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Top Chef Masters Champs 1st Round [spoilers]

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Ericandblueboy Jul 29, 2009 09:33 PM

Anita Lo's dishes looked awesome. Art Smith mentioned Obama loving his dish, again! Too bad Art got to stick around. I don't like his style, he's all talk and no substance. I missed eating at Rick's in Chicago on my last trip, that will definitely be rectified on the next trip.

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  1. cowboyardee RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 03:04 AM

    You should watch this video.
    http://www.bravotv.com/node/42516
    It's Art Smith's winning Chicken 2 Ways recipe from the preliminaries. It's not exactly 3 star michelin-elaborate, but it sure looks tasty and I think you're selling him a bit short.

    On the other hand I agree with you - Anita Lo is putting on a freaking clinic right now. I didn't even know who she was before the show, but she is looking very, very impressive. Her daikon-scallop dish from the preliminaries made my jaw drop.

    1. Fritter RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 03:33 AM

      I sure would have liked to eat at that chef's table. I was not an Amito Lo fan before but I think I've been converted. Really enjoyed the bit about Hubert Keller's family history. For me both Bayless and Keller just ooze passion for being a Chef and in my best Cuba Gooding Jr impression ala Jerry Maguire;
      I dig that about both of them!

      1. goodhealthgourmet RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 06:16 AM

        i was sorry to see Suzanne drop the ball. i like her, and i really wanted Art to get the ax instead.

        i said last week that if Art launched back into his "cooking with love" shtick i was gonna vomit. fortunately he didn't quite cause me to lose my dinner, but when he somehow managed to start with the name-dropping YET AGAIN within his first 60 seconds of screen time, i did throw a coaster at the TV. (well, i threw it *near* the TV. i'm not about to kill my plasma over this guy.) i was also annoyed that he was so insistent about not wanting to do the chickens for the QF - i thought that was his signature protein? if you can't even butcher the one meat you're most comfortable cooking, what the heck are you doing on TC Masters? needless to say, i was irritated that he beat Keller at the onion dice, but when he bungled the egg whites, order was restored in the universe :)

        Anita Lo is a *rock star* and what makes it even better is her humility.

        Loved Bayless' energy in this one. Fritter is right, he and Keller really do ooze passion for their craft. i actually think Michael Chiarello does too, and i loved how he defended his approach to Rayner at Critics' Table.

        all in all, an enjoyable, if somewhat tame, battle to watch. i don't know if it's the editing, or the maturity of the master chefs, but there's something much less frantic about the energy in the kitchen this season, even though they're competing in the same challenges as regular TC contestants do.

        9 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          HabaneroJane RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 30, 2009 06:36 AM

          again with Art name dropping Obama. As if that would be enough to get him to win. It totally turned me off to him. Anita's dishes looked stellar and it was a shame Suzanne's grouper was plated too early because that looked good as well. It didn't look like Suzanne cared either way, however.

          1. re: HabaneroJane
            Fritter RE: HabaneroJane Jul 30, 2009 06:42 AM

            " It didn't look like Suzanne cared either way"

            I have to agree. For me her style of cooking is very similar to what I prefer. While it's easy to kick back and criticize my take of her on camera was that she is a bit of a dead fish. She just seems so expression-less on TV but then I don't know her so it could just be nerves.
            I also agree with GHG that it was great fun watching Chiarello give the judges a sort of "stick that in your pipe and smoke it" answer.
            Good for him for thinking more of his peers and friends than a food critic!

            1. re: Fritter
              LaLa RE: Fritter Aug 5, 2009 06:51 PM

              I think her comments come off as snarky about other chefs.

          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
            LindaWhit RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 30, 2009 06:53 AM

            Agree on the Art Smith name-dropping - was REALLY hoping for his ouster. The editors focused WAY too much on Art's confessionals - how many of them were there - 5 or 7? Ugh. Editors - STOP that. Perhaps they were attempting to lead viewers to believe it was going to be him told to pack his knives? Wish it was. I also wondered about his not wanting to butcher chickens for the mise-en-place QF as well. Seems strange when chicken is his forté.

            Other comments - LOVED the QuickFire. Knowing that none of these chefs have probably done mise prep in quite some time, I can only imagine how it started up the butterflies knowing it was a timed battle. And how funny was it seeing Chef Colicchio come in to time them? You could see Colicchio was almost embarrassed to be there. Maybe not embarrassed, but what a cute sheepish look on his face! But the TCMasters looked pleased to have him there!

            ETFix: Bayless (not Keller as I had previously said) KILLED on the egg white separation and whipping..very glad he beat Smith. The planets were realigned. :-) Interesting that Bayless said that both methods of chopping onions were ones he hadn't seen before.

            Elimination Challenge - Anita Lo - damn, the woman can cook! Loved her take on Keller's Lobster Bisque - the whole presentation and look of the dish was beautiful!

            Michael Chiarello's comment when holding up a caul netting for (I think) his rack of lamb EC dish: "A Sicilian grandmother's stockings" made me LOL!

            Jay Rayner's blog re: the EC - it turns out the judges got to eat the original chefs' signature dishes to have a benchmark against which to judge the re-engineered versions presented to them later on. And his comments about Smith's Scotch egg is hysterical!

            "Here’s what you need to know about the true Scotch egg: it is a British traditional food, which has no noble antecedents. Or to put it another way, it may once have been a glorious thing, but nobody of my generation in Britain is aware of such a thing. It is a nightmarish food item, the stuff of cheap family weddings, where the irascible scary uncle gets drunk and tries to score with the bridesmaids."

            LOL! There's LOTS more as well - very funny stuff! I guess he got QUITE vocal re: Smith's dish (most of which didn't make it on camera). Please, Magical Elves - can we PLEASE have Jay Rayner instead of Toby Young for the regular TC? Please, please, please, PLEASE?

            I cannot figure out what Smith was thinking - that entire dish looked SO unappetizing! But when Tracht had plated so early, I figured she'd be out the door.

            Very glad for Anita - she was very concerned about going up against the other finalists, and she has more than proved herself with her imagination. Her dish absolutely looked the best.

            1. re: LindaWhit
              NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Jul 30, 2009 09:22 AM

              Wow -
              Loved this episode!

              Random thoughts:

              I'm surprised at all the hate here against chef Art...I have to watch the last 2 episodes again - I didn't notice the bragging...and I thought his froed chicken dish looked so good! I also thought he was happy-go-lucky and fun..I'll have to watch again.

              Suzanne looked to me like she was on quantities of valium.

              Arts lamb scotch egg sounds disgusting - but I really wanted to try it!

              Linda - ditto on the whole Tom Colicchio moment! It was all very cute

              Still love Keller - I want to marry him and visit his family in France

              Finally - Anita Lo is my new hero!
              She is amazing!
              I had looked at Anisa's menu ages ago - and nothing caught my fancy, but after seeing her in the challenges, it is my mission to get there. (It is still closed due to a recent fire though - which is quite sad)
              Her food is so creative yet looks really tasty, and I really like her personality - she's smart and confident, yet humble.
              She rocks!! And I am rooting for her to take the big prize!

              Oh - and I guess I'm the only one who thought "Holy sh*t! Gael Greene slept with Elvis?!?!?"

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
              r
              Reignking RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 30, 2009 11:00 AM

              I thought Suzanne had the toughest assignment, though -- cook a difficult fish for 20-some people and wait to serve it. Every other protein -- quail, scallop, lobster, lamb, and ground lamb hold much easier!

              1. re: Reignking
                w
                wanderlust21 RE: Reignking Jul 30, 2009 06:29 PM

                Loved to see both Suzanne and Anita rock the QF.

                How did they decide the order of the courses? It seems to me that it is near impossible to cook and plate a dish of grouper 20 minutes before it is going to be served. There's not much Suzanne could've done other than choose a different fish. Disappointing to see her lose to that Scotch egg and ironic after Art's poor showing in the QF.

                1. re: wanderlust21
                  alkapal RE: wanderlust21 Jul 31, 2009 08:31 AM

                  grouper can be done with a light seafood broth and maybe tomatoes and onions and it will not be dry and overcooked, even if it has to sit for a bit. like a vera cruz, or caribbean style. but i guess the style of preparation of the fish has to be "close" to the other chef's "signature" dish?

                  grouper is not a hard fish to cook.

                  1. re: alkapal
                    ChefJune RE: alkapal Jul 31, 2009 12:28 PM

                    Anita Lo did not style the dish she prepared anything like Keller did his.

                    Imho, Suzanne was probably nervous, and hurried through her prep, finishing early. Fish does not hold well, no matter what. and Cold fish, unless it's sushi, ceviche or in aspic, never goes over very well.

            3. Phaedrus RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 07:01 AM

              OK, I'll jump on the band wagon. Art Smith drives me nuts. And I think Bravo knows that because of the short blurb they put in there of Smith cutting up and all the other chefs saying how much they love him. But I also think that the one little bit he said really explained why he is the way he is, inre: name dropping. He said that he didn't get into the restaurant business until a few years ago and there was a bit of inferiority complex showing through when he said he was intimidated by that fact.

              Anita Lo IS a rock star. I am so ready to go check out her restaurant. She was less animated than Bayless or Keller but she showed her passion through her thinking through the dish and reinventing it in a very"intellectual way" as Gael Green puts it.

              I never really liked Chiarello much, but when he agreed with Raynor that he cared more about what Bayless thought of his dish than the judges, he won me over. Afterall, the critics don't matter, your diners and your fellow professionals do.

              Interestingly enought, Raynor and Oselander's blogs were up right after the first showing of the episode. Apparently Raynor just whaled on the scotch egg concept. He did admit is had to do with the fact that he grew up with the idea in the UK, but apparently they cut out all of his screaming and criticism as he had described it in the blog.

              By the way, I really don't care that Gael Green slept with Elvis.

              I was impressed when Bayless was talking about when he got into cooking Mexican foods. His demeanor and gravitas reminded me of a college professor, a very personable college professor, but one just the same. His tendency towards analysis and methodically thinking through what he does now makes sense. A PhD in anthropology, wow, pretty deep.

              So the part I didn'tget. Art Smith failed in the conception and the execution of the dish. Sauanne's dish wasn't really critiqued for its conception, but for its execution. Doesn't two bads beat a 1 bad? or did she really screw up? Not sure about that.

              this was one of my more favored episode, the mise en place QF has always a been a favorite and it definitely showed who hasn't been doing it in a while and who is the consummate professional.

              In both blogs, they talked about having tasted the original dish and then the reinvented dish. THAT, would have been a dream come true.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Phaedrus
                LindaWhit RE: Phaedrus Jul 30, 2009 07:11 AM

                By the way, I really don't care that Gael Green slept with Elvis.
                ~~~~~~
                Who DIDN'T sleep with Elvis back then? LOL

                And I forgot that background info re: Bayless - very interesting as to how he got into cooking Mexican food!

                1. re: LindaWhit
                  alkapal RE: LindaWhit Jul 31, 2009 08:33 AM

                  and think how elvis would look today?!

              2. h
                Hurner RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 07:42 AM

                Anita Lo is the best. I've eaten her signature scallop dish at her restaurant, Annisa, and was glad to see that she included it in the EC. Again, I'm not surprised that she placed first.

                Rick Bayless continues to impress by confirming that he's more well rounded than we would assume, considering his background and taste.

                Hubert Keller is solid, inventive and unpredictable. Someday I'd like to eat in one of his restaurants.

                Michael Chiarello has yet to win me over.

                I was sorry to see Suzanne Tracht crash and burn due to a technicality that could have been easily avoided.

                Art Smith, by his own admission, is aware that he's in the company of highly qualified chefs, and perhaps this may be the reason for the constant name-dropping. Like it or not, his "star" connections form the bulk of his résumé (and he knows it). And although he can be annoying to us as viewers, his chef colleagues and the judges seem to truly like him.

                1. dave_c RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 09:32 AM

                  The mise en place QF is my favorite.
                  The funniest comment of the night was about Art Smith having the advantage whipping egg whites since he had limp wrists.

                  Don't remember how made that comment, Chiarello? Surprised the editors let that through.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: dave_c
                    LindaWhit RE: dave_c Jul 30, 2009 09:55 AM

                    ROFL! I *totally* missed that remark!

                    1. re: dave_c
                      Phaedrus RE: dave_c Jul 30, 2009 10:17 AM

                      So I am NOT crazy. I thought I heard it too. I think it was Chiarello.

                      1. re: Phaedrus
                        NellyNel RE: Phaedrus Jul 30, 2009 10:21 AM

                        Yup! I heard it too! - It was Chiarello - hee hee!!

                        1. re: NellyNel
                          h
                          Hurner RE: NellyNel Jul 30, 2009 11:25 AM

                          I missed that too, but I'm glad to hear that Chiarello has finally come to terms with the truth!

                          For my money, I had the greatest laugh when Anita Lo remembered the TC quickfire mise en place "with some poor woman chopping onions and taking far too long" while the editors cut to a shot of Casey Thompson's embarrassing performance.

                          1. re: Hurner
                            NellyNel RE: Hurner Jul 30, 2009 11:29 AM

                            LOL!!
                            Yes I loved that bit!!!
                            I did mean to comment on it - hilarious!!

                            1. re: Hurner
                              LindaWhit RE: Hurner Jul 30, 2009 12:07 PM

                              LOL! Yes, that was priceless! And she's still out there - working with Blais and Malarkey! most recently in NOLA.

                              http://www.chefcaseythompson.com/word...

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                ChefJune RE: LindaWhit Jul 30, 2009 01:25 PM

                                ...and laughing all the way to the bank!

                                1. re: ChefJune
                                  LindaWhit RE: ChefJune Jul 30, 2009 01:36 PM

                                  You're implying she's raking in the dough. Unless you have personal knowledge of her finances, you cannot be sure.

                                  Regardless, she still sunk Carla's chances for winning TC last season.

                                  1. re: ChefJune
                                    f
                                    Fukui San RE: ChefJune Jul 30, 2009 01:43 PM

                                    I guess she's not being paid by the onion, then.

                                    1. re: Fukui San
                                      LindaWhit RE: Fukui San Jul 30, 2009 01:46 PM

                                      ROFL!!!! Touché.

                                2. re: Hurner
                                  r
                                  Reignking RE: Hurner Jul 30, 2009 02:32 PM

                                  FWIW, Casey's knives weren't sharp -- hence the awful onion chopping.

                                  1. re: Reignking
                                    Ruth Lafler RE: Reignking Jul 30, 2009 02:44 PM

                                    The cheftestants use their own knives, right? If her knife was so dull it affected her ability to chop an onion, then it was no one's fault but her own.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                      dave_c RE: Ruth Lafler Jul 30, 2009 05:27 PM

                                      Besides a dull knife, I believe she ended up using a bread knife to chop onions.
                                      Probably won't catch a TC Master with dull knives.

                          2. Ruth Lafler RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 10:44 AM

                            I thought Anita Lo totally rocked that challenge -- she was the only one who nailed both the concept of the challenge (to take the dish and reinterpret it through your own eyes) and the execution. Keller just sort of tweaked Lo's dish (and it sounds like it wasn't as good as the original), and I don't think Bayless and Tracht were particularly inventive, either. Chiarello made a better attempt (an Italian take on a Mexican dish) at the concept, but didn't quite execute. And who knows what Smith was thinking? On top of all that, Lo's dish was the most sophisticated and most technically complicated dish of the bunch. No wonder the judges were dazzled! That woman simply cooked rings around the other "masters."

                            1. l
                              laliz RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 11:26 AM

                              Its like they telegraph who is going to win, it was so apparent that Anita Lo would win. Her dish was beautiful and well thought out.

                              I have been in love with Michael Chiarello for years so I cannot be at all objective in this competition.

                              22 Replies
                              1. re: laliz
                                j
                                Janet from Richmond RE: laliz Jul 31, 2009 05:14 AM

                                me too laliz. He could serve me Easy Mac and I'd give him five stars. I adore him.

                                1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                  a
                                  AMFM RE: Janet from Richmond Aug 1, 2009 09:36 PM

                                  i have a secret crush of that sort on bayless. his unabashed geekiness is very appealing. :)

                                  1. re: AMFM
                                    chicgail RE: AMFM Aug 2, 2009 08:21 AM

                                    His appeal is partly his geekyness, but he's also the genuine article as a talented chef and what's more, he shows up as a darn nice guy.

                                    1. re: chicgail
                                      a
                                      AMFM RE: chicgail Aug 2, 2009 08:28 AM

                                      totally agree. :) and kinda cute too.

                                      1. re: AMFM
                                        chicgail RE: AMFM Aug 2, 2009 08:30 AM

                                        He lives in my neighborhood. My mission is to get to know him and get invited over for dinner.

                                        1. re: chicgail
                                          DiningDiva RE: chicgail Aug 2, 2009 01:37 PM

                                          Good luck on your quest :-)

                                          I've done several cooking experiences with him in Mexico and he is genuinely a nice person. If you think his passion comes through on television it's even more evident in the classes he teaches. One of the best teachers I've experienced, cooking or otherwise.

                                          AMFM, from all the yoga he's done, he's also really buff ;-)

                                          1. re: DiningDiva
                                            a
                                            AMFM RE: DiningDiva Aug 2, 2009 01:40 PM

                                            nice. hope my husband never finds this thread. LOL

                                            1. re: DiningDiva
                                              chicgail RE: DiningDiva Aug 2, 2009 05:31 PM

                                              There's a clue. I should find out where/when he does yoga and show up in the class.

                                              Or find out where/when he's teaching -- here or in Mexico.

                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                alkapal RE: chicgail Aug 2, 2009 05:36 PM

                                                headline: "Yoga Stalker Claims She was Only Looking for Mole"

                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                  chicgail RE: alkapal Aug 2, 2009 06:07 PM

                                                  But officer, I was just posing in downward-facing dog.

                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                    NellyNel RE: chicgail Aug 3, 2009 07:21 AM

                                                    LMAO!!!

                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                      alkapal RE: chicgail Aug 3, 2009 07:41 AM

                                                      speaking of downward facing dog, this will crack you up around 1:29 onward in the clip: http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Do-t...

                                                  2. re: chicgail
                                                    DiningDiva RE: chicgail Aug 2, 2009 07:50 PM

                                                    He's done several posts on one of his web sites about yoga and the specific type of yoga he does. It used to be on the Frontera Kitchens web site, I don't know if it's there any more. All I recall now is that it is a specific type of yoga with a charismatic leader. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

                                                    He also does ballroom dancing. IIRC, the dance studio he frequents is either across the street from the restauratns or his home. Good luck :-D I'm out of clues...

                                                    1. re: DiningDiva
                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: DiningDiva Aug 2, 2009 08:17 PM

                                                      AFAIK, he practices Anusara yoga.

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                        a
                                                        AMFM RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 3, 2009 07:47 AM

                                                        really had to think on AFAIK. this thread has really bumped my monday am mood! :)

                                                        1. re: AMFM
                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: AMFM Aug 3, 2009 08:52 AM

                                                          sorry - didn't mean to confuse you, especially on a Monday ;) i actually learned that particular acronym here on CH, and it took me quite a while to figure it out too!

                                            2. re: chicgail
                                              chowser RE: chicgail Aug 2, 2009 01:49 PM

                                              Yeah, I'm happily married but I'd follow him to Mexico.;-)

                                              1. re: chowser
                                                steve h. RE: chowser Aug 2, 2009 05:46 PM

                                                deb and i were flying to chicago out of lga a few years back. flight was delayed a bit but no big deal. no seats at the gate were available so i dropped my bag on the floor maybe 20 feet from the front counter. damn near hit a guy sitting on the floor. he was working on his laptop. his wife and kid were sitting, picnic-like, by him. it was bayless and family, of course. pretty down-to-earth dude in my opinion.

                                                1. re: steve h.
                                                  yamalam RE: steve h. Aug 3, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                  If you tweet, bayless is one of my fave people to follow, lots of great pictures, one of the things that got me hooked on twitter was following his updates during his family vacation to india this summer. Now that I know about his anthro background, it makes sense why he was such a good "tour guide"

                                                  1. re: yamalam
                                                    steve h. RE: yamalam Aug 3, 2009 11:49 AM

                                                    he's a bright and personable guy. thanks for the tip,

                                                    1. re: steve h.
                                                      DiningDiva RE: steve h. Aug 5, 2009 10:19 AM

                                                      Okay all you RB fans, if you haven't seen this...http://root4rick.com/

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva
                                                        Phaedrus RE: DiningDiva Aug 5, 2009 11:03 AM

                                                        Great, thanks for posting.

                                      2. JasmineG RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 11:27 AM

                                        That mise quickfire was SO MUCH FUN. God, that is always my favorite, and the chefs got so into it, it was fantastic. Anita Lo was amazing with the chickens, but I adored seeing Bayless whisking the egg whites.

                                        After watching this, I now really want to eat at Anita Lo's restaurant.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: JasmineG
                                          Phaedrus RE: JasmineG Jul 30, 2009 11:35 AM

                                          Kelly Choi observed that all the chefs were silent during the mise en place QF, like they were very intent on the work at hand, we didn't notice ti because they edited the music in. I read that and thought: Thats the way it should be with professionals. I guess that is just another sign of how intense these people are, which put them where they are.

                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                            Ruth Lafler RE: Phaedrus Jul 30, 2009 12:53 PM

                                            Not only did they edit in music, but they edited in comments from the chefs taken from their interviews.

                                            1. re: Phaedrus
                                              JasmineG RE: Phaedrus Jul 30, 2009 01:35 PM

                                              Yeah, it was great to see them so intense and focused. And how thrilled the winning team was at the end.

                                              1. re: JasmineG
                                                Phaedrus RE: JasmineG Jul 30, 2009 01:43 PM

                                                In the sports vernacular, its called being in "The Zone". I swear, Anita was totally in the zone when she took that chicken apart, the ease of movement, the familiarity with the movements, the concentration, the serious demeanor. All of them had it going, but her work was the most intense, I thought. No words needed, it was artistry in the moment.

                                          2. a
                                            araknd RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 01:29 PM

                                            The critics really screwed up. Art Smith should never have gotten past this round. His performance was the worst in the QF round and Scotch Egg as an interpretation of Suzanne's dish? Really? And stop with the name dropping already! He didn't have a signature dish to compete with the others, so he pulls the President's name out of his rear. He should name it "Obama's Chicken".

                                            Please, eliminate him soon and put us out of our misery so that we can enjoy seeing some truly talented chefs ply their art.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: araknd
                                              h
                                              Hurner RE: araknd Jul 30, 2009 02:07 PM

                                              Please, eliminate him soon and put us out of our misery so that we can enjoy seeing some truly talented chefs ply their art.
                                              _______________________________

                                              To see the truly talented chefs, Chiarello must also be eliminated from the group.

                                              1. re: Hurner
                                                h
                                                harrie RE: Hurner Jul 30, 2009 02:23 PM

                                                I've always thought Chiarello was a showboaty hack, and I still sort of do. But based on what I've seen of him on the TCMasters series, I don't dislike him as much as I used to.

                                            2. pastryqueen RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 03:53 PM

                                              Art Smith has GOT TO GO. He makes me crazy with his name dropping and fake humility. .. UGH!!!

                                              Anita Lo really has the chops. .. what a pro and I really enjoy her ethic and etiquette in the kitchen. Annisa was damaged in a fire on July 4th but I can only assume it will come back, better and more popular than ever.

                                              My favorite part of the show was when Anita said, "sorry, sweetheart" before she prepared her lobster. . talk about respecting ingredients! :)

                                              Honorable mention must be made for Hubert Keller. .. he is so talented but rarely displays too much ego. . I love how he said that Anita's dish was a "revelation'. .. few chefs will usually admit that.

                                              I am sure next week will be hard as I believe that Zooey Deschanel is vegan - not an easy challenge for any chef!

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: pastryqueen
                                                Miss Needle RE: pastryqueen Jul 30, 2009 06:44 PM

                                                There's a preview clip on the bravo website. That Zooey Deschanel is not only a vegan, but also doesn't eat gluten and soy! I think the chefs have quite a challenge ahead of them!

                                                btw, Art Smith reminds me a lot of Dave Martin from Season 1 (in addition to similar mannerisms, they both started cooking relatively late and are both name-droppers!).

                                                http://www.chefdavemartin.com/index.p...

                                                And Rick Moonen sort of reminds me of a toned down version of Andrew d'Ambrosi from Season 4.

                                                1. re: Miss Needle
                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: Miss Needle Jul 30, 2009 07:13 PM

                                                  That Zooey Deschanel is not only a vegan, but also doesn't eat gluten and soy!
                                                  ~~~~~~~
                                                  oy. i'm actually a fan of Zooey Deschanel's work, but that's just a pain in the ass.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    pastryqueen RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 30, 2009 10:49 PM

                                                    no gluten. . . no soy. Sweet lord, I would die!!! Well, good luck to all of them. . that's a tough row to hoe.

                                                    1. re: pastryqueen
                                                      a
                                                      araknd RE: pastryqueen Jul 31, 2009 06:33 AM

                                                      Sounds to me like the producers are tilting the field in favor of Art for this challenge. He can create some crappy tasting vegan stuff, make it look nice and the "celebrity" will be thrilled to have something from Oprah's (drink!) former personal chef.

                                                      1. re: araknd
                                                        Miss Needle RE: araknd Jul 31, 2009 10:03 AM

                                                        That was my fear as well. I think Art may have the edge in this challenge. Even though he's known for cooking Southern food (lots of meat and gluten), he is probably used to working with these type of dietary restrictions more than some of the other chefs.

                                                        I think Bayless would do OK as well. Lo? Well, a lot of Asian sauce ingredients are soy-based or have gluten in them (soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ground bean sauce, kochujang -- not sure even if she uses the stuff). She also seemed really stumped in the previews.

                                                      2. re: pastryqueen
                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: pastryqueen Jul 31, 2009 07:49 AM

                                                        no gluten & no soy is now unfortunately the story of my life...i used to be a vegetarian too, though i was never vegan. at least i started eating meat again!

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                          c
                                                          cmvan RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 31, 2009 08:34 AM

                                                          goodhealthgourmet -

                                                          I'm also in the gluten-free boat, but as you probably know, there are pretty decent products out there now. It will be interesting to see if they do some savvy shopping at Whole Foods, seeing whereas WF typically has not only lots of GF/SF products, but also a directory brochure listing them and their locations in the store.

                                                          Will any of them get hip to that, or will the producers provide the information, considering that, if Zooey has a serious allergy/intolerance, they could otherwise end up making her ill...

                                                    2. re: Miss Needle
                                                      DiningDiva RE: Miss Needle Jul 31, 2009 09:03 AM

                                                      I've had the pleasure of eating some very creative and interesting vegetable and bean dishes done by Rick Bayless. I'm guessing that Anita Lo and Hubert Keller might also be able to cope.

                                                      Vegan, gluten-free and soy-free will be a challenge for any chef. Wow, what a combination.

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva
                                                        Ruth Lafler RE: DiningDiva Jul 31, 2009 09:29 AM

                                                        I wouldn't bet on Keller -- his own cooking is pretty traditional, and he hasn't shown much ability to "think outside the box" on the fly. I think Lo and Bayliss are the obvious frontrunners for this challenge, as they're both used to working with non-wheat based cuisines.

                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Jul 31, 2009 12:39 PM

                                                          i think Ruth is right.

                                                          i wouldn't be surprised to see Bayless put out some tamales...and Anita has displayed serious creativity thus far. i imagine she'll come up with something pretty inventive.

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                            DiningDiva RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 1, 2009 06:20 PM

                                                            Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to see Rick work with beans, chiles, mushrooms, greens, fruit, nuts and amaranth. So few people really realize how well Mexican cuisine can be adapted for the vegetarian and vegan diets.

                                                            You know, few people give Michael Chiarello much chance in this challenge, but Italian is much like both Mexican and Chinese cuisines in that it is an earth (as in dirt) based cuisine. If he focuses on this aspects of his cooking, he could be the sleeper in this round.

                                                            Like everyone else, I've been wowed by Anita Lo and will be very curious to see how she approaches this challange and what she turns out.

                                                  2. goodhealthgourmet RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 30, 2009 06:40 PM

                                                    i just thought of a constructive way to deal with Art Smith's name-dropping: down a shot every time he mentions Oprah or Obama...by the time he starts gushing about "cooking with love" you'll be sufficiently intoxicated not to find it so irritating ;)

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                      Phaedrus RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 30, 2009 06:45 PM

                                                      So, you will be paying for all of our liver transplants?

                                                      1. re: Phaedrus
                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: Phaedrus Jul 30, 2009 07:07 PM

                                                        no need...fortunately for all of us we'll only have to watch him for a maximum of three more episodes ;)

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                          pastryqueen RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 30, 2009 10:50 PM

                                                          I don't have that kind of alcohol capacity. . . and you know that Artie is going to be clinging hard to his "identity" which is "chef to the stars" in this sort of difficult challenge!

                                                          1. re: pastryqueen
                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: pastryqueen Jul 31, 2009 07:56 AM

                                                            i don't have the tolerance for it either - i get tanked on one glass of wine. ok, so i'm modifying the rules for us lightweights who can no longer handle our liquor the way we did in our younger days...take a sip of your wine or cocktail (or a hearty swig of beer) each time he name-drops. i'd probably have a nice buzz by the end of the QF!

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                              pastryqueen RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 31, 2009 01:51 PM

                                                              ha! I *think* I can handle that. . .there's drunk dialing, drunk texting and now there will be drunk 'hounding!

                                                              No matter what, even if some personalities rub me the wrong way (Smith, Chiarello), I am so enjoying Top Chef Masters. .. really fun TV watching for me!

                                                    2. e
                                                      Evilbanana11 RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 31, 2009 09:57 AM

                                                      Anita FTW! BAM! ARt with his predictable name dropping SIGH......................

                                                      NEXT episde:
                                                      Art:"The judges will love this dish, I got the recipe from Al Pacino while pratying on Brangelina's yacht, I made it for the Beckham's wedding and spoon fed it to David.
                                                      Oh by the way, Britney Spears, Madonna, Tony Blair, Luke Skywalker, Cleopatra."

                                                      20 Replies
                                                      1. re: Evilbanana11
                                                        NellyNel RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 31, 2009 10:13 AM

                                                        HA HA HA!!

                                                        Am I out of the loop?
                                                        I have never hear of him (Art) before . Is he well known for being a name dropper - or are you all just judging him by his comments on TCM?

                                                        1. re: NellyNel
                                                          LindaWhit RE: NellyNel Jul 31, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                          He's introduced on TCM as "Oprah's former personal chef" - I think that's how he became "known" in the industry.

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                            NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Jul 31, 2009 10:36 AM

                                                            Yes, but what I mean is -have all of you seen him before this, and have thought of him as a name dropper before?

                                                            Because yes, he did mention the President and such, but I didn't think he was over the top obnoxious about it......
                                                            But I've never seen him before, so I might not know that he does that all the time...

                                                            1. re: NellyNel
                                                              LindaWhit RE: NellyNel Jul 31, 2009 10:40 AM

                                                              I read a lot, so I was aware of him (I do *not*, however, watch Oprah!) As to his constant name-dropping....no, was unaware of that. But again, having gained fame as Oprah's personal chef, I'm not surprised that he's a name dropper. She has a dinner party for her famous friends - he can now say he's cooked for X, Y, and Z.

                                                              And after only 2 shows, I'm beyond sick of it.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Jul 31, 2009 10:50 AM

                                                                HA HA!
                                                                Okay - we'll see if he does it next week.
                                                                I will chuckle and think of you if he does it again!!

                                                                1. re: NellyNel
                                                                  Phaedrus RE: NellyNel Jul 31, 2009 11:23 AM

                                                                  We can play GHG's game! Drop name, DRINK!

                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                    NellyNel RE: Phaedrus Jul 31, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                    ha ha - I'm in!

                                                                    ...in my youth we did actually play that game with Star Trek - we'd each pick a character, or phase - (He's dead Jim!) ,watch an episode - and drink at the appropriate time....Whoever got "Jim" was in big trouble!

                                                                    1. re: NellyNel
                                                                      alkapal RE: NellyNel Jul 31, 2009 09:09 PM

                                                                      you've seen the rachael ray drinking game? http://www.slobak.com/rachaelray.html

                                                                      "it's got it 'goin' on'" (2 sips).

                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                        NellyNel RE: alkapal Aug 3, 2009 07:24 AM

                                                                        Oh my gosh - thanks for that - that is hilarious!!

                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                          chef chicklet RE: alkapal Aug 3, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                                          That's hilarious! I'd never be able to hang with this game.

                                                                          But what really makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up is, Ina and her "How easy is that?" and then that laugh. It's like she has a megaphone and while her guests laugh in a normal tone hers is sooooo omg, awful.

                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                            alkapal RE: chef chicklet Aug 4, 2009 06:34 AM

                                                                            ...and then the slurpy air intake.

                                                                            i know i'm wrong, and that she can't help it (i guess), but i can't help but cringe a tiny bit.

                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                              d
                                                                              Dee S RE: alkapal Aug 5, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                                              I *hate* when she does that! I think her favorite phrases are:

                                                                              "How easy is that?"
                                                                              "How bad can that be?"
                                                                              "How good is that?"

                                                                              And she follows with her chortle.....I'm sure she's a nice person but those things bother me.

                                                                              Bayless is exceptionally talented. I've been watching his shows for years now and have eaten at Frontera Grill. I swear by his cookbooks and have never made anything bad from them. However, I think he went to the William Shatner School for Television Presentation.

                                                                              He has a "pause...two...three" manner of speaking that "pause, reach for the high note" screams Shatner.

                                                                              1. re: Dee S
                                                                                h
                                                                                Hurner RE: Dee S Aug 5, 2009 06:56 AM

                                                                                Sorry to chime in here.....I really do like Ina, but I hate it when she says:

                                                                                "I'm making [this] for Jeffrey"
                                                                                "I'm making [that] for Jeffrey"

                                                                                Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey!

                                                                                1. re: Hurner
                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: Hurner Aug 5, 2009 07:08 AM

                                                                                  Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

                                                                                  ;-)

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                    NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Aug 5, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                                                    LOL!!!

                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                      LindaWhit RE: NellyNel Aug 5, 2009 10:40 AM

                                                                                      Nelly - now remember tonight.....watch out for that name dropping! But don't get schnockered counting up the # of times it happens if you're playing the drinking game. ;-)

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Aug 5, 2009 10:58 AM

                                                                                        LOL!

                                                                                        I hope he goes easy - it's a school night ya know!

                                                                                        I've been reading about the guy - I kinda like him - I mean you gotta love a guy who has a doggie section in his restaurant - complete with a special pooch menu!! http://www.artandsouldc.com/images/Pu...

                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                          LindaWhit RE: NellyNel Aug 5, 2009 11:02 AM

                                                                                          OK, now the puppy patio I *love*! LOL

                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                      DiningDiva RE: LindaWhit Aug 5, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                                                      :-D Good one

                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      t
                                                                      tofuburrito RE: LindaWhit Aug 3, 2009 07:18 AM

                                                                      He was on Iron Chef America and lost to Cat Cora in Battle Cheddar Cheese. That monstrosity he served was the most unappetizing looking dish I've ever seen on Top Chef.

                                                            2. chicgail RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 31, 2009 02:41 PM

                                                              Final Three Predication:
                                                              Keller
                                                              Bayless
                                                              Lo

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                                DiningDiva RE: chicgail Aug 1, 2009 06:27 PM

                                                                I think you're right. That is my guess too.

                                                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                  j
                                                                  jeanmarieok RE: DiningDiva Aug 2, 2009 05:33 PM

                                                                  Me, three. I think Keller was about what I expected, but Bayliss and Lo have brought their all. It's going to be very interesting......

                                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                    a
                                                                    AMFM RE: jeanmarieok Aug 3, 2009 07:49 AM

                                                                    i think anita is great. chiarello has a better personality than expected. and seeing bayless nail italian food - if you can cook, you can cook...

                                                                    1. re: AMFM
                                                                      chef chicklet RE: AMFM Aug 3, 2009 10:27 AM

                                                                      agreed. and I do like the way they all seem to respect one another. If they don't care for Art, they don't appear to. I feel for him if all he can draw from is his Oprah gig and cooking for Obama. And the only reason he cooked for Obama is because of their friendship. Has he cooked for Dr. Phil?

                                                              2. yamalam RE: Ericandblueboy Jul 31, 2009 09:53 PM

                                                                Oseland's outfit last night helped me finally figure out who he reminds me of... Mr. Mackey from South Park! Four and a half stars, mmkay

                                                                Not trying to be mean tho, I do like him on the show and think Cradle of Flavor is a great cookbook:)

                                                                 
                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: yamalam
                                                                  h
                                                                  Hurner RE: yamalam Aug 3, 2009 09:21 AM

                                                                  That's funny. Oseland reminds me of Charles Nelson Reilly, center square of the Hollywood Squares.

                                                                  1. re: Hurner
                                                                    LindaWhit RE: Hurner Aug 3, 2009 10:12 AM

                                                                    Hey - CNR wasn't center square - that was Paul Lynde! ;-) CNR was upper left, IIRC, whenever he was on the show. But he was usually on Match Game and Password.

                                                                    But the analogy is perfect for Oseland! LOL (And yes - I watched too many game shows growing up - but I loved the snarky humor from Lynde, Reilly, and even the hosts of the shows!)

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      h
                                                                      Hurner RE: LindaWhit Aug 3, 2009 11:10 AM

                                                                      LindaWhit :

                                                                      You're right, Reilly was the upper-left square and Paul Lynde was center. Thanks for remembering my youth (and today's nostalgia) by showing your age....and MINE!

                                                                      1. re: Hurner
                                                                        LindaWhit RE: Hurner Aug 3, 2009 11:40 AM

                                                                        If I'm going to show my age, I'm draggin' you down with me, Hurner! LOL

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                          d
                                                                          Dee S RE: LindaWhit Aug 5, 2009 06:51 AM

                                                                          Showing one's age includes knowing that George Gobel sat in the lower left square. He took it over after "Charlie Weaver" (Cliff Arquette) died. I can't recall which square Wally Cox sat in but he was one of the original cast members as well.

                                                                          Great show....back in the day.

                                                                          1. re: Dee S
                                                                            LindaWhit RE: Dee S Aug 5, 2009 07:10 AM

                                                                            Charlie Weaver and George Gobel - now there were two classic comedians. Gobel yet another one who was spot on with classic snarkiness.

                                                                            I have to see if some of the old shows are still shown on the Comedy Channel or online.

                                                                  2. re: yamalam
                                                                    NellyNel RE: yamalam Aug 3, 2009 02:22 PM

                                                                    LMAO!!!!
                                                                    Yamalam - that pic is SPOT ON - I didn't really know who you meant until I saw the photo and went "bloody hell - that is the spit of that judge!!" haha ha !!

                                                                    Wow - lot's of hilarity on this board today!

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