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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #5 - 01/05/11 (Spoilers)

Yay, we're back! And it's a TC First - Chef Colicchio enters the competition. The QuickFire is a time challenge - the remaining cheftestants are to try and beat Chef Tom's time in creating a dish.

In the before-the-show, Antonia calls Angelo's penchant for putting his fingers into others' dishes "Chef's Tourette's". :-) And Richard's confessional yet again calls out Jamie for not cooking.

And we're on to the QF - before Tom C. starts, Angelo points out that Colicchio is sweating, and Tom replies "Yeah, I expected that!" Tiffany says to Tom "That's OK, take your time!" LOL

Tom's off and running - Fabio notes that every one of his movements is coordinated with the next one; everything *seems* to be going smoothly until Tom tosses part of a used fish into a bin...and the bin crashes to the floor next to Padma. "Sorry Padma!" he laughs! So how much time does Tom Colicchio take to make a simple but flavorful soup? 8 minutes, 37 seconds! Holy smokes!

Padma explains that the winner will get immunity AND a Toyota Prius - a HUGE prize! And they're off! Everyone runs towards the fridge...except Marcel, who runs to the bin and grabs the rest of Tom's fish. OK, that is REALLY SMART! And Angelo does crudo after Tom C. suggests they don't do something so simple and that they'll take into account a "degree of difficulty". Sheesh.

Time goes by VERY fast - and Dale Talde has virtually nothing to plate, as his noodles don't come out. Mike's dish looks great, and Marcel wonders if his flavors of his dish (which was served just before Mike's) was helping Mike's dish. Oh come ON, Marcel!

Low end - Dale, Jamie, and Angelo (glad Tom called out Angelo for the crudo!)
High end - Mike, Richard, and Marcel - and Mike Isabella wins!

For the Elimination Challenge, they head to Chinatown to serve up dim sum to locals. Based on previews, this could be a debacle! They have to work as a team to serve hundreds of dim sum diners at a major Chinatown restaurant.

They plan back at the house as to what to make...and WHAT a surprise - Jamie wants to do scallops! You can see everyone look at each other with a "REALLY?" In the confessional, Fabio starts up again with the "This is Top Chef, *not* Top Scallop!" Hopefully *this* is what sends her home! LOL

Carla and Casey take one for the team, and will work the floor bringing food out to the diners, relying on everyone else to prepare and get their dishes done. Dale, Angelo and Jamie will all do TWO dishes - really, Jamie? Several chefs say she's the slowest chef - how can she manage two dishes in a high pressure environment?

They go shopping, and Fabio is squicked out by the Chinese market guys cutting turtles up for soup - he used to have a turtle for a pet, so he's not happy with that!

They have to make 180 portions of dim sum dishes...it's hollered out that if you said you'd do two dishes, you *have* to do two dishes! Jamie's initial dish isn't working out, and when Antonia asks her to talk about the second dish, Jamie walks away saying "I don't have time!"

Hmmmm.....Jamie's getting a LOT of camera time - could this be IT for Miss Top Scallop, boys and girls? ::::Fingers crossed:::::

Susur Lee is the guest judge. Carla remembers how centered and zen-like he was on TCMasters. Mike Isabella is going to be the expeditor, while Carla and Casey are going to be wheeling the carts around.

They're now showing the dining room, and everyone's waiting for the dim sum...and they do NOT look happy! Some food comes out; and then it bogs down again. Everyone tries to pull together, but they're really falling apart. Antonia completely drops the ball on getting Casey's dish out, and yet is bitching about people standing around. Tom goes down to the kitchen, and tells them they have to move faster - diners are leaving! Some diners are actually getting up from their table and walking over to the dim sum carts to get their own plates or taking them out of the hands of those cheftestants who are bringing dishes up from the kitchen.

Comments from the diners: "I can't tell what I just ate - it was fried meat, but I don't know what type of meat!" And even more pointed: "Caucasian dim sum." Ouch. :-)

This Challenge was *no one's* finest moment. How are they going to pick a winner out of what was definitely a debacle? And there are a lot of unfavorable comments for not-so-good food. I guess it's figuring out which was *really* bad and which was just "meh".

It's time for JT - Padma comes into the Stew Room and asks to see Casey, Antonia, Carla, Tre, and Jamie. And these are the LEAST favorite dishes! They didn't get enough food up, and they weren't good dishes.

Jamie's taken TWO hits for her scallop dumplings and the overcooked, oily long beans. Hmmm...but then Casey and Antonia also get hammered. I *hope* Tre's OK based on what we heard about Jamie, Antonia and Casey's dishes. The judges need to finish talking, so they're sent back to the Stew Room, and asked to send up....

Tiffany, Angelo, Dale, and Fabio. These are the favorite dishes! Susur Lee pays Fabio a big compliment re: his playfulness with his dish, and when asked, Fabio said he had zero experience with Chinese cooking. And Dale Talde wins the challenge.

Now the judges deliberate about who's outta there. Jamie, Casey and Tre all get slammed yet again. Can't figure out who it's going to be - PLEASE just make it Jamie and put us all out of our misery? PLEASE?

And we're back at JT - and it's Casey. Holy CRAP. Jamie actually gets to stay again???? Come ON, judges! Even Casey said she and EVERYONE expected to hear Jamie's name, even Jamie did! Jamie said in the Stew Room to everyone else "I'm shocked it was Casey! She didn't get the brunt of it from the judges; I did!" So everyone knows, including Jamie, that she should have been out of there!

Damn. I cannot BELIEVE all of these good chefs are leaving before Jamie!

Previews for next week - looks like Marcel's being an asshat yet again - he gets into Dale Talde's face on a boat, and Dale's previously seen anger could come out again if Marcel doesn't shut up!

:::Sigh:::: I cannot believe this has happened yet again. WHEN are the judges going to get Jamie OUT of there? She's skating, yet again! Will be an interesting read of the Bravo blogs!

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  1. Scallops again...<snort!>

    Marcel's comments on his flavors carrying over to the Mike I tasting...eye roll. Gag me.

    I hate that people need to work front of house and they best not get screwed by that.

    Loved watching Tom in action. Hate that I left my laptop at work and have to leave the TV room to read your updates on commercial.

    17 Replies
    1. re: debbiel

      Come on girls, Marcel was beeing cheeky, and I thought it was quite charming.
      I can't believe you took it seriously!!

      1. re: NellyNel

        I have difficulty with the words "Marcel" and "charming" in the same sentence.

        1. re: chicgail

          Sorry NellyNel, I don't believe he's being "cheeky" or charming whatsoever. He's a petulant little child, as I said below, who pouts when he doesn't get his own way (i.e., not winning a challenge). He makes continual demeaning comments about others and their food.

          Is this a "character" persona he's created? Quite possibly. But few people can act that way all the time - unless they *are* that way.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I really think he suffers from harsh editing. In the extra scenes online, he talks about using msg (which I thought was purchased for the challenge) and that maybe that carried over to the other dish. They were all joking and laughing about it. Most surprising from the extra scenes, how funny and likeable Angelo was. He comes off to me as such a girl, I liked seeing him hang with the guys and be a normal guy.

            1. re: sommrluv

              I haven't had time to watch the extra scenes online yet. But yes, based on the silly dancing stuff from the Stew Room for the last episode, AND the bathroom & wrapping the toilet jokes played during Angelo's season, Angelo does seem more relaxed than we've seen broadcast.

              1. re: sommrluv

                Can you post a link to the extra scenes? Thanks in advance!

                1. re: Shrinkrap

                  Here's the various videos; various ways to filter to get bonus clips, exit interviews, extended judges' table.

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

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Thank You! I saw Chef Rick Moonan cook Dale's dish on Top Recipe on "On Demand".

              2. re: LindaWhit

                I really strongly dissagree!

                He made that cute gesture with his hand flying over...

                And so far, I havent seen any continued demeaning remarks!
                In fact he has been praising the other chefs.
                When Mike won, he seemed genuinely happy for him and gave him a great big hug...

                I really (sorry Linda) think everyone was brainwashed by the people on his first season into believing he is a total tool.
                I've said it before - he may have an annoying character, but not a mean spirited one.

                1. re: NellyNel

                  I agree! He mostly talks about his own food, not other people's. So he talks it up, so what? He doesn't make nearly as many demeaning remarks about the others' foods as Mike I. or the widely-considered-to-be-charming Fabio.

                  1. re: NellyNel

                    I'm with you NellyNel and Ruth - I think Marcel learned how to be on TV! He gives sharp little soundbites, and doesn't come off as an egomaniacal baby/jerk anymore!

                    I don't understand the appeal of Mike at all, except good on him for winning that challenge! He seems like a slob most of the time. Do people identify with him or something?

                    1. re: pitu

                      I love Mike.. I think he's hilarious and a talented chef.. I'm hoping to see him in the finals with Angelo, Marcel, and Dale..

              3. re: NellyNel

                In agreement. Marcel seemed to be joking around when he was saying that. He certainly didn't look serious. It seems with him people tend to look for things to hold against him.

              4. re: debbiel

                I'm replying to you so it will be at the top and it concerns both of your comments. I saw part of this episode tonight and had a couple of additional thoughts.

                Jamie said she didn't want to be in the front of the house pushing the dim sum cart because she wouldn't feel comfortable trusting others in the kitchen with her dish. Hell, Jamie, if somebody else in the kitchen prepared your dish you might have won the elimination challenge.

                Marcel thought the flavors from his dish made the judges like Mike's dish since they tasted Mike's dish immediately after tasting Marcel's dish. What if the reason they liked Marcel's dish is because of the lingering flavors from Casey's dish which they tasted immediately prior to tasting Marcel's dish?

                1. re: John E.

                  "Marcel thought the flavors from his dish made the judges like Mike's dish since they tasted Mike's dish immediately after tasting Marcel's dish. What if the reason they liked Marcel's dish is because of the lingering flavors from Casey's dish which they tasted immediately prior to tasting Marcel's dish?"
                  ____
                  I think Marcel might have been speaking about a more specific effect though. Basically, the umami from his dashi could have conceivably carried over and made the next dish taste more full. The clean but umami-laden taste of a good dashi broth tends to make later dishes taste better, at least in theory - that's partly why it's traditionally served at the beginning of a Japanese meal.

                  That said, it's an interesting theoretical point, but Marcel should probably have shut up about it.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    "...but Marcel should probably have shut up about it."
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    Yeah. Like THAT'S gonna happen. :-)

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      I was actually trying to be funny, but sometimes my attempt at humor is a little too subtle.
                      I was also trying to be funny when I said Jamie could have won the dim sum challenge if she would have worked the front of the house and let someone else cook her food.

                2. I really don't want Casey to go home for the chicken feet. Even if she did cook them improperly. That was just a MESS of a service. A mess. Best outcome in my opinion? Either Marcel or Jamie goes home. At least neither of them had a great success of a dish.

                  1. Wow. Casey. You know what? They need to just stop having anyone be responsible for anything but there cooking. If they were terrible chicken feet she was cooking? Okay. But she's got a different assignment? Grrr. And Jamie? Two bad dishes?You finally cooked and you made two bad dishes? I'm starting to think she'll make the finals.

                    Congrats to Dale. Really glad he won. Hope he stomps on Marcel next week.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: debbiel

                      God help the show if Jamie makes the finale. Seriously. I think there will be a LOT of viewers who will just see that as jumping the shark allowing her to get that far when we're in the fifth episode, and she's only cooked in 60% of them.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        she's only cooked in 60% of them.
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        not even! remember, Tom said in the QF that her clam was only a half on the half shell ;)

                      2. re: debbiel

                        Based on the previews, it's not clear if Dale stomps on Marcel, but it looks like they get into it. And, based on what we saw, Marcel looks a lot like his old self.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          Dales got a bit of a mouth. During his season he was always threatening to do something to someone or another.

                        2. WTH??? First off, this was almost painful to watch. You were spot on, Linda, when you said this challenge was no one's finest moment. But why is Jamie still there?!? While I think I would have dinged her for doing two dishes and not doing either well, the judges seemed to give her more credit for doing two dishes.

                          47 Replies
                          1. re: phee

                            First, credit for doing no dishes. Now, credit for doing two crappy dishes. Why, it all makes sense! Argh...

                            Yes, it does seem that Casey's dish was bad, but...but...JAMIE!!! (And the unfairness of not being able to make your own dish.)

                            1. re: debbiel

                              I thought Jamie or Tre would be going but they did say the chicken feet were inedible and the diners wouldn't eat them. I don't think Antonia is at fault either, I think she did her best with everything else she had going on and the chicken feet were just a bad idea.

                              1. re: tofuburrito

                                Good point. If I had to come up with a dim sum dish, chicken feet is probably one of the LAST things I would attempt!

                                1. re: tofuburrito

                                  I agree that it looked like the chicken feet were probably the worst dish. I have just always disliked challenges that take some away from their own cooking. I'd be much more comfortable with her elimination if she was in the kitchen with her chicken feet.

                                  1. re: debbiel

                                    Again this was a poorly designed challanege.

                                    Really enjoyed the episode. Watching Tom cook was a gas. I wondered if after the challenge was explained if they had a chance to walk around the kitchen, see where there items were and then assemble back at the table for the "ready set go"?

                                    That said having someone go home for a dish they didn't make is bad, but it's bad design of the challenge. I suppose if it was me and I knew someone else was going to cook my dish I'd go over the specifics very carefully. It seemed when Casey went down to check on it, Antonio wasn't aware of how Casey wanted it prepared. Still, no one should cook and not get judged and no one should go home when they didn't cook.

                                    jb

                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                      Best I was able to tell from the comments and blogs, the problems with Casey's dish were Casey's fault, not Antonia's. The big issue it seems was that it was so grisly that it was impossible to eat, and that would be because she didn't braise them long enough. Final cooking wouldn't have made much difference.

                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                        I have to wonder why she asked Antonia to begin with since she was already involved with two dishes whereas as Tre, Marcel, and Blais only had one with no additional responsibilities.

                                        1. re: tofuburrito

                                          I get the impression (and I know this is based mainly on her edit, which can be misleading) that Antonia has a lot of integrity. She has been the only outspoken voice at times she felt other chefs were being unfairly shafted ("that's harsh" after Dale L's comments about Elia's fish, defense of Jennifer Carroll's contribution to her team), she did not throw Casey under the bus at judge's table (to be fair, Casey returned the favor), she seemed to be the only one hustling in the kitchen this week as things got ugly (again, could have been the edit).

                                          Given that, it would make sense that another chef would ask for her help rather than others'.

                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                            I am liking Antonia now...but I remember she did something snake-like that really annoyed me on her season.
                                            I can't remember what it was, but I was incredulous - and I really hated her after that...
                                            Anyone recall?
                                            My memory is pretty bad

                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                              I don't remember anything snake-like from Antonia. I remember Ming sided with Spike over Antonia in a dispute that was funny rather than controversial and I think she was a good sport when Spike rubbed it in.

                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                Maybe it wasn't a snake like move, bu I do remember she did something to cause me to dislike her!
                                                Who knows what is was!?
                                                I like her now though

                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                  She got into it big time with Spike. I just don't remember exactly how it played out. Spike wanted to make soup and she didn't and the judges said soup would've been good. Or something. And they blew up at each other.

                                                  But Spike was a bit of a mischief maker and instigator that season and it didn't make much sense to me to hold another contestant's arguments with Spike (Antonia, Dale T.) against them. Still, can't remember all the details.

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                    I wasn't an antonia fan before either, but I have to admit, I like what's she's putting out now. (attitude wise).

                                                    On a somewhat related note, I noticed she and all the female chefs seem to be groomed a bit better, attractive, makeup, nice outfits under those coats...not seeing a lot of bed head and under eye circles. Not that I care, but as a fellow chick I have to wonder if they didn't like what they looked like on tv in their season.

                                                    1. re: sommrluv

                                                      Or, maybe they didn't like how they appeared on camera and made some changes/got some advice.

                                                      I only started watching last season (late comer, I am) but I like Antonia, too. She seems pretty cool.

                                                      It's unfortunate they have to throw each other under the bus. On Survivor (and even Amazing Race), the crew updates Jeff (Phil) on anything that was particularly interesting or nasty. If it doesn't come out naturally at Tribal Council (finish mat), then Jeff (Phil) will just ask: I understand someone threw someone's socks in the fire (or whatever) to force it out into the open. It would be nice if the judges on TC already knew who had helped whom with prep, etc.

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                  2. re: NellyNel

                                                    There was a challenge where Antonia and Spike working together with Zoi. Spike wanted to make butternut squash soup and Antonia resisted even though she had immunity. They made some kind of beef carpaccio and ended up in the bottom and Zoi got PPYKAG. At JT Spike mentioned the soup and they said it sounded good and that's what they should have made.

                                                    I posed this question before...does anybody here eat all that much raw beef and raw fish? It just doesn't appeal to me. I'm not quite the hayseed that makes me seem to be, but I don't get it.

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      "does anybody here eat all that much raw beef and raw fish?"
                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                      at home, no. but when i eat out, absolutely...and bear in mind that for these challenges the chefs are making dishes they'd serve in a restaurant, not something they'd necessarily throw together for a quick meal at home on a random Tuesday.

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        raw meat and fish is really well suited to restaurants, because restaurants can get really spankin'-fresh stuff, moreso than the home cook, and the equipment is better suited to keep food at optimum freshness-- commercial refrigerators cool foods faster and keep them colder, for example, than home fridges. so these foods make sense at a restaurant where there is quick turnover of a very delicate fresh food product. customers do like to order these dishes at restaurants for these reasons rather than making them at home, it's much better from a food safety standpoint imo & i don't blame them!

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          Of course I realize this is about restaurant chefs. I just don't order this type of food even when the opportunity arises.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            "I just don't order this type of food even when the opportunity arises."
                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                            and that's certainly your prerogative, but why do you find it puzzling or surprising that some of us do? one could just as easily turn it around and question why you don't order these things. it's just a matter of preference, like with anything else.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              I'm not ridiculing anyone for ordering and/or eating this food. I simply asked if anyone did order it. I didn't indicate any surprise, I simply expressed an opinion and it seemed as if I was getting a lecture (bear in mind) from you in response. That's the only reason for that reply.

                                                              And it seems there seems to be a disproportionate amount of this type of food being prepared on TC. I suppose that's the question I had. I also think there is a lot of fish on this show but I do understand that I live in the middle of the country but more than that it can be prepared quickly.

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                Is there really a disproportionate number of raw beef and fish dishes on TC?

                                                                Last night QC had only one raw fish dish -- Angelo's crudo.

                                                                The EC challenge, best I can recall, had no raw food (although the chicken feet might come pretty close).

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  not last night, but this season it seems like they've been heavy on the raw - crudo, carpaccio, gazpacho...

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    and there was last years big thing - Ceviche (I know it's not considered "raw", but....)

                                                                2. re: John E.

                                                                  @John E., where did i say you were ridiculing anyone? i think you took my earlier response too personally, but i apologize if i offended you somehow.

                                                                  and yes, they have been putting up too many raw preparations this season. i think it came up in last week's thread...? or maybe i was just thinking it in the ongoing Top Chef discourse in my head :)

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    "and yes, they have been putting up too many raw preparations this season."
                                                                    _____
                                                                    I don't get that impression. Of course, that's harder to verify this season since the Bravo site doesn't have all the recipes from this season clumped together. But still I haven't noticed anything too egregious in terms of raw preparations. Angelo likes them - that's his style. Maybe it's because his dishes have been prominent this season?

                                                                    What else has set off raw-food-alarms in your head? It seems to me that the other contestants are only rarely putting up raw proteins.

                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                      it's not just angelo. gazpacho has been done at least three times, if not more. in the relay/team challenge with lamb two of the teams did carpaccio. there's also been cured salmon, raw uni w/caviar, pickled scallops, several crudo dishes, sashimi...that's a lot of uncooked meat & fish in only 5 episodes.

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        Seems as if lots of raw foods - ceviches, crudos, carpaccios, tartares - has been a constant for the past three seasons or so, starting with season 5.

                                                                  2. re: John E.

                                                                    Can't speak for others but I love a good beef carpaccio and it's too much trouble to make at home. Same for sushi. The one semi-raw thing I *could* make is a tuna steak, and the inside of that will definitely be raw, too. I guess it's just a matter of taste--I find these things super delicious and hard to make at home. If it were cheaper and easier to make (and easier to find "politically correct" sources for) I'd probably have fish (or shrimp or scallops) 3-4 times a week.

                                                                    One of my criteria for ordering food in a restaurant is to pick something I can't easily make at home. So though I love a good steak or lamb chop, those are easy peasy to make and thus I look at the carpaccio. the grilled halibut, the scallops.

                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                      Exactly -- the use a lot of fish (especially in quickfires) because it can be cooked quickly. And in San Francisco (and probably other place with similar restaurant scenes), not only has sushi/sashimi been very popular for many years now, but other places have jumped on the raw fish bandwagon with "crudo" (Italian raw fish). Of course ceviche has always been popular in Latin American restaurants, especially the Peruvian restaurants that have been trendy in SF for several years now.

                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                        As somebody who lives within 300 yards of three sushi restaurants, and eats sushi a minimum of once per week, I can vouch for the facts that both raw food and sushi are incredibly common, bordering on mundane.

                                                                        1. re: LaPomme

                                                                          I totally agree with you. I live in a very big city that is also a food destination city and raw fish (including sushi) is very common - as is raw food, frankly.

                                                                          But if John E. does not live in that kind of metropolitan area, he might find it to be much less prevalent, and therefore, disproportionate on TC. It's all a matter of perspective and familiarity.

                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                            I live in a Twin Cities suburb and there is a Japanese sushi bar fewer than two miles from my house. My whole question was really about the carpaccio/crudo raw beef, fish and scallops. These dishes seem to be prepared a great deal on TC and I just don't see them that often. If it's common in a lot of the restaurants here I haven't noticed it. Then again we don't go to the real high-end restaurants all that often. I'd have to get a recommendation from someone before I'd order it. I'm an adventurous eater, it's my brothers who would refer to sushi as bait. (Just don't eat crudo of walleye unless you want to get tapeworms).

                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                              In NYC, it is common to have those things in higher end places. Even in some mid-range places you will see these often. I'm going to a small plates restaurant tomorrow and I see 3 dishes out of 22 plates have crudo and scallops. And this restaurant isn't even considered higher end -- the prices range from $6-$18.

                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                i think it's also a matter of trends in different cities. out of curiosity, i just did searches for the terms "crudo" and "carpaccio" on the MSP & NYC boards as well as several other cities around the country for results in the past year:
                                                                                - MSP: crudo = 1; carpaccio = 5
                                                                                - NYC: crudo = 57; carpaccio = 29
                                                                                - LA: crudo = 19; carpaccio = 38
                                                                                - SF: crudo = 106; carpaccio = 22
                                                                                - Boston: crudo = 23; carpaccio = 22
                                                                                - Chicago: crudo = 4; carpaccio = 6
                                                                                - DC: crudo = 4; carpaccio = 21
                                                                                - Austin: crudo = 3; carpaccio = 6

                                                                                you get the idea. i know we also have to account somewhat for population density or # of CHers in each city, but judging by those numbers it makes sense that those of us who have been living in NY & SF might be more inclined to think of the raw dishes as standard & expected.

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                  In SF there's a restaurant called Bar Crudo which probably accounts for the huge number of "crudo" hits. But yeah, it's all over the place -- it fits in very nicely with the "fresh, local ingredients simply prepared" ethos. I'd be interested in a search that included "ceviche/cebiche" as well. Remember in Top Chef season 2 on of the things that got Sam eliminated was that he was always making some variant on crudo/ceviche and at his last challenge the judges complained that he wasn't actually *cooking* anything.

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                    The fresh, local, SEASONAL(super important here), and simply prepared ethos is pretty big in MSP, actually, which makes sense given the importance of agriculture to the local economy.

                                                                                    But seafood will never be "local" to MSP, alas, unless there's a major rearranging of the continent. We can get it flown in *relatively* fresh because we are an airline hub, but nevertheless, restaurants that truly adhere to the fresh/local/seasonal thing (of which there are many) will NOT serve it.

                                                                                    I'm not surprised that carpaccio got more hits on MSP than crudo did.

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                      yes, but Minneapolis is the Walleye capital of the world! ;-D

                                                                          2. re: LaPomme

                                                                            This reply is not directed to LaPomme only; rather, it is a general comment about raw food/raw fish/raw beef (John E's original query):

                                                                            Raw food is uncommon in traditional Chinese cuisine. It used to be considered 'barbaric' to eat raw food. Salads in the Western sense are largely 'foreign' to a traditional Chinese diet, ditto raw veggies. There are exceptions like raw lettuce leaves (somewhat like green leaf or Boston lettuce) served with certain kinds of wraps or with fried rice, fried noodles, some kinds of chicken etc. When I was growing up it was a bit of a stir when we were served a dish with raw lettuce leaves at a banquet - especially if it was more than just a garnish - and people would make a big deal about eating a few of the lettuce leaves ('sang choy'). My mother would not even allow me to eat any of them for a time while I was growing up. In most cases, both veggies and meat or almost any other thing needed to be cooked in some way, even if briefly. A stir fry, even if it furnished still crispy veggies, still had those veggies meet with heat and hot oil.

                                                                            The only raw fish dish I can think of is a Cantonese dish (yu sang, 魚生) served on the 7th day of the New Year (Yun Yat; "mankind's birthday") which comprises slices of a kind of carp, raw, arranged with shredded raw veggies (mostly root veggies) on a huge plate, drizzled liberally with a savory, tangy sauce and tossed to make a kind of salad. Everyone at the table had to join in when tossing the ingredients - it was considered unpropitious if someone did not.

                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                              I've had this raw fish salad at a couple of Chinese restaurants in San Francisco that was incredibly delicious. It's available all year, not only at New Year's. This ancient chowhound post was the first time I heard of it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/16941

                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                Really? Available all year? Please tell me in which restaurants and the next time I'm in SF I'll head for them! (But then I also haven't actively searched for it here...)

                                                                                When I was talking about it above it was in the context of 'when I was growing up' in SE Asia and it was traditionally served only at Chinese New Year from the 7th day onwards for a few days. I haven't had this dish or seen it in a very long time. Mind you, the description of the ingredients in that interesting old thread you linked to seem a little different from what I remember was typically served in my part of the world back then...it also included lots of shredded carrots, jicama (I think), sometimes shredded 'wong nga pak' (Napa), but I don't remember hot peppers or chillies being included...or perhaps they were set aside as something you could add to your own plate if you wanted to after the main part was tossed. The traditional fish was carp (fiddly deboning, it needed skilled chefs) but I now remember that a more expensive reddish-fleshed fish was also available [probably tuna, on reflection] and it was an indulgence to have both kinds of fish on the plate.

                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                  I've had it at two different restaurants (Bow Hun, as described in that post) and Kirin. There have also been reports on that dish at, of all places, Sam Wo (I say of all places, because Sam Wo is mostly known for a (now deceased) famously rude waiter by the name of Edsel Ford Fong). More info in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/443206

                                                                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                  Ruth, have you been to Bow Hun more recently and had that salad?

                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                    I haven't had it in several years, but as far as I know they still serve it (see my other post), although more recent reports suggest it might have to be ordered in advance.

                                                                    2. re: John E.

                                                                      I think the necessity for speed makes raw food an attractive choice for the chefestants.

                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                        Thanks for the re-fresh- I was no Spike fan, but, I do remember I didnt like her attitude about it..

                                                              2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                From what Susur was saying, Casey's plan for cooking it was further off the mark than what Antonia actually did. I think she deserved to go. And kind of poetic justice that she was eliminated when someone else was involved in her cooking (right, Carla?).

                                                    2. Heartbreak for Casey, but she didn't take her own advice from last episode - you have to be responsible for your own dish. As soon as I saw that Antonia was ignoring Casey's dish, I knew Casey was done for.

                                                      What a fun quickfire challenge! Did anyone else notice how Padma threw the keys to Mike, as if to keep him from giving her a hug? Looks like that's where he was headed, and she didn't want that again!

                                                      Good for Dale on the win - his dishes looked tasty. Angelo seemed disappointed at the win, but he was also gracious about it.

                                                      Service WAS a disaster, but I don't think they should have been responsible for running the food. That seemed to put the runners at a real disadvantage, and it would seem unnecessary, as the restaurant's regular runners would seem better equipped to handle service, and just let the chefs COOK. That's what they are there for.

                                                      Exciting episode all in all!

                                                      Richard does not seem to be at the top of the pack as everyone expected. His performance overall so far has been lackluster - two QF wins and one Elimination win, all as part of a team win. No individual wins at all.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: lisavf

                                                        I hate that they make people work front of house AND responsible for dishes. If they made everyone do it, fine, but this way makes it so unfair to the people who aren't able to put out their own food.

                                                        1. re: Nettie

                                                          I also don't agree with that. This is where Carla was smart serving a dish that didn't need to be cooked (even though it was on the bottom).

                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                            Yes, she prepared a dish that didn't have to be cooked, but, in theory, all servings had to be 100% completed and plated before service started in order for her to successfully provide trolley service, while everyone else was able to continue to complete and plate dishes throughout service. So it did place additional restrictions on her, which I do think is unfair (although I agree she was smarter about it than Casey). But then again, she volunteered to do service (they both did), so they had to deal with the consequences.

                                                      2. Tom Colicchio's blog is up: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso... Tom pretty much had the QF challenge sprung upon him TWO days before shooting! LOL Funny things didn't get on camera (like the real reason the fish tub fell to the floor).

                                                        As for Casey going home, he says "And to all the Casey fans out there who are about to write in to tell me that Jamie should have been sent home instead, I have one word for you: “inedible.” I like Casey very much, too, and I applaud her for going out on such a limb by making chicken feet. And no, she was not sent home because the American judges are not accustomed to eating the feet of fowl. She was sent home because the particular dish she made with them was inedible. Not just bad, but inedible. Jamie’s dishes, and those of the other contestants on the bottom this week, while poor, were edible. However even the Chinese patrons, who not only eat chicken feet regularly but who truly relish them, could not eat Casey’s."

                                                        :::Sigh::: Casey took a chance trying to make a *real* dim sum dish, and it didn't work out for her...especially since she left it in Antonia's hands to do the cooking.

                                                        63 Replies
                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          I hate that I love this show and love that I should hate it but don't

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            I am not sure about the 'especially' in your concluding sentence. My recollection is that Casey asked Antonia how she was making the the chicken feet, and when Antonia said she was deep frying them, Casey replied that they needed to be braised (?). But then, at JT, I believe that Susur Lee commented that chicken feet needed to be deep fried to get cooked properly.

                                                            But then Jamie didn't know that the dumpling wrappers she chose needed to be boiled, not steamed (per Lee). However, the result may have been less than optimal, but it was edible.

                                                            The most surprising aspect of the episode to me was not who went home, but, rather, the fact that it appeared that, while some discussed 'Chinese food' in a general, generic way, many of them were so clueless as to what dim sum should be that I began to wonder if they had ever been to a busy dim sum place or even tried dim sum!

                                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                                              "many of them were so clueless as to what dim sum should be that I began to wonder if they had ever been to a busy dim sum place or even tried dim sum!"
                                                              _____
                                                              It's plausible that some of them haven't. It's not like your chef's license is revoked if you aren't familiar with every single variety of the world's cuisines.

                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                Dim sum is not some rare and unusual cuisine to not be familiar with. To not even know the concept of it and what one would put together for it makes them uneducated as chefs.

                                                                1. re: JasmineG

                                                                  "Dim sum is not some rare and unusual cuisine to not be familiar with."
                                                                  ___
                                                                  I never said it was. It makes no difference. They're chefs, not doctoral candidates. When I go to an Italian restaurant, I want the chef to know Italian food well; when I eat Thai, I want the chef to know their Thai cuisine. It makes no real difference whether the Thai chef knows Italian and vice versa. Many of the best cooks stick closely to their cuisine.

                                                                  I have no idea if Susur Lee knows anything about Indian food. But whether he does or not, his Chinese is pretty damn amazing.

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                    I think the question of what you would expect from a chef in his or her restaurant is somewhat irrelevant and beside the point.

                                                                    What I found surprising is that they were competing in a contest where they *knew* that they'd be asked to cook outside of their area(s) of comfort and/or expertise, and yet here was a major (and at least in urban areas such as NYC, very mainstream) cuisine about which many of them seemed to be completely clueless!

                                                                    Note the discussion of prevelance of 'crudo' above: they know raw fish, but (some of them apparently) have never even been to a dim sum place?

                                                                    Gotta feel sorry for them to have such limited experience, actually.

                                                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                                                      "I think the question of what you would expect from a chef in his or her restaurant is somewhat irrelevant and beside the point."
                                                                      ___
                                                                      Not really. We're talking about what a chef should know.

                                                                      Now, witihin the context of this contest, we have seen time and time again that the contestants who win are the ones who are able to play any challenge into their strengths. The ones who change their style to the task at hand and make versions of a cuisine they aren't masters of reliably go home. Contestants (notably Richard Blais and Kevin Gillespie) have stated this repeatedly.

                                                                      If you're a chef specializing in ______ (not Chinese cooking) and you're about to be on Top Chef, I'd think there are much better and more important uses of your time than studying dim sum and every other traditional world cuisine you've missed out on.

                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                        I agree with you cowboyardee.

                                                                        Even alot of Chowhounds are not all that facile with describing, ordering or eating dim sum, much less cooking it.

                                                                        And lets be honest, alot of Top Chef contestants aren't seasoned chefs that have dined and experienced the culinary world -- like an Anthony Bourdain. Many (most?) are young, fresh out of culinary school, or in their first or second gig behind the stove.

                                                                        I mean lets take another example. How many of these Top Chef All Stars would perform efficiently behind a sushi bar? Sure, some can make crudo or sashimi, but being an efficient Itamae at the height of lunch hour is a totally different task.

                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                          The issue is not studying up on it. The issue is that if chefs who are going to be on Top Chef don't know what dim sum is, that makes them uneducated. That is something that a chef should know -- a chef doesn't need to know the specific details of how to make every dish, but if a chef in America doesn't know what dim sum is, they aren't a very well educated chef, and clearly don't have a lot of interest in food outside their own specific restaurant.

                                                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                                                            "they... clearly don't have a lot of interest in food outside their own specific restaurant."
                                                                            _____
                                                                            That's possible. Some very good chefs don't have much interest in foods outside their chosen cuisine.

                                                                            Or maybe they are interested in other cuisines but just never got around to learning much about dim sum. Example - I recently realized how little I knew about North African cuisine after being asked to cater in that style. And I like all sorts of foods and can have tried and cooked (not always well, BTW) dishes from many cultures. Just skipped over North Africa. Go figure.

                                                                            On top of that, you are making a BIG assumption that since a contestant didn't cook a traditional dim sum dish that they didn't know what dim sum is. Knowing a cuisine and being able to cook it well enough for a competition are two VERY different things. Probably more than a few consciously chose to make non-dim sum they could pull off rather than butchering something traditional.

                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                              "Just skipped over North Africa"
                                                                              Ha,ha! Good choice! I spent a year in Egypt and found almost nothing exciting to eat. If you look on the boards that cover that area, there are many lamenting the cuisine in that part of the world, Morocco being the major exception.

                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                it wasn't whether they could cook the dish or not...it was also that they seemed to be completely unprepared or unaware of the style of the food and service. Whether they could cook the dishes well or not, many of them chose to make recipes that didn't seem to be very well suited to dim sum service.

                                                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                  Tom or Gail said in their Bravo blog that they weren't plating for a dining room of 250 hungry dim sum diners...they were firing and plating in onesies-twosies, trying to get the plating done "perfectly" and making sure the right number of garnishes were on the plate, when that wasn't what mattered...getting the food cooked and up the stairs was what mattered!

                                                                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                    Right, the issue isn't that they hadn't mastered dim sum cooking, but that they didn't even seem to know what would be appropriate to serve as a dim sum dish.

                                                                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                      "...they didn't even seem to know what would be appropriate to serve as a dim sum dish."
                                                                                      ____
                                                                                      You guys keep saying that. What evidence do you have that they didn't know aside from the fact that many of them didn't serve authentic dim sum dishes? (which is a perfectly reasonable move considering they are in a competition, and making authentic dim sum is nowhere near as important as making something tasty and impressive that doesn't get them sent home)

                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                        It's not about serving an authentic dim sum dish. It's about serving something that would be appropriate for dim sum. Dim sum is about small bites, dumplings, things in small packages. When they were initially discussing what to make, some of them seemed to not know that. It's not about making something authentic, it's about making something that actually fits the challenge. It's the same as in previous seasons when they've had challenges at ballparks or at tailgates and people proposed complicated food that was inappropriate to the challenge.

                                                                                    2. re: susancinsf

                                                                                      "it was also that they seemed to be completely unprepared"
                                                                                      ____
                                                                                      Why shouldn't they be? A dim sum service is a completely different kind of kitchen experience than the fine dining and American casual most of them are used to. Different organization, different pacing, different focus. Anthony Bourdain said on his blog that this challenge was bound for disaster - that there was no way chefs with no experience at a dim sum place could make service go smoothly.

                                                                                      This is getting to be like saying a professional hockey player should also be great at football just because he is a professional athlete.

                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                        "Anthony Bourdain said on his blog that this challenge was bound for disaster - that there was no way chefs with no experience at a dim sum place could make service go smoothly."
                                                                                        ---
                                                                                        At least one of them did have experience -- Dale T. But here he lost an opportunity or worse, by not putting forth any effort to take a leadership role, or otherwise make friends and impress viewers and look good professionally, by helping everyone look better by offering some useful advise to the group as to the logistics and the different mindset they'd have to come into a dim sum kitchen with. Appropriate, considering they are all executive chefs with leadership and mentoring responsibilities, not simple line-cooks bringing the drama.

                                                                                        And Tiffany D did say that by the end of service they had figured the kinks out of how they needed to work to keep up the required dim sum volume, but by then it was "too late."

                                                                                        Disasters make for good reality TV though. And these are the "all stars", so it is appropriate to give them higher level of difficulty challenges and see how they handle it. Not so well in this case...

                                                                                        1. re: dach

                                                                                          Of course, we don't know whether or not Dale offered advice, or the extent to which he did.

                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                              Dale's blog reads exactly like my impression of his TCAS character

                                                                                              1. re: dach

                                                                                                Your take on it is different from mine.

                                                                                              2. re: huiray

                                                                                                Good point:
                                                                                                "Watching the show last night and listening to the other chefs sayI should have stepped up makes me laugh. The last time I did that on my season, I was sent home. Not once did anyone ask me for help - when we were talking about the dishes, when we were shopping or during service."

                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          Casey fried her chicken feet. Where did she get that stupid idea from?

                                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                            One common way of making dim sum style chicken feet is to, yes, deep fry them first - but then it is followed by braising, marinating, and finished by steaming before serving.

                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                              I believe all she did is fry them - but I could be wrong.

                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                I don't remember if that was the only thing she did, but what she did NOT do was to complete the process or do it properly for them to become succulent.

                                                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                              Well, unless my memory is going (always possible), I think you've got it backwards. She didn't fry them. or do I have it backwards?

                                                                              As far as I can tell, most recipes call for deep frying, and some follow that by braising. The ones I've had at dim sum places taste fried to me, though I am certainly no expert.

                                                                              Re my post above, I think Susur Lee's point was that the only way to get them properly done in the time allotted would to deep fry. (not enough time to break down the cartilage, etc. by just braising.)

                                                                              Does anyone have a recipe?

                                                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                Frying is only a small part of making chicken feet. Most of the time it's being braised. I don't understand Susar's point. Just frying the chicken feet will make them crunchy but not soft.

                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                  But the deep frying/oil blanching is usually done in the cuisine as a precursor to braising, sort of like how European cuisines sear meat before braising. Similar effect

                                                                            3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              Tom may have ONLY had two days, but he had TWO DAYS to think through what and how he was going to do. He sure made it look easy, tho, didn't he?

                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                Yeah, he had two days to conceptualize his dish and think about how he was going to prep and cook it, without having to compete with the others for ingredients and equipment, while the cheftestants just had a few minutes (even presuming they started planning the minute the challenge was announced). The only way they could have made it so that Tom was actually performing the same challenge as the cheftestants would have been if they'd made it one of those box of secret ingredients challenges.

                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                  I had similar thoughts while I was watching last night. I mean, I didn't know he had two days, but I assumed he had some time, which gave him a huge advantage in terms of strategizing, etc. I thought it was not a fair comparison to then ask the other chefs to completely conceptualize and execute a dish in the same amount of time. I particularly kept thinking that when all the chef interviews about it were so gushing. I know Tom is a great chef, I don't mean to take anything away from that, but I kept wondering why they were so impressed. If they had been told "make a dish as fast as you can" and then had 2 days to work on it, they'd probably be fast and efficient and come up with something tasty too.

                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                    Right, they would have figured out not only the ingredients but every step in the intricate ballet that is food preparation. The cheftestants all talked about the economy of his movements, but he did have time to plan out all of those movements, where to place every item as he needed/used it, exactly what tools he needed, so he was able to calmly walk around and go through the mental checklist and get it all in one pass. It was an amazing feat, but I think what the cheftestants do in every challenge is even more amazing, especially when they pull it off successfully.

                                                                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                      I don't see why this is an issue - Tom's only job was to set the clock. Almost everyone was able to present some dish in that time. We also got to see Tom cook and knock shit over. Why the complaints?

                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                        I have to agree with joonjoon. The cheftestants NEVER know what they're going to have to do during a QF - never knowing the ingredients they can/cannot use. That's part of the entire contest, isn't it? They're always required to think on their feet in a short amount of time - this go-round, they just had less time in which to do so.

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          Did dale try to make those egg noodles himself?

                                                                                          I'm pretty sure he did.
                                                                                          I mean - wth was he thinking?!

                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              How can you possibly successfully make noodles and then use them in a dish - in less then 10 minutes?
                                                                                              wth?

                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                Not sure how Dale thought it (making noodles) would work, Nelly, but he tried it. And failed. :-/

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            I'm not complaining, just noting that for all the talk about Tom doing a quickfire and the cheftestants gushing about what he did, he still wasn't operating under the same conditions they operate under for every challenge.

                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                              Agreed. Tom prepared something in under nine minutes. All of the other contestants had to conceptualize, scramble over each other for ingredients, and then prepare the dish in the same amount of time. The amount of work involved isn't really comparable. It was neat to see Tom cook, though.

                                                                                              1. re: LaPomme

                                                                                                It's not like they were competing against Tom, just each other.

                                                                                                1. re: saeyedoc

                                                                                                  Right. didn't the previews say they were going "head to head" with Tom?
                                                                                                  I was a little dissappointed, but I still enjoyed seeing him work!

                                                                                                2. re: LaPomme

                                                                                                  Are you suggesting Tom had some kind of unfair advantage over the contestants? I'd beg to differ. Every single contestant here has over a dozen quickfires under their belt while this was Tom's first. And if you'd read the Bourdain blog you'll see that Tom's cooking was genuinely impressive and something that comes from decades of hard work - almost like watching an old kung fu master.

                                                                                                  The fact that this was Tom's FIRST quickfire, cooking in the QF kitchen for the first time - for him to pull off that dish in 8 minutes really showed he's the real deal.

                                                                                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                    I was thinking the same thing. Plus people seemed to be assuming he knew what would be available ingredient-wise before he got there. I don't know if that was the case.

                                                                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                      I don't think anyone is suggesting he had an unfair advantage (in what? he wasn't competing with them). Folks are just pointing out that having 2 days to think about this and not having to race with other people is very different. And I don't think anyone here is suggesting that it wasn't impressive cooking. Of course it was!

                                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                        Since Tom isn't a contestant, any "advantage" is a moot point. My point was that the comparison between what he was able to do and what the actual contestants had to do isn't very meaningful.

                                                                                                          1. re: LaPomme

                                                                                                            My point was that the comparison between what he was able to do and what the actual contestants had to do isn't very meaningful.
                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                            agreed. it was fun to watch him, but i think the producers are probably running out of inspiration/ideas for QF challenges and this conveniently provided one.

                                                                                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                        I agree they operated under different conditions. I asked up thread whether or not the cheftestants were allowed to do some off camera planning. Tom in his blog noted that he, unlike the cheftestants, didn't know where the olive oil was and had to check it out before doing the QF. I wouldn't be surprised if they were given time to make a bit of a plan before they were given the "Go" signal.

                                                                                                        jb

                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                          I agree. Having two days to go over what he's going to do, and plan it out makes a huge difference. The contestants were saying he had no wasted move, just went from one to the next quickly. It was fun to see but it's like telling Lance Armstrong two days ahead of time what the route he's going to ride is and seeing how fast he can do it. And, then giving the rest of the field no warning, making them race each other for the finish to try to beat that time.

                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          But they have more time to think than the time that is presented.

                                                                                                          There is a break between the time that the QF theme is announced and when the contestants actually start cooking.

                                                                                                          1. re: Lori D

                                                                                                            I remember reading an article about Next Iron Chef where they said that they give a few minutes for the chefs to gather their thoughts before a quickfire. The article said that if the chefs didn't receive the time before the challenge, some bad TV would ensue.

                                                                                                            I wouldn't be surprised if the TC contestants received some time to think things through.

                                                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                              Spike said in an interview (after the Night at the Museum episode) that after each QF and EC is announced, the producers spend time going over the rules of the specific challenge and the contestants sign an agreement, so we know they have some time before they start cooking. Prsumably they spend that time thinking, as well.

                                                                                                            2. re: Lori D

                                                                                                              Yes, I'm aware this isn't "real time" based on what we see on camera. Rules of each contest are explained, they have to sign something for *every* challenge saying they understand those rules, based on something I read a few weeks back. Meanwhile, they can be plotting what they're going to make, depending on how long it takes to get paperwork signed, etc.

                                                                                                              But the time frame in which they have to create anything is always a shortened time period. Quickfires are always timed. They still have to think on their feet, especially if someone else grabs what they were going to use.

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Exactly. They can plan, but they don't always know what ingredients are going to be available, especially if someone else grabs what they were planning to use first. Tom may not have known where the olive oil was (before checking out the kitchen in advance) but at least he didn't have to fight anyone off for his fish.

                                                                                                          2. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                            No complaining here. Merely commenting.

                                                                                                      3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Can't feel too sorry for Big Tom have two days to prepare for the quick fire. That's only two more days than the contestants have!! No doubt everything was in place for him to make the fastest dish possible.

                                                                                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                          It would be much more fun if they didn't give Tom advance notice and we can all watch him flail around.

                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Here's a comment (amongst many) from TWoP about those chicken feet:
                                                                                                          http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.c...

                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                            I've not ever had chicken feet, but it looks like Fukui San knows whereof he speaks.

                                                                                                            Which just reiterates Tom saying Casey should go.

                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                              love that guy's handle - "Fukui San"! (from the original Iron Chef.)

                                                                                                          2. And Bourdain's blog is, yet again, hysterical! http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                                                            But he really describes what dim sum in Hong Kong is really like - people getting up to get what they want is not uncommon - nor is having the diners walk into the kitchen to TAKE a favored dish to make sure they get it! LOL

                                                                                                            And oddly - I'm seeing that tofuburrito responded to this thread when I see it listed in My Chow, but I don't see a message from them posted here - very odd!

                                                                                                            ETA: Once I posted this post, tofuburrito's post showed up upthread. :-)

                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              "But he really describes what dim sum in Hong Kong is really like - people getting up to get what they want is not uncommon"

                                                                                                              Or in NYC. If the dim sum ladies aren't coming my way, I'll go to them to get what I'm looking for. I get pretty peeved by stale dim sum. I find it pretty common at all of the cart dim sum parlors I've eaten in the US. But I don't think I've got the balls to go into a restaurant's kitchen!

                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                There's only tiny but excellent dim sum place in SF Chinatown where you go into the kitchen and get your own tea, and when a fresh batch is ready to go they pretty much wheel it into the middle of the room and say "come and get it."

                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                  Oh, I love it! What place is that, Ruth?

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                      Hmmm...I don't know it, I don't think. I shall have to check it out next time I'm in town. THank you!

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                I'm not much of a Bourdain fan (the bad boy schtick is wearing thin), but the man can write. That blog post is astute and hilarious.

                                                                                                                I loved watching Tom in the QF, but it was clear that he had an advantage over the other Chefs because he had more time to plan and because he didn't have to compete for his ingredients and cookware. Still, it's fun to watch the very quickest one of these challenges can go under the best scenario. In his blog he described himself as the pacesetter, which I think is an entirely accurate description.

                                                                                                                The whole dim sum thing was painful to watch. But, the moment someone said the chicken feet were inedible, I knew Casey was doomed, even though I really wanted Jaimie to go home. I think Tom said once before (for some reason, I think it was the night at the museum episode, but I could be wrong) that if a dish is literally inedible, they have to send that person home. Oh well. Maybe Jaime will go home next week! We can only hope!

                                                                                                                Thank you Linda for the (as always) terrific recap!

                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                  Have to agree. Once the word "inedible" came out I too knew Casey was doomed. Actually next on the chopping block was probably Tre then Jaime - even though everyone was hoping Jaime would go. When are these chefs going to learn not to place their fortunes in the hands of someone else?

                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  ROFL @ "Even the mighty Dale managed only to unravel a lonely strand of tragic "pad thai" noodle that the judges examined as if it were a prolapsed intestine." HA!

                                                                                                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                    I thought his best line was this: "Jamie's single clam sat forlornly at the bottom of a bowl like a dried turd."

                                                                                                                3. How delightful that Fabio did so well on this challenge. It really took him out of his tired Italian pasta comfort zone and he proved he had chops.

                                                                                                                  1. I think this was another challenge that was a set up for them to fail. There is no way they could have prepared enough food for that many people in the time allowed and in the manner of food expected.

                                                                                                                    This episode contained the strangest moment in TC history, Fabio with a turtle on a leash. I can tell you exactly how that came about. A production assistant sees Fabio looking at the turtles and comes up with the idea of the video of Fabio with his 'pet' turtle. I wonder how many people will believe he really walks his turtle (and presumably with a plastic bag to pick up the droppings).

                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                      Taking a wild guess- I bet that footage of Fabio with his turtle was probably from the submission tape he originally sent the show.

                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                        Unless proven otherwise, I'm going with my theory. What are the odds Fabio would have done that?

                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                          I think pretty high. They're looking to cast "characters." I believe behavior that can be construed as odd would make for good TV.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                            Exactly. Kooky behavior + willingness to make a spectacle of yourself is a good way to get cast.

                                                                                                                            Also, I don't have the clip on in front of me, but I seem to remember that Fabio looked different (thinner, different haircut) in the clip.

                                                                                                                          2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                            The odds are high, IMO - this *is* Fabio we're talking about...one of the great characters on TC. :-)

                                                                                                                          3. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                            That was my assumption as well, cowboy!

                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                              I looked at it again and you're right. It was the Fabio of season 5, thinner and with a better haircut. At least the producers remembered the submission video when they saw the footage of him looking at the turtles.

                                                                                                                              Somebody needs to tell Fabio that shortribs are beef and that the ribs he prepared for this challenge were babyback pork ribs.

                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                I thought I mis-heard Fabio's shortribs comment when he presented baby backs.

                                                                                                                          4. - loved Antonia's comment about Angelo's "Chef's Tourette's" and Tiffani's remark that someone would have gotten hurt if she hadn't been wearing a bra during the QF. LOL!
                                                                                                                            - thought it was fun to see Tom working his magic.
                                                                                                                            - wanted to smack Marcel for the remark about the flavors of his dish "carrying over" to Mike's. leave it to him to make me root for Isabella to win a challenge!
                                                                                                                            - honestly thought Jamie was KIDDING when she said she wanted to do a scallop dish for the EC - i rewound it to be sure she was serious.
                                                                                                                            - knew Casey was going home before they even started cooking - her comment about being able to make a great dish with the chicken feet if she had "time to work on it" in a challenge all about speed was the giveaway...and seeing Antonia not spending any time plating it for her erased any doubt i had about my instinct. oh, and the story about how she wants to be the "baddest-ass" female chef when it comes to butchery, and collects art about butchery? the elves have taken to feeding us a random personal aside like that for the doomed chef each week.
                                                                                                                            - i hate that Jamie is still there.
                                                                                                                            - loved seeing Susur again, and thought he was a great judge.
                                                                                                                            - happy to see Dale doing well, AND happy to see Fabio do something besides pasta or gnocchi...and do it well!
                                                                                                                            - breathing a huge sigh of relief that Tre dodged a bullet this week (had a momentary panic attack in the beginning when he mentioned that he was doing a dessert - i'm haunted by memories of his peach bread pudding fail.)
                                                                                                                            - this was a freaking train wreck.
                                                                                                                            - and finally, anyone else have deja vu upon seeing a particular rooftop clip for next week? bratty Marcel getting in the face of someone who has an overwhelming urge to punch him...hmmm, why do i feel like i've seen this before?

                                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                              I'm sure you also saw the video of Tre in his wifebeater fishing. : )

                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                - wanted to smack Marcel for the remark about the flavors of his dish "carrying over" to Mike's. leave it to him to make me root for Isabella to win a challenge!
                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                THAT really ticked me off. Marcel remains a petulant little child. The shot of him when someone else wins a challenge continues to show his pissedoffness at the fact that *he* didn't win! And that comment was completely typical of him - which is why he remains on my List for who I want booted and not making it to the finale. He's *not* all that, despite what he thinks of himself.

                                                                                                                                I missed the Casey comment about butchery...I was more focused on the fact that Jamie was getting airtime. Unless the Elves are doing that because they know she's this season's villain for not cooking anything and still sliding through.

                                                                                                                                Also glad for Fabio being in the top group and getting praise from Susur Lee. You could tell Fabio was genuinely pleased to get such favorable comments!

                                                                                                                                And while we know Dale T. won't haul off and belt Marcel, it *will* make for must-see TV. What a surprise - there's going to be draaaaaaaahmaaaaah on Top Chef! ;-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  I guess I'm in the minority again when it comes to Marcel, but I really, really, REALLY think he was kidding when he said the thing about Mike Isabella's flavors remaining on the judges' palates. (Just as I think he's kidding with a lot of the stuff he says that seem to offend folks.) He had that mischevious look when he said it. He knew it was an asshole-y thing to say; he was being tongue in cheek, just to get a rise out of people.

                                                                                                                                  I'm going to reserve judgment on the Dale/Marcel incident in the previews until we get to see the full episode, though I'll admit Marcel looks like he's being a jerk. (I'll also say though that both in his original season and his appearance on Top Chef Masters, Dale proved himself to be less-than-cool headed himself).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                    I am soo glad you agree with me Charmed - I totally thought Marcel was being cheeky and found it rather charming!!
                                                                                                                                    I also noticed he truly looked happy for Mike and gave him a big hug

                                                                                                                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                      I agree that Marcel is probably kidding when he says some of the stupid stuff. But I don't think saying something that you know is asshole-y comes across as mischevious, I think it comes across as you're an asshole.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                        Of course that is true, but I don't think he was saying anything in an ass-holy way - he was totally goofing.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                              According to Stefan you are one letter off.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                Yeah, but I was trying to be polite ;)

                                                                                                                                              2. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                                LOL! Yeah, I'm just going with this one. We'll see what happens when he gets eliminated. ;-)

                                                                                                                                              3. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                If he was basically a nice guy -- pleasant to be around, helpful in spite of the competition -- I'd agree that the occasional ***hole comment might be seen as yanking eveyone's chain. However, every program Marcel can be counted on to make a self-absorbed and delusional comment. This season's comments continue the same nonsense he spouted during his season.

                                                                                                                                                Sorry. The pattern is too persistent for me to think there's anything mischievous or ironic about Marcel. If it waddles like a duck and it quacks like a duck, chances are it is a duck. We'll agree to disagree.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                  Yep! Such is the nature of chowhound and Top Chef fandom. :-)

                                                                                                                                      2. A few thoughts:

                                                                                                                                        I'm going against the crowd - I hope Jamie stays in. I hope she avoids cooking, makes second-worse dish after second-worse dish, messes up collaborations with others, and hangs on by a thread till the very end. Not because I like her especially (though I do think some people are being a little overly harsh in their hatred of her - it's not really her fault she's still around... heck, she's done almost everything she could to get booted). Just because it's making for a good story. It's improbable as hell that she's still around at all... wouldn't it just be crazy if she won? I'm rooting Jamie for eventual winner, by virtue of self-implosion of the other contestants, multiple disqualifications, and judging oversight. Baseball analogy: if your team's pitcher throws a homerun, you hope he pitches better next batter. But if your team's pitcher throws 3,5,10,12 homeruns in a row, eventually you start hoping for another homerun next pitch, cuz history is being made. As Jennifer Carroll stormed off the Top Chef set, she cast a bizarre curse on this season. That curse is Jamie's invincibility.

                                                                                                                                        Also, I'm glad to see Dale get another win. Always liked Dale. Also liked Susur Lee as guest judge.

                                                                                                                                        It's looking like Angelo is, at this point in the season, the front runner to win the whole shebang - a couple wins, and consistently near the top of the heap. I'm just wondering how all the Angelo haters are feeling about this.

                                                                                                                                        I'm also wondering why anyone every volunteers to push carts (or whatever team-oriented but self-injuring job might apply). This isn't season 1 anymore - you know the judges won't give you any bonus points, and it takes time away from your dish. I'm all for team players, but this isn't a team or a professional kitchen. It's a competition. Don't volunteer unless your food has already been served - everyone takes a turn pushing carts. At least draw straws or something.

                                                                                                                                        Finally, I'm hoping one of the blogs reveals whether the problem with Casey's dish was Antonia's final cooking of it, or something much more basic (meaning Casey's fault). I'm thinking the latter, but I can't tell for certain.

                                                                                                                                        51 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                          This is what Tom says on his blog:

                                                                                                                                          "Perhaps had she made them herself they might have been better, but that was another risk she chose to assume in leaving their execution to Antonia while staffing the front of the house. I doubt it, though. It’s rare that a dish cannot even be eaten; when it happens, the chef responsible for it clearly must be the one sent home."

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                            i honestly might have to stop watching the show on principle if Jamie makes it to the finale. as it is now, every day when i drive by the restaurant where she works (i live right up the street) i have to resist the urge to pull into the driveway, walk in there, and tell her she sucks.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                              If she wins - will you keep driving by and doing nothing, change your route, or give in to the darkside and maybe make the nightly news?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                i might make the nightly news..but not in the way you'd imagine. i'll channel my inner hippie/pacifist and stage a sit-in ;)

                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                And if you ever DO decide to tell her that, ghg, you must report back to us. :-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                  Go in there, order the scallops and tell them your name is Casey.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                    it would be even better if they didn't actually have scallops and i tried to order them, insisting that Jamie *must* make a scallop dish.

                                                                                                                                                    actually, i should order scallops, soup and chickpeas - all of which are on the menu at Beechwood - and request my chickpeas well done ;)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                      Wait until after the finale so you can congratulate her on her big win and ask her when she is going to open her own restaurant using the $200K as seed money.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                  "it's not really her fault she's still around... heck, she's done almost everything she could to get booted)..."

                                                                                                                                                  When Mike Isabella said in an interview a few weeks ago that Jamie had pretty much indicated she didn't want to be there, and *even Jamie* knew she should have gone over Casey last night, why didn't Jamie just up and say "I'm quitting - I'm not the best chef here and I know it, and Casey/whoever shouldn't be leaving"?

                                                                                                                                                  As for the FOH situation - I think the "taking turns" is a good idea - rotate in/out as your dishes are served. HOWEVER...that then can disrupt the flow of the FOH, which could be more of a cluster-you-know-what .

                                                                                                                                                  I just think they should have someone else serve. These are chefs, not FOH people. (Except for Stephen, and even then, he was just an annoying FOH! LOL)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    After a few chefs did that in earlier seasons they don't let the chefs make those decisions anymore. Or at least they don't show the video of it anymore. Bowie was told it wasn't his decision to make in Season 3 in his attempt to save face but was eliminated because he made two crappy dishes.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                      TC Just Desserts had a volunteer go home. Different spinoff, but more recent.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                        They haven't let the chefs on the original TC do this since Mia in season 2 I believe. I don't get it either in the case of the desserts show. She didnt get to see her kids any sooner although I suppose they let her speak to them on the telephone or video skype.

                                                                                                                                                        (My post above should have said Howie although he may remind some people of a bulldog).

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      There is A LOT of money on the line (not to mention professional reputation and branding). Whether or not you feel like being there, once shooting starts, you are there and your reputation is on the line. It's asking a little too much of these chefs to just volunteer to quit when they're outmatched.

                                                                                                                                                      That said, I have no idea why Jamie is acting like she doesn't want to be there. To be fair, I'm not sure that we can take Mike I's word as gospel on the matter.

                                                                                                                                                    3. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                      I don't see Angelo as a front runner. I just don't see anyone as a front runner yet. No one is wow-ing consistently.

                                                                                                                                                      I agree that folks should know not to take one for the team. I also think the show's producers should set things up so no one has to take one for the team. No more cart pushing or front of house work!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                                                                                                                                        Angelo and Dale Talde both have two EC wins, and Dale has a QC win. But Angelo has more "high group" buckets so far, while Dale is just "In" - meaning safe in the middle group if he didn't win.

                                                                                                                                                        Tre and both Tiffani/Tiffany aren't doing as well as I had hoped. In fact, Tre's got several "Low" buckets for the EC challenges, and he's just been lucky with immunity or someone else being drastically worse than him.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                          Right, and I as I mentioned on another thread - Blais hasn't been very impressive thus far.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                            No, I'm hoping he (Blais) picks it up. I would *really* like him to win this one. :-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                              Me too, Linda!

                                                                                                                                                              He was my pick as winner. I like his food style - it's exciting, and I like his personality.

                                                                                                                                                              I do think he will gain momentum, and win it all!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                I would love to see Blais start to show and eventually take it all. And really, it's still early.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                            I don't see Angelo as a front runner. I just don't see anyone as a front runner yet. No one is wow-ing consistently.

                                                                                                                                                            I think Angelo is wowing consistently, Dale & Antonia are very strong and Blais seems to be flying under the radar.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                              Angelo has a stronger start this season than, say, Harold did at this point of season 1 (and in fact, I think his dish would've had a strong chance to win episode 4's elimination challenge had he been on the winning team). The other chefs are talking about him in interview as one to beat. Seems like front runner status to me.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                              The whole cart thing is so old-school. Almost all the dim sum places here (Toronto), and definitely the the top places, retired that a long time ago. The food gets cold as the carts get pushed around, not to mention the constant opening and closing of lids. And you run out of food all the time. Also, it's less hygienic - people talking, sneezing around the carts.

                                                                                                                                                              We have forms (little menus if you will) with the items listed and you just write how many you want in the little box next to the item. The food is prepared to order and comes out fresh. Don't they have that in NY? Strangely, for all the times I've been to NY, I've never tried the dim sum. I guess it's because I can't afford to waste a meal in NY with something I know is better at home.

                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, my thoughts on Jamie: she won't win but she'll hang on by virtue of always making the second-worst dish, as you suggest Cowboyardee, and be the Lisa of this season.

                                                                                                                                                              As for Angelo, he's weird but he's talented. I agree he's the front runner right now. I hope Blais can catch up.

                                                                                                                                                              I also agree with you on Dale - I've always admired his no-bullshit attitude so I'm glad he won this one.

                                                                                                                                                              One last thought: I think Marcel was just joking. My read on him is that he's socially awkward, insecure and trying so hard to be cool but not mean-spirited. He's passionate about food and says stupid things to cover his disappointment in his own performance. He usually tries to boast that his dish was better than whoever won but I don't think he actually says anything truly mean. He generally says my dish was better that his/hers but he doesn't say stuff like your food is crap and my dog wouldn't even eat it or really mean things like that.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                I like to see my dim sum before I order it so I prefer the carts. A good dim sum joint should have steamed carts to keep dishes warm. Ordering from a form does have the advantage of letting you know what all is available.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                  Except that there are often things on the carts that aren't on the menus. I think each way of doing it has it's advantages: ordering off the menu means the food is fresher and hotter and that you get any dish you really want; carts are more fun and you're more likely to choose something you're not familiar with. Most places I know in the SF area do some kind of combination. A lot of places only have carts during peak times, but I don't know of a place with carts where you can't also order off a menu.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks chef, thats exactly what I have been trying to say about Marcel.

                                                                                                                                                                  And after a re-watch - I stand by what I say.
                                                                                                                                                                  I liked how in awe of Tom he was, and you could see on his face how gleeful he was to watch Tom work. It was sweet.
                                                                                                                                                                  In the entire show, he does not make a negative comment about anyones food (and i can't recall that he had in any of the previous Allstars episodes.
                                                                                                                                                                  He only said he was surprised Jamie took on 2 dishes in the challenge because "she is probably the slowest one in the kiitchen"
                                                                                                                                                                  Not mean spireted at all, just stating what is probably fact.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                    Please clarify how the comment (and I'm paraphrasing) "Mike's dish won the quickfire because the judges had the taste of my food in their mouth" isn't a put-down of Mike's food.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                        He's saying that his dish tasted so good that it lingered on the judges' palates. It was a joke.

                                                                                                                                                                        And it's not really mean to Mike. Marcel is just doing his usual thing - self-aggrandizing to make himself feel better. He's not saying Mike's dish isn't good - he's just saying he thinks his was better.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes. I got the message that his dish tasted so good that it lingered on the judges' palates. My point of view is based on the logical but unspoken follow-up: "Therefore, without my great taste lingering in the mouths of the judges, Mike could not have won."

                                                                                                                                                                          We completely agree on Marcel's self-aggrandizing. I simply think his comments are frequently at the expense of others. You don't. Neither one of us can prove which is the correct interpretation.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                            Even if you believe that he is demeaning the other chefs - which I personally havent seen - he is just doing what ALL the chefs do!
                                                                                                                                                                            Carla may be the only one who hasnt done it. Maybe Richard.

                                                                                                                                                                            What about Jamies "I believe i am a better chef than my teammates"
                                                                                                                                                                            THAT's obnoxious!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe that's why I like Carla and Richard better than the others--they don't put down the others. Carla, as far as I know, NEVER says anything negative about someone else (I think I saw a quote from her once to the effect that if you don't say something, they can't use it to make you look bad), and Richard very rarely--I think only about Lisa once during his season, and about Jamie a few times this season. Speaking of which, did anyone catch his wry smile when Jame was saying that she should have gone home in the stew room at the end of the episode?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                Ha ha, I did see that smile -- though I think it was probably edited in. Blais was probably smiling at something totally different. Seems like the editors want us to think there's a story with him and Jamie.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, there *is* sort of a story - Blais has called Jamie out twice for not cooking. To her face. So while I saw the wry grin on his face as well, I'm thinking there's a good chance it wasn't edited in as a reaction to another comment. It could very well have been just about that - Jamie saying she should have gone home.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    I think there are a lot of stories going on that we as viewers aren't privy to. Unless I see Blais's reaction to Jamie's comment in the same frame, I think it's the editors making us thing that there's more than there really is.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                I see an important distinction between critical remarks that have a basis in fact and critical remarks that are pure fantasy. If a chef makes a demeaning remark about Dale's quickfire dish, that may not be nice behavior, but the comment is rooted in fact. Week after week, Marcel's remarks reflect wishful thinking and rationalization, but don't seem particularly rooted in fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                As for Jamie... At this point in the competition, her behavior is so irrational that nothing she says makes any sense or should be taken seriously.

                                                                                                                                                                                Do you know the scene in the movie "Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail" where King Arthur gets into a sword fight with the Black Knight? Jamie is the Top Chef equivalent of the Black Knight, spouting brave comments and offering to cook two dishes when everyone knows all she wants is for the misery of competition to be over.

                                                                                                                                                                                Link to the Black Knight clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKhEw7...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, but when Jamie gets a "flesh wound" she goes to the hospital. The Black Knight just hollers at King Arthur "Come back here and fight like a man!"

                                                                                                                                                                                  ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                    ok, give me an example of a critical remark that you are referring to.
                                                                                                                                                                                    I have seen every episode so far twice, and I can't remember Marcel trash talking anyone...but whatever

                                                                                                                                                                                    Black Knight - LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                      Perhaps "trash talking" is an interpretation that lives with the individual viewer. Consider that if you like Marcel, you wouldn't find it. If you don't like Marcel, you'll hear a lot of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've cited the example from this week's episode (Mike's creation was the winning dish because I...), but I'd have to re-watch past episodes to supply any more specific examples. Unfortunately, that is something I have neither the time nor the inclination to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                        If it matters deeply, I'll post an example on this thread after I watch next week's episode. And that's my point. I'm very confident that Marcel will make some sort of remark next week and every week he remains in the competition. He's clearly not getting the recognition he feels he deserves, and his comments are his effort to compensate. What's truly sad about Marcel's behavior is that many of his comments have no basis in reality outside of his own head.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                          Marcel does think his food is better than the other chef's but that's not "demeaning." Demeaning is saying their food taste like saw dust or garbage.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                        Black night reference--score 100 fantastic pointing points for Indy 67.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                    There is a bonus video on Bravo's Top Chef site with several of the chefs sitting on the balcony of their condo discussing the QF challenge. This subject comes up; Marcel believes that the MSG in his dish carried over while Tom and Padma were tasting Mike I's dish, enhancing the flavor of his dish. Marcel doesn't sound like he is joking. I believe he can't accept the fact that they preferred Mike's dish to his so he has to come up with a lame excuse to explain it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Here is the video: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                Toronto has very good dim sum - and I like the little forms, too. The last place I had cart service was in SF, as a matter of fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                                                                  I love the forms because you know exactly what you're getting and that it will be coming out hot from the kitchen. But the carts allow for a little more serendipity, which I also like, assuming they manage the carts well and you're situated at the beginning of the circuit and the food isn't cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                  I wouldn't be so dismissive of dim sum carts. They are fine in their own way. Just go up to a cart and get what you want (card in hand, if needed) if you want to after you note what is being 'offered' from that cart. There's that thing about serendipity too. Depends on the place, also, as to if it comes out piping hot and fresh, or if it sits on the cart before being wheeled around. Simple observation does wonders. Sneezing around carts etc - huh? Perhaps you need to relax a little. Carts usually have stacks of steam trays with the same item in each stack - I don't see why opening the top tray to show a diner what it is would mean that everything gets cold - indeed, in my experience the server would give you a lower tray for your table...and unless you are getting only ONE tray at a time, once the trays (plural) hit your table top they start getting cold anyway before you get around to eating it all...

                                                                                                                                                                                  Order cards/forms are fine too, just depends on which place one goes to. I think both ways are available depending on the town and restaurant - certainly NY and Chicago (at least) does both. Order cards/forms DO require the diner to know what the dishes are - not something everyone can be assumed to know.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's a Chowhound thread on carts versus order forms: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/719520

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not being dismissive - I'm just pointing out that it's a bit dated and explaining my reasons why I'm glad we've moved on.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Specifically about this challenge, two chefs were taken out of the kitchen, unfairly affecting their chances of presenting a good dish. If they used the order form system instead of the carts, maybe the results would have been different. And the kitchen wouldn't have been such a mess.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, Casey obviously didn't know how to prepare chicken feet but maybe Carla would have chosen to prepare a different dish if she didn't have to consider getting it done early so she could push a cart.

                                                                                                                                                                                    And my main beef with carts is the frustration of not getting the dishes you want and having to wait for the right cart to come out. I can recall many a time my family sat around waiting for the shrimp dumpling (har gow) that never made it to our table. The cart was emptied long before it got to us. The carts with the unpopular items kept coming around but no takers. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for my favourite soup dumpling that never comes. It's so much better to just check it off a list and be sure you will get the items you want.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                      I love the idea of a dim sum list!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                        For myself it is rare that I would not be able to get a particular dish if I really wanted it and it was nowhere to be seen on the carts etc. I just flag down a waiter/waitress and ask specifically for it. The dish will be brought out to you on a tray in most cases. Otherwise, if I see it on a cart and it is clear it is going fast and I really want it I walk over to the cart and get one - so long as it is not on the other side of the room! In many places I go to for dim sum where they use carts there are also servers who walk around with trays of other stuff as well. I enjoy the slight wackiness of the whole experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                        As for checklists, as I said above there are people who would not know what many dishes were from the names alone (especially if they are in Chinese) and not all places with checklists have lists with pictures and/or English names for those less familiar with dim sum. Heck, even I don't know what everything is just by the names alone!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                      Top Chef is a TV show first and foremost. The carts add to the ambiance of the setting. This is what most people think of when they hear "dim sum." I know some people were questioning the cab a couple of episodes ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, I haven't had dim sum in a few years (used to work a couple blocks from Boston's Chinatown, but now am a suburbanite), but I don't have a clue what anything's called beyond "dumpling" -- I always went with a Chinese friend or just pointed at whatever looked good and/or familiar. I can't decide whether a menu would be a plus or a minus for identifying dishes ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Is there some sort of gang in New Jersey, Maryland and D.C. made up of chefs? Mike Isabella seems to be greeting them with their gang signs all the time. He did this during TC Season 6 as well. Or is he merely a wannabe? He really seemed to be a wannabe in his season, always trying to attach himself to the Voltaggios like a Remora or lamprey eel.

                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I actually like the new, overweight Mike Isabella a lot better in this season. He's still not who he thinks (or at least says) he is, but I am enjoying him and his cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought it was Marcel using gang signs, which seems so much more in his weird character.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                          I noticed Marcel and his bad self last night and wondered if he really thinks anyone with that hair (and that attitude) is hip hop? What a loser!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Parrotgal

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry, but calling Marcel a "loser" is just plain mean spirited....
                                                                                                                                                                                            Isnt that why eveyone hates HIM - because you all think he's mean spirited?

                                                                                                                                                                                            Such hypocricy!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                              you know, on another blog someone stated he seemed like he had mild Asperger's.I AM NOT DIAGNOSING HIM but I can see why this person would say that. I am of opinion that there is something just "off" in his relating to others- not meanspirited, but sort of clueless and off a beat, if that makes any sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                                                                                                If anyone on the show has Aspergers it would be Angelo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I read karenfinan's post initially, I didn't expand Nelly's post above, and I just assumed she was talking about Angelo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I see absolutely nothing in Marcel that makes me think Aspergers. And I have a good bit of knowledge and experience in the area. Quirky is not the same as Aspergers.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                              There was just an article in the WaPo yesterday about chefs losing weight and Mike Isabella was there, having lost 40 pounds since TC All Stars. He said he realized he needed to lose weight there when he couldn't move around the way he did in his season. He does seem to be more fun this time around and less full of himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Linda, thanks and great as usual, but you missed TIFFANY TAKING OFF HER BRA AND WIPING ANTONIA'S FACE WITH IT!!! Why did that make all the boys run away?
                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree that if Casey's dish was simply inedible then she should have gone home, but is it all her fault it was inedible if Antonia was supposed to help? were they completely done and ready to plate for Antonia to do? ok, and watching Casey clip off those little chicken nails grossed me out - looked like she was cutting baby's fingers off!
                                                                                                                                                                                            Jamie's time is coming...... i can SMELL IT.
                                                                                                                                                                                            i love Fabio and his turtle, i choose to believe that is true.
                                                                                                                                                                                            i also love that he said "the first MIRE-acle" about his ribs coming out perfect.
                                                                                                                                                                                            As for the QF, it was really difficult for all those chefs to fight over space getting their ingredients and cookware as compared to Tom having the whole space to hiimself - that took a lot of time off for him.
                                                                                                                                                                                            I do love that comment about not knowing what the meat was in the dim sum from the Asian woman's perspective - i love dim sum but it is not always that i can discern what i am eating!

                                                                                                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                              I think the problem with Casey's dish was in the concept: chicken feet are basically all bones and cartilage and need to be braised to soften them enough to eat. Whether Antonia used the right technique to finish them didn't really make any difference if Casey hadn't taken the time well before service to make sure they were cooked until they were tender enough to eat! It seems to me that Casey knew enough to know that chicken feet are traditional for dim sum but not enough to know how to cook them.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                I recall Casey asking Antonia how she was reheating the feet (implying they were already cooked). When Antonio told her she was deep frying them, Casey told her they should be reheated in the Wok. I think they were beyond saving at that point.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                I did miss the bra episode, mariacarmen - I was busy typing towards the end and missed a lot of the house stuff, but caught the end of it. Since I hadn't seen what prompted the mass exodus of the guys (although I knew it had to do with a bra!), I didn't put it in. Sowwy. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  that clip had me HOWLING! especially with Jamie on the floor in a fetal position laughing. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wish that was a bonus clip on the Bravo site. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't been a big Tiffany fan (her season was before I started watching), but her comments about what would have happened during the QF if she weren't wearing a bra totally cracked me up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tiffany's behavior and her relationship with the other contestants is dramatically different from what it was on her season. Huge transformation. I couldn't stand watching her on that season. I find her delightful this time around. And especially that comment about wearing a bra.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wasn't it Tiffani (with an "i') who was making the bra remarks and not Tiffany (with a "y")? (Asking everyone, not just you, chicgail.) Since TiffanY was just on last season, I'm thinking the reference that Nettie makes saying she didn't see TC until after Tiffani's season makes it TC1's Tiffani.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          And yes - I didn't like Tiffani in TC1. I *really* like her in All-Stars. I do hope she does well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know if they're more relaxed this time around but there are a few contestants I like more this time around, Tiffani, Mike I, Dale, Antonia, Angelo right off the bat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll agree with you on Tiffani, Mike I, Dale T. and Antonia. I'm still reserving opinion on Angelo. He *does* seem to be shown in a better light this season, at least a bit more relaxed and laughing with the guys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, I meant Tiffani, not Tiffany Derry (I didn't look up the spelling before posting).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                yes LW, it was Tiffani Faison from TC1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've really liked Tiffani this season, too. I'm not taken enough with her food yet (I guess, since I can't really recall it), but I hope she does well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. 'Finally, a Top Chef Miracle (pronounced MY-RI-CULL)!'

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wish they would have made them use the same ingredients as Tom. I think that would have been even more interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This show may be turning into the best-of-the-worst fiasco I feared. Of course I'll still watch. But I'm waiting for when they take all the winners and put them in a competition. I suppose they only have 6 so far, so it may be a short show. Have I mentioned this before? Apologies if I have. I really am trying NOT to sound like a broken record.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Karma. That's what I thought about Casey going home. After she was sous chef for Carla in Carla's finale and suggested the sous vide idea, she then trashed talked about Carla in a subsequent interview. That being said, I thought that there should have been greater recognition that both she and Carla "took one for the team" by pushing the carts and therefore had less control over their dishes. But really -- it was shocking that Jamie didn't go home. She was in the kitchen the entire time and was responsible for cooking not one, but TWO bad dishes. Does she need to be hit with a silver bullet? This was really a miscarriage of justice, though I do believe that karma figured in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really hope this team mans up and puts Jamie in some crap role like front of house. No, Jamie, you are serving first. NO, jamie, you must wear the clown costume while we make fair food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "NO, jamie, you must wear the clown costume while we make fair food."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hilarious!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "NO, jamie, you must wear the clown costume while we make fair food."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              BWAH!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                NO, jamie, you must wear the clown costume while we make fair food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, from your fingers to the producers' ears. :-D Of course, it would have to been done in time travel mode, as the show has already been taped.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But one can always wish, can't one? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tom said that one inedible dish is worse than two bad dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Let's talk Angelo for a moment. I completely forgot about this until I was just reading the episode recap on EW:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Speaking of mean: Let's discuss Angelo's memory of picking grains of rice with his father. What started out as some sort of emotional reverie turned into a weird confession about their strange father-son relationship. "My job was to sort through every single granule of rice and pick out all the bad ones," he said. "And I'll tell you, if there was a black one in there, my ass was grass." It didn't help that his dad was proud of him only after he went on TV. Angelo has layers like an onion, I tells ya."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think there's more to Angelo than meets the eye. Maybe his "helping" everyone is really a symptom of needing everything to be "perfect" for his father. How truly sad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I never did understand all the hate for Angelo last season. Sure, he's a bit of an odd duck, but his food seems to be pretty consistently good, and he's not all about the drama. I hope we find out more about him as the season goes forward.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Interestingly, that's really NO different than Jennifer Carroll and her "father issues".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But she got ripped apart for what she said in the confessional about her father saying winning was everything, 2nd place was nothing and "what would he think about 2nd to last?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think most of these chefs have perfection issues. We *know* Blais is a perfectionist, as is Marcel, Jennifer, Angelo and several others. Where they got it? Don't know - but family relationships can always have an effect on raising those issues later in life, yes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree--I actually think Angelo's is far worst. His fond memories are with his father and cooking that way? I feel bad for him, far worst than someone whose father thinks winning is everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I actually think Angelo's is far worst."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ___
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed. People made a lot of assumptions in Jen's case, when all we really heard was that her father was competitive. So what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Angelo straight up said his father was harsh and demanding when he was a child, and never was proud of him until his success on Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can't believe we are now comparing ideas about who had a worse childhood!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We are all in need of help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AND on re-watching the show today (taped), I noticed that he said that his dad was proud of him UNTIL he got to Singapore, which seems to say that once he got sick on national t.v. his dad was disappointed in him. I felt bad for him, he actually looked like he might have been about to tear up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Huh, I heard the opposite. That he'd never seen his Dad express pride until he went to Singapore. Will have to watch it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No -maria is wrong - I re-watched last night, and he definitely said his father had never been proud of him before...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ok, transcribed word for word: "before i went to Singapore he was like telling everybody 'oh my son's on t.v.' - and i'd never seen my father proud of me, it was the first time in my life, so that meant a lot to me."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "<<BEFORE>>" he went to Singapore his dad was telling everyone about his son being on t.v. i guess that can be open to interpretation, and maybe i'm reading too much into the being sick thing, but it seems clear his dad was crowing about him before Singapore. anyway, nitpicking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "<<BEFORE>>" he went to Singapore his dad was telling everyone about his son being on t.v. i guess that can be open to interpretation,"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My take on it was that his dad was proud of him for making it to the finals in Singapore & Angelo realized it right before he left . I don't think his comment had anything to do with him getting sick in Singapore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's the problem with reality tv, alot of it is taken out of context so we never really know the full story behind a comment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree. I imagine it simply means that in the break between the bulk of the season and the finale he went home to see his folks, and his dad was bragging all over the place about his performance. No more and no less than that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's my take to jcattles. I assume that in the time between filming most of the season and going to Singapore, his Dad expressed how proud he was of him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I happen to like Angelo. I didn't like him so much at the beginning of TC 7 but I thought his interview comments were pretty funny. I still don't like the way he says 'with' however.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, but he could order a cheesesteak wit and not be given a hard time in Philly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yea, I find that annoying too. I might be going to Philadelphia in the near future and if I do, Pat's and Geno's are not on my list of places to have cheesesteaks. I've heard that Tony Luke's is better but I don't know which location is best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's only one location in Philly that I'm aware of--Oregon Ave in South Philly. His other locations are outside the city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It turns out my relatives don't actually live in Philadelphia, but in Haverford. I don't know anything about that place. I was also thinking of going to 10 Arts downtown. (If I here a lot of profanity from the kitchen we'll know Jen is working). We probably wouldn't do both on the same trip though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Haverford is an easy trip to the city--by car or train (as long as it isn't a weekday rush hour).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thoroughly enjoyed 10 Arts--not only do they have Jen, but a super pastry chef as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are actually a lot of great restaurants in Philly. You should check out the Philly CH board as you get closer to your visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Serious Eats is back to recapping TC. This one is so-so I think, but I like the Rachel Ray/Tom comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/01/re...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OK, this is a line I missed last night - a MAJOR duh! moment! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Marcel—who may or may not be Wolverine's puny, adorable little brother—took the opportunity to enlighten us all on the locale. "Chinatown is like going to China," he explained. "Everyone there is Chinese." "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I look forward to these episode recaps -thank you Linda! In agree with most posters , the EC should not include one or two chefs having to work the front of house especially while their dishes are being "watched" and plated by other competitors. It puts the front of house chef at a disadvantage to say the least. And at this stage of TC All Stars they are not getting any Brownie points for taking one for the team. I have to watch the episode again because I thought I heard Dale comment on the other chefs lack of dim sum experience (not surprising) and the way the kitchen was being run (also no surprise). Because of his attitude, I was not rooting for Dale on this challenge. I was hoping Fabio would get the win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Susur Lee: "I could sit in front of the TV for 2 or 3 hours and not finish one of those chicken feet"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Random customer: "Caucasian dim sum" That was probably putting it kindly. Chinese folks are usually much more direct, esp. at dim sum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Green beans aren't exactly a dim sum dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those were some of the most pathetic scallop dumplings I"ve ever seen in my life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              More Susur: "You don't steam store-bought dumpling skins that are meant to be boiled"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Preview of next week ... um, isn't that a total ripoff of The Next Iron Chef?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Preview of next week ... um, isn't that a total ripoff of The Next Iron Chef?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yes! that's exactly what i was thinking. i'm interested to see where in NY they go fishing - i assume it will be the Long Island Sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Better question is, would you really want to eat a fish caught off the shores of Long Island?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Relax people, I jest I jest ... I know the fishing is perfectly fine along Long Island).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL, so you don't think they said "caucasian"? I couldn't hear it so need to go back to that scene. Hmmm, is there a pc chinese equivalent for "caucasian"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think there's an implied sneer in the term they used that was translated as "caucasian". Maybe "whitey" would have been a better translation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pak kwei lo. (白鬼佬)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There were also some uncomplimentary things being said by the customers that were not subtitled by Bravo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There were also some uncomplimentary things being said by the customers that were not subtitled by Bravo...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, like "what the hell is going on" ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was on a subtitle. We have to assume the translation was accurate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why do we have to assume that? I figured at the time that it was Bravo's TV friendly translation of what was said. I'd love a native speaker to translate for real for us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I guess we don't have to assume anything. If someone has another translation, please post it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't remember any of the translations as being inaccurate. But I'm fairly sure that they only televised the relatively polite comments. Believe you me, older Chinese food are NOT amused when you mess with their dim sum. I once brought a family friend to a dim sum that did a few 'fusion' dishes (think truffle, foie gras) - it was certainly not appreciated. lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Preview of next week ... um, isn't that a total ripoff of The Next Iron Chef?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was also done on Ramsey's Masterchef before NIC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe it will become a standard challenge? How about hunting and butchering a rabbit... saw that on english countryside cooking show

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. This episode was like watching an amazing train wreck....you couldn't take your eyes off the screen! I loved seeing Tom's bad-ass skills come into play....I know that that definitely couldn't make something in 8:37...amazing work! I'm so glad that Dale's finding his stride, and showing what he's really capable of.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marcel needs to grow up. His snide comments (meant sarcastically or not) do not help his case. Just let your cooking speak for itself...no need for the childish behavior or on camera antics.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How Jamie made it through instead of Casey really shocks me. Is it me or does Jamie not seem as focused or determined as she was in Season 5? In my opinion, if she doesn't want it as much, she should get out and let a more deserving cheftestant have a shot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          30 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: attran99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Is it me or does Jamie not seem as focused or determined as she was in Season 5? "
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            did you see the link in last week's thread to the Isabella interview? you should watch the video - he said straight out that she doesn't want to be there and knows she can't hold her own against the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This time,around, she seems like she is on a constant supply of valium!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyone been to Jamie's restaurant in LA? Beechwood? It generally gets mostly positive reviews.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i *used to* want to go...until this season of TC started. i live right up the street and pass it every day, but have zero desire to eat there now that i've witnessed her behavior and attitude this time around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe it really doesn't matter that she was on TC, because maybe like on TC she does none of the cooking at Beechwood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would not consider Mike Isabella a reliable source for what Jamie thinks or feels. Is there any reason to believe otherwise, considering his condescending attitude towards women chefs in general and his hate on Jamie in particular?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He got along with Jennifer Carroll just fine. Maybe his dislike for Jamie is from him believing that Jaime is the reason Jennifer was kicked off?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Btw - Jamie is a mess. Has she made one successful dish yet? It definitely doesn't look like she is on her game.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JonDough

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      First episode elimination challenge, Jamie's dish was in the top. However, it was just a recreation of one of Eric Ripert's dishes. I don't know how faithful it was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JonDough

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On the extended judges table, I think it was Gail that said Jamie is looking and acting more deflated than her scallop dumplings. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't like Mike his season because he came off as arrogant and anti-woman. But, the more I've read about him, from interviews with him and others, I think his sarcastic humor didn't come over well. He and Jen seem to have a great working relationship and a lot of respect for each other. His comment about Jamie, if it's from the same interview I've seen, was initiated by a viewer who asked if he thought she didn't want to be there. This episode shows that Jamie should go back to not cooking--she was doing so much better without.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really enjoyed Mike I's and Fabio's tweets from last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mike: How funny is that @jamielauren didn't cook a dish again. LMAO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fabio: Jamie ??? ONE CLAM ?? are you F kidding me ??? LMAO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It does feel like she is being picked on..but I am sure everyone feels like she should pack her unused knives and go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          did you watch the interview? Mike said that Jamie has made it clear to all of them that she doesn't want to be there. i may not be Isabella's biggest fan, but i don't think he'd say something like that point-blank unless it was valid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe that's just Jamie being passive-aggressive. Feigning ennui and disinterest only so there's no pressure on here because she REALLY wants to win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Or maybe she knows she's not going to win and wants to be able to say afterwards that it was because she wasn't really trying and wasn't really into it - rather than because she wasn't good enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I sure hope not aching. That would be very, very sad and pathetic and...icky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sad, pathetic and icky. But also human.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think you nailed it. If she doesn't really try, she can't really fail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: attran99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I especially don't wish to hear about any of Jamie's dates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I asked Dale, would he cross the street to avoid any fellow contestants?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "When you are in a kitchen, it's a very different dynamic. Marcel [Vigneron, Season Two] is a guy who I'd like to go out and have a drink with, but being in the kitchen with him is not my cup of tea. It's frustrating; he's really difficult. I cannot imagine working in a kitchen with that guy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And I *love* the way the article ends: "By the way, Dale is a die hard Bear's fan, but has a nagging suspicion the Patriots may go all the way. Secretly, I hope he is right."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Dale is a die hard Bear's fan"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                really? just one of them, not the whole team? hmm, i wonder which particular Chicago player he's rooting for ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ugh, punctuation violations should be overlooked as long as the meaning is clear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes. It might be easier if people just simply said that they did not like Dale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, my name is gaffk and I don't like Dale Talde.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      @gaffk, anyone who has ever worked as an English teacher or editor would be inclined to disagree with you on that one...including yours truly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      @huiray, my comment had nothing to do with Dale, i was responding to the blogger's misplaced apostrophe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually, I was an English major and worked a few years as a writing instructor at a public university. If we all proofread every posting with the same rigor as student papers?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i hear you, and i know we all make mistakes...even i can admit i've posted the occasional typo ;) but errors like the one above always make me nuts because they're typically not isolated incidents...and to ignore them is to perpetuate the problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          anyway, i should have posted a smiley emoticon after my comment because it wasn't intended to be taken so seriously!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ETA: smile added. fortunately i was still within "edit" time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The whole point of punctuation is to make meaning clear. Apostrophes that people throw into plural words drive me crazy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm looking forward to seeing Marcel and Dale scrap. Not sure who to root for, they both suffer from a chronic case of little man's disease.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jackbauer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll take Dale in a heartbeat in that scrap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jackbauer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Remember folks all we saw were edited previews.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a feeling what we saw in the previews is going to be mostly it - a lot of chest pounding from both. I think (hope!) Dale T. has grown and won't get physical.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I still think he'd win in a scrap between the two, however. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let's hope it does come to that. I like Dale. Always thought he could be a real dark horse for the win. Hate to see him turn into The Cliff of this season. For that matter I hope they get as far in regards to mirroring to season two as they can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I felt that Marcel for his part was victim of editing that took advantage mean girl Ilan (and what ever his fixation/fantasy about Marcel was) and his lap dog Ellia stirring things up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marcel has been threatened with physical harm many times but he has never threatened anyone with physical violance that I've seen. Didn't he get whacked with a bottle at a bar? People are crazy....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I think I got it figured out...Jamie has adopted the strategies developed by Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) in Jurassic Park to stay in the competition. If you recall the T-Rex can only see you and then eat you based on movement, if you didn't move you were safe. Jamie has taken this one step further and it is working surprisingly well, if I don't actually cook then they can't judge/kick me off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But I do HATE these challenges that force a contestant to rely on their competition to make their dish properly and then send them home for that dish being bad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gmk1322

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ROFL! OK, I like the "avoid the T-Rex" method of cooking, gmk. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I enjoyed this thread almost as much as the episode. Actually, I watched all of the episodes yesterday, and all I can say is "wow" to the eliminations so far. I was actually afraid Carla was going to get sent home last night, and that would have really sucked. I'm in total agreement about the FOH unfairness. I find it amazing anyone agrees to put him/herself at such a disadvantage. I wonder what would happen if noone agreed to do FOH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          foh duties was unfair, but thats how they decided that themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i thought it woulh have been fairest if they take foh shifts. it was irking seeing dale aloofly wipe his shoes with all the chaos going on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          such chaos is what happens without incentive to organize the kitchen, everyone out for themself. lots of ego. communist fallacy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "it was irking seeing dale aloofly wipe his shoes with all the chaos going on."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7577...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't think Carla was anywhere near elimination -- I think that was a case of editing making it look closer than it was. They criticized the blandness of the dish, but at least it was properly executed, as opposed to Tre's dish that was bland AND poorly executed and Jamie and Casey's dishes that were hot messes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was afraid she was--esp. after the shock of how those earlier episodes played out. But I watched all the episodes in a row and definitely was not as attuned to the nuances in editing as you all are. But I didn't want to read earlier threads before watching the episodes. Now I'm going to keep up w/the episodes so I can keep up with this, which I find just as entertaining and enlightening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Right before they announced who's going home, Tom said something like "Carla, a good sauce can't save a bland spring roll." And I thought, oh, NOW they mention the sauce. Well, Carla's not going home. They might as well have mentioned it in cooking or presentation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is one of my pet peeves with the show. They edit out elements of the food and the judges' opinions of it seemingly just to create fake dramatic tension.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sigh ... that's what reality editing is. On this and pretty much every other show. I'm fairly confident in this statement, because I work in "unscripted" television.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The presentation of the characters is manipulated to set up tension, drama, and story arcs. As I've said before, best to take all presentations with a grain of salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: a213b

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sigh...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm well acquainted with reality, thanks. It's still annoying, regardless of the reality TV precendent and market pressures involved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also wish they would spend more time on the food! Of course, I would be happy if they made it a two-hour long show so that they could show more food and keep the drama - but they would probably lose a lot of viewers if they did (present company excluded). =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      +1 A two hour show focused more on the food (including more of JT) would be great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. I also think that Antonia wasn't in danger of leaving, either, with her shrimp toast that everyone raved about. It wasn't her fault that Jamie messed up the beans that she prepped, although it was a poor decision for her to agree to work w/ Jamie. I do think it shows the high level of competition here. You can have an excellent dish and still be in the bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Anybody else notice how on the alltopchef website, after a contestant is told to PYKAG, their photo is faded out to look like an apparition? Kind of cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.alltopchef.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I watched it again last night, and couldn't believe what a B Jamie was!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    She definitely should have gone -no question!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    She had 2 bad dishes AND she wasnt out on the floor like Casey was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hadn't caught when she said "the beans are delicious - she just must have PMS (Antonia)!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And how rudely she told Antonia she didnt have time to work on the bean dish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply