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Top Chef - D.C. - Finale, Part 1 (Ep. #13) - 09/08/10 (Spoilers)

And they're off to Singapore for the first part of the first international Top Chef Finale! Pre-competition, it sounds like Kevin's wife was about ready to have a baby when the finale was being filmed.

Tom shows up with the Singaporean King of Street Food, and Seito (sp?) takes them around the huge market and they try a noodle dish made by the same cook for the past 40 years, the "national dish" (according to Seito) of slices of poached chicken with rice, chilli crab, and a cuttlefish and noodle dish.

They then go to try one last dish, and who meets them? Padma! They all look stricken - something's up! The final street food dish Padma and Seito will be trying will be made by the cheftestants...they'll have to cook their street food using the most popular cooking utensil - the wok. And that's their only cooking utensil. And HUGE - for the first time this late in the competition, the winner of this Quickfire will receive immunity - effectively putting that person into the Finale!

All of the foods they are using are local, but the labels on the foods are in Malay or Chinese, so they have to taste test to find the ingredients they want and don't immediately recognize. It's a blazingly hot and humid night and cooking in the marketplace makes it even hotter for the cheftestants. Angelo switches gears with only about 5 minutes to go and deciding not to do chilli crab - what's he DOING? Frogs' legs?

Whoa - preview for the tasting by Padma and Seito shows Padma saying "What's wrong with you?" - to Kevin? Harsh!

1. Angelo - makes a chilli frogs' legs dish
2. Kelly made a noodle dish with lobster and cockles
3. Kevin made a seafood stew with cuttlefish, lobster, and he says he's never used a wok before - THAT'S why she said "What's wrong with you?" LOL
4. Ed made stir-fried noodles with lobster sauce and gai lan (Chinese broccoli)

Seito gives compliments to all four of their dishes....and the winner is Ed! He gets immunity going into the next challenge. Immunity plays a huge role in the Elimination Challenge, Padma says, because it's a team challenge!

The are charged with creating a menu for an event hosted by Dana Cowin, Editor of Food & Wine. The four of them will work as a team to create a cohesive menu representing the different cultures of Singapore. There will be 80 guests, and they will order from the menu created by the chefs, and they will be firing the orders a la minute. Wow.

Off to the Hilton they go to get their menu together. They agree to only do one dish each. But previews show Tom Colicchio saying "I just looked at the menu - you guys only have four dishes?" Hmmm....

Ed's rivalry with Angelo comes to the fore the next morning, and they're off to a spice market to get their dry spices for their dishes - and Ed decides he wants to make two dishes - interesting! And he notices that the shopkeepers use abacuses for adding up the total purchases.

And when Tom Colicchio says "I just looked at the menu - you guys only have four dishes?", we then see him say he thinks that all of them should do two dishes. So they all do it - and Kevin and Angelo are both pissed that Ed already thought and planned to do two dishes. Ed's right - they all should have really thought to pull out all the stops for the finale!

For their initial dishes:

Angelo's making a lamb tartar with Rambutan
Ed's making a sweet and sour pork bolognese over gai lan
Kevin's making a Southeastern Clam Chowder with cockles
Kelly's making seared praws with fiery coconut curry - AND she cuts herself pretty bad - can't find a bandage so she puts on a thin clear plastic glove...which doesn't make it easy to cut/chop/wrap anything.

For their second dishes, I caught Angelo's - a Shrimp Broth with Spicy Prawns - and Kelly's - a Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup. Didn't catch Ed's or Kevin's second dish (later noted - Ed makes Banana Fritters with Red Chilli, and Kevin makes Crispy Rice).

FUNNY in the "in-between" - they go "prawn fishing" - and while Kevin catches one, it's Kelly who actually baited his hook and THEN removed the prawn from the hook. Big baby. :-)

They head into Tanjong Beach Club, where the party is going to happen. Kelly notes in a voiceover that they HAVE to work as a team, yet they have no idea how they're going to expedite their dishes. The staff comes in and since they know the table numbers, Ed asks one of them be an expediter and someone volunteers. Ed asks that all dishes go out at the same time, and that the chefs are told which table is the judges' table. Ed seems to have taken the lead, which Angelo is happy about, since Ed has immunity.

Kevin's having problems with his cockles not opening; but they finally open up. Looks like banana fritter and crispy rice are the other two dishes I missed earlier. Ed goes out to see who the judges are - Dana, Seito, Tom, Padma, and Gail.

Angelo's noticing that the waitstaff seems confused as to what dishes to take and when to serve them. He finally directs a group of them to take certain dishes and to go out and serve them so the dishes aren't served cold...and yet they then wander around like they don't know what they're doing. Also, a few of them end up writing up tickets in Chinese, which then need to be translated by their expediter. That can only cause more confusion in the kitchen!

Tom orders for the table - the soups are all well received, but Angelo's seems to get the most praise.

Also, his lamb tartare gets high praise from Seito, as does Ed's sweet and sour pork dish from the entire table. Kevin's egg with tapioca balls also gets good praise - and Kelly's seared prawns are enjoyed as well. Boy, for as confusing as the kitchen seems, they seem to be hitting the dishes out of the park!

Ed's Banana Fritters with Red Chilli is LOVED by Tom and Dana Cowin! Seito says a dollop of coconut ice cream would be perfect with it. Looks like his dishes were great, even with immunity.

So - I think Angelo's IN the finale, and not really sure about who between Kelly and Kevin are going home. I think I'd prefer Kelly being there over Kevin.

Padma comes into the Stew Room and asks to see all of them at Judges' Table. Tom notes that he thinks this was the best food they'd had all season, and it'll be very minor points in various dishes that will separate winners from losers.

Angelo's soup is called a sauce vs. a soup - too much body, and Padma thinks it was slightly too salty. Kelly's fish dish was a little "rough" in its cut, and Seito says her guava apple salad was superb (and he's going to copy it).

Tom pretty much tells Ed he could put those fritters in a truck, park it in the East Village, and he'd have SO many stoners surrounding the truck he wouldn't know what to do! LOL I guess those fritters were GOOD!

Kevin's dishes *seemed* to not get as high praise as the others did - so perhaps he's the one going home? But both of Kelly's dishes had issues per the judges. And now Angelo's soup isn't as well favored as it seemed at the table when they were eating it? Even Angelo back in the Stew Room thinks he's going home. Wow.

So they're back in front of the judges...and Seito announces the overall winner - and it's Ed yet again! Another double win! Angelo's very teary-eyed in front of the judges...so who else is staying? CUT to commercial.....

And we're back...Angelo is VERY nervous....but Whoa! Kelly's GONE! Kevin's really staying in the finale? Wow. Well, I think he's a third placer...it's between Ed and Angelo, IMO, based on past history.

WAIT! Padma calls those three back to Judges Table! Yet another twist prior to next week's episode - and we won't see that twist until next week, of course. And in previews, Angelo is SICK - sick enough not to be able to cook? And it looks like Hung, TC3 winner - is back to help them in the finale - didn't see anyone else from previous seasons though - my back was to the computer...did anyone else see?

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  1. Interesting I don't know who to think will go home at this point

    On a side note went to the LA food festivale this week. Alex from this season...he is the one who was involved in the pea Puree scandal, he was there representing Cafe Waz, where he is executive chef. So his dish was a pea puree. He was very nice but I still haven't decided if he was trying to say ...I can make one...or being sarcastc...It was only Ok.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

      I still haven't decided if he was trying to say ...I can make one...or being sarcastc...It was only Ok.
      ~~~~~~~~~
      LOL! Well, he's had LOTS of time to practice making a pea puree. :-)

      1. re: chris2269

        Ha! Well it's kinda late for peas now, so I wouldn't expect it to be better than OK.

      2. Well I guess I am pulling for Ed?? Don't realy know...wish I was more into the finalists like in past years....missing Tiffany...

        Kevin has the whole "baby" thing going for him but who comes to Singapore and does not know how to use the wok....I agree with Padma....DUH!!!

        1. Effin' A. I'm so angry--immediately before the reveal of who was going home did you see the commercial showing who was in NEXT week's show--Angelo and Kevin? They spoiled their own ending. I'm so frosted.

          Argh!

          I've not been an Angelo fan, but I could really feel in this episode how important this is to him. And, yes, Ed was being a D-bag and he knew it.

          Actually, when they were at JT I realized I was going to be bummed no matter who went home. At this stage, it just seemed they all deserved to be there.

          But, I'm still ticked about the spoiler. They couldn't wait 2 more minutes to run that commercial for next week?

          ~TDQ

          73 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I didn't have that spoiler. For some reason my DVR stopped recording when they sent them back to the stew room! I had to come here to read Linda's recap to know who won and was sent home.

            I think I'm rooting for Ed, but I also don't really care at this point. Ed was pretty impressive with his cooking, not his demeanor this week. I so want some banana fritters. I'll be out there with the stoners at his truck.

            1. re: debbiel

              Yes, thank goodness for Linda's recap. I'm going to rewatch the ending tomorrow to see if I just imagined that spoiler. I don't think so.

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                No, I saw that spoiler too. Much swearing and damning of Bravo occurred in my living room.

              2. re: debbiel

                debbiel, I meant to note VERY early on that this episode went to 11:15pm EDT...I just checked online for next week's FInale Part 2 - just 61 minutes. So DVRs/TiVOs are safe. :-)

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Any bets on whether or not I get motivated to watch those last minutes? Maybe I'll just look at extended judge's table online. The DVR is supposed to KNOW when a show is scheduled to finish, and then record 5 minutes past that.

                2. re: debbiel

                  Debbiel, I'd be right in line with you! where can i get some of those!?!?!

                  1. re: debbiel

                    I don't share this extreme liking for those banana fritters. They're just banana pieces in fried dough, really, not that appetizing to me. Meh.

                    I never much liked the fried bananas (typically whole, or halved lengthwise, dipped in a dough mix then deep fried) widely available in SE Asia when I lived there. Ditto for other variants from banana-growing places (Mexico, Caribbean, etc)

                    1. re: huiray

                      Well, they are a little more than banana pieces in fried dough. What he did is made a little "sandwich" of 2 slices of banana and spread chile paste in between the banana slices. The dough has a beer/sesame seed/sugar batter. Then he sprinkles them with cinnamon and sugar and drizzles them with honey. So, it's got the spicy/sweet, crunchy/soft contrasts going for it.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I understand that, but it's still just banana fritters to me. As I said, I never cared for fried bananas (in whatever form) and Ed's variant still doesn't grab me, plus I generally do not like sweets or desserts, and certainly not stuff sprinkled with sugar and drizzled with honey. Just stating my personal preference, obviously YMMV.

                        ETA: I'll eat them if they were placed before me, and I suppose I won't refuse them; but I won't go looking for them.

                        1. re: huiray

                          Fair enough. I just wanted to make sure for others reading along that they were a little more than your average banana fritter.

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Wow - to me they sound AMAZING!
                            I'd eat me some of those!!

                            I thought he was going to get called out for using a fritter mix....but I gueass not..

                            1. re: NellyNel

                              They sound amazing to me, too, that combo of sweet/spicy, soft/crispy, but, then again, I like bananas in sweet applications. (Only real bananas, please. I detest anything artificially "banana-flavored").

                              Did he use a fritter mix? I totally missed that!

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                That wasn't clear to me. He says in a voiceover while they're shopping that he saw the mix and that gave him the idea, but he may have taken the idea and then made them from scratch. The recipe on bravotv.com doesn't involve a mix, right? Though I suppose if he used the mix, they could have ginned up a scratch recipe for something not readily available to viewers.

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  I am not 100% sure on that now...but when I was watching it, I thought he was buying the box...

                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                    Kelly bought a bottle of something in a previous episode just for the ingredient list, IIRC...so buying does not prove guilt ;-)

                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                    On my side of the river Comcast had the time wrong so I saw the first hour and I knew there was time left, at least 15 minutes by my guess which turned out to be right. I missed most of the judging but I saw who went home. The sad thing is I'm not invested enough to re-record. Last season I would have watched it all over again with rapt attention to things I hadn't picked up on first viewing.

                    I used to be an Ed fan, now I'm not so sure. I'm not a Kevin fan and I'm not an Angelo booster either. I've become the worst kind of watcher - an apathetic one.

                    1. re: MplsM ary

                      I hate to say it, but I have a hard time being an Ed fan after reading the Village Voice and NYT reviews of his restaurant. I know that's very unfair of me, but I just can't help but think of that... Maybe he's better at conceiving and executing dishes on a one-off basis than he is at developing menus, assembling and training a staff, and running a kitchen. What do I know.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I really can't help thinking the nyt and the village voice don't like having another kingmaker in town.

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            no, it really isn't.

                            a) the village voice has little clout left in this town

                            b) the times is more worried about its perceived journalistic integrity than whether or not bravo has brought awareness to a chef

                            1. re: thew

                              Agreed, Thew. Also, one might suspect that Plein Sud may be suffering from an absent chef/parent. And in that regard, yes, maybe Ed isn't suited to this (but then, many restaurants suffer once mama or papa start devoting their attentions elsewhere).

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                      < "And, yes, Ed was being a D-bag and he knew it. " >
                      ------
                      Yes, Ed was DEFINITELY being a douchebag, particularly towards Angelo. He also misled the others (lied, actually) by stating very definitely that he wanted to make only one dish when they were planning, then quietly and sneakily going for two instead the next day - before Tom came into the prepping kitchen and told them they should have two each. Well, Ed then smugly says to Tom that he was planning on two anyway - and the others basically were blindsided by this.

                      1. re: huiray

                        Mind you I do think he was being a jerk, but...didn't Ed hedge on the one dish per person thing when they were planning? I thought he was very noncommital on that. Of course, I was skyping and fb'ing while watching, so I might not be great on the details.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          Ed stated he "wanted to do only one dish" at the planning session. I've now watched it twice, and that is what he said.

                          1. re: huiray

                            Unless he suggested and actively encouraged the others to only do one dish I don't have a problem with what he did. After all, he had immunity and they didn't -- their asses were on the line and if they felt the best way to approach the challenge was to only do one dish then it certainly wasn't his place to dictate their strategy.

                            It wasn't his fault that they were being stupid and needed Tom to tell them that one dish wasn't going to cut it for the finale. It's also quite possible that he anticipated there would be a "twist" (as there often is) and that they would be required to do a second dish and was quite appropriately thinking ahead.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              Well, when the four were sitting around discussing their proteins and which dishes, someone raised the issue of how many dishes. I think Ed insisted more than once that he only intended to do one dish. As far as we know, that truly was his intention at the time. If, at that time, he knew he was going to do a 2nd dish, it's a little slimy of him to so vehemently declare that he was only going to do one dish, but, we don't have any reason to believe that that's what he was thinking...

                              The first time we the audience became aware that Ed was seriously considering doing a second dish (anticipating a possible twist) was at the spice market. Maybe that's the first time it occurred to him. And, really, it was pretty smart of him, because that was his only chance to buy anything special he thought he would need...

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Yeah. But the point is: he had immunity. Even if he did "vehemently declare" that he was only going to to one dish, the other contestants weren't bound by that and shouldn't have let anything he said affect their decisions. If they did, that's their fault. This is after all, Top Chef, not Top Montessori School. And for all we know, he said he'd only make one dish in order to give the people who didn't have immunity more choices.

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  "This is after all, Top Chef, Top Montessori School." <snicker>

                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  It annoys me that this is a competition, and yet people are critical of the contestants for being competitive.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    I have no problem with the contestants being competitive. What I've been really disappointed in this season is people expressing the sentiment that they want their "biggest competition" to go home, and have sometimes tried to influence the odds that way. Ed has certainly expressed this attitude in several interviews throughout the season. I found in previous seasons that competitors tended to want to beat their biggest competition at their best. And I can respect that and think it makes for a better show and that it makes winning actually mean something. I think it's cheap and weak to want win against your competitors on their worst day rather than their best day.

                                    1. re: eoj

                                      disappointed in this season is people expressing the sentiment that they want their "biggest competition" to go home, and have sometimes tried to influence the odds that way. Ed has certainly expressed this attitude in several interviews throughout the season. I found in previous seasons that competitors tended to want to beat their biggest competition at their best.
                                      ~~~~~~~~
                                      And I think that's why many of us liked Tiffany. She wanted people to be at their best so she could compete against them fairly.

                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    Oh, I don't disagree with you. It's a competition and they are grown up people who should think for themselves.

                                    My only point is that it would have been a little slimy of Ed if he actively misled them during that initial discussion, but we don't have any evidence indicating he was being anything other than completely sincere. There's no basis for saying he was being slimy that I can see.

                                    As far as we know, it only occurred to him later, during the shopping trip, that he decided planning for a second dish might be a good idea. I don't think it's slimy that he kept his newly-hatched plan to himself at that point. Seriously, what was he supposed to do, interrupt them while they are under pressure to buy everything they need (don't they have a limited time to shop?) and say, "Whoa, let me distract you with my latest brain wave?"

                                    And even though Ed says in all of the voiceovers that he realized in the spice shop that he should prepare for a second dish, and he told Tom he was planning on it, that may have just been posturing. It's not as if he was already prepping his bananas when Tom walked in the kitchen. I think he was keeping this idea in his back pocket. If Tom had said nothing, would have have made the second dish? Maybe. Maybe not. I'm not convinced.

                                    ~TDQ

                                  3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    < "Unless he suggested and actively encouraged the others to only do one dish..." >
                                    ------
                                    He did.

                                    < "It wasn't his fault that they were being stupid and needed Tom to tell them that one dish wasn't going to cut it for the finale." >
                                    ------
                                    Well, as TDQ also points out, they DID discuss having two dishes that night and Kelly (I think) was querying if one was enough. Ed was adamant in saying one was enough and that he wanted to do only one and in practice shut down the discussion there.

                                    If he did only decide to do two the next day then he really should have said something to the others as they were supposed to work together as a team to come up with a coherent menu. At the least the others would then have been able to reconsider if they each wanted to still stick with one dish, as previously agreed, before Colicchio essentially pressed them all to do it after the fact. Then, when Colicchio did so, Ed spouts that stuff about "Oh, ABsoLUTEly" and his having planned to do two dishes all along. He was lucky he was all red from the heat and humidity because it helped to camouflage the brown on the tip of his nose.

                                    1. re: huiray

                                      We don't really have any reason to believe that Ed wasn't sincere about doing only one dish that night. The only information we (the viewers) have is that Ed says in the voiceover that he decided in the spice shop that a second dish would be a good idea after all. Even though he told Tom and said in the voiceovers that he was planning a second dish all along, I'm not convinced. It could just be posturing on his part. He likes to yank people's chains. This could just be more of that.

                                      I think it would have been MORE interesting to see what Ed would have done had Tom not intervened...

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        In other words, you are saying I should not trust anything he says. Or, assume that what he says he will do (without correction) will not be so. Well, I don't think I would like to know such a person or patronize such a person's establishment. However, Be my guest.

                                        I suppose it's kind of appropriate to this being Top Chef D.C. - where the art of politicians saying one thing and doing another, and use of other questionable tactics are commonplace.

                                        1. re: huiray

                                          Not exactly, huiray. In the real world, grown-ups have to look after themselves. I haven't watched all of this season, or any of any previous seasons, so I'm going to qualify my judgments a little. Plus, I know editing plays a huge part in how people are portrayed on these kinds of programs.

                                          I'm saying that Ed may have been completely sincere when he was adament that one dish was enough.

                                          It appears he changed his mind later. We don't really know when, only that he tells us that it was in the spice shop. I mean, did we even see him buy anything extra at the spice shop? (I'm assuming the bananas were available in the pantry and he didn't have to purchase those in advance.)

                                          The truth is, we have no idea if that is just a bunch of BS he made up for Tom and the others, "that I was planning a second dish all along".

                                          I think a bit of posturing and trash talk is part of most competitions, in many many sports, for instance.

                                          I already said in my first post in this thread, "Yes, Ed was being a D-bag and he knew it"...this in my opinion was probalby just more d-baggery. I'm stopping way short of saying it was evil.

                                          Maybe after their conversation what Kelly said started to nag at Ed and he decided over the course of the next day or so, as he mulled that conversation over, that he would at least have an IDEA for a second dish, should he decide he needed a second one at the last minute. Who knows if/when the appropriate time to communicate this to the others would have been.

                                          As I said, what if he completely derailed them during the shopping trip and had them all running around frantically trying to buy ingredients for a second dish? And what if Tom had popped into their kitchen and said, "What? You're all doing TWO dishes? In only an hour? For an event as important as F&W? What's wrong with you? Don't you think you're overextending yourselves?" And then someone got sent home because they were trying to do too much and put out some lousy dishes. Or they got sent home because they were so frantic and distracted at the spice market that they forgot something crucial?

                                          It could have just have easily gone down that way and we'd be sitting here saying that Ed deliberately sabotaged them by distracting them...

                                          If Kelly felt very strongly about a second dish, maybe SHE should have quietly conceived a second dish in her head to fall back on in the event a curve ball was thrown at her. Really, why did she let herself be silenced by someone who had no stake in the outcome of this challenge?

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            ***It could have just have easily gone down that way and we'd be sitting here saying that Ed deliberately sabotaged them by distracting them... ****

                                            Exactly!

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              "Not exactly, huiray. In the real world, grown-ups have to look after themselves."
                                              ---
                                              I never said otherwise.

                                              " Plus, I know editing plays a huge part in how people are portrayed on these kinds of programs."
                                              ------
                                              We go by what the magical elves show to us.

                                              "I'm saying that Ed may have been completely sincere when he was adament that one dish was enough."
                                              -------
                                              I have not said that he WAS already scheming the second dish as he spoke in the planning meeting, just that he did say what he did.

                                              "It appears he changed his mind later. We don't really know when, only that he tells us that it was in the spice shop."
                                              ------
                                              Fine. Let's assume this.

                                              " I mean, did we even see him buy anything extra at the spice shop? (I'm assuming the bananas were available in the pantry and he didn't have to purchase those in advance.)"
                                              -------
                                              Correct. They must all have known that there was a well-stocked pantry (which we see to be true subsequently - all that stuff, extra prawns, tapioca, etc etc) and that they only had to pick up odds and ends and spices that they thought they might need.

                                              "The truth is, we have no idea if that is just a bunch of BS he made up for Tom and the others, "that I was planning a second dish all along"."
                                              ------
                                              Again - we have a mismatch between what he said the night before and the following day. If it was 'a bunch of BS' that does not make his statements any less distasteful. In fact it would be a comment on society's mores that this kind of BS and falsity is just fine.

                                              "I think a bit of posturing and trash talk is part of most competitions, in many many sports, for instance."
                                              ------
                                              Sad commentary on society's mores, isn't it?

                                              "I already said in my first post in this thread, "Yes, Ed was being a D-bag and he knew it"...this in my opinion was probalby just more d-baggery."
                                              ------
                                              Yes, indeed.

                                              " I'm stopping way short of saying it was evil."
                                              ------
                                              Neither have I said it was evil.

                                              "Maybe after their conversation what Kelly said started to nag at Ed and he decided over the course of the next day or so, as he mulled that conversation over, that he would at least have an IDEA for a second dish, should he decide he needed a second one at the last minute. "
                                              ------
                                              I accept that that is plausible.

                                              "Who knows if/when the appropriate time to communicate this to the others would have been."
                                              ------
                                              I am of the opinion that it would have been better to have said something while they were still at the shops. (see also below)

                                              "As I said, what if he completely derailed them during the shopping trip and had them all running around frantically trying to buy ingredients for a second dish?"
                                              ------
                                              Possible but not that likely in my view. We have already seen that they have been able to think fast in the QF and even before then in the later episodes while still back in DC. Ed only needed to call them over and say that he's thinking of a second dish, did they want to think about another one too, keeping in mind there was all this stuff in the pantry, maybe they could think about multiple uses for what they were getting from the shops...a quick mini-discussion along those lines.

                                              "And what if Tom had popped into their kitchen and said, "What? You're all doing TWO dishes? In only an hour? For an event as important as F&W? What's wrong with you? Don't you think you're overextending yourselves?" "
                                              ------
                                              Possible, although I think it not that likely (my view). Also, in this case we are then saying that they all DID decide on two dishes beforehand, rather than have thought about the second one. I would prefer that the contestants have the chance to think about two dishes rather than be locked into just one.

                                              "And then someone got sent home because they were trying to do too much and put out some lousy dishes."
                                              ------
                                              Yes, that is the risk, true, but see above.

                                              " Or they got sent home because they were so frantic and distracted at the spice market that they forgot something crucial?"
                                              ------
                                              Unlikely, see above. If one of the others were to truly get into that bad a flutter then it says something about his/her lack of fitness at this level. In any case we see that they WERE capable of thinking fast in the kitchen so this possible panic-stricken scenario at the shops is not really likely.

                                              "It could have just have easily gone down that way and we'd be sitting here saying that Ed deliberately sabotaged them by distracting them..."
                                              ------
                                              I ascribe less likelihood to this, see above.

                                              "If Kelly felt very strongly about a second dish, maybe SHE should have quietly conceived a second dish in her head to fall back on in the event a curve ball was thrown at her. Really, why did she let herself be silenced by someone who had no stake in the outcome of this challenge?"
                                              ------
                                              Unlike in earlier episodes where the circumstances were different ( and she was the aggressor), maybe because here she also thought she should at least trust what they jointly agreed on the night before? *Shrug*

                                            2. re: huiray

                                              How is this a "questionable tactic"?

                                              At worst he said he would do something and changed his mind. He didn't force anyone to do anything or prevent them from doing what they thought was best.

                                              He was under no obligation to tell anyone his strategy -- it's a competition! In what world are people bad people for not telling their competitors their strategy?

                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                My comment about questionable tactics really applied to DC politicians.

                                                However, since you persist, I would say it is because it seems underhanded of Ed. You can be competitive without being underhanded. Even Kevin, who can also bluster himself, said in his voice-over that they were supposed to work as a team (even though they are also competitors) and Ed's action made the team look bad.

                                                If it was a pure free-for-all, with everyone for themselves then your sentiments about all-out strategy would be more applicable in this culture.

                                                1. re: huiray

                                                  Kevin thought it made the team look bad? No, their decision to only make one dish made the team look bad. That was just sour grapes on Kevin's part because he didn't want to own up to his own poor decision.

                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                    One word;

                                                    Editing

                                                    The Magical Elves are notorious for creating drama. As viewers, we aren't privy to everything that happens. We're only shown bits & peices meshed together to create interest. Take everything you see with a grain of salt & withhold judgement until you know the facts.

                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                      I'm not sure I see how it was underhanded of Ed. He wasn't competing against the other three this episode.

                                              2. re: huiray

                                                If the other contestants listened to Ed about how to go about what THEY should prepare for the finale, then they should be vilified for stupidity, not Ed for being competitive.

                                                1. re: John E.

                                                  i'm with John E. everyone's acting as though Ed had some special power that gave him the ultimate say in what the entire group did. if it WAS actually strategy and he did have a second dish planned all along, well then that's just smart game-play and he shouldn't be faulted for it. sure, he had immunity so he didn't HAVE to show up his competitors to make himself look good, but he may have done it to psych them out and rattle their confidence...and it worked.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    I agree--can you imagine if it were the Olympics and someone said, "I'm not going to run my hardest. I'm going to wear old shoes and just wing it" and competitors following along and then getting angry?

                                                2. re: huiray

                                                  "Ed was adamant in saying one was enough and that he wanted to do only one and in practice shut down the discussion there."

                                                  How did Ed "in practice shut the discussion down there"? The other three were free to disagree, to overrule with regard to themselves, and let Ed be the only one to plan one dish if he insisted. They knew he had immunity and they were the only ones with elimination at stake. I don't see any evidence any of them wanted to do more than one if they can get away with only one, and in the discussion, they appear to agree that one each is enough given the time contraints. If they were somehow tacitly giving Ed authority to dictate the terms of the team challenge to them, that's on them, not him.

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    And as I noted, it's quite possible that by saying he was only going to do one dish he was actually giving his competitors more options, since it appeared they were limited in the ingredients they had to work with (cf Kevin asking if anyone minded if he used the cockles). If he'd laid claim to two proteins then someone else might have been prevented from using an ingredient they wanted to use (cf Spike who deliberately took ingredients so his competitors couldn't use them). Note that the second dish that he planned specifically *didn't* use one of the available proteins.

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      im pretty sure that had angelo been in ed's position and did this, many of you here defending ed would be condemning angelo.

                                                      1. re: thew

                                                        You are probably correct. Even taking into account his words about Angelo's girlfriend in earlier episodes, in my opinion, Ed is much more likeable than is Angelo.

                                                        1. re: thew

                                                          I certainly wouldn't. I'd defend any of them making the same choices, which I think were fair in the competition. Similarly, was Angelo hoping to mess with Tamesha's game by offering so much advice? Eh; I don't think his motivation matters. If she followed his advice blindly because she admired him, I think she wasn't a very savvy competitor.

                                                          1. re: thew

                                                            I haven't seen the entire season, but I really felt bad for Angelo in this episode. Unfortunately, he reacts badly to Ed's needling, which just makes Ed want to keep jabbing at him. I personally wish Ed would lay off. It's uncomfortable to watch, for one.

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              I don't feel sorry for Angelo, he can dish it out at times too.
                                                              I just think he got flustered because he had that two dish thing thrown at him and he was totally unprepared. He survived though, which actually makes him look good.

                                                            2. re: thew

                                                              Well, not me. First, I don't have any particularly negative feelings about Angelo, and second, I'm capable of separating how I feel about what someone does from how I feel about them.

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                ruth i only replied to your post to put me at the bottom of the thread, not to point you out specifically - which is why i worded it the way i did

                                                              2. re: thew

                                                                Probably, just as there are people who called Ed a douchebag or whatever and would have excused Angelo for the same actions. I don't particularly like Ed for what he does/did but it's all in the competition, as with Angelo. It's also the reason I liked Tiffany--because she didn't play games like this. But, it's all within the rules of the game and the other competitors should realize it.

                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  perhaps - but i see a lot of (undeserved) angelo hate and a lot of excusing for ed - more than the other way around - at least here on CH

                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                    I haven't counted but I had just finished reading the comments about Ed being a douchebag and many agreeing.

                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                      I would just like to point out that the first person to call Ed a douchebag in this episode, "particularly towards Angelo", was Ed himself! I just agreed with him. :).

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        I remember his calling himself one and then others using the term referring to him but I think every contestant, even Tiffany, has had negative things said about them. I don't think I've seen more anti-Angelo posts than anti-Ed posts but again, haven't really paid that much attention.

                                                  2. re: huiray

                                                    Yeah, Ed was needling Angelo a little bit, but I kind of enjoyed that because he did work hard in the kitchen on his food and in getting the food out of the kitchen and into the dining room.

                                                    We don't know at what point that Ed decided to do a second dish. I think that was just good strategy. (Although his response to Tom was a bit smarmy and smug). He said that he wanted to win this elimination challenge and beat Angelo even with immunity, an he did. I guess this post makes me sort of an Ed fan. I hope he beats Kevin for Top Chef 7 (because we all assume Angelo won't win, correct?)

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      So...I now expect to see comments from y'all about what a schemer Ed is...along the lines of the opprobrium Angelo got as a "schemer". :-)

                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                        I don't think it was scheming so much as brown nosing or just realizing that one dish wasn't going to cut it and being first to say so when it was to his advantage.

                                                        I was of two minds with Tom questioning the one dish thing
                                                        1) One hour, 80 guests, a la minute. Are you nuts? How will they even get one dish done? Where're the sous'?

                                                        2) Will one dish win this challenge?

                                                        Like others have said, I think Ed was just being a big ol bag of scented vinegary water.

                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                          There's a huge difference between Ed's needling Angelo and Angelo 'helping' the others with their dishes.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            I was referring to Ed's surreptitious second dish in contradiction of agreed-on parameters and his shafting of the idea of 'working as a team'. It is disingenuous of you to put together Ed's needling Angelo with Angelo's 'helping' the others (as you call it).

                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                          that was sure some masterful needling though. It didn't more than a little needling to me though, it seemed more like if they were in neighboring jail cells, Ed would of needled Angelo into killing himself. He was totally under angelo's skin and pushing all his buttons. It was almost like watching a judo master fight how well and effortlessly Ed's needling broke through Angelo's positive thinking bs.

                                                          1. re: TheFoodEater

                                                            Ha! I too enjoyed this. Angelo is fun to watch, but it's even more fun when someone f's with him. Ed has been my favorite for awhile, and I think he'll pull it off in the end.

                                                            1. re: TheFoodEater

                                                              i enjoyed that also. i'm rooting for Ed. Kevin just isn't interesting enough to get my vote.

                                                              1. re: TheFoodEater

                                                                Here's how a poster on another forum described Ed and Kevin:
                                                                Quote: "Right, so we've got a drawling mushmouth Frat boy with an Angelo obsession, and a cocky ragewad who circled the bottom three for weeks with an Angelo obsession."
                                                                Unquote.
                                                                Heh. HEH.

                                                              2. re: John E.

                                                                Good point on the probability for who wins, based on who's filming the TC All-Stars. If the OTHER wins, that'll be like the Hosea or the Ilan season. The worst of the three winning. Ugh.

                                                              3. re: huiray

                                                                Another thing that qualifies Ed as Lord D-bag: When they were prepping, Kevin came behind Ed, who I believe uttered the phrase, "Don't f****** touch me, man," and then very deliberately stepped out of the way behind Angelo and belly-bumped him from behind. That didn't need to happen; that's some territorial line-cook shenanigans.

                                                              4. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                The promo you saw did not contain any shots from next week's episode, at least the shot with Kevin was not. The shot with Kevin was recorded in the TC kitchen back in D.C. but I don't know where the footage of Angelo is from. It looks like they just thought his comment fit in.

                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                  Ah, okay...it was hard to tell just in the few seconds they showed. I recognized the people, but not the setting. But, still, why show the promo at all? Even if it wasn't actual scenes from next week's episode, it clearly showed the two people who were "at risk" who are in fact moving on to the finale. It didn't show Ed, but we knew Ed was moving on anyway. And it didn't show Kelly, who isn't. It felt like a spoiler to me.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                  Thanks. I thought after I turned off the computer last night I probably could have Googled and found his name. But I didn't want to get back up and turn on the computer. :-)

                                                                2. Hung, Mike V, and (I think) Ilan.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                      Yes, it's Ilan. I paid attention to that quick scene in my second viewing.

                                                                    2. re: huiray

                                                                      Thanks - I *thought* it might have been Mike V. Didn't see Ilan. Oy.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Maybe Ilan's learned to cook by now?

                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                          He's got his own restaurant, so I'd hope so. It's the attitude I detest most about him. He's smarmy.

                                                                    3. "didn't see anyone else from previous seasons though - my back was to the computer...did anyone else see?"
                                                                      ~~~~~~~
                                                                      Michael Voltaggio is definitely there as well, and from what i could tell, he's paired with Kevin...who i think tries to tell him how to butcher meat at some point. i'm sure that'll go over well :) i didn't catch who the third returnee is, but it's on again right now so if i see the end i'll try to catch it.

                                                                      ETA: OK, i must have subconsciously tried to block it out the first time...#3 is Ilan Hall.

                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        I'm assuming Hung is paired with Ed then, and Ilan goes to Angelo. Interesting.

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          They showed Hung on the phone with Angelo, who was sick in bed. I think they must be paired up.

                                                                          1. re: Papuli

                                                                            I guessed Hung was paired with Angelo from the sick in bed/phone shots, then figured Angelo must have won some knife draw, since I'd surely pick Hung as my right-hand guy for a cooking competition in Singapore.

                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                              Do you think Angelo ate bad street food to get sick or did he eat some food that Ed gave him?

                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                They all ate room tempurature chicken off a street cart. That'd probably make me sick.

                                                                                1. re: dmckean

                                                                                  < "They all ate room tempurature chicken off a street cart. That'd probably make me sick." >
                                                                                  ------
                                                                                  Doubt it. This is a very common way (but not the only way, of course) to eat chicken in that cuisine and it has been done that way for a very long time. Countless people would have fallen sick, including the other three contestants, if it was an automatic ticket to salmonella or E coli infection. Turnover for the chickens are normally fast and the 'smell' of chicken cooked that way (and that is fine to eat) is clear, and the 'smell' of "off" chicken cooked in that way is unmistakable. I cook chicken that way frequently and it's fine even when left out at room temperature overnight. (Although my "room temperature" is more like 70-72F and the dish is cooked with lots of smashed fresh ginger) It's possible that particular chicken they ate was already decomposing but all of them ate it and surely another person would have got sick too in that case. Seetoh ate it too and surely would have noticed if the smell was "off" as he would know the dish well. In any case, IIRC it wasn't off a street cart, it was from the equivalent of a small restaurant.

                                                                                  Any Chinatown worth its name in the States (I see you are in San Diego) would have restaurants with cooked chickens and ducks hanging in the windows or somewhere in the restaurant, waiting to be ordered by diners. Have you not seen such displays?

                                                                                  If it was "Montezuma's Revenge" he was getting it would have been his sensitivity to the local fauna (rather than elements of degradation/spoilage) but what he was experiencing did not seem to be diarrhea...

                                                                                  1. re: dmckean

                                                                                    They ate Hainan Chicken Rice from a hawker stall, not a street cart. Singapore is one of the cleanest cities, and they have very strict protocol for the eateries there, and even have restaurant licenses and a health rating system. The chicken for chicken rice is served at room temp -- they boil it, then plunge it into ice water. It doesn't reach room temp by sitting out all day.

                                                                                    1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                      It is probably more sanitary to eat at a hawker stall in Singapore than it is to eat at any fast food joint here in the US.

                                                                                    2. re: dmckean

                                                                                      You've got to be kidding me. A street cart/hawker stand in Singapore is probably cleaner than the main dining room at the French Laundry.

                                                                                      1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                        When I wrote the post about the possibility of Angelo eating bad food, I was mostly attempting humor at Ed's expense. Of course with the scant information available we have no idea what happened to Angelo.

                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                          It could have been the massively long flight. I went from NYC to Singapore for a weekend long conference a few years back. On the way home, I got airsick. I never get motion sickness; I ride the front car on the roller coaster with my hands up in the air! A whole day on an airplane, then tons of food, then adrenaline-filled cooking could kick anyone's behind. And if he caught a virus on the plane....watch out!

                                                                                      2. re: dmckean

                                                                                        More likely Angelo picked up a virus on the plane. It's a notorious place to pick up unknown and unsuspected illnesses.

                                                                                  2. re: Papuli

                                                                                    Arrrgghh! I missed this response and all follow on responses to my statement about who got Hung as a sous.... TPTB *still* haven't fixed the issue with new posts being closed the next time you read the thread, even if you haven't yet read them.

                                                                                    Thanks Papuli and momjamin.

                                                                              2. Those dishes they ate in the Hawkers' Market tour brought a smile to my face. I ate all of them (and much, much more) when I was growing up. :-) That noodle and cockle dish is very common in SE Asia, ditto variants of that boiled (not poached) chicken dish. I make that chicken dish (in the Hainan-type Chicken Rice variant) here from time to time. Real easy and delicious. :-)

                                                                                1. I am stunned! Before Tiffany was let go I thought she would win... afterwards, I thought it would be Kelly. I don't know why, but I really thought a woman would win this season.

                                                                                  This was a good episode, but I have to think about the way they edit things:

                                                                                  1. Ed was SUCH a nasty competitor after winning immunity, it makes me think that his days are numbered.

                                                                                  2. Angelo is being widely reported to be a contestant on TC All-Stars, so if that's true, he doesn't win.

                                                                                  3. Does that mean Kevin wins in the end?

                                                                                  Sad. I want someone to root for. I think I may end up rooting for the sous-chefs from previous seasons, once the finale starts.

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: chorosch

                                                                                    < "3. Does that mean Kevin wins in the end?" >
                                                                                    ------
                                                                                    Kevin resigned from Rat's last month. Make of that what you will.

                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                      As I said - that would make this an Ilan/Hosea-type season. Ugh.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        double ugh. Everyone I was rooting for is gone, now I don't give a rat's patootie.

                                                                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                          Kevin? Really? I didn't see that coming. That makes it a little more interesting for me, just to see what happened.

                                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                            Maybe, maybe not. :-)
                                                                                            SPOILER: There have been posts elsewhere on the topic. There is also a very recent post on eater.com on who was (newly) spotted shopping in what must be the filming of an episode of Top Chef All Stars. :-) :-)

                                                                                            ETA: Ahhh...I see SDG posted something on this just before I did... :-)

                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                              I am not sure if I can control myself to not read that. I'm only spoiling it for myself.

                                                                                        2. re: huiray

                                                                                          Extreme Spoiler in Link... Dont click if you want to be surprised in finale..
                                                                                          http://eater.com/archives/2010/09/09/...

                                                                                      2. < "And when Tom Colicchio says "I just looked at the menu - you guys only have four dishes?", we then see him say he thinks that all of them should do two dishes. So they all do it - and Kevin and Angelo are both pissed that Ed already thought and planned to do two dishes. Ed's right - they all should have really thought to pull out all the stops for the finale!" >
                                                                                        ------
                                                                                        But they agreed to do one each the day before, with Ed stating so definitely that he wanted to do only one...

                                                                                        < "and Kevin makes Crispy Rice" >
                                                                                        ------
                                                                                        Actually it was soft-boiled eggs (63 degree eggs) and pearl tapioca. (Which doesn't really seem SE Asian to me, even if the judges loved it)

                                                                                        The recipes are already up on bravotv.com.

                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                                                          Wasn't the soft-boiled eggs with tapioca his original dish? I had noted that in the original post.

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            No, I don't think the eggs and tapioca was his original dish--remember, they were all sitting around looking at the proteins in "the book" and chose their proteins from that? He clearly said he wanted to do cockles...
                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              Thanks, my bad....I did note the cockles. I said in my OP "Kevin's making a Southeastern Clam Chowder with cockles" Just didn't look up far enough in the original post. Hadn't had any coffee yet. ;-)

                                                                                              Then who made the crispy rice? Ed? Oh wait - Judges Table, I remember Seetoh suggesting to put the crispy rice (cake?) in a deep fryer so it puffed up. And I think it was Ed?

                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                The 63-degree egg and tapioca was meant to be his version of congee. Was the crispy rice thing maybe a side with the cockles? Ed's been known to create busy plates before.

                                                                                          2. re: huiray

                                                                                            He made a congee, with pearl tapioca instead of rice. That, and the those banana fritters are the two things from last night's show that I'd love to know how to make.

                                                                                            1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                              < "He made a congee, with pearl tapioca instead of rice." >
                                                                                              ------
                                                                                              OK, I see the analogy. However, for me the substitution of the tapioca does not work because it simply is the wrong taste and texture - to me. Messed-up congee is not congee to me. "Chook" (cantonese for congee) means certain definite things to me as a comfort food.

                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                I can see this work only if the tapioca has the same texture as the rice in the congee.

                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                  The judges seemed to like it. But I understand your comments, about the tapioca not being a sub for rice.

                                                                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                    Yes. It might be inspired by "chook" and may be an inventive and fine dish but it is not quite "chook" in my books. Looks like a great dish, but I personally would think of it as a "separate" dish, if you know what I mean.

                                                                                                    For your entertainment here's one recipe for something in this direction that might also be considered to be an "inspiration" for Kevin's dish - Pei Tarn Chook: http://www.low-carb-recipes.ws/Centur...

                                                                                                2. re: huiray

                                                                                                  while tapioca is not necessarily a substitute for rice, it is widely used in asia -- most famously in bubble teas! but it's in other dishes - usually in desserts. bravo to kevin for dreaming that up.

                                                                                                  1. re: henmonster

                                                                                                    Thank you henmonster, I'm aware of its normal uses and have eaten it that way.

                                                                                            2. I have never made a single recipe from Top Chef but I'm tempted to make Ed's banana fritters. I don't even deep fry food too often (it's actually been years) and it's the only time I use my mother's old electric wok but they got enough raves that I went to the Bravo website and got the recipe.

                                                                                              The Bravo people have Michael Voltaggio doing video demonstrations of some of the contestant's recipes. He did Ed's fritters. It was funny when he said to mix the dry ingredients first as he was putting the flour, salt, baking powder, sesame seeds into a bowl and then he just dumped the honey, eggs and beer into it without mixing the dry first. (He also seemed to skip a couple steps, but I'm sure that was in the interest of time).

                                                                                              1. ed still doesn't bother me that much. i mean he's not sweet. but he just seems to be competitive. i don't know that doesn't bug me that much.

                                                                                                1. Yeah, I saw the preview for next week, and it's definitely Hung, Michael V., and Ilan as their sou chefs. I also think Hung works with Angelo (of course).

                                                                                                  I'm disappointed Kelly was out. I feel like they really give Angelo a slight edge when they judge because he always seems to sneak by. Too salty? That's usually an automatic "pack your knives." I was willing to root for a woman I did like as opposed to not (Tiffany (season 1) and Lisa (season 4) come to mind). I really don't like Kevin I think even more than Angelo now. As least Angelo had some emotion after making it through.

                                                                                                  I guess I'm just rooting for not Kevin to win. I hope the other posters aren't right....

                                                                                                  23 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: justinelc

                                                                                                    If Kevin wins it's because by some fluke Angelo and Ed squander the opportunity. He's the weakest of the three, and in fact was the weakest of the four who went to Singaport (must mention here, though, that I was surprised by Kelly saying in the last episode that she thought Kevin was her biggest competition, that his cooking style was the most like hers which isn't how it looked on my TV set!--Kelly's far more sophisticated.)

                                                                                                    So I too will hate it if Kevin wins by default--which is how Ilan won in my opinion. Where Michael V and Hung deserved their wins, btw.

                                                                                                    1. re: Neecies

                                                                                                      each day is a brand new competition. and any competitor knows that once you get to a certain level, anyone can win on anyday. the orioles can beat the yankees even when they have a .350 winning average and the yankees have a .600 one.

                                                                                                      SO if kevin wins, it will not be a fluke, it will be because, on that day, with those rules, he did not falter, and the others did. That is not default, that is brining it when it matters most, and not choking under pressure.

                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                        Yes, but can they take the title of World Series Champions that way?

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                          This show is not the best out of 7 dishes. It's one and done.

                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                            Exactly, so, the baseball analogy doesn't really hold up.

                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                              It's the perfect analogy if it's kept in reference to one game only. That's what this competition is, one dish at a time, make the biggest mistake and go home.

                                                                                                              What's interesting about this season is that it seems that everyone thinks/thought of Angelo as the one to beat. I suppose that's because of his double win in the first episode and his Michelin star but the results don't point to him. In just the elimination challenges, Angelo has 2 wins, 2 highs and 2 lows; Ed has 3 wins, 3 highs and 2 lows; while Kevin has 1 win, 3 highs and 5 lows. That would make Ed the favorite going into the last episode, especially if Angelo is ill. We really don't know how bad, since Bravo would edit the video for full, dramatic effect.

                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                Yes, it does. Because his point is that Top Chef isn't like the World Series -- it's like a typical baseball game where on any given day any team can win, regardless of whether one is better than the other over the long haul.

                                                                                                                To use the baseball analogy another way, the reason that any team can win on any given day is that, in the total universe of baseball teams they're more equal than not: they're both professional teams playing in the same league. It's not as if Kevin was a Little League team playing the New York Yankees (which it would be if I were up against Angelo and Ed)!

                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                  Nope, I still disagree. I would be fine with the baseball analogy if the ultimate outcome of a baseball season weren't the World Series. But it is.

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                    Does the superbowl work any better for you as an analogy?

                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                      But the point is, the analogy works when talking about a single game. You brought up the World Series.

                                                                                                                      Ok, it's like a football season, the last four is like the playoffs and the last episode is like the Super Bowl since there always seems to be that one of the chefs is deemed to be a distant third (although it isn't actually officially ranked that way. Meaning Bryan and Kevin tied for second last year as did Stefan and Carla the year before).

                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                        changing the analogy i made and then proving your new analogy isn't right, isn't quite playing fair. I very specifically said "on anyday" , not for any season.

                                                                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                                                                          Not all all unfair. You made an analogy comparing a single game of baseball to a single episode of top chef. I extended your analogy to compare an entire season of baseball to an entire season of Top Chef and pointed out that while you can win a single game of either baseball or Top Chef without regard to your record, in baseball, you can't "win it all" without regard to your record, at least for that series, best 4 of seven. And frankly, I wished Top Chef were that way, too. (Keeping in mind this is my first season watching Top Chef, and I haven't even been watching the entire season... so maybe I have no idea what I wish for when it comes to Top Chef).

                                                                                                                          Frankly, baseball is all about the stats. Stats for a game, stats for a season, stats for a career. Nothing matters more than your record in baseball. Since this is a forum about food, and not about baseball, I'm not going to go deeper into it, but cowboyardee gets it. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7330...

                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                            Except remember that in the finale the judges take into account the entire season. That's how Stephanie won serveral seasons back.

                                                                                                                            1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                              Ah, good to know. This is my first season of watching, so, I didn't know that. So, indeed, in order to win the "title" your "record" for the season does count. That actually makes me feel a little bit better.

                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                I'm so glad you've joined the OCDTV throng, where the tiniest nit needs to be picked at again and again and again,

                                                                                                                                1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                  Well, the problem is you only get one episode a week, so, after everyone has had a chance to weigh in on that week's episode, there's really nothing to do but nitpick. We should have new material soon, right?

                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                              2. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                <That's how Stephanie won serveral seasons back.>

                                                                                                                                iirc, Stephanie had the BEST meal at the finale... along with her consistent record throughout the season. Blais flamed out.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                    Read Colicchio's final blog from that season. Then you'll KNOW it's true. Even Richard Blais knew he didn't do as well as he could have (although he definitely bested Lisa Fernandez, despite what she thought - even Colicchio and the other judges said so!)

                                                                                                                                  2. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                    I reject that interpretation. Stephanie won for her meal.
                                                                                                                                    "Of our final three, Richard had the most experience, the most imagination, and by far the most technical proficiency. He had consistently wowed us during the season, and frankly, this was his competition to lose. So what happened? In short, he choked."
                                                                                                                                    http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs...

                                                                                                                                    And... if what you typed were true, Hosea never would have won.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                      No, the finale decision is based on the finale performance, not on the whole season. As ChefJune notes, Richard made errors that cost him the title in his finale meal. Same reason Hosea won over Stefan or Carla in S5, and Michael Voltaggio beat Bryan and Kevin last season. They may discuss the chefs' records during the finale, but if you don't nail that challenge over the others, you don't win, and your earlier performance won't help you.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                        I think Tom has clarified this before.

                                                                                                                                        The year Hosea won - the final was quite close.
                                                                                                                                        Toby Young argued that Stefan should win, because his food throughout the season was far better to Hosea's, but in the end THAT NIGHT - Hosea had the slight edge, so hence - he won Top Chef

                                                                                                                2. I think the consensus during much of this season was that these chefs were somewhat subpar to previous seasons chefs. Tonight proved that this is not the case, not a poor dish among the four, and they had to dig to produce a loser. I'm getting tired of Ed and his I just want to beat Angelo crap. He did twice tonight, but maybe Kevin will win out , and will Ed still be happy because he beat Angelo?

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                    I think the overall cooking has been less than inspired, and maybe they were able to sense the disturbance in the force, but they definitely seem to have stepped it up a notch.

                                                                                                                  2. How sad is this: i don't even watch the show anymore, I just read LindaWhit's synopsis. It's not even interesting enough to watch. Please God, not Kevin. Remember when he made sirloin?

                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: runwestierun

                                                                                                                        Linda is producing the cliff notes of Top Chef, an incredibly valuable service.

                                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                            LOL! Thanks, debbiel, runwestie, and huiray. You've got me for one more ep. Then I'm done. Someone else will have to take over. :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              What? You're not recapping the reunion show?!? :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                LOL! That's a good point...I guess that'll be happening the week after? Yup - looks like the reunion show is at 9pm, and Just Desserts will start up at 10pm on 9/22.

                                                                                                                                No, I probably won't recap it. But I *will* comment on it if anyone else starts a thread about it. :-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  Aw, shucks. :-(

                                                                                                                                  As for "Just Desserts", it seems it will be a nasty one (so much for thinking Bravo couldn't sink lower). Eater.com calls it names - see their post on it :-) - http://eater.com/archives/2010/09/08/...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                    I noted that on last week's post when someone (you?) posted it there. I'll watch the first ep, but not sure if it goes down that road if I'll continue watching it.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    If I can watch live, I'll start a thread. I'll post something like, "The TC reunion has begun. I wonder what Linda thinks of it."

                                                                                                                                    :-)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                      LOL!!! I almost always like the reunion shows as it shows them more relaxed with rarely any competitive edge to them.

                                                                                                                            2. re: runwestierun

                                                                                                                              Yup, I'm the same way. I stopped watching while I waited for them to trim the fat (get rid of contestants that had no real chance of winning) and stop with the gimmicky challenges. The next thing I knew the finale was airing. Oh well.

                                                                                                                            3. Does anyone else think that a. Padma was out of line for that uber childish "What's wrooooong with you?" to Kevin, who never cooked in a wok and or b. that she was wasted off of Tiger beer? So odd that she all of a sudden decides to show personality (or something) at that juncture of the competition.
                                                                                                                              Go Ed!
                                                                                                                              The whole Angelo is at home in Asia thing is a joke. Put him in Oklahoma and he'll say the same thing. Lamb tartar did not look or sound good to me at all. Kinda wished he was boooted instead of Kelly

                                                                                                                              21 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                I thought Tom's comment that the fritters would be good "stoner" food was a not-so-subtle dig at Padma, so .... yeah, probably drunk on Tiger beer.

                                                                                                                                1. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                  I feel like I'm missing something. Why would that be a dig at Padma?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                    There are lots of comments on-line about her being stoned all the time. I think it's just in reference to the fact that she often seems out of it, but I read somewhere that one of the crew members confirmed she smokes a lot (and also wears an earpiece and has to be told exactly what to say by the producers.)

                                                                                                                                    Wasn't saying there was anything wrong with being a stoner... maybe "dig" was the wrong word. Maybe it was a playful tease from Tom, who noticed she was, let's say... extra hungry.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                      i heard the exact same thing about padma. the ear piece explains why she has intonations of a robot and odd pauses at wrong times. she's waiting to get her lines on an ear piece! she's awfully pretty to look at tho.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                        Got it. I didn't know she had that reputation. I know when he made the comment I was thinking, "I bet they are <good stoner food>."

                                                                                                                                    2. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                      I thought Tom's 'stoner' comment was a dig, too. And, it was really funny.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                        its only a dig if theres something wrong with being a stoner.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                          Stoner food is the new "in" thing in New York, so Tom's comment was probably referring only to that fact.
                                                                                                                                          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/din...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                            pssst - stoner food has always been in in NYC. that article is about how chefs (who have always been prone to to stonerness) are now coming out of the closet about their habits. it says nothing about the habits of the eating public

                                                                                                                                        2. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                          This is my first season watching TC but I have to say, I'm not impressed by Padma. Also, I thought she behaved without class at the Emmy award show.

                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                            She is constantly classless and ungracious. To me, she is absolutely repellent as the show's host. Also, her table manners are execrable.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                                                                              Wow, what has she done that's so "classless" and "execrable"? You make it sound like she's got spaghetti stains on her dress and burping at the table.

                                                                                                                                              And I think Ed was a putz this episode, more with his obnoxiousnes while cooking rather than the 2nd dish thing.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                              The sad thing is that Padma is actually improved over the early seasons, and is so much better than the awful, wooden Katie Lee (S1 host) and Kelly Choi (TC Masters host). Not saying much!

                                                                                                                                            3. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                              I thought Padma was really unprofessional in that bit. It wasn't constructive criticism at all - it just seemed like she was trying to embarrass Kevin on camera, which I think is no bueno.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                it was humor people. said clearly as such, and taken clearly as such by kevin

                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                  If that was humor, Padma's got some deadpan delivery. She didn't even crack a smile. And I didn't think Kevin looked amused; to me, he looked embarrassed.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                                Her tone was a bit childish, but I thought she made a good point. You came to Singapore to win $125K in a cooking competition, and didn't once try cooking in a wok? His excuse of not having "those big burners" at home was pretty silly, IMHO -- you can get variations on woks to work on various burners.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                  I thought the same momjamin. I was surprised he didn't take that initiative.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                    Me too, it was just so surprising to me that a chef of his experience had never used a wok?
                                                                                                                                                    I was embarrassed by his answer of not having "those big burners". I learned using an electric range, and i've seen chefs (Martin Yan) cook on portable single gas burners at shows and some people have stands with the burner that hold the wok stand alone.
                                                                                                                                                    Sure they don't have the btus, but you can do an okay job. I'm sure he regrets his answer now.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                                    Vindication from Colicchio's blog:
                                                                                                                                                    "Nor was Kevin remiss for failing to practicing [sic] his wok skills before he arrived, as Padma suggested (I thought he answered her well – he was busier tasting the flavors of the region, which would spark his imagination)."

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                      Was that his answer to Padma, or was that just from one of the interview things edited in later?

                                                                                                                                                  3. Just my 3¢ worth:

                                                                                                                                                    1) I've made lots of snide comments about the quality of the dishes. They no longer apply.

                                                                                                                                                    2) So a NYC guy will be Top Chef, though Kevin's part of Jersey is closer to Philly. Apart from Kevin, it's now Vongenrichten vs. Boulud!!

                                                                                                                                                    3) Kelly lost because the chefs were told, with an hour remaining, to prepare an extra dish. It was that second dish that sent her home. How could they know that two dishes were required? I've never heard of an eight course dinner party -- not since Queen Victoria's son was alive and gluttonizing.

                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                      this was not a dinner party, people ordered what they wanted,like in a restaurant; they did not all eat all 8 courses.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                        You're right, I think they each had two courses.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                        Well, to be fair - they weren't *told* to prepare an extra dish. Tom suggested they do so - that four dishes was sparse.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, but once one person did a second dish, they all had to because then the comparison would also be, well, person X's dish was better than person Y's, but that's because person Y did two...

                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            When Coliccio *told* them to do a second dish, I don't think it was a suggestion. If I were in their shoes I certainly wouldn't take it like that.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                              He said "you're only making 4 dishes? If I were you, I'd make more [or I'd make two each]". So again, he didn't TELL them. Yes, it was a strong suggestion that they make more. Any one of them could have ignored the suggestion (albeit with the knowledge that unless it was complex and beyond killer, it could send them home).

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                            Actually, I think Kelly's second dish (the soup) was better received than her prawn curry; but over all, both were less well received than the other three's dishes.

                                                                                                                                                          3. Re: the banana fritters, I've watched Top Chef from the beginning, and I've never seen the judges react so favorably to a dish, especially Tom. He was actually smiling and laughing after eating them.

                                                                                                                                                            How perfect must that egg have been for Gail to love it?

                                                                                                                                                            46 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lawgirl3278

                                                                                                                                                              I thought the same thing re: Tom loving those fritters. He was positively giddy over them - both at the dining table and again at Judge's Table.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                Those banana fritters sounded pretty good. So, what do you think "1 beer" means in the recipe? http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                  LOL! God, whoever writes these recipes at Bravo really needs a clue. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  I'd go with the 1 "bottle of beer" method of measurement. Seems appropriate for the rest of the batter ingredient quantities.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                    That would have been my guess, too. Thanks for providing a sanity check.

                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                      My question is what is the Cinnamon Sugar Mixture for since it's not used in the recipe? They need a recipe editor.

                                                                                                                                                                      Edit - I need glasses I guess, "When cooked drain on a paper towel and remove the toothpick and dust with the cinnamon-sugar mixture." and then drizzle honey on them? Which was why I think I skipped over that bit.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I can't decide whether the honey is to make it look pretty or an added sweet element to cut the heat.

                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                      I think Mike V said it was 2 cups of beer in the video.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sharonlouk

                                                                                                                                                                        Well, OK - but then Bravo should HAVE that measurement in their recipe, shouldn't they? Many people won't watch the video.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          When I make it, I'm going to use 1 beer, just like the recipe says.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                            Agreed, the recipe should be complete, but I just watched it so figured I'd share. He did say "about" 2 cups of beer.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sharonlouk

                                                                                                                                                                              Has anyone worrying about this measured how many cups are in "one beer?"

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                You mean in a 12 ounce can? That sounds like a cup and a half to me. Unless he means a 16 ounce can, which is two cups.

                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly - my assumption was that it was a standard U.S. 12-oz. beer. And if it *is* a 16 oz., that should most definitely be noted in the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                  But Bravo's recipes tend to be a bit hit or miss at times, depending on the cheftestant's memory of what s/he made during competition. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks. a) I don't drink beer and b) beer doesn't come in cans or bottles in my house, it comes by the keg. (We have a kegerator), so, this is not intuitive to me. (I had to ask my husband how many ounces in a can of beer.) When I cook, I'm used to fluid measurements being given in cups or ounces.

                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                      When I cook, I'm used to fluid measurements being given in cups or ounces.
                                                                                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                      And THAT is probably the most egregious mistake in this recipe - you'd think that Ed would want the recipe to reflect the proper measurements....unless he no longer "owns" the recipe and Bravo does (more likely). Either way - Bravo needs to realize the people watching Top Chef are going to expect a properly written recipe to be put up on the site.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        They're not working off recipes when they're on the show and the recipe can't say "enough beer until it reaches the right consistency". I doubt Bravo has test kitchens like the FN where they can get these things right.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. It's not that big a deal anyway. Use as much beer as it takes to make the batter the consistency it should be (similar to a pancake batter, but maybe a little thinner).

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not disagreeing - however, there ARE those people who would need the exact amount if 1 beer didn't bring the batter together properly. If Bravo's going to put up the recipes, they should at least attempt to get it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                              If that happened to me and I didn't have another beer I'd just not sweat it and add a little water.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                i think most american recipes that list "a beer" as an ingredient are geared toward a little less than 12 oz --because the cook should be expected to chug the last couple of oz in the can/bottle! lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                likewise sauce recipes calling for "a bottle of wine" or "a pint of whiskey" will turn out fine, if there is a 1/2 glass or shot removed, respectively, prior to cooking. ahem. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          You're not kidding Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                          I just checked out the recipe - I'm surprised no one has mentioned this beauty:
                                                                                                                                                                                          "12 teaspoons of red chili paste per portion (store bought) "

                                                                                                                                                                                          if that's correct - YIKES!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                            Probably supposed to be 1-2 teaspoons/portion.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                              I was so worried about the beer, I didn't even notice that! That's even more serious!

                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                OK, perfect example. Perhaps I *won't* want to make this after all. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                It's ALL about the proofreading, folks! Obviously Bravo doesn't think that's so important. I wonder if they think people who watch the show won't actually make the recipes they see on the show or what gets posted on the site? I know several people who have made recipes from past seasons - luckily, *those* recipes were written and posted correctly! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ha!
                                                                                                                                                                                                  and actually, I don't know if the directions are also wrong, or if I am just being stupid, but they really don't make sense to me!
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Peel and cut the bananas into ½ inch slices brush them with the chili paste and sandwich them back together again. Stick them together with a toothpick so they will not fall apart when you dip into the batter and then into the fry oil

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. When all the bananas are sandwiched together with the red chili paste, place them in the freezer until super chilled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For fritter batter- Combine eggs and beer. Combine all dry ingredients. Fold dry ingredients into wet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Once the bananas are chilled, dip in the fritter batter and let the excess batter drip off and then fry at 350 degrees until golden brown. When cooked drain on a paper towel and remove the toothpick and dust with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  So when do the "sandwiched" bananas get seperated to make each fritter?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  After they are chilled?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  It doesnt explain that...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The banana 'sandwiches' are not separated. They are dipped into the batter and fried. The point of the sandwiched banana slices is to get more of the chili paste onto the surfaces of the banana slices to get more flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the 12 teaspoons teaspoons per portion is obviously just a typo with the - missing. However, I also don't see a big problem with it. Just brush some of the chili paste onto the bananas to taste. (The 1 - 2 teaspoons was also supposed to be for 3 fritters, or 6 slices of banana). I think the recipe is not that complicated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, it is obviously a mistake, I think we all know that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      And I think we all know that you can put as much or as little CP as you like.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also don't think I really need specific instructions on seperating the banana slices.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Linda was saying how many errors are made with the recipes and I was just proving her point!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And I still think the instructions are not clear - if you have all the slices of banana sandwiched together - then wouldnt you have one big, long, banana shaped fritter?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                        NellyNel, I completely agree with you. But what is the point of a recipe if you're just expected to wing it? No, a recipe should be clear and precise. If something is "to taste" or "optional" or whatever, then let them write that in the recipe. There is a real art to recipe writing, ie., striking that balance between giving enough information and detail and not going so overboard that you don't give the reader any credit all all. For instance, I think we can probably all agree that, for a "banana fritter" recipe, the first steps do not need to be:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Separate one banana from the bunch by firmly but gently grasping it then pulling away from point at the top of the bunch where they are all joined.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Separate the soft fruit inside the tough, outer, yellow skin by gently bending then cracking the banana near the top, then peeling it away.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Discard the tough, yellow "skin."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, that would be silly. But the rest of it, you have to describe so that people can understand. Perhaps they figure people are watching the show or the videos on the website and, therefore, they don't need to be that descriptive, but it seems to me they shouldn't assume that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the idea is that each 1/2" slice of banana is paired with one other, so each fritter is composed of two 1/2" slices and is 1" thick total. That's what they looked like on the show as well. But I agree that the writing leaves something to be desired!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's not that complicated to YOU, John. You can obviously adapt and roll with it. As can I. I can look at several recipes and combine them, adding/deleting ingredients because I don't have them/don't like them/think they won't work in the recipe (to my taste) and substitute something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There are, however, many people who cook out there that need things spelled out for them. So having a recipe correctly written would be of help to them and many others. I've seen countless comments on recipes whereby people said something like "I put in the 12 tsp. of chili paste as the recipe said and OMG, this was SO hot - I hated it and threw everything out! I'll never make this again!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm guessing whomever is now doing the job(s) Lee Anne did previously is not as assiduous as she in making sure the recipes are accurately written.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I suppose you are correct. But I would think that most people that would frequent a site like this would also be able to figure it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Liking to eat isn't always the same as liking to cook. In fact, Chowhound did not even have a "home cooking" board originally--that was added relatively recently, in the last 6-7 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The rest of the US--say, NY and the SF Bay Area-- isn't like Minnesota in terms of home cooking culture. (I think the cooking culture in MN is extraordinary, by the way. I and my husband have been in the grocery store behind Walter Mondale (Lunds), Garrison Keillor (Cub), Michelle Pfeifer (Rainbow), my state assemblyman (Co-op), and I heard someone on the radio talking about being in line at Sur La Table behind Lauren Bacall. This is a place where politicians and celebrities are expected to cook their own meals!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just recently read about some new condos in NYC where there is no kitchen at all. They've decided to give up the pretense altogether. That city has a much stronger dining out culture than we have. I have friends in SF and NYC who literally eat out for 3 meals a day, except when they are warming up leftovers in their microwave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can enjoy food--eating it, watching it being prepared-- and not be a confident cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is no reason for Bravo to put out sloppy recipes. Do it right or don't bother because apparently the cooking savants don't need them and those of us who would like a little guidance are apparently not worthy of even expecting a recipe to be proofread. Let us eat cake--storebought only, of course. The homemade kind is only for people who can crack the code of the poorly written recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with you that Bravo should proof their recipes better. I have only looked at a few of them and have not cooked any of them. I looked at the recipe that gave Kevin the title of Top Chef, his take on the Sinapore Sling. They wrote the recipe in grams and in too large a quantity. I think it's possible that once the cook from the 1st season left as their culinary expert (what was her name?) they aren't doing as good a job with the recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've also known people who eat out almost as often as you suggest. The people I know likely are not spending as much or eating as well as those you know in SF and NYC. I would think that a kitchen would be built into the condos for at least 2 reasons: resale value and caterers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Are you originally from Minnesota? The reason I ask is that we have never had assemblymen here, it's always been legislators.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: lawgirl3278

                                                                                                                                                                                I loved that the judges were so complimentary of the banana fritters, the 63 degree egg, and some of the other things. It made me laugh when Gail said that her problem with the fritters was that she wanted six and only got two. It felt like they were really excited to be there, rather than just going through the motions.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lawgirl3278

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea, pretty ballsy to cook an egg for Gail.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: saeyedoc

                                                                                                                                                                                    there is nothing to cooking an egg sous vide.. You set the circulator to 63.3 and leave it for 50 minutes and it's perfect...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: saeyedoc

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry, I'm a newcomer to Top Chef and don't really know anything about Gail. What's the big deal with Gail and eggs?

                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, this is classic. :-) She went on and on about perfectly cooked eggs and how she hates/detests/gags when the white isn't cooked properly. I forget what season it was, but the egg issue was brought up countless times in one episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ah, that is some important context. I'm really craving those banana fritters.

                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                            TDQ - I found her blog on TC2's Bravo site about eggs: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs... She talks about her "passionate ranting" - umm, that's one way of putting it. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            It was S2, when they had to cook breakfast over a fire pit at the beach for a surf team. Betty and Elia did great, IIRC -- I think Elia won with her waffle/egg/ham sandwich thingie.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                              OK, that's what I found in a CH search (The Beach Episode), but I wasn't sure if that was where Gail got all wonky with the runny whites or if it happened later.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                Pretty sure that's when it came to light, since there were so many eggs done so badly. It's become something of a running gag since then. Even this episode -- egg is served, camera zooms to Gail's reaction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You're right - I just responded to TDQ with a link to Gail's blog about the eggs. Even that, however, doesn't describe how vehemently she talked about uncooked eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I kinda have to ask, where the hell did that come from? Each of the contestants had at some point produced a well-received dish during this season, but for all four to cook the best dishes of the entire season collectively was unexpected. It gives me hope that, even if I don't like anyone left, good food will actually win this thing after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                        I think it came from the fact that -- unlike some of the contestants in other seasons -- they did their homework. They had months to prepare for a finale that they knew was going to be in Singapore and that would undoubtedly include a challenge requiring them to cook "local" food (as have all the previous seasons). For example, Kevin said that although he hadn't practiced with a wok (because he correctly realized that you need a really high output burner that he didn't have), he did study the flavors. I assume they all came with dishes already conceptualized that could be adapted to the specific requirements of the challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                          That sounds like a good guess, Ruth.

                                                                                                                                                                                          What I thought was strange was that Kevin said he didn't have a high output burner at home with which to practice. Why couldn't he have practiced in his restaurant's kitchen after hours?

                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                            Exactly or asked one of his countless restaurant friends to practice there. I mean, the guy has to know SOMEBODY who can give him space to practice.

                                                                                                                                                                                            It just didn't make sense to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                                                                                                              It was weird. And I guess that's what Padma was trying to say, perhaps playfully.

                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                                                                                                                Might have been hard to explain what he was doing without breaching confidentiality. Kevin, why all of a sudden so interested in learning to use a wok? Uh....

                                                                                                                                                                                                Also, I think this was just a continuation of the approach he's been taking to challenges that involve food outside his realm of expertise: he doesn't try to fake authentic dishes, he uses them for inspiration, a la his Indian-inspired dish for the UN challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, that's fair--the confidentiality thing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Sigh. TC is almost over, and I don't feel the exhilaration that I did during the other seasons. I think if I had to root for somebody, it would be Angelo because he seems to be a bit more talented than the other two contestants. That, and I think he would have a total breakdown if he doesn't win. But as there's a possible spoiler about him being part of Top Chef All-Stars and we see the preview of him being sick as a dog, it will probably not be him.

                                                                                                                                                                                          And I know a lot of you are pissed off at Ed for his behavior last night. But frankly it doesn't bother me too much because Ed knows he's being a douchebag. When you see both Ed and Angelo going at it, it seems that they're both smirking and having fun with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with you about Ed, Miss Needle. He even said he's sarcastic, and I get that. Maybe because I fall into that category. ;-) And quite honestly, I didn't see the other cheftestants getting upset with him over his remarks, so I have to think they've grown accustomed to his sense of humour, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                              And I know a lot of you are pissed off at Ed for his behavior last night. But frankly it doesn't bother me too much because Ed knows he's being a douchebag.
                                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                              Exactly. He's pretty upfront about it and says it himself!

                                                                                                                                                                                              Although I have to say I'm partial to how MplsM ary described it upthread: "Like others have said, I think Ed was just being a big ol bag of scented vinegary water." :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't really feel the back and forth in it. I got the impression that having good energy in the kitchen is important to Angelo. Even though he knows Ed is yanking his chain, it still distracts him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think Stefan used some of the same strategy in the kitchen as Ed did last night. Stefan was always talking trash to Hosea. At first I didn't like Stefan and then he sort of grew on me. At first I also found Carla a bit annoying, but then she turned out ok too. I actually liked that season (5) a lot more than this one. (That was the first TC that I watched all the way through).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ah, yes, that was a great season, wasn't it? Stefan grew on me, too, as did Carla, and your initial impressions of them both are pretty spot on for me. And then there was Fabio, who, not only I found funny and charming, but singularly had the most number of "great lines" of anyone any season, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. So is the top Chef Ed, the same Ed working with Cat Cora on Iron Chef America, Battle Oatmeal tonight? Which one come first?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                      those iron chef episodes are filmed so far in advance.. I was reading an article about the vegetarian iron chef battal that just aired two weeks ago.. The chef said it was filmed over a year ago and she didn't even think they were going to air it.. Also Ed stated that he was Cat Cora's sous chef on IC in his bio... Richard Blais is her other sous chef..

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ICA was actually why i recognized Ed in the first episode of this season :) he's been Cat's sous on the show for several years at least.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Was that the Singaporean equivalent of "Whole Foods" that they were shopping at?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Where was the Toyota minivan?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I believe Padma said it was a "spice shop." It looked to me that they were provided with a selection of foodstuffs then given money to buy spices and other extras.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I really wish I didn't read this thread, especially with all the spoilers OUTSIDE of this episode. If Kevin indeed is the winner as so many of you have pointed out, then this concludes the most pathetic season of Top Chef to date. And I thought picking Hosea as Top Chef would be impossible to top. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's not a spoiler -- that's speculation, not fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Just want to add I've never been more appalled at Ed in the entire duration of the show. What a pathetic "tactic" to take in the finale, especially with immunity..

                                                                                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Did you read the discussion about "tactics" above? Ed was certainly not to blame for the other competitors' poor decision making, nor was he in any way obligated to go along with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                                                                                                                              What did Ed do that was so distateful?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Theoretically, he led the others down the wrong path by saying he was only going to do one dish the night before the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So did Kelly during the Farm episode a while back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did he lead them? Or did he go along with them? There's no evidence that he "led" them anywhere, and there's nothing wrong with pretending to go along with the crowd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ed was not competing against them in this challenge. He did not give himself an advantage over others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ruth and Debbie, I used the word 'theoretically' so would undstand that the words I was using did not describe how I felt about the subject, rather that I was simply aswering a question. I don't have a problem at all with Ed's behavior on this episode of TC7. I thought he worked hard and deserved the win. How many times has the person with immunity from the quick fire gone on to win the elimination challenge too? I think Tiffany did it this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tiffany did it twice, I believe, and Ed did it before, as well, IIRC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I went back and checked Angelo and Tiffany both did it. But the other quickfire/elimination wins in the same episode until this one did not have the immunity factor. I believe Restaurant Wars is the point where immunity is off the table, until this episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tiffany did it twice. And, in Ep 8, she actually did win immunity in the quickfire. She won the quickfire with her Ethiopian-inspired dish, then later went on to win the challenge (and $10K) with her tacos.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7253...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          @debbiel, by winning the challenge even though he had immunity, he was sending his fellow chefs a message that he's the one to beat, and potentially making them doubt themselves...and in situations like this, the mental battle can be the toughest element. it was a smart move on his part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not only that, but you never know when there's going to be a nice prize for winning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed, GHG. I didn't really word that well. I was trying to argue that he wasn't playing unfairly, that he wasn't responsible for what others chose to do or not to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Technically, he WAS competing, debbie. True, Ed had immunity. But he was *still* competing to be the winning ED dish - and he accomplished that by winning. Why should he just coast during the EC? Winning when he has immunity just shows the other cheftestants he's in it to win it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wasn't trying to suggest that he wasn't in it to win it. Just that the idea that someone was playing unfairly takes on a different air when you don't need someone else to lose in order for you to move on. He had very different stakes than the others for the EC, and so I think it is even more sillier than it otherwise would be that people think he was playing unfairly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I saw your response to ghg after I posted my response this morning. I agree that he wasn't responsible for what others chose to do or not.