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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #4 - 12/22/10 (Spoilers)

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Previews show someone *else* cutting themselves. Great. And Tom C. talking at JT re: Angelo potentially sabotaging his teammates - interesting! And Mike Isabella says his biggest competition is Angelo? Yeah, I think there are a few more in the competition that can take you, Mike I! LOL

So we're into the holidays with this episode - sort of. Of course, this was all filmed about 3 months ago, so they get to pretend it's the holidays! For the Quickfire, the cheftestants have to create a holiday stuffing dish....but without the benefits of ANY kitchen tools or knives. This ought to be interesting!

Tiffani F. says "Stuffing is regionally specific...it's house specific...it's MOTHER-specific!" And boy, how true that is! She says stuffing in her house belongs to her mother - she's not allowed into the kitchen, and when she comes back into the house - Jedi-effing stuffing has been made. Isn't that the way many dishes appear when Mom's making them? :-)

Guest Judge is Tony Mantuano, chef/owner of Spiaggia in Chicago, and also a TC Masters 2 contestant. Winner will get immunity and $20,000.

When Padma says go, everyone rushes like a madman into the storeroom to grab food items - except for Carla. Her zen-like entry and refusal to shove others aside leaves her with quinoa to use.

It's fun watching the cheftestants not be able to use their typical tools and knives - Fabio grates cheese for his polenta stuffing on a pot rack - ingenious! They use jar lids for spoons, celery to stir things in pots. Any port in a storm! LOL

Carla's slow entry into the storeroom leaving her with quinoa gives her not enough time to cook it - so she calls it Un-done-te quinoa, instead of al dente. She then asks Tony if he needs floss to get the undone quinoa out of his teeth. :-) She said she knew it wasn't a $20,000 dish - it wasn't even a 20 cent dish!

Bottom group - Carla, Tiffani, and Casey.

Top Group - Tre and Marcel...Tre's Southwestern dish looked REALLY good! And he's the winner! YAY!!!

Elimination Challenge is cooking at the U.S. Open. Healthy, high energy food. They choose tennis ball cans to choose teams - Team Orange or Team Yellow. Each team member cooks individually, but they work towards getting a point for their team. First team to 4 points wins. Someone from the losing team is going to be outta there!

The teams are trying to decide how dishes will be served - best dish up first to gain points? Or save them for the end?

Team Orange - Marcel, Dale, Antonia, Carla, Mike, Richard, and Fabio
Team Yellow - Tre, Tiffani, Angelo, Casey, Spike, Jamie and Tiffany

Chef Colicchio comes in to talk to them, but no one from Team Yellow is giving up their strategy, as members of Team Orange are hovering (Antonia!) and can listen in.

And YOWCH! Carla cuts half her nailbed off, and while the medics are saying go to the hospital, she won't go - Dale Talde said, like a professional, she bandaged it up and she stays to cook! Unlike Jamie...which was mentioned yet again. Good for Carla!

And they head onto the tennis court to serve - with still no idea whose dishes are going up against each other. The teams are divided to each side of the court, so they have no idea how the other chefs are doing. Professional tennis player, Taylor Dent, is the special guest.

First up - Casey vs. Fabio. While Casey's dish looked beautiful, Fabio wins the serve and gets the first point for Team Orange. And he goes bonkers - no surprise! LOL

Next, Marcel thought he was going, but Dale Talde needs to go because of his dish. Dale's up against Tiffani Faison. And Tiffani gets the point for Team Yellow. Score is 15-all. :-)

Yellow sends Angelo, and Orange sends Marcel. And Angelo wins over Marcel for Team Yellow. Marcel bitches that Angelo always plates on a spoon - "are you effing kidding me?" Come on, Marcel...grow UP, please? Stop being such a baby about losing!

Next is Antonia vs. Tiffany Derry. It goes down to Tom C's final decision, and Antonia gets a point for Team Orange - score is 30-all.

And now it's Spike vs. Richard Blais - Jamie's dish is STILL not cooked! Angelo added yuzu gelee to Spike's dish? Wow. Where does Angelo get off changing someone else's dish? And Richard's lamb wins - Team Orange is up 40-30.

Now it's Carla vs. Tre. Tre has immunity, so this could be it for Team Yellow if he loses. Angelo offers to help Tre, and while Tre would rather do it himself, he *is* a team player. So he asks Angelo to cook off the salmon...does he overbaste it? Please tell me Angelo didn't screw up Tre's dish? Gail Simmons said that Tre's salmon, while seasoned perfectly, was overdone. And Carla wins, meaning Team Orange WINS! I wonder if this is the "sabotage" that will be referred to.

So Jamie's "worst dish" *never* gets to go up - and she said in a confessional that "I think I got really lucky - my dish never had to go up, and since we won, I won't be going home!" Wow.

Dancing and cheering are done in the Stew Room while waiting for the judges; Marcel playing the bucket, Mike I. playing the spoons, and Casey, Tiffani, Tiffany and Antonia doing some interesting dancing and/or cheering - TOO funny!

Mike I. asks Jamie in the Stew Room if she was disappointed in not plating - she said yes and no. She was bummed she didn't get to present her dish. Unsaid was "but I'm glad I didn't, as we might have lost, so that's a good thing for me!"

Fabio, Richard, Antonia, and Carla are all called in to Judges Table - they all scored points, and they are the top...the winner out of the 4 of them will win a trip to Italy! The winning dish goes to Carla! Hootey-WHO!!!! WTG, girl!

The Yellow Team chefs who lost points are sent in - Casey, Tiffany Derry, Spike and Tre are in the Bottom 4. We know Tre can't go home, so it's among the other three.

Back in the Stew Room, Richard tells Jamie "you have a story going on now" and Jamie says she's trying NOT to be offended by what he said..."What exactly is my story?" Yeah, you've got a story - you've twice avoided cooking anything to be judged, and yet you remain, Jamie!

In front of the Judges, Spike pretty much says that Jamie's dish was the worst, and should have gone up. Yet Tom Colicchio said "if she had the worst dish, she should be here, and yet she's not!"

INTERESTING! Tony Mantuano said that Tre's fish was overcooked AND oily - would that have come from overbasting by Angelo? It sounds like they might have sent him home if he didn't have immunity! And Spike's dish with the added yuzu (an Angelo "touch") was not well received. That's TWO dishes that Angelo could have effed up?

OK, we're back to Judges Table with the bottom group. Not sure who based on what Tom C. said is going - Tiffany with her bland fish?

Oh wow - it's Spike who's leaving. I was kind of hoping he'd stay - he's been much better this season than he was on his season. But as Casey said in the Stew Room, you have to be responsible for your own dish. (Ironic, since she was instrumental in screwing up Carla's dish in that season! LOL)

So I guess where we saw Tom C. saying something about sabotage was a throw-away line - it didn't make it into the final cut! I hate when the Elves do that.

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  1. LOL I love any edit that makes Jamie look like the mediocre cook she is. whaaaaa i cut my finger. Whaa I don't wat to work on a single dish with my team mates.

    1. Jamie says I hope I will not have to Plate? Really really go home please...

      3 Replies
      1. re: chris2269

        Even worse, she DIDN'T have to plate because her frickin' chickpeas weren't cooked, and they never sent her up! But because everyone else did well, she still "wins!" Spike was right - her dish *should* have gone up first and just taken the loss of that point!

        1. re: LindaWhit

          And didn't we see her hiding when they were deciding who was goin up next? Looks like both Jamie and Angelo have strategies - of sorts.

        2. re: chris2269

          Wow I wish I could participate in a competition and not participate. Maybe I can run a marathon and not run it

        3. Jamie is way too lucky in this competition. 1st she leaves and now she doesnt even put up a dish.
          http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: tldmatrix

            Just goes to show that TC is really less about culinary acumen and more about how to game the system.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Not more, but susceptible to gamesmanship.

              jb

          2. They should have had the most gifted tennis player of all time, and 4 time US Open champ John McEnroe be a judge. "Undercooked quinoa? You cannot be serious!"

            10 Replies
            1. re: jackbauer

              LOL McEnroe would have been awsome...probably would have smashed something.

              1. re: chris2269

                Jamie didn't make up the rules to the challenge. If they wanted her to go first she would have gone fist.
                Spike deserved to go, he blamed everyone but himself, the whole thing was orchestrated by him.

                1. re: tofuburrito

                  "They" (her team) wanted her to go first, but she said no, the chickpeas weren't done. Everyone else should have said she needed to go up and take one for the team! She essentially had a way longer time to cook her dish, and yet she still didn't present anything to the judges.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I had the TV on mute for about 30 seconds for a phone call so I may have missed her refusal. It still makes sense to me that she would want to wait until the end if her food needed more time to cook and the only one I heard say that she had the weakest dish was Spike. I'm sure she didn't think she had the weakest dish.
                    They should have just finished off the challenge because not only was Jamie not eligible for elimination, Mike didn't get a chance at the trip to Italy.

                    1. re: tofuburrito

                      Oh, I think she was literally hiding, ducking down at one point. She knew her dish was "worst" because it wasn't cooked.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I think the "hiding" was probably a bit of editing fun from the magic elves. Played out nicely, tho.

                        1. re: Pylon

                          I believe someone remarked that Jamie was no where to be found more than once during the selection process. If I'm remembering correctly, then Jamie's hiding was precisely what the Elves' editing suggest it is -- not reaching for an ingredient that the Elves use in such a way to suggest purposeful hiding.

                          1. re: Indy 67

                            I don't know. I mean, it's not like she left the arena, right? How hard could it have been to find her if she was really "hiding"?

                            1. re: Indy 67

                              When Spike was walking back to the team after his loss there was a 'voice over' (his voice) saying he was pissed etc and that he was especially upset because Jamie was nowhere to be found. The next frame we see is of Jamie crouching behind a table with just the top of her head visible.

                2. re: jackbauer

                  If McEnroe was one of the judges, then they would've needed Jen to still be around.

                  That way, Mac could've gotten a taste of his own medicine ...

                3. i really didnt like the way the rules were set up on this elimination challenge. obviously if you think your dish isnt even good enough to serve, then you think your dish is the worst on the team. by saying in essence, "i cant serve it yet or i will for sure lose" that should automatically be putting you at the bottom of the team!!

                  1. In the first episode of TC8 Bourdain said Spike was the craftiest m*fer in the history of Top Chef. Tonight Spike has lost that title to Jaimie.

                    1. After this episode, who's going to be hated more? Angelo or Jamie?

                      Who's more despicable? A saboteur or a weasel?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I don't think we have to worry about Jamie for too much longer. Clearly she isn't an upper echelon chef, and will undoubtedly PYKAG long before the final.

                        On the other hand, Angelo may well sabatoge his way much further into this competition. Hopefully they are all on their guard around him now...

                      2. Livid. Absolutely livid. Who constructs a challenge wherein not all contestants get evaluated? It's absolute bullshit that not every dish was tasted. Horrible, horrible, horrible production decision.

                        @ipsedixit, Jamie for me, until she starts competing for real. Argh!!!

                        Happy that Carla won.

                        Loved the openness of the challenge.

                        Hate hate hate hate that not every dish was tasted and judged.

                        Thx for the recap Linda.

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: debbiel

                          Yeah, I'm really disliking that Jamie's slid by TWICE without being judged. I understand they were patterning the points after a tennis match, but come ON - she doesn't put something up by pure happenstance that her beans weren't cooked? She should have been penalized for that! Why no time limit on cooking time with this challenge? Essentially Jamie had a MUCH longer time to cook than anyone else, and yet her stuff STILL wasn't judged.

                          They're going to catch a boatload of shite for this one.

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Yup. This was possibly the worst designed elimination challenge ever. Has there been a challenge prior to this in which not every dish was judged? Foolish. Yes, the rest of the team should have stood up to her. But, it should not have been an issue. Bad, bad, bad challenge.

                            1. re: debbiel

                              Not only were not all dishes judged, but it was set up that way. Remember, it was first to 4 wins (essentially a best of 7), with 8 on each side. There was no way they would taste each dish.

                              1. re: Pylon

                                Yes Pylon, that is one of my complaints. I can't fathom why they would design a challenge in that way.

                                1. re: debbiel

                                  It accomplished what it was intended to do, I think, which was to introduce strategy. I didn't mind it all that much.

                                  1. re: Pylon

                                    I also thought it was interesting. But it seems that really the best strategy is to be on the winning team to avoid it even being an issue as to who is going home. So putting someone poor on your team to go up first makes the stakes that much more dangerous for you if you end up being on the losing side of a pair a bit later on.

                                  2. re: debbiel

                                    Whoops. Someone pointed out (and is written up correctly) that there were 7 pairs, not 8. So they would all have served if it went the distance.

                                    1. re: Pylon

                                      Oh, I just got it. "Served food." "Served the ball." I'm a little slow today. [shaking her head] Bear with me.

                                  3. re: Pylon

                                    Was Mike's the other dish that didn't get served?

                                    1. re: momjamin

                                      yes, and it doesn't seem fair that he wasn't in the running for the win & the prize simply through luck of the draw. i didn't get the sense that he was purposely avoiding serving his dish the way Jamie was, it just played out that way...though i guess one could argue that he should have spoken up and volunteered to present at some point.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        yes, GHG, i agree, because if Mike thought his dish was the winning dish, he would have insisted on his going earlier instead of waiting - when he must have known it had no chance of being tasted - i mean, they all knew that, so i kind of feel that those who didn't push for their dishes to be up next were playing it safe, which is as much a strategy as Angelo futzing with other people's dishes. um, well, Jamie was more than playing it safe - she was totally cowardly hiding!

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          because if Mike thought his dish was the winning dish, he would have insisted on his going earlier instead of waiting
                                          ______
                                          Not necessarily. That could have been a part of the team's strategy. I'm not positive, but I believe the chefs didn't know there would be a big prize for winning until they were called in to the judges table, so Mike, not knowing what he was missing out on, might have been trying to save a strong dish for last just in case his team needed the win.

                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            Not necessarily. The team did not have much faith in Carla's dish. I suspect they wanted to save the better dish for the end in case Carla's dish lost.

                                2. re: debbiel

                                  I imagine that they needed to anticipate the possibiity of "deuce" with a last "No Ad" team.

                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                    That would've been more interesting than anything else. "Ad" points can go on, in theory, into perpetuity. What would've happened then?

                                3. I just read Tom's blog and think he's off. This challenge should have never ever ever been set up this way. Every competitor's dish must must must be tasted and judged. Yes, strategy is fun, but it should not control the game. Silly, silly, silly episode.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: debbiel

                                    Debbie, I so agree with you!!

                                    I have only read the post up to this one, but am shocked that you and I are the only ones who seem outraged by this ridiculous, and totally unfair challenge!

                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                      While I happen to agree that it was a stupid challenge it was set up that way to develop friction between the contestants. Let's see if they go all 'Lord of the Flies' on Jaimie for however long she is still there.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        Yeah, it's Top Chef, not Top Cop-out.;-)

                                  2. Linda, I think you misquoted Jaimie because her team did not win.

                                    I think the best strategy would have been to put up your best dishes first and get the points needed to win the match and not worry about the other team. Spike tried to strategize during TC 4 and it didn't always work.

                                    Angelo didn't change Spike's dish without permission. He and Tiffani tasted Spike's dish and said it needed something. Spike should have had the 'nads to say no. He lost because he screwed up the shrimp, not because of anything Angelo did.

                                    14 Replies
                                    1. re: John E.

                                      Yeah I was confused about those Jamie and "winning team" remarks and had to make sure she was on the losing team. I didn't mind her before but she's definitely my least favorite there.

                                      And yes ALLDAYY, Angelo is super tall.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        Oh, dagnabbit. Thanks John. And sorry everyone else. (Wish I could correct my OP 10 hours later!)

                                        Re: Spike's dish - the yuzu gelee *was* mentioned by one of the judges - I think Tony Mantuano said something? It seemed unnecessary. But yes, the shrimp weren't cooked properly.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          whatever angelo's yuzu addition, if it was unnecessary, there seemed to be consensus the broth was good, so my take is yuzu did not hurt it, and the dish was ppyag worthy entirely because of badly done shrimp. Shrimp was all spike. Angelo, and others, knew spike's was a weak, so did try to kick it up with yuzu. Adding salt to already done, tasty broth, only makes salty broth with still bland shrimp

                                          The gamesmanship was entirely sending spike instead of jamie. Basically the team chose who to protect: jamie or spike.

                                          What if spike flat out refused? Maybe he did, and he got voted up to serve by his team. Possibly spike as the less likeable contestant between him and Jamie, both with the worst dish of all losers on the losing team

                                          Props to angelo for winning his head's-up match with begged for tuna amuse bouche after deciding to not use his original slimy mackerel.

                                          1. re: dach

                                            I agree that Spike went home because he cooked bad shrimp. The elves want us to think Angelo is a sabotuer. I don't think so, but just in case he's not touching my dish.

                                            As for protecting Jamie I don't think so. They sent up what they thought was their next best dish, a dish with a chance to win. Jamie's would have gone down in flames along with their team.

                                            jb

                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                              "The elves want us to think Angelo is a sabotuer. I don't think so, but just in case he's not touching my dish."
                                              ______
                                              +1. He didn't really have anything to gain by sabotaging his teammates at that point, and according to the judges, his fiddling with Spike's dish didn't have a whole lot of bearing on the dish or its reception.

                                              Also agreed that Spike's dish went out instead of Jamie's because his team was still trying to win. Though if Spike had thought about it a little harder, he might have realized that there was almost no chance of Jamie winning the next round either, so it was actually kind of a moot point. Still, I think that was their logic at the time. They seemed sort of confused, honestly.

                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                            @LW, it wasn't the way the shrimp were cooked, it was the seasoning - everyone said they were bland.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              That was a little confusing actually. He overcooked his first batch of shrimp, so he re-did them. They had him on camera saying for the second batch, he didn't have time to marinate them, etc. the second time. So, that's likely why they were bland.

                                              ~TDQ

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                ghg, Tom C.'s blog actually said it was both the yuzu and underseasoning:

                                                "Spike has to reconcile himself to being responsible for not preventing his teammates from tweaking his dish. He should have been decisive about it. Again, perhaps the evening might have gone differently. Adding the yuzu was a mistake, as was Spike’s failure to better season his shrimp."

                                                He also addresses the Jamie issue and realizes she (Jamie) went back on her agreement with her team to send out the worst dish.

                                                "Once again, I have to address Jamie and her lack of contribution to the challenge. Having seen the whole episode, I recognize that she agreed the night before to the team’s decision to put the weakest dish out first … and then balked and simply refused to put her food out. But the rest of the team should have said to her, “Jamie, that was the decision. You’re going out.” And when we called for them to say whose dish was up first, they should simply have called back, “Jamie’s.” End of story. She would have had to abide by the group’s decision … and perhaps the results would have been different. But the team didn’t do that, and they have to reconcile themselves to their role in that."

                                                So the team is just as at fault in not sending out Jamie's dish, whether she wanted it to go out or not. Fair enough.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  I agree. When they didn't send Jamie's (the weakest) dish out first, as they'd previously agreed, and when the other team didn't send Richard out first as they'd expected, I think their whole "strategy" went down the tubes and they just didn't know what to do.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    I agree that the team is also at fault for not sending her out. I still place greatest blame on the producers for the structure of the challenge. But I'll stop complaining about it now. :)

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      Not defending Jamie but as always Tom wants it both ways. You have to abide by the groups decision but if the group re-packages your dish you PYKAG.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        I dunno -- here's what I saw: The Group didn't actually ALL decide/agree on that strategy -- Spike and Angelo were very into it, red head Tiffany had a line from the nighttime discussion about wasting the other team's best w/their weakest which might have been part of the processing of the idea. (Fear of Blais in full effect, and wtf, that assumes the other team will send out strongest first, whatever that means. Simpleminded strategy.)

                                                        Tre and all the women except red head Tiffany all kinda shrugged it off in that way you do when you don't want to start a fight with someone about something they are jazzed about but you have no intention following or allowing some jackass idea to mess up your competition. There were specifically "Whatevs" soundbites from that team blowing it off.

                                                        Someone with it on DVR can correct me if I'm wrong...

                                                        I liked how the dishes ended up looking more matched than I'd expect in random selection -- pork v pork etc

                                                        And I agree with the folks above who thought it was a bit of a bs challenge when some people don't get judged. Bravo is going for controversial dynamics with that kind of production choice. I think with most partner and group challenges it skews things enough for better chefs to go home, or lesser performers to stay. (Not sorry to see Spike out tho.)

                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        Yes, they said they needed salt.

                                                      3. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Re: Spike's dish: And at JT Gayle she thought the dish was too sweet.

                                                    2. well, based on the spoiler from Elia's interview a few weeks ago, i pretty much knew Spike was going home this week. i wish it had been Jamie. that's now two ECs in which she didn't even present a dish, and it's just wrong. why the hell put yourself in the competition if you're not going to COMPETE? and if she makes soup *again* next week, i don't care if it's the best soup they've ever tasted, they should send her home on principle.

                                                      i think it's pretty clear that Angelo is a sneak and a saboteur, and no one should let him anywhere near their dishes going forward. but honestly, as much as i dislike his methods, the other chefs *let* him screw up their dishes. so even though he's a snake, they have no one but themselves to blame.

                                                      on a happier note, hooray that my boy Tre nailed the QF! i suspected he had it in the bag when i heard his comment about how expensive it is to have two girls. and the fact that he snagged it with BREAD PUDDING made it even better :)

                                                      here's hoping Jamie goes home next week, and that Angelo is close on her heels. better yet, how about a double elimination?

                                                      18 Replies
                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        I don't think Angelo is sabotaging anyone. I think he thinks he is better than the others and understands flavor combinations better than the others. I also think he's a control freak who wishes his team to win so he helps the others. I don't think he purposely overcooked Tre's fish, that would require too much thinking and I don't think he's smart enough to think on his feet to do everything for which people are giving him credit.

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          if he's better than the others, why did he turn Tre's salmon into an overcooked, oily mess?

                                                          now obviously since none of us are actually there, we can't be certain about what's really going on. but after everyone was talking last week about Tom being on Andy Cohen's after-show, i tracked down a repeat and watched it. Andy asked Tom if he thought Angelo was sabotaging people, and Tom smirked, paused for a few seconds, and said, "he's definitely playing the game."

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            I mentioned that to my wife too. He was very complimentary towards Jen and so-so about Angelo.

                                                            I think there are a couple of reasons Angelo might have 'not worked so hard Tre's dish'. First, I think Angelo didn't really think the team was going to win. Losing means that he has some input on who goes home. It wasn't a strong team.

                                                            And secondly, if he did lose his match for any reason, it is better to have more chefs on that losing platform (he could help make that happen). You get to deflect criticism towards someone else's dish regardless of immunity.

                                                            1. re: smkit

                                                              Now that Spike's gone, it may be more interesting to see if Angelo's "game playing" is more obvious. I mean, who would trust Spike after all his scheming and smirking to fire their fish? But Angelo, who probably shoulda won his season and is clearly one of the strongest chefs there, in his more soft-spoken and earnest way wants to "help" you with your dish...well, it's no wonder Spike was a bit railroaded -- they were speaking different languages.

                                                              That being said, Angelo-as-saboteur is definitely getting an edited story arc.

                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                And don't forget - Tiffany Derry knows Angelo. She knows what he might have done in TC7, as there were confessional comments from various cheftestants that perhaps he was doing things he shouldn't have been doing back in DC.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  He certainly "helped" lots of people that didn't end up in the winner's circle... Not quite as blatant as Casey's S3 Black Widow friendships ;-)

                                                                  1. re: momjamin

                                                                    Or Angelo has a good samaritan nature (at least regarding food disasters) just can't help but offer to help "lost causes". He might be batting very poorly as a helper, it doesn't mean he is black widow, killing otherwise healthy dishes. He's been trying to save what couldn't of been saved... guiding a crashing car to a different crash, not steering it to crash.

                                                                    1. re: dach

                                                                      I think you're giving Angelo WAY too much credit for being a good samaritan!

                                                                      1. re: dach

                                                                        I subscribe to this view.

                                                                        I see that the Angelo-hating is ramping up again. Sad.

                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      I don't think that highly of Mother Superior Derry's opinions.

                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  I didn't say Angelo was better than the others I said that I think HE thinks he is better.

                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                    oops! sorry - i read that wrong. mea culpa :)

                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                I realized after I shut down the computer last night that Tre won the QuickFire, but was in the bottom group for the Elimination. And vice-versa for Carla - bottom group for the QF, but she won the EC.

                                                                And I'd love a double-elim of Jamie and Angelo...but I think Angelo is going to last a bit longer. What I *did* especially love was Richard Blais calling Jamie out in the Stew Room. I want to see MORE of that conversation in outtakes on the Bravo site, if they have them! LOL Jamie got wicked defensive, IMO...probably because she knew she wasn't doing a thing and yet was still there.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  <won the QuickFire, but was in the bottom group for the Elimination.>

                                                                  BUT... would that have been the case if Angelo had NOT "helped" him by cooking the salmon? Don't the cheftestants realize yet that Angelo's "help" is likely the kiss of death? I'm no Spike-lover, but I hated to see him sent home with Angelo's "help."

                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                    It's his own fault for letting someone else cook the most crucial element of his dish. And not even "letting" -- he told Angelo to do it.

                                                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                                                      <he told Angelo to do it.> After Angelo asked if Tre wanted him to cook it.

                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                        No, Tre said that Angelo asked if he could help him, and Tre told him to cook the salmon. It was Tre's own fault for telling him to do it.

                                                                    2. re: ChefJune

                                                                      Keep in mind that none of the past TC cheftestants knew anything (or very little) about Angelo or Tiffany Derry. They might have seen one or two episodes from TC7, so they might have been aware that Angelo was a powerhouse, having won the QC and EC in the Ep 1 and the QC in Ep 2 of TC7. But that's about it. Angelo's potential machinations in TC7 didn't happen until later in the season.

                                                                      But having thought about it, and read various blogs, I agree with Jasmine - perhaps Tre let Angelo cook his salmon because he knew he had immunity.

                                                                2. Its Top Chef not Top Gnocchi.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Pierate

                                                                    someone also needs to tell Jamie it's not Top Soup.

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                      ahahahaha! love it. Fabio is not spewing as may quote-worthy saying this time around, but i have to say i was excited for him to win one of the rounds. alhough... he won with an italian dish, so as has been said here before, it seems that's all he pretty much knows how to do well.

                                                                    2. re: Pierate

                                                                      LOL. Exactly what I was thinking. Maybe Fabio and Jamie can be on a team together and make gnocchi in soup!

                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                        don't forget the scallops!

                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                          Thats funny!
                                                                          i was going to mention it too..
                                                                          Fabio needs to know: This is Top Chef - not Top Gnocci!

                                                                        2. re: Pierate

                                                                          "It's Top Chef not Top Gnocchi"--amen, Pierate. Last week I got flak for calling Angelo a one trick pony. And this week I realize I was wrong. Fabio is the pony. Angelo is just the annoying one.

                                                                          1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                            Oops - sorry Jane - I didnt see this until after I posted MY "Top Gnocci" comment!!
                                                                            LOL!!

                                                                        3. I don't agree that they hit on Tre for not helping the team. It was Angelo that did his dish in. And let's face it. Had Blais gone first, Jamie would have gone (or cut her finger off to avoid plating) and she would have been eliminated. It wasn't a bad strategy, but it also never made sense to me. Did anyone else wonder what would happen if Blais didn't go first??

                                                                          But in the end, Tre didn't do in the team (Spike's gaming, Jamie being a loser, and Angelo not be that helpful) did the team in.

                                                                          I do think the losing team was stupid to not throw Jamie in as the last dish against Blais. That was what they planned anyhow, but I think they all (except Angelo) still thought they could win. Jamie would have gone home, end story. And Spike would have stayed. He gamed himself out, unfortunately.

                                                                          With that said, they should have evaluated everyone's dish and included the losing dish for elimination if it happened to be on the losing team. That was a stupid challenge. I actually don't think they thought that would happen and didn't consider it until after it did happen.

                                                                          All this means is that Spike will come back later as a sous chef. Probably Jen will too.

                                                                          With all that said, I pray that Jamie leaves so the show can feel good again.

                                                                          26 Replies
                                                                          1. re: smkit

                                                                            "Had Blais gone first, Jamie would have gone (or cut her finger off to avoid plating)"
                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                            LOL! seriously, did you see they way she was actually *hiding* behind the table, crouched down on the ground? she's pathetic.

                                                                            remember when Antonia said "Don't pull a Jen" last week, before JT? when Carla was having her finger treated and the medic told her she should go to the hospital, i was sort of hoping Antonia would say "Don't pull a Jamie," and that it would be loud enough for Jamie to hear :)

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              Yeah, that was some serious hiding. She looked like my grandma behind the dashboard of her car. You could only see a bit of the top of her head at times.

                                                                              1. re: smkit

                                                                                ROFLMAO! Oh, the visual - but a perfect comparison!

                                                                                1. re: smkit

                                                                                  LOL! Perfect!

                                                                              2. re: smkit

                                                                                Jamie seemed pretty adamant about NOT sending her dish up - she knew it wasn't cooked yet, and she knew she'd lose against Blais or anyone she went up against. So while I wish they *could* have forced her to go up, if she said she wasn't ready, not sure they could have made her do so.

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  It would have been interesting for them to try to force it. Refuse to send Spike up. What would have happened? The judges would have asked who was coming up. If they all said Jamie, how does she hide from that?

                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                    Now that's a very good point, debbie! That would have been interesting to see! So this ties back to what Tom C. said at JT - if hers was the worst dish, it should have been served so she'd be in front of the judges.

                                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                                      Exactly. If the rest of the team had told the judges Jamie was up next, what could she have done? Admitted to the judges her food wasn't ready? I think she would have had to serve it regardless.

                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                        Team Yellow could have at least controlled who would be sent home by forcing Jamie to serve her dish at the end.

                                                                                  2. re: smkit

                                                                                    "I don't agree that they hit on Tre for not helping the team. It was Angelo that did his dish in. "
                                                                                    ---------
                                                                                    It is interesting that the episode as edited showed Angelo basting the salmon, followed immediately by a view of Spike gazing calmly downwards with his arms akimbo. The implication was that Angelo was doing this under the watching eyes of Spike... IF SO, I would say that if Angelo did overcook the salmon, Spike agreed with how Angelo was cooking it or at least didn't stop him... ;-)

                                                                                    1. re: smkit

                                                                                      "But in the end, Tre didn't do in the team (Spike's gaming, Jamie being a loser, and Angelo not be that helpful) did the team in."
                                                                                      ------
                                                                                      I would suggest this is an incomplete analysis.

                                                                                      Casey's dish was considered good by the Judges except that they wanted more non-protein - more farro - especially by whatshername...Simmons. Casey clearly disagreed with Colicchio & Co's pronouncements (and appeared to stop herself from going down a "Jen" path). If she did have a bit more farro on her plate it is possible she might have won.

                                                                                      Antonia and Tiffany were neck-and-neck with their respective dishes with Colicchio (5th vote) hesitating before tipping it just over to Antonia.

                                                                                      Even with the much-discussed Spike/Blais pairing - Mantuano said that the proteins were the downfall of BOTH dishes, with the shrimp being 'bland' and the lamb being 'very gamey' in his estimation. Nevertheless, yes, the yuzu addition does seem to have thrown Spike's dish off in the end for the tastes of the judges, from the aggregate of comments from Mantuano and Colicchio & Co. BTW that dish of Spike's is apparently a riff off a Vietnamese dish called Cahn Chua, from what I read elsewhere, and not a successful one at that according to one opinion: http://boards.bravotv.com/index.php?s...

                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                        "asey clearly disagreed with Colicchio & Co's pronouncements (and appeared to stop herself from going down a "Jen" path). "
                                                                                        ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                        was i imagining things, or did Casey have tears in her eyes when they announced that Fabio's dish was the winner? she looked so frustrated and upset.

                                                                                        as for the Spike/Blais face-off, i though Richard's lamb looked *really* unappealing...so those must have been some seriously bland shrimp Spike put up.

                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                          This looked unappealing?

                                                                                          http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            yep. call me crazy, but that meat even *looks* like it would be gamy. that was my first thought as soon as i saw the shot of his dish last night. and my second thought was that even though Blais said he used lean loins, they're still noticeably fatty...in fact, they look gristly. i'll pass.

                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                              I think those slices of lamb look gross, too, and a tad undercooked, even for lamb.

                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                OK, I definitely agree on the undercooked part.

                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                  Oof, I'd have to send that back.

                                                                                                  1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                    Yes but the judges didn't say anything at all about them being undercooked, right?

                                                                                                  2. re: mcf

                                                                                                    I thought it looked unusually "rare" as well.

                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  I do think the entire dish looks unappealing!
                                                                                                  Bleh!
                                                                                                  The lamb looks awful!

                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                    I'm pretty sure these dishes we see on Bravo's site are ones recreated by whichever former TC chef is helping them recreate them. I'm *pretty* sure that they're not the original dishes created and cooked by the actual TC All-Stars. But I could be wrong. But I do agree that the visual on the picture on Bravo's Recipe site isn't appetizing at all.

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      The contestants have to create an extra dish of everything they make just for photos. Supposedly, it's cooked at the same time as the food that's presented to the judges. That said, I don't know for sure whether the pictures on bravo's site are always of this extra plate, or if they are sometimes recreated. I suspect that the website pics are mostly of this extra plate since the photos often show elements of a dish that are mentioned during filming or judging but absent from the printed recipes (which are notoriously sloppy and inaccurate).

                                                                                                      Of course, it would make sense if a contestant, rushed for time and all, is a little more careless with cooking the for-photo plate than they are with the judge's plates, since AFAIK the photo plate has no bearing on whether they stay in the competition. In other words, it's unlikely that the judge's lamb was overly rare or else they would have complained about it.

                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                        Good points all, cowboyardee, especially the last paragraph. :-)

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          In the Quickfires, one can see this 'extra plate' more clearly. They always create at least two plates of food (watch them rushing to get food on the plates, plural) and Padma (usually) and the guest judge (or whoever) eat off one of the plates. The other plate is not "seen" when the food is being eaten.

                                                                                                          The "counts" for the plated food in the ECs are not as obvious or clear on the edited tape as shown, but my understanding is certainly as cbyd stated above. IIRC, last season, when they had the farm challenge where they all served their food "family style" with multiple chefs having their contributions put together on ONE large plate, it was interesting to see their individual contributions plated separately for the beauty shots shown in the photo gallery put up after the episode aired.

                                                                                                          ETA: the provenance of those farm challenge EC beauty plates are a little more 'murky' to me.

                                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        regardless of whether the photo on the Bravo site is the actual dish Richard served to the judges, my original comment was about the dish they zoomed in on in the actual episode. i didn't think there was anything appetizing about the way it looked.

                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                          ghg, if you're talking about Richard's QF dish I agree wholeheartedly! I tend to like Blais in general and usually find his food interesting but that dish looked awful.Wonder what Bourdain would have said about it - "It looks like a dessicated cougar bladder..." LOL.

                                                                                            2. I was impressed with Carla's reaction to her injury because I did the exact same thing while peeling potatoes once. Unlike her, I freaked out and went to the hospital, where I was told that there was nothing to stitch--just like Carla said (she appeared to be telling this to the medical person, which seems odd). It was nice that she ended up winning the EC.

                                                                                              1. well. not only were all the dishes not judged in elim. challenge, but did anyone else notice not all in QF were even shown?? has this kind of thing happened before & i just missed it?? there were only 10...angelos was one of the four not seen, as well as antonia, tiffany d, & mike. wtf is up with that?

                                                                                                i agree, wow, carla is a helluva trooper! did almost the exact same thing to my finger before. shes right, theres not much to be done forit, but i sure delayed going back to work a bit longer than she did! yes, jaime sure has managed to slide by more than once now :/ & i concur this challenge was not teh fairest, but come on, rly when has TC ever been fair? lol personal opinions on taste vary wildy, & personality can have have both positive or negative influence on judges, no matter how much they try not to let it do so. & some luck comes into play... even tho ur the topest chef just ONE bad day & buhbye. much fairer way would be have everyone there for whole season & tally up total points overall @ end for winner, but wheres teh drama in that eh? ;) i watch for inspirational methods/combinations...speaking of, didnt that stuffing casserole tre made look/sound fantastic? yummm!

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: food.e

                                                                                                  the game set up was sweet. i dont think people would as big of a problem with it if jamie hadn't skated by.

                                                                                                  jamie sucks, angelo is tall, casey is hot.

                                                                                                  1. re: ALLDAYYY

                                                                                                    I loved the EC format, i was even happy jamie "survivor-esque" villain politicking/hiding her way out of an elim, knowing they are in danger. There are so many drama inducing gaming strategy involved for teams and by individuals in the teams, plus the exciting heads-up winner takes all nature. Winners on losing team are immune, as are weak players who never come up to bat.

                                                                                                  2. re: food.e

                                                                                                    " but did anyone else notice not all in QF were even shown??"
                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                    all the time - particularly early in the season when there are just too many chefs. they tend to focus on the top & bottom ones and don't bother showing the middle, probably because there's not enough airtime to squeeze it all in.

                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                      well there would certainly be time enough to show all the chefs dishes if they left out just a bit of teh BS & drama... yes plenty of viewers like that, but just as many watch for the creative culinary aspects ;)

                                                                                                      1. re: food.e

                                                                                                        oh i'm not saying it's a good thing - like you, i'd prefer to see as much food & cooking and as little drama as possible...but they have to edit the show to appeal to the widest possible audience, which includes the viewers who enjoy the drama.

                                                                                                  3. Blais is quickly becoming my favorite TC competitor of all time. Loved that he called Jamie out on her lameness. It seems that most of the chefs have already conceded that he's the best among them. I hope he can keep it together and nail it in the finale.

                                                                                                    When I first heard the concept of TC All Stars, I was thinking 'wow. A competition to see who's the best of the losers.' But Blais' redemption would make it all worthwhile. One of these days I'd like to see them get all the TC Winners in a competition. Pretty sure Ilan and Hosea would end up right at the bottom. :o)

                                                                                                    I was also surprised to hear one of the judges (Tom or Gail?) say that the food presented in this challenge was possibly the best they've had in all 7 seasons? Really? Or do they just say that every season?

                                                                                                    p.s. Thank you Linda for the recap. You rock!

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: soypower

                                                                                                      I thought is was hilarious how afraid the team was of Blaise.

                                                                                                      "Are they sending Blaise? Is it Blaise? No? OK, I'll go."

                                                                                                      1. re: soypower

                                                                                                        blais is a fun guy... seen his show yet called 'blais off' ? he does some crazy innovative things on there! :)

                                                                                                        1. re: food.e

                                                                                                          I've seen a couple of episodes (pizza and burgers), enjoyed them. He's a charismatic guy on screen.

                                                                                                          1. re: food.e

                                                                                                            He's a great host. I just caught his show and the geek in me loves it. THAT'S the reason to study chemistry!

                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                              Has anyone else seen his infomercial for Sous Vide Supreme? I saw part of it last night and couldn't bear to watch more. In the part i watched, Blais opens cryovac bags of sous vide food and it's been browned with NO indication that that was done before sealing the chicken/fish in the cooking bag. All sorts of fancy graphics showing what goes on inside the "water oven," but someone unfamiliar with sous vide techniques could assume a "water oven" will brown things the same way a hot air oven does. That irritated me enough to channel hop. That, and my gosh, the knife he used to cut the chicken looked really dull to me. Anyway, if you haven't seen it yet, you're in for.. . hmmm... Surf on! '-)

                                                                                                          2. re: soypower

                                                                                                            I loved how Blais called out Jamie. Non-confrontational, just saying it as it is. What blogger out there said he was her "Blaison d'etre"? I thought it was the best comment. I liked him in his season after he shared his prize with Stephanie and he's remaining true to form this time around, too.

                                                                                                          3. Great job, Linda! But what's new with that? You always turn in a grand slam.

                                                                                                            For me, the most interesting thing about the elimination challenge was that Taylor Dent appeared to be the ONLY one there who had a clue about performance enhancing sports nutrition. Too many of the dishes, including many that won, were more appropriate for a prelude meal to a chess match than a tennis match! Overall, they were serving way too much protein and not enough carbs, especially complex carbs. Though I will say a lot of the dishes would have been good-to-go on a 1950s training table, but never in 2010! In case anyone is interested in performance enhancing sports nutrition, Lance Armstrong's "Live Strong" website has some valid information. You can find it here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/581...

                                                                                                            And speaking of the century past, what was Padma thinking? Hot pants? How 1960s!

                                                                                                            Finally, here' hoping Carla's finger heals well and fast, but I did think the camera shot of the wound dripping blood was a bit over the top. Would have worked better on a Haloween show.

                                                                                                            P.S. I think the most creative handling of no-conventional-kitchen-tools was NOT grating cheese on a wire shelf. It was freezing with liquid nitrogen and then shattering the frozen stuff as a way of chopping. Now that was absolutely inspired!

                                                                                                            Oh, and I can't wait until the next episode so I can see what "Caucasian dim sum" looks like. Funny! Scathingly funny.

                                                                                                            40 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              Thanks Caroline and soypower. I try my best to get it right, although I did screw up the Jamie quote. I had forgotten that Tre froze his ingredients and smashed them - smart move! And I absolutely ADORED his little giggle when he was explaining what he did to the confessional camera! :-D

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Bourdain was not impressed with Fabio's cheese-grating method, according to his blog.
                                                                                                                <<"That is genius!!" No, Fabio. Actually, that is "clostridium perfringens," the third most common cause of food poisoning.>>

                                                                                                                I, too, loved Tre's laugh -- good to see him getting so playful with good results!

                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                  Haven't had time to read the blogs yet, although I know Tom C. defended the fact that Jamie didn't present anything (per debbie's comment last night upthread). Still have issues with that. Will have to read the blogs later this afternoon to see what's been said.

                                                                                                                  Tom C. *did* say that viewers would take issue with a lot of decisions this season! LOL

                                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                    Being the germaphobe that I am, I immediately worried that Fabio's cheese grating method wasn't sanitary because who knows what's been sitting on those shelves, ie., boxes of things that had previously sat on the floor.

                                                                                                                    I thought Tre was brilliant.

                                                                                                                    I still can't tell if Angelo's "help" is sincere or not.

                                                                                                                    I think Jamie is a weasel, though, when explaining the rules of the challenge, they did emphasize the importance of "strategy," so employing "individual" strategy is technically fair game, too. Still, I don't like it.

                                                                                                                    Tiffany Derry is such a nice, team player, sharing some of her fish with Angelo even though she didn't have to (Tre wouldn't even though he had immunity. I thought it was kind of lousy, actually, for Tre to tell Angelo to go ask Tiffany).

                                                                                                                    Carla is awesome.

                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                      "I thought it was kind of lousy, actually, for Tre to tell Angelo to go ask Tiffany"
                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                      i didn't - i thought it was smart. Angelo is clearly a threat (based on cooking skill or game-play or perhaps both), so why help him out of a jam that could send him home? it was his fault for not checking the quality of the fish he purchased before leaving the store - i actually meant to comment on that last night. why he didn't inspect the mackerel when they gave it to him is beyond me. call me crazy, but when i buy fresh fish, i smell and examine it first to be sure i'm getting a quality, FRESH product (though in that case i wouldn't necessarily buy it from Whole Paycheck)...and any decent chef knows to do the same.

                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                        It wasn't the not helping Angelo that irked me, it was the telling him to go ask Tiffany when he knows Tiffany's probably too nice to say no. Tre was sabotaging Tiffany, not Angelo.

                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                          <re: goodhealthgourmet The Dairy Queen Dec 23, 2010
                                                                                                                          It wasn't the not helping Angelo that irked me, it was the telling him to go ask Tiffany when he knows Tiffany's probably too nice to say no. Tre was sabotaging Tiffany, not Angelo.>

                                                                                                                          I disagree. I think he figured Tiffany also knew enough to tell him no. She, better than anyone, knows what Angelo is up to. Let him figure out something else to do without fish at all!

                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                            If Tre watched last season, he would have known she would be unlikely to refuse to help a teammate. She helped people out last season, too.

                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                              I think someone said this season was filmed before last season aired - is that right?

                                                                                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                For the most part. I think the All-Stars perhaps got a chance to see two or three early episodes before going into their filming.

                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                  Oh, I didn't know that! I only started watching Top Chef about halfway through season 7. Well, maybe I'll give Tre a break on that one then.

                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                            It just occurred to me but what if Angelo sabotaged Tre's salmon as pay back for not sharing? Tre was smart to have him go to Tiffany because she's so nice that she wouldn't refuse as DQ said.

                                                                                                                          3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                            agree with everything you've said here, TDQ. good point about strategy.

                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                              Carla is all kinds of awesome.

                                                                                                                              I think one of the most interesting things about Carla is the way people underestimate her (including a lot of viewers, who continue to believe that she's not in the same league as the other chefs, despite all the evidence to the contrary).

                                                                                                                              She's not a young badass (like most of the men and a few of the women), and so they tend not to take her seriously. In addition, although she can cook "traditional" dishes expertly (per Eric Ripert), she doesn't always fall back on traditional dishes centered around a piece of protein, as witness the fact that she won with a dish that her teammates were dismissive of. A really great chef uses technique to back up her/his unique vision and creativity, and Carla does that.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                She MUST be good, because her dish really didn't sound all that appealing and yet the judges loved it. I admired the way she stuck to her guns and didn't lose confidence in her dish even when her teammates were less than enthusiastic.

                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                  Sounded great to me! I already checked out the recipe!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                    Looks like Tiffany learned her lesson from her season's finals when she took Casey's recommendation to sous vide her dish when it was against her own better judgment.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                      Wasn't that Carla?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                        Yes, it was Carla and probably the reason she lost in the finals.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                          You are right. Early onset Alzheimers. But, lesson learned, nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                          why doesn't my reply to function work??

                                                                                                                                        3. re: aching

                                                                                                                                          There used to be a chain of soup restaurants in NYC (Daily Soup) that served a Senegalese Peanut Soup that was out of this world. As soon as I heard Carla describe her dish, I knew it was going to be memorable. I imagine everyone thought "peanut butter soup," which it is not. I *heart* Carla. I can't believe that everyone continues to underestimate her.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Divamac

                                                                                                                                            My DH makes a killer peanut soup, so I knew it was bound to be good too.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Divamac

                                                                                                                                              The Hale & Hearty chain in NY also makes Senegalese Peanut Soup that is my favorite. I've seen recipes for it on the web but haven't tried to make it myself because I am sure it wouldn't quite measure up!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: chrisonli

                                                                                                                                                It's a wonderful recipe. You should give it a try one day.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                  I definitely will do that...which one would you recommend?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chrisonli

                                                                                                                                                    I meant the Daily Soup recipe that Divamac posts down below. It's pretty simple (looks much easier than Carla's) and tastes quite delicious. I find it ironic that it's posted under ShopRite's health and wellness section because it's quite rich.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Divamac

                                                                                                                                                This is one from Cooking LIght I've made many times, great in the winter

                                                                                                                                                http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                                                                                                Go Carla!!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                  Here's the recipe from the Daily Soup cookbook. It's not light in the least :)

                                                                                                                                                  Warning: The site plays an annoying jingle when you open the page.

                                                                                                                                                  http://www.shoprite.com/Wellness.aspx...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                    I've gotten very excited about making this soup. Going to try it for my work pot luck tomorrow. The version that Carla made as demonstrated by Rick Moonen looks too complicated for that occasion, but will try a simpler version. I had never heard of this soup, but since doing research also saw that it's been in Virginia since slave days and called "Virginia Peanut Soup". So many versions-- some with coconut milk, some with cilantro, some with chickpeas.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lenwood

                                                                                                                                                      virginia peanut soup is SO SO good.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lenwood

                                                                                                                                                        I made Carla's soup a couple of nights ago. The recipe posted on line gives no indication of how many people it serves, but it looks like it's meant for an army (four quarts of stock) so I divided by four four our family of four. It is definately a complex recipe, especially for a small number of servings. It was very good, but I probably will try something simpler next time around.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                          I simplified it for my work pot luck based on about 5 different similar recipes. I may try hers at home, but it is complicated and not suitable for that type of atmosphere. I enjoyed watching Rick Moonen make her recipe online. It must be a lot of prep work to roast all of the vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                  She is a very good cook. And she seems to have good judgment (barring her season finale), which can get you far into a competition like this.

                                                                                                                                                  I just don't think she has the wow factor to actually win this type of competition. At some point in most seasons (sometimes, it's the finale), everyone seems to cook a great delicious dish and the one that goes home or fails to win fails only in not being imaginative or surprising or innovative enough. This is Carla's downfall.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                    I agree-- and she stuck to her guns on the soup, even after all the other contestants told her they didn't think it was a good idea. I loved all the voice overs from the other contestants about how she sucked it up w/ the cut vs Jamie who left.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                    Tony Bourdain's blog was particularly good this week, I thought, and he thought Carla was awesome as well.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                      Bourdain wasn't there. He didn't taste her food. On what basis did he think Carla was awesome? I'll have to read the blog.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                        Yes, read it. He thought she was awesome because of the way she handled her injury and the fact that she stayed true to herself and stuck with her dish (rightly, it turned out), despite less-than-enthusiastic reception from her teammates.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                    haha.. I was also wondering how judges like tin can shards with their food

                                                                                                                                                3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                  "Though I will say a lot of the dishes would have been good-to-go on a 1950s training table, but never in 2010! In case anyone is interested in performance enhancing sports nutrition, Lance Armstrong's "Live Strong" website has some valid information"

                                                                                                                                                  On the other hand Michael Jordan had a steak before every game. I thought Casey's dish was appropriate. I've competed in numerous long distance endurance events and would have eaten that a few hours before a race.

                                                                                                                                                4. I am thoroughly sick of Jamie AND Angelo. I hope they go up in flames a-one and a-two the next two weeks. Good riddance!

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                    Agreed Chef June! And I hope Fabio cooks something other than gnocchi too.

                                                                                                                                                  2. "So I guess where we saw Tom C. saying something about sabotage was a throw-away line - it didn't make it into the final cut! I hate when the Elves do that."

                                                                                                                                                    Linda, You might have missed it at JT, Tom was talking to Tiffany D about talks of Angelo sabataging people in her season & asked if she thought that's what he was doing now. She replied that ultimately each person is responsible for their own food. (paraphrasing)

                                                                                                                                                    It could be the elves editing, but I like that she remained neutral and wouldn't play the blame game.

                                                                                                                                                    I really hate the way this challenge was set up. I think each person's dish should've been tasted & up for elimination. Jamie absolutely should've gone home. The only thing accomplished by sending Spike home was giving the better chefs less competition. I actually didn't mind him this season & thought he would go farther.

                                                                                                                                                    It's defintely how you play the game, not how you cook (or don't cook) that keeps you from going home.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                      I did miss that, jcattles - thanks for the clarification!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                        "It could be the elves editing, but I like that she remained neutral and wouldn't play the blame game."

                                                                                                                                                        It's funny, while Tiffany was saying that everybody is responsible for their own dishes, I felt as if she was saying aloud, "I won't go so far as to say he's doing it, but..." and her body language, expression, and tone of voice were saying otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                        In S7, she had confessionals where she commented on the help Angelo kept offering competitors like Tamesha and Stephen (I think that was his name - the shorter, mousy guy who lasted longer than he should have and went out for Chinese he had no idea how to cook?), and she didn't outright say he was conniving but said (paraphrasing) "Hmm, is Angelo really helping you...or is he helping himself?"

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                          Good point Caitlin. I'll have to rewatch that part. I was listening more than watching...trying to multi-task :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                            Ahh.. but in the s7 reunion tiffany took all her Angelo confessional back, and stated she now thought Angelo is genuine in his interactions.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Like it or not, it's challenges like these that separate "those that play the game" from "those that just straight up cook". Strategy is for people that are afraid of getting sent home. One person that seems to be escaping everyone's attention is Mike Isabella. I put him in the same category as Jamie, Spike, and Angelo. Isabella pretty much lodged himself so far up the Voltaggio brothers' ass, the judges weren't even aware he was in the room half the time.

                                                                                                                                                          I'm impressed with Angelo's cooking, but playing the game is REALLY turning people off. I badly wish Stefan would have been included over Jamie, Spike, or Mike.

                                                                                                                                                          Total respect to those that had the balls to put their food out there last night. I actually liked the challenge because it did a great job of exposing the frauds (and it sent Spike home).

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                            "Isabella pretty much lodged himself so far up the Voltaggio brothers' ass, the judges weren't even aware he was in the room half the time."
                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                            LOL! that's so true. though i'm not sure he was really hiding this time around. they looked pretty disorganized up there, scrambling to figure out who to send up for each point. Isabella should have spoken up to present if he wanted to be in the running for the win, but at least he didn't crouch down and hide behind the table.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I thought this EC was really interesting - it was not at all fair, in the sense that it wasn't entirely about the merits of each dish - but I think it's good for them to shake things up from time to time. That said, it's ridiculous that Jamie has managed to skate by for two episodes without being judged - and I was sorry to see Spike go home. I really liked how he handled the scallops in the first episode (and I thought he was cute!). But I will say, it didn't seem like any of the other chefs really liked or respected him that much, which says something. Although he was criticized for letting others interfere with his dish, it sounded like he was sent home for his shrimp, which he himself cooked. I also thought it was curious that Tre wasn't criticized for letting others hurt his dish as well - maybe the elves just didn't include that part of the tape.

                                                                                                                                                            Personally, I don't think Angelo is a saboteur - I think he's just very socially inept and a total control freak. If the other chefs accept his or anyone else's "help", that's on them. (BTW, I thought the whole scandal in his season about what's-her-name's gray tuna tartare was ridiculous - if she didn't know any better, she deserved to go home.) My guess is that Angelo is someone who has always irritated people and never really fit in in a group situation, and offering to help other people is his way of trying to gain acceptance.

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                              "But I will say, it didn't seem like any of the other chefs really liked or respected him that much, which says something."

                                                                                                                                                              What makes you think Spike wasn't liked or repected? I didn't notice anything in the previous episodes.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                I'm reminded of something Rick Bayliss said during the first season of Top Chef Masters. In his confessional comments on the episode where previous Top Chef contestants were brought in to be sous chefs for the Masters. Rick was discussing the process whereby the chefs selected their sous' and he said (paraphrasing from memory), "One thing was certain, nobody wanted to work with Spike."

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                  It wasn't anything overt, but I just got that impression. There is noticeable chemistry between some of the other contestants, like between Dale and Tre, that I didn't notice with Spike. He himself said that he didn't have any allies on his team, and at least one of his teammates (I forget whom) called his strategy dumb. Furthermore, nobody really seemed to react when he returned to the Stew Room and announced that he was the loser - it seemed like they weren't surprised it was him and they didn't really care. However, I could be totally wrong about all of this (or it may just be the elves)!

                                                                                                                                                              2. I think out of all the chefs on this show Carla has the best attitude and personality. She is somewhat underestimated. I see Angelo and Marcel as two peas in a pod. I think the only difference to me is that Marcel whines more than Angelo.

                                                                                                                                                                As far as the elimination challenge, I like the uniqueness of it, but it felt like the producers and judges didn't spend a lot of time on how it should be executed. I think next time they should have teams submit their line up to the judges beforehand so there is a definite lineup. The twist is that one team doesn't know the others line up. I also think that before each round the next people up get 1-2 minutes to plate. This way the team members know who should be going up next and don't have to scramble if they are suddenly told they are going or not going (so the food doesn't get cold). Lastly, I think that if you are the losing team than everyone's dish gets tasted.. which would have meant that Jaime would have been in the bottom. Conversely, if you are on the winning team and you didn't make it up you should be rewarded with the judges tasting your dish and possibly giving you a win at judges table. This seems a bit structured but still with that element of surprise.

                                                                                                                                                                22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with you on the idea of submitting the lineups before hand. However, I would make the quickfire a double winner challenge with the two winners making the lineup (with no immunity). I have to believe having seen what happened in this episode, the worst dishes dishes would get pushed to the fore (so as not to give any bad dishes a pass). If you're stupid enough to let people mess with your food, perhaps you deserve to go home.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                    "If you're stupid enough to let people mess with your food, perhaps you deserve to go home."
                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                    i agree - i said that last night. Angelo may or may not be a saboteur (i personally think he is), but if you give him control over your food, you have no one but yourself to blame if he screws it up. i cringed when i heard Tre say he was going to let him cook that salmon. fortunately he had immunity, but it still made him look bad to serve a crappy dish, and it screwed his team.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, I'm not so sure. In the end, Tre didn't take the heat for putting out a bad dish because he got to point the finger at Angelo at JT. So, ultimately, everyone learned that it wasn't really Tre's bad dish. Tre had immunity, so if he had refused Angelo's help, cooked the fish himself, and ruined it, everyone would have accused him of sabotaging the team. Now, everyone is left wondering if Angelo sabotaged the team. Tre was just rolling with what "the team" wanted.

                                                                                                                                                                      Really, I think Tre was the sneakiest of everyone in this episode. Oh, no wait, that's Jamie. Jamie, then Tre. And maybe Angelo: I'm still not convinced. He's so socially awkward, it's hard to know.

                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                        "He's so socially awkward, it's hard to know."
                                                                                                                                                                        --------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                        LOL!!! TDQ, I'm not sure why, but that line just made me crack up.
                                                                                                                                                                        It's probably because I totally agree with you. The way he behaves, and some of the things he says in his confessionals, make me raise an eyebrow at times.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                        Although there was no point in screwing up Tre's dish, since Tre had immunity. I think that was probably unintentional.

                                                                                                                                                                        Here's an argument for Angelo being a saboteur, though:

                                                                                                                                                                        Per an article posted in another thread, all the contestants are taken aside after the challenge is announced and given a complete run-down of the rules and made to sign a release saying they understand the rules. Given that, they would have known that dishes that weren't tasted weren't going to be judged, and also that only the losing dishes from the losing team would be judged. Since Angelo won his head-to-head competition, he knew he was safe whether or not his team lost. So did he try to make sure that some chefs he didn't like were up for elimination?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                          Hmmm...that's an interesting point, Ruth. Did all of Angelo's "helping" occur AFTER he'd won with his dish?

                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah. Angelo only started "helping" after he'd served his own dish (which is only reasonable, since before that he was occupied with his own dish).

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting. Last season I decided Angelo was well-intentioned, but awkward. I may have to reconsider that.

                                                                                                                                                                              But, whether he intends ill or not, the two chefs he helped in this challenge lost their matches, and it got one of them sent home. That should be enough for people to realize that they should decline his assistance for the rest of the season, even if they believe he means well.

                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                Both TIFFANI and Angelo messed with Spike's dish UNDER SPIKE'S OWN GAZE before he walked off with the first dish towards the judges. Tiffani said that she WOULD add something to Spike's dish while the three of them were talking about the dish, in the context of concerns being expressed by Angelo and Tiffani about the dish being possibly too spicy [from the later discussion at JT].

                                                                                                                                                                                Yet Tiffani's contribution to the alteration of Spike's dish is not mentioned at all here so far as I can see.

                                                                                                                                                                                Spike's own acquiescence in his dish's profile being altered has been acknowledged here on the thread but I get the sense that some opinions imply that somehow Angelo sabotaged Spike behind his back...Not!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, everyone seemed to agree that Spike's dish needed SOMETHING. Even Spike said that because he overcooked his first batch of shrimp and had to re-do his shrimp, and that he didn't have enough time to marinate it, etc. the way he wanted to.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think the reason Angelo's name is coming up in this thread is that Tom brought up the issue of Angelo and sabotage at JT. It came up last season. Also, Angelo "helped" Tre, and Tre's dish was a loser. Also, the yuzu gelee that got added to Spike's dish was clearly Angelo's. I agree with you, though, that it wasn't done behind Spike's back. Nevertheless, it wasn't helpful, even if it was intended to be. Given the outcome of both dishes that Angelo "helped" with in this one challenge alone, it's fair to question Angelo's intentions.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tiffany, on the other hand, has never been competitive in a way (that we've seen anyway) that could be interpreted as sabotage. She just isn't under the same suspicion that Angelo is. Her help actually seems helpful. For instance, in this episode, letting Angelo have some of her tuna.

                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                    Not Tiffany (Derry). It was Tiffani (Faison) who also directly "helped" with Spike's dish and the Tiffani I was referring to.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, sorry! For some reason, I thought Tiffani was on the other team. My bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                      "Well, everyone seemed to agree that Spike's dish needed SOMETHING. Even Spike said that because he overcooked his first batch of shrimp and had to re-do his shrimp, that he didn't have enough time to marinate it, etc. the way he wanted to. "
                                                                                                                                                                                      ---------
                                                                                                                                                                                      True.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tiffany comments that at the end of the day, your dish is your own, are indisputable true.

                                                                                                                                                                                    For any competitor to let Angelo or any other chef help them with the heart of their dish tells me me a they already lack confidence in their dish. The act of having to lean so much on someone else, they are already seriously in the weeds, and thereby should be up for elimination. No sympathy. The other team just had better dishes. Credit to them.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                Especially when the salmon was the biggest component of Tre's dish! It's one thing to let someone help you plate, it's quite another to turn over the majority of the cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                In a real-world restaurant situation, all of these chefs would have sous chefs and other people working for them - part of their skill set must be delegating and managing others' work, right?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                              I love Carla. Spike deserved to go for allowing Annoying Angelo to put ponzu or whatever in his dish.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                                                                At this rate Carla is going to give Richard a run for "fan favorite".

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                  You're right ,Ladybug. Richard is, if I may play on his last name, Blaise..zzzzzzzzzzz.....a little too stiff from all that liquid nitrogen perhaps. And tho he is a one trick Gnocchi Pony, Fabio amuses me.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: HabaneroJane

                                                                                                                                                                                  Overrated and irritating. I don't think she's got the chops to hang with someone really on their game. She's been more tolerable this time through, since she's more subdued, but once the bug-eyes "hootyhoos!" come out, I'm ready to see her go.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                    If it hadn't been for some bad beef prep, Carla might well have won her season...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: StewieBoy

                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't forget the messed-up cheese course. When Carla preps her food well she's among the best, but she's also a bit inconsistent and has some spectacular failures.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                        When Carla has a strong line on what she's doing, her chances are as good as anybody's. But when she is up-in-the-air or slightly off kilter she seems to struggle mightily.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Thanks for the recap, Linda. I was at a Xmas party at a dive in Everett and they would NOT switch from ESPN to Top Chef, no matter how much I whined!

                                                                                                                                                                                Regarding the challenge, they were using tennis scoring. So unless they went to "deuce" they knew that one person on each team wouldn't present. That's ok with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                What's not OK is Jamie's embarassingly bad attitude.

                                                                                                                                                                                I hated her the minute I saw her in her season and she's just gotten bitchier and more full of herself since then. I cannot wait for Padma to tell her to PYKA get the hell out of here.

                                                                                                                                                                                I am very happy for Carla! HOOTY HOO!

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                                                                  ROFL! Ummm, yeah, C.Hamster, I think I can understand why the dive bar in Everett wouldn't switch from ESPN to TC. Although points to you for trying. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                  The tennis scoring is the ONLY reason that the there would be untasted dishes, and it makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                  However, I do like the idea of each team's dish line-up being given to the judges without the other team's knowing who they were up against. I just realized that the 2nd team (Orange) always had the advantage of knowing who they were going up against, as I believe Padma always asked the Yellow team who they were sending (can someone clarify if that supposition is true?) and then Orange could make a switch (and DID do so).

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    Does the dive bar in Everett even get Bravo? LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for your recaps, LW, even when I do get to see the episode's first airing!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think after each heads-up battle, the team that won had to pick first for the next round.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: saeyedoc

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ahhh, thanks. Makes more sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The Elves couldn't be happier with how this elim played out. Their goal is to create viewer interest and this forum is certainly evidence of that. That being said, I don't like a competition that allows a contestant to basically not participate in half the events and still remain. Jamie has made it to the 5th episode by doing two dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And not even doing those two particularly well!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Just a note on Spikes strategy to send up the worst dish first. It is dumb dumb dumb and makes me think he was hoping the other chefs liked his enough to have him go up later and therefore be a skater. You only need 4 points to win. Send up your best or it may be over before your best get to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                      jb

                                                                                                                                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                        Not really. You have a *minimum* of four "competitions" so they decided to sacrifice one point for a better shot at winning the other points. It's sort of like when I saw the Golden State Warriors play the Cleveland Cavaliers last year. The Warriors don't have anyone who can match up with a guy like Shaq, so they put their biggest guy on the Cav's second biggest guy, and down the line, and then put their smallest guy on Shaq (it was quite entertaining to see Steph Curry "guarding" Shaq, buzzing around him like a gnat and making up with his quickness some of what he lacked in size). They decided one mismatch was better than five mismatches (and worked out well, since they only lost by three instead of getting blown out by a far superior team).

                                                                                                                                                                                        It does demonstrate the respect they all have for Blais, since they assumed he would be the other team's strongest chef and that they would send him out first.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                          But there are 8 competitors on each team. If you lose the first four your best never get off the bench. In this format if they ar sending their best and your sending your worst, to me that's a bad strategy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I have liked Spike this season and after watching his exit interview I don't think he was trying to play games. Sorry to see him go.

                                                                                                                                                                                          jb

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                            They didn't say they were sending "worst to best" they said they were sending their worst dish first to "waste it" so the others would match up better (as in the example I gave). In other words, if it had gone the way they'd planned, their best dish would have gone up against the other team's second best dish (8-1-2-3-4-5-6-7 vs. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8). If they'd gone down in four only their fourth best dish wouldn't have competed, and when you get to the middle of the pack there wasn't going to be much difference between the quality of dishes anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                              I see. Not only am I math challenged, but I have trouble with listening comprehension. Will have to watch again and listen more closely as what you are saying makes more sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I still think I want my best going first. While in the BBall analogy they switched up their coverage they still sent the best five guys out.

                                                                                                                                                                                              jb

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                And actually, I mis-spoke, since they didn't say they were wasting their own dish, but rather that they would be causing the other team to waste *their* best dish (by using it in a situation where they didn't need their best to win).

                                                                                                                                                                                                The main problem with that strategy was that neither team had a clear grasp of what their best dishes were (although Jamie's was almost by definition the worst, since it wasn't finished) and thus they weren't presenting them in an actual best-to-worst order.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, this strategy depended entirely on the other team's presenting its best dish first. The possibility didn't occur to them that the other team might choose a different order, for strategic or other reasons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The thing is, TC presented this as a challenge where strategy would be important. And, in order to execute any kind of strategy, the teams had to make assumptions about what the other team would do. The losing team assumed that the other team would present their best dish first (and, I guess, the remaining dishes from best to worst.) I don't think this is a terrible assumption. It's what I would have assumed, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    So, I guess they worried their best dish couldn't beat the other team's best dish, but they figured their best dish could beat the other team's second best dish. Their second best dish could beat the other team's third best dish, and so on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But, it turns out, either the other team didn't know which dishes were best. It also seemed they were using other criteria, as in, "I have to go now because my dish is ready now and won't be good cold..." or whatever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    In hindsight, it seems that the best strategy would have been to put your best dishes forward, until, I guess, you had 3 losses under your belt and then you might as well put your worst dish out so that person's dish gets tasted goes home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                      As others have also stated it would be better for this challenge to have a pre determined order. In the Ryder cup both captains present a line up based on which format they are playing, what are the strengths of his team and the weaknesses of the other team. Add into that the guessing game of how the other captain will order his players and you get lots of juicy action and second guessing as they try to pair strength vs weakness. Having two captains chosen through the QF would work well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree this would have been a better way to structure it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                        What's interesting is that the way this challenge was structured teams were actually encouraged to throw someone "under the bus" since, as you noted, one way to make sure everyone else was safe was to make sure that the person you deemed to have the worst dish served it. That way you (a) made sure the judges had a bad dish to choose, and (b) kept someone else from being up for elimination by not serving a dish. That's actually another good rationale for the "serve the worst dish first" strategy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          >>>In hindsight, it seems that the best strategy would have been to put your best dishes forward, until, I guess, you had 3 losses under your belt and then you might as well put your worst dish out so that person's dish gets tasted goes home.<<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. Once they saw Jamie had no interests in going up, they should have MADE her go up in the final head-to-head. Making Tre go up was ok, if they thought he was sure to win (and then no one would be eliminated). But, being the person I am, I would assume the worst, assume Tre would lose (especially since they saw his fish was overcooked) and make Jamie go up, since she would likely be eliminated. I also think some people noticed what Jamie was doing (Angelo and Tiffany kept suggesting that Jamie should go), so they should have made her go up just to spite her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That said, I don't know if they really could "make her" go. Call her name, and then what? Grab her plates and run to the judges with her dish? I don't think that would work, and the judges would probably call her team out for it at judge's table. That's why I don't know exactly what Tom was getting at when he pretty much blamed Jamie's skate-by on her team. What else could they do? Have Tre refuse to serve at all, unless Jamie won her round? I still think they would get flack from the judges for that (as it appears to "throw her under the bus"), especially since it would stall the game.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: me_too

                                                                                                                                                                                                            According to Tom, if when the judges asked who was going next, her team had said "Jamie" she would have had to serve her dish. Presumably refusing to do so would have made her automatically up for elimination (essentially quitting the competition).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                    that's part of the gamemanship and strategy. Who to send up...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The way to be fair in theory fair did seem to be what original plan was, to send the weakest dish out first, and then send 4 strongest dishes. Then even if the team loses, the weakest dish was judged, and will be eliminated, and the stronger dishes survive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But what if the weakest dish knows they are the weakest dish, and does not want to hari kari? Then it comes to "survivor" type politics... if someone doesn't want to admit they are weakest dish, (Jamie) to maneuver their way out of being judged.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bottom line, whoever is eliminated in this format, there will always be at least 4 dishes stronger: 3 from their own team (up for elimination), and the dish they lost to. Just make one of the top4 dishes and you'll always be safe from elimination!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I found it quite interesting how it shook out...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think we're down to 14 cheftestants, so it was 7 per team (at least that's the way I counted in my OP). But the premise remains the same - if you lose the first four rounds, three of your team's dishes never get tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, it was 14.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're right, and I just realized that I was wrong earlier when I said the last pair wouldn't present. They would have been the tie braking plates at 3-3. Makes a lot more sense than dong this with 8 pairs. Duh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Surprised by all the Angelo hate. I think he was sincerely trying to help his team win. The way I see it, Spike & Tre conceded to his opinion. They obviously must have thought his influence would be beneficial. I don't think Richard, Dale or Tiffani would have accepted that kind of help because they are supremely confident in their skills.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tom and Bourdain always seem to really get off on Angelo's cooking. He doesn't need to sabotage Spike or a chef with immunity, what would be the point, fear that Spike is a threat?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  It surprising to me how these chefs don't speak up and then blame others, like Marcel blaming Dale because he was #2 instead of #3.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  So far it seems to me that Angelo, Richard, Dale & Antonia are the ones who are fearless and bringing it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Blais immediately singled out Angelo as the chef who most interested him, and judges find his food to be superbly layered with flavors. I don't think he's a saboteur, I think that notion comes from his noxious attitude at the beginning of last season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think of Angelo as a saboteur. I think he's one of those chefs who has some creative ideas BUT they aren't always going to work if it's not HIS dish. I can't explain it other than to use the lame analogy of a creative writing exercise I once had where I was to start the story and another to finish it - and afterward I kept wondering what the hell happened to my brilliant beginning! What I don't understand is why people keep letting him have a free hand with their food. That said, I was sorry to see Spike go. He's grown on me since he first showed up a couple of seasons ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And please, PLEASE let Jamie go home next week. I'm appalled at how little she's put forth given her snotty attitude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Did anyone else catch Angelo referring to Marcel as 'Marcy'? I wonder if it will catch on?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I caught that. It seemed out of character for Angelo, so it made me grin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought it made him sound like a tool, which is pretty much in line for him, I think. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Even when compared to Angelo, Marcel cannot lose the title of Top Chef Biggest Tool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm looking for the "like" button. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. OK, I said last night that Spike has been much better in this season than he was on his original season. His Exit Interview video at Bravo's website proves that out. He's DEFINITELY grown up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        What stood out to me was Spike saying he was not going to "twist a young lady's arm and throw her under the bus" (while the Elves show Jamie in the kitchen). And he also realizes that he's not just representing himself; he's representing his backers and investors in his restaurants. Something perhaps Elia should have realized. (And boy, does Eric Ripert rip HER a new one in his vlog! LOL)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyway - good for Spike. He turned into a good guy. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          +1 on realizing Spike has definitely matured from his original season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I remember watching his season and absolutely despising him. However, on this season he seems much more laid back, less weasel-y, and seems to actually be...I don't know...a cool guy :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: yummfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I said all that last week...
                                                                                                                                                                                                            He seems much less tool-like!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was trying to figure out if it was strictly becasue he stopped wearing a ridiculous hat all the time!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            In fact, he even looked kinda cute this time around!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            And I hate to say to say this - but Marcel who looks as if he has aged a bit - is not looking too bad either!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Can somebody help me understand what Jamie was even trying to cook? Were they dried chickpeas? I've never heard of anybody using dried chickpeas for anything other than falafel. Doesn't everybody else who wants chickpeas get them out of a can? Did I miss something about this dish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                            She was making some sort of chickpea stew, I think. I'll have to go back and look. Cooked chickpeas are used for falafel (at least in this house and every recipe I've seen). I cook my own from dried chickpeas; just like those better than canned. Whether you cook them yourself or get them from a can, I'm pretty sure chickpeas are always consumed cooked. I think Jamie's problem was that she started from dry without sufficient time to cook them (or planned her use of time poorly).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, my point (poorly-stated) was that cooking canned chickpeas takes about three minutes, and I've never seen a recipe that called for using dried chickpeas other than for falafel. I wonder if they're noticeably tastier? If not, it seems like it was a dumb choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I often find the texture of canned chickpeas to be inferior--too mushy. The texture could be an important detail in a chickpea dish. But of course, I'd take a mushy bean over an uncooked bean pretty much every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Traditionally, falafel are made from soaked, uncooked dried chickpeas, which are then ground. (Of course they are cooked before you eat them, when the felafel are fried.) I've seen lots of recipe like that. See link: http://www.israel-travel-and-tours.co...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the correction Caitlin. I'm going to go that route next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                People cook dried chickpeas all the time to use in dishes, just as they cook other dried beans - white, black, pinto, etc. I don't think it was ever said what Jamie's dish was, and as she didn't present it to the judges, we never heard her describe it to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Interesting - I don't think I've ever even seen them. Do you know if they taste better than the canned kind?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    IMO, canned are much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My vote is for dried all the way. Canned can take on a metallic flavor. Dried chickpeas produce a "cleaner" taste when boiled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Problem with using dried chickpeas is that if you cook them with salt, there's a great chance that they'll never get done, even if you cook them for hours and hours. I have a feeling that is what happened to Jamie's dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hate the texture of dried ones, and I don't like the flavor as much. I can't recall getting a metallic taste from canned, but I'll take your word that it can happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Isn't it true of all beans that salted cooking water toughens them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Myth? I've been brining beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/619965

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.cooksillustrated.com/howto...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've added salt to beans prior to cooking with no problems at all -- with the exception of chickpeas. I've ended up throwing out my chickpeas because they wouldn't get done even though I cooked them for over 5 hours!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If the beans are old, they will not soften, with or without salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And Bravo's Recipe Finder is only coming up with a total of 6 recipes for Jamie Lauren - 4 of them from her TC5 season. Bravo seems to be sorely lacking in getting any type of recipe up on their website for the All-Stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Might be my perception, but they've been lacking on the recipe front since Lee Anne left production.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, but Lee Anne was still there during TC5. So I think Bravo's web manager is just performing a MAJOR FAIL. Someone posted on the Bravotv.com's Senior Editor's blog that their query about why recipes aren't going up for TC-AS in her last blog was never posted by the Bravo.com PTB. So it looks like they're looking at the recipes as "no one cares about these so we'll get to them if and when we'll get to them."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know we're WAY past this issue now, but I just read this interview with Jamie:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.tvguide.com/News/Chef-Jami...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought it was funny that she too said she should have used canned chickpeas! According to her, the other chefs convinced her to use dried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Okay, I'm done talking about chickpeas now! =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And what a surprise - the interview ends with her saying "But, whatever." @@

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Last night was tree trimming, so I was totally bummed to have missed TC, but happy to catch up on demand this afternoon. I completely resisted reading this thread, and I am glad I did since I found that Carla's win was a fantastic and wonderful surprise. Ole Hootie-hoo comes through. Yay Carla!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The powers that be at my cable service removed Bravo from the channels provided....boo!...so I have to watch the episodes on line after the fact. Thank you Linda for providing the commentary...I check it as soon as the episode is over. I never mind knowing who is packing their knives before I see it. And Yay for Carla winning!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have to say that reading Anthony Bourdain's blog has been the most enjoyable part of this season! This episode's blog just cracked me up...I can't wait to see Marcel's jacket!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Squint

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OMG, your cable company REMOVED Bravo from their line-up? OK, when various shows are pretty highly rated for cable shows? And they win a few Emmys here and there? That's a stinky cable company! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As for Bourdain's blog, I had a right good giggle at lunchtime today reading that. Damn, he's good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                did someone post that here? or will they, please? i just googled it and only found the one where he was talking about trashing Fabio's dish....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  just go to bravotv.com and click on the top right for "blogs" and scroll down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's so crazy Linda. I live in a small mountain town just 25 miles west of Denver yet we have to use this hole-in-the-wall cable company. They were just bought out by another company..the one that dropped Bravo. We could probably upgrade to get more channels including Bravo but we really don't watch that much TV. We could also get Dish or Direct TV but we are planning to move closer to Denver in the next few months. I travel for work so it will be nice to be closer to the airport plus we are getting tired of the small town/small county politics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To keep this post on topic...I really do miss Bravo for Top Chef. And of course they dropped it right before the Top Chef Just Desserts final!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "When Angelo starts talking about putting something "in" your food, it pays to be wary. He's always going on about putting "love" in his food -- and I've never been entirely convinced there's not actual penetration involved."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    could NOT stop laughing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      GREAT line. love AB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "When Angelo starts talking about putting something "in" your food, it pays to be wary. He's always going on about putting "love" in his food -- and I've never been entirely convinced there's not actual penetration involved."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think he just pulls out too late.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK guys, thanks for the *very* disturbing mental images. I'm going to have some bad nightmares tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Squint

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Direct TV (satellite) moved Bravo yesterday from channel 273 to channel 237. They had TV Guide Tv (whatever that is) in its place. I panicked and called the company who told me where it was, but not why they moved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I noticed that, too, and we had the notion they may be trying to group "like" channels. Most of the food and cooking channels are in the 230's. I noticed our DVR was still set to record it, despite the channel change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: phee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Except that I think TC is Bravo's only cooking show. Bravo is more the weird people channel with it's "real housewives" franchises and the "matchmaker" and "flipping out" serieses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Bravo is more the weird people channel with it's "real housewives" franchises and the "matchmaker" and "flipping out" serieses."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            HEY!!! I resemble that remark!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TLC is probably weirder!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Too true. It's like a traffic accident you can't look away from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TLC and Bravo have both gone down some rabbit holes featuring some of the oddest people in the country -- people with upteen kids, Sarah Palin, hoarders and 6-month old "beauty" contestants v. the real estate guy who "punishes" his staff, the crazy millionaires looking for love. TC is like a breath of fresh air.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, I agree with you! I also love both Project Runway and the other designer show for the same reason that I love TC: these are shows about people who can actually DO something. I feel the same awe looking at the designers creating patterns and clothing as I do at some of the chefs creating dishes. It's about talent, not about being weird, although that does tend to factor into all the shows anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. maybe i missed it, but i don't think anyone posted Max Silvestri's Eater blog entry yet:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://eater.com/archives/2010/12/23/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for posting GHG. I always forget about eater's recaps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sure thing...though Silvestri was pretty weak this time around. Bourdain's is much funnier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I assumed everyone had this site bookmarked, but maybe not:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.alltopchef.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They're a little late on the blog collection, but it is good one stop shopping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It wasn't one of the best but I did laugh when Padma had a Swanson's box for her head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. thanks for another great recap, Linda! for those who want more discussion, this blog http://www.skilletdoux.com/ has interesting comments and discussion. Carla's husband is a frequent contributor to the blog as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. My only comment is that Jamie should have gone home. w.t.f.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Mike I. interview http://live.washingtonpost.com/top-ch...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  no spoiler, but good inside dish, answers some of our speculation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Isabella interview was really fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Last week was taped during US Open, with pro tennis players in audience.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Slams whole food's seafood quality (bad shrimp, fish, prices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  )- Slams Jamie. Her dish was a big fail.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Gives props to Tiffani, Angelo, Dale, Richard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that was awesome, thanks for posting! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Slams whole food's seafood quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      no surprise there - some of us have been doing that forever ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks for posting the link! this was a really nice, *different* look at Isabella. and i think it's interesting that he said straight-up that Jamie doesn't want to be there & knows she can't hack it against her competitors, and that they've all been expecting her to get eliminated every week. fingers crossed that they're finally right in the next episode...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gad, if Jamie knows she can't hack it AND doesn't want to be there, why did she even agree to come back?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          air time/exposure. Isabella actually *said* that in the interview! (though i don't think it's the most brilliant plan considering how she's now viewed...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ahh, haven't watched it yet - saw dach's post this morning and didn't have time...off to watch now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LW and ghg,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not sure I would swallow the line about "Jamie doesn't want to be there and knows she's not good enough etc. (paraphrasing)".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is Isabella's take on Jamie, who knows what really lurks in the minds of slackers ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              who knows what really lurks in the minds of slackers ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              well, we could turn this into an armchair psychology session and propose that her behavior/performance may be a manifestation of her unconscious beliefs and desires...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or maybe her father told her being second was just as good as being first or it doesn't matter where you place at all.;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  or it doesn't matter where you place at all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  or maybe it doesn't matter if you cook at all ...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Duck and cover and hope your team mates take the bullet first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd say if she doesn't want to be there AND knows she can't hack it, why not put out her not quite cooked chickpea dish and put herself out of her misery?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Does anybody know if next week a new episode (Tom C. challenge/Chinese restaurant) will air? I was getting ready to set my DVR, but it looks like they're only going to show repeats. I hope not! I really look forward to my Wednesday nights with Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: yummfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm pretty sure all of the shows on Bravo! are not new this week. I know Andy Cohen isn't doing any WWHN until after New Year's Day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I don't buy the whole "Angelo is a saboteur" thing. I think the editors, and possibly Tom, are playing it up because it creates an interesting discussion for the show. I also think Angelo is a good target because he can come off as arrogant and not as well-liked as other contestants, although I do think he's seems more comfortable this season and getting along more with the All-Star cast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            During the S7 reunion, all of the chefs admitted that they believe Angelo has good intentions when he tries to help other chefs. Even Tiffany admitted she came to this conclusion after first believing he was a saboteur while they were filming their season. Despite this, the show is continuing to run with this line for Angelo, even when it doesn't make much sense. Besides the celery/peanut butter dish very early last season, there isn't much evidence that Angelo does anything besides give what he considers help to other contestants, and it often backfires.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it just looks like what could be sabotage because a lot of the same contestants end up on the bottom at judge's table, or getting eliminated. But that doesn't mean Angelo put them there. First of all, typically, Angelo is ASKED for help. We don't really see him offering unsolicited advice that intentionally harms people's dishes. Usually, they ask for help, but Angelo's advice does not necessarily help their dishes. I think that's just the way it goes sometimes. Something that Angelo would think is right for one of his dishes may not work in another contestant's dish, especially if it's already weak. The people Angelo is perceived to have sabotaged were all considerably weak contestants in their seasons: Alex, Amanda and Spike. Generally, their dishes are poorly conceived or executed anyway, but Angelo's advice is always seen as "the nail in the coffin" for the dish, as if he's responsible for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just have never seen the logic of Angelo sabotaging weaker chefs who pose very little "threat" to him in the competition. If he's intentionally knocking people out of the game, why not go for Blais, Dale or Carla? Did anyone doubt that Spike would likely land in the bottom, after admitting that he'd already ruined two batches of shrimp? Why was Tiffani not really accused of sabotage, as she stood right alongside Angelo as they chose new ingredients to add to Spike's dish? Tom said the gelee was a "mistake," but I don't think he meant that it worsened the dish. It was a mistake because it wasn't Spike's idea, and it didn't really help, but I recall at least one of the judges saying they "loved" the soup (and Spike said he nailed his soup), so the gelee couldn't have been that bad. It was the shrimp everyone criticized. Padma pointedly asked Spike if Angelo added the stuff "without asking," and Spike kind of slithered his way around the question because he knew that they did ask him before adding things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Furthermore, why would Angelo (having just won his head-to-head and, therefore, escaped elimination) want to knock Spike (who, by all accounts, had a really weak dish before anyone touched it) and Tre (who had immunity) out this week?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It just doesn't make sense. Spike would have probably landed in the bottom anyway, and stood a good chance at elimination, so why waste the effort to make his dish worse? He stood right next to Angelo and Tiffani as they ASKED him if they could add olive oil and gelee to his dish. It's not like they took his plates and manipulated them without his knowledge. He knew he had a weak dish, and he was looking for help by the two strongest competitors on his team (who had also won their head-to-heads). I highly doubt that, if Spike thought he had a strong dish and could possibly win for his team, he would have just let people touch his plates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And Tre (whose QF dish looked delicious) couldn't have been eliminated anyway, so why would Angelo make his dish worse? And if he was just trying to send him to the bottom, surely he knew that Tre would inform the judges that Angelo was responsible for the overcooked fish, which makes Angelo look bad and let's everyone know "Hey, Angelo is probably a saboteur!" If the goal is to survive for the next challenge, Angelo had already done that by winning with his dish. Nothing he could have done would have sent either Spike or Tre home, so what would really be the point, except to look bad?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If anything, I think Tre was being a little underhanded with the fish thing. He didn't help his teammate, even with immunity. And much has been made of his poor history with salmon dishes (he ALWAYS ends up in the bottom with a salmon dish, even if he wasn't responsible for that portion!), so I wouldn't be surprised if he passed off cooking his main ingredient (!) to Angelo just to avoid actually cooking it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Surely, a true saboteur would be more furtive and call less attention to their efforts. Angelo's problem, IMO, appears to be that he's really competitive and can be bossy, so he does try to take control of people's dishes in team challenges. And he also thinks highly of his palate, which is why he freely offers advice to other chefs (although I think the advice thing is talked up a bit... we always see chefs tasting one others' food and giving tips, but it never works into a "story" like with Angelo). Arrogant? Yes. Saboteur? I don't see it. He competes very well by just cooking and winning challenges. And for all the advice he gives others that doesn't work too well, let's not forget that sometimes Angelo's own dishes backfire on him (it happened occasionally in S7, and once during a QF this season), so it's not like his taste is normally impeccable and anything that doesn't taste good must mean he messed up intentionally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mike I. was interviewed and said he is friends with Angelo and doesn't believe the saboteur storyline, and that Spike is just whining. Even Spike said he's friends with Angelo, and I don't believe he could really think the guy could be so sneaky and intentionally knock him out of the competition and still befriend him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ALL THAT SAID, I think Angelo should keep his hands to himself during these challenges. As much as he might want his team to win, or that he may think he has awesome advice, it almost always backfires on him. Even with good intentions, just let everyone cook their own dishes. I still like him, though. I just think he's kind of getting an unfair "story" from the show. I think the funny, quirky-weirdo-but-still-overall-nice thing gets subverted for the saboteur thing, unless he starts making more crazy comments, like last season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Speaking of stories, Jamie's story is definitely turning out to be one for the books! I never liked her, and I think she's pretty much a one-note cook, but she really has to be on everyone's radar now for not cooking. Twice! The challenge was set up in an unfair way (btw, Mike I. was preparing to plate when the last challenge was being set up, so he was not hiding, unlike Jamie) but she made no efforts for her team. What's worse, I think she KNEW that her dish was the worst and had no possibility of improving even if she waited until last to go. In his interview, Mike I. (I keep citing the thing, but I just watched it) said that Carla was kind of in the same boat initially: her soup's flavors hadn't come together at the beginning, so they let her wait until last. But with Jamie, she flat out said, "I hope I don't have to serve." She just pretended to keep stirring her dish and checking her undone-tay beans, as if she actually wanted to compete. "It's sucks that I didn't get to serve my dish." Yeah, right. I could see if this was the first week that she skated by coincidentally, but this is the second time in only twice as many episodes. She should take Ripert's advice and just quit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finally, Carla is awesome and her soup sounded delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: me_too

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great insight into the Angelo situation and good job laying out the logic as to why he probably isn't the bad guy some make him out to be. I also don't think he is attempting to sabotage anyone, but rather, he's arrogant and doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut/hands to himself so he feels the need to pitch in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pollymerase

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree! Sorry, I didn't realize my post was so long until after I posted!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do think he's arrogant sometimes, but harmless. I'd honestly rather see people attempting to help (in small ways, like giving little tips when asked, or offering extra ingredients, like Tiffany) than to not help and be all covert about it, like when Casey tasted Jen and Dale's dishes, told the cameras they weren't very good, but didn't say anything to Jen or Dale. Or when Tre didn't share any fish with a teammate, which could have potentially helped his team lose. I know it's a competition, but I think those types of things are way more strategic and underhanded than what Angelo does. He would, however, be perceived better if he just didn't touch anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I watch the "extras" videos on Hulu, and there is one with Kelly last season, and she was talking about Angelo and they showed a clip of her talking to him and asking him what to add to something. I bet he runs around the kitchen offering little advice like that to several chefs, but only the "backfires" are shown, because they create drama. I really think it's something Kenny and Ed decided to run with last season, and the show latched onto the idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: me_too

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's another possibility that explains Angelo's behavior. I hate to get all psychological, but it could be that he feels really insecure. His weird babbling would support that. By offering help to "the little people," Angelo gets to represent himself as the expert - someone important enough for others to look up to. It might also explain the Russian "fiance" that he had who either dumped him or turned out not to be a fiance at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What happened to the Russian fiance?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought I had read that she was no longer his fiance, but I don't remember where I read that. Does anyone else know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you Google "Angelo Sosa Russian girlfriend" there are all sorts of rumors, including that there really wasn't a girlfriend/fiancee. He's not said anything as to why she's no longer in the picture, however.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Linda, you are so count-on-able for the facts. I tried to find it by googling "Angelo Russian fiance" and didn't get the same results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Are we talking about a fiancé (= intended spouse, male sex) or fiancée (= intended spouse, female sex) ? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ah, whether or not I included that final "e" may be the tricky question.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yup, using a single "e" would definitely make for a different type of search results. Not that there's anything WRONG with that. ;-) (And it's nothing that the rumormongering hasn't already brought up.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                He Haw!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ummm...what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "'Hee haw" = that was funny....you know.. "It's a wonderful Life"....work with me people...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh....NOW I got it - you were missing the other "e" on "Hee". I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes, Shrinkrap. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Naw, it needed the missing "e". As with "fiance", the missing "e" really changes it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/10...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: me_too

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with your assessment re Angelo 100 billion trillion %. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My only other comments on this episode are: (1) Thank goodness Spike is gone. I don't think he has grown up any or is any less of a DB this season than he was last time. I still can't stand him. And (2) here's hoping Jamie is next!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. I am still in shock over this episode!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think this was the worst and most unfair elimination yet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      boo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      all I have to say is: Jamie's gotta go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Still love Carla and Blais
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just started liking Spike,... typical!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am begining to like Antonia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am also beginning to like Marcel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Casey, on the other hand is really getting on my nreves!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought she had a really snotty attitude. Wow. This never came across to me in her season,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then there was the Carla incident, and it was like "hmmmmmmmm" Now I think she is a complete bitch!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought it interesting that the judges liked the food so much - other than Carla's dish nothing sounded appealing or interesting to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I still cant believe Jamie and Mike never served their food - WTF???????????????????????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Carla was on the Kathy Lee/Hoda part of the Today show...(yay for Xmas shutdown!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/4082106...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Carla was marvelous, but Kathy Lee and Hoda...wow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kathy Lee: "You'll be boozing up real soon." And the cracks about balls. Looks like she'd already started boozing. Does she think that's cute? or funny? or appropriate? How does she stay on the air?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hooray for Carla for handling all of it with grace, ease, and good humor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kathie Lee has built her career in large part on her willingness to blurt out every sexual thought that pops into her empty little head. I assume her target audience (frustrated housewives and little old ladies?) loves it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kathie Lee has always been like nails on a chalkboard to me. she's appalling. the woman from the magazine seemed a little nervous & out of her element, but Carla was really impressive. she was articulate and smooth, and maintained her cool despite Kathie Lee's absurd comments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            do they always talk over each other like that? i don't know how anyone watches this stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            but those gruyere crisps sound delicious, and they look really beautiful with the thyme in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kathie Lee Gifford is one celebrity I'd have no problem bitchslapping, she irritates me *that* much. Nails on a chalkboard pretty much covers it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Remember, she (Kathie Lee) spit OUT the food she tried from Jeff when Jeff, Ariane, and Fabio were on the late Today Show segment during TC5.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://amuse-biatch.blogspot.com/2008...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have to say....I LOVE Amuse-Biatch's subject title for the video. :::::vbeg::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i do remember that! it pissed me off so badly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                she & i go to the same dentist, and the first time i saw her photo in the office i was tempted to walk out :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "do they always talk over each other like that? i don't know how anyone watches this stuff."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've only seen "them" on SNL, which is always "on the nose"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. wait, did i miss something?? how come no top chef tonight???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maria, repeats were all they had. I think several of us had noted that in the Episode #3 thread. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone out to dinner last night. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                damn. i hadn't checked that thread in awhile. at least you got a night off, Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I saw the ad last week that said the next new episode was on January 5, I actually felt real outrage. Then I thought, something must be wrong with me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At least we aren't alone in our obsession!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "My name is Noelle, and I am a Top Chef-a-holic"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL! +1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I couldnt watch last night and didnt know there wasnt a new one on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The first thing I did this morning was log on to be "spoiled" by LindaWhit, whose recaps are often better than the real show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mwwwwah! I promise I'll keep my cat away from your little hamstery avatar, C. Hamster. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wrong? Absolutely *nothing* is wrong with us, aching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We are all perfectly sane, writing for weeks on end about a show that hasn't had a new episode in 7 days and knowing we'll have to wait another 6 days for another new episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Something wrong with us. Pshaw. You're just being silly. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and Denial is NOT just a river in Egypt. ( :

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Jamie is turning out to be more and more useless. She'll have to cook at some point. Spike seriously got screwed on this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Overall a dumb contest all the dishes should have been judged.