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The Next Iron Chef, Episode 3: Resourcefulness - *Spoiler Alert*

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figured i'd start a thread before everyone chimed in on the old ones with complaints ;)

- i was really relieved to see Dumont get eliminated.
- Caswell & Forgione continue to impress.
- surprised to see Estes do so well in the EC, but it doesn't make her any less annoying :)
- Ming really needs to step it up!
- Canora is obviously talented, but i'm not so sure i like his attitude (or at least the edit he's getting).
- i don't think either Tio or Chauhan has a chance at this point.

oh, and i wish they'd change up the judging a bit for the secret ingredient challenges instead of having them critique each other every week. it's getting old...though it's nice to see the way Ming Tsai speaks up to call out the strong points of so many of his fellow chefs' dishes - it speaks volumes about his character.

ok folks, have at it!

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  1. I agree the self judging was a one trick pony.

    Estes is annoying...but I think Pagan needs to go next.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

      Pagan was the second chef to go...do you mean Canora?

      1. re: chris2269

        Didn't Pagan get eliminated last week?

      2. I think the critique is done to give the show a "survivor" vibe.... make alliances etc.... I would rather the judges review the food.

        1. What was up with the fishing? Where did they go where even people who have never fished before could all catch something? Was it someplace artificially stocked with fish?

          4 Replies
          1. re: NYCkaren

            I don't believe you can "stock" the ocean with fish (like you can a freshwater lake).

            That said, I bet the producers spiked the area with sardines to make sure the area where they were fishing had ample supply of fish swimming around.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              That's what I figured. But it seemed unrealistic that the fish were so plentiful. Didn't it?

              1. re: NYCkaren

                I had that thought too. I've never been fishing anywhere where the fish are so fast and furious.

              2. re: ipsedixit

                That or divers that were putting fish on the hooks

            2. Master Chef had the same fishing challenge. Those scorpion fish look nasty, but they must cook up well, and be easy to find in LA waters.

              The flaming mixing bowl was nuts. And then Chef Tio(?) was talking about keeping the cous cous that was in the bowl after Dumont knocked it on the floor! I don't think plastic smoked makes a winning flavor addition. O_o

              1 Reply
              1. re: dach

                Scorpion fish is plentiful in SoCal waters. I don't particluarly care for it tho'. Caswell referred to it as buttery, I think that's a stretch. If it's not well cleaned it can be pretty fishy.

              2. Estes ... love child of Don Knotts and "Janet" from Threes Company.

                Glad that the artichoke incident didn't turn into a Top Chef pea redux

                6 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  "Estes ... love child of Don Knotts and "Janet" from Threes Company."

                  Thanks a lot. I forgot to wear Depends to work and now there's a real mess .... BWAH!!

                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    True, no?

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      It's her eyes and facial expression.

                      1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                        "It's her eyes and facial expression."
                        __________________________________

                        Yes, Chef Estes has her father's (Don Knott's) eyes definitely. But she takes from her mother's ("Janet") stature and hair.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I think this making fun of Chef Estes has gone a bit far. I've known Duskie and her family for about 5 years, and she's not the annoying person people think she is. She gets a lot of her spunk and confidence from her mother, who is a respected and honrs-winning physician specializing in seniors' health and care issues. They are also obviously mother and daughter. Check it out for yourself:
                          http://www.ncpssm.org/news/archive/sa...

                  2. re: ipsedixit

                    I get Mary Lou Retton.

                  3. I'm really impressed with Cawell and Forgione as well. Of all the competitors, those are the 2 that consistently produce the food I'd most like to eat.

                    I think Ming is over-thinking this whole thing.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      "I think Ming is over-thinking this whole thing."
                      ~~~~~~
                      agreed. he even said so last night!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Yeah, I think if he could just relax and cook his food the way he's comfortable he'd probably be pretty unstoppable. I can appreciate that he's trying to challenge himself and prove that he's still "got it". But sometimes when the techniques and ingredients are so ingrained that they become second nature, you don't have to prove anything, you just have to get out of your own way and give yourself permission to do what you know how to do.

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          well said. and i can certainly empathize with him - took me over 30 years to figure out how to get out of my own way ;)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I agree w/ both of you--I think he's got the skills but it's become a mind game. It's like watching the best athlete out-think himself on the courts.

                            1. re: chowser

                              There are at least 5 or 6 weeks to go, and to Ming's credit, he does seem to realize what he's doing to himself. We'll see how fast he can adapt. I wouldn't mind seeing him as an IC at all.

                              The original IC had both Chinese and Japanese chefs, so why can't ICA

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                The original IC had ONLY Asian chefs because it was a Japanese program. ICA already has the one Japanese chef.

                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                  Why couldn't/shouldn't ICA have a Chinese American chef even if they already have a Japanese one? Is there a one Asian chef per show limit in the US?

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    You misunderstood. I'm not saying they shouldn't. I was merely stating that the original IC had only Asian chefs because the program originated in Japan.

                                  2. re: mucho gordo

                                    I am well aware that the original IC had only Asian chefs since it was produced in Japan. I regularly watched IC when it originally aired. But each Asian chef had a speciality...IC Japanese, IC Chinese and IC French. IC Italian was added towards the end of the run.

                                    My point wasn't so much about the ethnicity of the chefs themselves as the represented cuisines. Sorry if that wasn't clear. ICA doesn't really designate the Iron Chefs by cuisine, tho' it's clear some have specialties. They're more like generalists rather than specialists.

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      Yes, I see now where you were talking about cuisine rather than ethnicity. The original clearly lacked "American" style but then, what foods are uniquely American? I think most of our dishes are simplified (americanized) copies of the more complex cuisines brought over by the immigrants.

                      2. As I said in another post, being personally very very familiar with Symon's cooking, and also being familiar with Canora, I suspect Symon will be unintentionally biased in that direction. I've eaten at Zazu mor times than I can count and Estes can cook up some great meals. She seems up and down on the show. Forgione is impressive, yes.

                        1. "Resourcefulness" is so intangible. Few of the chefs seems resourceful but many were innovative. Resourceful might be using something in a different way because you were limited, eg. making the small amount fish roe last. But, many chefs, like Chef Tio essentially said she was resourceful because she did the challenge. I think switching fish with someone else is more resourceful than others did and yet Forgione (it was Forgione, wasn't it) was told it was a cop out.

                          I'm not liking any of the women and that's too bad because Iron Chef could use another woman chef.

                          50 Replies
                          1. re: chowser

                            Yes, it's really too bad that the stronger competitors all seem to be male. Very disappointing.

                            1. re: NYCkaren

                              I have to disagree on the women not being strong -- I really like Estes, and am interested in Tio and the Indian woman. Dumont totally bummed me out, but there you go.

                              1. re: pitu

                                Based solely on the results of the judging, the strongest competitors in the Resourcefulness episode were men. In the last episode, a woman was in the bottom in the pickle challenge and two women were in the bottom two in the elimination challenge. Whether this means the men are stronger chefs or more liked by fans is an entirely different matter.

                                1. re: taos

                                  Estes has won the quickie challenge a few times already, and has landed in the top tier of the main event more than once. You may not like her because of her eyes (as referenced above) but that has nothing to do with the cooking challenges.

                                  1. re: pitu

                                    Forgive me if I'm wrong but by my count she has only won the "advantage" for the "secret ingredient" challenge once--the very first episode. And, on that same episode, the judges totally panned her "Chairman's Challenge" (suckling pig on the beach) dish because it was all seafood and only two tiny bites of the featured ingredient, which was badly handled via being marinated with pineapple. It was only because her seafood was delicious and the other guy's duck was boring (and, I think, badly executed, but I'm not 100% sure on that second point) that saved her.

                                    On Episode 2, she didn't win or lose anything. But she is a grown woman wearing pigtails who had the nerve to complain that she "doesn't do precious" when they told her she had too much going on her plate and that she needed to do a better job of plating (presentation is, after all, part of the score on ICA).

                                    On this most recent Episode 3, she actually got the DISADVANTAGE for the secret ingredient challenge.

                                    For the chairman's challenge, they only liked her dish second best. She was not the winner.

                                    So, the way I see it, her one "advantage" has been completely neutralized by her one "disadvantage" and her "almost win" in Ep 3 has been balanced out by her "almost got sent home" in Ep 1.

                                    I don't like her because she voted for herself as the "winner" in the first challenge. And then because she chose a suckling pig as her desert island ingredient, then confessed to us on camera she'd never cooked one before. And, then, after preaching her whole seasonal/local/sustainable message to the camera, she had the absolute gall to use only two teensy bites of the pig. Dusky's friend has told us here on Chowhound that she tried to use more of the pig, but that was "edited out". Still, results matter. And if you can't walk the walk, then don't talk the talk.

                                    And, finally, if a grown woman wears pigtails, then she better shut her trap about not wanting to be perceived as "precious." Again, she just needs to own it.

                                    I live the "local, local, local" lifestyle myself in a climate where the ground is pretty much frozen from Nov to April. It ain't easy, especially compared to what it's like in the Bay Area. And I would never dare waste a suckling pig.

                                    I'm sorry, but I just find her completely unlikable. I'm sure editing plays a part, but that's the case, then, I don't like her persona.

                                    P.S. I don't know anything about her, but I like Tio a lot.

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      i had a similar comment about the pigtails/precious issue last week :)

                                      i like the way Tio comes across as a person, but based on her performance and some of the things she's said, i just don't think she's IC material.

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Isn't Estes the only one not wearing a chef's coat of some sort?

                                        That black tee with "Support Local Food" (or whatever it says) is obnoxious and makes her seem even more conceited and juvenile.

                                        Plus, her first name is "Duskie"!!!???

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          The tee doesn't bother me. I mean, if you really believe in something, why not take every opportunity to get the word out, if they'll let you. However, she needs to also understand that choice could come at a price, that she may not be taken as seriously.

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            There's no rule that says a cheftestant must wear chef jackets.

                                            The black tee she wears is the tee she, her husband, and their staffers regularly wear at their 2 restaurants, Zazu and Bovolo, both of which are named on the back of the tee. You can see that whenever they get a back shot of her. (Note that all of the chefs wear jackets with their restaurants names on them.) And I understand that Michael Symon has one of those tees now, so...

                                            Duskie and John Stewart, her husband, are very dedicated to the local food movement. It's neither conceited nor juvenile. It's being serious enough about an issue to take advantage of being on national tv to promote the concept to viewers.

                                            As for her name, yes, her given name is Duskie. If you want to comment about names, keep in mind what Jamie Oliver has named his 4 kids...

                                            1. re: cmvan

                                              gosh, THANK YOU cmvan. I like the t-shirt, and appreciate that she is using this national platform for something meaningful (to me), Local Food n Farms. Why would you prefer a chef jacket with a restaurant name? And how the heck is a very plain t-shirt considered pretentious??

                                              TDQ, the pigtails read as down-to-earth farmer-y to me -- I've seen (and sported) that look among the women who are practical and don't wear make-up for years. The "precious" thing she refers to is about fancy minimalist plating. She was criticized by Donatella for putting too much jam in the side jars. It's a different restaurant styling than haute.

                                              Was she not #2 in the most recent challenge? I caught up with the last two episodes together, so I'm not sure...but in one of them, she was a breath away from winning the main challenge.

                                              1. re: pitu

                                                Yes, she was #2 from the top in the most recent challenge, but she was also the 2nd from the bottom in the beach challenge. She's won an advantage; she's earned a disadvantage. My point is that she appears to be exactly as bad as she is good. (I don't know anything about her or her restaurant aside from what I've seen on the show and read on these threads.)

                                                I see your point #2, about the plating, but still can't get beyond the pigtails. Children wear them, not grown women. I've encountered many farmers in my life and don't remember any wearing pigtails, but I don't rub elbows with farmers every day, so, maybe it's a part of the ethos I've missed.

                                                But, that's just one of the many things rub me the wrong way about her. I gave her a pass after the first episode hoping she'd redeem herself later (she did seem humbled near the end of the first episode), but she hasn't done much that made me want to like her. Ming Tsai gets contrite when the judges point out his mistakes. Duskie (sorry about misspelling of her name above) gets petulant.

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: pitu

                                                  Also re: Duskie - I don't know if any of the other chefs did something like this, but Duskie and her husband did a charity dinner and viewing for the first show, where the proceeds went to a local charity, The Ceres Project.

                                                  From the Ceres website - "Our integrated approach brings teens into the kitchen to learn about growing, preparing and eating healthy foods through serving as the program’s chefs. Each year, they prepare thousands of beautiful, delicious and organic meals for individuals and families facing cancer and other life threatening illnesses. The families receive vital nourishment along with the loving support of the community."

                                                  Another example of Duskie's commitment to local food / farm-to-table.

                                                  Since the first show, they're doing a special Sunday night get-together at their restaurant Zazu, so that friends, family and regulars can watch the second showing with Duskie (since she doesn't have a tv, she, John and their 2 daughters watch the early showing at a friend's). And then, every Monday, they're serving up at Zazu what she made in the previous night's challenges.

                                                  Pretty cool. I'd be curious if the others are doing similar things.

                                                  I also wonder if any of the other chefs who have kids have had this happen, too - I understand that now, when Duskie's 2 young daughters want to leave somewhere, they've started using the phrase "chefs- put it down and walk away". Love it!

                                                  1. re: cmvan

                                                    cmvan,

                                                    I don't think anyone is saying that Estes isn't a good person. I could care less whether she is a good person, or the devil incarnate.

                                                    It's just that her persona, demeanor and attitude -- at least for me -- on the show is grating, sort of like the cooking show contest equivalent of the nails scratching the proverbial chalkboard.

                                                    Good person =/= likeable person.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      That's my feeling, too. I have no doubt Sandra Lee is a nice person and does good things. But, there's the way you come off on TV that forms people's opinions of them.

                                                      As the t-shirt goes, it doesn't bother me but it's more important, IMO, to walk the walk and let your actions speak for themselves. She might be doing it in real life but I don't get it from the show.

                                                2. re: cmvan

                                                  I had to look up Oliver's kids' names after this, so for those also curious:" Jamie Oliver has explained who comes up with the unusual names for his kids — his wife, Jools.

                                                  Speaking to guest host Sharon Osbourne on ITV 1′s Lorraine, Oliver was asked who dreamt up the name Buddy Bear Maurice for his 2-week-old son.

                                                  “That would be my wife,” the chef, 35, replied. “Jools is definitely in charge of the names and we’re probably quite lucky it was a boy really, because we were out of names [for] girls.”

                                                  Already dad to daughters Poppy Honey Rosie, 8½, Daisy Boo Pamela, 7, Petal Blossom Rainbow, 18 months, having a boy has taken some getting used to, Oliver admits...."

                                                  I'm embarrassed to admit the first time through I read the first daughter as "poopy"!

                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                Wow, nice recap. You have a far better memory than I do! That "precious" comment bothered me. I was surprised that that was her take on what the judges said about presentation. Plating is important and that doesn't mean "precious." And, then after saying that, she turned around this week and paid attention to plating. Does she, or doesn't she? It's great that she's taking their advice but why the snarky "precious" comment? It came off as feeling superior that she was above it.

                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  You're right, plating *is* important in IC. I can't imagine any of the IC's or their competetors putting out three big crocks with jam or whatever it was in them. Elegance is part of the whole effect.

                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Aren't the pigtails just to keep her hair back?

                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                    and why are her pigtails more offensive than Chef Tio's, which are just further back and longer. I for one don't really care how one wears her hair, or tatoos their arms, regardless of whether I would do it myself.

                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                      Yes, the other women have their hair pulled away from their faces. Duskie is the only one who has them sticking out the side pippy longstocking style, though I notice she has them pulled back and more away from her face in the opening credits and promos, which is a little more mature. [I don't recommending going to the food network site at all if you haven't seen the episode yet] http://www.foodnetwork.com/chefs/dusk...

                                                      I don't have a fundamental objection to her hair style as much I has I have an objection to a person whose actions contradict their words. Her profile on the FN sites says "She is a proponent of "snout-to-tail" cooking — nothing shall be wasted." It even says she raises mangalitsa pigs on her farm. She preaches local and seasonal and claims that she is "authentically farm to table", but chooses a suckling pig as her desert island incredient, then confesses she's never cooked it, then botches it so badly that she only uses two tiny bites of said pig in each serving, to the point where the judges basically declare it a seafood dish.

                                                      She says she "doesn't do precious" but wears pigtails child style. Oh, but wait, in the next episode she does change her plating in order to win, so maybe she does do precious after all, or is willing to "change who she is" in order to win.

                                                      And, I'm sorry, I found her voting for herself to be arrogant, especially when she really didn't seem to have the chops to perform consistently. You can perceive it the way you want and I'll perceive it the way I want. If it was a "strategic" move, all it did in my opinion is put a target on her back, and, for me and perhaps some of her peers, made her unlikeable.

                                                      I only responded in this thread because pitu was claiming that people didn't like her " because of her eyes (as referenced above) but that has nothing to do with the cooking challenges" and I was pointing out that, no, some people dislike her for reasons having to do with her actual behavior on the show.

                                                      I'm sure she is a lovely person and the food at her restaurant is wonderful. If she really is operating her restaurant the way she says in her bio, then I think that's fantastic and I support that, especially if her food tastes great. But, it is hard to gain much confidence in her based solely on how she appears on television which, once again, I acknowledge could be strongly twisted by editing. I don't find her fun to watch.

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        Arrogant? Try chef Canora. He's really starting to rub me the wrong way. Clearly thinks he's better than the other chefs there. That may, or may not, be the case. Don't know how much I would watch his battles if he does, indeed, win.

                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                          Agreed. My favs are Tio and Forgione. I have a soft spot for Ming Tsai for reasons I can't explain.

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            no need to explain about Ming, i think most of us are with you on that :)

                                                            i've had doubts about Tio all along - i'll be curious to see whether her performance yesterday was an exception, or if she can continue to be strong in the coming weeks. Forgione grows on me more each week, and i still like Caswell.

                                                            i'd like to see Chauhan and Canora go next.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              Oh I like Caswell, too!

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                          2. re: DiningDiva

                                                            I thought that last night, too (maybe that's another thread because it's a new episode). He was almost rude to the other chefs w/ his take on "transformation." Turning steak sauce into steak seems like a great transformation to me.

                                                            I'm liking Chef Tio more and more. She might be the one to watch.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              I thought the steak sauce into steak was pretty interesting. He actually transformed the whole dish. Way better execution than chocolate/mayo pudding <g>

                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                That was my thought, too! Mayo and chocolate was fine for him, but not the steak sauce into steak, steak into cheese, cheese into sauce which was so clever? And, mayo is way too easy to use in a dessert (eggs and oil are the basis of so many desserts), why do something like mayo and chocolate to make pudding? He seemed to come down on everyone about what "transforming" means.

                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  My point exactly. He may be the nicest guy in the world, but the last two episodes he's been pretty overbearing. After Chef Tio won the battle he said there were many other plates that were better than hers. Sour grapes? What a jerk.

                                                          3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            Hmmm. TDQ, we have strong differing reactions...Estes voting for herself didn't bother me at all, and she *read* as someone I'd like. There's something about getting off on the wrong or right foot that colors how you view everything, right? (FWIW, some of the trashing of Estes based on her looks has been deleted by the board managers.)

                                                            With a short time frame, I wouldn't expect her to cook a whole pig, and for that reason I don't think it reflects on her living up to her cooking philosophy. In general, I'm concerned about the negative reaction people have to the farm food people -- why "preachy" to you and down to earth to me? I'm reminded of that marathon 60 Minutes Alice Waters thread...

                                                            1. re: pitu

                                                              "With a short time frame, I wouldn't expect her to cook a whole pig"
                                                              ~~~~~~~
                                                              perhaps not, but Canora and Tsai managed to use a lot more of the pig than she did, given the same amount of time.

                                                              FWIW, my comment about Estes' pigtails was not to trash her appearance - i just saw irony in her comment about preciousness in light of her choice of hairstyle.

                                                              1. re: pitu

                                                                I'm sorry pitu, I've articulated myself at length, point by point, as clearly and sincerely as I could about Duskie's behavior that I found annoying over the course of several episodes. I don't have anything new to add to what I've already said. Her behavior combined with her uneven performance made it hard for me to want to continue to watch her. My impressions of the various contestants have evolved--some for the better, some for the worse--over the course of the four episodes (except for Ming, towards whom I am favorably biased for reasons I can't articulate--star struck perhaps?). There are several contestants I prefer to Duskie, as well as a couple others I've no desire to watch more of. We are all entitled to be inspired by whomever we want to in life and I'm glad you found someone you like in Duskie.

                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7412...
                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7412...
                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7412...

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: pitu

                                                                  First impressions are important. I said after the first episode that her voting for herself, especially the big deal made about it (not only by her) bothered me as did her comment about using seasonal produce and wanting to use cherries two ways because they were in season but then using dried cherries as one of the two. And, then to top if off, asking for the pig but then barely using it (and poorly, at that) seemed wrong in the face of sustainability. None of the offenses, in and of themselves, were horrible but altogether gave me a lesser impression of her. I'm a big believer in sustainability/local farms. She talked about it constantly but never seemed to live it, on the show. Granted, it could be editing but that's all we have to judge from.

                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                    Knowing Duskie personally, I have to say that one thing that made me worry about her chances is that she and her family do not have a tv, so she's extremely naive when it comes to this type of show. If she'd waited to say yes to the producers until she could watch previous seasons on the dvd's they sent her to watch on her computer, would she still have agreed to be on the show? Maybe. Duskie is spirited and loves competition.

                                                                    One final comment about the hair. She typically wears a broad headband to keep her hair back while she cooks in the restaurant.. Why she didn't wear it on the show, I don't know. And she had a man-style short cut (like many women chefs, ie Elizabeth Falkner) when I first met her. If she'd had that cut during TNIC, she probably would have gotten criticized for that...

                                                                    1. re: cmvan

                                                                      And yet, another inconsistency with Duskie. Why would someone who doesn't even own a television think it's a good idea to compete on a television game show where the prize is a permanent spot on the roster of another television game show? If she's so anti-TV, then why is she even appearing on TV? This is the sort of inconsistency that frustrates me about her. I'm sure everyone told her it would be great press for her restaurant (and, it probably is--I'd never heard of her restaurant. And, if I were in town, I probably would look her restaurant up), but, yeah, it seems they lured in someone who didn't understand how editing works on these kinds of shows.

                                                                      I do feel a little bad for her. But, hopefully she got what she wanted out of the experience.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: cmvan

                                                                        Interesting that she would have chosen this venue if she doesn't like TV. OTOH, maybe she wasn't that interested in winning but seeing how she might do off the fly? It seems that if you're competing, you'd want to know what you were competing for and about, just as applying for any job. Reality TV is vicious and I'd hate to jump in with both eyes shut.

                                                                        As her hair goes, it's an awkward length (I have the same) so I can see the two pony tails, though I wouldn't do it. It's too short to pull into one pony tail in back but you need to get it out of your face. I wouldn't wear a hair net. I don't think she would have gotten criticized for short hair, many contestants have had them. Two pony tails are just unusual for women but whatever, it doesn't bother me one way or another.

                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                          But she's said on camera, at least twice including once at the end of episode 4, how much she wants to win. It's just one of many things to me that seems contradictory about her.

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                              2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                There's a certain length of women's hair that doesn't make it into a single pony tail in the back, but that can be easily pulled up into two pigtails on the side.

                                                                It was a bit offensive when she voted for herself, but, hey, it is a competition and it was a tactic, but not a very effective strategy.

                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                  and as I recall when she voted for herself, it didn't "give her the win" did it? Hadn't she already wrapped that up?

                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                    It wasn't a great idea and it didn't do her any favors.

                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                      exactly, so I wonder why on earth she did it, since she didn't "need" to

                                                                      1. re: DGresh

                                                                        I think she's playing emotionally and impulsively rather than strategically. There's nothing really wrong with that except that she exposes herself to being edited badly because she might say something before really thinking it through that could turn around and bite her later.

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        2. re: pitu

                                                          I have to agree with the negative Duskie comments. If you put yourself on a reality show, you have to know that anything you can can be construed any way the editors want, so you're best off taking the high road. Also, if you put yourself on TV you know people are going to pick apart everything about you, so style your hair like a responsible adult, wear clean clothes, suck in. I told my friend to remind me if I ever go on a reality show to go to a stylist first, and she informed me she would never permit me to go on a reality show. She's right.

                                                          The "precious" thing bugged me, too. There's a midpoint between precious and just slopping food on the plate.

                                                          1. re: Parrotgal

                                                            I know someone who was a finalist (as in almost chosen for) a reality show. They said the contract was pretty harsh; things like they could represent you any way they chose, they could hire people to play your family members. I know people always say it's the editing but if you don't say it, it can't be used against you.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              Wow, I hadn't heard they hire people to play your family. That's a riot.

                                                              A decade ago, I gave people a pass when they were shocked and hurt by the "inaccurate" way in which they were portrayed on a reality show, but no more. Anyone who participates in "reality" TV in 2010 has to know that editing can dramatically skew the portrayal that the viewing public sees.

                                                              But, it's true, if you don't say it, it can't be used against you. But, I have heard of TV shows where contestants have claimed that they were edited wildly out of context, where what was aired showed a contestant "reacting" to something completely different than what they were reacting to, etc. I think that's lousy, actually, but, once again, this is 2010. Honestly, I cut no slack for anyone who claims "bad editing". That's why I pretty much shrugged my shoulders to hear Duskie say she tried to use all of the suckling pig but that part got edited out.

                                                              You don't want to be edited, don't be on reality TV. I'm sorry if that's harsh, but it's how I feel.

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                I don't think they always hire your family members but I think they reserve to right to do it. I told them I want to be able to pick who plays me!

                                                                The thing with these shows is that alcohol is free flowing and people will say stupid things and they're obviously asked leading questions. You have no control over what happens. But, you can also play it smart, especially at this point,as you said, when everyone knows there's a lot of editing.

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  I as guilty as the next guy, but that being the case, I think we might want to be a little more compassionate toward the way people are portrayed. It just might not reflect who they are or what they actually said or did.

                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                    In the second to last sentence of my long post above (before the P.S.), I completely acknowledge that a lot of what I'm reacting to could be editing and her "persona" http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7412..., but, I'm sorry, I don't think I should have to go too far out of my way to show a lot of compassion for someone who might not get a fair edit on a television game show, the winner of which receives a permanent spot on another television game show. This is about entertainment, pure and simple. The way I'm "entertained" by her persona is that I'm rooting for her to go home so she'll get off my television and I can watch more of the people whose personas are less annoying to me.

                                                                    It's not the same as wondering. for instance, if Alice Waters was accurately portrayed on her 60 Minutes interview.

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                      I don't mean to be Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and I'm "entertained" by all the same stuff. It's just that it might not be an accurate portrayal of who they are.

                                                                      And, BTW, I do know someone who was run through the ringer -- totally inaccurately and unfairly -- by a 60 Minutes segment. Similarly 20/20. While television, whether entertainment or news, does have the last word, it's not always the truth.

                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                        Oh, I completely agree with you. But, I do think that it's more serious when a "news" program doesn't present a balanced story vs. when an entertainment program does not. 60 Minutes does call itself "news" so, if someone was unfairly portrayed, I think that is a great disservice to the public, and the person, of course.

                                                                        I only started watching Food Network in the past few years. (Before that, I did not have cable.) And, at first, I thought Iron Chef was "real", that the secret ingredient was unveiled on the spot and that the chefs had NO IDEA what the secret ingredient might be and no opportunity to plan. I thought they were coming up with all of those dishes on the spot, which I thought was amazing. Now I know better of course. But wouldn't it be great if "reality" TV tried harder to be closer to reality? Yes! But, unfortunately, that's not how reality TV has evolved and not how our expectations are set.

                                                                        This is why I would never appear on a reality TV show. However, if a family member were ever on reality TV, I would request that the part of TDQ be played by a young Michelle Pfeifer. :).

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                          "Now I know better of course."

                                                                          Wait....WHAT???

                                                                          (smile...sort of....)

                                                      2. Noticed a comment or two in the past about this, but not to sound chauvenistic but the males seem much better than the females in this version again. I was actually hoping the other way- that there would be another female iron chef because there should be.
                                                        Thinking back to some of the IC competitors, some had such strong showings that they really ought to have been brought back as a contestant on NICA.