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

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.

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

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

      1. re: LindaWhit

        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

        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

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

      3. 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

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

          1. re: karenfinan

            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. 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

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

              1. re: StheJ

                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

                  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. :-)

                  1. re: momjamin

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

                    1. re: elfcook

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

                  2. re: elfcook

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

                  3. 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

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

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

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: StheJ

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

                        1. re: momjamin

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

                          1. re: StheJ

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

                            1. re: NellyNel

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

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                LOL!

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

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

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: karenfinan

                              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

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

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

                                1. 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

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

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                            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

                                              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

                                                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

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

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                    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

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

                                                      1. re: Divamac

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

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

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: QSheba

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

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

                                          94 Replies
                                          1. re: elfcook

                                            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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                    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

                                                      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

                                                        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

                                                          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

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

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              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

                                                                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

                                                                  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

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

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

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

                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

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

                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

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

                                                      1. re: jgg13

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

                                                2. re: elfcook

                                                  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

                                                    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

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

                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                        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

                                                          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

                                                            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

                                                              "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

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

                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                  touche :)

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

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    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

                                                                      Could it be that he was being disingenuous?

                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  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

                                                                    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

                                                                  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

                                                              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

                                                                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

                                                                  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

                                                                    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

                                                                      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

                                                                        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

                                                                          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

                                                                            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'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

                                                                              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 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

                                                                                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

                                                                                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

                                                                                  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

                                                                                    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

                                                                            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

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

                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              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

                                                                                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

                                                                                  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

                                                                                    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

                                                                              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

                                                                                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

                                                                                  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

                                                                                    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

                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                        1. re: celeryroot

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

                                                                                          1. re: AMFM

                                                                                            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

                                                                                              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

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

                                                                                                1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                  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

                                                                                        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

                                                                                          "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

                                                                                            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

                                                                                              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

                                                                                                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

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

                                                                                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                      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

                                                                                          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

                                                                                            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

                                                                                              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

                                                                                                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

                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                  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

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

                                                                                                    1. re: tofuburrito

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

                                                                                                  2. re: isadorasmama

                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

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

                                                                                                          1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                  IIRC, it was Michael Chiarella who said it verbatim.

                                                                                                                  1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                          1. re: StheJ

                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                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

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

                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

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

                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

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

                                                                                                                  2. re: chris2269

                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                          That is so interesting that TC approached HIM!
                                                                                                                          Huh!

                                                                                                                          He is so lovely!

                                                                                                                          1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                                                          2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                            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

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

                                                                                                                              1. re: dave_c

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

                                                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                  :-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

                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                      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: goodhealthgourmet

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

                                                                                                                                        oh my!

                                                                                                                            2. 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

                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                  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. 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

                                                                                                                                  It was like Barbarella at Judges Table.

                                                                                                                                2. 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. 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

                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                            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 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

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

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                          3. re: rweater

                                                                                                                                            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

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

                                                                                                                                              1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                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

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

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                        "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

                                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                                                                              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.

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

                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: binkychow

                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                                                                              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: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                    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. 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

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

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: StewieBoy

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

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                                      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 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

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

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mojoeater

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

                                                                                                                                                                    2. 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

                                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                                          Have all three do something they have not done before?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                            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. 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

                                                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                                                            Ruth, you pointed - they did not follow :)

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                                                                                              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. 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

                                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                                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. 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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

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

                                                                                                                                                                                    Robin

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Robinez

                                                                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                                                                        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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: TrishUntrapped

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

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I will be gutted if Kevin doesnt win!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree, Linda - he will do very well.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                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: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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. 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

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This group really DID raise the bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Brian S

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