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Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #2 - 06/23/10 (Spoilers)

Looks like in the early shots, it's Cherry Blossom time in D.C. when they started filming this season. And the place they're staying in (the little bit we saw) looks nice. I'm sure if there's drama later in the season, we'll see more of the "dorm."

For the QuickFire, Sam Kass (White House Chef) is a guest judge. It's a "Bi-Parti-Sandwich QF." Thirty minutes to create a sandwich, paired in 8 teams of 2 people each...they draw knives to pair up. And what's the twist? They have to wear aprons that are "joined at the hip" - meaning each chef can only use one hand because the other arm has to be around the chef they're paired with!

Have to say - most of the sandwiches look REALLY good - I'll be interested to see these recipes up on Bravo's site tomorrow.

Angelo has a sandwich shop in NYC - he said he'll be embarrassed not to win. He's paired up with Tracy, and while they seem to work well together, why do I think he's NOT going to win?

Tracy & Angelo are on the top, as are Kenny & Ed's sandwich. And the winner is? Tracy and Angelo - and they both get immunity in the next Elimination Challenge.

For the Elimination Challenge, it ties in with the national initiative to end childhood obesity. The chefs are tasked with plating healthy kid fare at a local middle school. They have to deal with the exact same restrictive budget that schools have to deal with.

$2.60 per child - $134.00 total - and Sam takes away $4.00 - So they have $130.00. They'll work in teams of 4. Every chef is responsible for one item on the menu. Angelo and Tracy pick Ed and Kenny. Looks to be a strong team. BUT with 2 of them having immunity, Ed and Kenny could be in trouble if their team loses.

Other teams:

Amanda, Tamesha, Stephen, and Jacqueline
Alex, Tim, Kevin & Andrea
Tiffany, Lynn, Kelly, & Arnold

What the HELL is Amanda making a sherry jus for? This lunch is for KIDS! Oy. Even Tamesha, on her team, thinks using sherry isn't right.

And the teams find it difficult to keep to the $130 budget - one team was over by $100. Pretty much what schools have to deal with to be reimbursed by the gov't. - stay within a ridiculous budget.

The Alex, Tim, Kevin, Andrea team seems to be working well with foods that kids will like. Meanwhile, Kelly seems to be pissing off her teammates.

Chef Colicchio visits the chef before serving - his mother was responsible for feeding grade school kids for 20 years, so this challenge is near to his heart.

I think the Alex/Tim/Kevin/Andrea team won - the judges seemed to like their dishes the best. But this was written before JT.

So now it's JT...Padma calls in Angelo's Team and Amanda's team - I think THOSE are the lowest two teams! Yup - worst menus of the day. Nice way to switch it up! Jacqueline gets called out on the banana pudding (2 lbs. of sugar?) and Amanda gets called out by Kass on the budget for sherry.

Angelo's team gets called out on the no vegetables...and Colicchio brings up the fact that Tracy and Angelo have immunity and thinks there was some gamesmanship being played on his part. And then both teams start in on each other. Yowch!

Kass says Angelo's team was hands down the worst menu. They didn't like Jacqueline's banana pudding either!

The Tiffany, Lynn, Kelly, & Arnold team is the winning team! Who wins the individual EC? Kelly with her carnita! She had the main; not surprised. I did like the idea of Alex/Tim/Kevin/Andrea's menu better, however.

But it's the Kenny, Ed, Amanda, and Jacqueline team that is the lowest on the totem pole...I don't think people are going to trust Angelo much after this challenge. And I'm thinking Jacqueline is a goner. Yup - she's the one asked to PYKAG.

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  1. I do not think Temesha will not go far she is kind of grating on me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

      Amanda is my dark horse ....but I could be wrong

    2. Kelly wins Thank you..Dark Horse FTW

      1. My husband and I paused the TiVo after the elimination challenge was announced to think about what we would do if given the challenge. Best we could come up with was a whole wheat pizza with reduced-fat mozz and a home-made tomato sauce. Not very creative, I know!

        What other thoughts come to mind for you hounds?

        Also, Linda, I'm with you on that fish sandwich - I didn't realize Bravo posted recipes, so thanks for pointing that out. It looked delicious!

        3 Replies
        1. re: loriannkru

          The first thing I thought of was mac & cheese - but mine usual recipe is SO not healthy! LOL

          Otherwise, a marinated/grilled chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun with a nice salsa or low-fat aioli of some sort, coleslaw (with yogurt and lots of herbs for flavor, as was done tonight), a fruit skewer (could be marinated in a lime juice and honey mixture), and I'm not sure for dessert.

          1. re: loriannkru

            I'd probably make baked falafel. Protein doesn't have to be meat, but after *Jamie's Food Revolution*, who knows what counts as protein?

            1. re: loriannkru

              Chili or meatloaf, cut with shredded cabbage, chopped mushrooms (beans and corn for the chili) along with the beef. I make it all the time for my kids and their friends and even the pickiest eaters love it. When I heard the challenge, I thought--this is right up my alley since i feel like I'm always doing it for school parties, girl scout meetings, etc., etc. The obvious dessert would be some kind of fruit crisp but a low fat, whole wheat brownie trifle w/ strawberries would be good, too. But, who knows what is available at a Restaurant Depot and in what quantities? Can I get my King Arthur white whole wheat flour?

            2. Did Tamesha actually say "sang-wich" ?

              1 Reply
              1. re: lisavf

                She DID say sang-wich. At that moment, both my husband and I looked at each other and asked the same question!

              2. HATE challenges like this where they cook for kids (and also hated having the chefs use only one hand for the sandwiches).

                Some interesting dynamics but a throwaway overall as far as I'm concerned..

                1. Am I the only one who heard the laugh track towards the beginning of the show?

                  My tv was cutting out during JT, what was said about Angelo throwing the challenge? I could definitely see him throwing it, just to get rid of Kenny. That pisses me off. If someone is going to PYKAG, it should be because they screwed up, not because someone doesn't have the balls to compete against them. I guess it is a competition and strategy does come into play, even it it isn't right.

                  WTH was Jacqueline thinking, 2 lbs of sugar? School lunches are filled with enough crap, she didn't need to add anymore to it.

                  As for Amanda, she should've gone home just for the whole sherry thing. I know alcohol will burn off, but really? Save the alcohol for a meal at home or for grown ups.

                  I'm not sure how I feel about Kelly yet. Her tacos looked good, but she seemed pretty defensive. Could be the Magic Elves' editing again though.

                  24 Replies
                  1. re: jcattles

                    "As for Amanda, she should've gone home just for the whole sherry thing. I know alcohol will burn off, but really?"
                    i'm so with you on this one. and for the record, not *all* of the alcohol burns off - i'm pretty sure there's no way you can legally cook with alcohol for school lunches, and i was actually shocked they didn't boot her just for that. i also thought it was absurd that she spent the money on sherry when they had such a limited budget, but someone else on that team should have spoken up about it...Jacqueline playing the victim didn't work for me. and really? two pounds of sugar in the pudding? you must be kidding.

                    other thoughts:
                    - something about the promo for next week tells me Amanda may be in trouble.
                    - Arnold needs to take it down a few notches. first he says he prepared for the show by getting a stylist, then he's giggling about how he starts his day by moisturizing? it's not cute, it's just silly.
                    - had my first "ugh, i miss the Masters" moment tonight when Andrea got all bitchy about refusing to loan Angelo a canister. grow up. though the Starsky & Hutch comment did make me laugh :)
                    - happy to see they finally changed up the order a bit for calling the chefs into JT.
                    - and finally, i was waiting all week for this episode for one very particular reason...i *love* Sam Kass.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      <i'm so with you on this one. and for the record, not *all* of the alcohol burns off - i'm pretty sure there's no way you can legally cook with alcohol for school lunches, and i was actually shocked they didn't boot her just for that.>

                      I think the COULDN'T send Amanda home because Jacqueline's dessert was not only politically incorrect, it wasn't delicious!

                      Angelo didn't do anything to change my negative opinion of him last night. He clearly has big talent in the kitchen. No need to be so conniving -- and open about it! (Did you hear the aside "I don't like Kenny?") I was glad that Tom peeped his case.

                      Next, even tho Kenny is not my personal fave (so far), I hope there's an episode soon where he kicks Angelo's butt GOOD.

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        How was Jacqueline's dessert "politically incorrect"? What did I miss?

                        And I'm still not feeling Angelo either. He could be getting the "evil edit", but I don't think it was a difficult choice so far. :-)

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          She used more than 2 cups of sugar. They were supposed to be using LESS sugar.

                          1. re: ChefJune

                            True, but "politically incorrect" because she used more sugar? Not quite sure I agree with that phrasing based on its usual definition, but OK.

                            "a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, disability, and age-related contexts"

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              sorry I used the wrong terminology. So sue me. 8(

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                Sorry, but it just didn't make sense to me, which is why I went for a definition, to see if something else had been added to its meaning that I was unaware of.

                            2. re: ChefJune

                              Worse -- she used 2 LBS of sugar, not cups!

                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Amanda so should have been sent home for the gratuitous and idiotic use of sherry. Seriously? Sherry vs. sugar. Hmmm.
                          I love Sam Kass too. I was wondering, if he was single, if he and Padma may have hit the town after. hahaha.

                          speaking of Padma, interesting how the viewers poll had Tom taking the top spot for who viewers would want to share an apron with. That tells me most of Top Chef viewers are women.

                          1. re: HabaneroJane

                            Chef Tom also has a huge gay following. :-)

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              he does??? that's an unlikely one, Linda. Ha!

                                1. re: HabaneroJane

                                  why unlikely? he's everybody's favorite bear in the gay community

                                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                                    HabaneroJane, why you say so emphatically that it is unlikely? Hmm?

                                  2. re: HabaneroJane

                                    The school kids seemed to love Padma....

                                    1. re: HabaneroJane

                                      speaking of Padma, interesting how the viewers poll had Tom taking the top spot for who viewers would want to share an apron with. That tells me most of Top Chef viewers are women.
                                      women, men, gay, straight, whatever...i love Tom, but they can have him. i'll take Sam :)

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Keep Tom, keep Eric Ripert, keep Padma. I'll take Sam too. :)

                                      2. re: HabaneroJane

                                        From what I gathered from the dialogue in the store, it was "cooking sherry" which is just plain toxic. Still, when you're cooking for 50 kids, its hard to decide what's worse, cooking sherry or 2 lbs of sugar. Yuck.

                                        1. re: annabana

                                          I think Amanda mentioned that it was cooking sherry when talking to the judges IIRC.

                                          Completely agree that cooking sherry is vile vile stuff. She had a one-track mind about that sherry, though, and since that was all RD had...but for cripes sake, at that point, wouldn't you come up with SOMETHING ELSE?

                                    2. re: jcattles

                                      Yeah maybe it was the editing, but Kelly was annoying. And that laugh of Angelo's, super annoying (and I didn't necessarily hate him after ep. #1). It seemed like lots of people just cooked their dishes without much discussion.

                                      1. re: jcattles

                                        I agree about Amanda. And, it bothers me, as Tom pointed out, that she found money for the sherry but shorted her team mate on her dessert? And, why wasn't Jacqueline more assertive that she needed more for her dessert? Who deserves to go home: the person who screws the team or the person who can't stand up for herself? And, bananas are sweet if they're ripe. If not, don't use them seems obvious.

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          chowser, that was the first thing i said last night when i heard Jacqueline talking about how she got shorted on money/ingredients. - grow a spine! you're in a competition, if you want something, FIGHT for it. (though i get the feeling Amanda would have eaten her alive in about 3 seconds.)

                                          i wish both of them could have gone home...though as i said above, i get the sense from next week's promo that Amanda's departure may be imminent. or if the Elves are trying to confuse me, she's going to win the EC.

                                        2. re: jcattles

                                          This is the second time we've said WTH was Jacqueline thinking. Good shes' gone

                                        3. amanda is incredibly annoying. and it seems like she gets more annoying the next episode.

                                          3 Replies
                                              1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                ...the only thing I remember about Leah was the fool she made of herself with Hosea. ;(

                                            1. There were an awful lot of Really? moments for me. I still can't decide if 'sangwich' was intentional or not. My son and I always refer to sandwiches as 'sammichs' or 'sandlitches". but we always know we are joking,lol.
                                              I cook for 4 kids every day,my kids who are older, and 2 little kids who belong to my boss. The young kids would never eat something braised in sherry. It's not appropriate on a school menu. Just because Amanda likes it, doesn't mean it should be on the menu. I'm finding a few of her facial expressions a little irritating. Her looks of surprise and 'oops' seem over acted.
                                              I agree with the poster who mentioned Andrea not wanting to share their equipment. I had a Top Chef Masters moment too. If I win at something, I want it to be because I was good , not because so and so had an equipment failure..
                                              I had to laugh at the way many of them had trouble sticking with a budget. I have a budget for my own family,but with the family I cook for ,I can buy anything I want, without regard to price.
                                              I love this show...and my husband loves Hell's Kitchen. I can't share any TC whining with him at all,lol. Thanks for being here, hounds!

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: ChrissyMc

                                                <I agree with the poster who mentioned Andrea not wanting to share their equipment. I had a Top Chef Masters moment too. If I win at something, I want it to be because I was good , not because so and so had an equipment failure.>

                                                I disagree. That was Angelo who asked, and my guess is he is grating on the other cheftestants, and not just the viewers. I would have been tempted to refuse him a canister. Kind of a "serves you right" moment.

                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                  I've eaten at Andrea's restaurants as I am from Miami. She is a talent. That said, she seems overly cocky.

                                                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                    Where did you see that? She was in a clip (editing again!) saying she thought she was the equal of any of the contestants. I didn't construe that as overly cocky, just self-assured. With good reason. She can cook!

                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                      true, june, but for some reason, maybe because of the editing, she is coming off as cocky. or maybe because of this: http://miami.eater.com/archives/2010/...

                                                      1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                        hmmm I thought that was cute, not cocky. Thanks for the link.

                                              2. I know it's early, but the two who seem to be favorites, hate each other. I don't see Angelo or Kenny going away anytime soon, it's going to be a great rivalry, along the Ilan/Marecl lines. I don't know if everyone caught it, but they show Angelo saying he doesn't like Kenny, and no matter what Tom says, I think he mailed in this dish and maybe went so far as to sabatouge Kenny. Linda, I know a few folks gave you a hard time last week. I have decided to take a vacation day so I don't have to work Wednesday nights, and beat you to the first post. Just kidding, keep up the good work.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                  :-P James. And if you start the thread next week, I'll be glad to jump on. :-)

                                                  And I agree re: Angelo's dish and mailing it in - celery with peanut butter mousse? WTH?

                                                  If you look at the pictures on the Rate A Dish link at Bravo's site, that entire meal Just. Looks. Blah. It's all so ... well, BEIGE! LOL (Picture # 3 here: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/photo... )

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    He absolutely mailed it in. I was hoping (however unrealistically) that the judgment would be that he had come so far beneath the Top Chef line on that pulled his immunity and sent him home. The meal looks like everything you ever hated about school lunches.

                                                  2. re: James Cristinian

                                                    I caught that but what about Angelo's reaction to Tom's question of whether or not he phoned the EC in because of immunitity? Angelo said he couldn't answer at that moment. He totally phoned it in.

                                                    I didn't like the bus throwing between the two lowest teams. I didn't like the cattiness of it all. This group seems to be all about "ME". While TCM showed us how well people can work together, this season's cast is showing us how NOT to make friends.

                                                    *pfffft* *hiss* *rowr*

                                                    1. re: Dee S

                                                      I had forgotten that response from Angelo! I do remember the deer in the headlights look from him, however! Wow. now I'm disliking him a bit more.

                                                      Wonder what Colicchio's blog says? Ahhh, mostly about the school lunch programs, which he's very involved in.

                                                      But he DOES end his blog with: "One last note: It almost appeared as though Angelo really played the rest of his team, trying to lose so that Kenny would be sent home. I don’t know if it’s true, but it certainly seemed that way…"

                                                      1. re: Dee S

                                                        I think we're spoiled by TCM and the camaraderie. There have been quite a few contestants who play the game, not to win because they're the best. Last season was excellent with the top three(was it Jen, Mike, Bryan) and I loved watching Richard Blair and Stephanie work together, but I remember Spike picking prime protein, not because he wanted to use it but because he wanted to prevent others from using it. I don't respect cheftestants like that because that's what they will always be, not the best chef but the best cheftestant.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          Have any of the chefttestants ever won?

                                                          You would think Angelo would take pride in what he cooks.

                                                          Season 6 > Season 7

                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                            "Last season was excellent with the top three(was it Jen, Mike, Bryan) ..."

                                                            It was Michael Voltaggio, Bryan Voltaggio and Kevin Gillespie.

                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                              Thanks--I don't know how I forgot Kevin since i was pulling for him.

                                                      2. the kenny angelo rivalry is the funniest thing to ever happen to top chef

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: celfie

                                                          You know, i keep forgetting the show is on. I normaly work on Wendsday nights
                                                          so usually i watch it when i get home, but haven't been keeping up with it.
                                                          I was off last night, but didn't watch all of it. The taco idea was good.Around San Antonio many schools make enchiladas for the kids, usually with ground beef.
                                                          Loved them growing up and going to school here in the 1960s. You could have low fat beef or chicken enchiladas,with a red sauce,and low fat or no fat cheese,
                                                          corn ,zuchinni squash and red and green peppers, spanish rice, and for dessert fresh fruit like a mix of water melon and other melons, pineapple and grapes.
                                                          Around here there are stands that sell fresh fruit cups and mexican popscicles,called paletas. Would be light and refreshing, plus healthy.
                                                          Meatloaf with ground carrots celery and onions added to it, mashed real potatoes, and a blend of carrots,peas,yellow squash and broccoli, or just peas and carrots,dessert maybe jello with fruit mixed in for dessert and celery sticks for an appatizer.Sorry it's still early yet.
                                                          Sherry in a kids dish is a no no. The chicken idea was okay, but few children especially young ones have any appreciation for sherry.
                                                          Celery sticks filled with peanut butter and maybe topped with raisins was called ants on a log in an old girlscout book I used to have. In fact we used to make campfire stew a recipe in the book at home.
                                                          Maybe school districts should send home a list of foods and menu ideas to parents and ask them to mark what the kids will eat. Might make things easier on the food service department as to purchasing food products so they don't throw money away.
                                                          The problem is so many of today's kids eat junk food,at home and when out with the parents. Oh as a kid we would get a hamburger or fish sandwich at some drive in like Captin Jim's on Sunday with momma and daddy.But we also ate at nice restaurants for special occasions. Other than lunch at school most food was eaten at home,mainly i suppose because momma was a stay at home mom,like many women of the time period.
                                                          The idea of healthy eating at school is great, but if the parents keep feeding the kids junk , you are kind of spinning your wheels.
                                                          It was through my parents I got an appreciation for various foods,like shrimp, king crab and even lobster,and being an Airforce brat, got to enjoy japanese and chinese food which i still love as an adult. We got exposed to different foods and cultures.We would make tacos and chalupas at home.And while i still enjoy Tex-Mex, i also like to try mexican dishes beyond the usual tacos and enchiladas.

                                                        2. Is it just me, or is Gail SImmons just getting better and better each season? Her comment, "There are a lot of things I like...I like vodka." at Judge's Table was one of the funniest and most refreshingly honest (and on point) comments I've ever heard on the show (almost Bourdaine-like, minus the harsh snarkiness).

                                                          4 Replies
                                                            1. re: cabking

                                                              for some reason Gail wasn't my favorite back when the show first started, but boy has she grown on me over the seasons! i love her now. that comment about the vodka was priceless.

                                                              1. re: cabking

                                                                I agree, that comment was classic! :)

                                                              2. I thought the sight of Tracy and Angelo joined at the hip like that to be more than a little bit amusing.

                                                                I hate them both.

                                                                19 Replies
                                                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                  that whole admission that she eats fast food once a week, was that supposed to elicit tears from the audience or just have us cackle at the irony that she is supposed to be cooking a healthy, nutritious meal for a change?

                                                                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                    I thought it was funny when she and who was the other chef, Andrea?, with the tacos were talking about the importance of the challenge and getting kids to be healthier, while one talks about eating fast food and is obese while the other is smoking and drinking.

                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                      Tracy the obese one was also smoking. They must have gotten the Hell's Kitchen memo, finally.

                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                        Seeing Amanda smoking, my eyes went up, I was taken aback, as I rarely see smoking on any TV this day and age.

                                                                        There's also a bravo clip of 7 or 8 chefs sitting outside smoking, critiquing Amanda, ripping the way she was handling her rib dish.

                                                                        Quite contrast from just completing the healthy food for school challenge.

                                                                        Being a chef is very stressful. Don't let your kids grow up to be chefs...

                                                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                          Hamster--I thought the same thing about the Hell's Kitchen memo. Hahahahha. I never really noticed smoking on Top Chef until last night.. I know chefs smoke but Top Chef seemed to have not really focused on that particular aspect of the chefs until last night. perhaps because there's not much else to focus on, at least not yet anyway?

                                                                      2. re: C. Hamster

                                                                        i knew i forgot to mention something last night - i thought Tracy was going to goose Angelo under that apron!

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          What's up with Tracy...wasn't she talking about her "girlfriend" in a manner that suggested it was a partner relationship? (sorry if I missed something, I didn't catch all of ep #1)

                                                                          Or am I interlacing Rosie O'Donnell's life into Tracy's...I think they could be mother/daugher!

                                                                          1. re: coney with everything

                                                                            <What's up with Tracy...wasn't she talking about her "girlfriend" in a manner that suggested it was a partner relationship?>

                                                                            You heard that right. OTOH, she was also openly flirting with Angelo.

                                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                                              Didn't she say she had a crush on Angelo?

                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                She did say that. I just figured she plays on both sides of the fence. :P
                                                                                He is good looking... but seems arrogant.

                                                                                I thought their sandwich looked great.

                                                                                1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                  Ah, I didn't catch that part but I also didn't catch that she has a partner. I agree, he is good looking. Too bad his personality doesn't match. And, they worked well as a team. I thought it was impressive how well some teams worked. I'll bet there could be a good psychological analysis on teams that work well and trust. Who was it who kept saying something about not cutting off his fingers?

                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                    That was the chef who was working with Timothy. I don't remember who it was, but he kept pulling his hand back whenever Tim went to slice the bread. It looked like an episode of Funniest Home Videos.

                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                      Tomothy's partner was Alex (of the deconstructed Borsht).

                                                                                      And yeah, they where hilarious duo... until someone loses a finger. -.-

                                                                              2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                "She also realized that when it came to casting, she was the only lesbian on the show. 'They’ve had a few before,” she said. “I was kind of hoping for more!'"


                                                                              3. re: coney with everything

                                                                                i was trying to figure this one out - i thought Tracy said she was helping raise her "partner's" child - i didn't recall her saying "girlfriend" specifically, so i didn't want to be presumptuous. i got the impression she was gay, but when she started talking about her crush on Angelo it threw me. and IMO Angelo's cute, but not really hot enough to turn someone!

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                  I think you are taking her crush comment too seriously. It is possible to have a crush on someone even if you wouldn't want to sleep with them, and anyway, I think she was half joking. For that matter, haven't we all flirted with someone we didn't want to take to bed?

                                                                                  I thought that her willingness to joke him up, flirt, or whatever you want to call it, probably was one reason they made such a good team. She probably got that he was full of himself, and figured (correctly it seems) that he'd do better on a team with someone who seemed to share his high opinion of himself...

                                                                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                    i wasn't "taking it too seriously," just pondering the nature of it all.

                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    there are so many more choices in people's sexuality than just straight and gay

                                                                            2. I noticed a few things last night (including some really poor healthy choices for school children. High sugar pudding! Chicken with BOOZE?!?). 1) Padma seems positively LOVELY. In past seasons, she's been rather prissy and cold, but last night she was giggly and so excited to eat...it was a really nice change of pace. 2) The squabbling by the cheftestants at judges table was really entertaining to watch. I was surprised that the critics let it go on as long as they did, but it was rather amusing. 3) Maybe I am jaded by just coming off of Top Chef Masters, but there seems to be a real lack of talent this season. Angelo and Kenny are head and shoulders above the rest of them, but many of them seem entirely lackluster.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: chompchomp

                                                                                angelo and kenny are strutting atm, but others have shown some potential to rise to challenge them..
                                                                                We barely saw #2 team, which has andrea, kevin, alex, tim, strong across the board
                                                                                Kelly won this last EC

                                                                                1. re: chompchomp

                                                                                  I thought Padma seemed warmer and less wooden, too. Maybe having a baby has made her all gooey about kids in general.

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                    She definitely has a "spark" in her eyes now. Sh'e seemed more animated and not so forced. Looks like motherhood is agreeing with her. Her speaking isn't so monotone either.

                                                                                2. Besides the chicken braised in sherry gaffe (the school district must have freaked when they found out about Amanda serving that to the kids...), how about the fact that Angelo prepared a peanut butter mousse! Many school districts have banned use of peanut anything from the school lunch menus, due to the prevalence of serious peanut allergies/sensitivities .Was Angelo completely ignorant of this, or did he just not care? If I'd been in that kitchen, I would have gotten all over his case, that he could possibly be endangering a child's safety.

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: cmvan

                                                                                    JT should have mentioned peanut allergies. But if the contestants where not given any ingredient restrictions, including alcohol, it can't be automatic disqualification.

                                                                                    I'm sure parents signed release saying their kids where not allergic to anything, and had no dietary restrictions of any kind. I wouldn't be surprised if the producers where asked by the contestants. It doesn't excuse contestants not taking into account when creating their menus.

                                                                                    1. re: dach

                                                                                      "But if the contestants where not given any ingredient restrictions, including alcohol, it can't be automatic disqualification."
                                                                                      technically you're right, but i still say using a bottle of sherry to prepare a school lunch dish is grounds for DQ based on stupidity.

                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                        Also deciding to make something "just because you like" it in a challenge aimed at children's palates seemed decidedly stupid even if alcohol wasn't an ingredient.

                                                                                        But using sherry should have gotten her thrown off, I agree.

                                                                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                          She said something interesting when speaking to (dont know her name) a member of her team, (paraphrasing here) "if we put gnocchi on a plate for them were going to get slammed." I assumed she was talking about the judges - I wonder if she was thinking along the lines of make a good dish for the judges and who cares if little kids dont like it.

                                                                                          While I agree the goal is to impress the judges, she took it too far by basically ignoring the challenge. Having either her or the 2lbs sugar dessert chef thrown off were both justified. I guess her dish was abut healthier.

                                                                                      2. re: dach

                                                                                        Agree. Serving a peanut butter mousse makes the use of peanuts very apparent, but peanuts "hide" in all kinds of other foods. No one resticted them from using peanut oil, for instance. Much as it was a stupid thing to make, you can't knock him out for using an "allergic" food when you don't patrol that "allergic" ingredient across the board.

                                                                                      3. re: cmvan

                                                                                        I agree about the peanut butter thing. Our school district has a peanut/tree nut ban. That dish just wouldn't fly here.
                                                                                        I still think he didn't care, he was just trying to get Kenny kicked off. He pretty much admitted it when her wouldn't talk about it when asked at JT. Talk about evasive. At least man up & admit that's what he was doing.

                                                                                      4. Just a few thoughts. Gail's "I love Vodka" and Tim's who got high and came up with this challenge, both made me laugh.

                                                                                        Overall I liked the EC, and I thought the teams did well. However, I still cannot figure out why nobody in the Angelo/Tracy/Kenny/Ed team realized their menu was disjointed, and not fulfilling the requirements of the challenge. I know Kenny was called out at JT, but why not Ed?

                                                                                        I do think Angelo tried to throw the competition. What I don't understand is why Kenny and Ed let him. I also agree with those who were surprised they let peanut butter into the competition.

                                                                                        Speaking of things they let into the competition, I cannot believe they let Leah, wait I mean Amanda, actually serve her dish. I'm glad Sam Kass called her out for spending that much of their budget on the sherry, and she was also called out on serving alcohol to children. Again, why didn't her team speak up about the sherry?

                                                                                        I'm glad Jacqueline was sent home. This is the second time in a row she has tried to take the fat out of the dish and failed miserably, especially when she is adding 2 lbs of sugar! Plus she didn't stand up for herself where the budget was concerned.

                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: lizzy

                                                                                          Ed was called out too for not taking control during JT deliberation (don't remember if it was in the bravo site extended version)

                                                                                          Tamesha said something about sherry being a bad idea. I forget if it was in a confessional, or to Amanda directly. It could be Tamesha wanted to see Amanda crash and burn, as they did not bond during the sandwich QF.

                                                                                          1. re: dach

                                                                                            I am willing to concede that I might not be remembering things correctly. However, I do not remember Ed being called out at JT. I also don't remember anyone of Amanda's teammates saying anything about the alcohol to her directly, I only remember them discussing it in the confessional.

                                                                                          2. re: lizzy

                                                                                            for 50 servings 2 lbs of sugar means more than a half ounce of pure sugar per child. Awful.

                                                                                            1. re: lizzy

                                                                                              <<I do think Angelo tried to throw the competition. What I don't understand is why Kenny and Ed let him. I also agree with those who were surprised they let peanut butter into the competition>>

                                                                                              I was pretty obvious by their comments that Angelo and Tracy were consciously trying to throw the competition. Even Tom, who didn't hear their remarks, thought so. Angelo has already set up a situation where he is intimidating and exploiting the other contestants.

                                                                                              By not standing up for what they knew was right, Kenny and Ed showed weakness that, unless they recognize and overcome it, will be their downfall before this is over.

                                                                                              Angelo may be an effective competitor, but I question whether he would be a good Top Chef. I, for one, would never want to work with or for him.

                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                <Angelo may be an effective competitor, but I question whether he would be a good Top Chef. I, for one, would never want to work with or for him.>

                                                                                                I know we have only seen two episodes of this season, but compared to last it seems like these chefs are focusing the competition aspect the show and not the cooking. Angelo is a good chef and doesn't need to pull cheap tricks (like Spike). Last season it seemed like the chefs tried to help each other out by bouncing ideas and giving advice. Michael did this and still won.

                                                                                                1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                  Last season, the final chefs were so much more like Top Chef Masters--great skill and great camaraderie and respect for each other. They seemed to want to win because they were the best not because they were the best at playing the game.

                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                    Exactly. I just wish (hope) that this season moves in that direction.

                                                                                                    1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                      So do I, but this batch of contestants don't seem to be going that way. I hope I'm wrong.

                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                        Agreed. Last year, I think most of us picked Final 3 or 4 pretty early on. This year? Angelo and Kenny seem like they're in that group, but no one else has stood out as amazing. Perhaps because Angelo has been stealing the camera spotlight?

                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                          I agree. None of them seems that gifted after whe little we've seen.

                                                                                                          Here's hoping Angelo makes some kind of disqualifying mistake.

                                                                                                          1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                            It's sad to be feeling that way this early into the show, but I have to say I join you in that sentiment.

                                                                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                              Unfortunately, I think Season 6 set a bar as far as talent goes that isn't likely to be met again.

                                                                                              2. I honestly cannot believe that Amanda used sherry as a major cooking ingredient as a school lunch. Not all of the alcohol cooks out for one, second, there are kids who have religious instructions against consuming any alcohol, and third, most kids just do not like the taste of things cooked with alcohol. And wow, what an expensive ingredient to use when your team has a small budget. Her teammates should have pushed back on that, but that was such a stupid decision on her part.

                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                  I thought she bought sherry vinegar, not sherry.

                                                                                                  1. re: DrSouthBay

                                                                                                    she asked for the alcohol at restaurant depot

                                                                                                    1. re: DrSouthBay

                                                                                                      When they were checking out, one of her team members asked about two bottles of vinegar and she replied that one was sherry, not vinegar.

                                                                                                      Just a really bad decision all the way around. She should have been eliminated except that Jacqueline made a worse decision with the sugar.

                                                                                                      1. re: araknd

                                                                                                        Thanks for clarifying. Either way it would have been a bad decision, but putting 2 pounds of sugar in a bad tasting healthy dessert seems a lot worse.

                                                                                                      2. re: DrSouthBay

                                                                                                        No she bought sherry.

                                                                                                        When she was in the supply house, she kept asking about cooking sherry. That made me wince as much as the idea of using sherry in a dish for middle school children. Cooking sherry is low-quality sherry further adulterated with salt and preservatives. It is really nasty stuff. I can't even understand why there's a market for that product. If you can't drink the wine/sherry/whatever you shouldn't be using it as a recipe. A professional chef should know that!

                                                                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                          I agree. I suspect there may have been an issue with alcohol sales laws such that "cooking sherry" was available but real sherry wasn't.

                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                            wait, if she actually used cooking sherry and not the real deal then i'm even more insistent that she should have gone home for it. cooking with alcohol for a bunch of school kids AND using an ingredient that no self-respecting chef would ever touch? epic fail.

                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                              <<she should have gone home for it. cooking with alcohol for a bunch of school kids AND using an ingredient that no self-respecting chef would ever touch? epic fail.>>

                                                                                                              Patience, LIttle Grasshopper. One epic failure at a time. Amanda's time is coming.

                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                "Patience, LIttle Grasshopper. One epic failure at a time. Amanda's time is coming."

                                                                                                                LOL!!!! I do believe she might have her head on the block next week, based on those previews.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  I'd put money on her staying. Those previews are usually misleading in their editing. I don't want to dash your hopes, but that is my opinion.

                                                                                                            2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                              I don't know the location of the restaurant supply house where the shopping took place. That's significant since there are three separate jurisdictions -- Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia -- and each one has a different set of alcohol sales regs. I know Virginia's the best. Regular sherry and wine can be sold in a grocery store, but liquor can't. Bottom line: If the store was located in Virginia, real sherry would have been available there.

                                                                                                              Perhaps someone knows where the restuarant supply house was located and the alcohol sales regs for that jurisdiction.

                                                                                                              1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                It looks like there's a Restaurant Depot (that's where Padma said that they were going) in Alexandria, VA, which is the closest to D.C. There isn't one in the District, and the one in Maryland would be a much farther drive from them.

                                                                                                                1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                  It may be that regardless of regulations where that particular Restaurant Depot is, RD doesn't sell consumable alcohol, but only cooking wine. Not that that would excuse Amanda's poor judgment regarding the dish.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                    If RD purports to be a restaurant supply house, I can't imagine why they would stock cooking wine. Who do they hope to sell it to? No chef who actually knows what he/she is going would use the nasty stuff. Which brings us to Amanda... Why would she ask for cooking sherry?

                                                                                                                    Unless the elves edited out JT comments about the foul taste of the cooking sherry, it's likely the sherry was the real stuff. JT comments focused on the price and the lack of suitability for the challenge. Colicchio et al know food and would have been able to recognize the salty, chemical taste of cooking sherry.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                      Yes, she kept on saying "sherry" - not "cooking sherry". And a few others on her team talked about it in the confessionals. But I do believe that a restaurant supply place would sell cooking sherry - yes, there are those many good chefs who wouldn't go near it, but as we've seen on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, there are enough BAD chefs who would use that dreck.

                                                                                                                      But I also agree on all of the judges being able to know if it was salty cooking sherry.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        Since no one in the confessionals snickered at Amanda's use of cooking sherry, that's further proof that the stuff was likely the real deal. Still, I'm reasonably confident that when Amanda was hunting for the sherry she called out something along the lines of "Where's the sherry? Where's the cooking sherry?"

                                                                                                                        In my own cooking -- and I'm far from a professional chef -- the words "cooking sherry" wouldn't even cross my lips. I would change my menu on the spot if it came down to using cooking wine/sherry.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                          When I was a young cook, I bought a bottle of cooking sherry because I always remembered it in my parents' cabinet. I used it once in some recipe, and I about gagged on the amount of saltiness of the dish. I poured it out and bought a real bottle of sherry. ...and then marsala...and then madeira. :-)

                                                                                                                      2. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                        eta: reply to Indy's post re: restaurant depot

                                                                                                                        rd stocks a crap-ton of dreck.
                                                                                                                        that fluorescent relish in gallon jars? check.
                                                                                                                        pump cheez product? check.
                                                                                                                        styrofoam clamshell to-go containers? check.

                                                                                                                        rd supplies commercial eating establishments across the board, including hot dog carts, state fair booths, and cafeterias-- not just the places that put the hoity to the toity. you can also get cases of 15 doz organic eggs, whole halal lambs, and high end coverture chocolate there as well. . . but rd sells to the lowest common denominator type of eatery, too. in fact, they sell to that type of establishment quite a bit, while the high end places get the majority of their product delivered by distributor, and stop at rd as little as possible. the place has its utility but kinda sucks, as far as many restaurateurs are concerned.

                                                                                                            3. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                              I can't decide whether I dislike Amanda or Kelly more?

                                                                                                              Although I do think Jacqueline was one of the weakest on the show I hope one of those girls goes next.

                                                                                                            4. Bravo has unaired video from JT on their website. Too funny.

                                                                                                              35 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: LJBTampa

                                                                                                                Padma and Gail making googly eyes at each other? LOL

                                                                                                                I'd love to see an even MORE extended version of JT...especially one in which they disagree on winner/loser. I'd like to see the discussions that go into the decisions.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  motherhood has turned Padma from a robot into, dare I say, a human? That, or she just watched Top Chef Masters and took notes on how not to mimic the uber robotic, stick figure that is Kelly Choi.

                                                                                                                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                    I've seen a few other clips of her when she can be silly before, but she REALLY seems to have loosened up. And it looks like she and Tom have buried the hatchet. I had read they weren't getting along several seasons back.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      ooh, juicy! I didn't know they weren't getting along. Interesting.

                                                                                                                        1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                          Rumor mill churning, I think. Perhaps a crew member leaking it out to a friend of a friend, who posted it somewhere? Can't recall.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            TC doesn't look easy to get along with. Not sure who's worse and more uptight as a judge, he or Bobby Flay.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              OK - did some Googling - I think this was a BIG uproar in Season 5 - someone posted on a blog that they worked behind the scenes during TC5, and said:

                                                                                                                              "A crew member from the Top Chef New York season makes a rare move and shares some details on what goes on behind the scenes. Reveals: Padma is not dumb but she is a diva and does not get along with Tom; chefs often have to cook through the night to meet deadlines; there is a list of people producers want to stay throughout the season; crew monitor phone calls and emails of the cheftestants, and this: "Rocco DiSpirito scared us. Intense guy."

                                                                                                                              and it was pulled PDQ. Scroll down to the Top Cheffage comment at the Padma tag:


                                                                                                                              And this is pretty funny: http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/01...

                                                                                                                              "If we could peek underneath that judges' table, we'd find a gin and tonic nestled between Colicchio's legs. Padma suggested watching the top of Colicchio's pate — astute viewers will notice a shiny red glow growing as the debate rages on. "

                                                                                                                              :-) :-) :-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                  totally! The only thing I knew about Padma besides Rushdie, Dell and Forstmann is that she was a major chain smoker. Not sure if she still is after the babe was birthed..

                                                                                                                                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                    well, if there's any truth to this one it would certainly explain a lot!


                                                                                                                                      1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                        all i have to say is padma looks amazing with the baby weight on her. better than shes ever looked. oh and angelo obviously wins hes so cocky in all the interviews you can tell he won.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                          Can you support your assertion that "Angelo obviously wins?" I would expect him to be cocky regardless of the outcome.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                            The interviews are all done after the show and you can sometimes get a feel for who won based on their behavior/tone in the interviews. i obviously don't have inside information on whether he won or not, I just think based on his behavior in the interviews he won, its something I learned from watch Road Rules/Real World challenge.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                              The interviews are not all done after the show; they're done during the show, between competition segments.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                                As Ruth said, the confessionals are done during shooting of that particular episode. There's no way that they could be done after 30+ days of shooting the entire season - the cheftestants wouldn't be able to remember what happened on Day 4 after 30 days of tough competition and 20 hour days.

                                                                                                                                                And I seem to recall that Stefan was overly cocky as well. Look what happened to him.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  While some of the interviews are probably done during the shooting of the episode, the majority of them are done after. Its not hard to remind people what had happened, when the film has been edited down and they can watch it to refresh their memory. This is reality tv people. While I am not positive, but I would guess that most of the interviews take place after the episodes have been cut and edited. This way the producers can ask certain questions to get answers they feel make good tv. Then the interviews are placed into the time that needs to be filled/has been left for them. This is common practice amongst reality shows.

                                                                                                                                                  Dunno who Stefan was, but you could tell the younger brother had won by like the 5th episode last season.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                                    At this point the editors don't know who wins, they only know who will be final 4. all the challenges except the finals are taped over 30 days and then edited. Episode 1 happened during the Cherry Blossom festival in April. The finals and winner are done separately, just one or two weeks before the finals airs, so the final and winner episodes won't even be taped for another 2 months.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                                      "While some of the interviews are probably done during the shooting of the episode, the majority of them are done after."

                                                                                                                                                      And you know this how? I would think the comments would have much more punch if asked soon after something happened. Getting the right temperament from a cheftestant a month later isn't going to happen, IMO. They could have made up from a fight; they could have been friends during that particular taping and then ended up enemies - the one in the confessional wouldn't have the same feelings about whoever they're talking about a month later if they were friends, and THEN ended up disliking each other.

                                                                                                                                                      As dach said - the finale hasn't even been filmed yet. So the confessionals have been filmed, and probably soon after the episode's challenges were shot.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                                        You first acknowledge that your knowledge about how reality TV works is guesswork ("while I am not positive, but it would guess that...") and then you say "This is common practice amonst reality shows."

                                                                                                                                                        ALLDAYY, either you know or you are guessing; not both. If you "know," I would assume that you have some first hand experience that supports that. If that's the case, my request is that you support your assertion by telling us what your experience and expertise is with regard to reality TV.

                                                                                                                                                        While there is nothing particularly REAL about reality TV, in my experience all interviews are taped, if not immediately, then in a pretty timely manner -- not after shooting and editing are completed. It would be too logistically complicated (and costly) to do it any other way.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                                          @ ALLDAYYY: <'Dunno who Stefan was, but you could tell the younger brother had won by like the 5th episode last season.'>

                                                                                                                                                          Uhh...Stefan Richter, Season 5? One of the most skilled contestants and one of the finalists that year? How long have you been watching TC? Do you bother looking up or remembering who past contestants were? "The younger brother" - I presume you mean Michael Voltaggio - Season 6?

                                                                                                                                                          It might be useful, if one wishes to draw comparisons with past contestants, to look up what had gone before. I recommend it.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                            I don't really care how long ALLDAYY's been watching Top Chef, but does anyone watch Entourage? Stefan made an appearance on the season premiere when E and the gf were out to dinner, "thanks Stefan, it was great as usual". Ha ha. Maybe this is in another thread that I didn't see.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                              i was wondering if anyone else caught that! Stefan actually seemed pretty uncomfortable and wooden.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                                            If you've read many interviews with reality show participants you'll know that while the occasionally do go back and get some comments, most of the "confessionals" are done between filming sessions. Among other things, it adds to the stress of the situation, because even when the competition is over they still don't have "down time" because of the interviews.

                                                                                                                                                            HOWEVER, during the editing process the interview sessions can be spliced into any episode at any time. So they could use an interview clip from much later in the competition in an earlier episode if they thought it was pertinent or helped shape the narrative. So yes, who wins (or who goes to the finale, which as other people pointed out is filmed after the early episodes have already aired) can be foreshadowed through the editing. It's part of the way they turn "real life" into a cohesive story with characters and a plot: good guys and bad guys, and often some sort of redemption arc (Stefan started out to be a "bad guy" and was later shown in a much more sympathetic light).

                                                                                                                                                            One way to verify what I'm saying is that the cheftestants often change their appearance between the last episode before the finale and the finale -- they gain or lose weight, change their hair or facial hair, etc. If the confessionals were filmed after the end of the series you would know it, and if production was planning on filming confessionals at the end their contracts would require them to maintain their appearance.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                              my favourite confessional splice so far was when michael made a comment along the lines of how kevin's food was the kind of stuff he'd make on his day off. i think they first used it maybe 2/3rds into the competition and then put it in nearly every single episode after that. i don't remember much of his confessional tape being used other than that.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                                                                          At least something is learned from the Road Rules/Real World challenge.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                              Joanie, I claim ignorance. I don't know what you are referring to that was "learned from the Road Rules/Real World challenge. Can you explain?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                Oh, I was just remarking on ALLDAYY's "I just think based on his behavior in the interviews he won, its something I learned from watch Road Rules/Real World challenge" and joking that the show is so ridiculous, at least one thing was learned from it (or not as the case may be). RW/RR is one step above For the Love of Ray J, Rock of Love (this one I embarrassingly watch), etc. in the reality spectrum.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                shout out to joanie for taking the bait, was getting nervous it was gonna fail

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    If you scroll down a bit further in this link http://ny.eater.com/tags/padma-lakshmi there are pix of Padma, Katie Lee Joel and Kelly Choi. WTH is Kelly carrying over her shoulder?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LJBTampa

                                                                                                                                                      I remember that photo - I think it's a lamb or goat carcass?

                                                                                                                                        2. re: LJBTampa

                                                                                                                                          Oh, i can't wait to get home and watch that! :)

                                                                                                                                        3. Did anyone else wonder why Kelly wasn't called out for making something unhealthy? I mean, I love carnitas, but since they're basically pork cooked in pork fat, I wouldn't think they are at all healthy.

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                            There's nothing wrong with pork and pork fat in moderate amounts -- the pork tacos had an ounce or two or meat on a whole grain tortilla with vegetable-based salsa and garnishes. Furthermore, if Kelly made it the way Michael Voltaggio did on the Bravo site, she used a pressure cooker and basically steamed it, then crisped it on the flat top before assembling the tacos. It actually seems like a very practical dish to make for a cafeteria, since everything can be prepped and cooked in advance and then assembled at the last minute.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, when I cook carnitas I don't ADD any fat to them (just like the recipe on bravo), but seriously, pork butt is pretty fatty. The water basically cooks down and the pork eventually fries in its own fat. Delicious, yes, but not healthy by any stretch of the imagination.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                you know, i just looked at Kelly's recipe on the TC site, and it calls for 2 lbs of pork butt for 4 servings. that's 25 grams of fat *per serving* right there (though it assumes she's stuffing an entire 4-oz serving of meat into each taco). add the tablespoon of olive oil in each tortilla, and she's up to nearly 40 grams of fat...for ONE taco. that's insane.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                              Holy crap. The first sentence REALLY disses Tracy and Kenny's partner!

                                                                                                                                              "This week, Angelo (and inconsequential partner) narrowly defeated Kenny (and inconsequential partner) in the Quickfire."

                                                                                                                                              And I love Ripert's calling Angelo out as the reincarnation of Machiavelli. ;-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                as does your not knowing kenny's partners name......

                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                  That would be Ed Cotton, actually, a very fine chef.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                    Oh please. Just because I remembered Tracy was partnered with Angelo (and seemed to be manhandling him) but didn't mention Ed, that's a diss? It's still very early in the show; I don't have everyone memorized yet. SO sorry. Unfortunately, Tracy was featured and is very prominent in my mind for two episodes; Ed has been in the background.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      if it wasn't a diss by you, it wasn't a diss on the blog.

                                                                                                                                                      i have no problem with what you said, not sure why youre up in arms. maybe i need to add a smiley face or something

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                        I think an Esquire article referring to them as an "inconsequential partner" and a poster forgetting someone's name in the 2nd episode are two different things.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, Joanie. That's the way I saw it as well, and couldn't understand how my forgetfulness was a diss.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                    I have always thought Eric Ripert is a cool cat, that he is not over the moon with iPhone reinforces my opinion of him.

                                                                                                                                                  3. If you can't get enough TC fix with just chow (I'm addicted!)
                                                                                                                                                    I just googled upon http://www.topchefshow.com
                                                                                                                                                    Really good site that has TC related news, articles and interview from all over the web. Like a nice interview with Jacqueline http://www.topchefshow.com/articles/e...
                                                                                                                                                    Jacqueline sound much more skilled, accomplished and serious about cooking than what we where shown on TC.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                      That site has a TV Guide interview with Tom where he had this to say about Toby:

                                                                                                                                                      "I liked working with Toby [Young], but he didn't have the most authoritative voice when it came to the food. Toby is more of a scene critic when it comes to restaurants — or at least that's my understanding of it. He did know a good amount about food though. Having Eric judging the food has a little bit more weight than Toby judging your food. "


                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                        The best site for my money is still TelevisionWithoutPity. Details, somewhat snarky recaps, and their forums are actually reasonably intelligent.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                          This cracked me up (as did the whole John back in Michigan thing):

                                                                                                                                                          The school cafeteria's kitchen is small and the teams have to make due. Angelo is having a classic lunch time meal crisis. His foam gun is malfunctioning! "There's no peanut butter in my foam gun!" Vintage. We've all been there. Whenever that happens to me (very often), it feels even worse than when my grandparents had to ration during the War, or what all those Russians who froze had to deal with. As they say, our problems are no less worse, just different.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                            The whole thing was funny but that line about the lunch time meal crisis was the best. Someone needs to mail him a back up pocket foam gun.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                            Hooked me up to hilarious andrea vlog. She is gangsta, giving shoutouts, and calling people out

                                                                                                                                                            ETA: ugh.. it just got deleted. I knew she was joking. It was just friendly italian-american insult humor, faux-tough talk. Same culture misunderstanding that got MikeI hated on all last season. America is way too thin skinned. :-(

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                              that was awesome! my favorite excerpt:

                                                                                                                                                              "I honestly don't know what everybody is so worried about with these school lunches. I spent my two dollars in lunch money on snack machine Twizzlers for years and I turned out great. (Though I have dangerously soft bones and sometimes loud noises give me bruises.)"

                                                                                                                                                              thanks for posting it :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                Funny, yes, but makes a good point. I think sometimes we get caught up in all the detailed nutritional information available and start thinking that everything we eat has to be perfect or it's bad. Yes, on paper olive oil is better for you than corn oil. But really, 40 years from now is it going to make any appreciable difference to your health what the ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s was in the oil you used to dress your salad?

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                I love that you post these links, huiray - that blogger's write-ups are WAY better than mine. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  You're welcome. :-)
                                                                                                                                                                  p.s. Your summaries are very nice, I enjoy them.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks. Mine are "just the facts, Jack!" But that blogger is the comedic writer. :-)

                                                                                                                                                              3. One of the things that bother me a little was Tom Kass' remark that 'tomatoes are fruits' in the context of culinary classification as "vegetables"/"fruit", which appeared to be the context of his remark. Well, "vegetables" are a group of edible substances that encompass various types of plant matter. At least to me, a fresh tomato IS a vegetable. (Tomato KETCHUP is not) If Tom Kass considers a tomato a "fruit", in the sense of apples, pears, etc, then he would need to consider other things like eggplants, okra, zucchini, squash, etc etc as "fruits" and therefore NOT usable as "vegetables". These things are ALL the fruit resulting from pollination of a flower. Even mushrooms would not be allowed as a "vegetable" by his logic as they are the fruiting bodies of a fungus.

                                                                                                                                                                He should have been challenged on the spot.

                                                                                                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                  Tomatoes and avocadoes, technically, ARE fruit. Why should he have been challenged?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                    Because of what I discussed above. Tomatoes and avocados technically are fruit, yes. So are eggplants, okra, zucchini, squash, watermelons, winter melon, bittergourd, chayote. Yet of the items in the last list only watermelon is generally considered a "fruit" in the sense of "Apples, Pears" etc.

                                                                                                                                                                    Remember, the context of the remark was in terms of "Fruit" versus "Vegetable" as in "Fruits/Vegetables"/"Grains" etc in a culinary sense or in a nutritional classification sense, NOT in a botanical sense.

                                                                                                                                                                    If, by Tom Kass' definition (and yours?) a botanical fruit is not a vegetable, then any use of any of the items I enumerated in the list above should not be allowed as a "Vegetable" for culinary/nutritional senses. I think I would consider all those things I listed as vegetables, except for the watermelon example.


                                                                                                                                                                    ...and, again, mushrooms are the FRUITING bodies of fungal mycelia.

                                                                                                                                                                    ...and a quote from my post above: < Well, "vegetables" are a group of edible substances that encompass various types of plant matter.>
                                                                                                                                                                    These types of plant matter include botanical fruits.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                      anything that is the matured ovaries of a flower is a fruit regardless of how other people might classify it. so yes, zucchini is a fruit. a mushroom is not a fruit - first and foremost because fungi is its own kingdom (ie not a plant)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: celfie

                                                                                                                                                                        Dear Celfie,
                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps you should re-read my post. I did not say mushrooms were fruits nor did I say fungi were plants. I said mushrooms were the fruiting bodies of fungal mycelia. Note also I separated out discussion of mushrooms from the other items I enumerated in that list of fruits of plants.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                        What's the big deal? and while we're at it, it's SAM Kass, not Tom.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                          That's right, my error - it is Sam Kass.

                                                                                                                                                                          It is somewhat of a deal because if one's definition of what constitutes a vegetable and what constitutes a fruit is a basis of how you score or judge a test/competition based on incorporation of both a "fruit" and a "vegetable" into said test and you penalize said contestant based on a possibly incorrect or misleading definition then the validity of the judgement is called into question.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                        Sam Kass' remark was technically correct and essentially meaningless and pedantic. I was reminded of the incident when Tom Colicchio went after Casey for her preparation of a dish she referred to as "coq au vin."

                                                                                                                                                                        Was the point of the challenge to prepare healthy food that included fruits and vegetables? Would the nutrition change depending on whether a tomato was called fruit or vegetable? Since we all know the answer to that rhetorical question, Kass came off as needlessly petty because of his comment.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                          If they let the tomato as vegetable comment pass people will complain too.

                                                                                                                                                                          It did make me wonder if vegetables and fruits differ nutritionally. Maybe TC could have included a nutritionist to comment on the end as to how well the dishes would meet nutrition requirements. Or even be available for consultation to help the teams make an informed decision as what needed to be included on their trays. Could be producers decided they didn't want to complicate the episode or JT, as judging is based mainly on flavor and technique, not on meeting precise nutrition targets.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                            Regardless of whether a tomato is considered a fruit or vegetable, it is healthful, as are sweet potatoes which was also in their meal. The Supreme Court ruled the tomatoes are vegetables, at least as tax purposes go--or so we were taught in biology. But, I wouldn't consider a slice of tomato to be a full serving of vegetables either way.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                              What's considered a serving size for fruits and vegetables is surprisingly small, generally half a cup/4 oz. A thick slice of tomato might qualify. Anyway, I think the point is well taken that if Kass was going to be pedantic and call a tomato a fruit, he should have pointed out that other things we think of as vegetables are also fruit. Although, off hand I can't think of another "fruit/vegetable" that the contestants used. They all seemed to go heavy on the sweet potatoes, probably because they're inexpensive and easy to use in a lot of different ways. But I think there were some peppers in the winning team's meal (in the corn salad and/or the tacos). Peppers are fruits as much as tomatoes are!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                To take this issue through re: other botanical fruits used by the contestants -

                                                                                                                                                                                Well, legumes are also botanical fruits - so green beans (Tamesha) qualify. The black beans (Lynne) would qualify as part of a botanical fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                Grains are also botanical fruits - so rice (Stephen; Tracey) and corn (Arnold) also qualify. Oh, and the bread used would have been made from processed grains like wheat etc, also botanical fruits.



                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                  I also think sweet potatoes are dismissed because they're starchy but they're packed with nutrients. Years ago, when vegetables were ranked nutritionally, sweet potatoes ended up surprisingly on top. I put sweet potatoes on my starch list but as has been said, it's not how you categorize them, it's about nutritional value and that doesn't change.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. As a rule of thumb, the more colorful vegetable is, the more nutrients it has. Nutritionists say you should look at your plate and it should have at least three different colors (with brown/beige counting as one, and white not counting at all). I took Gail's praise for the winning team's offerings at being "colorful" to be acknowledging that, in addition to the esthetics.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yet both Sam Kass and Tom Colicchio pooh-pooh'ed Ed's sweet potato prep as just mainly starch, implying there was no redeeming value...I wonder why. >-) OTOH, Tiffany's caramelized sweet potatoes and Lynne's sweet crispy potato twigs were praised... wasn't that inconsistent and curious?

                                                                                                                                                                                      In fact, after re-watching the episode today what Tom Kass did was not only to disallow the tomato and the sweet potato in Team Angelo's meal as veggies, sneeringly allowed that the celery stick was the 'only vegetable' early on at JT, yet later on saying that there were 'no vegetables' (that's what I heard) in their meal. I have issues with this guy. I rather suspect that the only things that he really considers "vegetables" would be green leafy stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                there's very wide variation in nutritional value between fruits and vegetables, AND between foods within each category. calories, sugar, fiber and vitamin/mineral content are all considerations. calorie for calorie, a serving of spinach is far more nutrient-dense and healthful than a serving of white potatoes, but unfortunately they both count as "a vegetable" in the eyes of the FDA.

                                                                                                                                                                                there was once a challenge involving a nutritionist - all the recipes had to be analyzed in advance and adhere to specific guidelines. it was definitely Season 2 because i remember Betty had a cookie disaster when she tried to substitute Splenda for sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember that episode very well. There was a wide gap between the concept and the reality for that challenge. The day before the challenge, the teams adhered to the rules carefully to meet the nutritional guidelines. However, the day of the competition, the teams strayed to varying degrees from the approved recipes. I think there was even a moment in the judging in which Colicchio et al wondered whether they could even identify a winner much less send someone home because each team's recipe bore little resemblance to the one that had been approved.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Whether or not there is variety between fruits and vegetables and within each category is true but it is beside the point. The nutritional value of a tomato is the same whether you call it a fruit or a vegetable.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sam's confrontational tone was off-putting. There was an edge to his voice that was appropriate as a response to someone who had made a truly derogatory remark, but wholly inappropriate to someone who simply reflected the common wisdom when he called a tomato a vegetable.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought Mr. Kass had a bit too much of a superior attitude (boy, was his nose in the air) and with regards to Team Angelo, verging on snark.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Jacqueline's dish is low in sugar. 2 pounds for fifty kids works out to about 18 grams of sugar per serving. A tiny 4 ounce cup of grape juice has more sugar. A standard (12 oz) can of soda has more than double, sometimes (e.g best-selling Sunkist soda) three times as much! And what can be healthier than eating an apple? Well, eat one apple and you're getting almost that much sugar. (I posted this comment on Mr Colicchio's Bravo blog and they refused to print it. Why?)

                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                              just because the items you mentioned contain more sugar than Jacqueline's dessert, that doesn't automatically make hers a smart, nutritious choice. 18 grams of sugar is equivalent to 4.5 teaspoons. then there are the bananas, which get more than 50% of their calories from sugar and made up the bulk of the dessert. yes, it's "natural" fructose in the bananas, but it's still sugar...on top of sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                Plus, her pudding didn't taste good, so she had two strikes against her: not meeting the brief, and the poor quality of her dish.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                                im no health food fanatic, but there is a difference in the way the body processes the sugar from an apple, and processed sugar added to food

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                  And, whether your body processes it the same way or not, you're getting a lot more nutritional value from the apple. White sugar is just empty calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually, apples don't have a whole lot of nutrition, although they do have some vitamin C. They do, however, have fiber, which is very important. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fr...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think produce have a lot more nutrients in them than we know. It seems like they're always discovering phytochemicals, etc. that they never knew existed. I think that's one reason taking the actual vitamin we think compse the foods isn't as good as eating the food. But, anyway, if my kids asked to eat an apple, that would be fine but if they asked to eat the equivalent in white sugar, the answer would be "no.";-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, I posted the nutritional values for apples, and the only nutrient they have in any significant amount is vitamin C. As I noted above, generally the more colorful a fruit is, the more nutrients, including phytochemicals, which are closely linked to color, there are. Since the flesh of apples has very little color (and the skin is largely undigestible), that might explain why they don't have a lot of nutrients compared to, say, peaches. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fr...

                                                                                                                                                                                        As I said, a fresh apple has fiber and is a lot more filling than the equivalent amount of sugar, but I'm not sure that our perception that it's more nutritious has much basis in reality.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. I got to eat a TC QF winner this weekend. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                I went to Angelo'x Xie Xie this weekend in NYC restaurant row. it is a small joint that also has a shared side door with a corner bar. I got the first sandwich on the menu, which was the exact fish sandwich Angelo made on the QF. It was quite delicate but tasty with a big tender piece of fish, with fairly generous dill topping, and pickled onion. The price is reasonable w small bag of wise chips and soda @ $10. The same price for burger deluxe, soda in the area. Very informal, don't need to tip, self-table service. Wasn't crowded, there was a TC poster on the wall. Disappointed they where out of 1000 year icecream sandwich , which seems to be universally praised online. Was there early, at about noon, did not see Angelo.

                                                                                                                                                                                A family of TC fans where eating next to me. They got 4 sandwiches, that they had cut into 4 pieces each, mixed on 4 platters, to create a tasting platter for each of them. Smart move.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Can someone explain to me why it was necessary to add sugar to the bananas? Everyone kept saying they were too "Starchy" so she added sugar -- and my husband and I were both left going, "Huh?"

                                                                                                                                                                                  How are certain bananas more starchy? If they're too ripe, don't they get sweeter? I'm confused.

                                                                                                                                                                                  That being said, I'd also like to throw in my two cents and agree with many other posters in saying that the "competition" aspect of this season seems to be outweighing the "cooking" portion. One of the reasons I always liked TC (compared with other reality tv) was the focus on the COOKING, not the looks, atittudes, crazy antics, competitive nature, etc., of the contestants. Sure, there was always a little bit of all that stuff in previous seasons, but it seemsl ike they're really trying to "spice it all up" this season. I hope this doesn't continue. I'd like to see the FOOD remain the focal point of the show, not the personalities.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: anakalia

                                                                                                                                                                                    technically, yes, bananas get sweeter as they ripen and the starch converts to sugar...but the appearance of the exterior/skin can occasionally be deceiving. cold temperatures will slow starch hydrolysis considerably, but the skin will continue to change color & darken. my guess is that the bananas were refrigerated or somehow stored at very cold temperature before they were ripe, so even though they may have looked "ripe" on the outside, the flesh inside hadn't ripened yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                      Bananas are almost always underripe when sold in stores, unless specified. If I were making a banana bread or any banana dessert, I'd never look for bananas the day I needed them. That's another reason she needed to go. Bad planning.