HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
What's your latest food quest? Share your adventure
TELL US

Top Chef - Las Vegas - Ep. #8 - 10/14/09 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 07:19 PM

So Charlie Palmer is the Guest Judge this go-round, and the Quickfire is the "Art of Pairing" - they have to incorporate an Alexia Snackfood into their dish.

Quite frankly, not surprised Kevin was in the top group in the Quickfire - his dish sounded absolutely wonderful! Eli and Brian were also in the top....in the bottom group was Robin, Ash, and Jennifer. She looked REALLY worried that her dish was going to be overcooked; sure enough, it was.

The Elimination Challenge? End each drawing different knives for various pork cuts for Palmer's Pig & Pinot charity event. Jennifer got a wild card, so she got to choose her own cut - and chose belly (the same that Eli drew - that ought to be interesting!)

Then they got to pair with various pinots at Palmer's restaurant...Eli seems a bit cocky. Will be interesting.

  1. m
    momjamin Oct 21, 2009 01:59 PM

    Bryan is now my hero:

    http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/video...

    3 Replies
    1. re: momjamin
      goodhealthgourmet Oct 21, 2009 03:32 PM

      i have an "issue" with snakes so i'll pass on this one...i'm glad the video had a title and a brief synopsis to warn me before it started playing!

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
        m
        momjamin Oct 21, 2009 07:29 PM

        I have a similar "issue" so I kept my mouse hovering over the close button ;-)

      2. re: momjamin
        m
        mojoeater Oct 23, 2009 10:20 AM

        I love that he's so calm and his whiny brother is holding a big knife for protection!

      3. trolley Oct 16, 2009 05:40 PM

        ugh! this season makes me not want to watch TC ever again. Mike is like a daytona beach spring break nightmare and Eli's maturity is about kindergarten level. i feel like i stepped into top model not top chef! yes, it's been said that robin is PITA and may not be as great of a chef as some others but the way she's treated and the producers allowing it to happen is just dirty. it just makes me sad.

        72 Replies
        1. re: trolley
          n
          Nettie Oct 16, 2009 09:25 PM

          I actually felt kind of sorry for her when it turned out she *wasn't* going home--having to go back to the toxic atmosphere at that house can't be much fun for her.

          1. re: Nettie
            trolley Oct 16, 2009 09:48 PM

            nettie, i too felt sorry for her to have to go back to that rotten place. i want her to go just to put her out of her misery.

            1. re: trolley
              s
              soupkitten Oct 16, 2009 10:04 PM

              xcept that she's likely to only get a brief reprieve, because as soon as mike i and eli are eliminated they'll continue to gang up on her with any others in the "loser house" who will sink to their level. i bet the "loser house" is a lot more low-budget i.e. cramped-quarters. . . too. she's right to just focus on the contest. those two boneheads are only distracting themselves with the hate-fest jr. high school girl-clique shenanegans. these guys are gonna be dateless bachelors for a looooooong time. heh-heh. karma's a bitch. ;-P

              1. re: soupkitten
                s
                stuartlafonda Oct 17, 2009 06:33 AM

                ...dateless bachelors....? Sure, very few women make bad choices when it comes to men.

                1. re: stuartlafonda
                  chowser Oct 17, 2009 09:28 AM

                  While I've known women who go for the "bad boy" type, or millionaires who like to play around, I've yet to find a woman who thinks, "I want to marry a momma's boy who lives at home at 25, and whose mommy has to ask him, 'Do you want to come home?'" on national TV. Mike I on the other hand just got married.

                  1. re: chowser
                    s
                    stuartlafonda Oct 17, 2009 09:52 AM

                    Maybe this should be on the Cookware board... but as my wife likes to say, there is a cover for every pot.

                    1. re: stuartlafonda
                      chowser Oct 17, 2009 09:57 AM

                      Yep, as they say in real estate, no matter how extreme the house is, you can find that one person who loves it. In this case, the rotting pipes have been exposed but hey, all you need is one person who loves rotting pipes.;-)

                      1. re: chowser
                        k
                        KTinNYC Oct 17, 2009 10:25 AM

                        What are you saying about Robin's pipes. Well, she did call herself "Rotten Robin"....I kid, I kid.

                    2. re: chowser
                      dave_c Oct 18, 2009 09:27 AM

                      However, Eli can find a woman that will be attracted to him since he's been on national TV.

                      Although, the notoriety didn't work for Marcel. All he got was a bottle to the side of his head by some drunken girl in Vegas... lol.

                      1. re: chowser
                        NellyNel Oct 19, 2009 07:21 AM

                        I'm pretty sure Eli has a girlfriend - remember the camping challenge he said something like "Now my gf will expect me to go camping with her".

                        1. re: NellyNel
                          Phaedrus Oct 19, 2009 08:38 AM

                          It could be an imaginary girlfriend....

                          1. re: Phaedrus
                            LindaWhit Oct 19, 2009 09:59 AM

                            ROFL! After all, still living at Mom's and all... ;-)

                    3. re: soupkitten
                      Phaedrus Oct 17, 2009 08:29 AM

                      Maybe Eli will make the moves on her there, as Mike V suggested....

                      ITS A JOKE!

                      1. re: soupkitten
                        q
                        QSheba Oct 17, 2009 01:30 PM

                        Interesting you say that...Here's an article in the Wash. Post about Mike Isabella- who just got married.

                        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                        1. re: QSheba
                          s
                          soupkitten Oct 17, 2009 07:36 PM

                          no. way.

                          i think his new bride is gonna have all her girlfriends, her mom, & people she's just met going "why would you marry a jerk like that?"

                          1. re: soupkitten
                            m
                            mojoeater Oct 18, 2009 07:12 AM

                            Or they will all say "We know he's a nice guy. Why did the show portray him like that?"

                            1. re: mojoeater
                              Phaedrus Oct 18, 2009 08:18 AM

                              Or, maybe he's somewhere in between. It does sound like his friends love him despite his "brashness".

                              1. re: Phaedrus
                                g
                                gastrotect Oct 19, 2009 07:53 AM

                                Keep in mind in a couple of local newspaper TC cast interviews (I remember one with Ashley specifically) Mike I seems to be considered a decent, if not tactful, guy. Other than Robin (who has a legitimate beef), no one on the show seems to have any real problems with the guy.

                                1. re: gastrotect
                                  Ruth Lafler Oct 19, 2009 10:10 AM

                                  I think we're judging him independently from his fellow cheftestants based on what he says in the interviews. Now, I know those can be edited to slant a character one way or another (include all the bad stuff and none of the good), but they can't edit in what you didn't say, and Mike I says plenty of stuff I find offensive.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                    g
                                    gastrotect Oct 19, 2009 02:05 PM

                                    He's said some offensive stuff yes, I agree. But usually those contestants that really are despicable (all the time or sometimes) are not liked by the other contestants. We haven't seen or heard any of that towards or about Mike. I think their opinions should carry some weight too.

                                    1. re: gastrotect
                                      Ruth Lafler Oct 19, 2009 02:46 PM

                                      Yes and no. As we've discussed, sometimes how people are perceived and treated by the others depends not so much on whether that person is despicable as on whether for one reason or another they've been chosen as the scapegoat for the group or a clique within the group. In other words, sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is disliked because they're genuinely despicable, or if they're being ostracized by someone else who is geniunely despicable but who has managed to become part of the "in"/power clique.

                                      In the Top Chef house we often see the young-ish alpha males fall into kind of a frat-boy mentality where they consider themselves cool and encourage each other to treat people badly who for one reason or another they don't consider "worthy" (women who are "old" or "unattractive," guys who are too nerdy or socially inept, etc.). Once the core of the dominent clique has been established, then the others will try to become members or at least try to appease them by going along with them in scapegoating or ostracizing another, on the "better him than me" theory. It's a pretty common group dynamic.

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                        g
                                        gastrotect Oct 20, 2009 01:11 PM

                                        I'm well aware of the group dynamic and it certainly seems Robin is being scapegoated here, but Ashley certainly didn't seem one to fall in line and she had no problem with Mike I. In fact no one seems to have a problem with Mike I as of yet. If he really was as bad as we all like to believe, don't you think that would come through just a bit? Is it really fair for us to say, "Mike is a douche, it's obvious," while defending Robin to the very end? In truth we know as much as we're shown and told. Is it not a just a tiny bit hypocritical to damn Mike I and Eli as a group (of anonymous online commenters) based on TV appearances while at the same time wagging our collective fingers at the chefs for their treatment of Robin? Maybe we aren't doing it to their faces, but who's to say we aren't doing the same thing to Mike and Eli?

                                        I think the real difference is this year's scapegoat does not seem (from the editing and context) to be someone with a harsh personality. In past seasons most viewers' opinions lined up with the chefs' opinions in this regard, but it isn't so this year.

                                        1. re: gastrotect
                                          Ruth Lafler Oct 20, 2009 01:49 PM

                                          So you think is was perfectly acceptable for Mike I to say when he was teamed with Robin that he was just going to give her unimportant stuff to do because he was going to throw it all out anyway? Is that the way professionals work on a team? Especially after Tom came through the kitchen and made a point about how Robin actually was more familiar with the ingredients and flavors they were working with than Mike (who admitted he'd never worked with them) was?

                                          Mike was unwilling to even consider that Robin might have something to contribute because of his personal prejudices. A professional doesn't say things like that -- they find a way that everyone can be a productive contributor.

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                            e
                                            Ericandblueboy Oct 20, 2009 02:29 PM

                                            If I had to team up with someone I deem incompetent, I would assign that person something menial and unimportant to do. If Robin really thought she could do better than Mike, there's nothing to stop her from being more assertive. Instead, she took the passive role. If the team failed, she no doubt would have thrown Mike under the bus. Mike probably would have fallen on his own sword anyway.

                                            I don't see this as detracting from Mike's professionalism. Robin may know more about Asian flavors but as Kevin proved, you don't need prior experience to wow those judges. Mike I also proved the same point by not being on the bottom.

                                            I believe Mike thinks Robin sucks and he probably arrived at his conclusion based on personal observation. If you can make someone who sucks productive, then you have an ability I don't have. In the legal profession, there are some lawyers that just can't be trained and eventually you just have to let them go. In the mean time, you make sure they don't commit malpractice by limiting their exposure to complex tasks.

                                            1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                              q
                                              queencru Oct 20, 2009 02:34 PM

                                              I'm not sure how dropping Robin's food on the floor to make sure it wasn't used could possibly be deemed professional. It's one thing to give someone menial tasks and another thing entirely to sabotage her work purposely to make sure no one else sees it.

                                              1. re: queencru
                                                e
                                                Ericandblueboy Oct 20, 2009 06:20 PM

                                                I'm not sure how dropping Robin's food on the floor to make sure it wasn't used could possibly be deemed professional
                                                ******
                                                I missed that part of the show. I don't think that's very professional. Oh well, so Mike I's not very professional.

                                                1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                  NellyNel Oct 21, 2009 11:33 AM

                                                  Hu?
                                                  Did Mike I really throw Robin's food on the floor?
                                                  I certainly don't remember that and I watched the episode 2x

                                                  Did anyone else see that?

                                                  1. re: NellyNel
                                                    LindaWhit Oct 21, 2009 11:40 AM

                                                    I think Mike I. either was putting a tray of her prepared food into the fridge and let the tray sag so the food fell? Or it fell out of the fridge when he tried to put something into the fridge for storage. Cannot recall exactly...

                                                    1. re: NellyNel
                                                      e
                                                      Ericandblueboy Oct 21, 2009 11:54 AM

                                                      i don't recall seeing it and I'm too lazy to go watch the show again. Maybe queencru made it all up. I dunno.

                                                      1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                        LindaWhit Oct 21, 2009 12:05 PM

                                                        No, queencru didn't make it up. A tray of Robin's prepared foods fell on the floor - I cannot recall if it was from Mike I's hands or it fell out of the fridge based on what he did by shoving other food into the fridge.

                                                        1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                          s
                                                          soupkitten Oct 21, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                          it was in mike's interview--he said that he planned to throw everything robin did away, then the shot of him opening the packed fridge and a tray of her food (1/2 size film-wrapped baking sheet) falling to the floor. robin is saying something to the effect of: it's okay, it's wrapped, everything should be fine, intact, salvagable--mike's going yada yada whateva. . .

                                                          maybe he did it on purpose to get rid of her contribution, maybe he didn't, but i think what bugs people about mike is his on-record comments about his intentions. if it were an accident, even if you couldn't stand the person-- wouldn't you say something about "i felt badly that i accidentally ruined so and so's work. . ." he also tries to usurp center stage and take credit for a whole team effort, and gets mad when he's singled out for the bad elements of a service-- remember when he was "livid" that even though his team did well in the air force challenge, he was brought back for the weak dish he did on his own. i think he'll try to take credit for a team effort sometime when the contribution is not good, and get sent packing because of it.

                                                          1. re: soupkitten
                                                            NellyNel Oct 21, 2009 12:29 PM

                                                            I missed the whole dropping the food on the floor bit - but I certainly did notice how he kept usinfg the word "I" when talking to Tom about the collaborative dish - obviously trying to distance himeslf from robin.
                                                            I thought that was pretty obnoxious...

                                                            I stil don't think he's horrible though...

                                                          2. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                            q
                                                            queencru Oct 21, 2009 12:45 PM

                                                            I certainly did not make it up. It just seemed a bit suspicious that Robin's food suddenly ended up on the floor right after Mike said he wouldn't use anything she made. I agree with soupkitten that if it were an accident, he'd show some more remorse about it or at least worry a bit more.

                                                            You mentioned poor attorneys earlier. This is not a situation where you have two people at different levels assigned to work together. These two are presumably equals and no one has been designated the leader. Mike just took that upon himself and then proceeded to sabotage Robin's work.

                                                            1. re: queencru
                                                              e
                                                              Ericandblueboy Oct 21, 2009 03:44 PM

                                                              If Soupkitten is correct, while things were spilled, they were ultimately salvaged. So if Mike I wanted to discard Robin's contribution, he ultimately failed.

                                                              As for whether they're equals, that's a decision the two of them can make. Obviously Mike I doesn't think Robin is his equal and he proceeded on that basis. It worked to his advantage (and hers too).

                                                      2. re: queencru
                                                        s
                                                        soupkitten Oct 20, 2009 07:55 PM

                                                        how about when he was addressing the judges and presenting the dish, he kept using "i", not "we"-- as if robin didn't even exist. there was a shot that showed her practically elbowing him to get him to acknowledge her, and the judges said something about it, didn't they? very unprofessional of him to not acknowledge others he worked with, no matter how little he "let" robin do. i wouldn't want to be a commis or a dishwasher in mike i's kitchen. or a female in mike i's kitchen. or someone over the age of 40 in mike i's kitchen. or someone with a name mike i can't seem to pronounce (preeti). or. . .

                                                        1. re: queencru
                                                          NellyNel Oct 22, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                          i watched the episode again - and your statements are entirely your own speculation!
                                                          All we see is Mike opening the fridge - and a tray of food falls out!

                                                          He certainly did not "drop Robins food on the floor"!

                                                          We don't even know that the tray that fell out was Robins -
                                                          It could have been anyones. (I am sure they did not have an entire refrigerator to themselves)

                                                          To assume he purposely sabotaged her work is completely wrong - and way out of line

                                                          1. re: NellyNel
                                                            LindaWhit Oct 22, 2009 10:40 AM

                                                            Robin said it was hers, Nelly. She said "it's ok; they're all wrapped." Either way - Mike I. wasn't going to be using anything Robin prepared. That is fact; he said it in the confessional. Still think he's a jerk for the way he treated her throughout that entire episode.

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                              NellyNel Oct 22, 2009 10:48 AM

                                                              I re-wound it like 3 times - she does say exactly that - but it doesnt mean it was her food - (I'm not saying it def wasnt either- )
                                                              It seemed to me like she was just reassuring Mike not to worry about the food dropping becasue it was wrapped - be it hers or someone elses.

                                                              I agree I hated the way he kept saying "I" as opposed to "we" to Tom... and he def said some jerkish things in the confessional - but I really think it's unfair to say he was sabotaging her - when the food falling out of the fridge was clearly an accident

                                                              1. re: NellyNel
                                                                LindaWhit Oct 22, 2009 10:53 AM

                                                                Fair enough re: the intential sabotage. He didn't do that.

                                                                Oh - one other thing I saw last night - when Robin went in for the scallop downstairs after everyone else was done, Eli said "don't eat that, it's rotten." And Mike said "No, it's Robin." He was intentionally being rude to her. Robin brushed it off saying "Rotten Robin" and walking away, but damn - Eli and Mike I. are just way too childish.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  e
                                                                  Ericandblueboy Oct 22, 2009 11:32 AM

                                                                  Eli and Mike I. are just way too childish.
                                                                  ***
                                                                  You can say that about most men....

                                                        2. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                          Ruth Lafler Oct 20, 2009 02:42 PM

                                                          As a lawyer, you should know better than to make assertions based on facts not in evidence. Give me one --just one -- example of anything Mike I has said or done that suggests he would "fall on his sword" and not throw Robin under the bus.

                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                            e
                                                            Ericandblueboy Oct 20, 2009 06:15 PM

                                                            The key weasel word is "probably." As for why Mike I would fall on his own sword - he basically told everyone (including Tom) that he's not going to work with Robin. Do you think he would have any credibility blaming Robin for his failure at JT? If so, you give much more credit to Mike I than I would for his ability to dupe the judges.

                                                            1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                              Ruth Lafler Oct 20, 2009 07:16 PM

                                                              I don't know if he could dupe the judges, but I'm sure he would try! If it were one of the male chefs he respects he might decide to be noble, but in the scenario you describe what would he have to lose by throwing Robin under the bus?

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                e
                                                                Ericandblueboy Oct 20, 2009 09:07 PM

                                                                don't know if he could dupe the judges, but I'm sure he would try! If it were one of the male chefs he respects he might decide to be noble, but in the scenario you describe what would he have to lose by throwing Robin under the bus?
                                                                ****
                                                                I'm not entirely sure that Mike has no moral compass whatsoever, or that being on a game show justifies being a complete jerk. Other than that, the only thing that he risks to lose by throwing Robin under the bus is to raise himself to an entirely new level of jackassness. Being sexist isn't PC but it doesn't put you in hell, but being a liar and a hypocrite....

                                                        3. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                          g
                                                          gastrotect Oct 20, 2009 04:17 PM

                                                          I never said I thought Mike was behaving professionally. I said it's hypocritical to damn him, but give Robin a free pass. Mike has behaved very unprofessionally on several occasions and I think if it weren't for, what appear to be, some decent skills in the kitchen, he would be gone or at least a lot closer to gone. Eli has made some very immature comments and he seems to think his shit doesn't stink. I have no problem making those statements. But having made those, I won't then say everyone in the house is terrible for treating Robin like that. Her personality may be much more grating than the producers have let on and she may be difficult to work with/around. Maybe it's just the opposite. We don't really know and I'm willing to give the housemates the benefit of the doubt. Even nice, awesome Kevin said Robin was unbearable in the nicest, most roundabout way he could. The fact is, whatever his problems with Robin are, Mike has proved to be well-liked by seemingly everyone except Robin (for obvious reasons). He can't possibly be as bad as the producers would have us believe. There have been some fairly varied personalities and none have had a problem with him. You can't simply throw that out the window so that he fits into a neat little box. My guess? Mike is too cocky and unprofessional in the kitchen, especially with someone he perceives as weak, but on a personal level he is amicable and friendly. That's the only explanation I can come up with for his acceptance among the chefs given his unprofessionalism.

                                        2. re: QSheba
                                          Joanie Oct 19, 2009 08:30 AM

                                          That was kind of a cool story. He wore her down, ha ha.

                                          1. re: Joanie
                                            NellyNel Oct 19, 2009 09:20 AM

                                            I am almost afraid to say it - but I don't think he's that bad...
                                            Other than a few comments I haven't been too fond of - he seems like an okay guy. I have seen him make fun of himself a few times which I thought was quite endearing

                                            1. re: NellyNel
                                              d
                                              dach Oct 20, 2009 08:34 AM

                                              Mike I also has funny interplay moments with Ash's gayness.

                                              In the campout challenge Ash mentions joining Mike I. in the shower. GAY!

                                              At PYKAG Ash sloppy kisses Mike I. on the cheek, but only shown goodbye hugs with other male competitor.

                                              I take note no one in the cast has issue with Mike I's personality.

                                              These chefs are not a bunch of secondary schoolers, I think it is way off base or insulting so many posters critique interpersonal dynamics using pre-adult standards; have they never worked professionally in a team? IRL some people just don't or can't work well with others, are AKA team cancers (not meaning to make light of Robin literal cancer).

                                              These are all already successful adults IRL being taped and monitored 24x7, who will be on their best behavior as much as possible. They have credibility. Robin PITA behavior must be as annoying and incessant as a yipping Chihuahua for *all* of them to have a negative view of her. There no contestant apologies or regrets even long after taping interviews when they *all* ID Robin as least favored TC6 housemate and competitor.

                                              1. re: dach
                                                q
                                                queencru Oct 20, 2009 10:13 AM

                                                Eli still lives at home and still interacts in a manner that is equivalent to what you'd see in any person who has never lived away from home before. IMHO his credibility has been weakened when he talked about how happy he was to live at home with his mom and not have to pay rent. Similarly, Mike I is not acting professionally when he calls Robin a Granny. And the Rotten Robin comments- don't even get me started. I've worked with people I've hated and lived with people I've hated and never resorted to calling them names like these two use.

                                                Working professionally on a team has nothing to do with whether you can live with others in a cramped environment with limited to no entertainment or ability to get out.

                                                1. re: queencru
                                                  k
                                                  KTinNYC Oct 20, 2009 10:44 AM

                                                  Maturity has nothing to do with living at home or living on ones own. Every Saturday I see many people who live on their own and are complete assh*les, meanwhile I have a very good friend who still lives at home even though he makes good money and is a well mannered responsible person.

                                                  Robin was the first person to call herself "Rotten Robin". Mike just repeated it. Go back and watch the episode if you don't believe me. Robin goes downstairs and helps herself to a scallop. Mike says, "Don't eat that. It's rotten." Robin replies, "That's okay. I'm rotten. Rotten Robin" and Mike just repeats "Rotten Robin".

                                                  Why Robin would help herself to the scallop after she knows she is rubbing the others the wrong way is beyond me.

                                                  1. re: queencru
                                                    e
                                                    Ericandblueboy Oct 20, 2009 11:15 AM

                                                    Eli still lives at home and still interacts in a manner that is equivalent to what you'd see in any person who has never lived away from home before. IMHO his credibility has been weakened when he talked about how happy he was to live at home with his mom and not have to pay rent.
                                                    *******
                                                    That's just the mindset of the current generation. I don't see how that affects his credibility at all. The two are totally not related. In fact, he's being financially responsible by living with his parents instead of pissing money away on rent.

                                                    Heck many of the people here who disapprove of those two call them much worse names - tool, douchebag - which are to me much worse than Granny or Rotten Robin.

                                                    1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                      LindaWhit Oct 20, 2009 11:32 AM

                                                      IMO, it affects his credibility as an adult because he's living off his mother when, as an EC of what seems to be a very nice restaurant in Atlanta, he should be perfectly capable of paying for his own rent and taking care of himself.

                                                      Just because it's the mindset of the current generation doesn't mean it's right to do. Obviously his parents are enabling him; but to live at your parents' house at age 25 without at least paying rent doesn't say a lot for the character of the man, IMO.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                        j
                                                        Janet from Richmond Oct 20, 2009 11:47 AM

                                                        I think without knowing the full story, there could be a number of credible reasons Eli lives with his parents. They could be in poor health, it could be something that is common to that family based on tradition or culture, he may have gotten into credit trouble at some point, etc.

                                                        I had a drink at his restaurant in Atlanta and it is a very nice place. I briefly saw him and he was engaging with staff and seemed amicable. He is also much better looking in person than on TV.

                                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                          LindaWhit Oct 20, 2009 12:00 PM

                                                          True. But he has mentioned (in an interview? on the show? cannot recall where) in what seemed to be a gloating fashion, IIRC, that he's living at home and "don't have to pay rent". Almost an "I'm getting away with it" comment. Just doesn't seem to be adult to me.

                                                          And if he is in credit trouble, again - there's still no reason he cannot pay some rent to his parents.

                                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                                          e
                                                          Ericandblueboy Oct 20, 2009 11:50 AM

                                                          I know of an executive chef at a nice restaurant here in DC. I believe he makes about $60k/yr. He's knee deep in credit card debt, lives in an apartment and has no savings. Would he have been better off living at home so he can be debt free and save for a down payment? I'd trade some adult credibility for financial stability. In contrast, if Eli's living at home and blowing his money on hookers and dope, then I'd be more concerned.

                                                          I don't know if you can judge someone if you don't know his family and their cultural background. I have a Persian friend who makes roughly $275k a year as a lawyer in a huge firm and he still lives with his mom and doesn't pay rent. In the mean time, he's quickly saving a fortune. Is he taking advantage of his mom? His mom is a orthodntist and doesn't need his rent payment. In some cultures, it's just accepted that you live at home until you have your own family.

                                                          1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                            LindaWhit Oct 20, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                            You know what? The credit card debt is that person's own fault. You can only get yourself knee-deep in credit card debt if you let yourself.

                                                            I was in the same situation 20+ years ago. Made just barely $18K a year, owed $22K. Moved to the state where I lived now, and did *not* move in with family. Moved into a house with 2 other people and split the rent. Got myself out of debt in 2.5 years. Have not and will not ever be in that situation again.

                                                            But all indications from what Eli has said on the show or in an interview (again, cannot recall where) is that he's not paying *any* rent. I lose respect for people like that.

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                              e
                                                              Ericandblueboy Oct 20, 2009 12:19 PM

                                                              It may not sit well with you or me but different generations have different norms. My attitude is if you're staying at home so you can put money away so eventually you can move out, then that's fine. If you're staying at home so you can buy more luxury goods and don't plan of ever moving out, then you're a loser. I don't know which group Eli falls in.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                q
                                                                QSheba Oct 20, 2009 01:06 PM

                                                                To add to the cultural differences... Would you lose respect for an elderly person who moved in with one of their children and didn't pay rent? They may have financial limitations, physical limitations, or just enjoy the company. As far as I'm concerned, it's no one else's business but the two parties involved. If the person who lived with his/her parents was someone you LIKED on the show, because he hadn't made comments about Robin, etc., would you still lose respect for him?

                                                                1. re: QSheba
                                                                  LindaWhit Oct 20, 2009 01:23 PM

                                                                  Yes, I would. A person of that age (approximately one-third of the way through their life at age 25) should be out on their own, barring any physical issues, not living rent-free off of mommy and daddy. JMO.

                                                                  An aged person who hasn't had the potential capacity to earn the money their children have in the last 30 years or so, but have to deal with a much higher CoL that has eaten away at what income they did earn while working (and didn't have 401(k)s or pensions to help tide them over into retirement) is a different situation. They are not usually able to work to support themselves anymore, whereas a fit 25yo is.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    j
                                                                    Jeserf Oct 21, 2009 10:55 AM

                                                                    Wow, I don't know where some of you live, but when I was 25, there is NO way I'd have been able to support myself in the 3rd most expensive country in the city.

                                                                    If I COULD have (in that my parents don't live in the same city I work in), I'd have definitely lived at home while just starting to work in order to save money to be secure on my own. I get along with my parents, I help out, and I generally find it fun to be with them.

                                                                    This isn't a "generational" thing, unless you consider the previous generation being part of the huge increase in cost of living.

                                                                    If he wants to live at home, and it's OK with his parents and with him, then who cares? The way you did it doesn't make you any better and the way he does it doesn't make him any worse.

                                                                    1. re: Jeserf
                                                                      e
                                                                      Ericandblueboy Oct 21, 2009 11:05 AM

                                                                      Whether you agree or not, it's been observed that Gen Y stay at home longer than prior generations. Here's a blurb from Wiki:

                                                                      "This generation is also sometimes referred to as the Boomerang Generation or Peter Pan Generation because of their possible penchant for delaying some of the rites of passage into adulthood longer than most generations before them, and because of a trend toward living with their parents for longer than recent generations. Those a part of Generation Y have pushed the acceptable boundaries for full adulthood from their mid 20's to early 30's. Many members of Generation Y have chosen to live at home, remain without a family or children, and delay a full career longer than any generation before them."

                                                                      1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                        q
                                                                        queencru Oct 21, 2009 12:53 PM

                                                                        I may or may not be in Generation Y because people don't agree on the date when it starts (I'm in my early 30s). However, from what I've seen in people my age and younger, the majority want to move out if they can afford to do it, unless they're from a culture where people tend to stay home longer. There are also valid reasons why people stay at home longer- college is much more expensive today than it was when I went and student loan payments often keep young people who are making $25-30K to start from moving out immediately. There is nothing wrong with that.

                                                                        However, everything we've seen suggests that Eli has a job that pays pretty well for someone his age. If he had student loans, he should have been able to pay them off or at least down to a manageable level fairly quickly with limited other expenses. As LindaWhit pointed out, he hasn't mentioned taking care of his parents/grandparents or that he's from a culture where staying at home longer is fairly common. All we've heard him say is that he stays at home and doesn't pay rent.

                                                                        1. re: queencru
                                                                          e
                                                                          Ericandblueboy Oct 21, 2009 03:48 PM

                                                                          Ok, you don't like Eli. I can't wait to see Rest. Wars tonight.

                                                                      2. re: Jeserf
                                                                        LindaWhit Oct 21, 2009 11:19 AM

                                                                        I grew up in northern NJ - Bergen County, to be exact, and I was living in a shared apt. when I was 22 or 23yo in Allendale, NJ, and then in a shared home with 5 roommates in Paramus, NJ a few years later - not a very cheap area to live being right outside NYC. This was in the early 1980s. Even when I moved to MA in 1989, I still shared two different houses - one with 2 roommates, one with 1 roommate, before I could afford to rent my own apt.

                                                                        I never said he had to live on his own; sharing living space outside the parental home is still quite common, is it not? I knew no one of my era who *wanted* to stay at home if they were capable of paying rent for a room in a house somewhere. Freedom to do whatever they wanted, and all that.

                                                                        As for Eli and his parents continuing to share his childhood home; he's more than free to do so. However, it just adds to my opinion that he hasn't grown up and wants to have people take care of him vs. setting out on his own and acting like a responsible adult.

                                                                        Now - if he is taking care of his elderly, infirm parents, that is quite a different story. But we haven't heard any of that - I'm going on what I've heard/read so far.

                                                                        Regardless, the young man acts like a spoiled little brat on the show and hasn't been very mature at all.

                                                                    2. re: QSheba
                                                                      NellyNel Oct 21, 2009 06:45 AM

                                                                      QSheba -
                                                                      You make an excellent point, and I was thinking the same thing.

                                                                      I noticed that no one had made any comments about being outraged by how the brothers were teasing Eli about flirting with Robin.
                                                                      I think that if Mike I or Eli had been the one to make those comments - floods of folks would comment on how sexist and ageist they are - but since the brothers are respected here on this board - no one found it offensive - in fact a few commented that is was funny (and it was actually!!)

                                                                      1. re: NellyNel
                                                                        q
                                                                        queencru Oct 21, 2009 07:46 AM

                                                                        I posted somewhere about how my opinion of Mike V went down after he made those comments, but it must have been on another board. I thought it was juvenile and inappropriate. There are plenty of other ways to make a point without acting like you're in 7th grade.

                                                                        1. re: NellyNel
                                                                          dave_c Oct 21, 2009 07:56 AM

                                                                          In regards to the brothers, the keyword is "teasing". They were teasing Eli... giving him crap.

                                                                          Eli and Mike I aren't "teasing" when they comment about Robin.
                                                                          However, I think part of Mike I's game plan includes psych-ops.

                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    j
                                                                    jcattles Oct 20, 2009 12:34 PM

                                                                    It wasn't so long ago that it was common to have 2-3 generations of family living together. Yes times have changed, but who are we to judge other people for the decisions they make in their own lives? We know nothing about Eli or his family or his reasons for living at home.

                                                                    I moved out at 19 and haven't been back, does that make me a better person? No, it doesn't, it just makes my decision different from Eli's.
                                                                    There is no right or wrong, no black or white.

                                                                    There is just to much specualtion on the personal lives of the TC cheftestants. I say let's focus on the food and the contest and not where they choose to live, or their personality (Eli, Mike I, Robin, etc...) as shown on tv. Top Chef is after all a "Reality Show", we all know how "real" it is.

                                                                    1. re: jcattles
                                                                      LindaWhit Oct 20, 2009 01:26 PM

                                                                      jcattles, no disagreement - we are seeing what we were given to see by the editors. But Eli just adds to my dislike of him by what he says and how he acts. That's what I get to see. The food - we can't taste it. We can only look at it - just as we can only look at what the cheftestants choose to allow us to see by how they act in front of a camera. And what I've seen doesn't sit well with me. Again, it is just my opinion - just as others have their own opinion as to how they feel about how Eli is choosing to act in front of the cameras.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                        h
                                                                        HollyDolly Oct 21, 2009 11:16 AM

                                                                        Okay folks, tonight is Restaurant War.So which group do you think will win? Kevin is a great chef,and i assume the two brothers pair up. In the spoiler or whatever, you see Robin get really heated about her dessert and I guess brother Mike tells her to take a chill pill.I wonder what that is about. Are they even on the same team,I guess so, but why does she think Mike or Brain want to steal her dessert? They all have to work together to make their'restaurant ' a success, so whyget snippy with each other tthough i know everybody,mainly it seems the guys keep giving her a hard time. I don't think it's all due to age, and there maybe other facts we just don't see that aren't caught on tape.
                                                                        Anyhow, the how thing looks interesting., and I wonder who is going home.

                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Oct 21, 2009 12:47 PM

                                                                      "but to live at your parents' house at age 25 without at least paying rent doesn't say a lot for the character of the man, IMO."
                                                                      ~~~~~~
                                                                      *that* was my issue as well. i totally respect that there are various reasons why some people choose or need to live with family, but he was boasting about the fact that he's sponging off them. it was rather childish, and in poor taste.

                                                                      BTW, Linda, i smiled when i read your description of your living conditions in the 80s...for anyone who grew up around here, cramming as many people as humanly possible into a teeny living space just so you could live "on your own" somewhere near or in NYC was pretty much a rite of passage!

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                        l
                                                                        Lizard Oct 22, 2009 11:47 AM

                                                                        Goodness, I can't believe I'm adding to this thread, but agreed with those noting the cultural thing. It would be, as my family has pointed out, a well- you non-Jews don't want to hear the word- thing to do to charge rent to your children.

                                                                        That said, there is a little prince phenomenon that needs to cut down.

                                                2. Phaedrus Oct 16, 2009 06:24 AM

                                                  http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs...

                                                  Check out Richard Blais blog on Bravo. he had really interesting comments about all the remaining chefs. Especially his take on Eli since Eli was his sous chef.

                                                  The following entry on performing for your mentor after the fact was very good too.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                                    LindaWhit Oct 16, 2009 07:37 AM

                                                    I had read his Halftime blog last week, but hadn't yet seen his "performing for your mentor" blog. Very good.

                                                    1. re: Phaedrus
                                                      t
                                                      tofuburrito Oct 16, 2009 10:34 AM

                                                      Interesting in the Blais blog one of the commenters listed a Top 10 all time of (in random order): Harold, Tiffani, Hung, Stephanie, Blais, Kevin, the V-Bros, Jennifer and Dale Levitski. I agree except I would replace Dale and Tiffani with Tre and Lee Ann. If I were to rate 1-10 based on who I would most like to have cook for me I would give my all time #1 to Kevin, followed by; Stephanie, Hung, Jennifer, Harold, Blais, Lee Ann, V the Elder, Tre, V the Younger.

                                                      1. re: tofuburrito
                                                        LindaWhit Oct 16, 2009 11:11 AM

                                                        I don't think Dale should be on there either....definitely would add Lee Anne and Tre. But I do think, while a PITA, much of Tiffani's food looked good.

                                                        My 1-10 would be Kevin, Stephanie, Blais, Jennifer, Harold, Bryan V., Lee Anne, Michael V., Tre, Hung. (hard time remembering Tre and Lee Anne's cooking specifically, but I remembered liking much of it). I wasn't much of a Hung fan, but he did put out very good food (from what we can see - I really wish someone would invent smellavision SOON!)

                                                        1. re: tofuburrito
                                                          dave_c Oct 16, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                          I thought Dave Martin (TC1) was a better chef than Tiffani (TC1). In fact, I believe Dave screwed up the semi-final challenge - cooking food for poker players. Dave made good food, but he didn't make a 3rd dish. In essence, he was dq'd. Allowing Tiffani to advance.

                                                          However, I agree replacing Tiffani and Dale with Lee Anne and Tre.

                                                          1. re: dave_c
                                                            Miss Needle Oct 16, 2009 12:38 PM

                                                            It's funny how we are able to rank these chefs without tasting their food. But I've got my rankings in my head as well.

                                                            I actually think Dave Martin was not better than Tiffani, and I think Lee Anne, Steven and even Miguel were better chefs. The reason I say that is because I've eaten Dave's food. It's probably like a slightly upscale version of TGIF. Everything is on the sweet side and there is definitely a lack of technique in his food in cutting and cooking -- irregular cuts, things overcooked. Nowhere close to what Tiffani, Lee Anne, Steve and Miguel were doing. I'd probably put his food closer to what Michael Midgely would have produced (not that I've eaten Midgely's food). It's good and fine and very tasty, but not Top Chef caliber. I really think he got lucky with the catering and front of the house challenges and got along further than he should have. Dave may have won the challenge in the semi-finals if he produced the third dish. But I don't think who wins is necessarily an indicator of who the best chef is. Remember Lisa from Season 4? I think there were other chefs that were more talented than she was. And Tre should have gotten further in the competition. And as much as I like Stephanie and think she's a great chef, I do think Richard Blais is better.

                                                            Now, as I said before, I've only tasted a fraction of these chef's foods. So this is all in my imagination.

                                                            1. re: dave_c
                                                              l
                                                              Lizard Oct 18, 2009 11:02 AM

                                                              Dave_c, I wish I had your television. Mine doesn't allow me to taste what the chefs have made.

                                                              1. re: Lizard
                                                                dave_c Oct 19, 2009 08:28 AM

                                                                :-) I rely on the judges, their palates and their discussion of the hits and misses of the dish. Also, based upon the cheftestants description of their dish and ingredients I can taste their dish... in my mind. I guess I have an overactive imagination! lol!

                                                            2. re: tofuburrito
                                                              Ruth Lafler Oct 16, 2009 01:34 PM

                                                              No one from TC New York? Not Hosea, for sure, but I'd be happy to have Stefan or Carla cook for me.

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                t
                                                                tofuburrito Oct 16, 2009 02:51 PM

                                                                I agree that since we can't taste the food it makes it hard for us to decide what is good and what isn't. But I think we can get a pretty good idea of what would be most appealing, on an individual basis, by what we see and hear from the judges. I wouldn't argue that Blais or Stephanie is the better chef, I would say that based on what i've seen, if I had the opportunity to choose one or the other to make dinner for me, I'd choose Stephanie. Her style of cooking just appeals to me more.

                                                          2. j
                                                            Janet from Richmond Oct 16, 2009 06:04 AM

                                                            I love Kevin. I'm definitely pulling for him. Jen is a close second.

                                                            While Robin is clearly the odd woman out, she also comes across as someone who has always played the victim and enjoys that role (I had a co-worker years ago who was the same way and Robin reminds me so much of her).

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                              LaLa Oct 19, 2009 09:30 AM

                                                              I will second that Janet...I had one of those too.

                                                            2. e
                                                              Evilbanana11 Oct 15, 2009 11:48 AM

                                                              Eli:"and I screamed 'you're not my f**** MOTHER!!' "
                                                              Michael V: "and then you had sex"
                                                              Eli:" seriously are you F**** dysfunctional?"
                                                              Michael V: "well did............. you get to 2nd base?"
                                                              Eli:"Dude seriosuly f******* stop!"

                                                              LOL.

                                                              ps. Michael V for top chef.

                                                              17 Replies
                                                              1. re: Evilbanana11
                                                                Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 12:00 PM

                                                                LOL. OK, so I wasn't dreaming the sequence. That is hilarious.

                                                                1. re: Evilbanana11
                                                                  l
                                                                  Lizard Oct 15, 2009 01:38 PM

                                                                  That was excellent. Eli was getting so bent out of shape, it was just hilarious.

                                                                  1. re: Lizard
                                                                    LindaWhit Oct 15, 2009 03:01 PM

                                                                    I loved it as well. It also points to Eli's immaturity. He couldn't take a little bit of good-natured ribbing. He can be incredibly cruel to other people, but can't take it when it's tossed back in his direction.

                                                                    Methinks the boy needs to move out the house and live in the real world for awhile.

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      l
                                                                      Lizard Oct 15, 2009 11:52 PM

                                                                      Agreed on Eli's need to live in the real world, which is also made amply clear by his cry 'You're not my mother'. This is a phrase that makes me sad for a few reasons. First, tends to imply that it is only the mother responsible for cleaning in the house, suggesting a sadly gendered division of labour. Second, it suggests that at this point, Eli's contact with those requiring civil behaviour and consideration has been profoundly limited. Is such a request really only the thing that mothers make? No.

                                                                      1. re: Lizard
                                                                        q
                                                                        queencru Oct 16, 2009 05:26 AM

                                                                        I used to have a friend who lived with his mom until his late 20s and his reactions while living with roommates were just like Eli's. His mom cooked and cleaned for him and he wouldn't take well to roommate requests to keep guest-oriented areas like the 1/2 bath clean.

                                                                        1. re: Lizard
                                                                          Caitlin McGrath Oct 16, 2009 02:47 PM

                                                                          Yes, methinks he may have been less likely to bark "You're not my mother!" if he didn't live with his.

                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                          l
                                                                          lizzy Oct 16, 2009 08:59 AM

                                                                          *Methinks the boy needs to move out the house and live in the real world for awhile*

                                                                          Agreed. I also found it funny and interesting that his mom asked him if he wanted to come home.

                                                                          1. re: lizzy
                                                                            chowser Oct 16, 2009 09:08 AM

                                                                            I'm thinking Eli has guaranteed that he'll have many dateless nights in the months that follow.

                                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                                              q
                                                                              queencru Oct 16, 2009 09:12 AM

                                                                              Please- who wouldn't be lured in by a man who expects a mom/wife to do all the cleaning and housekeeping chores? He's a true keeper, let me tell you!

                                                                              1. re: queencru
                                                                                r
                                                                                rocks67 Oct 16, 2009 09:20 AM

                                                                                *groan...

                                                                                I need/want that like a bump on my head!!

                                                                              2. re: chowser
                                                                                l
                                                                                lizzy Oct 16, 2009 01:15 PM

                                                                                Yes, but I'm also thinking he might be used to spending his free nights watching Lifetime with mom.

                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                  coney with everything Oct 18, 2009 05:32 AM

                                                                                  Bet not, chowser--he's famous now. Think of the nutjob women who chase men who are in jail for murdering their wives...

                                                                              3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                NellyNel Oct 19, 2009 07:52 AM

                                                                                Wow - i'm surprised that is is not allot of outrage over that bit!

                                                                                I myself was slightly horrified when she was called "grandma" since I am Robins age.

                                                                                That said, I thought the whole thing was hysterical. I think it was one of the brothers who said "and then you had sex" - and the other brother said "YOU DID??"
                                                                                ahha ha ha -I thought it showcased the brothers dry humor - and showed they do have some personality.
                                                                                Oh - and I thought Eli was feining his outrage - just going along with the gag so to speak.

                                                                                1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                  j
                                                                                  jcattles Oct 19, 2009 10:27 AM

                                                                                  That said, I thought the whole thing was hysterical. I think it was one of the brothers who said "and then you had sex" - and the other brother said "YOU DID??"
                                                                                  I caught that too- I though it was hilarious.

                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                    LindaWhit Oct 19, 2009 10:48 AM

                                                                                    I definitely don't think Eli was feigning outrage - I think he was definitely flustered and unable to deal with getting some ribbing, and did the little boy stomping of his foot, saying "STOP saying that about me or I'm going to go tell my momma!" in his STFU comment.

                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                      Ruth Lafler Oct 19, 2009 12:26 PM

                                                                                      That was my impression, too. Or maybe it hit too close to home <vbg>.

                                                                              4. re: Evilbanana11
                                                                                dave_c Oct 19, 2009 01:01 PM

                                                                                Looks like Robin is the Season 6 cougar... She has her eyes set on a youngin' like Eli. Top it off, he still lives with him mom. Raawr!

                                                                              5. d
                                                                                dmd_kc Oct 15, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                                                I thought the quickfire challenge was pretty interesting. Kind of a variation on the other junk-food challenges they've done in the past. (Is it just me, or have they done fewer of those as the show's gone on?)

                                                                                Having tasted several of those Alexa snacks, I'm hardly surprised a lot of people went with the plain onion strips, which are really just a larger-cut version of Durkee's canned fried onions (a taste good ol' Kevin said led him to his dish, thinking of the green bean/cream of mushroom soup glop).

                                                                                Having tasted the barbecue potato chips and the jalapeno onion strips, I just don't know how you'd incorporate or pair them with anything much. They're just too assertive on their own. The plain potato chips are just really, really thick regular chips, so they'd be a nice blank canvas -- but that's not the purpose of the challenge.

                                                                                I was so happy Kevin got a NICE prize, considering how paltry his Calphalon pans were in comparison to what some of the other chefs have won in elimination challenges.

                                                                                1. m
                                                                                  mjhals Oct 15, 2009 07:17 AM

                                                                                  So Ash went home- not a surprise based on his recent finishes. But I have to say, I think he's a funny guy. His responses to JT have been awesome- in one episode he comes back in an effusively announces, "they loved everything!", and tonight he noted that he "forgot the flavor". Cooking may not be to TC standard but I think he's charming.

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mjhals
                                                                                    HabaneroJane Oct 15, 2009 07:49 AM

                                                                                    yes, mj i agree. ash was one of the few with an actual personality. i heart Kevin the most though. He seems genuinely sweet, humbled and passionate. One of the blogs calls him Beardo. But he's hardly weird at all. Now those brothers, on the other hand... :)

                                                                                    1. re: HabaneroJane
                                                                                      t
                                                                                      tofuburrito Oct 15, 2009 07:59 AM

                                                                                      Another reason I think Kevin is most likely to win is that during the quickfire he mentioned that he’d already thought about his dish while snacking back at the house. How many people (chef’s included) conceptualize a dish based on a bag of chips they’re eating? It seems he is in constant food-think mode and demeanor-wise he has a clear advantage over everyone else. It also seems his cooking is right in Tom’s wheelhouse.
                                                                                      Both V brothers strike me as ticking time bombs and I think one or both of them is most likely (of the big 4) to make an early exit.
                                                                                      Jenn rocks and self doubt seems to make her cook better but she is starting to look fatigued.

                                                                                      1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                        HabaneroJane Oct 15, 2009 08:04 AM

                                                                                        it almost seems so obvious that the final four will be brothers, jen and kevin. but would rock even more if there's a twist. As long as the twist doesnt touch Kevin!

                                                                                        At first I thought Jen's self doubt was an act, but after she was in the bottom last night , not so much. But she shouldn't doubt herself so much . She, like Kevin, seems to be in a league of her own. I am warming to her finally and I see her warming up a bit more too!

                                                                                        1. re: HabaneroJane
                                                                                          Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 08:23 AM

                                                                                          Nobody though Carla was going to make it either.

                                                                                        2. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          Buckethead Oct 15, 2009 08:23 AM

                                                                                          I have been pulling for Jen since she's from my city (and she's good) but as of this week it seems to me that Kevin is the clear favorite to win. As you say, he seems to never stop thinking about food. When he picked the wine for the Pinot and Pork challenge and mentioned that he'd been to the winery and planned to work hazelnuts (I think it was hazelnuts) into the dish because he noticed they have a lot of hazelnut trees on the property, I was sold. And then he went on to make mayonnaise out of the rendered pork fat from the leg! Yum.

                                                                                          1. re: Buckethead
                                                                                            n
                                                                                            Nettie Oct 15, 2009 08:41 PM

                                                                                            Kevin talked about how they grow hazelnuts at Sokol Blosser winery, and how he lived in Oregon for a while. I was thinking that this challenge was really made for him--Oregon is ALL about Pinot, so he should be familiar with it from his time here, and obviously he loves pork, too.

                                                                                            For me, my favorites are definitely Kevin and Jen, and maybe Brian. Not Michael, because he wears his hat backwards.

                                                                                      2. re: mjhals
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        sharonlouk Oct 15, 2009 10:51 AM

                                                                                        Agreed. Check out his farewell video on the TC web site. He wants everyone just to cook. And the Matin story is priceless.

                                                                                      3. Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 05:34 AM

                                                                                        Did anyone else catch what Ash said at the beginning of the cooking segment, about how Mike I talked him out of doing his original idea, which Palmer liked a lot. Hmmm, a little gamesmanship, taking advantage of the not very resolute mind?

                                                                                        Also, it was pretty disconcerting at first to see the group scarf up Eli's scallops at the house. But then it all made sense: they all love food so they are a lot more like us, well me anyways. Somehow I kind of thought that meal time at the house, especially dinner would be a more formal, i.e. sitting around a table, affair.

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                          HabaneroJane Oct 15, 2009 06:24 AM

                                                                                          i noticed that! Last week Ash deferred to the brother...this week he listened to Mike I. As Tom said, he never cooked his own food. Lame. He deserved to go for lack of conviction.

                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                            LindaWhit Oct 15, 2009 06:26 AM

                                                                                            I did remember Ash saying Mike I. had talked him out of his original idea. But I think that then goes to what Tom was saying - Ash doesn't seem to be able to formulate an idea and stick with it (as it relates to putting together flavors that work well).

                                                                                            As for whether Mike I. was gaming Ash - I'm not sure if he's actually that smart to attempt to do so. :-) I think he just made a suggestion and Ash (for whatever reason) liked the idea. Ash is just not decisive and is easily swayed, IMO.

                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                              Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 06:32 AM

                                                                                              There is a couple of wqays to go.

                                                                                              1) Mike I was just voicing an opinion and Ash took it at face value.
                                                                                              2) Mike I saw that Ash was vulnerable and did the Machiavellian thing.

                                                                                              The thing is, I know there is a lot of comradery in the house, and people are pretty good about helping each other out, but Mike I is pretty darned competitive. If he did see something better to do with the dish, why would he share it with Ash? I wouldn't heed his advice because I know he is a competitor.

                                                                                            2. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                              Withnail42 Oct 15, 2009 06:27 AM

                                                                                              I caught the too and immediately thought of the Carla Casey fiasco of last seasons final.

                                                                                              1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                j
                                                                                                jenn Oct 15, 2009 11:12 AM

                                                                                                Likewise. Ash seemed to have good ideas but zero confidence. And I wouldn't be surprised in the least if someone took advantage of that fact, especially if they thought Ash might start producing and be serious competition.

                                                                                                Remember, they all have to be at some level of competence to be on the show in the first place.

                                                                                            3. Withnail42 Oct 15, 2009 04:26 AM

                                                                                              When I heard the challenge I kept hearing Big Tom saying "This is Top Chef not Top Sommelier"

                                                                                              And I have had more than my share of those snacks and have to say that they are quite good.

                                                                                              The bottom three always appear to be the weakest in general. When they go then the cuts will get though.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 05:30 AM

                                                                                                Palmer gave Bryan some grief about taking the onion flavored chip and taking the easy way out. Which got me thinking: I think the onion flavoring is so ubiquitous that maybe they could have made the challenge more challenging by taking the most popular taste out, like onion. Make them go for something unique.

                                                                                              2. JasmineG Oct 14, 2009 11:10 PM

                                                                                                What a fun challenge. It was definitely one where I wished that I could have tasted the food (which doesn't always happen). Both Jenn's and Kevin's dishes looked amazing.

                                                                                                That quickfire was one of the more annoying product placement quickfires. I don't mind the long camera glances over logos, but just let them cook with real food, and not random snack food items (except for that vending machine challenge, that was fun).

                                                                                                1. goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 08:03 PM

                                                                                                  the brothers are going to be on the same Restaurant Wars team? with Robin, no less? oy. *that* could get ugly...

                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                    LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 08:05 PM

                                                                                                    I turned around to see Brian, I think, chewing out Robin, but didn't realize Michael was on his team as well. Agree - that is NOT going to be pretty next week!

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                      chris2269 Oct 14, 2009 09:58 PM

                                                                                                      Kevin is my favorite for the win both personality and consistancy wise . I am just afraid he wil go home on a screw up that does not represent his talent as a chef.

                                                                                                      The brothers are strong contenders as well.

                                                                                                      I just hope that someone undeserving as Josea (SP) wins this year like Iilian...think Harold was the last deserving winner.

                                                                                                      1. re: chris2269
                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                        melly Oct 15, 2009 12:01 AM

                                                                                                        I want Kevin to win...but if I had to choose one of the bros..it would be Brian. He's more mature than Mike.

                                                                                                        1. re: melly
                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                          AMFM Oct 15, 2009 12:44 AM

                                                                                                          i thought kevin's comment about michael and bryan was interesting- something about michael sabotaging bryan?

                                                                                                          1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                            momjamin Oct 15, 2009 03:48 AM

                                                                                                            I didn't really catch it verbatim, but I had the impression he was talking about Michael playing mind games with Bryan to undermine his mental clarity/focus.

                                                                                                            1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                              Ericandblueboy Oct 15, 2009 07:32 AM

                                                                                                              i thought kevin's comment about michael and bryan was interesting
                                                                                                              ***********
                                                                                                              Something about an explosion. Does Kevin think that Bryan is gonna go ape-sh!t on Mike?

                                                                                                          2. re: chris2269
                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                            momjamin Oct 15, 2009 03:47 AM

                                                                                                            I'd say Stephanie deserved to win, personality and talent wise. I was pulling for Richard and think he's arguably more talented, but I wasn't disappointed with Steph -- she surprised and delighted the judges more than once with flavor combos and technique, and she made more than one dessert quite successfully. She wasn't just a distant second who lucked up when Richard choked -- she was definitely solid on her own, and IIRC they won about the same number of challenges through the season.

                                                                                                            But we agree about Hosea.

                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                              Withnail42 Oct 15, 2009 04:35 AM

                                                                                                              Hosea is the classic example of a good middle of the road chef who succeeded by never really putting himself 'out there'. More talented people were a little more ambitious and had dishes that didn't work. A sort of tortoise and the hair thing.

                                                                                                            2. re: chris2269
                                                                                                              LindaWhit Oct 15, 2009 05:36 AM

                                                                                                              Can you clarify - you hope that someone undeserving wins? (i.e., Hosea, Ilan) Or you hope someone undeserving *doesn't* win (i.e., Robin, Laurene, Mike I., et al)?

                                                                                                              And I still think Stephanie was a full-on deserving winner in Season 4; either her or Richard Blais to win that season (anyone but Lisa!) and I was happy.

                                                                                                              1. re: chris2269
                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                brooklynkoshereater Oct 15, 2009 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                Harold's "I'm just here to cook" is classic. Hung was great as well.

                                                                                                            3. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                              ChefJune Oct 15, 2009 07:16 AM

                                                                                                              ...and on the subject of Restaurant Wars, does anyone lse share the feeling that we are going to lose one of the "Big Four" next week? Somehow I think both teams are going to be anchored by one of our faves, which may result in the leader of the losing team going home. (Shades of Tre...)

                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                g
                                                                                                                gastrotect Oct 15, 2009 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                God I hope not, but I wouldn't be surprised. Obviously the Big 4 aren't all together (Robin is with the bro's), so at least one of them will be on a losing team. And Tom alluded to Top Chef not being a cumulative competition in his new blog entry. Saying someone making a mistake has to hope someone else made a bigger one or they're going home. I am really worried one of the good ones gets screwed somehow. As fun as restaurant wars is, it's the one challenge more than any other that makes me wish cumulative success was a factor.

                                                                                                            4. LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 07:59 PM

                                                                                                              WHOA! And it's Ash who's outta there! You KNOW that Eli and Mike I. are going to be pissed that Robin survived again! And he disses Padma in his exit. Interesting.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                HabaneroJane Oct 15, 2009 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                he's alluded to the fact that Padma never liked his cooking before> i heard it earlier on in the epsiode as well!

                                                                                                              2. q
                                                                                                                QSheba Oct 14, 2009 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                Holy cow- comments in the stew room about wanting to send Robin home! And not just from Mike I. and Eli! Of course my memory may fail me, but I don't recall such a big divide (cooking and camaraderie-wise) in the previous seasons.

                                                                                                                75 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: QSheba
                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                  Season 2. Marcel.

                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 07:55 PM

                                                                                                                    Marcel had some detractors, but I don't think people spoke about him as viciously as Mike I. and Eli do about Robin.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                      mojoeater Oct 14, 2009 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                      No. They just tried to shave his head.

                                                                                                                      1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                        Not everyone attempted to do that, however...and while it was incredibly stupid, it was a drunken joke. The things being said about Robin are all the time, and nasty and downright cruel.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                          mojoeater Oct 14, 2009 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                          It went beyond stupid when he was tackled to the floor and nobody tried to help him.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                            I'm not disagreeing with you mojo, nor am I defending what happened to Marcel. It was wrong. But the two situations are, IMO, different. Robin is under verbal attack non-stop by at least two others she is working with; and Mike I. said he would essentially throw away anything that Robin suggested in last week's challenge, despite he himself not knowing anything about the food item they were using.

                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                            HabaneroJane Oct 15, 2009 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                            the nastiness towards robin is appalling. it's so third grade. but i guess the producers need more drama than that between the brotherzzzzzz.

                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                          momjamin Oct 14, 2009 08:10 PM

                                                                                                                          These guys seem to mostly talk behind Robin's back, but Betty and Frank and even Sam were in Marcel's face trying to get him to shut up.

                                                                                                                          1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                            You think Mike I. calling Robin "Rotten" is behind her back? I'm sorry - I don't think Mike I. or Eli are in any way subtle about their dislike and disdain for Robin. The entire Mattin scarf thing was over the top rude, IMO, especially since she had to actually ask for a scarf.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                              momjamin Oct 14, 2009 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                              That's why I said "mostly" not "entirely". Mike I and Eli are being jerks, no doubt, but on the whole, I'm remembering more confrontation w/Marcel (middle-of-the-night incident aside) and more rude/disdain/behind-the-back sniping combo with Robin.

                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                                Indy 67 Oct 15, 2009 04:56 AM

                                                                                                                                I watched the Mattin-tribute episode again, and I spotted something I hadn't seen previously. After Mike I hands Robin the scarf, Robin gives him a look of pure unadulterated hate for a fleeting second. I don't think Mike was still looking in Robin's direction by that time -- if indeed he ever looked her in the eyes when handing her the scarf. Based on at least that brief nugget of evidence, I think Robin is well-aware of the other cheftestants' feelings about her. Perhaps, her constant talking is Robin's coping mechanism for dealing with the unpleasant atmosphere in which she finds herself.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Indy 67
                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Oct 15, 2009 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                  She's most definitely fully aware of it - she's mentioned it several times re: the "tension in the house".

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                    i
                                                                                                                                    Indy 67 Oct 15, 2009 05:44 AM

                                                                                                                                    We're in agreement that Robin knows, but the phrase "tension in the house" is so generic that I don't agree Robin has acknowledged her outsider status publicly. Tension in the house could easily apply to the fact that ...
                                                                                                                                    o everyone is separated from friends and family
                                                                                                                                    o ordinary distractions like phone calls & the internet are off limit
                                                                                                                                    o the physical demands of the shooting schedule are stressful
                                                                                                                                    o reputations are being made and broken on television
                                                                                                                                    o people are sharing living space with strangers -- strangers who are competitors for a major prize
                                                                                                                                    o etc.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Indy 67
                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Oct 15, 2009 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                                      We're seeing what the editors allow us to see. I think she's fully aware of the fact that she's the outsider in that house. The age difference is one thing; she acknowledged that last night. (And we do know they are allowed phone calls; Eli made one last night - they're just closely monitored).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                        i
                                                                                                                                        Indy 67 Oct 15, 2009 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                        We're in agreement that Robin knows she's an outsider. I'm only disagreeing whether she has publicly admitted it.

                                                                                                                                        As for the phone calls, I believe there is a limit as to how many phone calls each contestant can make during the competition. And, as you've pointed out, the phone calls are closely monitored. I'd hardly call phone calls under those conditions an "ordinary distraction."

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Indy 67
                                                                                                                                    Withnail42 Oct 15, 2009 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                                    On a side note Robin was the only one who did not ware the scarf like the others. She wrapped hers around her arm. Not really a big deal. But it is one of those thins that others in the group will take notice. Especially when the group is wants to do something nice.

                                                                                                                                    Perhaps she didn't want to do what Mike wanted. Or perhaps she is simply one of those people who will be different for the sake of being different.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                                      Divamac Oct 15, 2009 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                      They were protesting Mattin going home over Robin - the whole act of wearing the scarf was anti-Robin at its root. They may spin it to be a show of support for a friend, but c'mon! This is a competition where here will be only one chef standing in the end. The whole scarf thing was childish and passive-aggressive.

                                                                                                                                      This entire season has me bored to tears, and I find each week I dislike the remaining cheftestants except Kevin. Mike I and Eli are obnoxious little boys. They both need to go now.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Divamac
                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                        StewieBoy Oct 15, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                        Faux-hawk Richard has written about the fact that while only 1 chef can win the prize, TC is the goose that lays golden eggs. If you are a good competitor AND a nice person TC can launch you in a VERY lucrative career.

                                                                                                                                        Would you ever go out of your way to see either Mike I or Eli at an event? Eat their food? They clearly aren’t the best cooks and they clearly aren’t nice men. They won’t be doing guest spots or cooking at the Superbowl any time soon.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: StewieBoy
                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                          jenn Oct 15, 2009 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                          Here Here! In fact, I'd go out of my way to AVOID them and their food. I'd be too busy thinking they were just childish enough to spit in a dish if they decided they didn't like someone.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jenn
                                                                                                                                            Divamac Oct 15, 2009 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                                            I wholeheartedly agree. It doesn't take a genius to see TC as a gateway to a better career even without being declared winner, just look at Fabio. But I don't think Mike I or Eli possess the maturity (or savvy) to see the big picture.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Divamac
                                                                                                                                              MplsM ary Oct 15, 2009 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                              Fabio is the perfect example of making the most of Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Divamac
                                                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                                                Nettie Oct 15, 2009 08:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                Mike I and Eli are going to have to live with the fact that they've made them selves look like a-holes on national TV. Robin might be annoying but it looks like she'll have far less to be embarrassed about than they will when this is over.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Nettie
                                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                                  Ericandblueboy Oct 15, 2009 09:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                  At the end of the day, I still rather eat Eli and Mike I's food than Robin's. Do I care about their personalities? Not really. Most chefs aren't geniuses nor are they especially good people. But I sure wouldn't go on TV and act like a jackass because I know most TV vierwers are stupid and irrational.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                    StewieBoy Oct 18, 2009 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                    A chef is supposed to demonstrate lots of skills besides cooking, including maturity and leadership. Thats why it isn't Top Cook, it's Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                    Wasn't it great to watch TCMasters? Not a jerk in the house - well until Dale stopped in...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: StewieBoy
                                                                                                                                                      q
                                                                                                                                                      QSheba Oct 18, 2009 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I thought Michael Chiarello came off as a jerk, even before the Dale incident...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: QSheba
                                                                                                                                                        trolley Oct 18, 2009 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                        i've heard MC is a big diva from a friend who worked at PBS up in SF so your observations are probably spot on...

                                                                                                                                            2. re: StewieBoy
                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                              KTinNYC Oct 16, 2009 02:53 AM

                                                                                                                                              Spike was one of the most disliked chefs of all the seasons and he is arguably the one of the most successful. I think this disproves your theory.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Oct 16, 2009 06:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                I'm not sure I'd term Spike as "one of the most successful" quite yet. He's in the press a lot but just because he's gotten initial buzz doesn't mean he's "most successful."

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                                  charmedgirl Oct 16, 2009 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Spike seems to be getting more successful by the minute. He won the NY Wine and Food Festival Burger Bash this past weekend (up against some VERY heavy hitters), and is set to open a second restaurant in DC soon.

                                                                                                                                                  It makes me want to puke. I can't stand that guy. I couldn't stand him during his season, and then his behavior on Top Chef Masters just solidified it. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl
                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Oct 16, 2009 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Yes, but it's still early. Is it flash-in-the-pan? Don't know. He seems like the type to look for notoriety (hey, we KNOW he likes the camera time and being confrontational), always wanting to be in the press. Can he sustain? Don't know. Still to be seen. Just because the President ate one of your burgers doesn't mean everyone likes it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                      KTinNYC Oct 16, 2009 07:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Well, he successfully opened one restaurant and is opening a second which is more then any just any other cheftestant I can think of. I don't know if his first place is making money but a opening a second restaurant is a pretty good indication of success. There are other measures of course but opening restaurants something not many of the others has been able to achieve.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                                                                        rocks67 Oct 16, 2009 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Honestly? I think I'd eat at Spike's above Mike I's place. I would probably try Eli's with a bit of trepidation. the only thing making him relevant in my books is the fact that he was Richard Blais' sous chef. That has to account for something. I'm surprised that Blais allowed someone with that type of "me" attitude to work with him but then again, maybe that's why he ISN'T working with him anymore.

                                                                                                                                                        Just a thought.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler Oct 16, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                          A lot of Top Chef contestants already had restaurants, so opening a burger joint isn't really that impressive, comparatively. Now, of the ones who were working for others before Top Chef, I think I'd have to admit that Spike is doing very well. Although I think our perception of his relative success may be distorted by the fact that the restaurants he's opened are the kind that can be put together relatively quickly, and he's in a favorable market for having a high profile (one with a lot of media but where the restaurant scene isn't as competitive as, say, NY).

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                                                                            KTinNYC Oct 16, 2009 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I'm not going to spend a lot of time advocating for Spike but regardless of the relative ease of opening a burger joint as opposed to say what Harold did with Perilla the fact is Spike is seemly making money by making food. Maybe he has fewer aspirations then some of the others or maybe he's using his burger joint to fund other operations but he is still succeeding where many of the other haven't. Anyway, what's wrong with burgers, if the burgers are really great then why not? Isn't that what chowhound is all about? Finding delciousness?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                              mjhals Oct 16, 2009 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I haven't watched any TC seasons except this, so have no idea really who Spike is. But FWIW Good Stuff Eatery is one of the best burgers I've ever had (certainly for the price point).

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                Ruth Lafler Oct 16, 2009 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I'm just saying that some of the others who are attempting more ambitious projects may be taking longer to get them off the ground, so I'm not going to write them off as being "less successful" simply because their success is less immediate.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                                                                                  KTinNYC Oct 16, 2009 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Well we can only judge what has been done not what we project that the chefs do in the future. To date, I can only think of 3 chefs that didn't have restaurants before the show who have successfully launched a venture after the show and Spike is one of them.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler Oct 16, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Off the top of my head, Harold, Stephen, Sam Talbot and Ilan (although I'm not sure Gorbals could be considered "successful" at this point). Stefan apparently has a new place, too.

                                                                                                                                                                    Also, I believe the deal for Spike's place was in the works before Top Chef, so I'm not sure you can say that he launched it after the show.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                                      KTinNYC Oct 16, 2009 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I forgot about Sam. But if you are going to disqualify Spike for having a deal before the show then we're going to have to do the same for Harold. Perilla was in the works as he was shooting.

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think we can count Gorbals. A restaurant that is open for less then 2 weeks isn't really a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                        Ruth Lafler Oct 16, 2009 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Well, it's a restaurant, just not "successful" or perhaps, "launched."

                                                                                                                                                                        You sort of proved my point, anyway. It takes a long time to put a significant restaurant deal together, so the fact that a restaurant hasn't actually opened in the relatively short amount of time since a chef appeared on Top Chef isn't any kind of reflection on how "successful" they are *as a result of the show.*

                                                                                                                                                                        It might be interesting (although more difficult) to assess how many of these people actually hurt their careers as a result of being on the show. Marcel might be one; Tiffani might as well.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                        stuartlafonda Oct 16, 2009 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Don't forget sweaty Howie Kleinberg, he opened Bulldog Barbeque in north Miami/Aventura.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: stuartlafonda
                                                                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                                                                          KTinNYC Oct 16, 2009 06:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          But he had other restaurants before opening Bulldog BBQ.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: stuartlafonda
                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                            soupkitten Oct 16, 2009 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            blais also opened a "burger boutique"-- flip, in atlanta post-top chef. i would travel to atlanta to eat blais' food. . . i wouldn't cross the street to eat spike's.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                              Phaedrus Oct 17, 2009 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I wouldn't let my dog eat Spike's food.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: charmedgirl
                                                                                                                                                              i
                                                                                                                                                              Indy 67 Oct 18, 2009 03:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I can't stand the guy either, but there are lots of folks who only know the Top Chef association without the specifics of his arrogant behavior. They might be inclined to patronize Spike's restaurant for its brush with celebrity (including the Obama factor) without knowing that the celebrity behind the restaurant is an a rather unappealing individual.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                              sharonlouk Oct 16, 2009 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I think he's considered pretty successful in DC. His restaurant made it to Washingtonian Magazine Cheap Eats and is written up frequently.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sharonlouk
                                                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                                                rocks67 Oct 16, 2009 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                That may be true, but I still have a hard time patronizing a restaurant when I know the chef/owner is a real piece of work. Perhaps I'm in the minority here. I go to Frontera/Topolobambo as many times as I can b/c Rick Bayless is not only a great chef, but he treats his employees well and his patrons well. And when you see him on the street walking to his restaurant, which I used to with frequency when I worked downtown, if you smiled at him and said hello he did the same. He did the same even if you DIDN'T make the effort.

                                                                                                                                                                Maybe I'm also showing my age, as I can't tolerate people who "expect" things b/c of how they were raised. I try to teach my kids to work for what they want, but to also follow life's rules even though there are some they won't/don't.

                                                                                                                                                                Just b/c Robin is a PITA, or talks too much or whatever, the actions of those chefs shows how immature they really are, something I cannot stand.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rocks67
                                                                                                                                                                  lynnlato Oct 16, 2009 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  "I still have a hard time patronizing a restaurant when I know the chef/owner is a real piece of work".

                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, just about every chef I know is a "real piece of work". It kind of comes with the territory. Granted, some are worse than others, but most seem to either have a big ego, a chip on their shoulder or both.

                                                                                                                                                                  Personally, I could care less if they are a**holes, so long as the food they prepare for me rocks.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                    soupkitten Oct 16, 2009 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    <<<
                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, just about every chef I know is a "real piece of work". It kind of comes with the territory. Granted, some are worse than others, but most seem to either have a big ego, a chip on their shoulder or both.
                                                                                                                                                                    >>>

                                                                                                                                                                    !!! aw, c'mon, Lynn. . . even on top chef, where you would expect to see all the a-holes with the egos show up in force, it seems like there are a lot of nice folks with redeeming human qualities. i can't imagine kevin being an a-hole, can you? sure, it seems like every season has its spike or eli, but i think they are exceptions not only as chefs go, but as human beings go. . .

                                                                                                                                                                    if 1 or 2 out of 17 top chef contestants are a-holes (and you *know* the elves make sure to include at least 1 semi-talented a-hole, fer drama), how does that make all chefs a-holes? and kevin, ash, ashley, ron. . . these seem like genuinely good people without any major sociopathic issues. . . a lot of the chefs i know aren't a-holes. they look after the folks who work for them and give generously (time and $$$) to charity and their communities. they choose to make their living by cooking for others and caring for other people's comfort. if they have "issues" it's usually a penchant for too much foie gras and wine, and a necessary-in-the-biz tendency toward workalholism. hey nobody's perfect LOL ;-P

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                      lynnlato Oct 17, 2009 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Soupkitten - I was only commenting on the ones I know. And I didn't say that ALL fit that description and I certainly didn't say the ones I know are a-holes. Big difference between a "big ego" and an "a-hole". There is, generally speaking, a lot of bravado and big egos in most kitchens. Hell, AB (a good example) eluded to this in his book Kitchen Confidential. A professional kitchen is not a place for the soft. :)

                                                                                                                                                                      But I most definitely did say that I don't care if they are an a-hole, so long as they feed me good food. :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                        soupkitten Oct 17, 2009 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        i know what you mean. & i like bourdain's KC, but it's a little schticky- hyper 80's NYC scenester. i just don't think that most kitchen crews are that tweaked-out. weird cast of characters, bizzare humor, misfits galore, yes! ;-P druggie macho freakshow, not so much. . .

                                                                                                                                                                        my point was that i think that even on the top chef show, the "nice" chefs far outnumber the a-holes--and i think that's the way it is in the real world too. i think the KC-style image is a little overplayed, reality is much more boring, i'm afraid.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                          lynnlato Oct 18, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          " weird cast of characters, bizzare humor, misfits galore"...

                                                                                                                                                                          That's what has always attracted me to the resto biz - the subculture. I like the freak show and I must say that I enjoy the drama that usually comes with it. Boring, soupkitten? Come on now... never that! =)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Oct 18, 2009 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, even colorful people can get boring, since their behavior tends to be repetitious. It gets old. Perhaps "tiresome" would be slightly more apt.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: sharonlouk
                                                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                                                  jenn Oct 16, 2009 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I am not sure that making it into a "cheap eats" list in Washingtonian mag counts for that much.
                                                                                                                                                                  2. Its a burger place. Now I like burgers but honestly, how much skill and talent does it really take to make a good burger? Its one thing to open a burger place AFTER you've opened a restaurant of substance [ala keller], its another to base your reputation on burgers. . ala mcdonalds.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jenn
                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                    sharonlouk Oct 16, 2009 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe, but many of us don't have the budget for the 100 Best Restaurants, and Cheap Eats is my go-to list. Most of my favorite restaurants in the area have come from that list. I personally haven't been there yet, but I'd probably go there before I'd go to Volt, only because I can afford it. If someone else wants to pay, I'd be happy to go to any "restaurant of substance," but to me, a good meal is a good meal. Maybe that means I'm not really a chowhound. :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sharonlouk
                                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                                      KTinNYC Oct 16, 2009 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      It means you're a real chowhound. As per the manifesto, "Chowhounds know where the good stuff is, and they never settle for less than optimal deliciousness, whether dining in splendor or grabbing a quick slice."

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                                                          i
                                                                                                                                                          Indy 67 Oct 15, 2009 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry. I disagree with the phrase "doing something nice." The scarf tribute was very much a double message. Yes, the remaining chefs were expressing friendship with Mattin, but they were simultaneously expressing outrage over Robin's having survived the cut. That was evident in the way Mike passed out scarves to everyone EXCEPT Robin. No one in the group prompted Mike to give Robin a scarf when he omitted her. Robin had to ask Mike for a scarf.

                                                                                                                                                          If Robin wears a scarf like everyone else, she's sending the same message as everyone else. I actually admire Robin for transforming an intended insult into a personal statement. The group has already isolated her, why pretend otherwise by wearing the scarf the way everyone else is wearing it?

                                                                                                                                                          Incidentally, this point was well-discussed in the thread immediately after the episode.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                                                            momjamin Oct 15, 2009 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                            IIRC, she didn't wrap it around her arm, she tucked it into the pocket on her shoulder. I think I've seen her tucking other things there, so it may just be her favorite spot.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: QSheba
                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                  mojoeater Oct 14, 2009 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Calling Robin "grandma" is ridiculous. It seems that the other contestants are just ganging up on her since she is older and thus an easy target. Now if she can't cook, fine. But why be rude?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 07:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                    agreed, there's no need to be nasty, though i can't imagine i'd be too tolerant of her by now if they're airing an accurate portrayal of her incessant chattering. it's really irritating.

                                                                                                                                                    unfortunately, she apparently can't cook either, so no one's going to jump to her defense there...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                      y
                                                                                                                                                      youngho Oct 14, 2009 08:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Has anything besides her cancer dish been in or near the top of any single challenge? The poll results were interesting, as were the reactions of the other cheftestants (besides Eli and Mike I) who were standing or sitting near her in the house kitchen. Also Michael V's comment about her in the interview on the Bravo website.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: youngho
                                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 09:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                        no, she's a pretty consistent bottom finisher. she, Laurine & Eli need to go.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                          e
                                                                                                                                                          Ericandblueboy Oct 14, 2009 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I think the people who need to go are in this order: Robin, Laurine, Mike I, then Eli. You can switch up Mike I and Eli, it doesn't matter. I'm not in that house so I can't defend either Robin or the people who bash her. My observation is that everyone in that house dislikes her, including Kevin.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                            Lizard Oct 15, 2009 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Honestly, I'm not sure how invested I am in the order of the mid-level chaff to be knifed before we hit the top four of the V brothers, Kevin, and Jen.

                                                                                                                                                            At this point, aren't we pretty clear who is not Top Chef material? (By which I only mean Top Chef (tm) as without tasting and addressing contributions beyond a game show environment, I've little to add.) I think that once we lost Ashley, it was pretty much a statement that we were in that middle period in which we begin to lose the talented. (I really had been backing Ashley as the dark horse in what has been, from almost the beginning, a staggeringly obvious outcome.)

                                                                                                                                                            I'm not a fan of Robin, who pretty much painted a target on herself from the beginning when she kept immunity in the first episode. Indeed, she is probably annoying to many as one of the not so talented who is managing to hold on during this midzone. However, that doesn't make me a fan of the treatment she is receiving in the house. That just makes me sad and uncomfortable.

                                                                                                                                                            I hate weighing in when I can't taste what people make, and need to rely on those pornographic images and descriptions instead. Even so, there are those dishes that I start to think I would be so happy to taste.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                                              jbw Oct 15, 2009 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Wouldn't it have been nice if they had just said to all three of them, "Please all of you pack your knives and go so we can cut to the chase now and get to the real competition." I don't think the difference between TC-material and the also-rans has ever been so stark as in this season, and altho one of the top four might lose his/her place to Mike or Eli (these guys, both limited cooks IMO, clearly know how to play the game and their enormous egos/self-confidence provide them with a good deal of momentum--a strong ego can be a strength in these competitions, as Ash learned to his detriment), none of the 3 who were at JT table last nite will hang around until the end nor would any of the chefs that proceeded them, not in this competition, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jbw
                                                                                                                                                                Ruth Lafler Oct 15, 2009 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I think that there's a bigger distinction in both directions: I don't remember having four chefs as talented as these four are in any Top Chef group, and the middle group is weaker than it has been in some of the previous seasons.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                  Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I thought about that point. Are they that much weaker or do they seem that much weaker in comparison? I think that they ended up keeping some of the weaker ones: Laurine, Robyn, Ash for example. But as much as I dislike Mike I's personality, he is pretty good, as it Eli. They just look like amateurs as compared to the top four.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                    q
                                                                                                                                                                    queencru Oct 15, 2009 05:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Mike I always cooks food from his own restaurant when he does relatively well. When he has to go outside of his comfort zone, he tends to be on the bottom. I don't think Eli seems to be that great either. I really do think the top 4 are so much better than the others.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: queencru
                                                                                                                                                                      e
                                                                                                                                                                      Ericandblueboy Oct 15, 2009 09:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      The top 4 are very consistent. They're rarely out of the top and even more rarely in the bottom. In contrast, the others are all over the place. IIRC, only Mike V of the top 4 has been in the bottom in a elimination!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                                                lynnlato Oct 16, 2009 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps next season they should have a Top Chef fan judge - and they can have people vie for the seat. I know I would love to actually taste the food the cheftestants prepare and it would be so interesting to gleen some food knowledge from TC and have the food as a point of reference.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: youngho
                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                            Jwsel Oct 14, 2009 09:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Nope, but that is still more than Laurine and Ash. Robin was actually in the bottom fewer times than Ash, who was in the bottom four times, never in the top, and never had a QF win. .Eli has been in the top group twice, but tonight's QF was his first win, Laurine has been in the top twice, but one of those was the team challenge with Bryan.

                                                                                                                                                            I'm not sure I have a strong sense of Robin's cooking skills. The others may hate her and denigrate her cooking, but is her food really that bad? The judges seemed divided over her dish tonight. I got the impression that one judge really liked the flavors and cooking, but did not think there was enough pork. Another judge disliked the texture of her sauce. I don't get the sense that the dish was a complete miss.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                          melly Oct 15, 2009 12:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                          she just talks waaaaay too much.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: melly
                                                                                                                                                            Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 05:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, that's my take on it. Maybe I am just becoming more taciturn as I get older, but things that needs to be said needs to be said, while things that don't need to be said need to be left unsaid. She prattles on about nothing. She may need to get a job with Seinfeld.

                                                                                                                                                            I think a big part of this is because she is old enough to be mother to some of them, they take her verbosity to be nagging.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Oct 15, 2009 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I'm also really curious as to why we haven't seen any of them just ask Robin to stop talking to no one in particular. Yes, it's being confrontational on their part if they did so, but it might also cease the ending talking from Robin.

                                                                                                                                                              But then again, it might not. :-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                q
                                                                                                                                                                queencru Oct 15, 2009 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Most of the contestants left are not that much older than Robin. Mike I's in his mid-30s and Robin is 43. I believe Laurine is 38 and everyone else still left except Eli and Kevin are all in their early 30s. The age difference isn't that extreme and the insults really have nothing to do with her incessant chatter.

                                                                                                                                                                I agree that people just need to take Robin aside and say "Hey, I know you may think this behavior is quirky, but it's really driving a lot of us mad and contributing to a lot of tension in the house." Sometimes you have to be direct/confrontational instead of taking the passive-aggressive route. I wouldn't be surprised if Eli doesn't have any roommate experience, but the other cheftestants should.

                                                                                                                                                        3. goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 07:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                          WTF is up with Toby bringing up hairy armpits at JT?!?! he's just ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, I added to my post above about that - that SERIOUSLY didn't need to be said! Interesting look between Padma and Charlie almost as if they were thinking "did he *really* just compare someone's food to an earthy, hairy armpit?" Ugh. Please, please, please - Magical Elves - get RID of Toby and bring on Jay Rayner!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                              g
                                                                                                                                                              gyc Oct 14, 2009 08:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                              In Toby's defense, he wasn't comparing Jennifer's food to armpits. He was likening European pinot to hairy armpits and American pinot to smooth armpits.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gyc
                                                                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                                                                momjamin Oct 14, 2009 09:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Sorry Toby, the armpit analogy just doesn't live up to the standard set by Jay Raynor's jiggly breast analogy.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gyc
                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  he still had no business bringing up armpits unless he was describing the flavor or bouquet of the wine...and he wasn't.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                    PorkButt Oct 14, 2009 11:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    He was referring to the wine. Have you had a premier cru Bourgogne that had the funk of a barnyard and sweat? I haven't had a California or Oregon Pinot Noir that comes close.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PorkButt
                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                      AMFM Oct 15, 2009 12:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      i actually thought the armpit line was hilarious.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PorkButt
                                                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Oct 15, 2009 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        that's the issue - i don't think he *was* talking about the wine. from the way it was edited, it appeared to me that he was talking about the dish (Robin's, i believe?) i got the feeling that he was trying to "show off" by talking about the food in terms that one would normally reserve for wine, but it just didn't work. had he been describing the pinot i would have been OK with it. sweaty gym socks, cat pee, armpits, whatever...all fine when discussing wine. but i'm 99% sure his comment was food-related. i'll have to watch it again to be sure. and if it turns out i'm wrong, then i'll be happy to retract my comment!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler Oct 15, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Nope. When they showed the clip in the "upcomings" it wasn't clear what he was referring to, but when they showed it on context it was clearly about the wine (making the distinction between a French Pinot and an American one), and it wasn't even uncomplimentary, since French Pinots are *supposed* to have those funky notes. I believe, IIRC, that it was in reference to Jen's top-4 dish, so clearly *not* a diss. It wasn't Robin's -- Robin had a rather fruity (New World, I assume) Pinot. Laurine was the other chef that they clearly noted had a French Pinot.

                                                                                                                                                                          All that said, I loved the way Tom buried his head in his arms and the look on Padma's face!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                                            lizzy Oct 15, 2009 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, Tom laughing at Toby during the armpit comment and then his face during the second JT comment, which is escaping me at the moment, was my favorite part of the episode. I couldn't help but think, since Tom is an executive producer couldn't he put an end to this Toby mess? Bring in Jay Raynor or even better, bring back Ted Allen.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lizzy
                                                                                                                                                                              Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              With the caveat that we get the Ted Allen from Queer Eyes and not the Ted Allen from the pseudo food knowledge show or Chopped.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                lizzy Oct 15, 2009 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I could agree to that, as long as the Queer Eye Ted Allen is the same one that has been on TC in previous seasons.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Oct 15, 2009 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            OK, clearly i *must* stop trying to multi-task while watching TC! i just re-watched the scene, and you guys are correct. he was talking about the barnyard notes in Jennifer's wine. mea culpa :)

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                    Jwsel Oct 14, 2009 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I didn't mind the comment in context. He wasn't even saying the wine tasted like hairy armpits. He was saying the wine had a funkiness that made it obviously French. He analogized to hairy armpits as something that tells you are in Europe.

                                                                                                                                                                    I thought it was pretty funny, and got his point.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jwsel
                                                                                                                                                                      Joanie Oct 15, 2009 03:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I thought it was pretty funny too and got a kick out of Tom's reaction. I don't mind Toby at all, not sure why he's so hated.

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm also not sure why Robin is getting treated so badly. Yeah her chatter is annoying but to get treated so rudely by everyone is just wrong. Did one of the brothers rag on her too or was he defending her? I didn't catch his comment when the others were ganging up on her in the living room. I was really hoping her dish would be good but alas. I was surprised the poll was so in favor of Eli who I didn't mind until this episode. So rude, livingn at home, mooching off his parents, and why did his mother ask if he wanted to come home? It came out of nowhere as far as I could tell. And what does she do that's so passive agressive? They're gonna make me a fan of hers just cuz she's so outnumbered by snippy little twits (and robotic chefs).

                                                                                                                                                                      And lastly, I agree with goodhealthgourmet about having a chef as a guest judge who's worked so closely with two contestants. He probably picked Kevin just to show his impartiality. Like there aren't a million other people they could have as a guest judge?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                                                        kmcarr Oct 16, 2009 05:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I loved how in the little "episode extras" clip which Bravo sticks into one of the commercial breaks the V brothers were teasing Eli that he was actually flirting with Robin. One asked if he got to second base. It really ticked Eli off, and made me laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                        As to why their ganging up on Robin; the setup of the show, isolation for the outside world, forced to live on top of one and other 24 hours a day, is designed to induce stress. It's a little Lord of the Flies and unfortunately they've chosen Robin to be their Piggy.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kmcarr
                                                                                                                                                                          dave_c Oct 16, 2009 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Those "extra clips" are very nice. It's a lot better than the "how to cook with dr. pepper" fillers from last season.

                                                                                                                                                                          The isolation shows what type of person they really are... I bet Mike I and Eli are the best smoozers and will treat you like their bestest friend, but these are the type that will talk smack about you behind your back. It's very man-child. Physically they are men, but mentally still children. For example, Eli is still a momma's boy.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                      melly Oct 14, 2009 11:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I got what he was saying...I thought it was great!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                                                        Buckethead Oct 15, 2009 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I loved the look on Tom's face while Toby was off on that tangent..

                                                                                                                                                                      2. q
                                                                                                                                                                        QSheba Oct 14, 2009 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Michael V., Kevin, Bryan, and Jennifer- Top 4 Again! And the winner is... Kevin! The prize is 2010 Pigs and Pinot Guest Chef!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. j
                                                                                                                                                                          jeanmarieok Oct 14, 2009 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I just knew it would be the same 4. And I thought the quick fire was not very interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                          Kevin was just so cute about his prize!

                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                                                                            susancinsf Oct 14, 2009 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            tears in his eyes and everything!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              so i *didn't* imagine that! he's such a teddy bear.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                              sharonlouk Oct 15, 2009 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I just love that mensch. I actually shouted out when he won. I also love how he seems to be staying out of the hatefest aimed at Robin.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sharonlouk
                                                                                                                                                                                Ima Wurdibitsch Oct 16, 2009 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                He's a class act.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              so cranky that Eli landed in the top 3 for the QF. and his attitude is making me want to slap him.

                                                                                                                                                                              ok, i have another food/technique/ingredient to add to the list of things they should ban along with ceviche & scallops...AIR. or foam. or froth. or anything else that resembles saliva from a rabid dog. enough already!

                                                                                                                                                                              BTW, how is it that Charlie Palmer is judging when he's got solid history with TWO of the chefs?

                                                                                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Oct 14, 2009 07:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Re: Eli - in the phone survey, I'd pick Eli's immaturity as more annoying than Robin's passive-aggressiveness. (He's 25 and lives at home and doesn't pay rent? Yikes.)

                                                                                                                                                                                And can I just say I'm LOVING this challenge with pairing a single main item with wine? Love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                And it's Michael, Brian, Kevin and Jennifer as the top dishes! The top 4 who should be the last ones standing!

                                                                                                                                                                                And WTF is Toby comparing Jennifer's dish to a hairy armpit vs. a shaved armpit? This guy is beyond the pale!

                                                                                                                                                                                And the winner is...Kevin again! And he gets to be a guest chef in the 2010 Pigs and Pinot! VERY cool win! He eats with the French chefs, and cooks at Palmer's charity event? He's cleaning up!

                                                                                                                                                                                Bottom group is Ash, Laurene and Robin. Kinda figured. Oh, give me a break - Mike I. or someone (Eli?) says "I hope Grandma goes." Please, they are even more childish than anyone could have imagined!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  agreed. did you hear his father ask him if he wanted to come home?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                                                                    melly Oct 14, 2009 11:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I hope that was his mom...very soft feminine voice.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: melly
                                                                                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Oct 15, 2009 06:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      i thought his mom answered & then his dad got on the phone after. oops :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                                                    bella_sarda Oct 16, 2009 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Toby wasn't comparing Jennifer's dish to hairy vs. shaved armpit: he was saying that French pinots are like the hairy armpits to America's shaved-armpit Pinots. Meaning the French ones have funkier flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bella_sarda
                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Oct 16, 2009 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I got that - I misheard when the show was on, but got it after reading many other comments here to the same fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                    HabaneroJane Oct 15, 2009 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    agreed. i love how he gave the disclaimer that even though he's worked with both brothers he will be fair and impartial. a little too close for comfort. maybe next week they can have Eric Ripert judge Jennifer.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                                                                                      dmd_kc Oct 15, 2009 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Froth...saliva. TOO FUNNY.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I was bothered by Palmer's judging too, considering his past involvement with the brothers V. For overcompensation's sake, I'm sure everyone realized neither of them could actually win.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dmd_kc
                                                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                                                        AMFM Oct 15, 2009 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        i think bryan actually commented on realizing that his dish would have to be beyond spectacular to win just for that reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                        lizzy Oct 15, 2009 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you on Eli's attitude, and in the beginning I kind of liked him. I don't particularly care for Robin. Since everyone is being so mean to her, I find myself rooting for her and against them. I understand some of this is just social dynamics, there has to be someone to ostracize and blame. However some of them, I'm looking at you Eli and Mike I, are taking it to a new level.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I do have to disagree with you on Charlie Palmer. Tom has said in interviews that he has had a hand in the casting by calling up chefs he knows and asking for recommendations. I don't think any of those cheftestants received any preferential treatment. Also, since Bryan worked for him for ten years I would think Palmer would judge him harder because he might have a high level of expectation.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lizzy
                                                                                                                                                                                          Phaedrus Oct 15, 2009 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I found it interesting that he gave Bryan some grief about taking the easy way out with the beef that he prepared in the QF. he alsomade some comment about using the onion flavored chips, but he didn't do that with any of the others who used the onion flavored chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                                                            lizzy Oct 15, 2009 02:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I noticed that as well about the onion chips. I also noticed that the very thing Mike V said CP didn't like about his food was the very thing Palmer complimented him on at JT.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: lizzy
                                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Oct 15, 2009 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Eric Ripert declined to participate this season because he believed it wouldn't be ethical since Jen works for him...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                              Divamac Oct 15, 2009 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              He is the classiest man in the food business. *sigh!*

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                HabaneroJane Oct 15, 2009 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                i wonder if they told Charlie Palmer about Ripert declining because of conflict of interest...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HabaneroJane
                                                                                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ericandblueboy Oct 15, 2009 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  No one works for CP now. CP has nothing to gain by being biased.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                                                                  lizzy Oct 15, 2009 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did not know that, thanks for the info. I do think the two situations are a little bit different, Jen currently works for Ripert while the brothers are both former Palmer employees. I can see your point. I just think that to keep the quality of the cheftestants high it would be difficult to eliminate anyone who might have worked with a great chef that might be a guest judge. The opposite would also be true, forgoing a guest judge who has employed a cheftestant at some point.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Show Hidden Posts