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Top Chef Just Desserts S1 Ep 5

I guess I'll start and make it brief so that someone else can make a more indepth replay.

I'll state that this was the first episode that felt like true Top Chef episode. Compared to the previous episodes there was little drama from the contestants, but the elimination challenge to me was a bit of a stretch for an elimination challenge as that is such a niche of niches. The dresses were nice for the most part and some even looked better than the crap on Project Runway. I picked the correct top and bottom three or the night. As I said compared to other episodes, I think this one was pretty solid. I think it is funny that the two ladies who I can't stand both made veggie dresses.

What are your takes and opinions? I did not post winners or loser because I didn't see who got eliminated.

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  1. I agree. It was the first episode where I didn't feel like the producers were exploiting the mentally ill. I'm still somewhat taken aback by the egos in the room. That said I love Morgan's confidence in his dress and the comment about being alone for an extended amount of time helped his imagination go wild when designing the dress. However, for the elimination challenge...a chocolate dress...c'mon... That's where the playing field becomes really uneven considering they selected a cast of bakers and pastry chefs. I'm glad Eric did not go home. I'm a little over Team Diva.

    A few other observations. Did anyone else look at Sherry Yard and think oh jeez...she looks like The Good Witch Glenda from the Wizard of Oz. She was wearing a pink sparkly blouse and with her adorable face and hair, I thought she'd be the ultimate fairy godmother because she would always smell like cookies! Also, I'm really happy with the celebrity chefs we are seeing. I've been a big fan of Sherry and Gale. I can't wait (I hope) to see Nick Malgieri and Maida Heatter! N

    1. My favorite was Morgan's chocolate dress. I'd definitely wear that! And I loved the popcorn edge on Erika's dress. What a fun episode.

      1. My big gripe with this eps we saw nothing of the conception and making their petit fours.

        And Heather C and Danielle really needed to tie their vegetable dresses to their dessert. Maybe spicy herb or carrot cake. Or veggie made of fondant.

        It also crossed my mind, Heather C got eliminated 3 weeks in a row. She should have been eliminated last week, if it hadnt been for Malika quitting. I think that should be a record.

        2 Replies
        1. re: dach

          I agree about Heather C. If she'd really thought about it she could've incorporated carrots into her dress (not a veggie dress, just bits of carrot here and there) with a carrot cake petit four which could have been killer.

          I hated seeing Eric implode and it was right that they called him out on his cookie dress. If the baker can't make square cookies then there's something wrong. His petit fours must have saved him.

          I agree that this came off a little more Project Runway than Top Chef but it seems to me that this production crew is flailing about just as much as the contestants. They are trying to define the style of the show but the crazy stuff has them playing catch-up rather than letting them define the show in the editing room. They are finally finding their footing thanks in large part to Gail.

          1. re: dach

            It was irritating that the first we really heard about the petits fours was when they were judged. That should have been the real focus. They're just trying to hard to make it The Real Chefs of Dessert Land. I like drama fine, but let's see some real food prep.

          2. Part of the judging should have been eating the actual dresses.

            1. I'm a sucker for the editing and Morgan seemed pretty obnoxious and sexist. I'm leaning towards Yigit, even if he is part of the Divas. He has come off as catty as Zack and Heather H. I also like Eric and hope he does well. He might not have the fancy techniques but he always makes something that tastes good and, IMO, that's more important than appearance. If he was making cookies and couldn't get the ingredients right, why didn't he just leave things out that would affect it? Water and flour would have given him what he needed and it wasn't as if anyone would be eating the dress. I hope Danielle goes home next, though. Her gloating about Team Diva being in the bottom sounded like petty jealousy.

              1. I'm glad to hear Eric didn't go home. I mean how many pastry chefs in the US are ever required to make a dress out of whatever. Lets have a white house pastry chef (maybe Roland Messnier). Nick Malgieri has come to our cooking school here in NC. I've heard he knows his stuff but can be a bit condescending I could definitely see him giving them some smack talk. I'd like to see what they could do with some sugar for design... see something like the movie Kings of Pastry.

                1. Top Chef Just Desserts may have lost me with this episode. I suppose I'm not really in their prime demographic, (I avoid the FN Challenge which is mostly cake competitions) but this episode was really stretching it for me.

                  These pastry chefs are way more catty and petty than most of the chefs of regular Top Chef. The only really likeable pasty chef left is Erika (even Eric was disparaging his opponents). While I didn't especially like Danielle from the beginning, I thought her facial expressions they showed in this episode were hilarious. She reminded my of Jim Carrey.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: John E.

                    Again, why are we comparing TC and TCJD? It's like comparing someone in accounting and someone in public relations. Yes they are both experts in their field and both in business (or food in this case) but that is about it. The personalities that make up pastry people and what they require to get the job done to their satisfaction (and precision) and the chefs are different. This was even discussed about a week before the show even started by one of the judges. I don't see the need to compare them or the shows to one another. But that is just my opinion. One show has been no for what.. 8-9 seasons now? We'll see if Just Desserts gets a 2nd and/or 3rd season and see if they iron things out then. That being said I did not like this elimination challenge. Being that it is fall, I think it would be hilarious if they had to do a State Fair competition or something of that nature.

                    Is Danielle the one with black hair that almost never smiles?

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      Why not compare the shows? (Actually I think I was comparing the chefs, not the shows). They're both 'Top Chef' with many of the same cast of characters. I do understand the differneces between the two shows and the chefs involved. I thought I was pointing that out. Danielle is the one with the thin face and hair. I suppose she might not smile a lot. It's an intense competition, I hadn't noticed too much smiling from anybody.

                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        I don't see why people shouldn't compare the two shows. After all they have very similar names, have the same format, and all the contestants are chefs. One focuses on chefs with a specialty.

                        I don't care if someone wants to compare the show with "I love Lucy". In fact, in past weeks, the show had more in common with "I love Lucy" than a cooking show.

                    2. I really enjoyed this episode. Not too much drama, some interesting confections and an interesting challenge.

                      Any time someone gripes "I could have made that in 15 minutes" (ie: Heather H complaining about Morgan's dress, which IMO looked awesome and totally went with the shoes) I think they're just jealous/pissed that they didn't think of that idea first.

                      1. *Spoilerish*

                        You can probably find this out, but the guest judge for next week's TCJD is a well known pastry chef at a top NY establishment. He's known for a signature item that doesn't appear on the restaurants menu.

                        1. This weeks show was just good enough to keep me watching for another episode.

                          I'm having trouble liking anyone on this show. I like Morgan the most but if they gave him a show of his own, I wouldn't watch it.

                          Just curious... are 60 - 80% of the pastry cooks in the world gay? It would seem so if this group is representative.

                          I did find it amusing that Zack got beat out and he was the only one that had experience at making an edible dress. Kudos to him for showing a little restraint while losing. He did tell Morgan F(***) you for beating me at my own game or something like that but he didn't throw a hissy fit.

                          I found it interesting that the chef that spent the least time won the challenge. It was smart of Morgan to concentrate on the simple and classic design of "the little black dress". It didn't require a lot of skill, I think I could make hundreds of chocolate medallions but it looked very nice and enables him to spend his time on making his petit fores perfect and tie them in with the challenge. I suspect the judges concentrated more on the petit fores than the dresses, too.

                          I wish they had shown more of the making of the petit fores. It is much more likely I might make petit fores than an edible dress.

                          This weeks show show had less drama and fewer antics than the previous weeks shows. For that, I am grateful. I do hope they focus more on highlighting culinary and pastry skills on the future shows.

                          1. I thought it was a fun challenge! I thought that Danielle and Heather totally copped out using veggies - I was proud of Eric, making a go of it. His dress looked awful but at least he had good petit fours and TRIED to use his pastry skills to make the dress.
                            I picked my top and bottom three correctly as well - told DH it would be one of the ladies going home. I just couldn't decide who was worse. I thought Morgan was a leetle creepy, the way he was talking about the shoes and his dress. I liked Yigit's better.
                            Yes, I thought Sherry Yard was definately channeling Glinda, jindomommy! lol

                            1. I loved Morgan's dress, but Morgan kinda creeps me out.

                              This upcoming weekend Zach is going to be a guest at Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, ME. I'm volunteering at the event so I'm hoping that I'll get a chance to meet him.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: delong99

                                I agree with you about Morgan but I honestly try to reserve judgment in cases like this because I know the editing folks cut and paste that stuff to make them seem creepier than they may really be.

                                1. re: Manassas64

                                  Yeah, except they show him saying these things and you can't edit in something that wasn't said, or at least, as cohesively as it is on the show.

                                2. re: delong99

                                  Congratulate him on being the Top Pastry Chef and see how he reacts.

                                3. I enjoyed this episode - although I'm not that into these edible sculptures, like this and the showpiece that they did on a previous episode, I have to admire the skill that goes into making them. I thought Heather H.'s draping was amazing - as one of the judges said, it's hard for fashion designers to drape that beautifully with fabric, much less chocolate. But overall, I thought Morgan's and Yigit's dresses were more attractive, and it was no surprise when Morgan won. Heather C. and Danielle were idiots to make dresses out of vegetables. Danielle's carrot necklace, in particular, was laughable, I thought. Even if they weren't explicitly told at the outset that the dresses should be made out of dessert ingredients - c'mon, the show is called Just Desserts!