enough this time around. He might not be so lucky in the "Final Episode".