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Top Chef Vegas Ep. #3 09/02/09 (spoilers)

LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 07:19 PM

Interesting start! Mark Peel as Guest Judge for the Quickfire, which is to create an "out of this world" dish with potatoes.

Ash can't make sweet potato ice cream, but somehow, his puree ends up being Top 3!

Jessie is in the bottom 3 again - I'm thinking she's a goner very soon. Preeti almost screws Ashley by using the wrong water to poach her asparagus - but Ashley's gnocchi pulls a Top 3 status.

Jennifer C. wins with her mussels - and WHAT a surprise - Michael I. is an a$$hat commenting about her win. He *really* has a major problem with her, doesn't he?

The Elimination Challenge is cooking for 300 Air Force servicemen and women...

  1. r
    reiflame Sep 2, 2009 07:21 PM

    Don't forget to add that Mike Isabella makes another totally inappropriate sexist comment! I'm not likely to patronize Zaytinya in DC based on him alone.

    50 Replies
    1. re: reiflame
      LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 07:23 PM

      What was it again?

      And I loved the Kevin comment about him and Eli working together - they're both from Atlanta, and they both bonded from the "fat kid" syndrome. :-)

      1. re: LindaWhit
        r
        reiflame Sep 2, 2009 07:40 PM

        He claimed that Jen's win in the Quick Fire was "favoritism".

        This guy comes off more and more like a jerk every week - it's his 2nd offensive comment in 3 episodes. I'm glad I live in DC so I can effectively boycott his restaurant.

        1. re: reiflame
          goodhealthgourmet Sep 2, 2009 07:43 PM

          oh, right. i didn't understand that. favoritism HOW? what a putz.

          1. re: reiflame
            LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 07:46 PM

            Wow. I totally missed that! What a complete jerk! Favoritism? How about she's outcooked you TWICE?

            1. re: LindaWhit
              l
              LarryLg Sep 3, 2009 06:43 AM

              She did outcook him twice, and I prefer her to him, however she also made ceviche twice, and did another cold preparation using smoked salmon once. I was happy to see her cook during the elimination challenge, as her resume is quite immpressive.

              As far as the 'favoritism' comment, do you think it was made due to the fact that Eric Ripert is often a guest chef on Top Chef? While I respect her ability, did a spritz of lime juice and some fresh herb garner a victory worth 15K on a reality show where we are led to believe the focus is on cooking?

              1. re: LarryLg
                r
                reiflame Sep 3, 2009 06:52 AM

                1) Eric Ripert was not the guest judge on this episode.
                2) Sexist Mike has never made a comment when a man has won a challenge
                3) If the "spritz of lime juice and fresh herb" tasted better than all of the other dishes, then of course she deserves to win. Since you can't taste the food, you'll just have to trust the judges.

                I figured someone would eventually come in and defend his quite frankly inexcusable comments.

                1. re: reiflame
                  thew Sep 3, 2009 07:03 AM

                  we do not know what mike has or has not said when men won. we only know what we have been shown

                  1. re: thew
                    r
                    reiflame Sep 3, 2009 07:05 AM

                    While I'm sure the editors are being selective, the fact that he's given them this much ammunition to work with (in only 3 episodes!) is pretty reflective of his sexism.

                    I'm honestly sorry if you don't see it - this is the type of nonsense that women have to put up with every day in male-dominated industries.

                    1. re: reiflame
                      thew Sep 3, 2009 07:27 AM

                      um, i didn't say i didn't see it. I didn't defend him at all. i said we have no idea what he did or did not say when men won. that is all i said, anything you add to that is all you and not me.

                    2. re: thew
                      Fritter Sep 3, 2009 07:30 AM

                      "we do not know what mike has or has not said "

                      Of course we do. The editiors are not changing his words or creating false statments. We just don't know if it's in context or not. It might be reasonable to assume creative editing if it's a one time event but when it occurs on every episide the benifit of doubt begins to diminish IMO.
                      While I think Mike was a bit off base with his favoritism comment I also think that since Ripert has often been a judge that every one is probably wondering if Jenn doesn't have a slight edge with the judges.
                      To be fair she really hasn't cooked much at this juncture and that is a complaint we have heard from the judges in the past.

                      1. re: Fritter
                        thew Sep 3, 2009 08:50 AM

                        let me rephrase for clarity -

                        reiflame said "2) Sexist Mike has never made a comment when a man has won a challenge"

                        i said we have no idea if he did or didn't make a comment when a man has won. I did not mean to imply he didn't say what he said, only that our not seeing him say something is not the same as his not saying. he may well have bitched and moaned after every loss, and the editors only shows the ones after women won to build that drama.

                        1. re: thew
                          Fritter Sep 3, 2009 12:27 PM

                          You see! I totally took your post out of context.
                          My bad.
                          Indeed I see your point.

                      2. re: thew
                        chowser Sep 3, 2009 05:08 PM

                        Yeah, we don't know if he's truly sexist or just a true jerk to everyone. Neither is appealing.

                      3. re: reiflame
                        l
                        LarryLg Sep 3, 2009 07:20 AM

                        Right, I'm defending him - bull. Read my post again. You obviously missed the part where i wrote i preferred HER.

                        1. re: LarryLg
                          r
                          reiflame Sep 3, 2009 07:22 AM

                          You're right; I fixated on the comments at the end questioning her win. Apologies.

                        2. re: reiflame
                          g
                          grant.cook Sep 3, 2009 07:24 AM

                          I was more annoyed that he's lecturing the audience (e.g. ME) on what risotto is..

                          1. re: grant.cook
                            l
                            LarryLg Sep 3, 2009 07:27 AM

                            I'm not sure if it had been published in any other books, but 'Potato Rissotto' is a recipe/technique in Michel Richard's Happy In The Kitchen.

                            1. re: LarryLg
                              d
                              dmd_kc Sep 4, 2009 12:01 PM

                              It's hardly novel. Heck, a Top Chef contestant has whipped one out before:

                              http://www.buddytv.com/articles/top-c...

                              To similar dismissal, I might add.

                            2. re: grant.cook
                              goodhealthgourmet Sep 3, 2009 07:32 AM

                              ugh, i had momentarily forgotten about that comment. grrr.

                              1. re: grant.cook
                                c
                                charmedgirl Sep 3, 2009 02:34 PM

                                Well, I'll admit it: I didn't know risotto was a cooking style in general, and not a cooking style applied to *rice.* I appreciated the explanation.

                                1. re: charmedgirl
                                  goodhealthgourmet Sep 3, 2009 03:36 PM

                                  no, no...technically it *is* a cooking style applied to rice. so you did know :)

                                  Mike's comment had to do with the fact that he apparently thinks all home cooks have the inaccurate impression that risotto is a *variety* of rice (like arborio or basmati) as opposed to a particular preparation of it. ironically, his explanation wasn't completely accurate because he didn't specify that true risotto is only made with rice. his potato dish may have been cooked "in the style of risotto," but it sure as hell wasn't risotto!

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                    Withnail42 Sep 3, 2009 04:39 PM

                                    Until he made that comment I was thinking that perhaps he's not as much of an A** as the editing would have one believe. Next thing you know he's talking down to the viewers. So that made me a convert, there's only so much editing can do perhaps he really is an A**!

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                      c
                                      charmedgirl Sep 3, 2009 04:46 PM

                                      Ha! Thanks, GHG! Man, I'm glad you explained that, otherwise I would have let Mike's comment "correct" me into an embarrassing mistake. I like your way of phrasing that he cooked potatoes "in the style" of risotto.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        chicgail Sep 3, 2009 07:01 PM

                                        In general, Mike's a pretty arrogant dude. Seems he looks down his nose at a lot of people. Looks like Bravo has founds its villian for this season. Like may of you, I am looking forward to the tumble off his self-designed pedestal.

                                2. re: LarryLg
                                  w
                                  wincountrygirl Sep 4, 2009 01:27 PM

                                  She is obviously a very talented chef and I don't think they are playing favorites. The only thing I would say is that she really needs to start cooking something other than fish and shellfish - you can't win Top Chef on only seafood.

                                  1. re: wincountrygirl
                                    dave_c Sep 4, 2009 01:32 PM

                                    I agree... Look at Hosea from last season, he was a seafood chef and he won by NOT winning any seafood challenges.... lol. :-)

                                    1. re: dave_c
                                      LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 02:17 PM

                                      LOL! Touché! (And so very true!)

                                      1. re: dave_c
                                        w
                                        wincountrygirl Sep 5, 2009 04:21 AM

                                        Yep - and he also didn't win as much as the others lost, cause he won without winning much of anything!

                                3. re: reiflame
                                  s
                                  smtucker Sep 2, 2009 08:16 PM

                                  Third. Don't forget the "old lady" comment.

                                  1. re: reiflame
                                    scubadoo97 Sep 3, 2009 10:37 AM

                                    Very evident that Jen won due to her talent, not favoritism and Mike winds up at the judges table near the bottom, again, because his dishes sucked by comparison.

                                    1. re: reiflame
                                      Caitlin McGrath Sep 3, 2009 12:56 PM

                                      Regardless of Mike I.'s motivation for saying Jen's win was favoritism, it was an inane comment. This was Mark Peel's first exposure to the contestants, and the guest judge determines the winner.

                                  2. re: reiflame
                                    m
                                    momjamin Sep 2, 2009 08:58 PM

                                    Did you catch MikeI's face in the QF judging? Chef Peel interrupted his description of the dish to say it was salty, thus deflating Mike. Padma then gave him a brilliant smile and said something like "nice idea, though," and Mike lit up like a Christmas tree.

                                    1. re: momjamin
                                      Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 05:20 AM

                                      Padma comments will do that to guys.

                                      1. re: Phaedrus
                                        m
                                        momjamin Sep 3, 2009 05:35 AM

                                        No doubt, but it was so exaggerated, it underscores the adolescence of his other comments about "girls."

                                      2. re: momjamin
                                        w
                                        wincountrygirl Sep 4, 2009 01:30 PM

                                        Speaking of the judging,this week the judges seemed really angry. There must have been a lot more going on than we saw. Even Padma seemed angry!

                                        1. re: wincountrygirl
                                          dave_c Sep 4, 2009 01:36 PM

                                          Based upon the Bravo TV blogs, it was Tom or Gail that mentioned the "angry" critcism... The judges wanted the chefs to do a great job and not disappoint the airmen and their families so they (the judges) were, inadvertently, very critical of the dishes that fell short.

                                          1. re: dave_c
                                            Phaedrus Sep 4, 2009 01:38 PM

                                            The pasta salad was ridiculous, but the food came out rather well I thought.

                                            1. re: Phaedrus
                                              k
                                              KTinNYC Sep 4, 2009 01:44 PM

                                              Any decent home cook could have made that pasta salad. It might win a high school home economics contest but Top Chef?

                                          2. re: wincountrygirl
                                            LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 02:21 PM

                                            I actually LIKED the judging this time - they showed them really having expressing their feelings...when something sucked, they said it. Perhaps it's just that the show was longer and we saw *more* of the judging. I almost wish this show could always be 75 minutes. I just think you get more out of what we want to really see - the cooking *and* the judging and the reasons behind why the judges make the decisions they do.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              w
                                              wincountrygirl Sep 5, 2009 04:21 AM

                                              I totally agree - I like to see more cooking and more of the actualy judging.

                                        2. re: reiflame
                                          j
                                          jbw Sep 3, 2009 07:59 AM

                                          And "risotto" a technique that has nothing to do with rice? Obviously, the technique used to make risotto can be applied to other foods, but if I ordered risotto (derived from the Italian "riso") in a restaurant I'd expect to get a rice dish unless specifically told otherwise. FWIW, here's Wikipedia:

                                          "There are many different risotto recipes with different ingredients, but they are all based on rice of an appropriate variety cooked in a standard procedure.

                                          1. re: jbw
                                            goodhealthgourmet Sep 3, 2009 08:07 AM

                                            i can't believe i'm gonna defend Mike here, but he didn't say it has "nothing to do with rice." what i got from it was that he assumed all of us poor, misinformed, clueless home cooks (cough, cough) think risotto is a *variety* of rice, and he felt it was his duty to inform us that it's a technique.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                              b
                                              Buckethead Sep 3, 2009 11:14 AM

                                              It's not a technique either though, it's a dish, made with rice. Made with anything else, potatoes, quinoa, farro, or whatever, it's "risotto", not risotto.

                                              1. re: Buckethead
                                                d
                                                dmjordan Sep 3, 2009 12:57 PM

                                                Right, kind of like zucchini "carpaccio". If I see one more dish called carpaccio that doesn't involve meat......

                                                1. re: dmjordan
                                                  thew Sep 3, 2009 01:58 PM

                                                  language evolves, and things that aid communication will survive. so if saying "potato risotto" gets the idea across more simply or clearly than "potatoes cut small to simulate rice, and then cooked in the same manner as a risotto, so as to achieve a similar result" we will continue to hear it - and i'm ok with that.

                                                  as i've said a million times before - unless you still use "terrific" to mean "terror inducing" and refuse to call it a "sunset" because the earth moves, you are w/out a leg to stand on, consistency-wise on this issue.

                                                  1. re: thew
                                                    rootytootyfreshnfrooty Sep 3, 2009 06:18 PM

                                                    if the special was "poato risotto," I would expect a risotto (rice dish) with chunks of potato in it. And, thusly, probably not order it.

                                                  2. re: dmjordan
                                                    d
                                                    dmd_kc Sep 4, 2009 12:02 PM

                                                    A-FREAKIN'-MEN! :) Just being sliced thin and served with lemon juice doesn't make zucchini, acorn squash or car tires "carpaccio."

                                                  3. re: Buckethead
                                                    goodhealthgourmet Sep 3, 2009 02:02 PM

                                                    oh i didn't say he was right :)

                                                    if we're going to get particular about semantics, perhaps i should have said "preparation." the fact is that risotto is a rice dish cooked a specific way (which is why i said technique), and what i got from his comment was that he believes people are under the erroneous impression that risotto is a variety of rice (like basmati, or long-grain, or arborio...).

                                                    anyway, i think it's funny that he went out of his way to school us all with his little aside, when he could have used a little schooling himself - his potatoes were "cooked in the style of risotto," which would have been the proper way for him to describe his dish.

                                                  4. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    chowser Sep 3, 2009 05:07 PM

                                                    I was scratching my head at what he said when he said it wasn't the rice (dish?) that home cooks think it is. I was wondering if I'd been wrong on what it is and that anything cooked in that technique was "risotto." I've cooked oatmeal, baby pastini, orzo like that but would have never called any of it "risotto." Thanks for explaining. Scary you're reading his mind, though!

                                                    How much liquid do potatoes absorb? I wonder how it compares to rice.

                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                      goodhealthgourmet Sep 3, 2009 06:24 PM

                                                      "Scary you're reading his mind, though!"
                                                      ~~~~~
                                                      nah, i just know the type - i grew up in Jersey, so i've encountered many Mike Isabellas in my time, which makes it easier for me to decipher his neanderthal ravings ;)

                                              2. goodhealthgourmet Sep 2, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                i like Mark Peel, it's nice to see him back...and i'm sure he's happy to be on the other side this time :)

                                                i'm so sick of Mike I. he's such an ass. i don't care if he "means" to be or not, it's just obnoxious and juvenile. and considering that his last 2 dishes (this QF & last week's EC) have fallen flat, he needs to just shut up & cook.

                                                somehow i'm not surprised that Ashley did well despite the water fiasco...i think she's the dark horse here. and Ash was clever to re-name his dish so that he could pass it off as a success instead of admitting it didn't turn out. very smart, especially considering the flavors were obviously on point.

                                                Preeti just doesn't impress me. sure, the colors in her QF dish were beautiful, but how did it TASTE?

                                                and i'm really starting to hope Jessie goes home tonight. she just can't get it together. every challenge she falls short on execution.

                                                16 Replies
                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                  LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 07:36 PM

                                                  Can I just say that Jennifer C. just kicked ASS on her kitchen management skills? Making her EC for this challenge was a good idea - she's firm but fair. Surprisingly, it was Mike I. who voiced the suggestion!

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                    goodhealthgourmet Sep 2, 2009 07:42 PM

                                                    i'm not surprised Mike suggested Jen. it means she takes some of the heat if this doesn't go well! she has immunity, and a major fiasco might otherwise mean that the EC would go home. he was covering his own ass :)

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                      s
                                                      smtucker Sep 2, 2009 08:18 PM

                                                      Her "executive" skills were really impressive. She was organized, drove the teams as needed and pulled no punches. This woman is a force to be noticed. No wonder Eric Ripert has chosen her to be one of his right arms.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                        j
                                                        jcattles Sep 3, 2009 09:33 AM

                                                        I have mixed feelings about Jen. I think she is extemely talented, but something seems off to me. Can pinpoint it yet though. The preview where she made the comment to the chefs about keeping it about the food and discussing "this" later, made it seem like she was having a disagreement with someone. I thought, hmm good for her not putting up with crap and keeping the focus of the task at hand. Yet it ended up being about a conversation they were having while working. After I saw that, I thought, hmmm that's just being petty. I'm sure the elves edited a bunch of stuff out, but I didn't see the big deal about talking while working. Although I know some chefs like to keep the kitchen all about the current work, or even quiet at times,it didn't make sense to me since things looked like they were running smoothly.

                                                        1. re: jcattles
                                                          HabaneroJane Sep 3, 2009 09:37 AM

                                                          she has a very sour, nasty seeming disposition but then I heard one of the other chefs describe her as shy so who knows. she rubs me the wrong way, personality wise, but chef wise she seems to be on a level above the others....

                                                          1. re: jcattles
                                                            j
                                                            Jana Sep 3, 2009 10:11 AM

                                                            I have mixed feelings also; I know she's talented but I can't warm up to her. I feel the same way about Bryan (hope I named the right brother). I got to thinking that maybe it's because these two rarely smile or show strong emotion -- makes them seem humorless.

                                                            1. re: Jana
                                                              a
                                                              attran99 Sep 3, 2009 01:47 PM

                                                              But this is Top Chef...not Top Personality. If their food is good, their food is good and they are worthy of moving on the competition, right? I think Jen has made an awesome showing thus far because of her food and her ability to manage others in this episode.

                                                              1. re: attran99
                                                                j
                                                                Jana Sep 3, 2009 06:36 PM

                                                                Right...I have no wish to see any of the chefs judged on "personality" but I wasn't criticizing their talents, just pointing out how their on camera actions/appearances alter our feelings towards them as people.

                                                                I would be curious to know how they appear without the editing. For instance, Bryan didn't even smile when his brother won. Or did he -- and it was just edited out?

                                                                1. re: Jana
                                                                  a
                                                                  attran99 Sep 3, 2009 10:15 PM

                                                                  Interesting point...I'm sure Bryan was happy for his brother...but at the same time, kicking himself for not being able to be in the top 4. I'm sure they'll cover his reaction in the next episode. They always seem to have the brothers' reactions to the other's successes.

                                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                                            scubadoo97 Sep 3, 2009 10:40 AM

                                                            She is a very capable and talented chef. She ranks as one of the top contestants so far.

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                              w
                                                              wincountrygirl Sep 4, 2009 01:33 PM

                                                              Yes, but sexist Mike did not suggest that she be the Executive Chef. He suggested she be the "tournant" - to quote Richard Blais "It’s an interesting approach and reveals a lot about Mike’s character. We now are getting to know the cast a little better, and this play is vintage Isabella. Let’s ask the “girl cook” to take on an archaic title that can best be described as a substitute teacher. Classically, it refers to a cook who works all the stations in other cooks’ absence. A position of skill, sure, but not really of certified rank. A position that may be the proverbial glass ceiling for a woman in Mr. Isabella’s mind." And she replied to his challenge - sure I'll be the Executive Chef.

                                                              1. re: wincountrygirl
                                                                chicgail Sep 4, 2009 02:08 PM

                                                                She responded brilliantly and then performed brilliantly. Which is more than we can say for Mr. Isabella on either count.

                                                                1. re: wincountrygirl
                                                                  LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 02:21 PM

                                                                  Read below - I already said this. :-)

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    chicgail Sep 4, 2009 02:59 PM

                                                                    Sorry I missed it, Linda. Great minds.

                                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                                      LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 03:14 PM

                                                                      Ooh chicgail - I had responded to wincountrygirl just above - the way the threading works they end up stacking underneath each other once it gets far enough into the replies - so it almost looks like I replied to you. :-)

                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                        w
                                                                        wincountrygirl Sep 5, 2009 04:22 AM

                                                                        Good grief - I replied exactly THAT way to another post. There has to be a better way to thread these posts.

                                                              2. HungryRubia Sep 2, 2009 07:47 PM

                                                                Ok so last week Ashley makes a big deal about cooking for an event that she cannot participate and someone on the board made a comment asking how the gay chefs would feel if they had to cook for the military because of the "don't ask don't tell" policy....well lo and behold! Doesn't Ashley go ahead and say what an honor it is for her to cook for the Air Force etc...
                                                                Now I am glad that she's excited to cook for them, but isn't it kind of ironic? Discuss...

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: HungryRubia
                                                                  r
                                                                  Reignking Sep 2, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                                  Yes, I thought it was quite interesting, too. And I think some of them were married!

                                                                  1. re: Reignking
                                                                    dave_c Sep 2, 2009 11:27 PM

                                                                    And some there are probably a few in the closet too.

                                                                  2. re: HungryRubia
                                                                    dave_c Sep 2, 2009 11:32 PM

                                                                    The difference is that there are gays in the military, but same sex partners cannot marry.

                                                                    1. re: dave_c
                                                                      g
                                                                      gastrotect Sep 3, 2009 07:06 AM

                                                                      But the gays that are in the military are not allowed to be open about it. It really is a stupid and discriminatory policy. But I'm glad there was no stink raised this time.

                                                                    2. re: HungryRubia
                                                                      chowser Sep 3, 2009 05:11 PM

                                                                      The men and women serving the country have no say in the policy and they are putting their lives on the line for our country. She's probably appreciative of that.

                                                                    3. norah_j Sep 2, 2009 07:47 PM

                                                                      this seaons line up seems to have some real talent, may be one of the better seasons yet... the last couple of seasons were let downs to me...

                                                                      1. goodhealthgourmet Sep 2, 2009 07:59 PM

                                                                        ok, i WANT those bacon tacos, the bread pudding, and the braised pork & potato salad!

                                                                        and someone had better go home for that vegetable pasta salad. pedestrian, uninspired, and just plain LAME. dishes like that are what gave vegetarian cuisine a bad name in the first place.

                                                                        19 Replies
                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                          LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 08:03 PM

                                                                          The bacon tacos win! (Michael Voltaggio) But the braised pork & potato salad combo looked best to me!

                                                                          And Preeti, Laurene, AND Michael Isabella are in the bottom 3! This is a first! Holy CRAP Michael I. looks pissed! Ooh! Peel and Padma and Gail are all giving him the bizness!

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 08:31 PM

                                                                            OK, just read Richard Blais' blog at Bravo - he noted something interesting about Michael Isabella recommending that Jennifer C. take the role of "tournant" (I couldn't remember the word he used further upthread). Blais says:

                                                                            "So, I found it strange, that in tonight’s episode, Mike Isabella suggests that Jennifer Carroll take on the role of “tournant.”

                                                                            It’s an interesting approach and reveals a lot about Mike’s character. We now are getting to know the cast a little better, and this play is vintage Isabella. Let’s ask the “girl cook” to take on an archaic title that can best be described as a substitute teacher. Classically, it refers to a cook who works all the stations in other cooks’ absence. A position of skill, sure, but not really of certified rank. A position that may be the proverbial glass ceiling for a woman in Mr. Isabella’s mind.

                                                                            I said cook, earlier, intentionally. Because I get the feeling, that Mike would have a hard time answering, “Yes, Chef!” to any woman.

                                                                            Jennifer’s response? Sure, I’ll be the Executive Chef. Touché! "

                                                                            So Blais is seeing exactly what we've all been saying - that Mike I. has a problem with women leading in the kitchen. It will remain an interesting POV to see how it gets handled in future episodes.

                                                                            I wonder if there's an episode where the two of them have to work directly together?

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                              r
                                                                              reiflame Sep 3, 2009 05:34 AM

                                                                              I knew there was a reason I liked him (Richard Blais, that is)

                                                                              1. re: reiflame
                                                                                ChinoWayne Sep 3, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                                                Blais has always struck me as a "stand up guy", a skilled chef, buuut... enough with the liquid nitrogen every time he cooks.

                                                                                1. re: ChinoWayne
                                                                                  Fritter Sep 3, 2009 12:39 PM

                                                                                  That's like asking for Jimi Hendrix with out the guitar.
                                                                                  That's his gigg. It's not for every one but IMO Richard Blais is making his mark as a very good Chef.

                                                                                  1. re: Fritter
                                                                                    Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 01:10 PM

                                                                                    I think Hendrix without the wa-wa pedal is more apropos. The guitar being the main implement and the pedal being the overused accoutrement.

                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                      scubadoo97 Sep 3, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                                      spot on analogy

                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                        Fritter Sep 5, 2009 06:44 AM

                                                                                        The great thing about an album or a menu is that you can skip over the items you don't like and still dig the artist. Blais does not use nitrogen "every time he cooks" any more than Hendrix used a wah wah peddle on every track.
                                                                                        Irrespective of whether or not some may dislike those elements they helped propel the artist to popularity because the elements they incorporated into their art are unique.

                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  momjamin Sep 3, 2009 05:36 AM

                                                                                  They've got Blais's old picture up now.

                                                                                  1. re: momjamin
                                                                                    LindaWhit Sep 3, 2009 05:38 AM

                                                                                    You know, I didn't notice that last night, but I also remember I wasn't startled by the picture either! Glad they changed it.

                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                    Withnail42 Sep 3, 2009 05:51 AM

                                                                                    I'm going to play devils advocate on this one.

                                                                                    I'm not a fan of Mike, but I do think there was some valid reasoning behind 'his' (assuming it was) idea. They had no idea what the challenge was going to be; Why not work in teams? There was and odd number of people. Jenn did have immunity. I did think it made sense to have her in a position where she would not be competing against others who are trying to remain in the competition. And Jenn could have refused the position and made something on her own.

                                                                                    1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                      LindaWhit Sep 3, 2009 06:09 AM

                                                                                      Oh, I don't disagree at ALL on having Jennifer be the EC for the Elimination Challenge - it makes complete sense, especially when they decided on their own to form teams.

                                                                                      My posting the comments from Blais's blog was in reference to Mike Isabella's previous and current rather demeaning comments about Jennifer C. and women in general. Blais's comments were along the same lines as what several people on CH threads have said - saying "that's one less old lady I have to deal with", calling Jennifer a tournant (lower level than EC), etc. He seems to have a HUGE chip on his shoulder about women running a kitchen, and Blais called him out about it in his blog.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        Withnail42 Sep 3, 2009 06:50 AM

                                                                                        I certainly agree that Mike seems to have an issue with women. I think he is probably simply arrogant/insecure over all. And I believe he would have taken the same attitude and degraded the position regardless of who, male or female, was filling it in order to attempt to deal with his own insecurities. It is just more noticeable when it is a woman given his history.

                                                                                      2. re: Withnail42
                                                                                        LaLa Sep 3, 2009 06:14 AM

                                                                                        I think the point is he tried to degrade the posistion she was asked to do.

                                                                                        1. re: LaLa
                                                                                          r
                                                                                          reiflame Sep 3, 2009 06:23 AM

                                                                                          Mike: "Jen, why don't you be the kitchen b*tch"
                                                                                          Jen: "No thanks, but I'll be the Executive Chef"

                                                                                      3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        w
                                                                                        wincountrygirl Sep 4, 2009 01:34 PM

                                                                                        Well Ijust said the same thing - I hadn't gotten this far yet!! Great minds?

                                                                                        1. re: wincountrygirl
                                                                                          LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 02:22 PM

                                                                                          LOL! Oops! We're both guilty of posting before reading below! I just responded to you above. And yes - of COURSE it's GMTA - what else could it be? ;-)

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                            w
                                                                                            wincountrygirl Sep 5, 2009 04:23 AM

                                                                                            I just did it again - posted to you above before I saw this one.....

                                                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                      kubasd Sep 2, 2009 08:03 PM

                                                                                      and mike gets called back for elimation.... awesome!

                                                                                    3. r
                                                                                      Reignking Sep 2, 2009 08:07 PM

                                                                                      Well, someone had to make a cold salad...

                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Reignking
                                                                                        LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 08:10 PM

                                                                                        But a PASTA SALAD? I know they were limited in what to work with, but come on...hasn't that sent people home in past seasons? It's not really hard - and when Mark Peel is saying the ingredients don't work together, that's something.

                                                                                        I have a feeling it's Preeti or Laurene out of there - leaning towards Preeti, because of what Tom was saying - the fact that she doesn't understand why she's there.

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                          Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 05:24 AM

                                                                                          A jello mold would have been better. :)

                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                            LindaWhit Sep 3, 2009 05:30 AM

                                                                                            That's pushing it, Phaedrus. <vbg> I'm thinking an aspic wouldn't have gone over well with the military crowd (or any crowd, for that matter!)

                                                                                            If they had canned fruit cocktail, perhaps this would have been the result:

                                                                                            http://tomorrowaustin.files.wordpress...

                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                              Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 05:38 AM

                                                                                              Oh lordy, I think we would see that Tom Colicchio incredulous look onall the judges faces.

                                                                                              I know this is an old chestnut and its beating up on a defenseless Stepford wife, but how about Sandra Lee's kwanzaa cake as the dessert. Makes as much sense as the pasta salad...

                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                LindaWhit Sep 3, 2009 05:40 AM

                                                                                                I think the schools where they had all been instructed would show up demanding their graduation certificates back!

                                                                                            2. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                              l
                                                                                              Lizard Sep 3, 2009 10:18 AM

                                                                                              How about a seven layer dip? Also :) because, yeah, you know.

                                                                                            3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                              g
                                                                                              grant.cook Sep 3, 2009 07:29 AM

                                                                                              We were wondering if you HAD to make a pasta salad, what they could have done to make it a winner.. I mean, I love pasta salad.. but I don't exactly crave it the way I did those pork dishes that were served.

                                                                                              Perhaps if they'd made their own pasta (I hope the kichen had flour, but they'd have to roll it out by hand I suspect) - maybe a tortellini with some really cool filling..

                                                                                              1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                n
                                                                                                newhavener07 Sep 3, 2009 11:06 AM

                                                                                                It's official: Pasta salad is the TC kiss of death.

                                                                                                1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                  LindaWhit Sep 3, 2009 12:22 PM

                                                                                                  How about cooking the pasta in a curry-flavored stock? ANYTHING would have been better than just cooking it in water or stock.

                                                                                              2. re: Reignking
                                                                                                g
                                                                                                grant.cook Sep 3, 2009 08:15 AM

                                                                                                Nobody had to make a salad.. they had their chef's hat on there, not their competitor's hats. Everyone could have done protein, for all the competition cared. By the same logic, someone should have made dinner rolls to round out the meal.

                                                                                                There are military types - from an audience perspective, I would guess the prevalence of vegetarians is less than the population as a whole (although anyone in the Air Force here feel free to correct me - do you have seitan MRE's?). But they could have done a dessert, or a pasta-based dish...

                                                                                                1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Sep 5, 2009 09:29 AM

                                                                                                  It appeared they also had their families with them. At least, I saw kids who were definitely too young to be in the military! Although the percentage of vegetarians is probably less than the general population, the military has to take into account a wide range of dietary preferences. Vegetarian food will usually satisfy most religious diets, for example.

                                                                                                  Although the pasta salad was uninspired, I'm surprised the judges said the ingredients didn't work together: they sounded like pretty typical pasta salad ingredients to me (which is why they were uninspired).

                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                    momjamin Sep 5, 2009 10:05 AM

                                                                                                    IIRC, one of the judges expressed surprise that you had flavorful ingredients (sundried tomatoes, capers, etc.), but the whole still had no flavor.

                                                                                                    1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                      carbonaraboy Sep 5, 2009 10:26 AM

                                                                                                      I think the ingredients for the pasta salad were pretty industrial grade. It's hard to get a lot of flavor out of them by just throwing them on a pasta salad.

                                                                                                2. re: Reignking
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  jcattles Sep 3, 2009 08:53 AM

                                                                                                  Which they didn't even cook. Where were those comments at JT? This is the first time I can remember the judges letting that one slide w/o a comment.

                                                                                                  1. re: Reignking
                                                                                                    dave_c Sep 3, 2009 12:57 PM

                                                                                                    Every season, Chef Tom always ask, "How is making a salad cooking? This is a cooking competition." I'm surprised he didn't use that line last night. :-)

                                                                                                  2. q
                                                                                                    QSheba Sep 2, 2009 08:10 PM

                                                                                                    Went to the BravoTV website and they have this up (15min before the end of the show):

                                                                                                    Preeti Served: The judges just weren't feelin' the pasta salad she and her partner Laurine prepared. (Watch).....

                                                                                                    Oops!

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: QSheba
                                                                                                      LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 08:13 PM

                                                                                                      Oops is right! LOL And she's outta there!

                                                                                                      Someone at Bravo is in trouble! LOL

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                        smtucker Sep 2, 2009 08:21 PM

                                                                                                        These new fangled interwebs are confusing to the casual user! Maybe they forgot to tell the web team that tonight was a 75 minute show?

                                                                                                        1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                          Reignking Sep 2, 2009 08:26 PM

                                                                                                          Or that the west coast hasn't seen it?

                                                                                                          1. re: Reignking
                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                            smtucker Sep 2, 2009 08:28 PM

                                                                                                            Oh my! I hadn't even considered that.

                                                                                                            1. re: Reignking
                                                                                                              LindaWhit Sep 3, 2009 08:43 AM

                                                                                                              I don't think that's ever mattered. As here on CH or any website, if you don't want to know the outcome, you don't go to that website (or open a particular post) until after you've seen it.

                                                                                                              The blogs for the last season or two have always gone up right after the show ended on the East Coast. Except, of course, when they run long and the website managers goof, as they did last night. :-)

                                                                                                      2. LindaWhit Sep 2, 2009 08:17 PM

                                                                                                        Yikes - just saw the preview for next week - whoever wins the QF gets immunity, but whoever loses goes home! There's a "holy shit!" moment, as Bryan V. said!

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                          g
                                                                                                          grant.cook Sep 3, 2009 08:10 AM

                                                                                                          It must be tough in the women's bedrooms right now - 3 have gone home, and if I had to lay money on roulette'-ish Man/Woman elimination next week, I'd say its more likely a woman that goes home. But its nice that Jen seems like she can be a contender, and perhaps Ashley.

                                                                                                          Its clear that the men have some weak players, who just haven't been "the worst" on any particular night, and haven't been in the "Bad Dish" limelight enough to lose them the benefit of a doubt, but from a political standpoint, I sort of hope one of them goes before Jesse or Laurine (or Jesse gets her act together - she has good ideas but always one mortal mistake that screws her)...

                                                                                                          1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                            Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 08:17 AM

                                                                                                            I'm thinking Ron as being kind of teetering and Ash, who's failed ice cream turned into a decent custard. I don't mind either one but neither exudes that alpha male thing that the brothers have going for them.

                                                                                                            I like Kevin and Eli's chances because it seems they have the chops. Hector has pulled off a few surprises too. Don't know about the French guy because I can understand him.

                                                                                                            In all, not a weak bunch at all, it will be tough to eliminate the guys.

                                                                                                            1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                              LindaWhit Sep 3, 2009 08:20 AM

                                                                                                              Agree on Jessie - she overseasons with cayenne, she messes up somehow.

                                                                                                              Peel's comment to her last night was priceless....takes a spoonful of the soup, swallows, :::::long pause::::: and then says in a slightly strangulated voice "You like cayenne." A statement....not a question. :-)

                                                                                                              Robin seems to be pretty strong, although we haven't seen much from her. Otherwise, it does seem like Jennifer (and maybe Ashley) are the strongest women.

                                                                                                              As for men who could go - I'm thinking the Haitian Ron Duprat is a goner in the next few. They kind of lumped Ron and Jessie together last night by default - neither seemed to want to be with the other as a team. Hector has stepped up to the plate, but Mattin has been pretty nonexistent. Next week, with Joel Robuchon as the judge, he'd better hit it out of the park!

                                                                                                              And then there's Mike Isabella. :-/

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                g
                                                                                                                grant.cook Sep 3, 2009 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                The chef's who cook with more of a South American style - Hector, Ron - its always a crapshoot. The two ethnicities that seem to always play well are "French" and "Italian" with perhaps Asian / Asian Fusion working well also. You just never know when their techniques and master recipes they rely on will fall flat against the judges pallettes. I am thinking about a the deep fried steak as an example...

                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                              scubadoo97 Sep 3, 2009 10:46 AM

                                                                                                              Good way to whittle down the numbers when they start with so many.

                                                                                                            3. e
                                                                                                              Ericandblueboy Sep 2, 2009 08:53 PM

                                                                                                              My theory is that Michael actually has something going with Jen C, possibly a love child.

                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                MplsM ary Sep 2, 2009 11:12 PM

                                                                                                                My theory on Michael I and Jennifer C - either she saw him naked or she turned him down when he hit on her. Maybe he was naked when he hit on her.

                                                                                                                1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                  dmjordan Sep 3, 2009 03:09 AM

                                                                                                                  Weird that you should say that. I don't know why but when I saw that I immediately thought , 'hmmm, he has a crush on her"--the same way a third grade boy shows his affection by pulling a girl's pigtails.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                                                    Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 05:25 AM

                                                                                                                    I just said the same thing. Oh well.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                      dmjordan Sep 3, 2009 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                      Well, I glad someone else sensed that. I watched that part again and there was nothing overt about him having a crush on her, but it was just a feeling I got.

                                                                                                                      1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                                                        Withnail42 Sep 3, 2009 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                        But if that's the case shouldn't he have a crush on the older woman as well?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                          d
                                                                                                                          dmjordan Sep 3, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                          Well, if he makes another insulting comment about her, then maybe he does!

                                                                                                                    2. re: dmjordan
                                                                                                                      chicgail Sep 3, 2009 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                      I don't buy that. I didn't buy it when jerky little boys pulled my hair in the second grade and I don't get it now.

                                                                                                                      I think the dude is just plain insecure, jealous and scared of Jen beating the figurative pants off him and fighting back with the limited arrows in his quiver (double-entendre intended).

                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                        Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                        Arrested development. Not the show, but the state of psychosis.

                                                                                                                  2. Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 05:22 AM

                                                                                                                    Do you remember when you were a kid and boys would run around pulling on little girl's pigtails, give them frogs to gross them out etc? That is their attempt at imprssing the opposite sex. Mike I is hiot for Jenn C. the problem is that he is exhibiting the maturity of a pre-pubescent too.

                                                                                                                    1. Withnail42 Sep 3, 2009 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                      Enjoy this episode very much.

                                                                                                                      Really, REALLY impressed with Jenn's executive skills. That's something that is not really seen on the show except perhaps in the restaurant wars. Clearly she can cook. She seems like a different person when she is in the kitchen vs. an interview out side of it. Voice face, mannerisms are all noticeably different.

                                                                                                                      I've like Kevin from episode one. Now his fellow Atlantan Eli is impressing me as well. They seemed to work really well together and look like they are having fun doing it. Perhaps it's the 'fat kid complex' thing. to which I can relate.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                        Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 06:24 AM

                                                                                                                        Me too, relate that is.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Sep 3, 2009 07:24 AM

                                                                                                                          "Now his fellow Atlantan Eli is impressing me as well. "
                                                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                          Eli has shown glimmers of talent, but he's too inconsistent. i like him too, but i don't see him going all that far unless he stars executing his dishes better.

                                                                                                                        2. a
                                                                                                                          AMFM Sep 3, 2009 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                          i liked this episode as well. thought surprising amount of the food looked good despite the limitations. doesn't someone go home every year for making a pasta salad that looks like it got thrown together for a neighborhood picnic? i mean really.

                                                                                                                          oh and i appreciated jen c.'s comment that she wouldn't be nearly as nice as ashley if preeti had dumped her water. :) i kind of like ashley.

                                                                                                                          1. r
                                                                                                                            Reignking Sep 3, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                            Seriously -- how can you do gnocchi in 45 minutes?

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Reignking
                                                                                                                              g
                                                                                                                              grant.cook Sep 3, 2009 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                              Assuming you didnt have to make very many, you wouldn't need to boil a ton of potatoes, and on a commerical cooktop, you could get the water going quickly.

                                                                                                                              1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                Reignking Sep 3, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                I'm assuming they used pressure cookers, too.

                                                                                                                            2. ChefJune Sep 3, 2009 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                              I thought Jen really separated herself from the rest of the pack with the way she led the group last evening. Along with her clear cooking ability. Mike I. reminds me of a 7th grader. really obnoxious. As bad as that pasta salad was, I was REALLY hoping he would get the axe for his tasteless salad with the undercooked shrimp.

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                Reignking Sep 3, 2009 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                Unfortunately for her, Tom and the rest of the judges weren't privy to that until last night. Hopefully she'll get the chance again (restaurant wars, for example).

                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                  Ericandblueboy Sep 3, 2009 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                  I thought Jen really separated herself from the rest of the pack with the way she led the group last evening.
                                                                                                                                  ***
                                                                                                                                  How so? She was good in that role but that doesn't mean no one else is. I've seen Bryan V stand in his kitchen while his crew cranked out 21 courses for us (and food for other diners) without anyone having to raise his/her voice. In as much as Mike's sexism is annoying, the clear bias of posters (based on sex) here is just as annoying.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                                                    reiflame Sep 3, 2009 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                                    What bias is there here based on sex?

                                                                                                                                    Calling Sexist Mike a sexist is not a bias towards women on my part; it's calling a spade a spade.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                                      ChefJune Sep 3, 2009 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                      No one else has shown us that, though, have they? Making a comment based on observation is NOT bias based on sex. You are readin ginto my comments something that was NOT there.

                                                                                                                                      Thank you for telling me what I did not say.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                                        Ruth Lafler Sep 5, 2009 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                        I don't think you can compare someone working in his own kitchen with his own kitchen crew with someone working in a completely unfamiliar kitchen with a bunch of people she's competing against -- it's a completely different situation.

                                                                                                                                        I think it was impressive because we've seen Top Chef contestants -- even ones who run their own kitchens "back home" -- do badly in similar situations, restaurant wars being the prime example.

                                                                                                                                    2. d
                                                                                                                                      DexterM Sep 3, 2009 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                                      Mike I. is an irritant, but Jen is a self-important troll.

                                                                                                                                      20 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: DexterM
                                                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                                                        reiflame Sep 3, 2009 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                        Oi. Sexism is not an "irritant".

                                                                                                                                        1. re: reiflame
                                                                                                                                          g
                                                                                                                                          grant.cook Sep 3, 2009 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                          Sexism may or may not be more or less than an irritant - probably to Gloria Steinem its a sin against God, deserving of a wrathful spite from above. To others, its water off a duck's back -call the guy an a**-hole and ignore him. In the end, the guy has to cook. The chattering just make us root against him, and judging from his bad salad, the chattering is only going to last a few more episodes.. and his exit will be one teeny bit of evidence that helps sexism fade over time.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: DexterM
                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                          jackbauer Sep 3, 2009 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                          LOL! Agree on both counts.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DexterM
                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                            DexterM Sep 3, 2009 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                            Agreed. It doesn't even merit irritation.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DexterM
                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Sep 3, 2009 08:34 AM

                                                                                                                                              Jen has proved herself several times with her food, whereas Mike I. hasn't. BUT he has has proven himself - at least on camera - to be sexist, not just an irritant.

                                                                                                                                              And come on - calling someone a troll?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                Lizard Sep 3, 2009 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                Ditto on the 'troll'? What on earth has she done apart from demonstrate herself to be extremely competent? Not be sweet and pretty enough? Have too much confidence in her abilities? Really, I don't see it.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: DexterM
                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                KTinNYC Sep 4, 2009 09:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                "self-important"

                                                                                                                                                Can you cite an example? I haven't seen it but maybe I've just missed this aspect of her personality.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                  That's just it - I'm not sure Dexter is going to elaborate on the "self-important" comment. Or explain why he think Jen's a troll in his opinion, for that matter. The number of comments made in the past year leads me to believe that that's all we're going to get.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                    KTinNYC Sep 4, 2009 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                    The troll comment is just name calling so I'll just chalk it up to a personal dislike of Jen but self-important infers he saw or heard something that I did not. The only "controversial" statement from Jen all season is that she has made lots of boys cry in her kitchen which I think was a very big deal but I haven't been upset by much of any of what the cheftestants have had to say, including Mike I.

                                                                                                                                                    The only action, besides cooking well, that has differentiated Jen from the others is her acting as EC in the last challenge. BTW, I thought this was excellent strategy on the part of Mike I., but it also took a little sacrifice on Jen's part. As EC she must have known she wouldn't have a dish to present so there was no chance of winning the challenge. How this can be interpreted as "self-important' I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                      AMFM Sep 4, 2009 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                      well, if no one dish truly shone, but they were all pretty good she could have won conceivably for that role. it was an important one. but i agree unlikely.

                                                                                                                                                      but also (while i would never call her a troll or anything) have to admit she rubs me the wrong way. it's an arrogance thing. all the arrogant chef's have done it. marcel, ilan, stephen. except hung for some reason. i must excuse asians (and i'm not). actually it was the smurf village. :) i'd just like to see her loosen up. i get it's an importatnt competition and all but i don't know....

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Well, we *are* only 3 episodes in.

                                                                                                                                                        And I think kissing Tom Colicchio and Padma on the cheek after winning $15K in the first QF is kinda loose, don't you? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                          LaLa Sep 4, 2009 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                          didnt she say in the sin challenge she drinks too much and does things she regrets?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LaLa
                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                            LOL! I think you're right - *but* she wasn't drinking during that QF. :-)

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                                                                          rocks67 Sep 4, 2009 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                          See, I don't get "arrogance" with her at all. I sense self-confidence. HOWEVER, maybe what you are interpreting as arrogance is what someone had mentioned earlier - she seems extremely shy whenever she is out of her element, the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                          I truly enjoy watching her and sort of seeing the wheels turning in her head as she's thinking up things to prepare. Don't get that from a lot of the other chefs.

                                                                                                                                                          I'm really enjoying the calibre of talent this year. Mike I's comments... meh. I could really do without. Put up or shut up is what I say. So far, his average is not so good.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                                                                            KTinNYC Sep 4, 2009 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                            There is *no* way Tom "this is a cooking competition" Collichio would let someone win a challenge without cooking. I'd fall off my seat if that ever happened.

                                                                                                                                                            The "arrogance" of the good chefs have never really bothered me. Ilan was a crap chef that was able to slide through on the back of his boss' recipes.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: DexterM
                                                                                                                                                      chicgail Sep 4, 2009 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                      "self-important troll," huh?

                                                                                                                                                      If she were a man and produced as many outstanding dishes as she has or performed as well as Executive Chef, Dexter, I suspect you would not use that expression.

                                                                                                                                                      She's just plain talented, confident and powerful. I say more power to her.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                        e
                                                                                                                                                        Ericandblueboy Sep 4, 2009 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Powerful? I don't think she's a troll but how's she powerful?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                                                          chicgail Sep 4, 2009 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Did you see how she handled that kitchen as Exec Chef? . We've seen a lot of pretty weak "leaders" or ECs over the various seasons. Jen knew what she was doing and she wasn't afraid to make things happen .I thought that was a real demonstration of power. She was impressive.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                            e
                                                                                                                                                            Ericandblueboy Sep 4, 2009 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I think she was very impressive as in very competent as EC. An inept person can have power but a competent person may not. If she had the ability to dictate to others that she was going to be the EC, then she has power. In this case, she simply accepted a position that Michael suggest she take on since she was not in danger of being eliminated. I do agree that she knew what she was doing and wasn't afraid to make things happen, especially when she mapped out who got to use the big cooking pot (or whatever it was) and when. I admire Jen because she's good at her job but I'm not enthralled by her personality up to this point. Bryan, on the other hand, is just not showing any personality. I think he read the Miranda Warning and decided to let his cooking do the talking (btw, he's pretty calm in his own kitchen so I suspect that's just the way he is, even if he may seem really boring).

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                                                              Phaedrus Sep 4, 2009 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Its Top Chef, Its not Top Drama Queen!

                                                                                                                                                              ;)

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                                                                                                                                                      Evilbanana11 Sep 3, 2009 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                      My thoughts on this episode.

                                                                                                                                                      - My 2 favorites Jen and Michael doing their thing.
                                                                                                                                                      - Was I the only one turned on when Jen was acting badass as Exec Chef?
                                                                                                                                                      - Pasta salad? LOL....

                                                                                                                                                      last point: Michael I. was being an a$$hole but I think you guys have it all wrong saying his "favoritism" comment was in regards to Jen's gender.
                                                                                                                                                      He follows up his little sneer by saying "Whatever, whatever, so if I put a little potato broth on my plate I'm going to win?". I guess he meant the judges have a bias towards brothy, liquidy dishes (which she has prepared multiple times ie. ceviches, emulsions etc...).

                                                                                                                                                      Dumb comment, reeks of being a sore loser but don't think it was sexist.

                                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Evilbanana11
                                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                                        tofuburrito Sep 3, 2009 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                        "Was I the only one turned on when Jen was acting badass as Exec Chef?"

                                                                                                                                                        You weren't the only one.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Evilbanana11
                                                                                                                                                          HabaneroJane Sep 3, 2009 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Jen is the leader even though I wish she'd smile a bit more.
                                                                                                                                                          Kevin is one to watch for sure but can he shave?
                                                                                                                                                          One of the brothers , the one who didnt win last night, didn't look too thrilled when his brother emerged victorious. sour grapes there. he and jen can take a smilig class together.
                                                                                                                                                          and pasta salad? really?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HabaneroJane
                                                                                                                                                            Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 09:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I think Bryan, the non-smiling one is the older. So, having little bro beat you is not a good feeling. There is also a real stylistic difference there. Bryan seems tobe the more traditional, techniques guy and Michael seems to be more wide ranging, No doubt both have chops.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                              HabaneroJane Sep 3, 2009 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                              i bet the producers would LOVE to pit brother against brother until the bitter end.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HabaneroJane
                                                                                                                                                                Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Well, of course, this is why they are getting some air time now, to set it all up. But not enough to merit the ax.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Phaedrus
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                                                                                                                                                                boingo2000 Sep 3, 2009 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Bryan really needs to loosen up a bit....he seems to have a perpetual stick up his a**. Can you imagine if Bryan and Jen were a couple? Yikes!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boingo2000
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                                                                                                                                                                  attran99 Sep 3, 2009 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Bryan mentioned in the last episode that he's married. So no love affair, guys...sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: attran99
                                                                                                                                                                    Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    That didn't stop Hosea, although he was just in a relationship when he canoodled with Leah.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus
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                                                                                                                                                                      attran99 Sep 3, 2009 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      That was truly disgusting and a waste of Top Chef airtime. In sincerely doubt that Bryan would stoop that low...Hosea and Leah...I wasn't too surprised that they stooped that low.

                                                                                                                                                              3. re: HabaneroJane
                                                                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                                                                momjamin Sep 3, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                The editors are throwing in shots of the other brother looking severe, no matter which brother's doing what. He may have been looking un-thrilled just because he didn't know how his dish fared yet/if he was in the bottom -- nothing to do with sour grapes about his little brother.

                                                                                                                                                                Other than Michael saying back in ep1 that he's younger, his brother already has his own restaurant, and they're both competitive, I don't get the impression there's anything particularly dysfunctional about their rivalry. IIRC, Bryan wanted to work with his brother last night, but Michael I jumped in.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HabaneroJane
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                                                                                                                                                                  Lizard Sep 3, 2009 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  "I wish she'd smile a bit more"

                                                                                                                                                                  This isn't Top Model, Jane.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                                                    Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    You needed to add the Fabio accent to that.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Evilbanana11
                                                                                                                                                                  NellyNel Sep 3, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I agree - I am not sure as to how anyone who assume that was a sexist comment?

                                                                                                                                                                  (I'm not saying he's not - but that particular comment certainly wasn't)

                                                                                                                                                                  I like Jen I think she's very good, but I hope she starts to expand her repetoire a bit - She has yet to do a non-seafood dish if I'm not mistaken

                                                                                                                                                                3. lisavf Sep 3, 2009 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I sort of guessed that something wasn't going to go as usual when Padma didn't say "congratulations, you four had the best dishes" or something to that effect when they brought the first group into the room. Anyone else catch that?

                                                                                                                                                                  I really enjoyed seeing a little bit more of the deliberations that go on at judges' table. I like when they have extended episodes and show us more of what goes on.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. dcdavis Sep 4, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    OK, I think that everyone has missed the most important moment of this episode! What is with Padma dripping legs and sex from the jeep/transport! Seriously a leopard miniskirt in an airplane hangar. Was she there to "entertain" the troups? She looked so hot! (Much hotter than Jen being bossy). So much for this being a cooking show:)

                                                                                                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dcdavis
                                                                                                                                                                      Phaedrus Sep 4, 2009 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes DC, there is a Santa Claus.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        LOL! I was WONDERING when one of you guys would mention that particular tidbit. ;-)

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                                                                                                                                                                          AMFM Sep 4, 2009 08:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          i was actually coming on here to comment on that but NOT in a good way. i don't hate her. don't normally care much nor am easily offended but come on she looked like a ridiculous hooker. and it was an airforce base. dress appropriately. i was embarrassed for her and taken aback.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Sep 4, 2009 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Believe me, I thought exactly as you did - while she's a beautiful woman, she did look like a hooker to me as well. The outfit was definitely more "out there" than I'd expected her to wear.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                              Phaedrus Sep 5, 2009 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              She's just doing her part entertaining the troops.

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                                                                                                                                                                                AMFM Sep 5, 2009 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                and you? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                                  Phaedrus Sep 5, 2009 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  That's all I got left, living vicariously....

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: dcdavis
                                                                                                                                                                        dave_c Sep 4, 2009 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I surely did see her slink out of the humvee. Yes sireee! I very nice sight to see!

                                                                                                                                                                        We all know that Padma is there for eye candy. She proved it in this episode... and I have no complaints about that. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                                                          jcattles Sep 4, 2009 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          My husband noticed that too. He had to rewind to show me. Then asked me if I thought the soldier opening the door, enjoyed the "view".

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                                                            chicgail Sep 4, 2009 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting how many male posters are perfectly comfortable throwing out unbridled compliments to Padma for her sex appeal while downplaying any other role she might play.

                                                                                                                                                                            And at the same time also interesting to note how many male posters are expressing resentful jibes at Jen's talent, confidence and power.

                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know if they are the same posters. I'm just saying.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Ericandblueboy Sep 4, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I've never commented on the sex appeal of any TV personality (I find such comments distasteful in the context of CH).

                                                                                                                                                                              Again, where do you get that Jen has some extra power that other contestants don't have? If anything, she's still an employee while there are others who are quite successful as their own bosses. If she were so confident and powerful, she ought to own her own joint.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                                                                                chicgail Sep 4, 2009 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think I directed my comment to you or anyone else personally. You can take it that way if you wish, but it wasn't my intention.

                                                                                                                                                                                As I said above, Jen demonstrated power and confidence as Exec Chef. She knew what she was doing. She didn't hesitate to make things happen. She was impressive in managing the kitchen and the other contestants. I call that power.

                                                                                                                                                                                How she handles her career and how she is managing her own position is her own business. Sometimes there are good reasons for completing or extending a mentorship under the right person.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                dcdavis Sep 4, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                She threw it out first! I never saw Tom in a mesh tanktop! & I didn't downplay anything. I didn't even mention it!

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                                                                                                                                                                            tofuburrito Sep 4, 2009 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Top Chef odds from the Wynn Sports Book. Looks like they were done after week 1.

                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.vegaschatter.com/story/200...

                                                                                                                                                                            In handicapping the rest of the season I think it would take a major disaster for Voltaggio the Younger, Jen and Kevin not to end up in the final three.
                                                                                                                                                                            You never know though, at this time last season I don't think too many people thought Carla had the slightest chance. It's still very early.
                                                                                                                                                                            To me, Voltaggio the Elder, Michael and Ashley seem most likely to pounce if one of the elite makes a mistake. I have a feeling Robin might surprise as well.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tofuburrito
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                                                                                                                                                                              Evilbanana11 Sep 4, 2009 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Thats how I would rank them too after 3 episodes.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Evilbanana11
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                                                                                                                                                                                momjamin Sep 5, 2009 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                I've got an eye on Eli, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                                                                                                              momjamin Sep 5, 2009 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Ok, here's the "who does cheftestant __" remind you of comparison du jour:

                                                                                                                                                                              Mike Isabella and Syndrome

                                                                                                                                                                              A little bit looks, a little bit attitude.

                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Sep 5, 2009 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                LOL! I *love* it, momjamin!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Sep 5, 2009 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  while we're at it, Laurene reminds me of Sandra Bernhardt, and Eli looks like John Popper from Blues Traveler.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Sep 5, 2009 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    By george, you're definitely right on the Laurine/Sandra Berhard resemblance! I'm not getting the Eli/John Popper comparison tho.

                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Sep 5, 2009 01:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      i don't know, something about the dark-haired, long sideburns, heavyset Southern guy thing they both have going on. but it's funny because i just had a totally different, bizarre thought when i looked at Eli's bio on Bravo's website. in that photo, he looks like the love child of Corey Feldman and Johnny Galecki (from The Big Bang Theory).

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                                                                                                                        KTinNYC Sep 5, 2009 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        John Popper is in Blues Traveler not Spin Doctors.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KTinNYC
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                                                                                                                                                                                          AMFM Sep 5, 2009 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          and he's not so heavy now.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Sep 5, 2009 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            thanks for pointing that out - there was a Spin Doctors song on the radio when i typed that. oops :) fixed now.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                              Phaedrus Sep 5, 2009 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I see the John Popper resemblance. Not so much the Sarah Bernhard one.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                  Janet from Richmond Sep 9, 2009 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I was in Atlanta this past weekend and stopped into a place for a glass of wine and did not realize until I saw him that it was Eli's restaurant. It's a nice little place. And the bartender/staff were all nice and the menu looked good (we had dinner reservations at Rathbun's so did not eat there). Eli is much more attractive in person than on TV.

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