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TNFNS #8 (spoiler)

c
cmvan Jul 26, 2009 07:04 PM

Finally!

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

  1. s
    shoelace Jul 26, 2009 07:36 PM

    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
      j
      jujuthomas Jul 26, 2009 07:49 PM

      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
        s
        shoelace Jul 26, 2009 07:52 PM

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

    2. a
      araknd Jul 26, 2009 07:52 PM

      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
        j
        jujuthomas Jul 26, 2009 08:02 PM

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

        1. re: jujuthomas
          goodhealthgourmet Jul 26, 2009 08:09 PM

          "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
            s
            shoelace Jul 26, 2009 08:10 PM

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

            shut up debbie, just shut up

            1. re: shoelace
              kprange Jul 26, 2009 08:48 PM

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

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
              j
              jujuthomas Jul 27, 2009 05:38 AM

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

              1. re: jujuthomas
                Miss Needle Jul 27, 2009 06:08 AM

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

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                d
                dagwood Jul 27, 2009 07:27 AM

                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
              s
              shoelace Jul 26, 2009 08:14 PM

              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. chefbrian1 Jul 27, 2009 12:23 AM

              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
                b
                brendastarlet Jul 27, 2009 05:31 AM

                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
                  Miss Needle Jul 27, 2009 06:15 AM

                  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
                    j
                    jujuthomas Jul 27, 2009 06:21 AM

                    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
                      kprange Jul 27, 2009 06:45 AM

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

                  2. re: chefbrian1
                    a
                    araknd Jul 27, 2009 09:38 AM

                    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
                      c
                      Claudette Jul 27, 2009 11:09 AM

                      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. l
                    lscanlon Jul 27, 2009 05:32 AM

                    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
                      goodhealthgourmet Jul 27, 2009 07:08 AM

                      "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
                        Proud2BWLVRebel Jul 29, 2009 12:47 PM

                        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. b
                        brendastarlet Jul 27, 2009 05:36 AM

                        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
                          HabaneroJane Jul 27, 2009 07:48 AM

                          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
                            PattiCakes Jul 27, 2009 08:17 AM

                            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.

                            1. re: PattiCakes
                              HabaneroJane Jul 27, 2009 08:24 AM

                              Patti--hahaaha, oops! You're right!

                          2. re: brendastarlet
                            u
                            UptownKevin Jul 27, 2009 09:58 AM

                            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
                              b
                              brendastarlet Jul 27, 2009 10:55 AM

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

                              1. re: brendastarlet
                                a
                                araknd Jul 27, 2009 11:57 AM

                                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".

                          3. NYCkaren Jul 27, 2009 07:44 AM

                            I'm glad it's between Melissa and Jeffrey but I don't know whether either of them can actually star in a show that I would watch. I prefer Melissa. Jeffrey seems glib. Melissa does keep coming up with new angles, doesn't she? Her mother committed suicide? Her mother-in-law is from Nice? And she spend 10 years in the business world before she became a stay-at-home mom?

                            1. c
                              cmvan Jul 27, 2009 08:40 AM

                              Am I missing something, or is there actually already an existing show on FN that focuses on cooking for kids and developing their eating habits? There's Melissa's niche.

                              As for Melissa's "bio-on-the-fly", while the revelation about her mother committing suicide (and if she was going to drop that bomb, it might have been a good idea to explain briefly why it happened) was new, she had always said that her husband is French, so having a mother-in-law from Nice is no great surprise. As for working in business (including strategic planning at EuroDisney) for 10 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom, what's the problem with that? Once she had her kids, she shifted gears. I did that myself. Many of us have.

                              One of my favorite lines of the show was when Alex Guarnaschelli called Debbie on her Seoul-to-Soul schtick - paraphrasing because I don't recall exactly her words - if you're going to say Korean, you'd better bring it. And Debbie's insistence on doing her short ribs Korean-style, which, of course, backfired on her. Why make that kind of decision in such a vital challenge, when you state you know the American preference is for tender. Another example of her self-admitted poor judgment.

                              And Jeffrey - not the time to showcase a dish you don't know well enough and that you know is not logical for that kind of service. Sure, he didn't want to fall into the Mexican/Southwestern trap and get called out by Flay again, but what would have been worse - that, or having 2 chefs in particular call it the worst risotto they'd ever had / insult to italian food?

                              23 Replies
                              1. re: cmvan
                                HabaneroJane Jul 27, 2009 09:07 AM

                                just for the horrid risotto alone, jeffrey should have been booted. as much as debbie irked me, I think that her personality and most likely her food were infinitely better than bland Jeffrey's. perhaps they just wanted a male vs. female finale?

                                1. re: cmvan
                                  NYCkaren Jul 27, 2009 09:19 AM

                                  I'm not saying anything about Melissa is a problem. Just interesting. Obviously she's a lot of other things besides a stay-at-home mom, which is the identity she has mainly used on the show.

                                  1. re: cmvan
                                    chicgail Jul 27, 2009 10:08 AM

                                    I think it was really chancy for Melissa to have said that her mom committed suicide. I know she was digging deep and going for it, but I would have been much more comfortable if Melissa had said "and my mother died when I was in college," rather than "my mother committed suicide" because it raised all kinds of questions and I found myself wondering what happened, being concerns about Melissa, her family and her mom and completely lost the train of her culinary bio or what she was there to communicate.

                                    1. re: chicgail
                                      b
                                      brendastarlet Jul 27, 2009 10:53 AM

                                      To bring up her mom's suicide seemed inappropriate at such an otherwise festive moment. She (or the producers) gave us a lot of information last night that might have shaped peoples' impressions of her throughout the season. We were led to think she was a stay at home mom, and all of a sudden there is complexity and an actual business background. As Bobby Flay said, "You're scaring me -- in a good way." This isn't a stay at home mom, it's a woman who took a break from her career to have kids, and that flips her story.

                                      It reminded me of Season 3 of Project Runway in which we saw Jeffrey's baby son in the next to last episode, after an entire season in which he had been painted as a punk, and then all of a sudden the tide of sympathy turned for him and he won.

                                      1. re: brendastarlet
                                        monavano Jul 27, 2009 02:43 PM

                                        I agree that the mention of Melissa's mom's suicide was TMI and just out of place. It is very jarring, and most certainly causes discomfort for those to whom you speak. I'm sympathetic, yet restraint would have been the better option. "She passed away" would have sufficed, and the message sent.

                                        1. re: brendastarlet
                                          j
                                          Janet from Richmond Jul 28, 2009 06:10 AM

                                          I probably won't explain myself well, but I do understand the "why" of Melissa's disclosure of the suicide. My Ex-husband's Ex-wife committed suicide when his daughter was 13. Today she is 26. For her, it's easier and more natural to bring up the suicide from the beginning rather than to simply say "Mom died" and the person often asks "how" and then the suicide becomes the awkward answer. For children of suicide, it's a different impact from the death of a parent from accident or natural causes and is part of the story and for my former stepdaughter, part of her grieving process and acceptance and coping has come from being open with the suicide and trying to remove the stigma from the survivors, to the point where it's now a habit. My guess is in Melissa's case it was the same....not a concious decision but a natural way of speaking of her Mom's death.

                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                            PattiCakes Jul 28, 2009 06:20 AM

                                            good reply. We don't always see the other side of the coin, and you have graciously shown us.

                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                              kprange Jul 28, 2009 06:45 AM

                                              I agree and I don't think anyone reacted in a negative way when she said that. One of the judges said that they cried.

                                              1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                j
                                                jujuthomas Jul 28, 2009 06:51 AM

                                                I never thought of it that way... I lost a cousin to suicide and I do the same thing. I don't just say he died. I never realized why but you are absolutely correct.

                                                1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                  monavano Jul 28, 2009 06:55 AM

                                                  I don't disagree, and I understand what Melissa is going through. Sometimes, it's out of place and editing is called for. I would, for instance, never bring it up in a job interview (which is what this show is essentially) or to those I'm not familiar with. It's not about stigma, it's about making assumptions about social appropriateness with those you really don't know. Did the judges, guests and the nation really need to know this information? This isn't a coffee clatch or book club. I know the judges, and hell, the producers want the contestants to bleed personal tidbits, but I personally would not go there. Just a me-thing.
                                                  And when I say I know what Melissa is going through...well...I do. Again, your post is well thought out, but mine is a different reaction.
                                                  Respectfully, and I'll let that be my final thoughts on this particular aspect of the show.

                                                  1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                    f
                                                    Foodie in Friedberg Jul 28, 2009 08:41 AM

                                                    Interesting, but doesn't explain why a few episodes back Melissa mentioned that her mother died (no mention of suicude).

                                                    1. re: Foodie in Friedberg
                                                      Withnail42 Jul 28, 2009 11:59 AM

                                                      It's all in the editing.

                                                  2. re: brendastarlet
                                                    f
                                                    Foodie in Friedberg Jul 28, 2009 08:47 AM

                                                    "This isn't a stay at home mom, it's a woman who took a break from her career to have kids, and that flips her story."

                                                    Huh? Labeling Melissa as "taking a break" makes her more credible or interesting?

                                                    1. re: Foodie in Friedberg
                                                      a
                                                      AMFM Jul 28, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                      no but i think it gives her an even broader demographic. that's all. with working women too.
                                                      but i don't think i'd relabel her as taking a break. that's strange wording :)

                                                      1. re: AMFM
                                                        kprange Jul 28, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                        Ok, what is the problem with a woman working for a number of years, having kids and becoming a stay at home mom? I have friends who did that - they were in the work force, and decided to quit to raise their kids. How does that change who she is today? I was an accountant, who went back to school to become a teacher. Am I not a teacher now? Is she not a stay at home mom now? And whoever said that she is taking a "break" to have kids......I don't get that at all. She had kids and quit her job to raise them - how is that a break?

                                                        1. re: kprange
                                                          m
                                                          Mushroom Jul 28, 2009 12:50 PM

                                                          I work to take a break from my kids.

                                                          1. re: kprange
                                                            a
                                                            AMFM Jul 28, 2009 04:06 PM

                                                            i'm confused that you think i have a problem with it. i don't. i'm currently a stay at home mom. who was in the workforce once.

                                                            1. re: AMFM
                                                              kprange Jul 28, 2009 04:10 PM

                                                              I am sorry. I should have replied to foodie in Freidberg. She talked about Melissa taking a break and not really being a stay at home mom

                                                              1. re: kprange
                                                                a
                                                                AMFM Jul 28, 2009 05:59 PM

                                                                all good. :)

                                                                1. re: kprange
                                                                  f
                                                                  Foodie in Friedberg Jul 29, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                                  You misinterpreted what I was saying. I was quoting brendastarlet's post, and was confused as to why SHE thought labeling Melissa as "taking a break" made her more interesting.

                                                                  1. re: Foodie in Friedberg
                                                                    kprange Jul 29, 2009 12:27 PM

                                                                    I am sorry about that. I really need to look at who I am replying to.

                                                                    1. re: kprange
                                                                      f
                                                                      Foodie in Friedberg Jul 29, 2009 01:38 PM

                                                                      No worries!

                                                    2. re: cmvan
                                                      c
                                                      cmvan Jul 27, 2009 11:02 AM

                                                      Went to FN website and watched the video of The Table, so here's what AG actually said: "We want to see you BLEED your culture, if that's what you want to use to express yourself."

                                                      And then, at Judges' Table, BF said to Debbie "I'm still with Seoul-to-Soul. I don't want you to change it, but I want to TASTE it."

                                                      And they've posted the video of what we didn't see - Emeril and the 3 having lunch and him offering up advice and answers to their questions. Very interesting.

                                                    3. dave_c Jul 27, 2009 09:11 AM

                                                      Well.. No surprise that Melissa and Jeffrey are the top 2.

                                                      I'm on the fence about Melissa's story. I'm thinking she's milking the sympathy angle.
                                                      However, she's did bring her A game. Her housewife schtick is old though... 30-minute meals, Sandra Lee, Paula Deen are just a few show that are targeting housewives.

                                                      No matter who wins... I probably won't watch their show anyway. My FN viewing time is about 2 to 3 hours a week. It used to be 2 to 3 hours a day.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: dave_c
                                                        kprange Jul 27, 2009 10:12 AM

                                                        they are not housewives with little kids trying to balance it all. RR's food is not a 30 minute meal for most people, SL's food is just disgusting, and PD uses way too much butter and fries a lot for most people. None of them have kids either except for PD, whose kids are grown. Melissa actually has kids and is trying to cook food for them that will like, while expanding their horizons - that is not on FN right now.

                                                        1. re: kprange
                                                          JasmineG Jul 27, 2009 10:22 AM

                                                          Yeah, I don't have kids, but I would watch Melissa's show, because her food looks good and versatile. I totally wanted recipes for that potato torte and the dessert pastry, and the way that she weaves tips in is really useful.

                                                          1. re: kprange
                                                            c
                                                            Claudette Jul 27, 2009 11:16 AM

                                                            kprange, you are so right. RR cooks for 30 minutes, but we know that never includes time for shopping, cleaning and prepping (and she never cuts up her own chickens, chops, squid, nor ever cleans shrimp).

                                                            1. re: kprange
                                                              kprange Jul 27, 2009 01:04 PM

                                                              I am replying to myself - does that mean I talk to myself and answer myself? Should I be worried?? Anyway the only person I can think of on FN right now that does a little of what Melissa does is Robin Miller - she tries to prepare 2-3 meals out of one cooking time and tries to balance work and kids. I personally think Melissa's food looks better than Robin's

                                                              1. re: kprange
                                                                j
                                                                jujuthomas Jul 27, 2009 01:11 PM

                                                                is that the slow-cooker lady? she cooks for the whole week in one show?

                                                                1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                  kprange Jul 27, 2009 01:15 PM

                                                                  That is the one - I try to cook for a few meals too, otherwise we would be eating out a couple of days a week..

                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                    C. Hamster Jul 28, 2009 01:21 PM

                                                                    The one with the GINOURMOUS bug eyes! And a busy, busy life!

                                                            2. Withnail42 Jul 27, 2009 10:22 AM

                                                              I thought Debbie was getting another free pass last night. She got Michael by all accounts a very good chef Jeffery got Katie who is a horrendous cook repeatedly sending out raw food.

                                                              Debbie's final speech in front of the Judges was interesting. She basically said how great she was and how everyone was going to watch her. Well people are interested in her but not in a good way.

                                                              1. ipsedixit Jul 27, 2009 10:52 AM

                                                                THANK YOU FOOD NETWORK!!!

                                                                If Debbie had won this contest I would have committed hari-kari.

                                                                Watching Debbie is like drinking rancid olive oil chased with spoiled milk and watching someone run their fingernails on a chalkboard and at the same time realizing that you're receiving an enema with an old toilet plunger.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                  bermudagourmetgoddess Jul 27, 2009 11:25 AM

                                                                  WOW harsh

                                                                  But, so true, Debbie was painful to watch and she cried when a past contestant tried to throw her under the bus (the Ina dinner party episode) and then she did just that the night they all created canapés at Nikki Beach. She ever helped anyone and just concentrated on her own dishes. Bad Karma

                                                                  Not sure if I would watch Jeffery or Melissa, I would have to do what I did with the others, watch one or two shows and if they made my skin crawl I would turn it off and not watch it again. Amy did that to me and still not too keen on Aaron.

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                    xo_kizzy_xo Jul 27, 2009 03:15 PM

                                                                    Ouch!

                                                                    I haven't really been a Debbie fan, but I certainly don't hate her either. There's a vibe I've gotten from her, though, that hasn't sat well with me -- and this was from back at the very beginning.

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                      chicgail Jul 27, 2009 03:39 PM

                                                                      I certainly agree that Debbie's "integrity issue" has bothered me from episode one, but evidently she could cook.

                                                                      At the same time, I never got the Seoul to Soul concept and it didn't seem to be reflected in her food (the use of garlic or ginger not withstanding) and while I was glad to see that she was not going to win NFNS, I think your description is a little over the top and lacking in generosity, Nonetheless, I do get that you just don't like her.

                                                                    2. j
                                                                      Jambie Jul 27, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                                      I have been wondering why the winner from last year has been absent for the most part from the show this year? I think I saw him in the first episode briefly (and he looked uncomfortable at that) but I thought he might come back for at least one episode like Guy Fieri did.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Jambie
                                                                        t
                                                                        toonie Jul 30, 2009 08:47 PM

                                                                        I think a lot of the winners haven't been able to build an audience. The two catering guys-what happened to them?

                                                                        I like Melissa and while I was shocked by her talking about how her mom died, I think she was wise to put the information out early. Getting her own show would make her more of a public figure so I'm sure it would come out sooner or later assuming she wins.

                                                                        I think Melissa handled herself well this week. When one of her dishes was too salty I believe she eliminated it. And she was pretty brave to make pastry.

                                                                        1. re: toonie
                                                                          c
                                                                          cmvan Jul 31, 2009 08:43 AM

                                                                          Actually, she'd prepared 2 batches of the orzo. Jamika over-salted one bowl, so Melissa blended the two together, to disperse the salt more evenly. She then substituted the orzo into the appetizer in place of the potato tart, since the tart wasn't yet fully-baked.

                                                                          Good on-the-fly crisis-aversion tactics on her part.

                                                                      2. C. Hamster Jul 28, 2009 01:23 PM

                                                                        After watching Debbie all season, I grew to dislike her immensely. She seemed like such a fraud.

                                                                        I'm not interested at all in a show hosted by Jeffrey. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

                                                                        Melissa just shines, though. I'm not a housewife, nor a mom but I would absolutely watch her show. I love her personality and her food looks delicious.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                          e
                                                                          Ericandblueboy Jul 28, 2009 07:57 PM

                                                                          Wouldn't watch any of their shows. Don't care who wins but now that there's no disingenuous Debbi, I don't know if I even care to watch the finale.

                                                                        2. l
                                                                          laliz Jul 29, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                                          I'm glad Debbie is gone too.
                                                                          I prefer Jeffery over Melissa.
                                                                          I really enjoyed the episode when he talked about his kids and the chicken tofu nuggets and spaghetti o s.
                                                                          Melissa wears me out, I see her as a RR wannabe and I am exhausted already by RR

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: laliz
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                                                                            Claudette Jul 30, 2009 10:39 AM

                                                                            It's interesting to see how many interpretations there are of their personalities. I'm not sure I would watch an entire show by Melissa, but when I told a friend that there was something about Jeffrey that really bothered me, she said he was arrogant. Perhaps, like my husband, he isn't really arrogant and only sounds that way, but I still don't like it.

                                                                          2. SaltyRaisins Jul 30, 2009 04:16 PM

                                                                            I always have a chuckle when I see Morimoto being forced to serve out the small print clauses in his FN contract by judging amateurs and chipper housewives...he'd clearly rather be out with chef-colleagues or model girlfriend gettin' tipsy on Suntory or something. His comments fail to materialize or are single, and to his credit, he does not seem to accept food in a context- it's good or it's not. They really should have let him off the hook for this one...

                                                                            1. h
                                                                              HotMelly Aug 1, 2009 11:45 AM

                                                                              I get so irritated at these shows.......Take one of the Food stars and put them in front of a bunch of Drill Instructors and see how they do. They have enough pressure going on without some rookie chef saying that their food was too well done.Well let's see what Emeril, Tyler, Bobby, can do with the whole world watching.....I am a great cook, and I have a great personality.But my God.........As the great chef Steve Martin would say..............."EXCUSE ME................

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: HotMelly
                                                                                kprange Aug 1, 2009 11:48 AM

                                                                                But, isn't that what they sign up for?

                                                                              2. h
                                                                                HotMelly Aug 1, 2009 12:48 PM

                                                                                kprange.When and if they DO get their own show.If they screw up, Someoneone in the backround says "CUT" Let's do it again... I remember watching Emeril a few years ago, I don't know how it got on air, but he looked in the counter and didn't find some kitchen utensil he was looking for.My gosh.....He showed the world he was pissed.Never liked him since......

                                                                                1. m
                                                                                  melly Aug 1, 2009 03:27 PM

                                                                                  You know, we just watched a bunch of old Julia Child episodes and she never would have made it into the top 3....but I would rather watch someone real who stutters a bit, drops things, and is keeping it real...rather than the teeth flashing/cleavage showing/inudendo sending/fast talking food network stars we have today.

                                                                                  With that said, I would have enjoyed Michael the most.

                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                    cmvan Aug 2, 2009 05:18 AM

                                                                                    There's some interesting insider info in Melissa's Facebook pages, including her impressions on each of the episodes. Also some of her recipes.

                                                                                    Main page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Melissa-dArabian/108527061348

                                                                                    Notes - http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=108527061348&start=0&hash=f5af620aa976abff6bc19a207eaea86a

                                                                                    And a fairly up-to-date video from a local station's evening show up near where she just moved in WA - http://www.king5.com/video/eveningmag...

                                                                                    It all gives a better picture of her and clears up a few things that have been tossed around on the NFNS threads.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: cmvan
                                                                                      chicgail Aug 2, 2009 08:19 AM

                                                                                      Especially based on those notes, it is clear that she is a very centered, articulate and intelligent human being. She also appears to be a darn good cook. She will do well.

                                                                                    2. Sherri K Aug 2, 2009 07:57 AM

                                                                                      OK- #1 I think Jeffrey is the best of what there is to offer this year out of the group. Melissa seems a bit..manic. BTW does anyone have that potato tart recipe & crust she made? Since the judges went NUTS over it I just have to try it out. So happy Debbie is gone! UGH! I hope I'm not being too harsh but all these "NEW" cooking hosts on the Food Channel well most of them are (not Paula & Ania) the same old same old with their perky, sun shiney, & goody goody demeanor. I like "real" people. Have a nice day everyone

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Sherri K
                                                                                        chicgail Aug 2, 2009 08:16 AM

                                                                                        What do you suppose the reaction to/editing of Julia Child would be if she were a contestant on NFNS?

                                                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                                                          Withnail42 Aug 2, 2009 09:52 AM

                                                                                          FN has over the years bashed Julia directly and indirectly. At one point I thing they even called her a dinosaur.

                                                                                          So it was a little Ironic that they made such a big deal about promoting this movie.

                                                                                          1. re: Withnail42
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                                                                                            araknd Aug 2, 2009 09:59 AM

                                                                                            They have also promoted her as the pioneer of what they do. It's just TV.

                                                                                            Not ironic at all, they are getting paid $$$$ by a commercial sponsor to promote a product, this one just happens to be a movie about food. The American entertainment industry have no scruples. It's all about promotion of product and branding of some sort.

                                                                                            1. re: araknd
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                                                                                              RBCal Aug 2, 2009 05:50 PM

                                                                                              Unfortunately Melissa will win since she is a mindless airhead cheerleader and a blonde clone of Rachel Ray.

                                                                                              1. re: RBCal
                                                                                                chicgail Aug 2, 2009 06:09 PM

                                                                                                She actually doesn't occur for me at all like a mindless airhead. She's not a professional chef, but she's certainly not an RR clone (I hope!).

                                                                                                1. re: RBCal
                                                                                                  kprange Aug 2, 2009 08:59 PM

                                                                                                  Sounds to me like someone is jealous - she can actually cook and will provide a lot of tips to the home cook.

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