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TNFNS: Season 6, Episode 4 (Spoiler Alert!)

thought i'd start a new thread for tonight's episode.

initial thoughts:
- i'm a lttle less impressed with Aria with each passing week.
- the elimination challenge strikes me as something they'd do on Top Chef.

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  1. this year looks more and more like Top Chef.
    I agree about Aria. Also she reminds me more and more of a pale comparison to Ina. Do they need two?
    Aarti is more and more appealing. I REALLY wanted to eat her food tonight.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      I agree with both of you! Aarti's food looked amazing! Didn't get Pete doing the pork instead of steak - seemed like a total disconnect to me. But, he wasn't as obnoxious as last week. I was torn to see Das go, because as they said he has great potential, but seriously a berry sauce with a steak?

      1. re: jujuthomas

        The berries confused me too. Maybe if he had reduced some balsamic vinegar and made the berries as a sauce with that?

        However, his "Prime" vs "Filet" comments did not help his case either.

        1. re: Philly Ray

          that was just sad! even later when Bobby gave him a chance to redeem himself he didn't get it quite right.

          1. re: Philly Ray


            First the "Triberry" sauce, then the prime coming from above/below the filet (cant recall exactly)

            Berry sauce on steak sounds downright disgusting to me

      2. It was hard to see Das go. A tough decision, but I do understand why the panel made it. Herb would have been even tougher. He may be the sleeper here. I think Paul is on pretty thin ice.

        1. I was glad to see the celeb chefs. I was afraid Das would go and as the woman judge said, he gets a bit better but could he progress enough? He was a smooth guy tho.

          I think this whole 180 turnaround of Herb is weird tho. He comes in all gang busters and then goes in the complete opposite direction. It didn't make sense to me, even with the background of not getting positive reinforcement and all that. He was completely over the top positive at the start of the show.

          1. I'm less impressed with both Aria and Herb. At first, I liked Aria but she talks like a kindergarten teacher to her class. I thought it was funny that the easiest challenge, steak and mac and cheese did the worst. And, what was Paul thinking that pork tenderloin and spatzle are the same as steak and mac and cheese? And, the "blue collar" side argument didn't cut it since he used pork tenderloin which isn't an inexpensive cut of meat. Thinking outside the box doesn't mean ignoring the box.

            OTOH, I really like Aarti more and more. I love that she was comforting Herb and seems to always be there for the other contestants and giving them credit for what they do well. Her food looks great, too. AND, there's no one like her and no food like hers on Food Network.

            The "pro" view on FTV (his name escapes me)? That IS the majority of the cooking shows. He adds nothing new or different and doesn't bring professionalism into it. I thought it was funny how he said he could talk to the judges, since they were all "chefs", clubby.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              the one with the "Pro" POV is Brad. he's adorable and can clearly cook, but i think i have to agree with HabaneroJane - he'd be a better fit for Top Chef. he's just not a TV "personality." there was another contestant a few years ago - also very young - who had a similar POV. i think his name was Shane...? but i also recall that he had never even been out of the country and the panel realized early on that he wasn't worldly enough.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Wasn't he the one that got paird with the uber-perky Chelsea? They kind of clicked in the team challenge. I think he's got a show on a local channel somewhere. FTV has some "where are they now" bios on their web site, I think I read that there.

            2. Artie, by far, is my favorite. She brings her own spin to each challenge and seems to have quite a repertoire. I am less and less impressed with Brianna each week. Her story seemed very much contrived to me and I didn't buy it. Maybe that is because I was already turned off by her.

              1. AARTI already has my vote.

                Herb seems a little bit bipolar.

                Note to Aria: it's very bad when they tell you that your mac and cheese is one note and that one note is a vague dairy taste. Small children can make tasty mac and cheese from scratch. And they usually won't pair it with fajitas.

                1 Reply
                1. re: C. Hamster

                  And she alledgedly used jalapeƱo in the mac and cheese and it was still "bland" and "one note"

                2. It will be a major upset if Aarti does not win this whole thing.

                  Herb should've been booted, but I think the TNFNS folks were afraid he'd kill himself if he had lost. So Das was the sacrficial lamb.

                  20 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Loved Aria on the first episode. She nailed it. Then she started becoming as saccharine and grating as, yes, a kindergarten teacher. Speaking of Top Chef, the tall skinny chef who can cook--Brad is it?--but has no TV presence...he should have tried out for Top Chef. He belongs there. He is clearly an exceptional chef, but not so exceptional a personality.

                    This seems to be Aarti's to lose. And going back to the Aria situation, Aarti's aw shucks way is slowly starting to grate on my nerves also. Her food , however, looks outstanding and I want it all!

                    Poor Herb. What's happening with him?

                    Was peeved that Paul got to stay. I still can't stand him and by the previews for next week, it looks as if he may be back to offending people again.

                    Brianna can cook , but she is also missing something in the TV presence. As fast as she talks and as failed as her food has been the past two weeks, Serena has something.

                    Same with the scruffy guy who wears the plaid. What's his name? I am liking him more and more. Joe is it?

                    1. re: HabaneroJane

                      Tom is the scruffy one. I really liked his "Sand" wich story!

                      1. re: jujuthomas

                        Yes, Tom! Thank you! If he plays his cards right he'll go far

                        1. re: HabaneroJane

                          I think you're correct... I thought his "slightly smashed" potatos and lamb looked great last night.

                          1. re: jujuthomas

                            Was that the one with the onion rings on top?

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              i think so. but one of the steak dishes also had onion rings.

                              1. re: jujuthomas

                                afterthought but: Who puts berries on steak? Queasy just even writing that sentence. good riddance, dax. watching him was like what happens the first few minutes after you pop an Ambien.

                                1. re: HabaneroJane

                                  Im ok with fruit and protein when it's a good marriage but that poor, poor steak looked like it had a whole jar of Smuckers spooned on to it. Blech.

                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                    No the worst part of Das was his describing "filet" as more tender and higher grade thatn "prime". WTF??

                                    (Yes, I know he corrected himself later on, but still.....)

                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                      Yeah, didn't someone make a comment about just putting whipped cream on the berries and calling it dessert?

                                      A very tart berry sauce might have worked.

                                    2. re: HabaneroJane

                                      It wasn't just the fruit and steak but that he also cooked up the berries with onions and then topped it on the steak. Onions and berries?

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        reminds me of watermelon and onions together in a salad at the dinner at Ina's last year. That sounded bad too.

                                        1. re: kprange

                                          Actually watermelon salad with onions can be wonderful. The onions kind of pickle and with a little salty cheese like ricotta salda or feta, it's a surprisingly good combination.

                                          1. re: chicgail

                                            The way it was made on the show last year though wasn't good at all.

                                2. re: jujuthomas

                                  i thought Tom's dish was a snooze. there was nothing creative or original about it, and some of the judges said it was under-seasoned. he seems like a nice enough guy, but i don't see him drawing an audience of the magnitude FN would probably want. i think his appeal might be somewhat limited, whereas Aarti just strikes me as universally likable.

                            2. re: HabaneroJane

                              here's hoping Paul DOES offend more people next week - i'd love to see him go next...followed by Brianna & Serena.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I'm so with goodhealthgourmet on Paul and Brianna but still have some hope held out for Serena.

                                1. re: HabaneroJane

                                  Serena is just too frantic and "chirpy" for me..if that makes sense. and i think her food would be too similar to Giada's - it doesn't make sense to me that the network would hire someone who would pretty much just duplicate (and potentially cannibalize) one of their existing stars.

                              2. re: HabaneroJane

                                I think "Aarti's to lose" is exactly right. She's been part of the Goodbite.com crew for a couple of years now and has her own YouTube channel, so it's not like she doesn't know how to present herself already. In fact, I'm kind of surprised she had such a rocky beginning, but that could be chalked up to nerves (or editing). I like her best, although I do have hopes for Justin Timberlake coming into his own.

                                1. re: ennuisans

                                  Love the Justin Timberlake reference! Brad is a favorite of mine as well.

                            3. This year the only thing that is missing is the top chef titles, and the coking abilities of the contestants.

                              Aria is this years Debbie. Not in the sense that she is Korean and that she is the villain. But in the sense of she started out being the one they loved and raved about. Now their in the process of bringing her down. While Aarti seems to be on the rise much the same way Melissa was last time. Perhaps someone like Brad will suddenly start to look good too just like Jeffery did.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: Withnail42

                                I like Brad and think he seems to be a great talent. But he just has no pizazz for TV. Jeffrey was a little more effervescent. Maybe he will grow into it but not so sure. I think they have anointed Aarti already as TNFNC

                                1. re: HabaneroJane

                                  This will probably get censored from Chowhound, but I have to ask: Does anyone else find Bobby Flay smug and dull? I love his food, but I find it ironic that someone of his, uh, personality, is judging others on theirs. Well, maybe he judges more their food. In which case, that's ok, I guess.

                                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                                    Dunno about that, but has Flay lost weight recently? Alton Brown diet maybe?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      he's definitely lost weight. fortunately he's not quite as gaunt as AB had gotten, but he certainly looks slimmer (and IMO, better).

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Yeah, he lost that third chin. Now he has only two!

                                      1. re: HabaneroJane

                                        Totally agree. Last year on TNFNS he seemed angry at having to be there -- I think that's why they got Giada to step in this year and pick up some of his load. This year he still seems dour and humorless.... On Iron Chef too... But he has lost weight! :-)

                                        1. re: Healthy Delicious

                                          HealthyDelicious, you make an excellent point. His lack of personality and warmth does explain Giada's presence. Say what ya will about her but at least she smiles !

                                  2. What a gem Aarti is. I watch this show mostly because it's a fun ride and then the weekly train wreck. I almost never watch the winners show, but if Aarti wins, I think I'd really make a point to watch her. Loved her steak dish for the chile challenge and while I'm not a huge fan of lamb, I also thought her lamb and potato plate looked very good. I also think I probably would have called her pom juice a reduction rather than molasses.

                                    Tom is getting better week by week too, and probably would have given Aarti a little bit better run for the money in the lamb challenge had he upped the seasoning. I think he'll stick around several more weeks, if not make it to the final. I also think Herb will shake off his malaise and bounce back. Given the current fascination with controlling obesity and fitness, the premise for his show is solid and he's definitely got the energy to pull it off. Remember, there is usually at least 1 contestant that gets a bad case of homesickness each season. I just think none of us expected it to be Herb.

                                    Right now it's pretty much looking like this season is Aarti's to loose...or not

                                    1. It seems like every season there's someone who says they think maybe they shouldn't be there. It was Herb this season.

                                      I think this season will come down to Aria or Aarti, with Aarti winning it. The judges love Aria, but (like some other posters) I'm getting tired of her schtick.

                                      I can't get rid of this duplication!!!

                                      1. seems like Serena's foot seems to have made an almost miraculous recovery.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                          I thought the same thing. Isn't there only days in between the challenges, not a week?