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Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #9 - 08/11/10 (Spoilers)

Kenny still doesn't know why he ended up in the middle group - because of his age? Come ON, Kenny!

AND we've got the blindfolded culinary relay race for the QuickFire! 40 minutes to cook - each member has 10 minutes to cook. No immunity, but the winning team splits $10K.

Teams are:

Blue Team: Kevin picks Kenny, Kelly, and Amanda.
Red Team: Ed picks Tiffany, Angelo, and Alex.

Tiffany and Kenny go first. Alex and Amanda go second. Did Alex do anything but season the fish? Then Ed and Kevin go third...last are Angelo and Kelly. Angelo re-salts the fish - and then realizes that someone has already done it. Looks like it's the Blue Team's to lose.

And the judge is Pelosi. Oy. She at least realizes the Red Team's salty dish. But she picks the Blue Team by "a slight advantage". Alex screwed the Red Team.

And for the EC? The ever-popular RESTAURANT WARS! Frank Bruni is the judge, and Bill and John Terlato, from Terlato Vineyards, provide the wine for the dinner. And the teams stay together for RW. This is where Angelo and Alex will butt heads! Everyone must be responsible for one dish. But it looks like Ed and Angelo are going to put Alex as the FOH for their restaurant to get him out of the way. And Kelly will be FOH for the Blue Team. Angelo heads up the Red Team; Kenny heads up the Blue Team.

They all show up at the serving kitchen (sorry, I didn't get the name of the restaurant where they were serving), and they have 4 hours to prep. Alex is REALLY backing the Red Team up during prep at the TC kitchen. Their restaurant name is EVOO.

The Blue Team's restaurant name is TwentyOne21 (the address of the TC house). The Blue Team is calm, cool, and collected.

Kelly and Alex meet their waitstaff, and Alex tells them how to clean up the tables and chairs. And does he even have a CLUE as to how to treat his staff? Doesn't look like it!

And Alex isn't there to greet the TC judges as he's explaining why there was a screw-up for one of the first tables - REALLY smart! (Not!) Padma says they'll take two of everything.

They didn't like the confit tomato soup (Alex's dish), but the fish dish seemed to be more favored (Tiffany's dish). The lamb and beef dishes for both Red Team dishes looked wonderful, but noted that they didn't seem very "Mediterranean", which is what they said the restaurant was focusing on. Bruni's noticed the hit-or-miss service.

So they head over to the Blue Team's restaurant to check out their dishes. Kelly's there to greet them. TwentyOne21 is serving "Progressive American cuisine." Ooh, their chilled corn soup with blue crab looks WONDERFUL, but their beet salad with endive seems to have too many things on the plate, and the soup is a bit thin.

Their beef dish looked good, but Tom said it's cut too thin, but I think the flavor was well received. The halibut dish seems to get rave reviews. The cheese course didn't go over well, but Gail Simmons loved the chocolate tart.

Red Team was called up first to JT. DAMN. They WON! Wow. debbiel, looks like you were right! And the individual winner was? Ed's turbot dish! HUGE win for him! He gets a trip to Napa to visit the Terlato Vineyard.

So - who on the Blue Team is going home? They really didn't like Kenny's salad - and he was the EC for his restaurant. Kenny said to the judges that he was surprised after seeing the Red Team's hecticness in the kitchen, why they were there. Gail states as diners, they don't see nor do they care what goes on in the kitchen. They just want good food and good service.

Kelly gets good reviews for her FOH service. Amanda's beef was overcooked - and she's SHOCKED? She even said she's not used to cooking grass-fed beef, and Kelly warned her it was being cooked at too high a temp.

Kenny is essentially throwing the Red Team under the bus, and saying that Alex didn't conceive of his dish, and Kevin backs him up, saying Angelo and Ed did the conception. Whoa. Red Team goes back into the Stew Room and takes on the Blue Team. Kevin's ALL over Alex saying he didn't do anything for his own dish, and no one on the Red Team really disputed it. Angelo and Tiffany gave a half-hearted response but they didn't vehemently argue against what Kevin was saying to Alex.

This will be an interesting JT conversation - I'm definitely going to want to see the extended JT!

While they liked Kelly's FOH, they weren't happy with her soup. Amanda's beef wasn't good. Kevin's dish was good - Tom said he's not going home. Kenny's dish wasn't good, BUT he did well as EC.

The Alex situation is briefly brought up by Bruni, but it's pretty obvious - the Red Team did well as a team, so Alex gets to stay.

I think it's Amanda going home. WHOA!!!!!! It IS KENNY going home! Holy crapola! He didn't do well, but I just didn't think he'd be going home! I guess being EC just didn't cut it for him this time.

And next week, they're going to the CIA - Leon Panetta and Wylie Dufresne were shown.

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  1. At this point, 25 minutes into the episode, I am despartely hoping that the red team loses so that Alex can go home. So I assume blue team will lose.

    Did Ed say something looked "retarded?" That word as slang makes me cringe, but I'm not sure (even after watching it 3 times).

    I thought Kenny was not using his age as an excuse for being in the middle, but rather was saying that as someone with experience and at his age that he should be able to do better. I didn't see that segment as Kenny puffery.

    8 Replies
    1. re: debbiel

      Yes, someone did use "retarded" - I watch TV with the closed captioning on & caught that, although I didn't see who said it. I can't stand that word either.

      I took the Kenny/age thing in the same way - he thought he should be doing better based on his age & experience.

      1. re: debbiel

        Agree with you on the hoping the Red Team loses so Alex can go home. I REALLY hope that the Blue Team does better so they are the winners!

        Didn't hear the Ed comment, but I wouldn't put it past him. I'd have to watch again to determine how Kenny meant what he said about his age as well.

        I'll continue to update in my original post through the rest of the show.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I also mean every week to thank you for the play-by-play - I love the recaps since my kids, my husband, and my dog inevitably need SOMETHING while I am watching!

          1. re: elfcook

            Ditto. Thanks very much for the play by play.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              I am now worried that blue team will lose. If they do, is it Kelly or Kenny going home?

              1. re: debbiel

                Kelly's safe, IMO. I think it's Kenny or Amanda, based on what I just wrote in the OP.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  I hope it's Amanda, just because I think she is the least talented in the group.

            1. Wow. Not much at all about Alex on the edit. I am guessing we read more about it in blog posts than see on extended judge's table.

              1. Total BS. First, Alex should have gone, next is Amanda. Kenny ran a tight kitchen and yes, misfired on his dishes, but sent home. No way.

                7 Replies
                1. re: monavano

                  Agreed, but the Blue Team won. Alex gets to stay, despite him not really creating his dish. But within the TC cheftestants, that's TWO strikes against Alex. No one is going to want to work with him after the pea puree theft and now this.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    its been established that he did not steal the puree

                    1. re: thew

                      Yeah, I know. I wrote that last night. I read about Tom's tweet this morning.

                  2. re: monavano

                    I think it's pretty defendable to send Kenny home if looking only at the evening. They send a member of the losing team home, so Alex wasn't going to go home. So it's between Amanda and Kenny. Yes, he ran a tight ship, though one that sent out 3 bad dishes and at least 1 mediocre dish. He sent out two bad dishes of his own. Not two slightly flawed dishes, but two bad dishes. Amanda did very little, and got most of it wrong. I think you can defend the decision to send either of them home.

                    I think it's pretty clear at this point that Alex and Amanda are the weakest of the remaining chefs (and weaker than chefs who have already been cut). Hopefully they'll go the next two weeks.

                    1. re: debbiel

                      Amanda should have gone. Nothing about her dish was redeemable and they at least acknowledged Kenny for having done a good job at EC. On the other hand, he's become a blowhard in denial about what doesn't work about his food.

                      Ultimately I think everyone wishes that they could have sent Alex home.

                      And what was up with another pea puree?

                      1. re: chicgail

                        I wanted to see Alex prepare that pea puree, just to see if he knew how, and to see if the judges liked it this time, too.


                    2. re: monavano

                      Kenny deserved to go, there's no doubt in my mind. The team leader paints a target on his or her back in RW, so the bar was set higher for Kenny, and he set it that way.

                      He may have run a smooth and organized kitchen, but as the judges said, it doesn't matter what's going on behind the scenes if the food is bad. Executive Chef Kenny sent two dishes that were unanimously panned by the judges. According to the criticism, they were ill conceived as well as poorly executed. Bruni called the goat cheese dish a "horror" or something like that. They at least praised an aspect of Amanda's dish, even if it was a small one.

                      As far as Alex goes, maybe he "deserved" to go home, but he had the luxury of being on the winning team. Simple as that. He gets to ride their coat tails another week.

                      As far as Blue vs Red, I was a little surprised that Red won; I thought Kelly's superior service might have allowed them to squeak out the win. I feel the judges have over valued the FOH in the past. It always seemed like penalizing a foot ball team for having a messy locker room. To borrow a cliche, it's "Top Chef" not "Top Waiter."

                    3. Extended judge's table is up. Until the very end, it still had me thinking Amanda. BTW, I have to say that I don't think you could give me too big of a piece of fried goat cheese. At least not if I had some wine with it.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: debbiel

                        While Kenny's goat cheese was the least liked dish, Amanda should have gone home for her mistakes in cooking a simple piece of beef (which no chef should ever get wrong to that extent). Kenny went out on a limb and it went against him, while Amanda failed Home Cooking 101.

                        Elsewhere, I thought that Nancy Pelosi was awkward to say the least, and that Angelo's restaurant name EVOO was too Rachel Ray-esque.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          Loved the title of the extended JT video (and hearing Tom Colicchio say it at the very end): "We Killed Kenny!" :-)

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Well, I never knew that there was an extended judges table on bravotv.com! Thanks Linda Whit and all the other members! Yes it is clear that Kenny needed to go after they definitively voted that his dishes were not up to par. Kenny seriously has an inflated ego and consistently overdresses his dishes. It was a good episode.

                        2. grrr.

                          based on the editing in the beginning of the episode i was pretty sure either Amanda or Kenny would be going home. of the two, of course i hoped it would be Amanda...though i obviously would have loved to see Alex gone more than anyone. how on Earth does he continue to skate through?!

                          i think Amanda should have gone home over Kenny, but i can't really fault the judges for sending him packing after he turned out two completely unsuccessful dishes.

                          i think the elves actually made it pretty obvious rather early on that the red team was going to win - there was just too much talk about how they were such a mess and everything was going wrong, so i assumed they'd end up shocking everyone by pulling out a win.

                          BTW, i'm surprised there wasn't more discussion about the fact that only the blue team chose to offer a dessert course.

                          please, please, please can they do a double elimination next week and send Alex and Amanda home?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            OOh, a double elimination would be awesome. I was SO sure last night that Amanda was going home, since they couldn't pull a member of the winning team and send Alex home. sigh. Now that I decided last week he looks like a meerkat, I can't look at Alex w/o giggling! :) He was terrible and condescending as FOH. At least Kelly admitted that she hadn't really been there before and did her best in spite of her nerves!

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Double-elim - that would SO work for me! LOL

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                A double elimination would be absolutely fabulous, assuming of course that it was an elimination of Alex and Amanda. I'd break out some sparkling for that!

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  i'm going to take alot of flak for this but here goes: amanda has some redeeming value as eye-candy. besides, an unfamiliar wood-fired grill would be a challenge for anyone - why didn't kenny man-up and prove he such a great cook and take on that grill? i bet amanda would've made a better veg dish than the beet salad or cheese dessert. also, apart from coming across as more pleasant, i'm pretty sure amanda could outcook alex any day.

                                2. I might be done for this season, really, I just am not enjoying it at all. Hearing Amanda say that she thinks she MIGHT actually deserve to me here made me cringe so badly. Yes, you suck but how do they put chefs on this show who don't think they are good enough? It just proves that it is all about drama, and that is now what I signed up for or how the show used to be.

                                  What really is getting me though is the ethics of the show. Not to rehash peagate but what upset me the most was not if Alex it took it, but Tom's reaction. He is the producer, to say there is no footage, how can there not even be 5 seconds of Alex cooking that dish? Can we get acknowledgment of what green thing Alex took out of the cooler? There is technology to enhance that, was it the puree or plain peas?

                                  My point to this was again tonight there was the possibility of a MAJOR violation. Each chef was supposed to be responsible for one dish, if someone didn't they should go home, period. Tom does not have the excuse now of being unaware. The moment the accusation was made, judging should have stopped and the claims investigated.

                                  Sure maybe I'm getting too into this and maybe if it was not such a crappy season I wouldn't care. This was my one show above all else that I loved, if they need drama, fine, but don't start manipulating the viewers for the sake of drama.

                                  finally, really last thing, what was up with the shots of the car? I don't ever remember them zooming in much on specific features of a car. I get they need the sponsors but do I need to know the door is automatic?

                                  56 Replies
                                  1. re: elliora

                                    "but do I need to know the door is automatic?"
                                    whether or not you "need" to know, the point is that you *noticed* - right there it's clear that the product placement folks did their job :)

                                    1. re: elliora

                                      if you look at tom's twitter feed ( http://twitter.com/tom_colicchio ) he tweets:

                                      "I also heard from at least three contestant who witnessed Alex making the pea puree"

                                      Peagate is no more. Alex is completely exonerated by the testimony of three other contestants who saw him cook the pea puree.

                                      1. re: TheFoodEater

                                        That should then be put on his blog (which wasn't up last night before I went to bed last night).

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Agree with Linda on this one. This is also what is annoying me about this season, did they add this revelation to any future episodes? Of course not, it's much better drama to continue to have America think Alex is a puree thief than to actually clear up the situation.

                                          1. re: elliora

                                            I totally agree too. They really should put an apology to Alex on air, to make up for the character assassination. I believe that the producers didn't know what's up and didn't care, but now that Tom figured it out, TC owes alex a broadcasted apology.

                                            1. re: TheFoodEater

                                              I think it can all be taken care of on the reunion show.

                                              1. re: dmckean

                                                Yes, that's exactly where it's been said it'll be discussed...but does everyone watch the reunion show? Perhaps not - and the fact that the constant discussion over a period of a month or more about Alex "stealing the pea puree" is going to be more in the minds than any short 2 minute discussion on the reunion show saying he didn't.

                                        2. re: TheFoodEater

                                          That does not explain how the competing pea puree got "lost".

                                          1. re: ChinoWayne

                                            Steven has said in some interview that he can't be sure, but he could have set it aside as he was getting his stuff out of the shared cooler (shared between him, Ed and Alex, I believe) and perhaps it got thrown away.

                                        3. re: elliora

                                          I laughed at the "let's get in the Toyota Sienna" (is that the name?) comment and was surprised both teams were in the same car. That didn't seem fair. They sure have a lot less to do now with no furniture or decorations of the actual restaurant involved.

                                          1. re: Joanie

                                            I'm VERY glad that they didn't have to redecorate the restaurant! Just cook (or not, in Alex's case).

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              But they did have to rub, rub, rub those tables! At least on Alex's side. (grrr)

                                          2. re: elliora

                                            "My point to this was again tonight there was the possibility of a MAJOR violation. Each chef was supposed to be responsible for one dish, if someone didn't they should go home, period. Tom does not have the excuse now of being unaware. The moment the accusation was made, judging should have stopped and the claims investigated. "
                                            Except Alex's team WON. So that gives him immunity from being eliminated. The entire TEAM was being judged on their food only. As Gail Simmons said - as diners, they don't know what's going on behind the scenes; they just want good food and good service. That's what they got from the Red Team (well, at least better food than the Blue Team - the service obviously left a LOT to be desired!)

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              That's my point though. If each person was required to make a dish and you purposefully don't let the worst chef do a dish you are getting an unfair advantage. Perhaps Alex did do enough to get by on the existing rules, but it should have been acknowledged and explained. If he really did not make a dish based off of the rules, he should have lost immunity and gone home. It's much easier to win if you are cheating...

                                              1. re: elliora

                                                Perhaps, but the judges were unaware of someone not pulling their weight while they chose best team/worst team...not until after Kenny said something were they aware. What were they do to - take away the wine bottle from Ed and say "your team is now the losing team?" It was a team effort for being best/worst. Only *then* were they judged individually on their dishes.

                                                If the Red Team had lost, I'll guarantee they'd have tossed Alex under the bus to send him home. But perhaps the judges would have chosen Angelo to go home, as he essentially overruled everything that Alex attempted to do and chose to do it himself. So it's still possible that Alex would have been safe, yet again.

                                            2. re: elliora

                                              i agree, Elliora. not excited about this season. and, re Alex, since Tom IS the exec producer, why can't he say, ok, rules change when someone completely failed to do what they were supposed to do - be responsible for one dish - i.e., even if he's on a winning team, he CAN be sent home!

                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                Rules are there for a reason. If the rules change on the whim of a producer or a judge, they'd lose a helluva lot more credibility, IMO, and a lot more viewers.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  Not to keep beating a dead horse here, but it's not changing the rules, it is sticking to them. I don't know if they would have taken away the entire win. One would think they would have guidelines in place if rules are broken. Think about it this way, what if each person was required to make a dish containing a cut of beef? One person makes a tofu dish instead because vegetarians consider it a beef substitute. Maybe not the best example, but can you really not see this person going home for not following the guidelines? The fact is the rule that each person had to create a dish was put in place specifically to not allow what happened last night to happen. If Alex was allowed to actually make his dish, based on his butchering alone it could have changed the outcome

                                                  1. re: elliora

                                                    But to say this was a rules violation you would need a very clera definition of what it means to conceive of and execute the dish. It seems the FOH person almost always gets some support on the food. Do we know that Alex had nothing to do with conceiving the dish?

                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                    While on one hand I agree with you, Linda, on the other I don't. The rules are there, but, IMO, that would mean one rule, one team wins and no one from that team goes home, has more weight than the rule of everyone must make at least one dish. I don't think it would take away from the credibility factor if the judges tell one cheftestant to PYKAG because they didn't follow the rules of the competition. However, having said that, this is the way I look at the rules, but the judges and/or producers might think differently.

                                                    1. re: lizzy

                                                      But again - unless Kenny or Kevin hasn't said anything, the judges aren't aware that Alex probably didn't make anything. The producers *rarely* step in - the judging is on the food only.

                                                      Believe me, I'm not disagreeing that Alex should have gone home if he didn't make anything - he SHOULD have. But putting myself in the judges' shoes, they know ONLY what is put in front of them - the food. Unless someone says something.

                                                      The only time the producers have stepped in is when Cliff physically manhandled Marcel, wrestling him to the floor- that was against the contract signed by all cheftestants. That I can understand.

                                                      While I dislike Alex staying through this round, I do understand where the judges are coming from in this situation. But I also don't think Alex is long for this competition.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Linda I completely agree with you, like I said I really can see both sides of the issue. I also have mixed feelings about Kenny and Kevin telling the judges that Alex had nothing to do with his dish, it felt very kindergarten-esque to me. I also realize the producers have nothing to do with who does or does not go home on a given week.

                                                        However, once the judges were made aware of the possibility of Alex not conforming to the rules they really just waved it off, Frank Bruni said it was a moot point because the red team already had the win. This goes back to one rule outweighing another, yes the judges had to be told, but by not investigating the claim they are saying it really doesn't matter as long as you are the winning team.

                                                        Once Kenny and Kevin accused Alex of having nothing to do with his dish at JT, they essentially accused the red team of cheating. If the judges had decided to investigate further, I have no doubt that the producers would have also been involved. This is why I included the producers in my above post.

                                                        Like I said I have very mixed feelings about the whole ordeal, but I think at the end of the day my real beef is with the editors. I'm not sure if it is just me, but it seems like I have a lot of unanswered questions at the end of TC each week.

                                                        1. re: lizzy

                                                          I'm not sure if it is just me, but it seems like I have a lot of unanswered questions at the end of TC each week.
                                                          On that, we agree. This season it's seemed moreso than any other that we're left hanging. It's frustrating.

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Very frustrating indeed! I wonder if they do it on purpose so people will watch the extended JT on their website or maybe even to generate more posts like these.

                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                          The issue to me seems to be that the requirement is somewhat vague. I believe what they say when they lay out the challenge is that everyone is "responsible for" one dish. That's not the same as "make" one dish. In the past, some of the chefs that have worked the front of the house have not actually cooked their dishes. So it becomes rather subjective to what degree the front of the house chef is "responsible" for his dish.

                                                          Blue Team wasn't actually in on the Red Team's planning, so they have no idea to what extent Alex conceptualized the dish. We know he prepped the lamb. He may also have made the infamous pea puree -- Blue Team couldn't have been watching him every minute while they were doing their own prep.

                                                          I thought it really reflected badly on them that instead of taking responsibility for their own failures they tried to throw Alex under the bus. Considering how poorly Alex managed the front of the house at EVOO, if Blue Team's dishes hadn't been so much worse than EVOO's, there was no question Alex would have gone home. Maybe when Kenny sees all the judges making faces when they bite into his goat cheese he'll own up to his own failures.

                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                            The issue to me seems to be that the requirement is somewhat vague. I believe what they say when they lay out the challenge is that everyone is "responsible for" one dish. That's not the same as "make" one dish. In the past, some of the chefs that have worked the front of the house have not actually cooked their dishes. So it becomes rather subjective to what degree the front of the house chef is "responsible" for his dish.


                                                            I agree with your above statements. Last night it took me and my dh over 1.5 hours to watch TC because we kept pausing and rewinding, to say nothing of the discussion after the show. One of the things we discussed was in at least one previous season it was stated that whoever was FOH must execute a dish. This lead into a discussion of "responsible for" vs. "making" a dish. You're right the rules, presented to us anyway, are vague and it was something we both agreed should be qualified.

                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                              Blue Team's behavior at JT and in the stew room afterwards was really shameful. They didn't just try to throw Alex under the bus, but the whole Red Team. I think the judges saw it for what it was, sour grapes, and gave it the consideration it deserved, namely none. They could have brought the other team back in and grilled them, and it wouldn't have necessitated stripping Ed of his win.

                                                              People accuse TC of manufacturing drama, but what could have been more dramatic than calling Alex in along with the Blue Team. That would have been a first and very dramatic. They chose not to do the sensational thing, and still people complain.

                                                              The Blue Team's behavior is in stark contrast to Ed's during "Pea-gate." I admired that, absent certain knowledge that Alex took his puree, he maintained his dignity and remained silent.

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                I believe what they say when they lay out the challenge is that everyone is "responsible for" one dish. That's not the same as "make" one dish.
                                                                VERY good point, Ruth. That would be a good clarification if someone watches the show again and hears exactly what they said. Then, this is (yet another) moot point if they say "responsible" for one dish vs. actually making the dish.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  "Responsible for one dish" is what I heard, also, Ruth. I don't know what that means, exactly. Come up with the idea? Shop for it? Prep for it? Cook it?


                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    I assume that means you claim one dish and if it's a dud, you're going down for it. If it's great, you could win for it. You don't even need to have anything to do with it, only ensure that it reaches the judges as a good dish. I think it was last year when Laurine got lambasted for not making sure her lamb came out the way she wanted it to. If it had come out great, being cooked by her teammates, she would have had a chance at staying despite her poor FOH perfromance. Most competitors would leave as little to chance as possible as they normally want to live or die by their own mistakes. Others, like Alex, hope to slide buy on their teams' talent and get lucky that their team takes it upon themselves to improve their mediocre dish. Like Robin's pear tart last season that Michael improved.

                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                I think it would be agreed by all here, that other than botching the butchering, Alex had nothing to do with cooking any of the food. Did anyone besides myself notice that when Alex met with the servers he told them that HE is the restaurant chef (singular) and then proceed to boss them around. I think that is very telling about is basic character, peas or no peas, Alex is always going to claim the credit, whether it is due or not.

                                                                Alex will certainly not win this competition, if by happenstance he makes it to the final, would the judges give him the win or count him out because of his overall lack of performance?

                                                                1. re: ChinoWayne

                                                                  "...if by happenstance he makes it to the final, would the judges give him the win or count him out because of his overall lack of performance?"

                                                                  the rules are very explicit that past performance is not on the table for judging. it is that meal and that meal only being judged

                                                        3. re: elliora

                                                          I would like to know who the "three" are because it seemed no one saw him cooking the peas when the were discussing it during the show...sounds like they are just trying to make it go away.

                                                          1. re: LaLa

                                                            Why would they want to make it go away? Controversy is good for ratings.

                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                              i think tom wants it to go away due to the production/ ethicial issues.
                                                              In watching the repeats there were not three peopl that in the house who didn't say or be present when the pea discussions were going on....so who are these three?

                                                          2. re: elliora

                                                            "I might be done for this season, really, I just am not enjoying it at all"

                                                            just this season? the show took a nosedive after season three. i still watch hoping against hope there is some glimmer of redemption but it's all in vain.

                                                            "Not to rehash peagate"

                                                            unresolved theft of mushy peas (the proper name for pea pyoor-eyy) falls into the same early tradition established at the birth of the show: faison turning down leeane's oven. they could always go back to the tapes and determine the truth but they won't - they'd rather have the viewers cringing and twitching. heck, they go the opposite direction and go back to the tapes, slice-and-dice, and distort timelines (season two head-shaving sequence). it's well established that the show is rigged from the get-go so forewarned, i don't set myself up for disappointment and have learned to expect such shenanigans whenever i watch the show.

                                                            "but what upset me the most was not if Alex it took it, but Tom's reaction"

                                                            the guy is a stooge and he'll bow to the creative directors and writers who've let their ego run amuck over collichio's integrity, anyway they pay him a pretty penny. bottomline, it'd be nice to see colicchio cook in the show to prove he's worthy of the title 'head judge' - seven seasons and not a single dish from this guy.

                                                            that said, i'm so happy amanda is safe and very, very, very good riddance to the beast. the fact that someone as unskilled as alex outlasts 'the youngest blah-blah-blah'... i guess kenny took that well.

                                                            1. re: epabella

                                                              Wow. If you really dislike this show and the judges so much, why bother watching it? And Pea-Gate *has* been resolved. Read further up in the thread. But where did you read that the show is rigged from the get-go and that's well established?

                                                              1. re: epabella

                                                                " it's well established that the show is rigged from the get-go"


                                                                1. re: epabella

                                                                  "it'd be nice to see colicchio cook in the show to prove he's worthy of the title 'head judge' - seven seasons and not a single dish from this guy."
                                                                  the guy's got 5 James Beard Awards and a wildly successful restaurant empire under his belt...i'm pretty sure he's already proven himself worthy.

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    ancient james beard awards galore but can he walk his talk like the other judges who've really proven themselves worthy? a truly worthy judge would step up to the plate and prove what he's all about the way great chefs like hubert keller and rick bayless did. how would colicchio do in a "meesonplass" (mise en place) relay race? how well would he fare in the tasting challenge? i bet he couldn't take on ludo.

                                                                    1. re: epabella

                                                                      the man is actively involved in cooking at his restaurants. he does the bimonthly tuesday w/ tom dinner, where he cooks for a limited guest list with ingredients he chooses from the market.

                                                                      he cofounded gramercy tavern, one of NYs most popular restaurants, and runs 15 restaurants worldwide

                                                                      as to his "ancient" james beard awards the last one was the 2010 Outstanding Chef award from james beard. not sure this year qualifies as ancient.

                                                                      you don't like the show? fine. you don't like the guy? also fine. but dislike him for actual reasons, not stuff you just make up.

                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                        "you don't like the show? fine. you don't like the guy? also fine. but dislike him for actual reasons, not stuff you just make up."

                                                                        stuff i make up? thanks for the lowdown on your idol but i can google and wiki too. you can choose to admire colicchio and i can choose not too but apart from being ignorant about his very recent award, i didn't make up the fact that previous guest judges have proven they're capable of competing like the contestants they judge.

                                                                        1. re: epabella

                                                                          Yet again - that's *not* why Colicchio is there. He's a judge. Plain and simple. Why should he compete?

                                                                          1. re: epabella

                                                                            Also - if you're better at Googling than the rest of us, can you please cite your sources of how the show has been rigged since Season 1? Then we can all be on the same page, epabella.

                                                                            1. re: epabella

                                                                              In what competition have you seen a judge...compete? Participate in the competition? What on earth are you talking about?

                                                                              What has been laid out for you since your first odd post about Colicchio's judging merits is his very strong credentials as a chef. You keep posting about other judges stepping up and competing, but that didn't happen until at least 4 seasons into Top Chef (and probably later, I don't remember when Top Chef Masters debuted). Eric Ripert has never competed has he? Is he not qualified to be a judge?

                                                                              Tom Colicchio is a well-respected, accomplished chef. Please explain specifically what you would accept as qualifications for the role of head judge on Top Chef, and then provide examples of individuals you feel meet those qualifications.

                                                                              1. re: epabella

                                                                                he's not a guest judge. and he isn't my idol. but he's a damn fine chef, and i enjoyed my meals at gramercy when he was there, and my meals at craft afterwords. the guy has legit bona fides. you can splutter all you like, but it doesn't take away from the fact the the guy is a major force on the american food scene, and doesn't need to prove it to you by chopping some onions.

                                                                                and no judge was asked to compete - some were contestants on a seperate show, top chef masters, but none, when judging on top chef, had to lift a knife, or a finger, to prove anything. they were just there.

                                                                                seriously - what did rick bayless, or jose andres, or any guest judge have to do on the show to prove themselves? i can't recall a single instance....

                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                  Nope. No one had to prove themselves. Top Chef Masters didn't even come along until there were half a dozen seasons of Top Chef in the can.

                                                                                  That said, I'd love to see Tom on Top Chef Masters. It's not so much that I don't think he can chop an onion, as that even the "Masters" have found that cooking under the restrictions and pressure of the Top Chef challenges is a lot harder than it looks. I think he might be a bit less contemptuous in his attitude sometimes if he had to struggle to make up a dish on the fly and plate it in 30 minutes in an unfamiliar kitchen.

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                    "That said, I'd love to see Tom on Top Chef Masters... he might be a bit less contemptuous in his attitude sometimes if he had to struggle to make up a dish on the fly and plate it in 30 minutes in an unfamiliar kitchen"

                                                                                    thank you very much for having the calm insight that eludes some fans. it's much easier to rest on accolades than it is to cook under the pressure of reality tv cameras.

                                                                                    1. re: epabella

                                                                                      If this is what you've been trying to say, then thanks to Ruth for stating it in a clear way that you did not get across. Yes it would be interesting to see Tom in a TC Masters but that doesn't mean he's not qualified to judge the show right now. And tons of the guest judges have not "proven they're capable of competing like the contestants they judge".

                                                                                      1. re: epabella

                                                                                        Saying this is *completely* different from what you've been saying, however, epabella. Your supposition was that the only way that Tom Colicchio could "prove" himself to YOU was to cook on Top Chef - which is just silly. He was asked to be head judge specifically because of his cooking chops in the industry. His background (as well as the many other guest judges who haven't cooked on Top Chef *or* Top Chef Masters) show that they're more than capable of appropriately judging the challenges on TC.

                                                                                        And I still state contend that they don't *have* to prove themselves - to YOU or to any of us. They've proven themselves in their own industry and received the respect of their peers.

                                                                                  2. re: epabella

                                                                                    The judges have proven that they are capable of judging the flavor and quality of the food that is produced each week. They don't have to prove that they are capable of anything else, including producing the same food under similar circumstances. The rest of this is just silly..

                                                                                2. re: epabella

                                                                                  "Ancient" James Beard Award? Wow, didn't realize that 2010 was SO long ago!




                                                                                  Outstanding Chef Award - Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters

                                                                                  A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Candidates must have been working as chefs for at least the past 5 years.
                                                                                  Tom Colicchio, Craft - NYC

                                                                                  (Please note - it says WORKING CHEF in that award description)

                                                                                  That's not what this show is about, however. Colicchio has already proven himself to his peers. He doesn't need to "step up to the plate" as you seem to think is required.

                                                                                  And I ask again - where did you hear that it's "well established that the show is rigged from the get-go?" (Not that I'm expecting an answer, because I don't believe it's true.) But if that is REALLY true - how the hell did Hosea win? :-/

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    <<where did you hear that it's "well established that the show is rigged from the get-go?" ,,, But if that is REALLY true - how the hell did Hosea win? :-/>>

                                                                                    Or Ilan for that matter?

                                                                                    And how did Sam lose?

                                                                                1. re: epabella

                                                                                  < it'd be nice to see colicchio cook in the show to prove he's worthy of the title 'head judge' - seven seasons and not a single dish from this guy.>

                                                                                  That's not his job. and he has nothing to prove. He's been winning awards for his cooking and filling chairs in multiple restaurants since back in the day when GramTav was born. Get over it! :0

                                                                                2. re: elliora

                                                                                  'There is technology to enhance that, was it the puree or plain peas?'

                                                                                  I think someone watches far too many forensic dramas.

                                                                                3. Really sad to see Kenny go home, especially since the Red team totally covered for Alex. However, it IS to their credit they were able to keep the deficiencies of their team from the judges.

                                                                                  So sad to see Amanda and Alex still standing when several better chefs have been eliminated. I guess they are better game-players.

                                                                                  Over to see extended JT.

                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                    I just do not see why all the Alex hate here...agreed he is not very likeable...but he certainly is not a villian and I never saw any sign of him being andAHole..................... up until last night!
                                                                                    Yes he was a HUGE D*** to the staff = which is obnoxious and pure stupidity..

                                                                                    I have so much to say about RW's - and after reading through the comments here - I feel like I watched a different episode!

                                                                                    My first annoyance with it was the way that Angelo, Tiffany and uh..??? whats his name? Ed?
                                                                                    Were disregarding Alex from the very beginning. I really thought this was poor judgement and I thought it was going to be their downfall.
                                                                                    For one thing FOH is really important - Personality counts!
                                                                                    Why force Alex to do it when he doesnt have a good personality??
                                                                                    Why? Because FOH usually goes home on RW! I'm pretty sure that was their strategy from the start...
                                                                                    So I thought that was a dumb, obnoxious move.
                                                                                    If he didnt conceive of a dish I think it's because of his teammates who really just wanted to throw him under the bus...but like the pea situation - I feel like it was edited to make him look like he had less to to with the lamb than we saw...

                                                                                    Then I really couldnt stand the judges obviously bad attitude while at EVOO.
                                                                                    Tom was a grump, Padma was whiny, and even Gail was not nice....
                                                                                    Didnt anyone catch Padma's : "I want my main course..........." ??? OMG!
                                                                                    I dont think I have ever seen the judges look so miserable...
                                                                                    (Which for me was why the 2121's loss was so shocking to me!)

                                                                                    The judges picked on A for an innocent slip of the tounge (lamb/pork)...but not Kelly when she described the "GOAT" that they were about to eat.
                                                                                    Yes, I am pretty sure she described the goat cheese as a piece of GOAT... I could be wrong but I dont think so.

                                                                                    Oh and also - We saw a big scene of Kelly telling Amanda that her meat tempt. were off - and the at JT we see Amanda say "I'm shocked - I had no idea my ment was too weel done" !!
                                                                                    I was screaming at the telly at that point!

                                                                                    So many annoyances for me in this episode! This had to be for me the most annoying episode ever! At the end I didnt care which team won or who was going home!
                                                                                    The only person I liked was Kelly - I thought she did a good job..

                                                                                    BTW -I had never seen Frank Bruni before - my he is a nice looking man! What a surprise!
                                                                                    I imagined him to be an older bald chubby guy!! LOL

                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                      LOL Nelly! I thought the same thing about Frank Bruni. :-) (And glad to see you back here - you've been missed!)

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        This whole situation with the CH site is KILLING me!
                                                                                        I try and try every day!
                                                                                        Ive been trying to read this post for 2 days..

                                                                                        I dont know what it could be ??

                                                                                        Frank Bruni!!!!
                                                                                        oh YEAH........

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          absolutely agree about Frank Bruni. I was expected a rather skinny, peevish looking guy, not the personable and attractive person (and rather young, at least to my eyes!) guy last night.

                                                                                        2. re: NellyNel

                                                                                          <What a surprise! I imagined him to be an older bald chubby guy!! LOL>

                                                                                          Don't think he was ever bald, but he definitely used to be chubby. Has lost a lot of weight since he stopped being the NYTimes Resto critic.

                                                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                            No Kidding?

                                                                                            I have to re-watch the episode and pay more attention to him...I recall at first not liking his personality, but then by the end I thought he was pretty cool...But I was too busy being aggravated at everything else to mind him too much!!

                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                              Read his book, serious dietary behavioral issues.

                                                                                              1. re: ChinoWayne

                                                                                                I read some articles based on his book and it's he has some interesting thoughts about food and weight. He was on Morning Joe about a year ago when his book came out and I thought he was quite good looking at the time.

                                                                                            2. re: NellyNel

                                                                                              I had the same reaction about Frank Bruni!

                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                hey Nelly, please don't hold back. next time, tell us how you really feel! ;)

                                                                                                sticking Alex with FOH duties was most certainly strategy by the other team members, but it was more than just the fact that FOH is usually the one to go home. they all made it clear that none of them have any faith in his cooking abilities, and no one wanted him to screw up the food they were sending out. and honestly, after seeing how inept he was at butchering the meat & fish, i have to say it was a good call on their parts.

                                                                                                re: Kelly and the goat, i'm pretty sure someone at the table either asked if it was cheese and she replied that it was goat, or she said it was their take on a cheese course and then specified goat...so it was more culinary shorthand than slip of the tongue.

                                                                                                oh, and Bruni has started popping up on the occasional episode of "Best Thing I Ever Ate" on FN...just in case you want to see more of him ;)

                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                  thanks for all that!

                                                                                                  I have to watch it again - I swear she was just like "In front of you - you have a piece of GOAT"
                                                                                                  Not that I think it's a big deal anyway..I was just sayin'....

                                                                                                  As for the Alex thing - I think no matter how crappy you think your team- mate is - I still think they should be included in decisions and whatever else...
                                                                                                  I thought it was a really bad "team" move ...though in this case it may have proved positive.

                                                                                                  Now Ill check out all the links - thanks os much!

                                                                                            3. I absolutely agree that Alex needs to repeatedly thank his teammates for saving him. He deserves to go and everyone knows it.

                                                                                              But I am not at all sad about Kenny. While he was somewhat likable he repeatedly served the judges sub-par or even bad dishes. And just because he talked the talk doesn't mean the food was actually good. I'm a bit surprised that some CHers love him so much since his food has been sporadic at best.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                "But I am not at all sad about Kenny. While he was somewhat likable he repeatedly served the judges sub-par or even bad dishes. And just because he talked the talk doesn't mean the food was actually good. I'm a bit surprised that some CHers love him so much since his food has been sporadic at best."

                                                                                                Completely agree with this. I think he was less of a jerk than Alex and perhaps a more seasoned chef than Amanda but when it came down to it, he needed to go. Alex or Amanda being eliminated last night would have been cathartic, but they're all bad links in the chain and they all need to go eventually.

                                                                                              2. What's with everybody's pronunciation of turbot, even the former NYT critic? The final "t" is pronounced, and the emphasis is on the first syllable. They are all saying it like it's French. Kind of the opposite of suppressing the last s in vichyssoise. Guess they think it sounds more refined?

                                                                                                Only thing I'm shaking my head at is the premature salting of the fish in the QF. What was he thinking? As for Amanda having trouble with the grass-fed beef, I can sympathize. I cooked it for the first time a month ago and it was completely different from what I used to get/use from Safeway.

                                                                                                47 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: kleine mocha

                                                                                                  You are wrong about how to pronounce turbot. Oops, I looked it up.


                                                                                                  I've always heard it with the silent t. What else do you know that many of us don't? As for Kenny and Amanda, I think either could have gone, but Kenny had two strikes against him for bad disihes, and strike three was him being executive chef of the losing team. This is a good heads up on grass fed beef, I was thinking about buying some, but how does it cook differently? Amanda was also cooking on a wood fired grill that she was not familiar with, although that means nothing to the judges.

                                                                                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                    I'm a home cook and I know that grass-fed beef cooks for a shorter time than corn-fed. Amanda is a professional and should know that. I think it's surprising that she's never worked with grass-fed. It's a superior product.

                                                                                                    And yes, turbot is always pronounced in the French style without the "t" at the end. Even in America. For as long as I can remember. It's not that it sounds more refined. It's just correct.

                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                      Didn't Kenny say he was grillmaster? Kenny could have provided pointers to help Amanda with dealing with her challenging meat and the wood grill. And why did Amanda even choose grass fed beef, or did Kenny choose it?

                                                                                                      (edit: on rewatch, I did see kenny helping out Amanda with the grill.)

                                                                                                      I did notice this is nth time we've heard judges say Amanda makes good sauces. Her detractors selectively ignore those praises. I'm thinking she's a very strong saucier.

                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                        Turbot: it may *always* be but it's wrong. See James' link. For years i assumed forte was from the Italian (like marked on a score for piano music), but turns out its from the French and the final e is silent. Now I know every time I say that' s not my forte 14 people are thinking I don't know how to pronounce it.

                                                                                                        Anyway, I'm kind of a word/etymology freak, so feel free to ignore me.

                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                          Turbot with a "t" is an accepted pronounciation, and is widely used in UK as well as here.

                                                                                                          imho, Johnny Carson's character "Floyd R. Turbot" (pronounced "Turbow") back in the 60's and 70's may have contributed to the usage of "turbow." Back then the fish was pretty rare around here.

                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                            This drove me nuts. Even if you haven't cooked grass-fed, you should know a little about it. The name alone would indicate that the cows are fed a different diet, hence they are leaner = less cooking time. If she had thought about the product for one minute instead of bitching about what she was dealt, she would've figured it out. I think this is why most people want Amanda to go home, we don't want to watch people on TV who know less than we do about food. There are plenty of examples of this throughout the season (the "minestrone" incident, etc.) I don't think she's a horrible cook but she doesn't seem like she paid any attention in culinary school.

                                                                                                            1. re: ribeye621

                                                                                                              Re: <(the "minestrone" incident, etc.)>
                                                                                                              If by this you mean her not having pasta in it - Minestrone does not need to have pasta in it to be called minestrone. Ripert and Colicchio were in error.

                                                                                                              1. re: ribeye621

                                                                                                                I, too, know that grass-fed beef has to be cooked differently than corn-fed. If she wasn't familiar with grass-fed she had no business buying it.

                                                                                                              2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                I've been cooking only grass-fed beef for a long time now, so I really didn't understand why Amanda had never cooked it. I mean, I haven't been in a restaurant kitchen for many years now, and I realize most restaurants aren't menuing it as a regular item. Still, it seems odd to me that she wouldn't have had some experience with it.

                                                                                                                I really don't even remember having any problems with the switchover.

                                                                                                                Amanda may cook well the dishes she knows, but I think she's really lacking in thinking on her feet.

                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                  I only cook with corn-fed choice or prime. I also occasionally spring for some american waygu. I would have no clue how to cook grass fed beef and I've been cooking since I was 5. Having to always shop at Whole Foods would totally trip me up.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                    I have limited experience cooking grass fed beef, and no pro kitchen experience-just a home cook.
                                                                                                                    When I approached cooking grass fed beef, I paid attention and went by feel. It isn't so much "how", but "how long" to cook it, IMO.
                                                                                                                    btw..I got my med-rare without problem.

                                                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                        Good to know on the grass fed beef! I also wanted to comment on your cooking by touch method with the beef.....I few episodes ago, I'm sorry I don't remember specifically which one but if I had to guess it would be the one with the presidential yacht, I believe it was Amanda talking with Kelly where she said she cooks beef by touch and not with a thermometer. IMO, she should have gotten the beef right and when it's called for she doesn't adapt well.

                                                                                                                        1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                          Ahh, nice catch, lizzy, on Amanda saying she cooks beef by touch - yes, she absolutely should have gotten the temps correct!

                                                                                                                  2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                    I'm not an Amanda fan. But regarding her unfamiliarity with grass fed beef, she works at a seafood restaurant with likely 1 beef dish that more likely very few people order.

                                                                                                                    Funny and relevant aside - I once had a colleague who didn't eat fish. He and I worked at the same firm out of law school (different schools). When applying for law firm jobs, we all got taken out to lunch at the same downtown LA places. Apparently he was taken to Water Grill (Amanda's restaurant) three times in one week. He ordered the beef the first two times. The third time he showed up (all with different interviewers/firms), the waiter recognized him and said - "the guy who doesn't eat fish is back!" That made for an uncomfortable moment or two with my friend and his companions :)

                                                                                                                    My point is, almost nobody who goes to that restaurant doesn't order fish!

                                                                                                                    1. re: sasha1

                                                                                                                      Interesting story. But has Amanda even made any seafood? I remember her making chicken, lamb, beef, beef and beef again.

                                                                                                                      And regarding grass fed beef... is it anything similar to bison meat, remember Amanda comparing it to wild game? I know bison is leaner than typical beef, with a bit of gamey flavor.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sasha1

                                                                                                                        Amanda has made a point of mentioning more than once that she's classically trained. she went to Le Cordon Bleu, she's worked at several other non-seafood restaurants. so, the restaurant at which she *currently* works may be a seafood place, but she *should* know how to cook meat...and as dach pointed out, that's pretty much all she has cooked this season - meat! she even commented on the fact that she KNEW the grass-fed beef was leaner than what she's used to, so that in itself indicates that it was a simple matter of failed execution, and inability to adapt and *figure it out* as she went.

                                                                                                                      2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                        Where is Harold McGee when need him? I sure would like to know what would make grass fed beef cook differently than grain fed beef. (That just does not "compute" in my mind.)

                                                                                                                        In terms of Amanda not properly cooking it right, don't blame it on the grass, she obviously lacked the requisite experience/skill to execute the dish. If you are cooking a steak you need to know your heat source and how to use it, you need to pay attention to time and temperature, and your need to touch it while it is cooking. She might have been able to pull the beef cooking off despite some unfamiliarity with the wood burning grill, by testing a piece of meat, and almost certainly had she checked doneness by temperature and feel. I think this just exposed her as a chef with a lack of "seasoning".

                                                                                                                        1. re: ChinoWayne

                                                                                                                          It does cook differently -- there are lots of discussions about cooking grass-fed beef on chowhound if you want to learn more about it. Basically, grass-fed beef contains less fat and/or differently distributed fat and the fat it does contain has a slightly different composition. I suspect the muscle tone of cows that have been pastured is different than those that have spent their lives crammed into a feedlot as well.

                                                                                                                          The whole reason that beef cattle are "finished" on corn is that it changes both the texture and the flavor, making it sweeter, fattier and more tender. Grass-fed beef is very unforgiving to being overcooked (i.e. cooked past medium rare).

                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                            'The whole reason that beef cattle are "finished" on corn is that it changes both the texture and the flavor, making it sweeter, fattier and more tender.'

                                                                                                                            That's a factor, but not the whole reason. Corn makes them weigh more at market, too, and fattens them up a lot faster.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                              True, but you're never going to get choice or prime meat if you don't finish with grain. I think grass fed is mostly just clever marketing.

                                                                                                                              1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                <True, but you're never going to get choice or prime meat if you don't finish with grain. I think grass fed is mostly just clever marketing.>

                                                                                                                                Completely incorrect. However, this is a thread on Top Chef Episode #9 and not on the differences between the two types of beef available in us these days. used to be that it was ALL grass fed!

                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                  Indeed but that was 6,500 years ago. We've been feeding cattle grain for as long as we've been milking them.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                    First of all, nah, not quite that long. Second of all, I don't want meat labeled prime due to having eaten crap while standing in its own, too.

                                                                                                                                2. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                  In what sense is it "clever marketing"? While it's true that grass-fed beef won't ever be as well marbled as grain-fed, people who like grass-fed like it for other reasons, one being that it tastes more like beef and less like butter and another that it's healthier for both the animal, which doesn't have to be pumped full of antibiotics to tolerate feed-lot conditions and an unnatural diet, and the consumer, who gets meat with healthier fats and that isn't from animals pumped full of antibiotics.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                    It's mostly marketing because they'll compare the best practices of grass fed beef with the absolute worst conditions of grain fed beef instead of what's more typical. The cows on our farm grazed on pasture for 24 hours a day (except during the winter months) but also had an electronic collar that gave them controlled access to the proper amount of grain they needed each day. They only got antibiotics if they were sick or had an infection. That's how everyone in the area (central Illinois) raised beef.

                                                                                                                                    I will say stay away from McDonald's because in the 80s they bought a cow from us that was dying of leukemia.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                      You sold it to them -- how does that make you any better?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                        My parents sold it to them, I was 5.

                                                                                                                                3. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                  Well, it fattens them up faster, which makes them weigh more. But also places like Niman that raise their cattle on grass still "finish" them on corn because most Americans don't like the flavor or texture of grass-fed beef. It takes getting used to if you've been raised on corn-fed beef, plus, as noted in the post that started this discussion, it needs to be cooked differently which means that a lot of people's first taste is of badly prepared grass-fed beef (the first grass-fed beef I cooked was terrible!).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                    I guess I don't believe that's the reason they finish them on corn. I know the Niman's are no longer approving of the way the Niman products are being produced by the new management. Honestly, I have not found the grass fed beef I buy to be that different except that it's more flavorful and less greasy. Sometimes it's downright buttery, too, particularly flank steaks from Australia, for some reason. I've never altered my way of cooking it, either, unless I've made adjustments in process without thinking about it.

                                                                                                                              2. re: ChinoWayne

                                                                                                                                leaner, less gummy/squishy, more muscle tone, less cooking time.

                                                                                                                                but imo the unfamiliarity with a wood fire grill would have been the bigger factor. i think the heat was too high and she wasn't able to adapt and set herself up w a cooler area of the grill. bungling on both counts, to be sure. she should have erred on the rarer side. or she should have been replaced by someone who could cook the protein in question, on the grill in question.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ChinoWayne

                                                                                                                                  grass is the natural bovine diet, american cattle is corn-fed because corn is king in america. i'll miserably fail at expounding but there are two very clever individuals who've made a fine, fine film about this:


                                                                                                                              3. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                As Chicgail says, it cooks faster. I made my (to me) famous chili for a girls' movie night soon after I'd sort of taken the pledge re not buying Cafo meat, and while the sauce was delicious, the meat was stringy and dry after I made it the same way I had always done with the Safeway meat: browned and then braised for a long time at relatively low heat. Willl have to experiment to see what it takes to get it right, but should also have bought a specific cut instead of "stew meat," as the lack of marbling or relatively low fat nature of the meat probably contributed as well.

                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                  Are you saying turbot is pronounced turbo? That link you posted says "Pronunciation: \ˈtər-bət\" and if you click on the audio file you can definitely hear a hard "t" at the end. Am I misunderstanding something here?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                    I was served turbot during my foodie vacation to las vegas to eat at joel robuchon, and there, my waiter from france pronounced it with the hard 't'.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                      Fascinating. I just looked it up and you are correct. I had never heard anyone pronounce it anything but "tur-bo." Maybe everyone was putting on a French affectation. I stand corrected.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                        I was shocked myself. I had to listen and look at it a few times before I believed it. :o)

                                                                                                                                      2. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                        No, I was saying that all the folks on Top Chef pronounced it turbo (or perhaps turbeaux?), and that that is wrong, so wondered where they got the idea? I guess it's from an assumption that it's a French name, but apparently (per Wikipedia) it's from a word that was originally Scandinavian, though it goes way back.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: kleine mocha

                                                                                                                                          it's called back formation, if i remember my linguistics classes, where words and pronunciations shift because of other words that follow a pattern those words do not, or where new usages force new names for old concepts.

                                                                                                                                          but pronunciations do change over time, and in some not to distant future the correct pronunciation may well be w/out the final "t", due to usage

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kleine mocha

                                                                                                                                            Oh, i wasn't confused about what you said. My question was directed at James Cristinian.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                              Somehow my post disappeared, but I always heard it with a silent t. I was joking at the first part of my post, but I posted the webster definition with the t pronounced, saying I was surprised at the the way it was pronounced, and agreeing with the poster that pointed it out, whomever that was. I don't understand your confusion, that's why I posted the link to the pronounciation. My answer, with a t pronounced at the end, is directed at soypower.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                I'm even more confused now, but I think that's the nature of internet communications. I promise I'm really much more perceptive when I'm in face to face conversations. At any rate, I'm still happy to have learned the correct pronunciation of Turbot.

                                                                                                                                                ETA: And I apologize for any misunderstanding of my misunderstanding...Ad infinitum.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                  I won't say anymore because i'll just confuse myself even more.

                                                                                                                                      3. re: kleine mocha

                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the info on the proper pronunciation of turbot. I never would have guessed it was pronounced that way. Of course, I thought Moet was pronounced w/ a silent "t" for a very long time as well...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                          I have to say that French is hard that way; you go to all that trouble to learn which word-final consonants don't get pronounced, then they hit you with all these exceptions like cassis. and when you get out of Paris, all bets are off with regional dialects! ;-)

                                                                                                                                        2. re: kleine mocha

                                                                                                                                          What's with everybody's pronunciation of turbot, even the former NYT critic?
                                                                                                                                          i'm so glad i'm not the only one who was bothered by this! i cringed every time someone said "turbo" - i've always pronounced it [the correct way], and it was killing me last night.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kleine mocha

                                                                                                                                            At least Kelly pronounced "Swiss chard" correctly instead of giving it a faux-French pronunciation! Although she kind of slurred it as if she wasn't sure (or perhaps because she'd heard Tom Colicchio use the faux-French pronounciation in past TC episodes).

                                                                                                                                          2. I am very happy with the decision. If you read my previous posts in the other threads, I thought Kenny was alot of ego and "alpha male macho man behaviour" with nothing too spectacular to back it up.

                                                                                                                                            There is one other poster in the other thread going on and on about how they would "love to eat his beautiful food" and so on but I never saw anything of the sort.. He never did much impressive to me since the very first episode. Using 30 ingredients in a dish is not impressive in the least, especially since they rarely seemed to work together.

                                                                                                                                            I am very glad the judges chose the way they did -- I thought I knew what would happen before the final commercial break and they would choose Amanda, even though it's clearly Kenny whose attitude was more convincing than his food.

                                                                                                                                            I also got a real kick out of Kevin and Kenny trying to act so big and tough in the stew room. Angelo gave the best advice possible to Alex when they came out crying: Don't feed the trolls.

                                                                                                                                            Bravo. His act was extremely irritating.. Time for the final curtain call.

                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                              Interesting - I missed the "don't feed the trolls" comment by Angelo in the Stew Room.

                                                                                                                                              I think Kenny and Kevin were way off base trying to throw blame onto the Red Team about Alex not preparing anything. You're up there because of your food not being as good, not because someone didn't prepare a dish. Yes, that was one of the rules. But if Alex did conceive of the dish, but Angelo and Ed actually cooked it, they somehow slid by under those rules radar.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                I don't think the comment was literally "don't feed the trolls" but he leaned right into Alex's ear while the other two were flying off the handle and said something like "don't talk to them" or "don't say anything, you don't need to justify yourself".. Either way, it was the perfect advice to give while the other two were having an aneurysm trying to pin the blame on anyone else. God forbid one of them could ever make a dish that was less than great. That goat cheese looked hideous.

                                                                                                                                                I don't buy into the notion that Kevin is one of the best either. Yes, he is starting to do better, and yes, he's won a few challenges now, but when it comes down to it, he seems to be the one doing most of the talking behind their backs to the camera, always criticising other people and the way they do things. That makes you weak, and a coward if you ask me..

                                                                                                                                                I'm rooting for Ed, Angelo, and Kelly.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                  Kevin seems strong to me and considering the long break between the filming of the show and the finals anyone could pull a Hosea and really turn things up at the end.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                Totally agree with you. I think his ego has convinced many viewers that Kenny's more talented than he really is. He was the right person to go -- while he had the team work harmoniously, he managed to send out two bad dishes of his own (with the goat cheese being considered the worst dish of the evening by one of the judges).

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                  Oops my comment above was meant as a response to both Miss Needle and Linda but it showed up directly under Linda.. Either way, I agree with you all the way, and that goat cheese dish looked awful

                                                                                                                                                  Next to go? Probably Alex and Amanda. I admit Alex doesn't irritate me as much as everyone else (Well his behaviour to the wait staff was borderline appalling) but I do feel like he's starting to get bullied and is the person everybody just can't wait to pin the blame on.. Let your cooking do the talking, don't worry about what the other competitors are telling you or trying to insult you over.. He's still here and Kenny isn't, is the bottom line :)


                                                                                                                                                  1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                    I admit Alex doesn't irritate me as much as everyone else (Well his behaviour to the wait staff was borderline appalling)
                                                                                                                                                    I think it was full-on appalling. Completely uncalled for. Wonder what he would have done if his staff said "FU" and walked out, based on the way he was treating them?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      LOL yeah he was definitely going way overboard trying to assert his position of power, and yes he was coming across like a complete ass-hat.. But I do feel that he's possibly unfairly the new whipping boy of the show, much like the Marcel's of the past or so on.. Obviously he must know a little something if he's outlasted all of these people.

                                                                                                                                                      You know who I wanted to see last longer was the CIA instructor woman. I think she got a bad wrap.. and I dread to think what students of hers might be saying to her or behind her back now..

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                    ITA. In the beginning, I'd hear Kenny bragging about his food and I'd think he would be in the top. Then he'd either be in the middle or the bottom. I think a lot of folks- and me, too, in the beginning!- just bought into his hype.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                    I agree with you on Kenny. Quite frankly, I was sick of hearing week after week how Kenny couldn't understand how he was anywhere except for the top. The judges told him week after week he had too much going on in his dishes and the flavors didn't always work. If Kenny had actually paid attention to what they had to say and fixed his dishes, he might not have gone home.

                                                                                                                                                    I thought it was poor sportsmanship to try and blame Alex and the other team. I'm happy the judges didn't fall for it, and I have no problems with Kenny going home. I am hoping Alex and Amanda aren't far behind.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                      True, Kenny got basically the same criticism every week (too much going on, flavors not working) and he refused to listen and learn. Although I liked his personality, I do think it was time for him to go.

                                                                                                                                                  4. Alex and Amanda are headed for elimination in the near future.

                                                                                                                                                    Kevin and Kelley are now showing up for me as favorites. Angelo is also likely to be a finalist, but I don't particularly like him (not that it matters who I personally like).

                                                                                                                                                    We'll have to see about Tiffany and Ed.

                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                      If you want to know who the final four are, and where the finale is held, you should go over to TWoP and look in a certain thread there.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                            do you have a link to this thread?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: madisoneats

                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure I should just simply post it as I could then be accused of making it too easy to see this big spoiler. Here's the link to the main TWoP page: http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com Look for the thread if you really want to; it isn't that difficult, actually.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                Well, I can't find the thread :( I guess I haven't got the patience for scouring...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                  ChefJune, I just sent you an email.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                            Televisionwithoutpity.com They have recaps (some are hilarious, depending on the recapper) and forums for many shows .

                                                                                                                                                      1. Can someone please tell me why they aren't using more Washington DC based chefs or owners?! It may be a contractual thing, but are you telling me they can't get Peter Pastan or Eric Ziebold or ya know just someone more identified with the scene there. Yes there have been a few, but come on Top Chef. You go to a diverse city with good/great chefs in their own right and don't use them. It may not be up to them, but at least let us in on why.

                                                                                                                                                        As far as last nights episode, I think it was total BS that Kenny was sent home. If he was sent home it was definitely for the dishes (especially the inedible cheese dish) and not for the way he rant the kitchen. I commented to my girlfriend that out of all the times I can remember them having Restaurant Wars, Kenny's Kitchen seemed to be the most well oiled machine. As Padma stated, people have gone home for a less run kitchen. I'll admit that I hated Angelo's cockiness, but at least he can back it up with cooking. Alex is just smug and he was rude to his staff. I understand that chefs are high strung and will yell, but don't undermine the people working for you. I'm happy that Kevin made a good dish finally and the judges didn't even bring up the chocolate cake that they liked. Too bad for the show that the competitiveness between Angelo and Kenny is now gone. Do you think anyone is going to beat Angelo if he doesn't beat himself first? I know this is old hat, but it still irks me that the judges seem to know everything else that goes on in the back at Judge's Table, but a few weeks ago they didn't know that someone magically came up with an awesome pea puree. Why does everyone hate Ed so much?

                                                                                                                                                        Another thing about tonight's episode, didn't the judges state that they don't care whats happening the back, but it's what they see out front? This is why it wasn't Kenny's smooth operations that cost him although contrary to what the judges said they turned right around talked about how tightly he ran his ship.

                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                          Another thing about tonight's episode, didn't the judges state that they don't care whats happening the back, but it's what they see out front?
                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I said that in my original post. "Kenny said to the judges that he was surprised after seeing the Red Team's hecticness in the kitchen, why they were there. Gail states as diners, they don't see nor do they care what goes on in the kitchen. They just want good food and good service."

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                            "Too bad for the show that the competitiveness between Angelo and Kenny is now gone. Do you think anyone is going to beat Angelo if he doesn't beat himself first?"

                                                                                                                                                            With the exception of the earlier episodes--where Kenny revealed his formidable skills as a prep chef (but not much beyond that)--such competitiveness was primarily in Kenny's head.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                              I still wish they'd use more DC talents and less people coming in from NY or less Government types. There are at least 3 former Top Chef contestants in the DC area (Spike, Carla, and Mike I), Ziebold of CityZen, the White House Executive Chef, Michel Richard, the current owners of Ben's ChiliBowl, heck you could even travel up I95 and bring B. Voltaggio down to judge

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                  Spike, Mike I, Bryan, and the assistant WH Executive Chef (Sam Kass) have already been on.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lori D

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh right they were kinda lumped together. As far as the WH Exec Chef.. maybe I'm thinking of the woman that I saw on Iron Chef awhile back. maybe she wasn't exec chef.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                      She (Cristeta Comerford) is the executive chef.

                                                                                                                                                                      The asst. executive chef (Sam Kass) was on the episode where they cooked at a junior high school.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                        That's correct. Cristeta Comerford is the WH executive chef. Kass is senior policy adviser for healthy food initiatives. Only in Washington! He was previously the Obama's personal chef.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                    It is first and foremost a cooking contest, Kenny's two dishes were fails, end of story.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. Angelo really impressed me last night. He managed to recognize and correct Alex's mistakes so that the entire team took the win. I think it's probably fair to say that but for his interventions, his team would have lost Restaurant Wars. And while he did seem a bit high-strung, who wouldn't under all that pressure? I don't think he's the bad guy he's been made to look like.
                                                                                                                                                                    I was looking at the win/lose chart on Wikipedia and found it interesting that Kevin has been to judge's table every week except one (top and bottom); Kelly is the only person with two EC wins; Angelo and Tiffany are the only two who have never been on the bottom three for the EC, but Tiffany edges out Angelo - each has one win, but Angelo has only two top three's, while Tiffany has four top three's. It really does seem like it's anybody's game.
                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, and I was surprised by Kenny's elimination until I watched the extended judge's table. They unanimously agreed that Kenny's cheese dish was *the worst*.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Im surprised that reading through the comments that there are a good number of people that think Kenny didnt deserve to go? He made two bad dishes, one was described as horrible (the worst dish of the night?) and the other, Bruni made a comment about hamburger helper. Secondly, as executive chef he needs to be checking dishes before going out. Kelly commented that the steaks were coming out overcooked, Kenny needs to be on top that telling her to take them off earlier. Just because his kitchen was flowing smoothly doesn't mean he was leading. Also, I was surprised that Kenny did salad and dessert and not one of the mains. I agree with other posters who have said that his attitude has caused people to believe he was better than he actually is. Kenny has two Highs (1 win) and 4 times at the bottom, That perormance is not much different than Amanda (1 High 3 Bottoms).

                                                                                                                                                                      On a side note about Amanda. How is it possible to repeatedly over cook the steak? Since she created a test dish for servers she shouldve known from then how the steak was cooking. To put out badly cook steaks repeatedly, just shows lack of skill or an inability to adjust on the fly

                                                                                                                                                                      1. By now all the contestants think that Alex is so incompetent that having him boil water for your team is the kiss of death; somehow he'll mess it up. But he's the top chef of one of L.A.'s better restaurants and I checked out the menu: http://www.cafewas.com/menu.php Many complex dishes there, and fairly pricey ($18 to $32) and if Alex were as bad as people say he would have been fired within three months of opening night. By the way the famous dish of smoked salmon with pea puree is now proudly on the menu. I've researched what the menu was 6 months ago, which wasn't easy since the website is not on archive.org, and I think that the dish then was "wild smoked salmon with blood orange beurre blanc, anson mills farrotto, english pea, shaved asparagus pear slaw and tarragon essence" ... which is different, no puree, but it still has the peas.

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder how the staff likes working with him. He really comes across as a rude condescending douche.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                            Notice how Angelo transformed into chefzilla once he became Executive chef. I see Alex personality typical of what is required to survive in high volume professional kitchen. you can't be thin skinned, and you have give as good as you take. that's one thing i like about top chef contestant personalities over like project runway, or shear genius, those folks often work and create alone, and are a bit anti-social. top chef folks work in groups, in the trenches, under fire, danger equipment, shoulder to shoulder with coworkers using dangerous equipment. I can get a sense of that toughness from the show. Oh, yeah, think Gordan Ramsey.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                            " But he's the top chef of one of L.A.'s better restaurants..."

                                                                                                                                                                            Hmm, i've resided in the L.A. area continuously for the past 50 years and hung out on the Chowhound L.A. board for more than 10 years, and I have never heard of Cafe Was, so I am not so sure how special Alex or the restaurant can be.

                                                                                                                                                                            (Or maybe I have too much of a sheltered life.)

                                                                                                                                                                          3. What I try and keep in mind is the chefs’ performance on TC doesn’t really reflect their “real life” skills. If coming up with a meal on the fly isn’t your cup of tea, you are going to stink up the place on TC. Just think on TC Masters how many very accomplished chefs screw the proverbial pooch. Based on TC episodes, I would say Stephen, Amanda and Alex are all lacking in basic skills (I would name more but I really can’t remember earlier cheftestant names). However, seeing where they are working or what they have accomplished in life, I am sure that isn’t the case.

                                                                                                                                                                            Back to the episode: Can I just say how happy I am that Kenny is gone? I found him to be sexist, arrogant, beyond annoying, and a finger-pointer to boot. Nothing was ever HIS error. He thought of himself to be a much better chef than what he showed the judges. His mouth was writing checks his food couldn’t cash. Plus, I was sick of everything being done “two ways.” It was definitely a fair decision. He made two dishes, they both sucked. Not one redeeming thing was said about either dish. At least Amanda had a nice sauce with her improperly cooked beef.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                              So true regarding Kenny. I was thrilled to see him kicked off, I literally yelled out "YES!!!" I think for the first time ever while watching Top Chef, and I've got every episode of every season archived on my computer.. Take that, you rude egomaniac! Loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. A few observations:
                                                                                                                                                                              Did anyone else see Angelo's face when he found out it was Kenny who got the boot? I would swear he almost looked disappointed. He is very competitive and who is he going to compete with now?
                                                                                                                                                                              I like Kenny & wish Amanda or Alex had gone instead, but their time will come.
                                                                                                                                                                              Ed seems to be a dark horse, his last few dishes have really been good. Tiffany also seems to be pretty steady, especially when she sticks to her food, (& not be influenced by others which we all know is a sure-fire way to get sent home)
                                                                                                                                                                              At this point I still don't have a favorite, this season just doesn't have the same shine for me as seasons past. I almost don't care who wins. I wish Bravo would get back to the food & not the drama. They're turning into the Food Network, dummying down the shows for mass appeal. I cannot remember the last time I watched Food Network. Will it be the same with Bravo too?
                                                                                                                                                                              I also wonder how much is different with LeeAnne gone. I really miss her blog.

                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                I think people are overstating how bad Amanda's steak was. My recollection was that they thought it was slightly over cooked and they enjoyed the sauce. Doneness can certainly be a matter of personal preference (remember Tom & Jacques disagreeing about the doneness of a duck dish last season). And from the brief shot they showed of the beef it certainly wasn't incinerated. In fact there are probably a lot of people who would order it exactly how it was done.
                                                                                                                                                                                I think people judge her more on her personality than her cooking. She is young and less experienced than the others but she is holding her own and receiving periodic praise.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think Amanda has surprised people on several occasions now, and the biggest thing for me is, she makes the kind of food I like to eat. Ribs, steak, its usually something very appealing to the average person.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have all the episodes on my computer and I'm going to re-watch last nights episode shortly, but I specifically remember on one of the earlier episodes when everybody was writing Amanda off and insulting her degree of skill and so on.. And then it shows a clip of Angelo tasting her ribs (I believe it was the outdoor challenge episode) and he's like "Holy shit, she killed it.. It's amazing" (Killed it being a good thing).. And then whoever he was telling that to actually laughed out loud, and was like "Wait, really?" as if they assumed he was being sarcastic

                                                                                                                                                                                  Nobody expected her to go very far, but I'm glad she has, at least she doesn't have an ego or talk bad about everybody else, and genuinely looks very upset with herself when she screws up, as last nights episode evidenced.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                  I also noticed Angelo's kind of sad expression. I didn't necessarily think it was cuz he missed the main competition, more that he was truly surprised.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                    perhaps it's both. perhaps they even actually like each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. "They didn't like the confit tomato soup (Alex's dish), but the fish dish seemed to be more favored (Tiffany's dish)."

                                                                                                                                                                                  IIRC it was the other way around: they didn't like Tiffany's dish (too overdressed) and they did like the soup, which I believe was actually Angelo's.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Eric Ripert's blog is up, and, though he wasn't there, he concurs with the judges' decision to send Kenny home. One quote, "So at the end it’s a very big surprise, because the team of Kenny lose and Kenny goes home. ... because his dish was supposedly not edible and when Frank Bruni says it’s disgusting, it is. You don’t doubt his words. ... In the kitchen you have to be a leader but you also have to be a great cook..."

                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                                                                      Where is Eric's blog? I was just at the site and there are NO blog posts for this past week's shows. The most recent date on the blog posts is August 4th.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                        The new blogs are there, just not listed on the main top-chef blog page. You have to get to each blog individually using the "season 7" blogs link on the left column, and then selecting the blogger you want to see.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with that. The few clips I've seen of Eric R. running his kitchen and the way he talks about the civility of it. That it is very quiet seem to confirm that belief. It seems like he tastes everything before he give it the okay to go out which is what most of the issues have been in restaurant wars. If he'd (Kenny) tasted that dish (cheese) and it was that bad, he'd hopefully had known better than to have sent it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. not sure if anyone has posted this interview w/Kenny, there are too many to scroll through now and i'm feeling lazy :) apologies if it's a duplicate


                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's not a repeat- and I see Kenny *still* refuses to believe that his dishes weren't good. ::::Sigh:::: He just seems incapable of accepting any criticism.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, the extra videos of him still insisting he was jobbed was mind boggling. And Kevin going along with it is head scratching too. It's like they can not comprehend a tossed beet salad and fried cheese are bad dishes, especially by the time you get to RW. And they still seem to think twentyone21 could not be much worse than EVOO, even though the judges only liked 2 of their 6 dishes, and said EVOO produced far better food.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                              He just seems incapable of accepting any criticism.

                                                                                                                                                                                              You know when Frank Bruni compares your salad to Hamburger Helper and says your dessert is horrible, you might want to say maybe, just maybe, the flavors weren't there. What gets me is he tasted the food, either he is that hard headed or I really question his palate.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                I also just watched the exit interview with Kenny. He says: "Being at a Judges Table is tough. Normally, I'm in the top, whether it be a Quickfire or an Elimination." Ummm...no, Kenny. Let's look at that, shall we?

                                                                                                                                                                                                For the QF, he was in the top in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and the 9th, and he won in the 3rd, 4th (with Tamesha) and 9th (with Red Team).

                                                                                                                                                                                                For the EC, his scores were: HIGH / LOW / IN / LOW / WIN / LOW / IN / IN / OUT He was "on the top" twice - 1st and 5th - winning only the 5th.

                                                                                                                                                                                                So he was "in the top" for half of the QF, and only two of the EC. That's not "normally", IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, he's delusional. But I think it's working as many people are convinced that Kenny's great. The win/loss records show otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just as in politics, say it often enough and people will believe it. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I know that Kenny made two bad dishes, but I think the other team should have been disqualified or the losers because they did not follow the rules of the competition. It was very clearly stated that each person had to be responsible for a dish. Alex didn't conceptualize or execute one dish. End of story, team loss. Just mho.

                                                                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tobycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                Gail blog is up, and she writes Alex is in the clear with his RW dish and RW performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Gail: "Alex served as a fine enough host, albeit a nervous one. The Roasted Lamb Chop with English Pea Puree, Smoked Bacon & Parmesan we were served, which we were told not just by Alex himself, but also by the rest of his team, that he prepared was cooked well and tasted of fresh, complementary flavors."


                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                  However, in the kitchen shots, Alex was NOWHERE to be seen, and more than once we saw and heard Angelo, Tiffany and Ed whispering about keeping Alex away from the food. If the elves edited out all of Alex's kitchen footage, they surely wanted us to believe he didn't prepare his food....:(

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And OF COURSE the Red Team would all concur that Alex cooked his food. They would be throwing themselves under the bus to do otherwise..

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But did they concur? I don't actually recall them saying "yes, Alex cooked his dish." I don't think it came up in the Red Team's winning JT. Only when the Blue Team called Alex out about it during their JT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    One of the commenters on Gail's blog said the following: "He [Alex] wasn't even sure how it had been prepared. In judging, when Alex was asked about the dish, he looked over at Ed and Angelo to answer partly because he didn't have any answers and partly because his team would have been eliminated if he had told the truth."

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                      We were explicitly shown Alex messing up beef and and fish prep. But we don't see anyone prepping lamb, or pea puree. That is suspicious omission. Suspicious because the motive falls on the editors, who now gain a controversial story by omitting those bits. OTOH if they have video of someone else doing the prep work for Alex lamb dish, they would happily put it out in support of the controversy. So my conclusion is they are hiding all of the lamb prep video, because Alex is doing that prep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The cooking is not in question, Ed and Angelo cooked the dish because Alex is working FoH. But the controversy is in who prepped and conceived the lamb. I think Alex did the lamb dish prep, because I believe Gail, who believes the red team, and I believe the lack of lamb prep video showing otherwise, Who conceived the dish is an odd accusation. Anyone can easily compare the lamb with the other dishes Alex has created, and I think the lamb dish will be well within the range of Alex's other efforts thus far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe Alex really couldn't give detailed answers about parts of the final dish, if Angelo and Ed enhanced Alex dish -- like MikeV enhanced Robin's Pear Tart last season's RW with a french dessert sauce, (and was slightly peeved when Robin did not share the praise.) But that would not be Alex fault.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Didn't we see Alex trimming the lamb and Angelo complaining that he wasn't doing it right?


                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was the beef (strip loin) butchering which Angelo was griping about, and which he took over from Alex. He didn't want Alex to "square off" the steaks. There was a shot of Angelo, Alex and Ed discussing how they should prep the lamb racks (single or double chop, etc.) but I don't recall who was doing the actual butchering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps another viewing of the episode might be useful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I re-watched the episode on hulu.com, pausing and 'rewinding' as needed - and I see Angelo, Ed and Alex prepping the lamb chops in several shots, and Alex (without the others) prepping the lamb, or at least 'messing with' the lamb in one scene. I see Angelo doing the pea puree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't see anything that clearly showed Alex saying 'let's do lamb with a pea puree etc' but neither do I see any of the other three members of Team Red do this. We therefore do not know for sure, based on what we are shown, that Alex did NOT suggest the dish in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ah, interesting about the various shots of people messing with the lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe it's Ed's puree. ;-) Mystery finally solved.


                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: tobycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                      but to boot someone from the winning team would also be breaking the rules of the competition

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                        IMO, to boot someone from the winning team because of their performance is breaking the rules. OTOH, to boot someone for not conforming to the rules of the competition is kicking someone off on a technicality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: tobycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's clearly stated, but the term "responsible" is not defined. If you read Tom's blog, he says that they don't know and don't care to what extent each contestant actually prepared the dish they were "responsible" for. They put their name on it, and they take "responsibility" for it, good or bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        People who say they know the "rules" of reality shows are rarely correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. late to the game on this so will keep it short. Kenny, really? Amanda should have gone. A long time ago, in fact. Wow! I wonder if the judges did that to give a bit of oomph to what has thus far been a lackluster season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                                                                                          they typically only judge that particular service
                                                                                                                                                                                                          in this case, the temperature and cut of amanda's meat was wrong but they seemed to like it overall (the sauce in particular). Kenny didn't deliver, I'm sad to see him go ( I was hoping he'd start bringing his A game) but I am pleased at how Kevin is starting to shine. I can't wake to make his halibut dish, it looks absolutely amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                                                                                            These kinds of conspiracy theories abound, but they just don't make sense. How would eliminating a popular and telegenic contestant boost ratings going forward? Especially if it could be seen to cast doubt on the credibility of the show?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is it that Amanda is an attractive, young female that makes keeping her on the show more valuable in terms of viewership? If they were always showing her in a bikini, maybe this would be a valid point? If she were having a romance a la Leah/Hosea, then maybe I could see it. But she's not particularly popular or respected.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Eliminating Kenny is a net loss to the show. He's a strong personality with a great back story. He's got an ongoing rivalry with the other season "stand out" (for better or for worse). I suppose you could say all this controversy will increase viewership, but it's only a controversy to food geeks like us. They're not covering this on the Today show. Perez Hilton isn't blogging about it. Kenny and John McCain haven't started any Twitter wars. I'm confident that this "controversy" will not draw one more viewer to the show, and if Tom's blog is any indication, will cost them the viewership of some who have "lost faith" in the the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: celfie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                ...except in the obvious way that she is. It's probably what got her on the show in the first place (though I very much doubt it had anything to do with this week's decision).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Man, people are way too hard on anyone they see on TV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gotta agree with celfie. she's not very cute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I guess I'm in the minority, then, who sees a classically pretty woman on TV and thinks 'attractive' is an appropriate term.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just wonder how this thoroughly unattractive sous chef who admittedly spent the first half of her comparatively short career loading her nose got a spot on TV among her competitors, all of whom have much more impressive resumes and most actually run their restaurants. I'm amazed the elves were able to look past her unfortunate features.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what does the cocaine use have to do with it? what does how she look have to do with it? i don;t see you asking about how the unattractive men got on the show. and we start eliminating chefs who have/do use drugs from consideration, there won't be too many good restaurants left for us to go to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The point was that she's under-qualified. The drugs are relevant because that's the backstory SHE provided, versus one of learning her craft and working in prestigious restaurants. I'm not naive as to drug use in kitchens and my own past isn't squeaky clean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And the extent to which her looks have something to do with her being in the competition was the initial point that lead down this thread of the conversation. If you don't think looks have anything to do with reality TV - well, OK, we'll have to agree to disagree because you're not gonna convince me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't care whether individual readers of this board find her personally attractive. Personal taste is one thing. But protests that she is plainly unattractive (how could JayEsBee think otherwise?) strike me as disingenuous. She doesn't get less physically attractive because people dislike her personality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The point was that she's under-qualified.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Chipper and cheerful, LA native Baumgarten might seem more green than her résumé reflects: before coming on Top Chef, she worked at two Michelin-starred restaurants in London before returning home to cook at Melisse, Joachim Splichal’s Patina and Paperfish, and most recently with Ben Ford at Ford’s Filling Station. In fact she reveals that when the economy forced Ford to cut staff, “as a consolation prize,” he recommended her to Top Chef’s producers."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "...and went on to work at four different Michelin-starred restaurants including La Tante Claire and Le Gavroche in London and Melisse and Patina in L.A. From there, she went onto become Executive Sous Chef of Paperfish before joining Ford’s Filling Station as Executive Sous Chef."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd say she's done OK on the "working at prestigious restaurants" part of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I stand corrected. She is somewhat more qualified than I realized. Less so than many of her competitors, but also less green than her own edited-for-TV account puts across.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I still think her looks didn't hurt her in her being cast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "I still think her looks didn't hurt her in her being cast."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is possible, although as thew said, no one has said that about any of the male cheftestants. So it's rather frustrating that that becomes a potential factor in getting on the show. I would hope that it *isn't* part of criteria.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do disagree, however, with those that say she's unattractive. I'm a heterosexual female, and I think she's doing quite well in the looks department. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1) i still do not see what the cocaine has to do with her qualifications. plenty of people,as you say you know, who are quite prestigious have done drugs. many still do. it's the nature of any creative field. the fact that she mentioned doing cocaine does not make it relevant to the discussion of how she got on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2) of course looks have something to do with reality tv. i was just pointing to the idea that there are plenty of chefs on that show over the years less attractive than her. so it clearly isn't a deciding point. and that no one is saying any male cheftestants got on due to their looks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1) When the only backstory you present is "I overcame addiction to be here," that becomes relevant to your qualifications. I don't know whether it was her or the elves that presented her that way and downplayed her actual qualifications. It doesn't much matter for the sake of this conversation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And yes, hard drug and alcohol abuse (as opposed to occasional use) does negatively affect most people professionally. I don't know to what it extent it affected her beyond what she has let on publicly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2) Looks are not the deciding point for a show like Top Chef. But everyone on the show was cast because they filled some criteria in a way the producers thought would add to the show. For Amanda, that criteria might have been PRETTY + REDEMPTION STORY. For Angelo, that formula might have been COCKY + SKILLED + (maybe?) ATTRACTIVE. Of course, cooking ability factors in there somewhere, but surely you don't think that's all the producers are looking for? Why do you think Candace was cast on season 1? You don't think any more-qualified female chefs applied and were turned down?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Male reality TV stars are a whole nother can of worms. But if looks are less emphasized in their casting, saying so doesn't make it my fault. There's a double standard in American pop-culture. Is that news to anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ha you'd be surprised at how many lawyers, stock brokers, engineers, professors and other professionals have substance abused problems and conceal it quite well

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: celfie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes many addicts are good at their jobs and are generally nice people to be around. And just imagine how much better they could be at their jobs if they didn't have to drink at work to stave off seizures (for example).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Believe me, I know perfectly well how pervasive drug and alcohol abuse is (I am an RN in a trauma unit). But I'm not gonna act like it has no effect on your career whatsoever. Ask any addict in recovery if their careers suffered for their addiction at some point. I'd bet good money that at least 9/10 of em would say it did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wait a second here - despite 30 years of post reagan propaganda - not all use is abuse, and not all use is addiction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    so yes, many doctors lawyers priests judges etcetcetc are drug users, and are quite able to do their jobs well. SOME of them have abuse problems, SOME of them are addicts, but not all. some are just users. Just as not everyone who drinks a glass of wine is an alcoholic, not everyone who goes to vegas has a gambling problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't twist my words. I said nothing to that extent at any point. The allusion to seizures entails that I'm talking about people with serious physiological dependence, not occasional recreational users.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Quote (me, just a few posts above): "And yes, hard drug and alcohol abuse (as opposed to occasional use) does negatively affect most people professionally."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And that is what we're talking about here. I doubt Amanda went into rehab for substances she used once or twice a month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm far from a Reaganite. That said, not all propaganda is false... i.e. don't let your college revelation that smoking the occasional bowl of marijauna probably won't kill you lead you to assume that drinking a case of beer or bumping $400 worth of cocaine every day must also be more or less fine for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        now who is putting words in whose mouth?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i have have said nothing about myself and what make have or not have done, or what i may now may or may not do as i approach my 50th birthday, it's a hell of an assumption what experiences are leading me to believe what i believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        btw my response was both you, who spoke about addiction and recovery, and celfie above you who spoke of abuse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        all that said, and to bring it ontopic - what matters , to me, from a chef, is how the food is when it hits my plate. that's it. i do not care what or who they put in their bodies, if the product they deliver to me is good. and that, in my often not so humble opinion, is exactly as it ought to be

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Tom's blog is in. Great read. He's blowing up at the criticism and Kenny groupies. And he clears up Alex pea puree ... Alex did make his pea puree, confirmed by 3 contestants. That's probably why it's disappeared as an issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              We still don't know what happened to Ed's puree. I read somewhere that Stephen may have tossed or otherwise lost Ed's puree, as they were sharing a cooler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, and Tom wishes the show would get rid of FoH duties. Just let everyone focus on cooking.


                                                                                                                                                                                                              24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...that's very interesting. I thought when Tom said on his blog that 3 contestants saw Alex prepare his own puree, he was referring to "pea-gate" several episodes. ago. But, you're saying Tom said 3 contestants saw Alex prep his own puree during the R.W. episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, what the heck happened to Ed's puree?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I believe he was referring to "pea-gate" -- there was no specific discussion of whether Alex made the pea puree in this episode. Presumably one reason his team had him incorporate the pea puree in this dish was that it had been so well-received in the previous challenge. Pretty smart when you have a weak chef to have him do something similar to a dish he won for two weeks ago instead of introducing something new.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are way too many pea purees for me to keep this all straight.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Let's add pea puree to the list of foods that shouldn't appear on future seasons of Top Chef, shall we? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or, even future EPISODES of Top Chef!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seriously - if we see another pea puree this season, after seeing it 2 or 3 times, I'll wonder at the lack of imagination. I know they're going with what they can get in WF, but are you telling me there aren't other vegetables there? LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In their defense, it was filmed in April, the height of pea season. There's no reason why they shouldn't be using something seasonal. Kelly got dinged for using out of season corn, IIRC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know. But it just seems that we've been seeing a lot of pea puree. Perhaps because the episodes in which it's been used are relatively close together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Pea Puree is the new Foam"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They really need to add a like button to CH. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oooh! *THAT* could be the TC t-shirt for this season! LOL (Granted it wasn't a cheftestant who said it - but it's perfect!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOVE his second paragraph about Alex not being eliminated this episode!!!! :-D (And later his repetitive "other rule".)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And YAY! on Tom saying this about Kenny: "First of all, so many people seem to have bought into Kenny’s one-man PR campaign, and yes, Kenny broke strong out of the starting gate, but he didn’t keep it up"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BINGO. B-I-N-G-O.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And the rest of his blog pretty much says what many have said here - Kenny's 2 weak dishes were worse than Amanda's one weak dish. Plus, as leader, Kenny didn't help make Kelly's soup or Amanda's steak any better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kenny blew it by being unfocused in my opinion. He (almost) always served his food "two ways" instead of presenting it simply. It was as if he can never decide how he wants to prepare the dish and just makes both and lets the taster decide which is better. The presentations looked too busy as well. With so many ingredients the tastes can get lost or conflict with each other. Simplicity yet done well is best it seems on the show. Are there worst chefs? Absolutely, but Kenny lost his focus and wasn't going to win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: granadafan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "He (almost) always served his food "two ways" instead of presenting it simply. "
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i totally meant to bring that up when i posted the other night. when i heard he was doing something "two ways" AGAIN, i actually *yelled* at the TV :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And my comment was "WHAT a surprise!" :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          food doesn't have to be simple to be good duh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: celfie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It also doesn't have to be complex to be good. More to the point, complex does NOT equal "good."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              however, that's his style
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              we saw with susur lee that complex works and pushes boundaries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i think tom would like susur's food though ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: celfie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, but it also shouldn't be overwhelmed with so many ingredients that the entirety of the dish is completely muddled and flavors are lost. Duh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And by no means is Kenny comparable to Susur Lee...despite what Kenny himself thinks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, indeed a very interesting read. Since there's no Kenny-Angelo rivalry, I guess we'll be seeing more edited loving glances from Ed and Tiffany to spice things up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His comments about FoH duties make it sound like he's excutive producer of the show in name only.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He is, I'm pretty sure - a perk of his role as head judge (and might perhaps occasion a salary bump, I don't know).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In this description of various exec producer roles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executiv...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Sometimes, this title is conferred upon a celebrity or notable creator who has lent their name to a project to boost its prestige or credibility, as a recognition of newly-acquired industry status, or as a perk to the show's main star or creative force."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm pretty sure his contract is what says what he's allowed to "control" and what he's not allowed to control....i.e., if someone cooks crappy food, that cheftestant gets the boot, no matter what the producers say (even if that person makes for "good TV").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Recent Kenny interview:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He talks about his favs. His losing dishes. His interview comes off far different than he's getting portrayed. None of the "alpha male"/"Beast" rants. In contrast to the edit, he says he always respected Angelo, and they got along. He still has nothing good to say about the judges... says his RW where old successful recipes. He complements Alex and Amanda. Much more gracious to his competitors than he came off on TV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I still think it odd and very questionable decision that he put out salad and fried cheese, no matter how great they are -- two basic appetizers for this late stage of the competition is really ballsy or just plain reckless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "and I went home for taking the role as the Chef, plus having dishes that the judges really didn't get."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The judges didn't "get it". @@

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And other interviews in which HE just doesn't seem to get it:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frank Bruni is "ignorant" in that interview. Ummm....OK.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And he brings up the "rules" yet again, still saying Alex was in the wrong, despite the fact that his team won.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The TC Reunion show will be an interesting one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks. The LA Times interview he sounds very much like "The Beast" who does no wrong that we've been getting this whole time on TC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting that in one of those interviews, he brings up the pie QF (which he won - and he says that's the dish he's proudest of) and also says he wishes he'd made a pie for RW. Given that Kelly's well-received RW dish, the chocolate ganache tart, is essentially the same dish that landed her in the top in the pie QF. Kenny wasn't playing to his strengths (such as they are), apparently. Of course, he also says he should have added crumbled gorgonzola to his beet salad, and I do not believe adding yet another ingredient would have saved that dish - quite the opposite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                speaking of the reunion show, we haven't yet gotten a quote or phrase worthy of a t-shirt, have we? (i refuse to accept anything related to Peagate, because Alex has already gotten far more attention than he deserves.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                this really is the suckiest season ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "8 Balls and Hookers" (Alex) and "The Preppin' Weapon" (Kenny) both spring to mind. "I Made Love to That [Protein]," (Angelo) might qualify, though I don't remember what the protein was. Was it duck?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JayEsBee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the "If I win $20,000, I'm getting 8-Balls and Hookers" is probably the phrase of the season. But it's not a really funny one like "I'm Not Your Bitch, Bitch!" Or "Hootey-Whooo!" :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, but I don't see Bravo putting that on a t-shirt...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        yeah, i was thinking more in the neighborhood of funny, clever, or at least something most of us can appreciate or relate to...not a quote that makes me want to give the person who said it a solid smack upside the head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and i have to say, i'm NOT going to miss Angelo's constant allusions to sex when this is all over. i'm *far* from prudish, but any chef talking about making love to the food has always icked me out, and i swear he calls his food sexy at least once in every episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          we still have a few weeks left... maybe someone will throw us a bone. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "this really is the suckiest season ever."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I couldn't agree more. I'm wondering though if it's because I so enjoyed last season's level of culinary expertise and the professionalism displayed by nearly every chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nah, I think this season really does just suck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It really is amazing that the letdown from TC6 is SO great. Before, I would have said that TC2 was the suckiest, but they put out food in that season (even Foamy Marcel!) that I enjoyed seeing and would want to try. Even TC5, with the Hosea/Leah showmance, had food that looked GOOD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't know if it's the cheftestants' personalities, or the food their putting on the plates, or what, but I'm just not feeling it as much this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            IMHO, it's the relatively close proximity to last season (and the outstanding talent they had) and the change of producer. LeeAnn had been the producer up to this year. The editors really did not help either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not only was the talent so great last year but with all the high stakes quickfires last year and the amazing over the top vegas ingredients and kitchens it was just so much more fun to watch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "this really is the suckiest season ever."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe that should be the t-shirt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I didn't start really disliking Alex until tonight. However someone feels about illicit substance use or strippers doesn't effect my feelings about them as a chef, and there was really never enough evidence with peagate to hang him out to dry, but being in charge of front of house and treating the staff like he did, and then bragging about it, is inexcusable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Regarding Amanda's beef, the judges did say the sauce was awesome, and that is likely what saved her vs Kenny's two irredeemable dishes. I don't think the biggest issue was grass fed vs. corn fed, but rather gas grill vs. wood fired grill. Wood fired grills cook at a much higher temperature than gas, and if you are used to cooking only with gas, or even charcoal, you need to make some major adjustments cooking over wood. I cook with a blend of natural chunk charcoal and wood on my backyard grill, and I love the crust the intense heat can help create, but you need thicker cut meats and a close eye to make sure things don't overcook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Just a note - it looks like the next two weeks' episodes are back to the 10pm time slot. Not sure if it's that way for the rest of the season though. Wish Bravo would have kept it at the 9pm air time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yes, it is *staying* in its [former] 10 p.m. slot for the rest of the season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Wish Bravo would have kept it at the 9pm air time"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me too, but that's why God invented On Demand :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Of course it's not like Bravo won't rerun the living crap out of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Is there really a statistically significant group of people who don't have a Tivo or DVR by now? Aside from live sports I don't think I've watched something as it aired in the last five years. Who can stand not being able to skip through the commercials?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  :::raising my hand:::: I also don't use an iPod, Smartphone, etc. And I detest Facebook and Twitter! I know, I know. Simply amazing, huh? I'm one of those silly dinosaurs that just hasn't gotten around to BUYING or leasing a DVR, much less setting one up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps when I move and wrestle all of the crap out of the entertainment center, I'll put my sister to work on setting it all up in the new place. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, add me to that group. (although I do have an iPhone and I love it). If you skip commercials, when do you get to go to the kitchen for snacks? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Or go to the bathroom? (And the DVR users will just say "Use the pause button!") :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Right, but if I had to choose when/if to take a break, I probably would never take one! I'd just watch straight through. Hmmm, maybe that's the key to losing those 10 pounds....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You'd be surprised. I've been trying to talk my parents into a DVR for years now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've had a DVR for a few years but it's too easy to get backlogged so if I can, I'll watch it in real time. And use that commercial time for errands, watching another channel, etc. (And I just got my first cell phone EVER last Nov., but went full on iPhone.)