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NFNS July 25th spoiler

thank goodness Serena has finally been kicked off. Can she make anything other than pasta?

what are your thoughts on the final 5?

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  1. definitely relieved to see Serena go - i just never found her enjoyable to watch, and when she broke out in song i had to hit fast-forward. ugh.

    Aria & Tom were both cringe-worthy tonight, i wish both of them could have gotten the boot as well. Aria peaked by week 2, and while Tom seems nice enough, his food is really inconsistent, and i find his delivery & presence sort of awkward.

    no surprise that Brad, Aarti & Herb are still standing - they were my top 3 picks from Day One.

    15 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Serena--it was definitely time for her to go. Very fake presence on camera. Very limited with her food.

      Aria--I would not have minded her being cut as well. She just seems very one-dimensional. And I wanted to scream when she interrupted Aarti during the introduction. That was really bad.

      Tom--I still like Tom. He had a horrible week but this is not Top Chef. They are judged, and should be, for cumulative performance, not just the week. He has much more potential than Aria.

      Brad--I still can't decide whether or not he irritates me. He can cook, but I'm not sure he can host a tv show.

      Herb--He's improved, obviously, but he still bugs me. Just too UP, too type A for me. And I haven't gotten the way over the topness of him in the food truck challenge out of my mind.

      Aarti--It's hers to win. And the show would be a good addition for food network.

      1. re: debbiel

        Aarti is the only one whose show I'd be interested in watching.

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I think Aria showed her true colors and it's not pretty. She wants to win at all costs and interrupting Aarti was rude, reminded me of Dzintra. Herb has had major up and down moments but I think he has potential and brings something new to the table. I guess he's ditched the personal trainer healthy foods concept?

        I'm not sure about Brad as a TV personality. And, he says he brings the "pro" view to his show, as if it's something new. Um, does he realize that he's talking to a lot of pros who have shows on that network?

        It was time for Serena to go. She was awkward and I can't remember anything she did well, other than the one time with Brianna on the truck. I just saw a 24 hour restaurant challenge with a woman (three generations of Italian women) who did an Italian restaurant. I think she could have done Serena's idea, but much better and she was great on camera, too. Besides, FTV already has Giada.

        1. re: chowser

          Aria's intererrupting did remind me of Dzintra and the irony is that it was Aria that Dzintra interrupted! In both cases it was "strategy" that backfired.

          I, too, was glad to see Serena go. Personally, I haven't liked her since day 1 and couldn't see what the fuss was, except that she's attractive. Funnily enough, I watched a couple of minutes of the "after show" on the Cooking Channel (which was pretty painful to watch. Everyone is so awkward) and Serena said that she'd wanted to do a seafood dish, but Aarti steered her back to pasta because she wanted something vegetarian. That part of the conversation was cut. I'm wondering if Aarti was sabotaging Serena. But, I can't believe she chose yet another red sauce dish. This is L.A.--why didn't she choose something light and colorful with brightly colored vegetables and a light olive oil and lemon sauce or something?

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            There's an "after show?" Uh oh...more tv for me on Sundays?

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              "But, I can't believe she chose yet another red sauce dish. This is L.A.--why didn't she choose something light and colorful with brightly colored vegetables and a light olive oil and lemon sauce or something?"
              ~~~~~
              i think she chose that particular dish out of necessity, simply because her range is so limited. i can assure you it had nothing to do with Beverly Hills - i used to live there and nothing about it said BH to me! even if she was going for an old-school, classic dish, she needed to elevate it somehow. she even talked about it being comfort food in her presentation, and that had everything to do with HER POV, and nothing to do with the neighborhood - if you're talking about Beverly Hills comfort food, my mind immediately goes to Jewish deli from Nate & Al's or Barney Greengrass (though in that case one of them could have just done the Fairfax neighborhood...)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I completely agree, and I think that's why they sent her home.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Actually, I think the Fairfax neighborhood would have been a great choice :-)

              2. re: chowser

                While I'm ready for Aria to go home in general, I *do* feel it was her right to describe her own dish and can understand that she thought Aarti would give an overall spiel then she'd talk about her dish the way all the other chefs did. But when she did talk, it wasn't so great. Lots of people really messed up. I think it'll definitely be Aarti's to lose since she has a unique view and her accent is so great and relaxing.

                The one thing I didn't get was Brad's lamb chops weren't cooking and he supposedly had 3 min left. They're saying he had enough time to try the oven, cut them in half, get them on a grill and plate in 3 min?! Not sure about that.

                1. re: Joanie

                  Oh, yes, and the lamb chops. Maybe it was edited out, but I was expecting some more humility from Brad--it was Herb who saved the lamb chops by deciding to cut them in half and grill them. I'm not a huge fan of Herb--I find him to be all over the map "energy" wise, and his "highs" are a bit manic for me-- but I felt bad that he saved the day with the lamb chops, perhaps at the expense of his own dish. I just wish we'd seen Brad acknowledge that.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Good point. That was a great save by Herb. And in lovely contrast to Aria's comment at the beginning of the challenge about how it was in her best interest to see Aarti do poorly managing things.

                    Joanie, I'm pretty sure there's tons of timeline shifting done in the editing, and sure there was more than 3 minutes left when herb had that idea.

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      They actually all got a ton of help and it was nice to see everyone kicking in. No one really acknowledged that tho.

                      1. re: Joanie

                        No, although it might have been taken into account during the judging. The panel was really unhappy with Herb's dish and told him so, but he lived to cook another day, so, maybe they cut him some slack, even after scolding him for playing "host" a little too much.

                        ~TDQ

                    2. re: Joanie

                      Had Aarti already started talking about Aria's dish? I don't recall what she had said/was saying, but for some reason I thought she was still just doing an intro for the night.

                      1. re: debbiel

                        Debbiel, you are correct, Aarti had not finished introducing the concept of "My L.A." Aria cut her off, not cool.

                2. I do think Serena was the right choice to go. I am rooting for Brad now. I know food network does dumb down the challenges but I was kind of offended bt the screen challenge where they had to make a dish for a busy mom. The challenge in itself makes sense because the network caters towards home cooks, but all of the discussion was about moms, seemed very sexist to me. Even after Herb mentioned he was a stay at home dad. I'm normally not that offended by that but this for some reason really got under my skin.

                  1. I wanted Aria to go. She is really beginning to bug me. I think they were very sad to say goodbye to Serena, but she needed to go too.

                    I don't think Aarti was trying to sabotage the dinner - that wouldn't be in her best interest. I think Tom chose seafood first, so she wanted Serena to choose something else.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kprange

                      I don't think Aarti was trying to sabotage the dinner (that wouldn't have been in her best interest as team leader) but Serena specifically by putting her back in her pasta box making her seem like a one-trick pony.

                      I am getting tired of Aria, but there's a nagging part of me that thinks she could really be a natural at the seasonal and local "from the farm" thing if she focused. Aarti is starting to rub me the wrong way. She makes everything about her and about her faux insecurities and so on. I am finding her increasingly disingenuous.

                      ~TDQ

                    2. Cooking Con Sabor...I'd watch it. If Herb can round it out a bit, I think it's a concept that's got some legs. He can still bring in his "healthy" perspective because most of the U.S. considers Mexican and Latin food in general to be unhealthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most Latin cuisines make tremendous use of fresh fruit, vegetables, bean/legumes, fish and lean meats (okay, carnitas not withstanding) and can be quite healthful. Healthy Latin cooking would be a great concept for a show.

                      Having grown up in SoCal and lived in the greater Los Angeles area for nearly 20 years, I can't say that any of the food represented the diversity of L.A. Great idea, poor execution. Carrot soup for Santa Monica...puleeze. Aarti (Arteisa, funny how she knew about that) and Herb (East L.A.), in spite of his over cooked flan, came closest. The rest really tanked. No one served food that I, a native Californian and former Angeleno, would want to eat, not one of them.

                      Serena really grated last night, Tom just wasn't funny, Aria shouldn't have ever given up her fresh/organic theme, Brad was bland, Herb found new energy and Aarti was polished as always. This is Aarti's to loose, I don't see any of the others doing enough of the ugly duck transformation to overtake her at this point.

                      1. It was definitely time for Serena to go. Enough with the pasta. and sorry, but pasta alla norma for a bunch of food snobs--er, foodies? Yikes. That doomed her right there.
                        That said, I wasn't impressed with ANY of the dishes sent out to the foodies. Those underground dinners are full of exotic, crazy dishes like sheep's brain and dog's ass. Kidding. But you know what I mean. Everyone's offerings were so pedestrian. Even the anointed one, Aarti's green curry, which did, indeed look delicious. That brings me to Aarti. I've said it before, I'll say it again. Her gosh, golly, who me attitude is bugging the bejeezus out of me. Despite the fact that she annoys me, her food does sound quite deelish and right up my alley. However, I finally watched The Cooking Channel yesterday and noticed they already have an Indian cooking show there, The Spice Goddess, which looks excellent and the chef doesn't seem nearly as annoying as Aarti. So Aarti Party better up her ante or the party's over for me. Brad is a strong fave on this end but he does need to get his game back on. He had it last week and this week kind of floundered.
                        Going home soon: Aaria, I'm afraid. Loved her on week one and since then she's gone totally Titanic. Shame. Tom also blew last night but if he can buck up, he has a shot because it seems that he is a very capable chef. Herb, ehhhh. Herb. I dunno. He's got a nice TV presence but the whole Latin thing--especially being that I live in Miami---seems a little hackneyed already. Unless he can bring something different to the table on that one, Herb's toast too.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: HabaneroJane

                          It ain't Top Chef and this week's episode made that very obvious. On the other hand, this season of Top Chef isn't exactly what we've come to expect so go figure.

                          1. re: chicgail

                            indeed! this one is much more about marketing/branding/personality and thus far I'm not inclined to buy/watch anything from anyone here..ok, ok, confession:maybe some of Aarti's stuff if she drops her me so humble shtick.

                            1. re: HabaneroJane

                              Aarti Party sounds so juvenile to me.

                              ~TDQ

                                1. re: HabaneroJane

                                  She strikes me as someone who has excelled at everything she's done in her life. She expects to win, because she always wins. It's what she's used to. Her me so humble schtick doesn't fool me one bit and it's when she DOESN'T do well that throws her for a loop. She doesn't really have a canned response for when she doesnt' do well, because she's not used to that.

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    TDQ--my thoughts EXACTLY. spot on. Yep. "What? I didn't study for that test, how did I get a 200 out of a possible 150?" What? I won? Nawww. Her congrats to Brad was a little forced and phony and when Serena came in and said she was going, once again Aarti couldn't feign surprise. "What?" Ugh. Like nails against a chalkboard.