HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >

Top Chef - Las Vegas - Finale Part 1 - 12/02/09 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:12 PM

So - break time is over - they're off to Napa Valley! Kevin's got a Facebook page dedicated to people supporting his beard? LOL And Padma's pregnancy is acknowledged (her baby bump is definitely there!). And love her longer, straight hair!

Michael Chiarello is the guest judge. Last QF is? Creating a dish using Napa Valley's signature crop - the grape. And they're cooking on the wine train...(and great - Kevin gets motion sickness very easily - THAT doesn't work well with cooking! LOL) Last high stakes QF - the winner gets a new Prius. Thirty minutes for the Quickfire.

Oh my - Kevin's dessert dish looked wonderful! Chiarello was very appreciative of Jen's dish...and the winner is? Mike V. is the winner! He gets the car. Now what's the general rule - s/he who wins the car gets voted off in the Final Elimination? ;-) (will have to check Wikipedia on that one!)

And I think we already know they're doing another catering job for the Final Elimination. Two dishes for 150 people - one must be vegetarian; one must use a local protein. Shopping at a local farmer's market. Will be interesting to see who pulls it off.

ETA: Ahhh, had forgotten - TC5 had a car going to the Elimination Challenge winner, NOT the Quickfire winner. Carla won that season. (and she didn't win)

TC4 - Richard won the EC Challenge winner car. (and he didn't win)

TC3, TC2, and TC1 - no car was won.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. chris2269 RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:19 PM

    I think its lame to have a catering competion this late in the game.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chris2269
      LindaWhit RE: chris2269 Dec 2, 2009 06:32 PM

      They've been doing catering for the EC since TC3.

      1. re: LindaWhit
        chris2269 RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:55 PM

        Point taken . still don't have to like it. At this point in the competition I want the person going home to be the less talented chef, catering comps. have more to do about trying to do a huge job under unrealistic time constraints. That being said all did well and I think it won't be a BS factor about who is eliminated.

      2. re: chris2269
        m
        MartinDC RE: chris2269 Dec 3, 2009 12:24 PM

        I now this is off-topic, but I was surprised to see them drinking wine from plastic cups. Also, they ate off plastic with plastic forks. Does that strike anyone as odd for a nice catered affair?

        1. re: MartinDC
          edible complex RE: MartinDC Dec 4, 2009 04:49 AM

          and not environmentally friendly (unless they recycled?), considering the sustainability theme of this episode.

      3. k
        karenfinan RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:28 PM

        I am totally scared that Jen is getting so much camera time because she is going home...she is my fave and I want her to make it into the finals...

        2 Replies
        1. re: karenfinan
          s
          StheJ RE: karenfinan Dec 2, 2009 06:35 PM

          I think that she's in... Her and Kevin. One of the brothers will be out.

          1. re: karenfinan
            LindaWhit RE: karenfinan Dec 2, 2009 06:35 PM

            Sounds like the judges liked both Kevin and Jen's dishes the most. At least I hope so!

            And can I just smack Michael V. now for saying "I think some people played it safer"? Yeah, I wonder who you meant by THAT! I do hope Kevin wins to prove to Michael that simple can be better.

            Hmmmm...the brief showing of the Stew Room sounds like the judges are ripping into all of them!

          2. elfcook RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:34 PM

            Kevin's looked beautiful, hate to hear the meat was "ropy".

            And what is up with Padma? Looks a tad dark for a day at the vinyard, reminds me of Abby from NCIS . . . lol.

            8 Replies
            1. re: elfcook
              s
              StheJ RE: elfcook Dec 2, 2009 06:36 PM

              It's braised short ribs... I mean it's supposed to be ropy!

              1. re: StheJ
                elfcook RE: StheJ Dec 2, 2009 06:40 PM

                hey, I'd love to try it. It really appealed to me, and I am not usually one to go for ribs at all. Most of his food appeals to me, even the vegetarian stuff does not seem to just be sides or missing a component, as some veggie things do.
                Can you guess who I am pulling for?

                1. re: elfcook
                  LindaWhit RE: elfcook Dec 2, 2009 06:42 PM

                  I'm the same way, elfcook - Kevin's food has almost always been the one I'd choose if they were all put in front of me.

                  And he got very good reviews - and I *loved* hearing Tom Colicchio say that perhaps Kevin's competitors think his dishes are too simple, but sometimes simplicity is better. Very sly, Tom. You knew it was a not-so-subtle dig at Michael...interesting quick shot of Michael when Tom was saying that. :-)

                2. re: StheJ
                  m
                  momjamin RE: StheJ Dec 2, 2009 06:44 PM

                  I thought it was brisket?

                  1. re: momjamin
                    elfcook RE: momjamin Dec 2, 2009 06:46 PM

                    oops, you are right. one of the V boys did ribs (Bryan? still can't tell them apart)

                    1. re: elfcook
                      m
                      momjamin RE: elfcook Dec 2, 2009 06:47 PM

                      Well, maybe one of them will go home and it won't be a problem next week ;-)

                  2. re: StheJ
                    s
                    StheJ RE: StheJ Dec 2, 2009 06:52 PM

                    Oops... It was brisket.

                  3. re: elfcook
                    n
                    niccole RE: elfcook Dec 3, 2009 08:19 AM

                    Abby from NCIS can pull it off though....I thought Padma looked ridiculous!

                  4. m
                    mjhals RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:48 PM

                    I think chef Chiarello likes Jen! He's answering the questions for her! Kind of cute, kind of creepy, I can't decide.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mjhals
                      elfcook RE: mjhals Dec 2, 2009 06:50 PM

                      yes, the whole thing about how he has problems with the flake salt too! seemed like he was sticking up for her.

                    2. s
                      StheJ RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:50 PM

                      Opinions on Tom's soul patch? Yes or no?

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: StheJ
                        m
                        momjamin RE: StheJ Dec 2, 2009 06:51 PM

                        I'm not seeing a "Fans of Tom Colicchio's Soul Patch" on FB ;-)

                        1. re: momjamin
                          LindaWhit RE: momjamin Dec 2, 2009 07:03 PM

                          LOL! But hasn't Tom had the soul patch for awhile? Maybe it's just a bit more pronounced.

                          1. re: LindaWhit
                            binkychow RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 06:39 AM

                            Isn't also called a flavor saver?

                            1. re: binkychow
                              i
                              isadorasmama RE: binkychow Dec 3, 2009 05:54 PM

                              oh my!

                        2. re: StheJ
                          elfcook RE: StheJ Dec 2, 2009 06:55 PM

                          um, NO!

                          1. re: StheJ
                            NellyNel RE: StheJ Dec 3, 2009 05:44 AM

                            Sorry - what is Tom's "soul patch"???!

                            1. re: NellyNel
                              LindaWhit RE: NellyNel Dec 3, 2009 05:53 AM

                              The little smidge of chinny-chin-chin hair. :-)

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 05:57 AM

                                LOL!

                                I thought Tom was looking mighty good in this episode! mmm

                          2. k
                            karenfinan RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:51 PM

                            ok, now I think it is Michael who is going home,,,I hope, because I like him the least

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: karenfinan
                              LindaWhit RE: karenfinan Dec 2, 2009 06:52 PM

                              Yeah, they had issues with both of his dishes, didn't they? I really would love to see Jen, Kevin and Bryan in the finale.

                              1. re: karenfinan
                                m
                                momjamin RE: karenfinan Dec 2, 2009 06:53 PM

                                Sounds like Bryan wins, Michael goes, but those darn editors...

                              2. m
                                mjhals RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:52 PM

                                LOVE Kevin's coping to using "toothsome" to mean tough so the judges can't argue with him. Although they did. Very funny.

                                1. LindaWhit RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:55 PM

                                  WOW! Bryan wins the final EC! I didn't see that coming! Congrats to him - that's one out of my top 3!

                                  And who's going home? Rut-roh. Please don't say Jen is going home?

                                  DAMMIT! Jen's out! :-(

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                    s
                                    StheJ RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:57 PM

                                    Me neither... Except the bit about him locating his restaurant for the local ingredients.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                      d
                                      dmd_kc RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 09:11 PM

                                      I'm so sad. I love, love, love her. However, I knew very early on when they included her comment about one extra grain of salt being enough to kick you out that it was all over for her.

                                      Oh well. It's just a game. I identify with her so closely because I'm the same kind of relentless self-doubting perfectionist she is. I'm sure I'd stink out loud at this sort of competition (as if I'd come anywhere near meriting it).

                                      1. re: dmd_kc
                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: dmd_kc Dec 2, 2009 10:11 PM

                                        ditto to all your comments, dmd...about Jen *and* myself :)

                                        though i must confess that as much as i love her, Jen was lucky to even be in the final 4. she dodged some pretty big bullets a few weeks ago.

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                          d
                                          dmd_kc RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 2, 2009 10:18 PM

                                          I have a hard time separating my feelings from my rational thoughts in these matters -- but yeah, you're right. I honestly think she's probably the best technical chef among this field, but perhaps the competition part wasn't her strongest suit.

                                          Still, there's no question I'd choose her and Kevin's food first from anyone, and that's not a knock against any of these fine contenders. And I also adore her personality. It's just so subjective that I can't put it into coherent words.

                                          Michael's arrogance annoys me, but he's clearly good at what he does, if too trendy and self-assured. I believe that his alliance to technological fillips will be his undoing, though.

                                          1. re: dmd_kc
                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: dmd_kc Dec 2, 2009 10:41 PM

                                            once again we're in agreement on all fronts. i've been conflicted all along about Michael, because while his attitude/immaturity occasionally makes me want to slap him, he's clearly incredibly talented - i suspect even more so than his brother.

                                            plus, if we're being honest here, i've always had a thing for bad boys ;)

                                            1. re: dmd_kc
                                              chicgail RE: dmd_kc Dec 3, 2009 02:59 AM

                                              What was the comment between MIchael and Bryan about "is this the sabotage?" it had to do with a bowl of sugar and I'm embarrassed to say that I'm still not sure which one is which if they're not identified. But the exchange and a comment Michael made just before it sounded like he would throw his brother under if the bus if he had to to win.

                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                LindaWhit RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 03:13 AM

                                                I think it was Michael telling Bryan that the bowl held sugar, pointed out several times. And Bryan's comment was "this wouldn't be sabotage, would it?" Michael didn't seem to hear it and said "What?" and Bryan laughed it off and said "nothing!" So yes, Michael would do anything to win.

                                                I really want Kevin to win - he deserves it!

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  cowboyardee RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 03:47 AM

                                                  Michael was making a joke. Bryan laughed it off because... it was a joke.

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                    LindaWhit RE: cowboyardee Dec 3, 2009 04:45 AM

                                                    I'm not sure if it was Michael making the joke. I thought it was Bryan asking Michael if it was sabotage and doing the laughing. I'd have to re-watch to see.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                      Divamac RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 08:11 PM

                                                      I recall Bryan laughing...that, um, goat-laugh of his.

                                                      1. re: Divamac
                                                        LindaWhit RE: Divamac Dec 4, 2009 04:39 AM

                                                        ROFL! OK, then it sounds like Bryan making the joke and laughing. ;-)

                                      2. q
                                        QSheba RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:57 PM

                                        Jennifer was eliminated?!?!? NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! :(

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: QSheba
                                          k
                                          karenfinan RE: QSheba Dec 2, 2009 07:00 PM

                                          agree, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! this makes me sad, she was totally my fave

                                        2. elfcook RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:58 PM

                                          did they really want to keep the brothers for the added "drama" in the finale?

                                          94 Replies
                                          1. re: elfcook
                                            LindaWhit RE: elfcook Dec 2, 2009 07:00 PM

                                            I hope not. And in the previews for next week, Padma looks like she's looking straight ahead when she says "You are Top Chef" - but WHO was standing in the middle of the three guys?

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 10:12 PM

                                              Bryan was in the middle. i was trying to decide if she was looking at him or Kevin - it's definitely not Michael.

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                m
                                                momjamin RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2009 05:23 AM

                                                Just because Padma was looking straight ahead, and just because Bryan was in the middle, does not mean the 3 were centered in front of Padma's seat.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                  LindaWhit RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2009 05:59 AM

                                                  And I'm reading a comment at Team Top Chef's blog that someone thinks that Padma is looking just left of center - which mean Bryan or Michael, as that person said Kevin's standing right of center:

                                                  "You can tell from the previews of next week that Padma is looking slightly left of center when she says "you're Top Chef". Unoftunately, Kevin is decidedly on her *right*. It looks as though she is looking at Bryan, though it *could* be Michael..."

                                                  Unless......those darned Elves gave us a different line-up in the previews - do the cheftestants stand in the same place when they go to JT both while getting criticism and discussing their dishes and THEN when they find out who wins/goes home?

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                    m
                                                    momjamin RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                    OK, I don't put a lot of stock into watching the eyes, so this is in an attempt to undermine all the guesses ;-) I watched the preview teaser at bravotv, and *Michael* is in the middle, and it looks like all of them are to her left -- like she's to Tom's right at the far right of the table.

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

                                                    1. re: momjamin
                                                      LindaWhit RE: momjamin Dec 3, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                      That's definitely a different preview than they showed last night. Last night, Padma was being shown from *her* right, and she seemed to be looking slightly left. And I swear that Bryan was in middle in what we saw on TV last night. Would have to rewatch it to confirm - but your link is showing her from her left. So I wonder if they did show us a line-up on TV last night from earlier in the night?

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                        m
                                                        momjamin RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                        I wondered that -- they line up in front of JT twice, after all -- to talk about their dishes, and then to get the verdict.

                                                        1. re: momjamin
                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: momjamin Dec 3, 2009 09:12 AM

                                                          bingo. totally didn't think about that. now there's *really* no point in trying to figure out who she's looking at!

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                            LindaWhit RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2009 09:20 AM

                                                            Oh yes there is! What else will we talk about until next Wednesday night? <vbg>

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                              d
                                                              dmd_kc RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                              Ha ha, exactly.

                                                              It wouldn't be at all unusual for them to film her delivering the final line in several takes. We know some of what the Elves do is re-enacted. Heck, on Project Runway this past season, they had to superimpose the designers' speeches on the runway in post-production, because NONE of them actually appeared on stage because the season was running so late.

                                                              So, yes, there's major post-production done often. No way to interpret where we think we see her looking.

                                                              1. re: dmd_kc
                                                                LindaWhit RE: dmd_kc Dec 3, 2009 10:04 AM

                                                                You know what? I had that EXACT same thought after I posted earlier - I wonder if they are now doing that on purpose (filming Padma saying that from several different angles) to try and throw us detectives off the scent. ;-)

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 10:07 AM

                                                                  I vaugely remember that happened - was it last year?
                                                                  The previews had Padma looking one way but then - it wasnt that way at all..
                                                                  Am I imagining that?

                                                                  1. re: NellyNel
                                                                    LindaWhit RE: NellyNel Dec 3, 2009 10:19 AM

                                                                    I don't think you're imagining it, Nelly. I think I recall some discussion about it last season as well.

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                                      Thanks..
                                                                      Good to know I am not entirely crazy!!

                                                                      1. re: NellyNel
                                                                        LindaWhit RE: NellyNel Dec 3, 2009 10:38 AM

                                                                        No, there are a lot of us right there with ya, Nelly. ;-)

                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                      jgg13 RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                      I've tried to play this game before and it never seems to work

                                                      1. re: jgg13
                                                        LindaWhit RE: jgg13 Dec 4, 2009 11:33 AM

                                                        Yeah, especially when Bravo goes and changes the video on their website to show a different view. :-)

                                                2. re: elfcook
                                                  Axalady RE: elfcook Dec 2, 2009 07:39 PM

                                                  Elfcook, yes. There is no other explanation. They knocked both of Michael's dishes. He was criticized for not serving cleaner eggs, for the veggies being cut too small, and the egg overwhelming the dish. They complained the second dish was a bitter soup. The egg dish itself should have gotten him kicked out. It was nothing but sloppy cooking.

                                                  Their only complaint about Jennifer's dish was saltiness of the first one. They all loved the "duckiness" of the duck (especially Tom) at the vineyard. Seems to me that the fact that the fire burned out and the duck wasn't grilled had absolutely no bearing on the outcome. If anything she was able to regroup and put together a good dish. Michael should have gone this time. Well, it'll be great to see Kevin kick Michael's ass, hmm, maybe that's why they've kept him....

                                                  1. re: Axalady
                                                    cowboyardee RE: Axalady Dec 2, 2009 08:26 PM

                                                    I don't think you can evaluate dishes by adding up negative comments and seeing who has more.

                                                    Even given unbiased editing (which we're NOT), not all negative criticism is equal. The judges SEEMED to love both of their meat courses (only Gail seemed to have any significant issues with Michael's soup). And while Michael had numerous criticisms made of his egg dish, Jennifer's dish was universally proclaimed too salty. A dish that is much oversalted can be inedible (to be fair, Jennifer's dish probably wasn't that oversalted - that's beside the point). You can make any number of small criticisms of Michael's dish, but if none of them are as egregious as a competitor's one critical error, those many criticisms don't translate to a losing dish.

                                                    "There's no other explanation"? How bout that Michael's dish was better. Not possible? You're wishful thinking.

                                                    I did not see anything in this episode to give the conspiracy theorists any fodder.

                                                    1. re: Axalady
                                                      chicgail RE: Axalady Dec 3, 2009 03:01 AM

                                                      I find it annoying that editing leads to one conclusion (Michael would be going) and then something totally different happens.

                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                        b
                                                        bella_sarda RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 05:36 AM

                                                        Well, after I heard judges' table, I was pretty sure that Jen was the one they were going to boot. So I didn't feel it was a switcheroo at all.

                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                          j
                                                          jcattles RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 07:33 AM

                                                          Yes but isn't that the point of reality tv...to keep you guessing? Just like in a good book, you think you know what's going to happen and BAM they pull the rug out from underneath you with a surprise twist.

                                                          1. re: jcattles
                                                            b
                                                            bella_sarda RE: jcattles Dec 3, 2009 10:53 AM

                                                            Well, call me naive but I'd like to think they don't deliberately try to mislead. I *do* think they try to keep the audience guessing, because otherwise we wouldn't wait through the next gazillionth commercial break for the reveal. Still, I thought that it was possible to discern from the sum of the comments (not just *at* judges' table but prior to that) that Jennifer was the weak link in this challenge, and that was my guess before they revealed it. So I didn't feel any sense of switcheroo. Really it was Michael's turnip/pear/foie dish that kept him on. Gail was the only one who really found fault with it---otherwise it seemed like a brilliant dish to me and to them, while Jen's dishes seemed a bit less stellar (if still admirable) both in concept and execution.

                                                            BTW--did anyone else catch Michael Chiarello saying that he'd never before had goat cheese paired with basil? Why was that so shocking? I've had it a bazillion times.

                                                            1. re: bella_sarda
                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: bella_sarda Dec 3, 2009 02:13 PM

                                                              "BTW--did anyone else catch Michael Chiarello saying that he'd never before had goat cheese paired with basil? Why was that so shocking? I've had it a bazillion times."
                                                              ~~~~~
                                                              i had forgotten about that - what a bizarre comment!

                                                              out of curiosity i did a quick Google search, and came up with a Chiarello recipe in which he suggests basil as one of the herbs in a salad to accompany baked goat cheese...
                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mi...

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                ChefJune RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2009 02:30 PM

                                                                ...doesn't mean he ate it, tho, does it? ;-O

                                                                1. re: ChefJune
                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: ChefJune Dec 3, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                  touche :)

                                                                  though it almost sounded as though he had never even *considered* or heard of the combination. it was just weird.

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                    a
                                                                    AMFM RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                                    yeah. i heard it to and was shocked as well. i mean you can by the chavrie stuff with basil in it.

                                                                    1. re: AMFM
                                                                      Phaedrus RE: AMFM Dec 4, 2009 05:28 AM

                                                                      Could it be that he was being disingenuous?

                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                  d
                                                                  DGresh RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 5, 2009 02:31 AM

                                                                  I noticed that too. Twenty years ago when I was in grad school in California my housemate regularly made a salad with tomatoes, goat cheese, olives, and basil with a squeeze of lemon. It was (and still is) great.

                                                                  1. re: DGresh
                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: DGresh Dec 5, 2009 09:27 AM

                                                                    if you like eggs, try a frittata or omelet with goat cheese, fresh torn basil and balsamic-roasted mushrooms. it's fantastic.

                                                                3. re: bella_sarda
                                                                  n
                                                                  Nettie RE: bella_sarda Dec 4, 2009 08:42 AM

                                                                  I was a little misled about the weakest dish, but I think I was a LOT misled about the strongest dish. It sounded to me like they only aired negative comments about Bryan's dish, and were much more positive about both Michael and Kevin. The first thing they noted about Bryan's dish was that it was underseasoned, then when announcing the win they said something about perfect seasoning...?

                                                                  I understand that they want to edit it for drama, but it seems like there's a line between that and editing the comments so that the final decision makes no sense, and they crossed that line for me. It's like a detective novel--in the best ones, you should be able to figure out whodunnit if you're smart enough, but it shouldn't be obvious. Instead, it's like they didn't give us the information that we could possibly come to the conclusion that Brian would win.

                                                            2. re: Axalady
                                                              r
                                                              rawdog RE: Axalady Dec 3, 2009 03:18 AM

                                                              There is only no other explanation if you take the editing at face value - read Tom's take on it on the Bravo website. He basically states that though the editing made it look tight (shocker), Jen was the clear unanimous choice and that both of her offerings were way oversalted. I thought she was fantastic all season - shame to see her go - but to suggest, after the ridiculous dishes we've seen the remaining chefs turn out week after week, that anyone is being kept for 'drama' at this point says more about most people on this board's dislike for Michael's personality than anything else.

                                                              1. re: Axalady
                                                                LindaWhit RE: Axalady Dec 3, 2009 03:18 AM

                                                                I have to agree with cowboyardee - without tasting any of the dishes, how you can summarily say there was no other reason? I haven't read the blogs yet, but perhaps Tom's blog will reveal more as to why Michael stayed and Jennifer was let go.

                                                                While I agree that based on what we saw, Michael should have been the one to go, you're only watching what they want you to watch. Without tasting; without going through the hours of deliberation at Judge's Table, you don't know *why* they choose one over the other. Many people have said this all along - while it might seem that someone should go because of the editing, in actuality, the food was better prepared/tasted better by the one they kept.

                                                                And yet again, I refuse to believe that the judges (especially Colicchio) would compromise their own integrity by keeping one cheftestant over another just for "drama".

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  chicgail RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 03:33 AM

                                                                  Given the quality of these four chefs, I wasn't thinking that people were being kept for the drama value. I would love it if we actually heard more of JT, even if it meant expanding the length of the show or if they had longer cut that was on at a different time.

                                                                  I guess i get annoyed at being misled by what is actually broadcast so that the conclusion seems to be at odds with what we've seen. And, yes, I just don't like Michael and I would not like to see him win.

                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                    cowboyardee RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 03:53 AM

                                                                    The misleading editing is a quite deliberate means of creating dramatic tension. Likewise, even the judges seem to put on their poker faces so as not to give away the results to the contestants (or the audience).

                                                                    I wouldn't mind seeing more of the judge's table either - I like the down and dirty details of what works in a dish and what doesn't. That said, I recommend you take a look at the blogs on bravo.com if you haven't already done so. Tom's blog especially often gives much better insight to the dishes than anything that survives the editing process.

                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                      LindaWhit RE: cowboyardee Dec 3, 2009 04:46 AM

                                                                      For anyone who has watched this show for six seasons, I think we're all aware that the misleading editing is very deliberate. It's been a steady conversation thread throughout all six seasons on this and many other message boards.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                        chicgail RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 04:54 AM

                                                                        The misleading editing raises the question of whether Michael has become the bad guy that we all love to hate because of selective editing.

                                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                                          LindaWhit RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 04:58 AM

                                                                          Except I do think that is his general personality. He isn't acting for the camera; he's being himself. Perhaps we're seeing more of it than you normally would in a day-to-day time frame, because we're only seeing bits and bytes of what the Elves want us to see.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            ChefJune RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 05:52 AM

                                                                            They must have run that quote of Michael about Kevin cooking the kind of food HE cooks on his day off at least 8 times. I found it nauseating and totally unfair, even though I am a big Kevin supporter.

                                                                          2. re: chicgail
                                                                            i
                                                                            Indy 67 RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 06:03 AM

                                                                            I've come to realize that the one comment we've been hearing Michael make dissing Kevin's food as "the stuff I cook on the the weekend" is just that -- one comment. We've seen the same clip over and over again both within an episode and on repeated episodes. The frequency that we hear Michael's put down may have no relationship to the intensity of Michael's feelings about Kevin. While I was personally happy to hear Tom's praise of simple food, I wonder how much he, too, has been affected by hearing the relentless showing of Michael's quote. He certainly doesn't have to be defensive around the cheftestants; he's the head judge.

                                                                            1. re: Indy 67
                                                                              r
                                                                              rweater RE: Indy 67 Dec 3, 2009 06:17 AM

                                                                              I think it's a good point that it looks like the same clip repeated.

                                                                              That aside, I don't see how that could influence Tom as a judge. He wouldn't have seen that interview clip with Michael until after the filming and the judging ended.

                                                                              1. re: rweater
                                                                                i
                                                                                Indy 67 RE: rweater Dec 4, 2009 02:50 PM

                                                                                I agree that Tom wouldn't have seen the interview clip with Michael while judging the shows prior to the finals in Nappa. Furthermore, I didn't mean to suggest Tom's judging was affected by Michael's put-down of Kevin's food. I think the hiatus is responsible for Tom's on-air comment. There's a fairly substantial break between the show eliminating the fifth chef and the final. The Top Chef season airs during that break. After having seen the impact of the Elves editing, I think Tom didn't want to let Michael's repeated message stand without some sort of response. The show we just saw was Tom's first opportunity to say something.

                                                                              2. re: Indy 67
                                                                                t
                                                                                taos RE: Indy 67 Dec 5, 2009 05:32 AM

                                                                                He may not have to be defensive around the contestants, but he often does seem to be defensive when talking to the public about the judges' decisions. I don't think Tom's blog is the definitive statement of how good the food was as much as it is his attempt to justify the decisions that were made during judging.

                                                                                Whether these decisions were made based on the quality of the food or for other reasons, we'll never know.

                                                                              3. re: chicgail
                                                                                Ruth Lafler RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 09:15 AM

                                                                                Except it's pretty clear that he and his brother don't get along in real life, and his brother should know what kind of person he is outside the context of the show. I don't think Michael is a bad guy so much as he's hyper-competitive and more than a bit arrogant.

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                  t
                                                                                  Tmrock RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 3, 2009 11:34 AM

                                                                                  Yep.

                                                                                  If Bryan wins, Michael will never let him forget it.
                                                                                  If Michael wins, he'll never let Bryan forget it.

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 3, 2009 02:19 PM

                                                                                    i know i'm in the minority here, but i sort of like Michael. there's no denying his talent...and i confess i've always had a thing for bad boys :) plus, i suspect there's more than a little self-doubt and insecurity behind that "arrogance."

                                                                          3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            elfcook RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 04:55 AM

                                                                            oh, I think the top 4 certainly deserved to be there - they are all amazing. And I do not think the judges would pick a lesser chef to stay just for the drama. However, I think the editors & producers are chuckling with glee over the drama they can CREATE with the brothers.

                                                                            After reading Tom's blog, it certainly seems much more apparent why Jen was kicked off. I think she is probably an amazing chef, but maybe not all that suited to the challenge format, personality-wise. I would definitely eat at her restaurant.

                                                                            My post about drama was poorly worded. I guess it is the producers who enjoy the drama they make with the talent the judges select.

                                                                            1. re: elfcook
                                                                              LindaWhit RE: elfcook Dec 3, 2009 05:55 AM

                                                                              Yup - that's the producers' job - set up the drama. The Elves do a very good job of it!

                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                              r
                                                                              rocks67 RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                                              Totally agree with all of your comments here, Linda. While I'm sad to see Jen go, I truly believe it was her time. She had dodged a few major bullets in the past, and at this point in the game, just like she said, one small mistake can cost you the win.

                                                                              I am still so over MIchael's arrogance. Sooo happy that his brother kicked his a@@. What was the b.s. of Michael "congratulating" him, making fun of him?? What a jerk.

                                                                              I'm in the camp that I would be happy if either Kevin OR Bryan won, but NOT, NOT, NOT Michael. From the previews of the finale, looks like they were slamming Michael's repeated usage of MG, but I guess we'll have to wait until next week to see.

                                                                              1. re: rocks67
                                                                                n
                                                                                Nettie RE: rocks67 Dec 4, 2009 08:46 AM

                                                                                Any trace of liking that I might have had for Michael as a human being was undone by his obnoxious making fun of Bryan after his win. That was so graceless.

                                                                                1. re: Nettie
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  Mushroom RE: Nettie Dec 4, 2009 09:49 AM

                                                                                  I don't think he was making fun of him for the win, but rather for the formality of his congratulations. Bryan went to shake hands instead of going for a big bear hug. Once Michael made fun of him, Bryan smiled/laughed and finally went for that hug. At least that's how I remember it.

                                                                                  1. re: Mushroom
                                                                                    d
                                                                                    dach RE: Mushroom Dec 4, 2009 10:33 AM

                                                                                    Michael's audio was off in that scene. Made me think it was done as a voiceover. I listened it to a couple of times and I really think it was ADR. That's the real reason it feels off-kilter and unnatural.

                                                                                    I can imagine the editor/director liked the scene, but Michael's audio was bad so they had him re-record it.

                                                                            3. re: Axalady
                                                                              LindaWhit RE: Axalady Dec 3, 2009 05:00 AM

                                                                              Axalady, if you want some more information as to why Jennifer went home, read Tom's blog:

                                                                              "It may not make sense to you but it was clear to us immediately that it would be Jen who would be going home. What it came down to was that both of her dishes were way too salty. Jen’s overseasoning of both her dishes stood out to the judges like a sore thumb. We had our conversation at Judges' Table about whom to send home, but it was pro forma; we already knew and were in complete accord."

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

                                                                              So we saw the judges only comment about the saltiness of one dish; but both were too salty for all of their tastes. So it makes complete sense that Jennifer goes home. No keeping Michael for the "drama".

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                n
                                                                                newhavener07 RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 05:20 AM

                                                                                Did anyone catch the reference Tom made to "flake salt"? That was interesting--you would think that Jen has plenty of experience with the properties of Fleur de Sel and other fancy salts and she would have know how to use flake salt. Perhaps it was a kind of locally made salt she didn't know how to handle. Does anyone know of a uniquely Napa kind of flake salt with tricky properties?

                                                                                1. re: newhavener07
                                                                                  n
                                                                                  newhavener07 RE: newhavener07 Dec 3, 2009 05:34 AM

                                                                                  When I cook with the medium-grade flake salt I have at home, it doesn't really melt into the food in any way, even if it's hot food. The crunchy crystals stay on top, which does make it a bit tricky to season. I find myself keeping it by the dish and reapplying it after eating the top layer of food. I suppose it would melt into a soup, but both of Jen's dishes didn't sound like they would melt most flake salts. Perhaps it was being in hot chafing dishes? Interesting.

                                                                                  1. re: newhavener07
                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: newhavener07 Dec 3, 2009 05:37 AM

                                                                                    I did catch that flake salt reference and was surprised at the oversalting comment. That had to have been a lot of flake salt she used!

                                                                                    1. re: newhavener07
                                                                                      c
                                                                                      cmvan RE: newhavener07 Dec 3, 2009 09:36 AM

                                                                                      I live near Napa in Sonoma County, and I can assure you that no salt is produced here in this area. But the imported ones are readily available just about anywhere.

                                                                                      1. re: cmvan
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        celeryroot RE: cmvan Dec 3, 2009 03:36 PM

                                                                                        I will second that >) Non over here in Healdsburg.

                                                                                        1. re: celeryroot
                                                                                          a
                                                                                          AMFM RE: celeryroot Dec 3, 2009 04:37 PM

                                                                                          and i think they said, "other than salt and pepper everything must be local".

                                                                                          1. re: AMFM
                                                                                            c
                                                                                            Claudette RE: AMFM Dec 4, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                                                            Yes, they did say that at the beginning. BTW: 95 miles south of Napa are huge salt beds bordering San Jose/Milpitas, but I think all of it goes to some conglomerate faciltiy and then re-distributed.

                                                                                            1. re: Claudette
                                                                                              n
                                                                                              Nettie RE: Claudette Dec 4, 2009 09:44 AM

                                                                                              Yes, the evaporating ponds are quite visible if you fly out of San Jose. I think Cargill might operate them: http://www.cargill.com/static/sb/abou.... Not exactly know as a producer of gourmet finishing salts.

                                                                                              1. re: Nettie
                                                                                                ChefJune RE: Nettie Dec 4, 2009 10:02 AM

                                                                                                hmmm Iirc, Cargill is not known as a producer of gourmet anything. Except maybe now that they own Peter's Chocolate.

                                                                                                1. re: Nettie
                                                                                                  g
                                                                                                  gnomatic RE: Nettie Dec 5, 2009 02:37 PM

                                                                                                  The ponds are longer in operations. They are now trying return it to it's natural state.

                                                                                                  http://southbayrestoration.org/

                                                                                                  Having said that, when the wind blow from the North, Milpitas still smell funky..and not in a good way.

                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        cabking RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2009 09:28 AM

                                                                                        I have been delighted by the level of chefs on TC this season, and the top four all deserved their spot. However, I will disagree that the show is successful in editing for drama. It is successful in editing for head scratching and creating odd controversy. From my viewing, I had thought that Jen might have won the EC based on her innovative (albeit oversalted) veg dish and the universal love for the "bill to tail" duck dish... ...because this is what they showed us! Michael's egg dish sounded poorly executed and looked terrible (kind of vomit-like, with all the chunks and yellow-orange color). And, I love eggs, so I thought I might like it. Except no one did like it (at least what they showed us on TV). And, both Gail and Michael Chiarello had issues with his turnip dish.

                                                                                        Now, if we're not privy to tasting the food (always true of food TV) and all they show us are a few misleading comments on each chef (overly positive about Jen, overly negative about Michael and Bryan), then it does not create suspense, only seeming randomness of outcome. Which is why folks on this board find these decisions to be controversial. Frankly, Judge's Table and it's wholly unpredictable outcome disconnected from what is actually presented on the show is fast becoming my least favorite part of the show, since it is frustrating and does not seem to be based on the preceding material presented. Even if JT is a long process, I think there could be more explanation of why an outcome occurs than "let's all wait for Tom's blog".

                                                                                        1. re: cabking
                                                                                          LindaWhit RE: cabking Dec 4, 2009 09:56 AM

                                                                                          "However, I will disagree that the show is successful in editing for drama."
                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                          I don't think I've said that. Just that they're not keeping Michael V. for the drama.

                                                                                          And I don't disagree with you - I've always wish to see a LOT more of Judges Table than is shown, but if they did that, it would cut into the actual cooking by the cheftestants, if they're going to keep to a 1 hour format.

                                                                                          I continually see on this board that many of us say how much better the shows are that run 75 minutes - we see more cooking; more JT, more everything. Just think of how good it would be (and how happy we'd be!) if they had 90 minute episodes!

                                                                                          But until they do that, we're stuck with what the editors choose to give us in 47 minutes. And so we then have to wait for Tom's blog to get more detail. ;-)

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2009 10:31 AM

                                                                                            It would be nice if Bravo started doing what Lifetime did with Project Runway, having an extended judging segment available online. At least it would give more than two minutes of critique.

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 4, 2009 10:34 AM

                                                                                              Now THAT I'd be totally fine with! I'd still be a bit in the dark during the actual show as to why they chose one to PYKAG when it seemed they liked at least one of their dishes (i.e., Jennifer). But with extended JT being shown online, you could at least get to see the judges' thought pattern as to how they finally arrived at that final decision.

                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                m
                                                                                                mojoeater RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 4, 2009 11:06 AM

                                                                                                Or they could do what Lifetime did with "Models of the Runway" and show "Judging Top Chef" as a 1/2 hour segment after. (It would probably be much more interesting than the model show, too.)

                                                                                                1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                  dagwood RE: mojoeater Dec 4, 2009 12:11 PM

                                                                                                  I'd definitely prefer that to seeing the same repeats of TC over and over and over.

                                                                                                  1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler RE: mojoeater Dec 4, 2009 12:19 PM

                                                                                                    Yeah, a segment on the discussion that goes on when they contestants are not there, when they're hashing it out amongst themselves would be great, not to mention it would put to rest all of the "so-and-so was saved by production because of the drama factor" speculation.

                                                                                                    Lifetime does a much better job on the PR website than Bravo did. They instituted what I've wanted from the beginning on PR which is an ongoing gallery of their designs for each designer, so you can see their whole body of work through the competition and get a better feeling for their design esthetic, as a opposed to organizing the designs by challenge.

                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                      momjamin RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 4, 2009 03:45 PM

                                                                                                      Yes, nice job on the web site, but lousy job of consistency in judging. But that's a topic for another board ;-)

                                                                                        2. re: elfcook
                                                                                          ChefJune RE: elfcook Dec 2, 2009 11:16 PM

                                                                                          so, what do you think is going to happen? Bryan wins and Michael commits HaraKiri? or kills Bryan in a jealous rage?? ;)

                                                                                          really disappointed that Jen is gone. I thought the finals would have been more interesting with her, Kevin and Bryan.

                                                                                          1. re: elfcook
                                                                                            i
                                                                                            isadorasmama RE: elfcook Dec 3, 2009 06:03 PM

                                                                                            This has to be it. Perhaps Jen's vegetarian dish was a tad oversalted and her duck would have benefited from a nice smoke from the grill but the egg Michael served Gayle was RAW!!! And all of the judges agreed that Brian's dishes were underseasoned. I think someone had to go and it was between Jen and Michael. Keeping Michael around to take cheap shots by "secretly" verbally bashing his own flesh and blood as well as the "simple" bearded guy is much more TV-friendly than saving the self-deprecating chef who's been off her game recently.

                                                                                            In any case, I would've eaten the hell out of all those dishes had I been given the opportunity. Just watching them in Napa with all that lush local incredibleness had me swooning on my sofa.

                                                                                            1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: isadorasmama Dec 3, 2009 06:20 PM

                                                                                              No, the egg wasn't RAW. The yolk was perfectly cooked, as per Tom Colicchio's blog. The egg wasn't "shaken" enough (or something like that - go read the blog).

                                                                                              And yet ***again*** - Colicchio isn't going to potentially screw up his reputation in the industry to keep someone around "just for the drama." Read his blog as to the reasons Jen's dishes were deemed the worst of the lot. What we see isn't everything, remember. We're seeing a few minutes of HOURS of footage.

                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                i
                                                                                                isadorasmama RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 06:38 PM

                                                                                                Then show us!! Don't edit it out. I watched and what I saw/heard was raw egg white. Not appetizing.

                                                                                                I haven't read the blogs yet...just caught up by watching the dvr'd episode so I was going purely by what I watched. I think blogs are a nice supplement to the show but I don't think it would be too much to ask NOT to edit out important bits that might provide more insight into why some people are kept while other equally adept chefs are asked to ptkag.

                                                                                                1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: isadorasmama Dec 4, 2009 04:40 AM

                                                                                                  While I don't disagree with you, keep in mind that JT can be upwards of 2 to 4 hours - sometimes going to 6 hours for the finale (as did this one, according to Gail's blog). So the editors are dealing with hours upon hours of footage from which to winnow it down to 45-47 minutes. You do the math. Sometimes stuff gets left out.

                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                  Lizard RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2009 02:45 AM

                                                                                                  Although I am a fan of transmedia storytelling, I do find it problematic that the show now demands we read the blogs in order to understand the decision. I appreciate that an economy must be maintained (in both ways-- an economy of what can be shown and told and an economy that requires we visit other sites to perpetuate the advertising possibilities of this programming) but it's also obnoxious. Moreover, even if I don't believe in the producers dictating the eliminations, the blogging comes off as defensive rather than as a counterpart for the story being told.

                                                                                                  1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                    momjamin RE: Lizard Dec 4, 2009 03:32 AM

                                                                                                    I dunno. I guessed as soon as they all said "this is way oversalted," that that person was going home. It was in the teasers, and I kept holding my breath waiting to see whose dish they were talking about.

                                                                                                    As for the footage -- the judges agreed that the oversalting doomed Jen. They all had different opinions on the men's dishes, so they had to hash those out to see who would win. Thus there was more footage arguing about the fine points of the other three.

                                                                                                3. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                                  viperlush RE: isadorasmama Dec 3, 2009 06:22 PM

                                                                                                  Did you read the blogs on Bravo? The judges said that before JT it was clear that Jen's dishes were the poorest of the bunch. Both dishes were over salty and the duck was dry. The egg wasn't raw.

                                                                                                  1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    tofuburrito RE: viperlush Dec 4, 2009 06:25 AM

                                                                                                    For the duck being dry they sure seemed to be enjoying it while they were eating it.

                                                                                                    1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                      chicgail RE: tofuburrito Dec 4, 2009 07:03 AM

                                                                                                      They didn't just seem to enjoy the duck, they raved about it, at least as the edit was aired.

                                                                                                  2. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                    rweater RE: isadorasmama Dec 4, 2009 07:24 AM

                                                                                                    What's happening at this stage is that people are not being let go for egregious mistakes. This is about the details. Tom said as much in the show. I think the judges are in a tough position having to decide which tiny detail outweighs another.

                                                                                                    1. re: rweater
                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                      tofuburrito RE: rweater Dec 4, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                                                                      Agreed but some of the comments and decisions just don't make any sense and editing doesn't make them say things they didn't say. The loved the duck while they were eating it but later at judges table it was too salty. Bryan's dish lacked seasoning while they were eating it but was perfectly seasoned when they announced him as the winner.
                                                                                                      It's not like they said one dish was a little better than another, they blatantly contracted what they said at the event with what they said at judges table.

                                                                                                      1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: tofuburrito Dec 4, 2009 10:06 AM

                                                                                                        Did they actually say "perfectly seasoned"? I don't recall that. I do recall them saying it was underseasoned, however.

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                          tofuburrito RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2009 10:11 AM

                                                                                                          I may be wrong but to my recollection that is an exact quote.

                                                                                                          1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                            tofuburrito RE: tofuburrito Dec 4, 2009 10:30 AM

                                                                                                            Sorry to keep harping on this, but:
                                                                                                            Another thing that was odd to me was Tom’s description of Jen’s cooking as “scattered.” Despite the fact that a huge portion of the Top Chef season is geared towards seeing how chefs react to curve balls, when Jen encountered an obstacle (granted it was self-inflicted) and manages to regroup and hit a home run (at least at the event before they decided it was too salty), she is criticized for it, it’s an indication that her cooking is “scattered.” It seems that on every other episode of Top Chef she would have been praised for what she did rather than sent home for it. And what was even more peculiar than Jen’s (apparently successful) rebound being used as a basis for elimination is that we are told Michael’s use of adding radishes formed into pear shape and pears formed into radish shape is an example of genius and taking bold chances.

                                                                                                            1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                              rweater RE: tofuburrito Dec 4, 2009 12:31 PM

                                                                                                              Haha! Good point on the transformation of food. I've never eaten a pair and though "Gosh, I wish this looked like a turnip!" It must be one of those elements of modern cooking that is lost on me.

                                                                                                              1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                bella_sarda RE: tofuburrito Dec 4, 2009 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                It was turnips made to look like pears and vice versa, not radishes (they were in Jen's veg dish), and it was an intentional "trompe l'oeil", not a reaction to a mess-up. That said, it seems Jen should never have admitted to having intended to grill the duck, just like Kevin said his brisket was supposed to be 'toothsome'. Stand by your choices and sell them hard is the lesson. I do recall people raving about how well the four components of Michael's turnip/pear/foie/turnip greens dish came together,and it seemed like a spectacular dish to me (as a lover of all the ingredients and especially turnip greens). But I wonder: how did he stay within the $600 budget with 150 portions of foie? Granted they were small portions, but he also had to buy all the other stuff!

                                                                                                                1. re: bella_sarda
                                                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: bella_sarda Dec 4, 2009 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                  The prblem was that Tom C heard from her that she was planning to grill the duck during his sniff'n sneer (before she discovered the coals went to low), so he knew before the fact. At the same time, when he asked at JT if she would have preferred it grilled, she should have said no. Sounds like she was a goner regardless due to the oversalting, but still.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                    d
                                                                                                                    dagwood RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 4, 2009 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                    And I also recall her stating something to the effect of maybe it was a good thing the coals died because it turned out so much better the way she ended up making it. (I can't remember exactly what she said, but that was the jist of it.). I was expecting that to be her answer when she was asked about it at JT, and was surprised it was not.

                                                                                                                    Of course, with editing, there's no telling when she actually said that. But the way it aired, it was before JT.

                                                                                                                    1. re: dagwood
                                                                                                                      edible complex RE: dagwood Dec 5, 2009 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                      and Tom said something about not letting your coals die down in whatever situation.
                                                                                                                      would not have been acceptable if you had no alternate source.

                                                                                                                      1. re: dagwood
                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                        bella_sarda RE: dagwood Dec 5, 2009 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                        Oh yeah, I remember that. She said that cooking it in its own fat (confit) turned out brilliantly. She should have defended the confit technique at JT. It was part of using the whole duck. Otherwise the fat would have dripped off into the grill (or at least partly). I think the criticism got to her and she just crumbled.

                                                                                                                2. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                  i
                                                                                                                  isadorasmama RE: tofuburrito Dec 4, 2009 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                  IIRC, it was Michael Chiarella who said it verbatim.

                                                                                                                  1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                    n
                                                                                                                    Nettie RE: tofuburrito Dec 4, 2009 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                    I heard this too--I think it was during the announcement of Jen's elimination--they said something about the winner being perfectly seasoned. So I was surprised that Bryan won based on their negative comments about his seasoning initially.

                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                          StheJ RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 06:58 PM

                                                                                                          Did not see that coming...

                                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: StheJ
                                                                                                            chris2269 RE: StheJ Dec 2, 2009 07:01 PM

                                                                                                            me niether. I'm just glad Kevin is in. This by f
                                                                                                            ar is the best season yet. Gonna be hard to bring the same caliber next season. Though there are a lot of great Chefs out there.

                                                                                                            1. re: chris2269
                                                                                                              p
                                                                                                              Pierate RE: chris2269 Dec 2, 2009 07:21 PM

                                                                                                              I think this was the first episode in any season where I was going to be sad no matter who went home. I think any of the remaining four chefs could have been legitimate winners in any previous season.

                                                                                                              1. re: Pierate
                                                                                                                cowboyardee RE: Pierate Dec 2, 2009 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                Well said, pierate.

                                                                                                                Heck, I think Michael Isabella and Ely could have given most previous winners a run for their money. It's almost a shame that these top 4 had to face off against each other.

                                                                                                                1. re: Pierate
                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: Pierate Dec 2, 2009 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                  agreed. i was sort of hoping Tom would surprise everyone by telling them they were all going to the final!

                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                    NellyNel RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2009 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                    Mee too!
                                                                                                                    Before I watched it, I really was thinking that would happen....
                                                                                                                    oh well

                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                      Ruth Lafler RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2009 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                      Me, too. However, it was clear that Jen was the weakest *competitor* if not the weakest *chef.*

                                                                                                                  2. re: chris2269
                                                                                                                    cowboyardee RE: chris2269 Dec 3, 2009 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                    Much has been said of the high caliber of chefs this season.

                                                                                                                    http://www.foodgal.com/2009/11/take-f...
                                                                                                                    In the above interview, Kevin Gillespie says that Top Chef sought him out as a contestant rather than the other way around. To my knowledge, this is different from the way Top Chef has operated in the past and would seem to indicate that the show has increased interest in showcasing top-notch competitors. I think that is a good call - i was about ready to give up on the show before this season.

                                                                                                                    Sorry if this is old news - it was new to me.

                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                      LindaWhit RE: cowboyardee Dec 3, 2009 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                      It's news to me as well. And WOW. A 330% increase in revenue for his restaurant since he's been on the show!

                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                        momjamin RE: cowboyardee Dec 3, 2009 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                        I think I remember Tom blogging a few seasons ago that they asked the chefs in their networks to recommend people, perhaps after the fiasco that was Marcel and Betty's season.

                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                          NellyNel RE: momjamin Dec 3, 2009 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                          That is so interesting that TC approached HIM!
                                                                                                                          Huh!

                                                                                                                          He is so lovely!

                                                                                                                          1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                            momjamin RE: momjamin Dec 4, 2009 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                            I also seem to remember that it became clear early on that a mix of culinary students, home cooks, and experienced caterers and restaurant chefs wasn't really what they were looking for, so they started working their contacts.

                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                              Phaedrus RE: momjamin Dec 4, 2009 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                              No, that is NFNS's niche.

                                                                                                                          2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                            dave_c RE: cowboyardee Dec 3, 2009 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                            I believe Richard Blais from two seasons ago was also sought by the TC producers. That's the story I seem to remember..

                                                                                                                            1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                              momjamin RE: dave_c Dec 3, 2009 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                              I do remember that Blais said he hadn't watched TC before joining.

                                                                                                                              1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                Phaedrus RE: dave_c Dec 4, 2009 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                                I think they had asked Eric Ripert (general swooning sound from Linda and GHG) to recommend someone and he recommended Jenn.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: Phaedrus Dec 4, 2009 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                  :-D Yes, I do recall Tom saying in an interview several seasons ago that he had gone to friends and compatriots in the business for recommendations - I think with Season 3 or 4.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: Phaedrus Dec 4, 2009 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                    i blame Linda & Top Chef for my "appreciation" of Ripert ;) i actually used to dislike him...but at some point in (i think) Season 3 he grew on me.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 4, 2009 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                      LOL! I think I appreciate him that while he wasn't snarky fun in his comments like Anthony Bourdain (no one can match him, obviously, in the snark factor!), he was always very constructive in his criticism of dishes. It wasn't just him saying "it is missing some acid". He said more to help the cheftestant learn where they could have done better.

                                                                                                                                      And besides, he isn't bad to look at. ;-) (Sorry Phaedrus; had to get that in there <g>).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                        edible complex RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                                        very easy on the eyes!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                        edible complex RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 4, 2009 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                        "but at some point in (i think) Season 3 he grew on me."

                                                                                                                                        oh my!

                                                                                                                            2. dave_c RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2009 10:11 PM

                                                                                                                              After last season I was very skeptical of the quality of the chefs at the beginning of this season.

                                                                                                                              However, the "correct" three made it to the finals. I am bummed that Jen burned out by the end of the season. She started out strong and decisive, but over the last few episodes she seemed rattled and indecisive. If she pulled off her dishes, TC might have had a 4 way finale.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                viperlush RE: dave_c Dec 3, 2009 06:15 AM

                                                                                                                                I agree that Jen burned out (and sick during the filming), but I thought since the finale is basically starting over again (by having the break), she would have come back strong.

                                                                                                                                1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                  chicgail RE: viperlush Dec 3, 2009 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                  She appeared to be much more confident in her demeanor and very little of the second-guessing or self-doubt she had done earlier in the season.

                                                                                                                              2. HabaneroJane RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 05:45 AM

                                                                                                                                Go Kevin. But memo to Kevin: can you please groom yourself a little? Or wear something on your head?
                                                                                                                                And because all three in the final are indeed worthy of being there despite my aversion to both Voltaggio brothers personalities or lack thereof, can we discuss for a moment, Padma? WTF is she wearing? Both, I think there were two, outfits were so out of place. And the bangs....Go Kevin!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: HabaneroJane
                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                  dmd_kc RE: HabaneroJane Dec 3, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                  It was like Barbarella at Judges Table.

                                                                                                                                2. NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 06:01 AM

                                                                                                                                  I'm not really sure how I feel about Jen's departure..
                                                                                                                                  I think I really would have been sad no matter who would have been sent home, as I really think all four chefs are amazing.

                                                                                                                                  I felt like I wanted to eat every single dish produced, but Jens dishes appealed to me the most last night - I was DYING to taste that "ducky" duck!! mmm

                                                                                                                                  Well all I can say is "LET'S GO KEVIN!!!!!"

                                                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                                                    rweater RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 06:34 AM

                                                                                                                                    Did anyone else wonder if Padma was trying all of the dishes? When Kevin served his dish in the QF, it looked like they cut away and didn't actually show her taking a bite of it.

                                                                                                                                    I was wondering if, being pregnant, she might be somewhat restricted on what she can eat, so the guest judge did the tasting. I know that some soft cheeses are considered off-limits to pregnant women nowadays due to the use of unpasteurized milk. I admit that I wasn't exactly clear on what cheese Kevin had in his dish and now I can't find it.

                                                                                                                                    Or maybe I imagined the whole thing. Anyone?

                                                                                                                                    24 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: rweater
                                                                                                                                      viperlush RE: rweater Dec 3, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                                                                                                      I was wondering the same thing. Actually what I did was turn to my BF and say "is it really fair to have a pregnant woman tasting/judging the dishes?"

                                                                                                                                      1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                                        CurlieGlamourGirlie RE: viperlush Dec 3, 2009 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                                        That's what I thought. As soon as she made the salty comment, I was like, "well duh, you're pregnant!" I know when I was pregnant, my taste buds were TOTALLY off.

                                                                                                                                        And I hate her bangs. They make her look 10 years older.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie
                                                                                                                                          Phaedrus RE: CurlieGlamourGirlie Dec 3, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                          I definitely hate the bangs. Also, I think Kevin said something about wine pairings with his dishes and it was Padma who responded by saying thank you. Ironic.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                            chicgail RE: Phaedrus Dec 3, 2009 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                            I didn't mind her bangs when her hair was pulled back into a ponytail, but I thought they looked awful with her hair down.

                                                                                                                                            More importantly, I would be surprised if her pregnant, hormonal self has the same palate it may have had before.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie
                                                                                                                                            i
                                                                                                                                            isadorasmama RE: CurlieGlamourGirlie Dec 3, 2009 06:06 PM

                                                                                                                                            I could've eaten a cup of sea salt neat when I was pregnant without wincing. I almost named my baby Salt. So when I hear a pregnant woman saying something needs salt, I take it with a grain of salt.

                                                                                                                                            And the bangs were about as flattering as those knee-high red boots.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                              Lizard RE: isadorasmama Dec 4, 2009 02:47 AM

                                                                                                                                              What? You're a mother? I never would have guessed.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                                                isadorasmama RE: Lizard Dec 4, 2009 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                Yeah. Real creative I know. I intended to use a more interesting screen name when I joined CH but lo and behold, Ima Wurdibitsch was already taken.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                                                                                  Ima Wurdibitsch RE: isadorasmama Dec 4, 2009 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                  LOL!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                                    Lizard RE: isadorasmama Dec 4, 2009 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Hah!

                                                                                                                                          3. re: rweater
                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: rweater Dec 3, 2009 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                            I'm assuming she tried a bit of Michael's poached egg, but stopped when she saw the runny white. (Surprised that Gail didn't get a chance to comment re: the eggs! LOL)

                                                                                                                                            Kevin's recipe at Bravo's site said he used San Andreas cheese, which seems to be a harder cheese (shaved on top) similar to a pecorino:

                                                                                                                                            http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                                                                                                                            http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/prodin...

                                                                                                                                            But it does say it's a raw sheep cheese. Not sure if that would be a decision maker re: whether Padma would try it. I'm thinking one small shave of cheese wouldn't be bad? She might be more willing to eat things that American women wouldn't during a pregnancy.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                              viperlush RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                              Didn't he also use cheese in his QF dish?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: viperlush Dec 3, 2009 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                He did (fromage blanc) but again, as I've never been pregnant, I don't know what doctors would say Padma could or could not eat.

                                                                                                                                                BTW, speaking of Padma, shooting begins in January 2010 for Top Chef Season 7. Has anyone heard whether she will still be hosting (and judging?) the show? I'm wondering if pregnancy aversions to food would strike at an inopportune moment. :-)

                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                chicgail RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                Isn't an undercooked egg a more serious flaw that oversalted food?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                  But that was only one dish of his - Tom C's blog is saying that both of Jen's dishes were too salty for the judges' tastes - although we didn't hear that about the duck dish. Just that Tom liked it's duckiness and that they liked that she used the entire duck.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                    viperlush RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                    No. The blogs made it clear that the oversalting was worse.

                                                                                                                                                    "With Michael’s egg dish, he did not take care that the whites of the eggs were perfect, and the balance was off as regards the size of the egg (too big for the veggies)."- Tom C. It seemed that the issue was more that he didn't shake the white off enough, but the yolk was cooked perfect.

                                                                                                                                                    "Michael’s Vegetable Pistou with Heirloom Tomato Coulis and 63-Degree Egg was clever and flavorful, but the egg had not been shaken carefully enough from its watery shell and appeared to overwhelm the other elements of the dish." - Gail S

                                                                                                                                                    "What it came down to was that both of her dishes were way too salty. Jen’s overseasoning of both her dishes stood out to the judges like a sore thumb."- Tom C.

                                                                                                                                                    "The Chèvre Mousse with Honey Mushrooms, Braised Radishes & Basil was significantly oversalted."- Gail S

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                      cowboyardee RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                      There is a difference between an 'undercooked' slow-poached egg and undercooked eggs made in a traditional manner. Namely that the former is fully cooked but runnier than desired while the later is still partially raw.

                                                                                                                                                      Michael's "undercooked" egg was almost surely pasteurized and safe. Eggs can be fully pasteurized in 131 F degree water without any hardening or coagulating at all when using this slow cooking method. He cooked his egg to 145 F and either missed it by 1 degree or simply didn't discard the watery contents of the shell surrounding the formed egg.

                                                                                                                                                      All that said, I was a little worried for Michael when he said he would feature "the perfect egg." It's a well known technique (I've done it before, as have most who mess with sous vide) - and it's also well-known to be sorta gross if you miss the temperature by like 1 degree F. So if your immersion circulator barely needs a recalibration, you're screwed. Not only that - it's only so impressive even when pulled off well, sortof a neat trick but not much more, and maybe not up to the caliber of his best dishes.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rweater
                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                    becky315 RE: rweater Dec 4, 2009 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I'm also wondering if the chefs will take that into consideration in the finals... Being pregnant, you are definitely not supposed to eat soft cheeses, or any sort of raw fish, and you're even supposed to have your meat cooked fully (well-done). I agree that it seems Padma should be limited in her "judging" role this time around due to those restrictions, and as prev mentioned, the difference in palate/taste buds.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: becky315
                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                      Tmrock RE: becky315 Dec 4, 2009 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                      And yet, millions of healthy babies born every year to mothers that don't know all these little "top ten things not to eat when you're pregnant" 'rules'

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tmrock
                                                                                                                                                        i
                                                                                                                                                        isadorasmama RE: Tmrock Dec 4, 2009 07:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Word. Tell a pregnant woman in France not to eat soft cheese and see what kind of reaction you'd get. Or a woman in Japan not to eat raw fish...

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: becky315
                                                                                                                                                        Ruth Lafler RE: becky315 Dec 4, 2009 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                        "Definitely not supposed to" is putting it waaaaaaay too strongly. It's recommended. The risks are minimal (as are the risks of an occasional drink, especially in the last trimester), but we live in a very risk-averse society. It seems like the safer we are, the more paranoid we are of even minor risks.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                          i
                                                                                                                                                          isadorasmama RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 4, 2009 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                          It's funny, isn't it? It's this backasswards way of staying "healthy". Rather than raise cows properly on grass we shoot ground meat full of radiation to kill pathogens. Look in the NYT today and there's an article about how isn't it wonderful that a new vaccine is set to be injected into meat to prevent food-borne illness.

                                                                                                                                                          It's ironic that they recommend pregnant women avoid soft cheese but nary a word about fast food....or germ-laden salad bars for that matter. And don't even get me started on C sections...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                                                            becky315 RE: isadorasmama Dec 7, 2009 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Oh boy, I didn't mean to get into a discussion on pregnancy - my real question was whether or not the chefs are either
                                                                                                                                                            a) being asked to take it into consideration by Padma/producers or
                                                                                                                                                            b) if it is even crossing their minds.

                                                                                                                                                            I know those "rules" are more simply recommendations, but I also read Padma had a hard time getting pregnant (endomitriosis), and was thinking she might be very strict about these things...

                                                                                                                                                            (Sorry if I offended anyone!!)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: becky315
                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                              Tmrock RE: becky315 Dec 7, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I'm sorry Becky, didn't offend me just hit me wrong. The constant drone of 'experts' telling everyone how to live, what to eat, is maddening. Sort of like many celebrities that get all preachy about taking care of the planet as they jet around in their private jets, visiting their multiple homes and polluting more in a year than I could possibly do in a lifetime.

                                                                                                                                                              Your clarification is appreciated. I just assume the show had the discussion, its logical to do so - but they have apparently chosen to not dwell on the matter.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tmrock
                                                                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                                                                becky315 RE: Tmrock Dec 7, 2009 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I hear ya T! :)

                                                                                                                                                    2. binkychow RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I am confused as to how eggs can be considered vegetarian?

                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: binkychow
                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: binkychow Dec 3, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I thought the same thing - I guess western cultures seem to include eggs as vegetarian, whereas in India, I believe, they wouldn't be considered vegetarian.

                                                                                                                                                        Lacto vegetarians excludes all meat (including fish and poultry) and eggs, but allows dairy products. Lacto-ovo vegetarians won't eat meat, but will eat eggs and dairy, and ovo vegetarians will eat eggs but no dairy.

                                                                                                                                                        So I guess Michael was going with the "western culture" idea of vegetarianism.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                          v
                                                                                                                                                          Val55 RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                          With the term vegan in common usage, I now consider vegetarian to include lacto-ovo. At the first vegetarian EC, I was surprised no one used eggs or cheese. Before the term vegan was widely used, I considered vegetarian to mean vegan, which had to be modified with lacto and/or ovo if appropriate.

                                                                                                                                                          I like a runny egg, but honestly 63 degrees does not seem particularly cooked to me. Is that what it sounds like or does it mean something else.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Val55
                                                                                                                                                            dave_c RE: Val55 Dec 3, 2009 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                            The 63 degrees is in Celcius which converts to about 145 Fahrenheit.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                                              v
                                                                                                                                                              Val55 RE: dave_c Dec 3, 2009 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                              ohhhh, thank you, duhhhh. I feel dumb but much better now. I was scratching my head trying to figure out how a 63 degree egg wasn't something that Rocky put into his morning breakfast drink.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Val55
                                                                                                                                                                dave_c RE: Val55 Dec 4, 2009 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Maybe Jen should have downed a glass of raw eggs in the morning (a la Rocky)... She would have had the endurance to make the finale, plus run up the steps of a local museum singing "Gonna Fly Now".

                                                                                                                                                                Of course, instead of calling for "Adriaaaan!" She would be calling for "Ereeeek!"

                                                                                                                                                                That would have been cool! :-)
                                                                                                                                                                I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about it... lol

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: binkychow
                                                                                                                                                          g
                                                                                                                                                          grant.cook RE: binkychow Dec 3, 2009 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                          There's like 45 different definitions of vegetarianism, and each camp gets pretty snooty when arguing their point. I find it best to keep the line pretty fuzzy and stay out of the debate. But, since the chicken can live a pretty normal life and doesn't get its neck wrung in the production of eggs, and since eggs are such a core ingredient to so so many aspects of cooking and baking, I'd give him the benefit of a doubt..

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: binkychow
                                                                                                                                                            scubadoo97 RE: binkychow Dec 3, 2009 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I know term has taken on a very liberal definition by many but eggs are certainly not vegetarian. I was really shocked that they didn't jump all over that like they did with Casey's Coq au Vin just because she didn't use a rooster

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: scubadoo97 Dec 3, 2009 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                              we see only a fraction of what actually transpires. i'm sure the chefs received more specific instructions about the challenge off camera, and they were probably told that the dish could be lacto-ovo vegetarian. i doubt any of these chefs would have been dumb enough to use eggs (or dairy, for that matter) in a vegetarian challenge unless they were sure it was allowed.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                scubadoo97 RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 4, 2009 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I assume you are correct.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: scubadoo97 Dec 3, 2009 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I think that without qualification, vegetarian in this country is assumed to mean ovo-lacto. I'm actually surprised that people are so surprised about the eggs. Many, many vegetarians eat eggs, and consider them a legit part of a veg diet. This is not a recent development, and it is not the same as calling oneself a vegetarian while eating fish or poultry, and is in no way controversial. I think for the purposes of TC it would be assumed eggs were fair game unless a more restricted vegetarian diet was specified in the challenge. When Natalie Portman, who is vegetarian, was guest judge, eggs and dairy were part of their available pantry.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 3, 2009 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  well said, Caitlin. these days when i hear the word vegetarian, i assume it's lacto-ovo unless otherwise specified. more restrictive veg diets that shun dairy & eggs would be described as vegan.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                                                    mselectra RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 5, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, in the U.S. at least vegetarian has "always" (well, I don't know about the nineteenth century) included eggs and dairy -- just look at the original Moosewood Cookbook, tons of eggs everywhere, as well as an incredible amount of butter, cheese.... I think because in the 1970s the nutritional concern was that vegetarians wouldn't get enough protein so they used way more eggs and dairy than later veg cookbooks (including the revised Moosewood would), after fat became more of a concern and protein less of one.

                                                                                                                                                                    Plus, the eggs used in the TC challenge had to meet the local criterion, so presumably didn't have the vegetarian concern with bad industry practice?

                                                                                                                                                            2. LindaWhit RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                              OK, in reading the comments at Skillet Doux's blog, I just broke out laughing at this comment:

                                                                                                                                                              "Did Michael successfully cook/peel 75-or-150 63degree eggs within his 5 hour limit? Even if he did(n't) I would very much like to wear Gail’s swollen bosom like a pair of oversized novelty sunglasses."

                                                                                                                                                              LOL!!!!!!! I did notice that the girls were on parade last night as well. Couldn't help but notice. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                StewieBoy RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 07:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                And what ever Gail wears is sure to call attention to them! Everything she wears makes them "stand out"!!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: StewieBoy
                                                                                                                                                                  Phaedrus RE: StewieBoy Dec 3, 2009 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I guess Gail figures this is her "big" chance since Padma has a pooch.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                  mojoeater RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Gail did look great. Why not flaunt 'em? And Padma's outfit was ridiculous, even if she wasn't pregnant.

                                                                                                                                                                  As to the question above whether Padma actually ate everything: I don't think it matters. While she plays a judge it seems that her input is mostly that of eye candy and hostess. The true judges are the professionals at JT or at the Quickfire with her.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: mojoeater Dec 3, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    No, Padma's vote counts, unlike Kelly Choi's in TCMasters. Padma is the one judge who actually tastes ALL of the dishes - Quickfire and Elimination. I know I've read before that her vote counts as well.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                                      dave_c RE: mojoeater Dec 3, 2009 09:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Personally, I like it when the sous chefs are the well known chef/judges. Having former cheftestants, imho, is the wrong way to go. Those ppl are too close to the finalist and have their own bias.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                                        i
                                                                                                                                                                        isadorasmama RE: mojoeater Dec 3, 2009 06:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I agree...Gayle looked great. Crap. Have I been spelling her name wrong?
                                                                                                                                                                        I only wish I could get mine to lift and separate like that. Sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                          mojoeater RE: isadorasmama Dec 4, 2009 05:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          You probably could if you had a host of stylists behind the scenes!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                                                                                            KTinNYC RE: mojoeater Dec 4, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I've seen Gail on the street and she looked great even without the aid of the TV stylist.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                              mojoeater RE: KTinNYC Dec 4, 2009 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Good to know. I like her!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                                                KTinNYC RE: mojoeater Dec 4, 2009 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                She really is a natural beauty.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                                                                                      jcattles RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm curious who they'll bring back for the sous chefs next week. If they go with recently eliminated cheftestants, I think Kevin should get Eli, Bryan should get Jen, & Michael should get Robin, unless Mike I returns. Can you imagine Michael having to deal with Robin on his final challenge? Although I like it when they bring in past cheftestants and "celebrity chefs", I think bringing back people from this season, could make for some pretty strong teams.

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jcattles
                                                                                                                                                                        cowboyardee RE: jcattles Dec 3, 2009 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I think they should bring back Casey from season 3 and have her play commis to all 3 chefs at the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                          Phaedrus RE: cowboyardee Dec 4, 2009 05:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Have all three do something they have not done before?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                            jcattles RE: Phaedrus Dec 4, 2009 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, but the 3 men have the balls to tell her "F" off. They're all confident enough to do their own thing and not feel bad about when they don't want to take someone elses advice. Not that I'm dissing Carla, I really like her, but Michael, Bryan, & Kevin are just ina different league.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Brian S RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Does anyone know what it means when writing flashes on the screen saying that decisions at Judges' Table are made in consultation with the producers?

                                                                                                                                                                        I know that last year both Tom Colicchio and Anthony Bourdain denied in print that the producers have any role in the decisions. (People said that's why Hosea won.) And, thinking it over, I don't think they had any input last night; I can't imagine the producer saying, "I have a great idea! Let's alienate 75% of our viewers by unfairly getting rid of the last woman!" (Besides, I knew by Episode 4 or so that Bryan, Michael and Kevin were the best chefs) But still, the language is there.....

                                                                                                                                                                        By the way, Tom Colicchio said last year that the discussion at Judges' Table usually takes two hours or more, so we don't see most of it.

                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Brian S
                                                                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler RE: Brian S Dec 3, 2009 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          This gets discussed to death several times a season. Various people have various theories about what the significance of the disclaimer is. Here's a recent one that starts with this post:

                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6664...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                            Tmrock RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 3, 2009 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Ruth, you pointed - they did not follow :)

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Brian S
                                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                                            dmjordan RE: Brian S Dec 3, 2009 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            You say: I can't imagine the producer saying, "I have a great idea! Let's alienate 75% of our viewers by unfairly getting rid of the last woman!"

                                                                                                                                                                            How was getting rid of her unfair? And just because I'm a woman I have to pull for Jen??? I'm also a red head. Does that mean I have to root for Kevin?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                              StheJ RE: dmjordan Dec 3, 2009 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I think that the point is that it was not unfair and that it would have been foolish for the producers to axe her if not for good reason. My opinion is that the producers would have been better off keeping her for the last episode in terms of ratings etc... So for her to be cut must mean that she really did not cook a good dish.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. Niblet RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I thought Jen was going to win the QF with those chix livers. I bet she's not as eager for Ciarello to steal her recipe after that...

                                                                                                                                                                            Unrelated to this seaon but it just occured to my while looking in my fridge, I'd be interested in a QF that dealt with leftovers. Especially Thanksgiving leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Niblet
                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                              bella_sarda RE: Niblet Dec 3, 2009 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              yeah, Chiarello raved about Jen's QF dish, but she hardly used grapes at all. Like in most other plates, grapes were just a garnish/afterthought, while the winning dish was all about grapes. Kind of seems fair to me, and that grape/scallop skewer looked amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bella_sarda
                                                                                                                                                                                Ruth Lafler RE: bella_sarda Dec 3, 2009 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Right. It can be an amazing dish, but if it doesn't meet the parameters of the challenge, it shouldn't win. It sounds to me as if when he announced the winner Chiarello made it clear that he was basing his choice on who used grapes best, not necessarily whose dish was best overall.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Niblet
                                                                                                                                                                                edible complex RE: Niblet Dec 4, 2009 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                leftovers were used in the TCHoliday Special.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. TrishUntrapped RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                For some time now it has been reported that Bryan is the winner of Top Chef. If that turns out to be the case, great. But still, I wish the media would knock it off.

                                                                                                                                                                                32 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                                                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler RE: TrishUntrapped Dec 3, 2009 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe they're just confused because he won "the finale" last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                                                                                                    Robinez RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 3, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes Ruth,Bryan did win the challenge last night.The OP of this thread was mistaken.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Robin

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Robinez
                                                                                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: Robinez Dec 3, 2009 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      actually, Linda didn't comment about the EC winner in her OP. she stated that Mike won the QF...and she was correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Robinez
                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: Robinez Dec 4, 2009 04:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, ghg.

                                                                                                                                                                                        To Robinez, if I happen to start the TC episode thread, the first post is usually only about 15 minutes into the entire show, so I can't have said or even known that Bryan was going to be ultimate winner of the Elimination challenge - just that Michael V. won the QF challenge. The time stamp pretty much shows that.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2009 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          any time, Linda. i don't like it when people talk smack about my girls ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                            r
                                                                                                                                                                                            Robinez RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2009 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Linda,

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry about that.I guess I jumped the gun.I truly wasn't trying to talk smack.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Take Care,Robin

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Robinez
                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: Robinez Dec 4, 2009 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              no problem, Robinez.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Robinez
                                                                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: Robinez Dec 4, 2009 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Robin, please know that my comment about the smack talking was all in fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                                                                                                                                          ChefJune RE: TrishUntrapped Dec 3, 2009 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I heard that, too... several weeks ago. But I'm still pulling for Kevin.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                                                                                            NellyNel RE: ChefJune Dec 3, 2009 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I will be gutted if Kevin doesnt win!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: NellyNel Dec 3, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              But you do have to think about what Kevin's won - $30K, the full kitchen appliance set, the chance to compete in the Bocuse d'Or - AND he has a Facebook page devoted to his beard. What could be better than that? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd say Kevin's done all right by this show. I would love for him to win it myself, but the national recognition - both the public and amongst his peer chefs, some of whom are the cream of the crop of American and French chefs, is pretty damn good.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                NellyNel RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree, Linda - he will do very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                AND, heck, he is bound to win "Fan Favorite" this year!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                                  momjamin RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And to quote Blais' warning about the character the cheftestants display on TV, "There are two rewards you get from being on Top Chef. One is an egg. It’s a $100,000 egg. One chef gets it each season. The other is a chicken. And some of these chefs don’t realize that chickens make eggs."

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: momjamin Dec 3, 2009 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOVE that, momjamin! That Blais - he's so smart. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                      chicgail RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2009 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Richard Blais is a good example of a TC contestant who didn't win the top slot, but still won and won big-time. Keven may wind up on that category. It's not an accident that they are both class acts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                        v
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Val55 RE: chicgail Dec 3, 2009 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        In the coming attractions, Kevin looked like he was teary-eyed standing at JT. Did anyone else notice this. I am afraid that he is disappointed with himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Val55
                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                          sharonlouk RE: Val55 Dec 3, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There's a video on the Top Chef web site where the 3 are getting ready to go to final judge's table, and he says he is very happy with what he prepared in the finale.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Val55
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: Val55 Dec 3, 2009 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or maybe they're tears of happiness, because he's just heard great news.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                                                              momjamin RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 3, 2009 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like your version, Caitlin!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: momjamin Dec 3, 2009 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, that's the story I want to play out! I could see it, too, since when Kevin has won big during the season, he has seemed to feel humbled and emotional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dagwood RE: momjamin Dec 3, 2009 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hope so too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 3, 2009 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or maybe he got teary over one of those "tell us what cooking means to you" questions they often throw out at the final judges' table. I seem to remember Hung cried, and I'm sure he's not the only one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Val55 RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 3, 2009 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for pointing out the video. I think you may be right, Ruth. I don't see the judges making Kevin cry if he feels he executed well. I could see it if he felt he let himself down, and it does not look that way per the video. I love how Kevin always gives the brother V props and it is too bad that it is not returned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val55
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      junescook RE: Val55 Dec 5, 2009 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Val, you cite another reason that Kevin should win the competition. An excellent chef needs to be not only an excellent cook, but also an excellent manager. Kevin exhudes a sense of thoughfulness of other people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: junescook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tmrock RE: junescook Dec 5, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, have to agree with you. Bryan would come in a close second I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Michael, well, Michael is one of these guys that would tell you "you don't like my food because you don't know how to eat" Ohhh, ok..

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ima Wurdibitsch RE: momjamin Dec 4, 2009 02:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Brilliant! Unfortunately, for those cheftestants who came off as complete jerks or who didn't get a chance to really show their stuff, they received a rooster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ruth Lafler RE: Ima Wurdibitsch Dec 4, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I was saying as far back as season 1: who made the most of her Top Chef opportunities: LeeAnn who didn't make it to the finals or Tiffani, who did?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lizard RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 4, 2009 10:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting question that: "who made the most of her Top Chef opportunities"? Are you trying to suggest that LeeAnn made the most because she became involved with the television programme? It seems that this is hard to determine unless we can be sure that there are set criteria for making the most of an experience that apply across the board. Just because Tiffani did not go on television or start a restaurant does not mean she did not use the experience and opportunities to her best advantage. I'm not saying she did, but it seems this is more about employing celebrity chef demands on a field of work that is much larger than that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Of course, I don't mean to suggest that's what you're suggesting, but I am seeing a strain on many threads that suggests that without one's own television show or one's own restaurant, one is not achieving within the field.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do agree that winning this game show isn't the single measure of success or achievement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Phaedrus RE: Lizard Dec 5, 2009 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I believe the answer to "Who made the most of their chances on TC?" won't be answered for quite a few years. I would hapharardlously but the number at 10 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  These are all very young chefs and I think it is reasonable to give them 10 years to parlay the experience and the notoriety into something fundamentally sound. While Harold has his restaurant, I think it would be more telling to see what he does with the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This society is such that instant gratification is demanded of anyone who succeeds in the short term but the culinary arts are not something to be rushed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler RE: Phaedrus Dec 5, 2009 09:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, but the "noteriety" doesn't last very long: the culinary arts cannot be rushed, but your 15 minutes of fame is fleeting, and the window to take advantage of it is short. Among other things, the more seasons there are, the more former contestants there are, and the less significant it will be to have been on Top Chef. So while these young chefs may eventually successful, for most of them it won't have been because they made good use of having been on Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler RE: Lizard Dec 5, 2009 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think LeeAnn made the best use because, as Blais put it, she recognized the chicken. It's not so much being involved in television per se as being involved in an ongoing way with all the movers and shakers in the culinary world who deal with Top Chef. Success in the food world is in large part about making connections -- people who can hire you, people who can introduce you to people who can hire you, people who can back you (it takes a significant financial investment to open a restaurant, and very few people do it without outside financial backing), etc. -- and LeeAnn put herself in a position where she could form a lot of them. Tiffani may someday have a successful career, but if she does by this point I think we'd have to say that not much of that success will be attributable to Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 5, 2009 09:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      agree with Phaedrus that it remains to be seen who made the "best" use of it, but several of them are off to a good start. Blais has certainly benefited - he garnered a HUGE following which undoubtedly helped with the success of Flip Burger, and i've seen him do some guest appearances & video clips. and though i hate to say it, Hosea also seems to have milked it pretty well. talk shows, special appearances, videos on the Whole Foods Market website...i also don't think Ilan would have had even a *chance* of opening his restaurant without his TC cred.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Miss Needle RE: LindaWhit Dec 8, 2009 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think this is the first time watching the finale where I'll feel really bad for the losers because I think everybody deserves to win. My fave is Kevin, but I've got this feeling that Bryan will take it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                                                                        AMFM RE: Miss Needle Dec 8, 2009 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        agree on all points.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                                                          chicgail RE: AMFM Dec 8, 2009 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Me, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tmrock RE: Miss Needle Dec 8, 2009 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This group really DID raise the bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                                                                                                                            viperlush RE: Miss Needle Dec 9, 2009 05:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Because of the finale they are constantly showing repeats. I forgot that Kevin was the James Beard Nominee and that he turned down MIT. He was my favorite from the beginning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Phaedrus RE: viperlush Dec 9, 2009 05:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Its a good thing he turned down MIT, the wine cellar there is atrocious and the palate of the people there would find his cooking too sophisticated and complex.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: Phaedrus Dec 9, 2009 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Although a few of the neighboring Hahvahd folks might be able to discern a sophistication to his dishes. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm really looking forward to tonight's finale episode. And then next week we have the "Watch What Happens" recap show with whatzisface. Will be interesting to see if Mike Isabella has any more humiliation in his demeanor. Or if Eli and Robin have become BFFs. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kevin for Fan Favorite, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chicgail RE: LindaWhit Dec 9, 2009 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Linda, I think you mean that you are hoping that Mike demonstrations humility, not humiliation. At least I think that's what I hope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: chicgail Dec 9, 2009 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, that's exactly what I meant. :-) I *knew* there was something wrong with that sentence; just couldn't figure out what it was! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chicgail RE: LindaWhit Dec 9, 2009 09:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's ok. I just saw that I meant to say "Mike demonstrates humility..." and instead I wrote "Mike demonstrations humility..." Oh, well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: chicgail Dec 9, 2009 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, but you can still change your post. Mine's gone past the point of no fixes. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Either way - I doubt Mike I. will demonstrate any humility whatsoever. But it's nice to perhaps think he might. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brian S RE: Phaedrus Dec 9, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A top chef who went to MIT could take molecular gastronomy to new heights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Brian S
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Phaedrus RE: Brian S Dec 9, 2009 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not if he was a theoretician, or in the management school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Show Hidden Posts