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Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #3 - 06/30/10 (Spoilers)

A LOT of focus on the Kenny/Angelo rivalry right off the bat! Interesting. Elves, are you hinting?

Johnny Iuzzini, pastry chef at JeanGeorges, is guest judge (along with Gail Simmons) for the Quickfire Challenge - a DESSERT quickfire challenge! They must come up with with a pie, and they'll get immunity in the Elimination Challenge. Looks like both Johnny Iuzzini and Gail Simmons are the hosts for the Top Chef: Just Desserts! show that was talked about a LONG time ago, but hasn't been heard about since. Except for now. So has anyone heard when it's going to be shown?

I'm amazed at how many have never made a pie. Looks like Angelo is going for a savory pie. And Ed's putting celery into a banana cream pie? WHAT? And Tracey could be screwed...she's going to try and make a pie in a half hour remaining?

And previews for the EIim Challenge are showing cheftestants fighting over ovens and someone removing Alex's dish before it was done? Rut-roh.

Boy, Iuzzini is very clear on what he's looking for! In the bottom? Tracey's blueberry disaster, Ed's banana cream/celery spuma concoction, and Alex's pie (which I can't remember).

Tops - Kelly's Chocolate Ganache Tart; Stephen's curried apple pie. But the favorite is Kenny's Banana Foster Pie! He finally wins one! And he gets immunity.

Now onto the Elimination Challenge - ahh, a favorite from TCMasters is going to be a guest judge for the Elimination Challenge - Jonathan Waxman! And they're responsible for grilling up a summer picnic for Capitol Hill interns, serving at Geo. Washington's Mount Vernon estate.

OMG! Previews show Canadian geese taking aim at one of the chef's serving tables with a well-aimed airbomb drop onto the edge of the table - YIKES! And Padma's comment? "Do you think that goose knew something we didn't?" LOL

Prep time - Angelo is confident he's going to be in the top; Amanda and Alex had a fight about who's using an oven, and Tracey won't be able to stuff her sausage into casings, so she's going to improvise with something else.

Boy - Angelo and Stephen both calling out Amanda back at the house re: how she's prepping her ribs. Maybe not calling her out, but questioning her on how she's prepping, and then looking at her like she was crazy. Interesting!

Tracey: "How do you turn this grill down?" (talking about a charcoal grill! LOL) Kenny mutters a reply "There ain't no turning it down!" Funny!

Arnold got favorable reviews on his lamb kofta kebobs, as did Alex's pork butt. Angelo's lettuce wrap also fared well. Next group? Timothy's Pork two-ways didn't fare well, especially with the goose's addition. :-) Kevin's dish didn't do well - underflavored?

Kenny's pork did well, but Tracey's sausage fennel burger was "spicy" to one person and overly fennel-flavored to Colicchio. Ed's dish was received well...Tiffany's salmon wasn't. Nor was Stephen's sea bass (which he said earlier was a tried-and-true).

And WHAT? Angelo said Amanda's ribs were hands-down the best - "even better than mine!" Wow. He actually said something nice about someone else?

Top group? Ed, Amanda, Angelo, and Arnold. The winner? Arnold's lamb kofta kebobs!

Bottom group is Timothy, Stephen, Tracey, and Kevin. Kinda figured on all four of them. Boy - Stephen's dish REALLY wasn't liked! And damn, Gail Simmons is really ON with her comments this year! She takes Kevin to task about the bland flavors of his dish, supposedly inspired by his wife's heritage. Very pointed but spot on.

I really loved Jonathan Waxman's comments about "Chef's should never stop trying" re: Tracey's seeming lack of effort with her dish. And his 10yo son could make that dish? Yowch.

Who's outta here? I think it might be Tracey or Kevin. Yup, it's Tracey. I'm not surprised tho. She just didn't seem to be all there.

And next week? A double elimination. TWO chefs are going home! And WHO did we see in the previews? Yup, it's Michael Isabella (and I think one other TC6 cheftestant - was it Bryan Voltaggio?)

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  1. Arnold just grates on me. Also I thought Ed talking so much crap about Alex (who has done fairly well) was pretty uncalled for. Again its reality TV so I do not know the context of the statements but still.....they join Amanda with hho needs to go. I only know thier names because I have the bios open in another window ...which is sad in its self :)

    17 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

      I only know thier names because I have the bios open in another window ...which is sad in its self :)
      ~~~~~~~~~~~
      Sucked into the abyss. :-)

      1. re: LindaWhit

        Whats worse is 3 out of the 4 top were people I want to go.

        How can an executive chef at a Michael Mina restaurant (which I have eaten at and not in the top 10 Vegas restaurants was still good) be so lack luster..almost bad?

        1. re: chris2269

          Sometimes you're on, sometimes you're not.

      2. re: chris2269

        @chris, you and i are on the same page. Arnold has bothered me since day one - i don't care about your stylist, or your pores, or your moisturizer...just cook, dammit! and why is Ed suddenly so smug and judgmental?

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Aww, really? I'm kinda liking Arnold. I found it interesting he didn't even know how to set up the charcoal grill (copying Kenny, I think), yet still managed to pull off the win. I usually like the dishes he comes up with, too.

          I'm always amazed at how most cheftestants EVERY season grimace when the dessert challenges come up. I just wait for the reactions now. It actually surprises me when someone actually gets excited about making a dessert!

          I'm liking Gail this season, too. WAY more than previous seasons. Marriage must agree with her. ;)

          I agree with Phaedrus - I thought Tracey was a goner last week. I can't think of anything she's made that appealed much to me.

          Linda, the other former cheftestant I saw in the previews for next week was Spike. Should be interesting!

            1. re: susancinsf

              Perfect. Spike seems to be a role model for some of this season's contestants. Can't wait to see how this goes.

            2. re: phee

              Oh lovely. Spike and Isabella. THIS ought to be interesting!

              1. re: phee

                I really thought I saw Bryan V. too.

                1. re: Parrotgal

                  OK, I wasn't going crazy last night. :-)

                  1. re: Parrotgal

                    Yup, he was there -- probably because his restaurant is near DC (as well as Mike Isabella and Spike).

                    Too bad Tracey left so early. She's a character that's good for television.

                    Arnold's moisturizer comments don't bother me so much (probably because I know a lot of guys who say the same thing -- I just find it amusing). But his attitude towards Kelly is starting to get on my nerves.

                    I have to admit that I dozed off during parts of TC last night. But I didn't get why the other contestants were all up Amanda's butt about leaving the bone in the ribs. They taste so much better that way. This was a picnic, not some dainty little frou-frou cocktail party.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      There seems to be a lot of posturing and gamesmanship going on this season. My guess would be that it was a way to make her doubt herself and hopefully throw her off her game.

                      By the same token, Amanda has been doing some of the gaming herself. Turnabout is fair play.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        Maybe the bone comment was more about the tenderness of the ribs. If they are really tender, you can just pull the bone right out, although many BBQ experts would say that they are overdone at that point.

                        1. re: saeyedoc

                          I thought the comment more went to the fact that when ribs are thoroughly and correctly cooked, the rib meat pulls back from the bone. So I thought they were questioning whether she had cooked them long enough.

                          1. re: lisavf

                            This is what happens when you start snoozing during the show! I DVRd it so I'll try to watch it again at some point to see what exactly went on.

                            And chicgail, I definitely agree about the competitiveness of this season compared to others. And Amanda is definitely not on my fave list. Not sure if her appearance is contributing to it, but she reminds me of Leah Cohen from Season 5 (whom I wasn't that fond of).

                            1. re: Miss Needle

                              "but she reminds me of Leah Cohen from Season 5 (whom I wasn't that fond of)."
                              ~~~~~~
                              I don't think many were. Except Hosea. :-)

                2. re: chris2269

                  I'm OK with Arnold, although I do think he could dial back with the ditzy stuff a bit. He can cook, in my opinion.

                3. OK, I am actually liking Gail this season. I always felt she was too whiney and tried too hard. I like Kelly for some reason. Pretty hard core and no-nonsense.

                  I thought Tracey was going to be goners long before this.

                  And the fish wrapped in bacon, isn't that a Applebee's dish?

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: Phaedrus

                    LOL on the Applebee's dish. :-)

                    And yeah, Gail is really good this season. Just don't have her judge anything with eggs. PLEASE. ;-)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Gail actually made a comment about how she liked the flavor of Angelo's smoked egg salad - fortunately for him he obviously didn't overcook the eggs!

                    2. re: Phaedrus

                      I like Kelly too. She in my opinion is the dark horse chance to win this.

                      1. re: Phaedrus

                        Bacon wrapped fish reminds you of Applebee's? I've had it at some pretty nice places and it was great, too bad it didn't work for Stephen. He seems kind of lost.

                        Jonathan Waxman is everywhere lately.

                        I don't mind Arnold either. He reminds me of someone but I can't place it. Maybe a Project Runway contestant, ha ha. I was sad to see Tim in the bottom, he seems like a cool guy. I think he and Kenny are my faves so far.

                        1. re: Joanie

                          "He reminds me of someone but I can't place it. Maybe a Project Runway contestant, ha ha."

                          Jay Nicolas Sario ?

                          1. re: dump123456789

                            Maybe Christian Seriano. Who knows, he seems a little too stereotypical but I don't mind him.

                          2. re: Joanie

                            I find myself increasingly thinking that Tim isn't a good chef. He was one of the four finalists in the 1st QF - but that was based on knife skills more than anything else. Ever since, he has tended to do something wrong in all his dishes, at least according to the judges, and has been on the chopping block twice - despite his self-aggrandizement.

                            Kenny can cook. His ego, like Angelo's precedes him. This week, however, I see glimmers of Angelo's redemption in the personality department - maybe.

                            1. re: huiray

                              <I find myself increasingly thinking that Tim isn't a good chef.>

                              I doubt he would have made the show if that were the case. Do you have a clue how many folks audition for this?

                              The pressure of performance in front of the cameras, in addition to the pressure of competition is a far cry from running a restaurant kitchen, even with all the vicissitudes that go with THAT!

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                I would love to see the written criteria, but I am certain that ability to cook is not the only -- and in many cases -- not even the primary reason someone gets on the show. Sure most of the contestants have a baseline of cooking skills, but that's not all.

                                They want people with big egos, people with weird points of view or who look a little odd, people who are articulate, people who are combative, etc. etc.

                                That's what makes for good television. They're casting a drama (or a comedy) and want to be sure that you and I will keep coming back to watch the conflict between the heroes and the villans.

                                1. re: chicgail

                                  I would suspect being a drama queen helps, but I think having a relatively high baseline cooking ability is a must. the levels of the contestants have risen considerably as the show as evolved.

                                  I also think that they hedge their bets with some real personalities and with some slightly less capable culinary skills.

                                2. re: ChefJune

                                  Probably so.
                                  Here's a tidbit about Tim not mentioned in his Bio and not talked about, in my memory, on the episodes seen so far? I wonder if it distracted him a bit.
                                  http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/enter...

                                  1. re: huiray

                                    I can see that it would distract him, but also that he is holding out perhaps more hope than most that he win this? The prize money would surely help a lot. That's too bad. The chef who wins this, imho is going to probably be one who doesn't really "need" it, as that person will be able to keep some perspective that this is, after all, a game.

                                    OTOH, the notoriety being on the show can bring, may help Tim out of this awful hole.

                                    FWIW, just about all fine dining is in trouble or teetering financially, and has been since 9/08 when the economy went south.

                                  2. re: ChefJune

                                    Sure, Tim is a "good" chef, but so far I'd say he's not nearly as good as he thinks he is.

                                    Also, he might want to get a business person to actually run his restaurants so he can stick to cooking; his track record is not good.

                                  3. re: huiray

                                    I don't know about Angelo. I was impressed that he gave Amanda credit for her ribs, after a few of them seemed to tear her down for the way she prepped them. But, when he was off moping by himself and talking about others playing games when he was the one who was called out for it was a little much. "Poor me, only I'm allowed to play the game. "

                              2. Final note for tonight - Tom's blog is already up, and MAN is he testy about them not being able to grill and/or make a pie!

                                He notes "In this week’s challenges, the chefs were asked to perform two tasks that home cooks around the country do deftly on a regular basis, i.e., bake a pie and grill something. Watching the episode, I was amazed to hear mutterings of “I’m not a pastry chef” and “I’m not a grill chef.”

                                How very true - we do this all the time at home, don't we?

                                And re: the pies, he says "I am amazed, frankly, that any chef would arrive to compete in a season of Top Chef without knowing how to whip up a quick pate brisee, as it is not unlikely the chefs would be called upon to use one some way or other."

                                This is something I think many of us have said in past seasons - LEARN how to make a few desserts that can be easily switched up depending on the challenge - and yet they just don't seem to get it and often don't have anything handy in their repertoire.

                                25 Replies
                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Dang Linda, I hate to say it, but I said you can't trust the editing. Amanda lives.

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7161...

                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                    I don't think she'll survive to final 4, however. And yes - the previews really don't show us anything about the next week's episodes - they just tantalize with possibilities. :-)

                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                      i fell for it too. wishful thinking, i guess ;)

                                      the other thing that really bothers me about Amanda is her game-playing. last week she specifically said she wouldn't risk making dessert because that person always goes home and she's not the type to "take one for the team." while i understand this show/competition is partly about survival, there's no need to announce that you're self-serving AND not confident enough in your own skills to take risks.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        I really don't like Amanda. I wish to see her gone.

                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                      I'm with Tom. Who the hell doesn't know how to grill? I can somewhat understand the fear of pie crust but for cripes sake, do a nut crust or something! Was there a rule that the crust had to be pastry? Apparently not, I don't think the chocolate tart had a traditional pie crust.

                                      And I was shocked that they were using lighter fluid to start briquettes. Why didn't they have chimneys and hardwood charcoal? Briquettes are kind of nasty and I think that lighter fluid can be tasted in the food.

                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                        I saw a chimney on one cheftestant's grill - Arnold? Kenny? Can't recall, but I did see (briefly) someone pull the chimney up and the coals were dumping out. They were explaining to someone about getting it to the right temp - so perhaps it was Kenny as he was the one with the funny aside comment back to Tracey about "turning the heat down." :-)

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          yes, I believe it was Kenny who used the chimney.

                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                            Actually, I think it was Timothy, or maybe Kevin, with the chimney. Arnold was copying Kenny to set up his grill, as he said, and they showed Kenny dumping in the briquettes and spraying on the lighter fluid. It was after that that we saw the chimney on another grill.

                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                              i specifically remember seeing kenny spraying lighter fluid on his grill, because i was shocked! he otherwise seems so competent! ;-P

                                              also, can't remember if i saw anyone attempting to bank their coals at all or otherwise work with hot & cool cooking areas on the grill. thought it was a pretty sad showing.

                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                What I found difficult to swallow, was they seemed to equate grilling with barbecuing. When I prepare barbecued ribs, or a pork loin I don't par cook anything, I let if all cook and smoke in the Weber Kettle for a few hours.

                                                I think they way they prepared the food is because the format of the show puts time and venue constraints on the cheftestants. I cringe every time I see them break out the Kingsford briquettes and the lighter fluid, and then misinform the viewing public in to thinking this is barbecuing.

                                                Note to "Top Chef" producers, next season, when you do the obligatory barbecue program, put the cheftestants in pup tents the night before next to the Weber Kettles, provide them with non petroleum impregnated chunk charcoal and an assortment of hard woods, and tell them you expect them to deliver real barbecue the next day.

                                                1. re: ChinoWayne

                                                  You're going to kill a lot of these contestants. I'd watch though.

                                                  1. re: ChinoWayne

                                                    I was really glad my DH wasn't watching TC with me because he would agree 100% with you re: grilling v. bbq! and he gets all fired up when people who know how to cook use them interchangeably! I would LOVE to see a real bbq competition where they have to spend the night tending and babying their fires. :)

                                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                                      the use of the words interchangeably is a regional thing, not ignorance.

                                                      and i would say that at most july 4th picnics what goes on is grilling, so i was not surprised at all that it was not a 20 hour pork butt challenge

                                                      1. re: thew

                                                        it's cool with me that it's a regional thing... it still gets DH fired up. (we all have our pet peeves) Personally, I don't care what it's called, cook me some good food over fire and call it whateverthehell you want! :)

                                                        as far as TC showing some low and slow cooking - I think that takes a whole different kind of experience than these folks typically have. :) However, the train-wreck aspect of that could be fun.

                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                          I was also so surprised at the pie fear. I know we see a lot of that fear on the homecooking board here, but on Top Chef? My only worry on the pie was the 2 hour time period, simply because I like to chill my dough a good bit before rolling it out. I loved the response during the quickfire, something like, "My grandma (or mother?) isn't a pastry chef either. But she can make a pie."

                                          1. re: debbiel

                                            Pie was the first thing I learned to make! I was maybe 13 or 14, and I asked Mom to help with the Thanksgiving pies. My crust came out so tender, she abdicated full holiday pie responsibility to me from then on! LOL

                                            But as someone else said - a thin nut crust would also work, perhaps pistachio. Or a graham cracker crust?

                                            Which reminds me - I need to go check out the recipes on Bravo's site some time soon. Some of the dishes (both pies and grilling) sounded very good!

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              I've been unable to find any of the elimination challenge recipes. Has anyone been able to track then down?

                                              Edit: NVM it seems they labelled all the grilling recipes as Episode 2.

                                            2. re: debbiel

                                              Tom really called them out on their lack of preparedness for a dessert challenge!
                                              Debbie, I agree about chilling the piecrust. I started thinking about what I would have done to avoid that would have been to use a ground nut crust, like I often do on my Sweet Potato Pies when I embellish them with Pecans.

                                              I really wanted to reach in for a slice of Kenny's pie! Glad to see him win one. ;)

                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                That was Johnny, "My grandmother isn't a pastry chef either. But she can make a pie." That was my favorite line ;-) My own grandmother always complains about her crust not working, but her pies are always the first ones devoured at family gatherings.

                                                1. re: momjamin

                                                  Such a great line. I might curse like a sailor when I roll out a pie crust, but I can still make the dang thing. My Mom has always been known for great pies, so it is always stressful to be the pie baker at a family gathering. The one crucial rule: no store bought pie crusts. i would be disowned.

                                                  1. re: momjamin

                                                    that was an AWESOME response, I loved it! :)

                                                  2. re: debbiel

                                                    @Debbie, that was Johnny - the guest judge - and i laughed out loud when he said that. it boggles the mind that after all these seasons, so many chefs show up unprepared to tackle a dessert challenge! and since they clearly didn't have to make a traditional pastry crust, there was really no reason for all the fear & whining. make a crumble or cobbler, or as coney already said, a nut crust. or at worst, crush some cookies or graham crackers...but quit griping about it, you're on Top Chef!

                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                      It was a great line.

                                                      Still, I know a lot of grandmothers who can't bake a pie to save their lives.

                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                        .....MINE! (on my father's side)

                                                  3. that was fast recap!

                                                    seems like pykag was between tracey and stephen. stephen had some ambition, but it turned out failure. tracey was a simple failure.

                                                    arnold for the win was a surprise. even more surprising was amanda near top -- editing threw us viewers a curve-ball on her. when angelo started going on about amanda ribs being really good, that was one big wtf moment. It worked. :-D

                                                    In contrast to the first 2 weeks, Angelo seems to get along fine with the rest of the cheftestants. He's sitting shooting the breeze with everyone else outside, looking pretty comfortable.

                                                    I rather like the episode, that there was not much drama, it was just food. but still, too many contestants, not enough time for food.

                                                    Sad tracey is gone. I know she rubbed some the wrong way. I thought she was funny and liked her energy and selfdeprecating quips.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: dach

                                                      I liked her much better before she started going on about how she was a 'psychic' and started trying to demonstrate her 'talents' in an invasive way...

                                                      1. re: susancinsf

                                                        Well, if she really WAS a phychic she would have known not to cook “sliders”, now wouldn’t she?

                                                          1. re: StewieBoy

                                                            Or that she was a goner this week.

                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                              @Phaedrus, THAT was all i could think after i saw the "psychic"clip...i was surprised no one in the stew room asked her who was going home!

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                Now THAT would have been funny - and perhaps they did, but the editors thought that too cruel to leave in.

                                                                Nah. They'd leave it in. ;-)

                                                        1. re: dach

                                                          They really telegraphed her exit by giving her too much screen time.

                                                        2. While that tart looked great...a tart is not a pie. They should've called her out on a technicality.

                                                          28 Replies
                                                          1. re: Reignking

                                                            Waxman is the Kardashian of food shows. He shows up on all of 'em!
                                                            I have to admit I started finding Tracey amusing last night. Oh well.
                                                            I can't stand Amanda. How bout her revelation that she was addicted to coke and pills. Who cares? Shut up and cook.
                                                            Arnold is playing the gay card a little much and is annoying.
                                                            Kelly is definitely the dark horse.
                                                            Angelo is undeniably a talent and I was shocked he admitted he liked Amanda's ribs more than his tacos.
                                                            Gail is rocking it this season. She is assertive and is carrying those dullard judges.
                                                            Whoever said Padma had a spark last week must have missed the part where that spark went out. Back to Padma-bot last night.
                                                            That pastry chef seemed to have a chip on his shoulder.
                                                            Kenny's pie did look and sound the best.

                                                            1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                              Well, he certainly does not LOOk like a Kardashian.

                                                              On gail, there is the assertiveness and then she is also much more concise with what she did and did not like, said with more flair and less -woe is me- attitude.

                                                              1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                once again we're on the same page with nearly everything...except Tracey. she was bugging me last night. the way she shouted to the picnic attendees to ask what they thought of her sliders made me cringe...what did she expect them to say?

                                                                you're right about Padma, she seemed stoned again :)

                                                                it was definitely a surprise that Angelo was gushing so much about Amanda's ribs...but i think part of it was out of insecurity - sort of an "uh-oh" moment that maybe he had underestimated her.

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  goodhealthgourmet: yeah, you're right about Tracey shouting to the guests, but I guess in a competition as intense as this one, it still amused me to see someone with, gasp, personality other than of the back stabbing, insecure, egomaniacal kind!

                                                                2. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                  NOW I know who Arnold reminds me of, ADAM LAMBERT. If i keep hearing about facial products, there is going to be some bitch slapping going on...

                                                                  1. re: ChinoWayne

                                                                    ROTFL! There seems to be a dearth of gay men on the show this season, so they've got Arnold dancing on a string. Pretty sad, actually.

                                                                  2. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                    Waxman is the new John Besh. It seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Besh on another cooking show. Iron Chef, Top Chef, Masters, Next Iron Chef. I was like, enough with this dude already. He now has a TLC show I believe.

                                                                    1. re: Manassas64

                                                                      He was on NFNS, too.

                                                                      Pretty soon he'll be chainsmoking with the Hell's Kitchen crew.

                                                                  3. re: Reignking

                                                                    I had the same issue; that did not say "pie" to me.

                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                      I'm surprised that we didn't see a pizza pie, or a meat pie...

                                                                      1. re: Reignking

                                                                        But it was a "dessert" challenge. Although a dessert-like fruit pizza pie could have worked, yes?

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          are you guys going to watch the Top Chef Just Desserts show? I am so burnt out from dessert /cake/cupcake shows, I think I'll pass. Especially after seeing the personality of the pastry chef/judge last night, or lack thereof.

                                                                          1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                            I love Johnny Iuzzini! I don't watch any of those dessert/cupcake shows. What I like about the Top Chef shows is the format. They're not the same type of competition that all those other cake shows are (imho those are boring). ;-o

                                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                                              Maybe I need to give him another shot but he didnt come off to pleasant last night. and being that I have no idea of what his own pastries taste like despite his beard and jean georges creds, he just came off as ordinary!

                                                                              1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                His background is stellar. (Although I hate his website with such faint typeface on a black background!)

                                                                                http://johnnyiuzzini.com/whos_johnny....

                                                                            2. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                              I don't watch CakeWalk, CakeBoss, or whatever they're called. :-) I will check out TC: Just Desserts. I like the TC format, as ChefJune said, and I'm hoping that the caliber of pastry chefs is better than what TFN tends to carry. I suspect it will be.

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                And who am I kidding? I watch Hell's Kitchen for godssakes. I will absolutely watch the desserts show. :)

                                                                                1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                  LOL! Human nature when it comes to train wrecks - whether they're real train wrecks or TV shows that are train wrecks - you just gotta slow down and see if there are bodies. ;-)

                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  I'm watching at least until they get to the episode where the contestants get freaked out because have to prepare a meat entree.

                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                    Then you'll be watching forever. Because they ALWAYS "honor the protein" on TC. Except when they overcook it. ;-)

                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                        chuckle, chortle, snort!

                                                                                        Good one!

                                                                                    1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                      Jacques Torres used to have a show called something like "Dessert Circus", that was actually interesting and informative.

                                                                                      1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                        I will check out TC Just Desserts. I'm a baker at heart :D. I actually didn't think I'd like TC Masters and ended up loving it. So Just Desserts might surprise me (although I'm not a Gail fan).

                                                                                        1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                          Hubert Keller will be one of the judges, so I definitely plan to watch! I'm a baker at heart too, so I'm very excited about this one.

                                                                                          1. re: sharonlouk

                                                                                            Oooh! I didn't know about Hubert Keller. I'm totally excited now. Thanks.

                                                                                    2. re: Reignking

                                                                                      Exactly. I thought one of the steakhouse owners might make a steak & kidney pie.