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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #10 - 02/16/11 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit Feb 16, 2011 06:24 PM

Oh, my - we certainly went off-topic just a *few* times on last week's thread, didn't we? ;-) While I'm glad the Mods let us go on all sorts of tangents last week, let's try and keep this one more on topic!


OK, we start off with the remaining chefs talking about Fabio being gone. Richard wishes Fabio had consulted with him - after all, he *does* run a burger restaurant! True that. Richard and Dale, both Season 4, are aiming to be in the Finale together, and then they're going to go head-to- head.

And they head into the TC Kitchen the next morning. Padma starts off by saying in a slightly sing-song voice "We're on our way, and everything's OK..." while the cheftestants look at her like she's lost her mind. She finishes with "Can you tell me how to get to...." and up pop the Cookie Monster, Elmo and Telly from behind a draped table to shout out "SESAME STREET!"

The Quickfire Challenge is cookie making! And who are they trying to impress? The Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Telly. Well, not the Muppets specifically....but the Muppeteers who manipulate those Muppets.

Richard says with his 2yo daughter, Elmo is like Elvis - so he can't afford to lose this one! Padma asks the Muppets for any suggestions - Elmo wants zucchini, the Cookie Monster wants chocolate chips, of course. And he wants them NOW! Padma says the prize is $5,000.

And they're off - 45 minutes to make cookies. The Muppets heckle the cheftestants with instructions and comments such as "Five Second Rule!" when Mike drops something on the floor. Mike is actually laughing so much at all of the comments. Dale's not used to being heckled and has to curb his impulse to swear at them! LOL Elmo asks what Richard has in his hand - it's a zucchini - which is what Elmo wanted and he's very happy! Dale's "cookies" are a combination of potato chips, pretzels, and chocolate - not really baking, but you go with what pops into your brain! Antonia's cookies are VERY large chocolate-chocolate chip cookies.

Judging begins...in tasting one cookie, Telly say, "I thought I tasted cardamom," and Padma says that "cardamom and cinnamon were related and from the same part of the world." Elmo said "Really?" :::::long pause::::: "TMI!" And turns and leaves that table. TOO funny! (Thanks momjamin, for the correction!)

Bottom group - Richard and Angelo
Top group - Dale and Antonia

While Antonia's cookies are great (Cookie Monster said the only ones that were ooey-gooey), Telly said they weren't the prettiest...Elmo said they looked like cow chips! LOL And Dale wins!

For the Elimination Challenge, they take over a Target store, and have to create dishes from items found in the aisles - including using the pots and pans and various cookware! They're playing for $25,000. They have 3 hours in the middle of the night to raid the store for EVERYTHING they might need - this includes food, utensils, cooking equipment - and cook for 100 Target employees. Padma tells them to leave their knives in the TC kitchen. They have to use ONLY what they can find in the store. This will be interesting!

They go absolutely nuts throughout the store - the store is so big it's hard for them to find everything they need. Mike and Angelo seem to team up to help each other...interesting move on their parts! Meanwhile, Antonia has two filled carts with absolutely EVERYTHING she could need - electronics, food, everything! Carla, however, still hasn't shopped for her food yet and the challenge is 1/3 done! Get going, Carla! Even Richard notices you haven't started cooking yet, and thinks perhaps you won't be finished!

Richard starts cooking first. Dale looks around as he's cooking and sees that the women have set up their tables nicely with flowers, tablecloths, etc. He says "I didn't realize this was a Suzy Homemaker competition!"

And EVERYONE seems to be making a soup or stew - except Antonia. However, her egg dish could be a problem in getting them all done on time! Carla's realizing that she spent too much time working on her tablescape vs. the food, and doesn't think her soup is a $25,000 soup.

Dale's tomato soup is just soup, but his steak and grilled cheese using an iron is pretty damn smart! LOL

Judges - at 3:00am service! - in addition to Padma and Tom, are Anthony Bourdain, Ming Tsai, and Thomas O'Brien, Target's Home Designer.

Richard's pork dish - Bourdain said the dish was butt ugly, but tasted good.

Dale's steak and grilled cheese got rave reviews for the good crunch on the sandwich. Bourdain said "perfect late night stoner food." :-D Ming Tsai was impressed with his using an iron to "grill" the sandwich, and said "Maybe he's trying to become an Iron Chef!" Ooooh. Bad pun!

Carla's curried soup - judges said it needed protein - which she KNEW she was missing but had spent too much time shopping for her tablescape!

Antonia's egg dish - Bourdain said it was ballsy of her to attempt 100 servings, but everyone loved it!

Tiffany - her jambalaya was considered "ok" and "fair". Mike's soup was also considered OK.

Angelo's baked potato soup was deemed too heavy, and Ming said it was WAY too salty. He asked the other judges if they'd eat a whole bowl of the soup, and everyone said no.

So who's in the high group? I think Dale and Antonia are going to be battling it out again. As for the low group, it's probably Angelo, Carla, and Mike, and I think Angelo might be on the way out. They seemed to focus most on his and Carla's soups as the worst, but Angelo's over-salting could be his death knell.

They're back in the Stew Room, and they're all exhausted. Padma comes in and asks for Dale, Antonia, and Richard - definitely the Top Group!

Richard gets kudos from Ming for cooking his protein two ways. Antonia's dish is favored by Bourdain with getting it all done, and Dale's inventiveness is highly praised. And Dale wins! A double win for him this time around!

Dale said back in the Stew Room that they want to see Carla, Tiffany and Angelo. I had two out of the three in the bottom group. Carla's soup *was* in need of protein and was too thin - Ming said it would have been a good sauce for chicken or salmon.

Angelo's salty soup was also too rich. Tiffany's jambalaya used dried spices, which Bourdain says accentuated the problems with the dish when she overused the spices.

Padma asks them if they have any final words to say before they make their decision - Tiffany is the only one who makes a statement about being from small town Beaumont, Texas, and she's honored to have cooked with all of them. They head back into the Stew Room, and Carla said "Beaumont cried again." But Angelo thinks he's heading home for too much salt.

At JT, while Tiffany's jambalaya was overspiced, it wasn't inedible. It REALLY seems to be leaning towards Angelo - but we know how the Elves work. Could this be Carla's swan song? Noooo! Please send Angelo first!

We're back....Tom reviews all of their dishes, acknowledging the difficulty of the challenge....and Padma asks Angelo to PYKAG! He realizes he lost control of the dish. They go back into the Stew Room, and his buddy, Mike, is astonished. But he gets a little Target dog as a farewell gift from Carla or Antonia. :-) A gracious farewell.

And WHAT? Fabio and Marcel are back next week? Noooooooo!

  1. mariacarmen Feb 23, 2011 05:44 AM

    for those who were curious.....

    4 Replies
    1. re: mariacarmen
      lenwood Feb 23, 2011 06:02 AM

      I'm a fan of Carla on Facebook too. She posted that photo from her modeling days yesterday.

      1. re: lenwood
        Joanie Feb 23, 2011 06:45 AM

        Hmm, I still don't see it but whatever.

        1. re: Joanie
          John E. Feb 23, 2011 10:29 AM

          Carla is 5'11" and slender. She was a runway model for designer clothes where the point is the clothes and not the beauty of the model, like a model on the cover of a magazine. (That's my metro-sexual side that doesn't appear too often).

          1. re: John E.
            mariacarmen Feb 23, 2011 08:04 PM

            i find her beautiful - then and now. Again, she's not classically pretty, not like the girl next door.... She's got great skin, great features, great presence.

            anyway, not about food.....

    2. lisavf Feb 22, 2011 11:13 AM

      The recap roundup is now posted on alltopchef.com. Here are the two funniest comments:

      David Dust on Dale's reaction to the heckling: "Dale, in particular, gets heckled for making a cookie using potato chips and other non-cookie-ish stuff. And he doesn’t quite know how to react. Dale instinctively wants to tell Elmo, Telly and Cookie that today’s Quickfire challenge is being brought to them by the letters 'F' and 'U', but quickly decides against it."

      Max the Girl on distractions: "To be fair, I’m actual familiar with this phenomenon, known as TTA (Temporary Target Amnesia). You go to Target to buy some suntan lotion, you leave with Season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a pair of sweatpants, a cute decorative bowl, a pink dog bed...and, yup, no suntan lotion. Carla, I feel ya, girl."

      1 Reply
      1. re: lisavf
        AMFM Feb 22, 2011 05:32 PM

        LOL. love both of those. and i so get the target amnesia. it happens.

      2. a
        AdamD Feb 18, 2011 01:30 PM

        I kinda liked the target challenge, but I kept wondering why none of the chefs didnt go to the camping section and pick up coleman propane stoves and grills-then they could have cooked with GAS.

        As far as Mike's behavior, Id guess he really thought Angelo would get a pass because he was a prior finalist. I respect the judges for judging on taste.

        10 Replies
        1. re: AdamD
          ipsedixit Feb 18, 2011 08:17 PM

          I kinda liked the target challenge, but I kept wondering why none of the chefs didnt go to the camping section and pick up coleman propane stoves and grills-then they could have cooked with GAS.


          Probably would've set off the fire sprinklers ...

          1. re: AdamD
            momjamin Feb 19, 2011 02:45 AM

            Besides the sprinkler issue, would they supply propane at the store, or just the stoves/grills?

            1. re: momjamin
              AdamD Feb 19, 2011 04:10 AM

              They have the small propane canisters. But I guess the stoves/grills are for outdoor use only.
              Now that I think about it, my portable gas burners run on butane, not propane, which is not safe for indoor use.

              carry on

              1. re: AdamD
                chrisonli Feb 19, 2011 07:40 PM

                They may sell the propane canisters, but I'm quite sure they are sold empty and that you have to take them elsewhere to get them filled with propane.

                1. re: chrisonli
                  AdamD Feb 20, 2011 02:53 AM

                  nope they are pre filled and about the size of a thermos

                  1. re: AdamD
                    chrisonli Feb 20, 2011 07:54 AM

                    Wow, that's cool. I hate having the big propane container hanging around when i use it fairly infrequently. Will definitely look for these next time I'm at Target.


                    1. re: chrisonli
                      John E. Feb 20, 2011 09:49 AM

                      The small propane cannisters do not work with your backyard gas grill. The are for camp stoves, lanterns, and heaters. We have an on-demand hot water heater/shower apparatus that we use at our rustic cabin. Sometime we might even build a bathroom with a shower stall in which to use it. It doesnt get used much and when it does, we just shower on the back porch. (When I say rustic I mean no electricity or running water).

            2. re: AdamD
              roxlet Feb 19, 2011 05:07 AM

              During our kitchen renovation, we had camp stoves but we would only use them outside on the porch. However, these are the kinds of stoves that hotels use all the time for on-the-spot egg and omelet preparation, so maybe it has something to do with whether there is a sprinkler system in place...

              1. re: roxlet
                AdamD Feb 19, 2011 06:17 AM

                The hotel burners use butane canisters not propane. Same thing with restaurants when you get hot pot, shabu shabu or korean BBQ if they do not have the burners built into the table-in which case it is natural gas, just like an ordinary stovetop burner. The coleman camping grills and stoves run off propane canisters. And they are not for use indoors as they burn off carbon monoxide.

                1. re: AdamD
                  roxlet Feb 19, 2011 06:28 AM

                  Thanks for the clarification!

            3. lisavf Feb 18, 2011 11:33 AM

              Here is an interesting article from Anthony Bourdain:

              It discusses last night’s episode but also addresses some other issues (Antonia’s mussels, the (non)role of the producers in judging). It has little snark and lots of interesting insight.

              Some choice selections:

              “In a lot of ways, even at its strangest and most gimmicky, Top Chef mimics the real world in the sense that, when you run a restaurant, on a Saturday night, you don’t know who your customers are going to be and what’s going to go wrong. You might have to improvise.”

              “I never would’ve made it to the finals of Top Chef on my culinary skills alone. I was a journeyman chef of middling ability. Generally speaking the chefs on the show, most of them are better cooks than I am, though maybe not as experienced or as well or widely eaten.”

              “We went right over to Judges’ Table from Target at about 7 or 8 a.m., so it was a long day. I slept on the floor of a trailer for an hour under a scratchy blanket. It was not gracious living.”

              “It irritates me when you see conspiracy theorists online saying that producers come in and it’s their master plan. All the times I’ve been on Top Chef, I’ve never seen the producers come in to influence the vote. Often I wish they would because we’ve spent hours at that table arguing the merits of who should win and who should go home. It’s often bitterly contested.”

              “Ultimately and most importantly, [Dale’s] dish made the judges happy, which is what cooking is about. When chefs lose sight of that — when they think it’s about their genius or impressing people with their technique or their advanced experience — that’s often a fatal impulse.”

              “At the end of the day, I do Top Chef because I’m a fan boy. I like hanging out with Tom and my chef cronies… It sure as hell ain’t the money, let’s put it that way. I think I get a fruit basket and tube socks for each appearance.”

              9 Replies
              1. re: lisavf
                LindaWhit Feb 18, 2011 12:31 PM

                The part about the producers *not* coming into JT is very pertinent to those that think this entire contest is a set-up. :-)

                AND this paragraph about Richard is also very pertinent as it relates to his abilities (puts him as a VERY strong contender) and his use of MG:

                "Richard’s arepas were a perfectly good, even very good, dish. Arepas don’t have to be beautiful. It was just less tasty and less welcome in this particular circumstance, and only by a hair. Richard is a monster talent. He’s a very, very strong contender. If Richard’s food wasn’t so good, if he wasn’t so talented, then [his frequent use of nitrogen oxide] would be an unforgivable and deranged exercise. But Blais’ food is generally really good. If he’s using some technique, even one that I don’t generally like, it usually seems to work. That’s a guy who’s used, for lack of a better word, restraint in the world of molecular gastronomy and usually to a better effect."

                1. re: LindaWhit
                  aching Feb 18, 2011 01:08 PM

                  "That’s a guy who’s used, for lack of a better word, restraint in the world of molecular gastronomy and usually to a better effect. "

                  I've read this sentence three times and I still don't understand it - can somebody help me?

                  1. re: aching
                    mcf Feb 18, 2011 01:15 PM

                    NO FOAM.

                    1. re: aching
                      chowser Feb 18, 2011 01:43 PM

                      Richard does not run around like a blinking headless chicken, with his use of MG. :-) He uses it judiciously, not haphazardly, as many do.

                      1. re: chowser
                        Ruth Lafler Feb 18, 2011 01:58 PM

                        Well, except for the occasional FAIL when he makes things like zucchini ice cream "cookies" -- a clear case of "what were you thinking?" I mean, it might have worked with a different audience, but not for Muppets!

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          aching Feb 18, 2011 02:05 PM

                          Yes, or frozen bananas that freeze people's mouths. I would not have described his approach to MG as restrained - he seems to whip out the liquid nitrogen on every challenge except ones like this week when there is none to be had.

                          I guess I was confused by the word "better" - better than whom?

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                            chowser Feb 18, 2011 02:14 PM

                            I was just interpreting AB's words posted by aching. I wasn't agreeing or disagreeing with it. "Restraint" in the world of MG, not the regular world. And, he did say "USUALLY to a better effect." I just saw an Iron Chef where the guy used MG for everything, and it seemed many components within each dish. I think that's fairly typical.

                            I don't know what audience would go for a meringue shaped ice cream for a cookie, other than maybe an abstract art crowd. I mean, I piped mashed potatoes in that shape to decorate a meatloaf cake but no one would let me get away w/ calling it a "cookie." But no one has said he ALWAYS uses it appropriately. No one does everything 100%. Carla makes good comfort food, except when she doesn't.

                      2. re: LindaWhit
                        chowser Feb 18, 2011 02:20 PM

                        I don't think it matters what praise Richard Blais gets and from whom. Detractors are going to call it biased so it's not going to change anyone's mind. At this point, the judges, competitors have all praised what he does, for the most part, so more won't make a difference.

                        1. re: chowser
                          Pylon Feb 18, 2011 04:00 PM


                    2. f
                      foodiemahoodie Feb 18, 2011 10:19 AM

                      Soup? Just soup? In an elimination challenge? On Top Chef? What were they thinking?

                      Cooking for 100 people? Okay, that's a challenge, but it's not like the portions have to be gigantic. More like cooking for 40, or even 25. All do-able. Stew, braise, or even chili would've made more sense. It's a no-brainer. Soup. Hm. It's like they were tempting fate.

                      1. roxlet Feb 18, 2011 02:47 AM

                        I turned the TV on before I went to bed last night, and not surprisingly, it was tuned to Bravo from the night before and there was a promo for next week's episode. Did anyone else see this? Richard accuses Mike of stealing his dish!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: roxlet
                          LindaWhit Feb 18, 2011 03:41 AM

                          Whoa. Didn't see anything at Bravo's Preview videos other than Mike saying he and Richard had talked about doing the same thing in the Paula Deen QF challenge (but they seem to be doing different things - COMPLETELY different!).

                          But they DID also have a video of how chefs are working (or not working!) with the returning chef-helpers for the EC. Marcel harps on Tiffany to use the shrimp heads over and over and over again, and Tiffany finally tells him she's more concerned with getting 300 servings done first. Dale says in a confessional "If anyone's going to finally put Marcel in his place, it'll be Tiffany. A 5'10" strong, Southern black woman with a lot of ...." and then then show him snapping his fingers. Yeah. That would do it. :-D

                          1. re: LindaWhit
                            roxlet Feb 18, 2011 04:37 AM

                            Yes, this was not on the Bravotv site. I was so surprised to see it! Blais was clearly pissed off, but Mike insisted that he didn't steal anything. These were quick cuts, and there was also a comment from Carla and maybe Dale I think. So weird that they didn't promo this on the show or on the web.

                            1. re: roxlet
                              chowser Feb 18, 2011 04:51 AM

                              Hmmm, wonder if Mike had liquid nitrogened pea puree...

                              1. re: chowser
                                LJNew Feb 18, 2011 11:05 AM

                                Ahh, pea puree caper!! I was just thinking of that too.

                                Was that ever solved? I forget the name of that geeky chef who was heavily suspected of being the culprit. If I am not mistaken he denied it to the bitter end, and there was no evidence to convict him...

                                1. re: LJNew
                                  momjamin Feb 18, 2011 11:36 AM

                                  Alex, and I think no one on the show (except the editors who apparently had some fun at the expense of his reputation and our rumor-churning energies) thought there was enough reason to pursue it. In fact, Tom blogged that some did see him make a puree.


                                  1. re: momjamin
                                    LJNew Feb 20, 2011 05:14 PM

                                    Thanks - I guess the editing elves strike again. However it was a sort of strange coincidence.

                        2. g
                          gulfcoastpirate Feb 17, 2011 07:19 PM

                          Ms. Whit,

                          I think you have created a monster. 800 or so replies last week and now 330 in a day this week. Nice work.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: gulfcoastpirate
                            Shrinkrap Feb 17, 2011 07:39 PM

                            Yes! Bravo ! (TM)

                            1. re: gulfcoastpirate
                              LindaWhit Feb 18, 2011 03:32 AM

                              Appropriate after an episode with Cookie Monster. ;-) It is rather scary how this has taken on a life of its own, however. Which is why I asked to stay on focus this week! LOL

                            2. m
                              momjamin Feb 17, 2011 07:17 PM

                              Max Silvestri's blog is up, and has a few gems:

                              "In the same way that I found Joey Tribbiani's enjoyment of sandwiches compelling for all 10 seasons of 'Friends', I do not tire of how much Cookie Monster loves cookies."

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: momjamin
                                goodhealthgourmet Feb 17, 2011 08:39 PM

                                that's two strong weeks in a row for Silvestri - i cracked up a few times reading this one as well :)

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                  AMFM Feb 18, 2011 05:31 AM

                                  agree. very funny.

                                2. re: momjamin
                                  Pylon Feb 18, 2011 05:48 AM

                                  "He is Cookie Monster, not Omelet Monster, so the chefs have to make cookies. "

                                  I can't believe he passed up "He is Cookie Monster, not Scallop Monster."

                                  1. re: momjamin
                                    Joanie Feb 18, 2011 06:49 AM

                                    There were lots of good ones:

                                    "Hey Target employees, how would you like to come to work three hours early to eat hot plates of garbage? Don't worry, as soon as you're done eating, you get to clean up the mess these half-asleep donkeys made of your workplace."

                                    Our judges arrive along with the employees to taste the "food." Joining Padma and Tom are Anthony Bourdain, Ming Tsai, and Thomas O'Brien who is Target's Home Designer. They don't give him much to do. I think he sets all the tables? Thanks for the help. The folded napkins really made this fluorescent warehouse supermarket feel "homey" at 4:30am for the people who are paid to be there.

                                    He is very excited! I hope this ranks with his top eight memories from the second half of this season of Top Chef.

                                    My friend Abe texted me last night: "I have a great passion from since my childhood for the way of Angelo returning to homespace." I could not have said it better. Angelo will be returning to his alien elders, hopefully armed with plenty of useful information gleaned from living among us humans. "As a people, the carbon-based flesh-things do not like baked potato soup."

                                    1. re: Joanie
                                      momjamin Feb 18, 2011 07:27 AM

                                      For some reason I can't explain (maybe it was late) that line about Abe's text message and Angelo's return to his alien elders cracked me up. It's not like I've been thinking Angelo's that weird and otherworldly. Glad you were amused, too ;-)

                                      1. re: momjamin
                                        Ruth Lafler Feb 18, 2011 11:18 AM

                                        Ooh, they nailed is exactly! Angelo outside the kitchen often reacts with the same kind of naivete of a character from Third Rock from the Sun.

                                      2. re: Joanie
                                        John E. Feb 18, 2011 09:47 AM

                                        I bet they had more Target employees that wanted to participate than they had room for.

                                        1. re: John E.
                                          aching Feb 18, 2011 10:12 AM

                                          I would get up in the middle of the night anytime to be an eater on Top Chef! I think that would be so fun!

                                          1. re: aching
                                            AMFM Feb 18, 2011 10:18 AM


                                    2. Shrinkrap Feb 17, 2011 05:05 PM

                                      Watching On Demand. Why are Richards cookies called in question as "not tehnically a cookie", an "ice dream cookie disk", when very early on, Dale was called a "cookie cheater"?

                                      44 Replies
                                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                                        Shrinkrap Feb 17, 2011 05:43 PM

                                        Love Carla; So what did "Beaumont, crying again!" mean? Refuse to believe it was mean spirited.

                                        1. re: Shrinkrap
                                          Pylon Feb 17, 2011 06:06 PM

                                          Probably not mean spirited, but certainly not funny.

                                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                                            goodhealthgourmet Feb 17, 2011 08:33 PM

                                            IIRC Tiffany has shed tears on the show more than once, so i assume it's become a good-natured joke with her fellow chefs.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                              Shrinkrap Feb 17, 2011 08:50 PM

                                              That's what I was thinking. Tiffany said "I'm not doing this today", or something like that, when she started to cry at JT.

                                          2. re: Shrinkrap
                                            Pylon Feb 17, 2011 06:07 PM

                                            I guess because they are frozen ice cream more than not being baked.

                                            I'd be ok with it, though. It's a different twist. Who made Carla cookie police anyway?

                                            1. re: Pylon
                                              mcf Feb 17, 2011 06:13 PM

                                              Cookie monster also said it "was not cookie." I think it was him. And he KNOWS cookie.

                                              1. re: mcf
                                                Pylon Feb 17, 2011 06:20 PM

                                                I wouldn't dare question the CM. But chicken lady said it before that.

                                                1. re: Pylon
                                                  Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 11:16 PM

                                                  No, it was Antonia who called Dale a "cookie cheater."

                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                    huiray Feb 18, 2011 04:11 AM

                                                    Almost everyone has done it - but Lofaso seems to me to be getting an edit of saying a fair bit of negative stuff about others in this season on camera, in "Talking Heads" in bits and pieces here and there... I found it noticeable.

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                      AMFM Feb 18, 2011 05:23 AM

                                                      i think antonia thought dale was going to do one of the no bake potato chip pretzel things. that's why she called him a cookie cheater. but he didn't. so he wasn't.

                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                        Pylon Feb 18, 2011 05:44 AM

                                                        She may have as well, but I recall with striking clarity Chicken Lady in her sit down making disparaging remarks during the challenge as well. (Referring here to her comments on Richard's disk, not Dale's sublime creation.)

                                                        1. re: Pylon
                                                          AMFM Feb 18, 2011 10:17 AM

                                                          may have. i just missed that one. heard antonia's.

                                                          1. re: Pylon
                                                            Ruth Lafler Feb 18, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                            Really? Can you remember what she said? Because Carla rarely says anything critical of her fellow chefs. I think it's just her personality that she does what she does and doesn't worry about other people.

                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                              Shrinkrap Feb 18, 2011 12:01 PM

                                                              was it "ice cream cookie disk"?

                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                Ruth Lafler Feb 18, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                                If she did, it would be giving it more credit than it deserved, because while it was ice cream, it was neither a cookie nor a disk. But also, there's a difference between describing -- even negatively -- what someone did, and speaking negatively about the person who did it, i.e, calling someone a "cookie cheater" -- which BTW I thought was funny, if not ultimately correct.

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                  Pylon Feb 18, 2011 01:59 PM

                                                                  I believe it was along the lines of "Richard, that's not a cookie." Not to his face, of course, but in the interview shot.

                                                                  I appreciated the fact that Blais wasn't penned in by Chicken Lady's (or anyone else's) definition of a cookie.

                                                                  1. re: Pylon
                                                                    Ruth Lafler Feb 18, 2011 02:23 PM

                                                                    Wow. What a bitch that Carla is. ;-)

                                                                    For the word "cookie" (or any word that matter) to have any meaning, it needs to have a definition. I think that freezing a dollop of ice cream is beyond any reasonable definition of a cookie. Now, if he was asked to make a dessert and made that dish and called it a "cookie," then I might think it was a poor choice of words but not a failure to execute the challenge. But the challenge was to make something that could be called a cookie without expanding the definition so far as to make it meaningless, and he failed.

                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                      roxlet Feb 18, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                      Ha, ha. Oooooh-- you're so right. Meanie.

                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                        Pylon Feb 18, 2011 03:59 PM

                                                                        "But the challenge was to make something that could be called a cookie without expanding the definition so far as to make it meaningless, and he failed."

                                                                        Hmmm...I didn't hear them say "make a baked, disc shaped, dough based dessert" nor did I hear "make a cookie based on a particular definition and don't get cute about it." I think it's always open to innovation and imagination unless it is said otherwise. Doesn't mean you will win, or even be in the top 3, but there wasn't anything I saw that made his dish outside the bounds of the QF.

                                                                        And yes, I can hear the response of "they said he was on the bottom because it wasn't a cookie." That doesn't mean he "failed" for giving it a shot. Just that they didn't appreciate it in this case. I don't expect it will prevent him, or anyone else, from being innovative going forward. At least, I hope not.

                                                                        As far as the Chicken Lady, I was just repeating what she said. Was there something in my post that wasn't true, outside of a possibly paraphrasing a bit?

                                                                        1. re: Pylon
                                                                          mcf Feb 18, 2011 04:31 PM

                                                                          "Hmmm...I didn't hear them say "make a baked, disc shaped, dough based dessert"

                                                                          I guess he could've made a flan and called it a cookie, too, but if you can't dunk it into milk, it ain't no steenkin' cookie. :-)

                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                            Ruth Lafler Feb 18, 2011 06:31 PM

                                                                            Right -- you could make a lot of things and call them a cookie, but that wouldn't make them cookies any more than calling my dog a cat would make her one.

                                                                            What part of "make a cookie" needed explanation?

                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                              mamachef Feb 19, 2011 05:19 AM

                                                                              Well, I know that if someone told me to "make a cookie," the first thought in my head would NOT be to make a round pb&j sandwich and call it a cookie.
                                                                              #1 son used to love "making cookies" out of mud, which he'd dry in large jar lids and then decorate with twigs, rocks, etc.......if he'd made those, would it be considered a cookie? I think not!

                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                Pylon Feb 19, 2011 07:22 AM

                                                                                "But the challenge was to make something that could be called a cookie without expanding the definition so far as to make it meaningless, and he failed."

                                                                                That was from your post, Ruth. You're making a leap. Just pointing it out.

                                                                                1. re: Pylon
                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Feb 19, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                                  No, I'm not. They said "make a cookie" -- the word cookie means something fairly specific. If they had meant "make whatever you want as long as you call it a cookie" they would have said so.

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                    Pylon Feb 19, 2011 02:30 PM

                                                                                    Yes, you are. "Cookie" means something specific to you. That doesn't mean it means something specific to everyone, let alone meaning the same thing to them that it means to you.

                                                                                    1. re: Pylon
                                                                                      Ruth Lafler Feb 19, 2011 02:43 PM

                                                                                      Words have generally agreed-upon meanings otherwise they would be useless to communicate and we might just as well make random noises.

                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                        Pylon Feb 20, 2011 05:56 AM

                                                                                        "Generally agreed upon" is fine. But you're saying that they were given explicit instructions about what to produce, which isn't the case.

                                                                                        1. re: Pylon
                                                                                          momjamin Feb 20, 2011 11:01 AM

                                                                                          We don't know if they got more explicit instructions that weren't aired -- I gather that most challenges are described in more detail than we ever see on the edited show. (I personally doubt that Richard specifically disregarded any specific parameters, but still.)

                                                                                          1. re: momjamin
                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 20, 2011 05:29 PM

                                                                                            We don't know if they got more explicit instructions that weren't aired -- I gather that most challenges are described in more detail than we ever see on the edited show.
                                                                                            It's been said in the past that the instructions are reviewed in DETAIL with each cheftestant for each challenge by a PA or producer and they are required to sign a release or document of some sort saying they understood the challenge. A blog or interview with someone connected with the show stated as much.

                                                                                      2. re: Pylon
                                                                                        roxlet Feb 19, 2011 03:02 PM

                                                                                        Now, I have to agree with Ruth here. Even The Cookie Monster said it wasn't a cookie! And if anyone knows cookies, it's The Cookie Monster.

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                          mcf Feb 19, 2011 03:13 PM

                                                                                          Put me in Ruth's column on this one. Kind of goofy position, Pylon, seriously.

                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                            Pylon Feb 20, 2011 05:59 AM

                                                                                            Hey, it's not my fault she's claiming something happened that didn't. Just pointing out facts (as opposed to supposition or assumption).

                                                                                            Blais lost, at least partially because they didn't like his interpretation of a cookie. So clearly the judges had something else in mind. But to claim they had specific instructions about what they were to produce is at best guesswork based on what was aired.

                                                                                            1. re: Pylon
                                                                                              Ruth Lafler Feb 20, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                                                              I'm just saying that the instructions were specific: make a cookie. If you want to claim a "cookie" is not a specific enough term, that's fine, but you're not getting much support for that position.

                                                                                              1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                chowser Feb 21, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                                                                To beat a dead horse, since I've finally had a chance to read this thread, the same argument could be made for Tiffany last week with her tortilla soup aka chicken and dumplings. These chefs know they're taking a risk with their assumptions and seem to take it in stride when called out for being too far out of the box. Tiffany also was in the bottom three because they didn't like her interpretation but was generally criticized for it and no one defended her interpretation, though the soup was delicious.

                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                  roxlet Feb 22, 2011 04:01 AM

                                                                                                  That may be because no one seems that interested in Tiffany as a chef...

                                                          2. re: Shrinkrap
                                                            Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 11:15 PM

                                                            Because Antonia was wrong when she said Dale was a cookie cheater because his cookies weren't baked -- according to the recipe posted on the site they are baked.

                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                              Pylon Feb 18, 2011 05:46 AM

                                                              I wonder if he baked them in the QF, or if the recipe has been modified...

                                                              Or, I suppose it could have been because it's made from other snacks and not butter, flour, etc.

                                                            2. re: Shrinkrap
                                                              John E. Feb 18, 2011 09:44 AM

                                                              Richards 'cookie' was ice cream. Antonia thought Dale was making no-bake cookies and she considered that cheating under the time constraints I suppose. Apparently Dale did bake his cookies.

                                                              I'm a little tired of Richard doing the opposite of what the parameters of the cooking contests. Is it helping him win? (I'm referencing the 'cookies' and 'fondue'.

                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                mcf Feb 18, 2011 10:15 AM

                                                                "I'm a little tired of Richard doing the opposite of what the parameters of the cooking contests. Is it helping him win? (I'm referencing the 'cookies' and 'fondue'."

                                                                Well, at least his fondue was fondue. His cookie was an ice cream treat. Try to put that in a cookie jar. :-)

                                                                1. re: mcf
                                                                  babette feasts Feb 18, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                                  You don't keep your cookie jar in the freezer?

                                                                  1. re: babette feasts
                                                                    debbiel Feb 18, 2011 06:18 PM

                                                                    Frozen cookies can be pretty good. Freeze a chocolate chip cookie. Dip it in hot fudge sauce. Kind of the reverse of a hot chocolate chip cookie dipped in cold milk.

                                                                    All of this cookie talk is going to put a damper on my spring weight loss efforts.

                                                                    1. re: debbiel
                                                                      KailuaGirl Feb 18, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                      Ice cream sandwiches! I make them all the time with my home made cookies and good ice cream.

                                                                      1. re: debbiel
                                                                        aching Feb 18, 2011 06:31 PM

                                                                        Mmmm - frozen Thin Mints...

                                                                        1. re: aching
                                                                          AMFM Feb 19, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                          mmmmm... +1

                                                              2. Pylon Feb 17, 2011 03:39 PM

                                                                I started thinking about who is left, and how far they got in their season. We've seen plenty of chef go out earlier this season than in their own. No surprise, since many of them hung around until the end in their year (Tiffani, Marcel, Dale L., RIchard, Casey, Carla and Angelo). But what is surprising is to think that at least one chef has gone further in the AS season than in their original season.

                                                                Tiffany, S7- 5th
                                                                Richard, S4- Finale (top 3)
                                                                Mike, S6- 7th
                                                                Dale, S4- 6th
                                                                Carla, S5- Finale (top 3)
                                                                Antonia, S4- 4th

                                                                By making the final 6, Mike is assured a better finish. I'd say Dale looks good for a similar honor, but I think it's interesting that Mike did better this year. (Of course, he also had the second lowest finish from his season coming in, 1 spot better than Tre. But he did manage to hold on longer.)

                                                                Just thought it was interesting.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Pylon
                                                                  DGresh Feb 19, 2011 01:10 AM

                                                                  I was thinking that about Mike as well last night. He's one I definately didn't pick to hang around this long. Of course he's been pretty consistently middle of the road this year has't he?

                                                                2. Pylon Feb 17, 2011 01:18 PM

                                                                  So, after finally getting to watch the show, I'll say that as much as I was rooting for her to go, I didn't see Carla's dish sending her home. The tragedy is that she should have been all over this one. Take away everyone' equipment, special tools and ingredients, and work from simple food and setups. It's is a lowest common denominator challenge, which is right up her alley. (Yes, I know someone will take umbrage with that. Sorry. But look at what won, and I think it's true.)

                                                                  But in the end she produced something good, if incomplete. Not inedible, not tragic, not horrific. Just not great. And that won't work at this point.

                                                                  Angelo really has redeemed himself this season, I think. Sorry to see him go. But also thinking about how long he's been going, I can imagine it has to be a relief on some level. I wasn't surprised to see Tiff lose her composure a bit for the same reason, especially with the sleep deprivation on top of everything else.

                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Pylon
                                                                    mcf Feb 17, 2011 01:23 PM

                                                                    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Angelo talking about his daughter last season? Last night he mentioned his son. Am I just FUBAR, or is he a tad whacked?

                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                      gaffk Feb 17, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                                      Sorry, it was a son last season as well. (But that doesn't mean you're FUBAR ;)

                                                                      1. re: gaffk
                                                                        mcf Feb 17, 2011 02:37 PM

                                                                        Thanks. I felt so sure he said daughter. That *alone* doesn't mean I'm FUBAR... ;-)

                                                                      2. re: mcf
                                                                        John E. Feb 17, 2011 04:12 PM

                                                                        I remember him mentioning a son and a Russian bride, not at the same time.

                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                          huiray Feb 17, 2011 04:27 PM

                                                                          The son came from his time with a woman whose family looked down on Sosa and his chosen career. The talked-about Russian bride came after but is no more, not for quite a while now.

                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                            John E. Feb 17, 2011 07:17 PM

                                                                            I'm pretty sure he had an Asian wife and her family didn't like him.

                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                              huiray Feb 17, 2011 07:59 PM

                                                                              I thought that was essentially what I said.

                                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                                John E. Feb 17, 2011 08:54 PM

                                                                                "His time with a woman" reads a lot different than husband and wife. Im pretty sure they were married.

                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                  huiray Feb 18, 2011 04:04 AM

                                                                                  [Off topic] Perhaps so - but that points out why it is that "marriage" [let's just think about CIVIL marriage here] conjures up a set of mental images that are not the same as "civil union" or "domestic partnership" in one current cultural dispute and why gays are fighting for equal rights in this regard.

                                                                                  [Back on topic] Yes, Sosa was married and the issue was the son we read and hear about. Her family disapproved of Sosa because they apparently wanted a son-in-law that was a doctor or lawyer, not a mere cook. What I read is that they were divorced in 2009.

                                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                                    Pylon Feb 18, 2011 05:43 AM

                                                                                    OK, let's all back away from this thing slowly. No need for anyone to get crazy about defining marriage here, right? Let's move along...

                                                                                    BTW, not an accusation of baiting on your part, huriay...I just know there are people who are...passionate...on both sides of the issue, and I don't want to have to read either side of it in here. :)

                                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                                      John E. Feb 18, 2011 09:40 AM

                                                                                      I'm not all worked up over it. I don't know exactly why I pointed it out except that it's a fact and I can be a stickler for facts.

                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                        huiray Feb 18, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                        I wasn't aware the phrase "his time with a woman" was not factual...

                                                                        2. re: Pylon
                                                                          Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 02:40 PM

                                                                          According to Tom's blog, the judges all knew after tasting one bite of Angelo's soup that he was going home and there was no debate at judges' table. As he pointed out, for dramatic reasons they have to go through the process of bringing the all bottom contestants in to judges' table, but it wasn't close.

                                                                        3. JasmineG Feb 17, 2011 11:29 AM

                                                                          Tom's blog about hanging out with the Muppets is hilarious http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso... Aside from everything else on the show, I really enjoyed the Quickfire, and how hysterical it was to watch the chefs interact with the Muppets. They all seemed to laugh a lot, which was just fun to watch, and those on the show who have little kids (especially Richard) were just hilarious.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: JasmineG
                                                                            Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                                            Actually, I thought the funniest comment was Dale not wanting to swear in front of the Muppets.

                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                              karenfinan Feb 17, 2011 12:28 PM

                                                                              can you imagine the bad guy edit he would have gotten if he HAD cursed at them!!:-)

                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                JasmineG Feb 17, 2011 01:18 PM

                                                                                Oh my God, I know, that cracked me up too.

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                  AMFM Feb 17, 2011 02:15 PM

                                                                                  agreed. but then i think dale's hilarious. :)

                                                                                  1. re: AMFM
                                                                                    Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 02:37 PM

                                                                                    I've found Dale to be quite entertaining this season, as well as rather impressive as a chef. It appears Dale actually experienced the growth and maturity that Marcel was bragging he'd attained.

                                                                              2. roxlet Feb 17, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                                                Did anyone process the teaser for next week? Wasn't it called redemption or something? Why do I think that it will allow one chef back on the show? Am I making this up, or was there something in the promo that indicated this?

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                  momjamin Feb 17, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                                  There was something about "redemption," but as this whole season is basically about redemption, I didn't think much of it.

                                                                                  1. re: momjamin
                                                                                    roxlet Feb 17, 2011 11:26 AM

                                                                                    I guess I had also been reading an article about he new Survivor season wherein a competitor can get back into the game (it's called Survivor Redemption Island, I think) and I must have conflated it with the word redemption being associated with this episode. But, come to think of it, what else could it mean?

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                      LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 11:41 AM

                                                                                      I'm wondering since we saw Fabio and Marcel back in play, it's a possibility. But nothing I've read has them able to return. Perhaps they they just playing sous to the remaining cheftestants? Tiffany *did* say in the confessional about Marcel "just cook the damn food the way I want it cooked!"

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        momjamin Feb 17, 2011 11:50 AM

                                                                                        The preview at bravotv shows more about how they're using the already eliminated contestants.

                                                                                      2. re: roxlet
                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Feb 17, 2011 12:24 PM

                                                                                        There was something about "redemption"--Carla talking in a teaser for next week, maybe?

                                                                                    2. re: roxlet
                                                                                      gaffk Feb 17, 2011 11:47 AM

                                                                                      Wow, that's a scary thought--I don't really want Marcel or Fabio back.

                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                        roxlet Feb 22, 2011 07:34 AM

                                                                                        I saw this teaser again last night. Looks like Blais accuses Mike of stealing his dish, Mike says he didn't and then everyone else comments on how the worst thing a chef can do is steal someone else's dish and call it their own. I am still surprised that they didn't promo this at the end of last week's show, and chose to show Paula Deen instead.

                                                                                      2. LiveRock Feb 17, 2011 08:40 AM

                                                                                        You know I am trying to like Dale but comments like his "Suzy Homemaker" comment just make him look like a jerk. That said though, he did have a good point when he commented on Richard's liquid nitrogen...I do fear the nitrogen may well be Richard's foam!

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: LiveRock
                                                                                          LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                                                          Well, Dale's Suzy Homemaker comment was spot-on. Yeah, OK - get a single tablecloth for the service table - fine. But Carla spending an entire HOUR on looking for gewgaws for her table's presentation when that wasn't being judged was just ludicrous, IMO.

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                            Joanie Feb 17, 2011 09:13 AM

                                                                                            Gewgaws? Never heard that one before.

                                                                                            1. re: Joanie
                                                                                              LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 09:25 AM

                                                                                              Gewgaws. Trinkets. Baubles. Thingamajigs.

                                                                                              Something useless and of trivial value. Which the tablescape was in conjunction with the challenge. :-)

                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                              nomadchowwoman Feb 17, 2011 09:42 AM

                                                                                              I agree--and I'm a huge fan of Carla--but she did get lucky this week. I'm glad, but she used very poor judgement. As did Angelo, for whom I also have a soft spot.

                                                                                          2. b
                                                                                            Bellachefa Feb 17, 2011 07:53 AM

                                                                                            Another eloquent exit. People here got really ticked off at me when I trashed Jennifer when she went to judges table and left in a state of rage. How nice to see Angelo, who is also wrapped l bit tight leave with humour and compassion and dignity. Look at his exit speech! He explains how he felt like he was in front of an firing squad, so he closed his eyes, but it took to long, so he peeked - giggle giggle giggle. He's a very complex person, but somewhere along the line he learned to genuinely not take himself and the show as serious as he had in the past. For that he left as a true winner.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                              JasmineG Feb 17, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                                              I agree, I thought that Angelo's exit was very classy.

                                                                                              1. re: JasmineG
                                                                                                huiray Feb 17, 2011 08:46 AM

                                                                                                It's "Angelo". Angelo Sosa.

                                                                                                Just curious - many people over many of these threads and even on other forums keep calling him Antonio. Is there some explanation for this? The name "Angelo" is a common name and I would imagine is not difficult to remember. Could there be some 'mental attachment' to that other competitor "Antonia" that is at work here?

                                                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                                                  momjamin Feb 17, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                                                  FWIW, I finally got over thinking of Antonia as "Angela" if that helps even the score ;-)

                                                                                                2. re: JasmineG
                                                                                                  Shrinkrap Feb 17, 2011 10:53 AM

                                                                                                  ditto. even though he is one of the rare guys on TC that cry, it did not take away from the "class factor". The black sox and shorts?, maybe.

                                                                                              2. t
                                                                                                tofuburrito Feb 17, 2011 07:10 AM

                                                                                                (Thanks Linda)
                                                                                                The issue isn't whether Dale's grilled cheese & tomato soup was more difficult than Antonia's mussels. It's how they compared against the others that they were up against.
                                                                                                I think most would agree that of the top three last night Dale's had the lowest degree of difficulty, as did Antonia's when she won with the mussels.
                                                                                                The judges are being consistent with "best tasting food wins." I like that and congratulate both of them on their wins.
                                                                                                When watching the top three at judges table last night I was hoping that this will be the three we see in the finals.
                                                                                                Sorry to see Angelo go, great talent in my opinion, and I found his quirkiness entertaining. Cracked up every time I saw the high black socks and shorts combo.

                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                  momjamin Feb 17, 2011 07:13 AM

                                                                                                  > Cracked up every time I saw the high black socks and shorts combo.

                                                                                                  Yes, I never took him for a Mondo Guerra wannabe ;-)

                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                    LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 07:18 AM

                                                                                                    ROFL! Mondo is a WAY cooler dresser than Angelo. ;-)

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                      mcf Feb 17, 2011 07:25 AM

                                                                                                      Yeah, Angelo looked like the kid who pulled some of his dirty laundry from Boy Scout Camp out to wear. Bizarre.

                                                                                                      1. re: mcf
                                                                                                        huiray Feb 17, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                                                                        Sigh. Sosa wears (not really that) tight pants, he gets dissed. Sosa wears loose pants, he gets dissed. Sosa wears a deep V-neck, he gets dissed. Sosa wears white-framed sunglasses, he gets dissed. Maybe he would have been better off just wearing either no clothes at all or a full burqua instead.

                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                          tofuburrito Feb 17, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                                                          He doesn't get dissed, he gets celebrated for being himself and totally unconcerned with the norm.

                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                            mcf Feb 17, 2011 12:45 PM

                                                                                                            I've never dissed him for those other clothes, but last night?? C'mon! ;-) The black socks/white shoes and shorts?? Weird camp outfit.

                                                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                                                              Pylon Feb 17, 2011 01:10 PM

                                                                                                              In fairness, all of those things deserved a bit of mocking.

                                                                                                        2. re: momjamin
                                                                                                          catrn Feb 21, 2011 04:19 PM

                                                                                                          I am so glad someone brought this up. Laughed every time I saw him running around with the socks.

                                                                                                        3. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                          Niblet Feb 17, 2011 09:30 AM

                                                                                                          >Cracked up every time I saw the high black socks and shorts combo.>

                                                                                                          That is funny, and I agree!

                                                                                                          Separately, it bothered me that the sanitation seemed lacking while they were cooking in Target. I can't image removing a appliance from a box, or using a pan or spatula that customers have been fingering, without washing all of it first. And I didn't see any wash stations in use while they were cooking.

                                                                                                          I had a similar sanitation pet peeve about the Top Chef intros, in past seasons some of the chefs would be playing with their hair, it goes against every instinct if you're wearing a chef coat, and I finally sent an email to Bravo. (can't believe I get that into it) I'm sure my email was one of gazillions so doubt it had any bearing, but thankfully it seems like the chefs haven't been touching their hair in the intros this season. One pet peeve down...

                                                                                                          1. re: Niblet
                                                                                                            Pylon Feb 17, 2011 01:11 PM

                                                                                                            That bothered me as well. I kept thinking "You're at least going to rinse that out with Fiji water, right?"

                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                              DGresh Feb 19, 2011 01:07 AM

                                                                                                              My thought exactly also. Who pulls something out of a box and COOKS ON IT?

                                                                                                            2. re: Niblet
                                                                                                              gaffk Feb 17, 2011 01:21 PM

                                                                                                              Let's hope they did thoroughly wash their cooking implements and the editors just deemed it too boring to show (or, more likely, no dish soap manufacturer was sponsoring this episode). I can't imagine professional chefs would cook with items right out of the box or off the shelves.

                                                                                                              1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                MplsM ary Feb 17, 2011 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                Yes, I am betting PAs cleaned everything beforehand. These kinds of things were always explained in Lee Anne's blog when she worked behind the scenes. While I am glad she has other gigs I miss her Top Chef insider's blog.

                                                                                                                1. re: MplsM ary
                                                                                                                  Miss Needle Feb 17, 2011 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                  I loved her blogs as well. Actually, an ex-TC contestant took over her job. Sandee Birdsong from Season 3. Wish she would blog about it.

                                                                                                          2. huiray Feb 17, 2011 05:02 AM

                                                                                                            Bye, Angelo. Sad to see you go.

                                                                                                            1. Joanie Feb 17, 2011 03:22 AM

                                                                                                              I didn't see last nite's episode but had to read this since I wouldn't have time for 300 or more posts on Sat. after I finally see it. Am sad to see Angelo go, I thought he was an interesting quirky guy. But I'm wondering, if the contestants could use anything in Target, why didn't Dale just use a sandwich press instead of an iron? They've gotta have those at Target no?

                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                roxlet Feb 17, 2011 04:05 AM

                                                                                                                Ha, ha! Great point, but I think that he was being somewhat nostalgic since he talked about having cooked that way in college.

                                                                                                                1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 04:18 AM

                                                                                                                  Joanie - very good question - they've *got* to have them there! Hmmm...he did say he was "going back to his college days", so maybe the iron just stuck in his brain and he didn't think to look for a grill press.

                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                    susancinsf Feb 17, 2011 04:58 AM

                                                                                                                    yes, if he knew he could do it that is certainly plausible...and perhaps he even had the foresight to know it would make for good TV....

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                      huiray Feb 17, 2011 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                      So they do: http://www.target.com/Panini-Sandwich-Makers-Kitchen-Appliances/b?ie=UTF8&node=13418091
                                                                                                                      I wonder which Target they were at, though...Here's the 'list' for that Giada D press for "New York" as an example: http://www.target.com/gp/store-info/f...

                                                                                                                      I've never used them (egads! but true) so I'm wondering: using them for a Grilled Cheese sandwich - would these presses "squeeze" them harder than perhaps desired and make the cheese ooze out too much? Just asking.

                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 05:21 AM

                                                                                                                        Wait - I just thought of something. Does Target sell a lot of "Food Network" items, or is that just Kohl's? If they do sell them, perhaps rules prohibited the use of TFN chef items vs. "generic" brands, such as Toastmaster, Krups, etc.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                          susancinsf Feb 17, 2011 05:35 AM

                                                                                                                          I doubt it very much. It seems to me that it would be more likely that they'd just edit to de-emphasize those, if the network thought it would be an issue. That seems like an almost impossible challenge, unless the network is willing to go around putting up 'OFF LIMITS' signs on certain items (and then they'd have to film around the signs). Surely it would make a difficult challenge impossible to give the chefs a list of items they couldn't grab while running around the store, or, worse yet, expect the chefs to remember or be able to recognize rival brands?

                                                                                                                          Much more likely that Dale just reverted to his college-dorm and possibly stoner roots..... :-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                            Well, considering that all of TFN brands have "FOOD NETWORK" written all over the boxed items, it wouldn't be hard to miss.

                                                                                                                            But you're probably right about the reverting back to college/stoner days. :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                              huiray Feb 17, 2011 06:24 AM

                                                                                                                              Dee S posted above another possible reason for his use of the irons: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7666...

                                                                                                                    2. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                      lisavf Feb 17, 2011 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                      In the bonus video of Tom's walk-around during the cooking time at Target, Dale mentioned that he was using an iron because he was hoping the steam would help to melt the cheese, presumably more quickly than a pannini press, so that he could get the required number of plates completed in the time frame. There was a shot of him holding the iron up and pressing the "steam" button, and a big puff of steam emitting from the iron.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                        jcattles Feb 17, 2011 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                        I'm wondering why none of them went to the camping section & got the small portable burners or propane grills. We've used them in large indoor environment & while they aren't restaurant quality, they provide enough heat to cook a meal. Probably better than trying to cook soup in a crock pot.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jcattles
                                                                                                                          Pylon Feb 17, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                          Good point. I hadn't thought of that, even after someone made the comment about not having fire.

                                                                                                                          1. re: jcattles
                                                                                                                            susancinsf Feb 17, 2011 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                            the instructions for those things always say not to use them indoors, and it may be a violation of fire marshall regulations to do so. Wouldn't be surprised if they were off limits.

                                                                                                                        2. a
                                                                                                                          AMFM Feb 17, 2011 03:12 AM

                                                                                                                          may i just state again that i heart dale. and i did in his first season too. :)

                                                                                                                          50 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                            Pylon Feb 17, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                            Likewise. Admit it, you miss angry Dale. I know I do.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                              AMFM Feb 17, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                              i do still like the spunk and snark he has in the confessionals. lol.

                                                                                                                              1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                Pylon Feb 17, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                                The snark is there, but I still miss him punching lockers. I loved his desire to win. :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Feb 17, 2011 10:42 PM

                                                                                                                                  he still has it! he just doesn't have to be a 2 year old about it anymore. i love the new and improved Dale.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                    mcf Feb 18, 2011 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                                    I do, too, this year. I only disliked him briefly, when he dissed the servers.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                      AMFM Feb 18, 2011 05:21 AM

                                                                                                                                      +1. the comments about not cursing out the sesame street characters were awesome. and his food looks great. even when he fails - like the pasta round, i bet in 2 days since the idea was good, that dish would rock. i would go to his or richard's or carla's restaurants anyday. i like antonia but nothing she does particularly interests me.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                        Pylon Feb 18, 2011 05:39 AM

                                                                                                                                        I don't know, I thought her mussels sounded good. (And no, I'm not trying to bring up old news. They really did look good.)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                          chowser Feb 18, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                          I would like it only if I were served it in a French restaurant. If I were in an Italian place, I'd criticize it. (Sorry, couldn't resist).

                                                                                                                                        2. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                          aching Feb 18, 2011 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                                          +1, AMFM - ITA.

                                                                                                                                        3. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                          Pylon Feb 18, 2011 05:40 AM

                                                                                                                                          Come on, I can't be the only one that liked angry Dale. Anyone else?

                                                                                                                                          I'm not saying I liked angry Dale better than Dale 2.0, btw. Far more impressed with the latest firmware upgrade. But still, he made for good watching...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                            cowboyardee Feb 18, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                            I liked angry Dale too, to be honest. He was entertaining.

                                                                                                                                            And IMO, he wasn't really a jerk so much as he was a hot-head. He only really clashed with people like Spike and Lisa who provoked anger in their competitors (intentionally and not). Richard, Stephanie and the like seemed to get along fine with him. I also remember him saying he'd never forgive himself when he thought he screwed up Stephanie's finale meal - at times, he came off as genuinely thoughtful and very loyal person even then.

                                                                                                                                            He's probably still a bit of a hot head (see his interactions with the waiters in Resto Wars). He's just grown up and realized he's on TV.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                              Pylon Feb 18, 2011 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                                              Thanks for coming with me, cowboy.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Feb 18, 2011 06:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                He also fought with that chef in Top Chef Masters - whatshisname? The Italian guy who had a restaurant in Napa, and then a mail order business for fancy foods.... Michael Chiarello. Got in his face, yelling "what you gonna do about it??" when Chiarello called him "young man", and Chiarello had to control his own temper and not lash back at him.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                  cowboyardee Feb 18, 2011 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Strangely, I don't remember that. Would sure like to see it again, though.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                    Pylon Feb 18, 2011 06:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                    HAHA...yeah, I forgot about that. Good times...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                      John E. Feb 18, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I'm going have to side with Dale on that one. They may be younger chefs than the masters, but they too deserve respect. Chiarillo chose his souse chefs based on who knew his name and knew how to pronounce it. What kind of ego is that? The exchange was likely more harmful to Dale's reputation than Chiarillo's and it probably happened before his anger management and Dale could have handled it better, but he was right.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                        roxlet Feb 18, 2011 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Maybe he chose them on who was drunk :-). (Souse chef? I think you meant sous chef, but it made me laugh!)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                          huiray Feb 18, 2011 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                          It's also "Chiarello". Maybe he would also have been unimpressed if they couldn't spell his name. :-) ;-)

                                                                                                                                                          Didn't he also make them try out for his sous chef positions by cutting up carrots and other stuff to his specification and satisfaction?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                            John E. Feb 18, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I was trying to inject a little humor on the spelling of Napa chef. The e at the end of sous was all on me. Chiarillo made them dice carrots and other brunoise so he could judge their knife skills. I imagine he has the idea that if they can do that they are a good chef. I think he wasted valuable time in that exercise. He should have spoken to them and asked questions with respect and he would have received the same.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                              huiray Feb 18, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                              "I was trying to inject a little humor on the spelling of Napa chef"
                                                                                                                                                              Oh, OK. I just thought it was a FACT that his name was spelled "Chiarello". ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                John E. Feb 19, 2011 09:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Yep, but humor also factors in.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                  huiray Feb 19, 2011 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  So your stickin' for facts gets a pass when YOU want to be funny. Oh, OK. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                    John E. Feb 19, 2011 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yep. Sarcasm and facts are not always mutually exclusive, but I guess they are in this case.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler Feb 18, 2011 11:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Actually, I thought it was more damaging to Chiarello's reputation, at least to me. He's older, he's more mature, he's more established, he should act like it, instead of acting like a bully and an egomaniac. I had justifiably higher expectations for his behavior than for Dale's, and I thought Dale had every right to be pissed at the way Chiarello spoke to him (although I can't condone the way he acted out on it).

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 18, 2011 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Agree, Ruth. Chiarello was a major dink in the way he treated the potential sous chefs, IMO. He was nothing but demeaning.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Feb 18, 2011 12:19 PM


                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                mamachef Feb 19, 2011 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Totally. Not only patronizing and demeaning and supercilious, but an embarrasment to the concept of being a good leader, which (if MC didn't know it) is what a chef is supposed to be.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                  karenfinan Feb 19, 2011 07:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I live in northern CA and that is the reputation he has, for being very difficult to work for-

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: karenfinan
                                                                                                                                                                    mamachef Feb 19, 2011 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I live here too - a friend of mine worked his line and lasted a grand total of two months before he'd had enough of the 'tude.
                                                                                                                                                                    An interesting aside: when he staged for the kitchen, NOBODY asked him to brunoise any carrots.......

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                KailuaGirl Feb 18, 2011 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I totally agree. I also agree with cowboyardee and Pylon that angry Dale could be amusing at times. At least he didn't physically assault any persons, just things. If he had gone after someone, though, my money would have been on Chiarello. He was just acting like a jerk!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                  John E. Feb 19, 2011 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Apparently, after reading other, more recent posts, Chiarello is difficult to work with in his restaurant. I know business owners like this. I knew a guy that went to a job interview to be a general manager for an owner of a business. The interview was with the owner, his wife and their daughter and lasted 6 hours. The guy was offered the job, needed a job, but turned it down.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                    mcf Feb 19, 2011 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    He stayed 6 hours and *then* turned it down?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                      John E. Feb 19, 2011 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      He wasn't offered the job on the spot. He decided that if that's how grueling the job interview was, he thought the job itself would be even more grueling. I know the family. He made the correct decision.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                        mcf Feb 20, 2011 05:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. I would've left before 6 hours had elapsed.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz Feb 19, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      thats not an interview, thats a board certification! haha

                                                                                                                                                                      after my next interview like that ill be legally licensed to practice optometry in the state of florida!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 18, 2011 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  ooh, that was a good moment. i tried to find it on YouTube, but no luck.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                    huiray Feb 18, 2011 04:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    The clip for your viewing pleasure:

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                      cowboyardee Feb 19, 2011 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the clip. I missed that episode - I remember being surprised to hear that Anita Lo lost.

                                                                                                                                                                      From the other comments on this thread and Dale's reaction, it seems like I'm still missing a bit of context. I'd have no trouble believing that Chiarello acted like a pompous ass and Dale blew up after a while - until this season with Marcel, Dale didn't suffer jerkwads very gracefully.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                      cmvan Feb 18, 2011 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Here's a link for you:

                                                                                                                                                                      Top Chef Masters was, from Season 1, punctuated by the respect the chefs have for each other. Dale's outburst was simple, outrageous disrespect for a senior, more experienced chef. I can see why he ended up having to take anger management classes...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cmvan
                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Feb 18, 2011 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry - Chiarello's own actions that prompted Dale's reaction were COMPLETELY uncalled for. He was peeing in the snow, obviously telling them he was bigger, better, more important by his "test" of the sous chefs. It was bullshit the way he treated them.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Feb 18, 2011 05:16 PM


                                                                                                                                                                          "Oh, my - we certainly went off-topic just a *few* times on last week's thread, didn't we? ;-) While I'm glad the Mods let us go on all sorts of tangents last week, let's try and keep this one more on topic!"


                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 18, 2011 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah. I know. But I couldn't let that previous comment go without saying something. Besides - this still had to do with Dale, a cheftestant on THIS show and his previous anger issues. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                            Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Feb 18, 2011 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        thanks guys. i didn't need to watch it again - i was actually trying to find it for cowboyardee who apparently never saw it, but once again my reply landed in a random place on the thread.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                      chowser Feb 18, 2011 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I completely forgot about that finale. I like the new and improved Dale better. But, he did own up to his mistake and I was touched by how much it bothered him. He's still the same person, only toned down some.

                                                                                                                                                                    4. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz Feb 18, 2011 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      he still has his moments where you can tell hes struggling to keep the lid on. i like this version because he still makes some of the snide remarks that crack me up, but this one cooks even better!

                                                                                                                                                                      but yelling at chiarello... that was classic.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                        gastrotect Feb 18, 2011 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I have always liked Dale. He actually reminds me of a friend of mine from college in a lot of ways, so I had an affinity for him since basically episode 1 in his season. I like this version better though, if I'm being honest.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                                                                                          mattstolz Feb 18, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          you didnt happen to eat grilled cheese and tomato soup at this friends house did you?

                                                                                                                                                                          cuz if so i bet it was the bomb

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                            gastrotect Feb 24, 2011 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            That friend is a former roommate, so I did actually eat a lot of grilled cheese at the house where he lived. But since it was also my house, I tended to eat grilled cheese I made. Lol. It was always good, but I'm not sure if it was quite Dale-level good.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                          NellyNel Feb 22, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I liked angry Dale!
                                                                                                                                                                          He was my favorite in his season, and I was gutted when he was sent packing...

                                                                                                                                                                3. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                  DGresh Feb 19, 2011 01:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I wasn't watching the show in Dale's orginal season, but I heart him now too. Love his little laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                4. Withnail42 Feb 17, 2011 03:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoyed the show despite it being a infomercial for target. I'm a fan of Carla's but they way that she was portrayed made her seem annoyingly stupid.

                                                                                                                                                                  Not looking forward to having Paula Deen on next week. (perhaps this is TC's jump the shark moment.)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                                                                                    momjamin Feb 17, 2011 03:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    FYI, the bonus video at bravotv.com of Richard impersonating Cookie Monster has some great lines, "Uh, Mike. Me no like ouzo and feta cheese in cookie."

                                                                                                                                                                    Bourdain's blog is also hysterical on the Muppet front.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      ROFL! I'll have to check out that bonus video! I did read Bourdain's blog last night before going to sleep - short, but sweet - and very to the point. And funny, as usual.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                        jackbauer Feb 18, 2011 06:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I've kind of grown tired of Bourdain's schtick, but he can still make me laugh like describing Angelo having first seen the Muppets: "He looked like someone had just taken a dump on his lap."

                                                                                                                                                                    2. roxlet Feb 17, 2011 02:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      "You?????? You??????" I thought that Mike's incredulity was insulting. He couldn't believe that his bromance was over, and that Angelo had lost to two girls!

                                                                                                                                                                      It had to be Angelo because his food was inedible. No matter what the fault, inedible food will send you home every time. The judges seem to be unable to eat more than a single spoonful of Angelo's soup.

                                                                                                                                                                      Dale's winning is analogous with some of the other wins this season: plain old good tasting food trumps food with more technique. I did think that Antonia was going to pull out a win, but Dale did it again and came home with 30 grand last night.

                                                                                                                                                                      This was a bad challenge for Carla, who clearly was distracted by all the possibilities at the store. At the end of the day, it didn't matter if her station was decorated or not since the diners were not standing around eating at the stations, but rather eating at tables decorated by Thomas O'Brien. It was a nearly critical error that almost sent her home.

                                                                                                                                                                      30 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                        huiray Feb 17, 2011 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        "I thought that Mike's incredulity was insulting. He couldn't believe that his bromance was over, and that Angelo had lost to two girls!"
                                                                                                                                                                        Uhh, I thought his reaction really was with regards to his losing his buddy. I think the concern with the loss to two girls is a bit of a 'projection', if you will, at this point, from all the previous sh*t that has gone down in these threads and is a bit of a "jumping to conclusions" here. If we subsequently hear him say that Sosa should not have lost to 'the two girls' in a TH or something then that would clarify the analysis.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                          roxlet Feb 17, 2011 06:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I have to disagree. To me, his incredulity spoke volumes.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                            lisavf Feb 17, 2011 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, I don't think it was so much that he lost to "two girls" (come on, folks, they're women) but that he really thought that Angelo's dish was not the worst, probably because he only tasted it before Angelo added the extra salt (and bacon), and it likely wasn't so bad at that point. So he probably had no idea how much Angelo had oversalted it.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lisavf
                                                                                                                                                                              roxlet Feb 17, 2011 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              The way I see it is that saying "You?? You??" is much different than saying, "Oh, no," which would indicate that he was sorry that Angelo was going home. The "You??? You???," particularly the way he said it, was insulting to the others in the bottom because Mike clearly thought that no matter how bad Angelo's food might have been, he couldn't believe that it was Angelo as opposed to Carla or Tiffany that was going home.

                                                                                                                                                                              The use of "two girls" was intentional because I believe that is how Mike sees the female cheftestants -- as girls, and no way as good as him or any of the other males.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Which is why I kinda want Mike to go next. With three "inferior" women still in the competition. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet Feb 17, 2011 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Lol, and gotta agree. I'm I remembering incorrectly, or did Mike get a couple of "looks" from some of the other chefs for his "You??? You???" If I'm not mistaken, I think he got shot a couple of looks.

                                                                                                                                                                                  BTW, thanks for always starting this off with such great recaps!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Didn't see the looks from other chefs - will have to rewatch via On Demand.

                                                                                                                                                                                    And you're all welcome. Every Wednesday evening, I think "Oh I wish I could just WATCH the show!" but then I think "Yeah, baloney. You like writing these recaps too!" :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                      roxlet Feb 17, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I -- and many others -- are glad. What makes them so enjoyable is that they are fun to read but snark-free. I like reading the seriouseats one, but it is so snarky that sometimes I just click away. Yours is a very well done recap.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you, roxlet. A bit of snark can creep in on occasion, but I do try and just make it a straight recap.
                                                                                                                                                                                        And then I snark like all get-out in my subsequent posts in the thread. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                          mamachef Feb 17, 2011 09:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Love it, Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                            roxlet Feb 17, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Snarky posts are fine, but snark in the recap doesn't really allow the reader to make his own assessments in quite the same way.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                          Shrinkrap Feb 17, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Awww.....I'm glad to hear you get SOMETHING out of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                            coney with everything Feb 18, 2011 05:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't you love how the software sees the three w's and thinks "URL!"

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                          Nettie Feb 17, 2011 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I saw a look from Tiffany after Mike was acting incredulous--it made it look like she was noticing that Mike was dissing her and Carla. However, it could have been edited to look that way, so I don't know how much stock I would put in that.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                          chicgail Feb 17, 2011 09:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          That's how I felt about him on his season, but maybe -- just maybe, it had nothing to do with gender. Maybe he just had this buddy-thing going with Angelo because he thought he was a great chef (the way he did with the V-bros) and was shocked when Angelo was dinged.

                                                                                                                                                                                        5. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                          JasmineG Feb 17, 2011 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I completely agree with you -- Mike's "You???" was completely insulting to the other two chefs on the bottom (how could it NOT be?), and that's exactly how Mike thinks of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                        gastrotect Feb 17, 2011 07:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't know if it was because Angelo lost to two girls, but it was definitely about losing to two contestants (or at least one other one) Mike deems inferior. His tone suggested that Angelo was absolutely the last of those three he would have expected to get sent home, for whatever reason. Perhaps he thought him helping Angelo meant Angelo was in a better position than the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                                                                                                          Miss Needle Feb 17, 2011 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. I think Mike thought pretty highly of Angelo when it came to cooking ability.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                                                                                                            Shrinkrap Feb 17, 2011 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd have to agree with this interpretation. I also hope it reflected a speck of guilt about how much he seemd to be depending on Angelo's help getting stuff, which might have made it harder for Angelo.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                              gastrotect Feb 18, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I was also thinking about that. I know I would feel really bad if a good friend got eliminated after I helped, or tried to help, him/her with the offending dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: gastrotect
                                                                                                                                                                                              huiray Feb 18, 2011 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              FWIW, it should be noted that Isabella wasn't the only one who was taken aback. T. Derry herself was surprised, fully expecting herself to be the one to be sent home; while Lofaso also expressed astonishment when Sosa walked back into the stew room and indicated that he was leaving. That makes two out of three of the women who did not expect Sosa to be leaving, from the show as edited.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Edited to correct C. Hall to T. Derry. I did have Derry in mind, not Hall. Oops. (Thanks, gastrotect)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                gastrotect Feb 18, 2011 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                That's true, but I think there is a difference between being surprised at a JT outcome and being utterly bewildered in the way Mike seemed to be. I would also not, to further strengthen your point, that Tiffany reacted in a way that suggested she was expecting to go. Her Beaumont speech would certainly indicate she was expecting to leave.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                            MplsM ary Feb 17, 2011 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            "You?????? You??????" I thought that Mike's incredulity was insulting. He couldn't believe that his bromance was over, and that Angelo had lost to two girls!

                                                                                                                                                                                            To me his reaction was more "Who's going to help me now?" Indeed, I thought his reaction was all about Mike, not about Angelo.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                              Parrotgal Feb 17, 2011 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to agree. I was thinking at the time, which of the other two did you think should have gone home instead of him? And how must they feel hearing that? It's not the first time people have reacted that way, and it does seem, if not insulting, at least incredibly thoughtless. Those people that you thought were no good are standing right there!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                                                                                                roxlet Feb 17, 2011 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, it is thoughtless, but that seems to be Mike's MO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowser Feb 17, 2011 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, it was thoughtless but I think he had the same reaction when Jen was sent packing, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath Feb 17, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But then again, almost everyone had that reaction when Jen was eliminated so early, though they hadn't cooked with her through a whole season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tiffany seemed a bit shocked when Angelo was told to PYKAG (she said, "Oh my god"), but I don't know if it was that she was shocked because she didn't think Angelo would be eliminated, or shocked because she was assuming it was her who would be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                      chowser Feb 17, 2011 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought Tiffany assumed she'd be the one to go, hence her Beaumont speech. She hasn't done well this competition and always seems to just avoid being told to PYKAG.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                        AMFM Feb 18, 2011 05:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        i thought carla's "beaumont cried again" was hilarious after leaving judges table. because you could tell it wasn't mean spirited, just teasing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowser Feb 18, 2011 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I honestly can't imagine Carla saying anything mean spirited so I'm biased as that goes but I completely agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                Chimayo Joe Feb 16, 2011 11:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                It looked like Tiffany used Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. That stuff requires a really light hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I couldn't tell for sure what Angelo added to his soup but it sounded like Mike said it was too thick and looked like Angelo might have added boxed stock to thin it. Could have exacerbated the saltiness problem. Someone in the thread mentioned bottled water, but I couldn't really tell what he added.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pylon Feb 17, 2011 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was water. Fiji water, as prominently displayed throughout the episode. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                                                                                                                                                                                    edible complex Feb 17, 2011 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I use Tony Chachere's to de-ice my road~

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Shrinkrap Feb 16, 2011 11:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. mariacarmen Feb 16, 2011 10:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      i haven't read all the posts yet, but can we now stop ragging on people for making simple dishes - DALE WON $25,000 FOR A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH! Why? Because it apparently tasted GOOD!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      very emotional episode! i teared up a couple times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      and i actually liked the muppets - never thought i'd say that. especially that "TMI" moment with Padma. how the hell did they taste the cookies?? ( :

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I felt bad for Angelo. He's a little tweaky but i always thought he was sincere. and a talented chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Carla and Tiffany got really lucky this time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And Linda, a big HUGE THANKS, again, for your summary - it just gets better and better!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                        eviemichael Feb 17, 2011 03:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also got teary with this episode as well!
                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was happy for Dale though, he's really grown on me this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: eviemichael
                                                                                                                                                                                                          NellyNel Feb 22, 2011 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, I am usually the biggest mush - and will cry at the drop of a hat (I, most famously broke into tears when someone won the big prize on the $20,000. Pyramid!), but I must have missed any emotion... do you mean when Angelo was leaving?
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I guess it was a bit sad, really. Ok. Yeah, he was sweet when he left.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Joanie Feb 22, 2011 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I have you beat, I've cried during a Staples commercial, multiple times during ESPN's NFL pre game show and almost every episode of Friday Night Lights. I too didn't cry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                          mamachef Feb 17, 2011 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This will be my last word on the subject - but a dish containing one or two components done well and perfectly (e.g. grilled cheese) is as difficult to execute as a multi-component, multi-method, multi-fusion dish. Certainly it will take much less time, but the simplicity is what creates the hardship; there is nothing whatsoever to hide behind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Consider the perfect fried (or poached, or basted, or shirred...) egg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                            momjamin Feb 17, 2011 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            > Consider the perfect fried (or poached, or basted, or shirred...) egg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or pressed? Shirring and basting are also sewing terms...with Dale using an iron, maybe Carla wasn't so far off in her search for linens ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pylon Feb 17, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "a dish containing one or two components done well and perfectly (e.g. grilled cheese) is as difficult to execute as a multi-component, multi-method, multi-fusion dish. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think that's true. Not even close.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, a 2 ingredient dish will be less forgiving. Yes, it can be difficult. I but expect that if you have 2 ingredients to prepare simply and I have 20 with multiple methods/techniques, and we both have the same amount of time, I'd be working a lot harder. That's not to discount a simple dish, it's just a matter of workload.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                chowser Feb 17, 2011 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree--a grilled cheese sandwich doesn't compare to, say Julia Child's boeuf bourgignon. In fact, I can't think of many things that are quicker to throw together and get decent results than a grilled cheese sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. aching Feb 16, 2011 10:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was pretty sure Angelo was going home early in the episode when he said something to the effect of, "I hope the judges can UNDERSTAND my concept." Always the kiss of death.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And yay, Dale! Both of his dishes were brilliant. He has kind of a David Chang thing going, don't you think?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. John E. Feb 16, 2011 09:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Muppets bothered me a lot less than I thought they would. Who the heck is 'Telly'? I would have much rather seen Oscar the Grouch or the Count. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was not bothered at all by the Target tie-in. I liked it better than some of the previous challenges. Cooking with small electric appliances and the food available at the revamped Target store was definitely challenging. That was not a SuperTarget with a large grocery area. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Why was Carla so focused on linens? Were they judged at all on their tables? She really dropped the ball and is lucky Angelo was heavy on the salt. They showed an exchange between Mike and Angelo talking about Angelo over salting his soup. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think Mike and Tiffany are the weakest of the remaining chefs although Carla could go home at any time if she is scatterbrained in the next EC like she was tonight. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Do we need to hear Bourdain use the stoner reference yet again? I hope he can come up with some new lines. He's like Seinfeld making observations about airline peanuts. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I missed seeing the winner of the QF and the beginning of the EC on the first time around tonight. There was too much excitement in our kitchen. A damn mouse had the guts to run across the kitchen floor with the lights on. I guess those weren't chocolate sprinkles that fell off a cookie that I found on the counter. Glad I didn't eat them. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              43 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                momjamin Feb 17, 2011 02:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Telly is the Woody Allen of Sesame Street.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. Feb 17, 2011 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Woody Allen? That's just creepy. I hope Telly doesn't have any step-daughters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Miss Needle Feb 17, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not in that way, but more like the way Telly's always so pessimistic. Personally, I thought there was something creepy about Mr. Rogers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chicgail Feb 17, 2011 09:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mr. Rogers liked you just the way you are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      momjamin Feb 17, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nah, just the neurotic, paranoid, pessimistic personality traits ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mattstolz Feb 17, 2011 03:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i really doubt she was THAT obsessed over linens. i think the editing made it look like that far more than it actually happened. while im at the store you could show me thinking that i need to get plastic baggies three times while im there in 20 minutes and it would look like i am goin crazy over it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and i would still forget the stinkin baggies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 04:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Re: Carla's obsession over her tablescape - she didn't start cooking until 1 hour into the 3 hour challenge, and shopped for her food LAST.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bad move on her part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        roxlet Feb 17, 2011 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And I think she realized too late.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John E. Feb 17, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I mentioned linens because she did. My point was that she was wandering the store while others were cooking. She also realized her soup needed a protein, but she didn't go get one. Her soup was a sauce for a protein according to Ming Tsai.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That "needs protein" comment really bothered me. There's no reason for a dish to need protein. I think what they meant was that it needed "umami" but they didn't want to use the word or they aren't familiar with the concept (doubtful).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Presumably -- unlike some other challenges -- there was no limitation on the ingredients so her shopping last didn't hurt her. She should have run over and grabbed a couple of packages of bacon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PattiCakes Feb 17, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I took it to mean that the soup lacked body.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cowboyardee Feb 17, 2011 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me too. Some soups are substantial and flavorful enough to stand on their own and some aren't. Also, to be fair, Carla herself said that she was initially planning on using some salmon in the soup. The judges just picked up that the soup wasn't meant to be a stand-alone element.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What she needed most of all was more time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mcf Feb 17, 2011 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exactly, it needed protein because it was more like a sauce, not a course. Carla said the same thing but didn't add it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chowser Feb 17, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The package of bacon would have been a good idea. I think the "needs protein" comment meant that there wasn't enough development of flavor which Carla said she knew she didn't have--time to develop more flavor or a way to introduce more, eg. meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Right. But in terms of flavor they specifically said it needed "protein" -- not that it needed more of the other things that flavor is derived from (spices, aromatic vegetables, salt, etc.). Thus, they were referring to a specific *type* of flavor, and that flavor is generally referred to these days as "umami."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chowser Feb 17, 2011 03:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just watched JTs. Tom told Carla that because she didn't have time to develop the flavors and that she made too much, she could have used a protein for flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pylon Feb 17, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe not all soups need protein...ok, that's not a maybe. Not all soups need protein. But hers clearly needed something, and protein was probably an easy thing to call out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Feb 17, 2011 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    poor choice of words on the judges' part - i took it to mean they thought the soup needed more substance, not necessarily protein. they may have said that, but had she tossed some potatoes or rice in there, it might have been a different story. i think they were saying "there's just no 'there' there."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chowser Feb 17, 2011 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's what I thought, too. It was a suggestion of what she might have done differently. Hey, maybe she could have mixed her bland soup w/ Angelo's overly salted one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They were particularly talking about the flavor being "two dimensional" -- rice or potatoes wouldn't fix that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pylon Feb 17, 2011 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Depends on what the 2 dimensions were. Maybe it was just missing the potato dimension.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Feb 17, 2011 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ooh, i missed the 2-D comment. gotta watch again - thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nettie Feb 17, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ironically, during her season I remember Carla cooking something like pea risotto and adding shrimp to it at the last minute. Under questioning she said that she felt like she had to add a protein to her risotto, but she was dinged because the judges thought it was superfluous. Afterward she berated herself for not having the confidence to serve a vegetarian dish. She does seem to have more confidence in vegetarian food this season, like her ground nut soup from the tennis challenge, but maybe her judgement was lacking in this case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Nettie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pylon Feb 17, 2011 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't think it's confidence in a vegtarian dish as much as time. If she had spent more time cooking the dish, it might have developed enough flavor to stand on its own. As other have said, there are plenty of meat free soups that don't need any help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Feb 17, 2011 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, that's what I just said above--Tom said she didn't spend the time to develop flavors, she had made too much which affected it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John E. Feb 17, 2011 07:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I guess her soup was lacking something, they thought protein would have helped it. Possibly if Carla had been cooking instead of wandering the store looking for tablecloths she would have made a better soup, additional protein or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John E. Feb 17, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I understand the soup lacked 'something' and the judges suggested protein. I suppose if Carla was cooking her soup and developing and correcting it's flavors instead of wandering the aisles looking for tablecloths she might not have been on the bottom of this EC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AMFM Feb 18, 2011 05:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                she knew it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DGresh Feb 19, 2011 01:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yea I think they probably focused in on her table linen search for the sake of the story. But I did feel like wanted to slap her. CARLA GO GET YOUR FOOD!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pylon Feb 19, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wonder how much, if any, of that sequence was shown out of order. Does anyone think she spent an hour looking for linen?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mamachef Feb 19, 2011 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No. (If I count as "anyone").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Feb 19, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  you do in my book, sister!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Feb 19, 2011 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i think it wasa half hour, because weren't they calling out time - "Hour and a half to go, guys!" - when she finally started cooking?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John E. Feb 19, 2011 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Didn't they have three hours to cook? hat would mean she wasted an hour and a half.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      debbiel Feb 19, 2011 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wasn't watching particularly closely Wednesday so this might have been clear. But is there any chance she had shopped, started prep, then went off to find linens? Then 1.5 hours could have been called while we saw her doing it without her having actually blown that much time on the shopping. Still silly to worry about linens if it wasn't part of the judging, but less so if it was less than 1.5 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        roxlet Feb 19, 2011 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        These things are highly edited. She could have been looking for tablecloths at one point, and that shot could have been inserted anywhere -- and stripped out and inserted in pieces multiple times. Clearly she spent too much time wandering the store, but the job of the editors is to create a feeling of jeopardy for the cheftestants, so they use what they have and cut stuff together in whatever way gives them the desired effect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pylon Feb 19, 2011 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, but I doubt she spent that whole time looking for a tablecloth, you know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          momjamin Feb 19, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          She did have to get everything else -- cookware, utensils, etc., as well as linen and food. The "shopping" took a good chunk of time from everyone's 3 hours, but she was the last one home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Feb 19, 2011 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i thought it was 2 but i could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How could she POSSIBLY have spent and hour and a half looking for linens?? i mean, it doesn't take that long to get around even one of those Target Superstores - it's not like she had to look in automotive, or electronics, or clothing, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bobbert Feb 17, 2011 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I really love Bourdain but I have to say enough with the stoner references as well. Tony, we get it. You love getting stoned and eating "stoner food" at 3 AM. Blais is my favorite at this point. I think he's the best chef left and the most generous. He bailed out Antonia with the tongue and will help anyone. He's the one I would most like to work with/for. Dale is good but I think i'd have trouble working with him. I think Antonia is really good and I like her although I would have liked her more if she had given credit to Blais on the tongue (maybe it got edited out?). Carla reminds me of what a coach once said about the great wide receiver Chris Carter "all he does is catch touchdowns", well all Carla does (except this week) is win EC's and still (I believe) gets picked last for restaurant wars. She the sleeper although, going by her record, she shouldn't be a sleeper at all. Mike can be fun but just hasn't impressed. Tiffany has also managed to get by by not being the worst. So... my picks as of now: Blais, Carla, Antonia and Dale.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yeah, Angelo's salt vs. Dale's from last week. Dale's was too salty but Angelo's was inedible. I don't think Mike helped with his "it needs something" comment. When Angelo asked "salt?" Mike should have said "no more salt". Angelo is so much better than to get booted for too much salt. His palate wasn't just tired, it was completly asleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Except in this case, I think it really was stoner food -- didn't Dale say it was inspired by what he'd make after "partying"? (and Bourdain isn't the only one who has made stoner comments).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NellyNel Feb 22, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL, John - I thought the same thing about Telly. Never heard of him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Since I don't have kids, I barely know Elmo either.... I was missing Oscar, count - or even Bert and Ernie!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John, we must be around the same age!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, LMAO about the mouse shenanigans!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John E. Feb 24, 2011 03:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mr. Snuffleupagus would have stolen the entire show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. goodhealthgourmet Feb 16, 2011 08:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    some random thoughts:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - i have a confession to make - i thought the Sesame Street characters were pretty funny.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - it was interesting to hear Richard's comment in the beginning that he wished Fabio had come to him for help with the burger - i know there were quite a few comments last week about how people don't like his attitude this season, but he's always willing to help the other chefs and i think that says a lot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - speaking of Blais, i hope his performance in tonight's EC has shown his detractors that he can, in fact, cook delicious food without channeling Mr. Wizard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - last week's preview said it would be a shocking elimination...so i assumed either Blais or Angelo was going home tonight. as soon as Angelo said he was just going to add more salt & bacon to his soup and "hope it tastes okay" i knew he was toast.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - happy to see Dale get the double win - he's definitely got his mojo back.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - Carla continues to get under my skin - watching her wander around the store muttering about linens when everyone else was focused on *cooking* their food made me want to scream.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - *loved* Bourdain asking if they've ever given Dale a urine test :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - i got a bad feeling from next week's preview that Fabio is going to screw things up for Blais.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks for a great recap once again, LW!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    46 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      phee Feb 16, 2011 09:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know, ghg, we're pretty much in agreement on everything except Carla. I guess I just find her quirkiness a bit more endearing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also loved the question from Bourdain about Dale! I think we need a TC t-shirt that says "I make stoner food!".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I couldn't help but think "karma" when it came to Angelo. Remember all those times in Season 6 when he "helped" people who wound up going home? Then he taps Mike for input on his soup, and Angelo winds up going home. Now, before anyone starts blasting me, I don't believe Angelo ever sabotaged anyone on purpose. I just found it ironic. And, for the record, Mike did say, "it needs something." Why on earth Angelo added both bacon AND salt, I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm on the fence about the crew having to cook in the wee hours of the morning. I know it's one of those things that can happen in the restaurant world, but it sure took its toll on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A big thanks again to Linda for the recap!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: phee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mattstolz Feb 17, 2011 03:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -the times he "helped" people who wound up going home-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thats happened a few times in this season as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: phee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mamachef Feb 17, 2011 05:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's definitely not the first time AB's referenced stoner food in relation to Dale's cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          James Cristinian Feb 16, 2011 10:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm glad I'm not the only one that is annoyed by Carla. The chicken without a head routine is really getting old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pylon Feb 17, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes...if only someone had been pointing that out since the start of the season... LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 04:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This week, I have to agree re: Carla. It was driving me NUTS that she was focusing more on her table set-up than the damn food. Yeah, I know you're a caterer, Carla. And yeah, I know that presentation factors a lot in catering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But this is a COOKING COMPETITION, girlfriend! Get with the program! Gah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And ghg? You are to bite your tongue re: Fabio screwing it up for Blais. I will believe ONLY that the Elves are doing their sneaky editing yet again to get viewers worried that a fave chef is going home. Yes. That is what they are doing. Not gonna happen. Nope. :::::shaking my head NO!:::::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              lisavf Feb 17, 2011 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I sympathized with Carla, because it seemed to me from the look on her face and in here eyes that she was just befuddled and didn't know what to do, so she started with her fallback comfort zone of "pretty table presentation" and got stuck there. It was 1:00 in the morning, and let me tell you, I'm Carla's age, and it gets harder and harder to function competently at those wee morning hours. Also, the size of the store just seemed to overwhelm her. She needed a slap in the face and a double espresso to kick-start her brain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Joanie Feb 17, 2011 04:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This Bourdain remark re: Carla is amusing:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I felt sadness and enormous sympathy during the EC action, watching Carla wander through that enormous Target's empty aisles, 3 a.m., a headless chicken blinking under the cruel, fluorescent lights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pylon Feb 17, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                How does a headless chicken blink? What kind of scary-ass chickens does he have, anyway?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet Feb 17, 2011 01:44 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mattstolz Feb 17, 2011 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    its actually totally possible for a disembodied head to blink up to a few minutes later. none of the connections between the brain and the eyes are interrupted by the process. as to whether or not chickens actually have eyelids, im not totally sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    however, im gunna propose we end this line of replies before it gets inappropriate for a food website lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pylon Feb 17, 2011 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But the head wasn't blinking, the headless chicken was blinking. That's just weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NellyNel Feb 22, 2011 07:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LMAO, Pylon!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just want to repeat, because no one seems to understand my point:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I never said Richard couldn't cook delicious food without "channeling Mr. Wizard"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I said that there was no objective evidence that his food was *better than everyone else's* as the hype around him has led us to believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with *him* that the reason the other chefs are intimidated by him is that they *all* can cook delicious food (or they all believe they can cook delicious food, or they wouldn't be there), but they think he can do something *in addition* that they can't do. And I think *all other things being equal* (three chefs cooked delicious food) the one who also used a fancy technique is going to be more impressive both to the other chefs and the judges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In this episode he cooked delicious food. So did Antonia. So did Dale. Dale won. So why is it that Richard is considered "the one to beat"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cowboyardee Feb 17, 2011 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "So why is it that Richard is considered "the one to beat"?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Obviously, not everyone does. But the big thing is his competitors seem to.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Why? I think his competitors see him as knowing more about cooking than they do. Not only about molecular techniques either, necessarily - I present as evidence Richard helping Antonia with her beef tongue. In several challenges, he has shown himself to be an effective leader in ways that his best competition win/loss-wise (Carla, Dale, Angelo) have not. That has an effect on his competitors as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    His competitors seem to respect him. That, to an extent, translates through the screen and filters out to us in viewerland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In other words, you're looking for objective reason that Richard is considered one to beat (and there is some evidence in his win/loss record over two seasons), but objective evidence is only a part of the reason, and probably a small one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Okay. You've sold me on that one. That is, that they admire his cooking skills even beyond the molecular techniques.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But you're still making the same argument: they are "intimidated" because they believe he can do things they cannot do, not because the resulting dishes are consistently superior to the other chefs. Plus, they think his food is more interesting, which is not necessarily the same as better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Again, I'm not arguing that Richard isn't in the top tier of contestants. My point is that he isn't sitting above them in his own tier unless you're judging him on his technique rather than the resulting dishes. As competitors they are understandably impressed by his superior techniques. As a judge or a diner, though, I only care about the results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cowboyardee Feb 17, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "not because the resulting dishes are consistently superior to the other chefs."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The simple explanation for that is that his dishes are NOT consistently superior to the other chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That said, over two seasons his record is on par with the strongest of his competitors - 6 EC wins, many top 3 performances, a handful of QF wins. Given that, I would expect him to do well in the finale - the objective evidence leaves us at more or less a dead heat, so we start looking at the intangibles. Also, some of us think he probably has some dishes saved up just for the finale. Why do I think that (or why wouldn't other chefs do the same)? I don't know exactly. Just a hunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowser Feb 17, 2011 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The other question is how often has he ended up on the bottom, when he wasn't part of a team? Okay, frozen cookie challenge was bad but other than that ( and, even then the food was good, it was just a bad concept because it wasn't a cookie). Anyone know? I don't remember it happening in the EC for either of his seasons. He's performed consistently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 11:12 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TC4 - 1x in the bottom group. Team Earth was considered bottom, but he wasn't eliminated. As you said - team challenge.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TC-AS - 1x in the bottom group - Ep 6. Yet again, a team with Fabio and Marcel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Feb 17, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks--I knew you would know where to go for it! I don't remember all the details of all the shows but I have general impressions and my impression has been that Richard usually impresses the judges with his dishes. Maybe not the top always often I expect him there from the comments, whether he makes it or not. But, I don't remember his ever making terrible food. Even this season, he was called out for making good fish (though with inappropriate foam for a beach setting), even if the team was on the bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Was it the frozen "not cookie" actually good? I don't remember them saying that (for that matter, didn't they say all of them were good?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chowser Feb 17, 2011 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Elmo said "Yum!" or something to that effect. Cookie Monster just called it out for not being a cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pylon Feb 17, 2011 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When he mentioned zucchini, I instantly thought of my mom's chocolate zucchini cake, turned into a cookie. Mmmmm....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chowser Feb 17, 2011 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I need to make a zucchini cookie. That does sound good. I just saw part of the episode again. What Elmo said was, "Elmo can taste the zucchini. It's very good!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      momjamin Feb 17, 2011 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I made a chocolate chip zucchini cookie last summer (when I was in need of zucchini recipes) from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com... Pretty good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        chowser Feb 17, 2011 05:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks--I've printed it for the summer (when I hope I have an abundance of zucchini!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pylon Feb 17, 2011 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My cousin swore of zucchini as a mortal enemy. Then my mom produced her choc zuc cake. He ate 3 pieces before she told him. He spit out the last bite and wouldn't speak to her for a week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Needless to say, she started making it more after that. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John E. Feb 17, 2011 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My mother once made zucchini crisp, as in apple or rhubarb crisp. My brother had two pieces before she told him. He was actually annoyed with her. My attitude was if it tastes good, eat it in moderation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              momjamin Feb 17, 2011 07:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nothing to do with Top Chef at this point, but when has that ever stopped us... Anyway, I went to a zucchini festival many years ago, where zucchini was clearly the theme of the day -- zucchini breads, zucchini ice cream, zucchini lookalike contests...you changed your money for "Zukes" and "Gadzukes" to barter at each booth... At one point I passed a family happily chowing on chocolate zucchini cake...until the young teenage daughter noticed the flecks of green, and protested, "You gave me *vegetables*!?!!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pylon Feb 17, 2011 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Since we can't judge his food (at least until they get that Taste-O-Vision up and running) we can only go by 1) what we SEE, which is generally impressive on it's own, let alone against the others, and 2) what those who do get to taste his food and work alongside him think, which has been overwhelmingly positive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mcf Feb 17, 2011 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              " So why is it that Richard is considered "the one to beat"?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It must be that they've tasted his food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Feb 17, 2011 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ruth, my comment about Richard was in no way directed at you personally; in fact, it had nothing to do with you. many people have remarked during the last few weeks that Blais *always* uses liquid nitro and relies on MG tricks - i was simply pointing out that i hope this challenge illustrated his ability to produce good food without his "secret weapons."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chowser Feb 17, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree w/ your whole synopsis. I thought it was nice that Blais said that but then thought there will be people who will slam him for his arrogance that he could help everyone. And, we laughed at home that Target needs to carry liquid nitrogen. I think they do carry dry ice, though. And, I hope you're wrong about Fabio and Blais.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm happy for Dale for winning and think he's a serious contender. But I also think he has the same feeling that he only made grilled cheese and soup. That just doesn't compare to the other dishes, no matter how good he can make plastic cheese taste. Or, maybe that was the challenge--he made plastic cheese taste good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  donovt Feb 17, 2011 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wasn't there also ribeye steak on his sandwich? I think that makes it more than "only grilled cheese".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    aching Feb 17, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There was. Also, the flavor of his soup was described as spicy and smoky (I think), which made it seem to me like it wasn't just your average tomato soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cowboyardee Feb 17, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There was bacon and chipotle in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        donovt Feb 17, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I forgot about the soup description. I was thinking he won on the strength of the sandwich alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowser Feb 17, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, there was rib eye. I said "only" because that's what Dale said--he won for making grilled cheese and tomato soup. They said the soup was smokey w/ the addition of bacon. Overall, since Carla was taken to task last week for her chicken pot pie and simple foods, this dish was far easier. I think it's far harder to make chicken pot pie from scratch than a ribeye grilled cheese sandwich and soup w/ bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            donovt Feb 17, 2011 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it was far easier if it was in a kitchen. As compared to cooking in a store, I think it fit the bill. And when a few other chefs made soup as well, I think it is perfectly reasonable that this dish would win. I personally don't agree with the whole simple dish thing either regarding carlas pot pie or antonias mussels. I think elevated simple food deserves the same respect as complicated dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nettie Feb 17, 2011 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I had a problem with the editing in this episode because you didn't see a lot of the work that went into Dale's dish (only the ironing of the grilled cheese was shown). I was actually under the impression from watching the show that he added some spices to canned soup, which is not the case if you look at his recipe: http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PattiCakes Feb 17, 2011 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm kinda with you, ghg, on the Carla issue. I really like her, but she completely missed the point of the challenge. Instead of approaching it like a chef, she approached it like a caterer, wasting far to much time on the non-food aspects (linenes, tables, & etc.) and not nearly enough time on the food. When you are serving a 100 people at Target, while they are on a break in the middle of the night, you are not going for the Martha Stewart angle. You need to feed 'em.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          aching Feb 17, 2011 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would guess that it wasn't so much that she missed the point; it was that she completely lost focus and got distracted. I recognized her behavior immediately because my husband does the same exact thing when he's tired. We call it "entering the Vortex". One time, on a long car trip, he wandered around a minimart at a gas station for about 30 minutes in this state before I finally went in and pulled him out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nettie Feb 17, 2011 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's a good thing your husband is married to you and not Carla! Although the thought of them doing exhausted "hootie hoos" to each other in a minimart is kinda funny to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pylon Feb 17, 2011 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought it was interesting that someone (Mike?) made a comment during QF about "when will he cook something without liquid nitrogen" or something to that effect. This following the ramen dish where he was dinged, ironically, for not going all Blais on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And yet it was Antonia who pointed out that if Mike doesn't do lamb and Mediterranean spices as he did last week, he's lost. :-) People stick with what they're used to - Fabio - pasta; Mike - lamb and feta and Mediterranean spices; Richard - MG. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pylon Feb 17, 2011 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fair enough, though I have to admit I don't associate Mike with lamb as strongly. Probably because Richard has done some really cook MG stuff, and Mike has always just been meh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          debbiel Feb 16, 2011 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "And WHAT? Fabio and Marcel are back next week? Noooooooo!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          WHAT?!?!? I didn't watch the previews. Oh ick. I need another glass of wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            momjamin Feb 16, 2011 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Best line from the preview, since it's already been mentioned that eliminated contestants show up, Dale: "We spent weeks getting rid of them. And now they're back. They're like bedbugs."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Feb 16, 2011 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OK, I missed that in the preview - TOO funny!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had just turned around from my computer after hearing Fabio's name said, and then I saw Tiffany bitching about Marcel, who is standing next to her, and she's saying "Just cook MY food the way *I* want it cooked!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                debbiel Feb 16, 2011 07:33 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              debbiel Feb 16, 2011 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              First, I really, really, really want Dale's "cookies." Now. But I'm pms'ing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Second, I didn't like the Target challenge. I'm sure they got paid some sweet bucks for it, but it seemed...gimick-y. At this point in the season, I just want them in situations that I'd like to be a taster in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Other notes:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I want Dale's sandwich, and I'm a vegetarian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nice predictions Linda! Clearly the elves will have to be more deceptive next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Let the comments on blogs begin! "The judges are so inconsistent! Dale didn't get sent home for salty food last week but his week Angelo does! They changed the rules!!" No kids, there's too salty and then there's too salty. And, there's a comparison to whatever other crappy dishes were made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I want Mike and Tiffany to go home next, in whatever order. And then I'll be okay with whoever wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ETA: I apologize for not making each point a separate post and thereby contribution to what I'm hoping will be a 1000 comment thread, with a minimum of 300 posts related to which of the world's cuisines embrace fennel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              36 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Feb 16, 2011 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NO! We cannot have a crazy-long thread - last week's was getting WAY too unwieldy! LOL Which is why I called for a bit of restraint at the beginning of this week's thread, OK?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We're done with fennel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We're done with mussels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We're done with Italian. Or Italian/American. Or American-Italian. Or French.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We're done with how they can't prep fish/beef/whatever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Focus, people, on the here and now! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  debbiel Feb 16, 2011 07:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or else you won't stop the car at Stuckey's so we can buy pecan log rolls and other crap? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ETA: If I get up in the morning and see a split from this thread to the Chains board based on my Stuckey's post, I'll either be worried about the fate of the world or absolutely thrilled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  momjamin Feb 17, 2011 02:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Re: Dale's cookies and one muppet's comment that you don't put potato chips in cookies. I present, Richard Blais' potato chip cookie:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    debbiel Feb 17, 2011 02:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yum. Okay. It's settled. Next time I get around to baking cookies, I'm throwing in some potato chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 04:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Quite frankly, I *like* the idea of salty potato chips and chocolate together in cookies. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        momjamin Feb 17, 2011 05:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I tried these cookies, and didn't like them as much as I expected to. But I'm not a huge fan of chocolate cookies in general (chocolate chip cookies and chocolate in many other forms -- yes; chocolate cookies, not so much). I didn't have the chicory extract that the recipe (optionally) calls for, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nettie Feb 17, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A local place makes chocolate cupcakes, sticks potato chips in them, and drizzles them with caramel. It's a dangerous thing to know that potato chips taste amazing with chocolate and caramel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Feb 17, 2011 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here's Dale's recipe: http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Geez, it must make a lot of cookies with that much butter and ganache. And it is baked -- it's basically a shortbread, with the ground up pretzels and potato chips replacing most of the flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              AMFM Feb 17, 2011 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i have to say i was expecting those horrid looking pretzel drop cookies no bake things. these were lovely and sound delicious! i may have to try them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agreed - that would make a bucketload of cookies! But it's an interesting blend of ingredients - if you make them AMFM, let us know!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pylon Feb 17, 2011 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I plan to make a batch this weekend...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, then please let us know! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pylon Feb 19, 2011 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK, halfway through making them now. I'll say this right now, the ganache recipe as listed is WAY off. 4 to 1 cream to chocolate ratio? I'm used to it being more 2 to 1 choc to liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm working with it, though. Maybe it will work out. But it doesn't look god so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      EDIT: I should clarify that the ratio is off for what I am used to, and what I expect based on having seen the episode. The cookie bit is very dry, so perhaps the idea is to brush it in an let it soak into the cookie and therefore hold it together. I'm giving that a shot. But I think it's safe to say from the pic that it's not the way they were produced for the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Feb 19, 2011 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting. I've heard others say that the recipes on the Bravo Top Chef website aren't always correct in their quantity proportions...this could be yet another one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mcf Feb 19, 2011 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How does anyone know what size bags of chips and pretzels to use? Without watching again, I mean?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 19, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, Richard's recipe says to use "2 cups crushed salted potato chips". Keep the rest for your Booourgers. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pylon Feb 19, 2011 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I used the 1lb bags of pretzels and the large bags of chips (12 oz maybe?). Seems to be about right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pylon Feb 19, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is one of them for sure. I've cooled it down to thicken it up, but it's not close. I've got them chilling, hoping that might help with a thin layer on top (rather than trying to spread it on.) My next move will be to make a new ganache using this stuff as a base, but way thicker, and spread it on. The cookie itself is crumbly, so it needs the topping to help hold it together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All indications are that they are tasty, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Feb 19, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Too bad Bravo's Recipe Finder site doesn't allow for comments on the recipes - you could at least throw that info up there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pylon Feb 19, 2011 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So final verdict is that the ganache is far too thin. Using it to try to bind the cookie just made them soggy. I have them in the fridge, and hope that they firm up when cold. Looks like I'll be making guac for the party tonight instead. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (I have confirmation, though, that even soggy, they are terrible addictive.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Feb 19, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, glad they taste good - hopefully they firm up and you can fix the ganache. REALLY too bad that Bravo's putting out recipes that sometimes don't work. These are something that the ordinary home cook or baker *could* make - if the recipe was correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pylon Feb 20, 2011 05:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, pretty much a disaster. The batch is getting tossed, I fear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I was to make them again, I'd do a classic ganache (no more than 1 to 1 ratio for sure) for the topping. Plus, the recipe make a huge amount, filling a sheet pan (or 2 half sheet pans, which is what I used). I'd cut the whole thing in half.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AMFM Feb 20, 2011 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        glad you were the one to try it. ;) sorry though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and - since we all know i heart dale - i'm so glad to hear they're good. they sound like food that would seriously need to be kept away from me when i'm pmsing. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          debbiel Feb 20, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for being our recipe tester!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler Feb 20, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps it was supposed to be "2 cups" (or 2 pints) instead of 2 quarts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pylon Feb 20, 2011 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, likely 2 cups, which would have been 1 to 1. That would make a lot more sense, and would probably have made it a darn fine final product. I'm just not smart enough to think about those things until after I assemble. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mamachef Feb 17, 2011 05:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My Dear Gramma the True Baker of the World used to make a potato-chip cookie. It was like a cross between shortbread and a sugar cookie, and they were delicious; sweet, salty and flaky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John E. Feb 17, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My mom too used to make potato chip cookies, similar to those that you described. She also complained that every time she made cookies they never got cooled and put into the cookie jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      phee Feb 17, 2011 12:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Same here. LOVED those cookies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mamachef Feb 17, 2011 11:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Same cookie is also excellent when you sub quick oats ground into flour for part of the AP flour; say 1/2 cup - and then add 1/4 c. each flaked coconut and salted roasted sunflower seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    piccola Feb 18, 2011 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Am I the only one who thought Dale's cookies were heavily inspired by the compost cookies at Momofuku Milk Bar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: piccola
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      huiray Feb 18, 2011 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That was pointed out elsewhere (on another forum) too. It was thought to be a contributing reason why his cookies were indeed so delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        piccola Feb 19, 2011 03:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They did look tasty. I like that he put the chocolate on top instead of mixing it in -- I bet it adds a nice snap to the cookies as well as more intense chocolate flavour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: piccola
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        aching Feb 18, 2011 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought so too! I pointed out up-thread that Dale seems to be channeling David Chang quite a bit (in a good way).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          intuitive eggplant Feb 18, 2011 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's what Dale says on his blog: "This Quick Fire was totally 100% inspired by a great friend of mine, current pastry chef at Buddakan Vera Obias. She made a very composed dessert at dovetail which was inspired by kids getting off school hitting the bodega and grabbing potato chips, a candy bar, a soda and maybe some pretzels. I just wanted to get that all in one."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I find his bodega reference - again - interesting. It was his inspiration for Restaurant Wars, and he's talking about doing a bodega pop-up . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            piccola Feb 19, 2011 03:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, in this case, it's more like channeling Christina Tosi. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyway, during the show, he seemed to think he was being such a maverick by adding salty snack foods to a sweet dish. But I feel like those cookies have been pretty publicized -- I mean, they were featured on Regis and Kelly, after all...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nettie Feb 16, 2011 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was pretty shocked that Mike wasn't in the bottom. When he served his soup, he said that he used fresh coconut. When Padma was incredulous that he found fresh coconut at Target he admitted that it was canned. Then as the judges were tasting the soup, she sniffed: "I had a teaspoon--it was enough." His soup seemed as lacking in protein as Carla's, although he seemed to have a little more time to cook it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Nettie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          jcattles Feb 17, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The other judges didn't seem to agree with Padma about Mike's soup though. IRC Tom was scraping his bowl & said that enjoyed it (or something to that effect)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jcattles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JasmineG Feb 17, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            True, but I thought that the conversation about fresh/not fresh coconut milk was pretty hilarious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. lisavf Feb 16, 2011 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Next week, Paula Deen. Ugh. Really???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lisavf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Feb 16, 2011 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            double-ugh. get ready for deep-fried butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              KailuaGirl Feb 17, 2011 02:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wouldn't it be something if one of the challenges was to cook without butter? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                huiray Feb 17, 2011 05:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That would be really good - especially in front of Paula Deen, whom one might speculate would have a fainting spell at the very notion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dee S Feb 17, 2011 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ...and she's probably going to say the dishes lacked a certain "buttery" quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not overly excited about having her on the show but I think some of the chefs will get to see a different side of food from her. The focus this season seems to be on more home style approaches. Well, we'll definitely get that from PD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dee S
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Home style" fried foods. :-/ Yes, the QF next week is fried foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      momjamin Feb 17, 2011 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And Richard's making fried mayo. If black for Isaac Mizrahi worked for him, maybe mayo for Paula Deen will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SERIOUSLY? Wait - don't answer that. If it's a spoiler, don't wanna know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But I'm seriously hoping you were joking! Gah. The very thought...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NellyNel Feb 22, 2011 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, I saw Richard do deep fried mayo for a burger he did on his Sci-fi channel show!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought it sounded delicious!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And, BTW, he did get rave reviews from the diners specifically, on the deep fried mayo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 22, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Preview at Bravo's site does prove it out as to what he's making. Interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Quickfire with Deen is definitely a frying QF. Hopefully she'll not be in the Elimination (I cannot believe they'd have her *and* John Besh as judges!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    nomadchowwoman Feb 17, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Curious, LW--why would John Besh make for any odder a combination than some other chef w/PD?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fantastic recap, as usual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      He wouldn't. ANYONE paired with PD, unless it was one of the over-the-top Neelys, would be an odd combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But for now - let's forget about PD. We'll have to listen to the cackle and exaggerated accent for a few minutes next week. Let's not spoil the next 6 days. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Feb 17, 2011 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, I thought that maybe there was some Besh-dissing that I was missing. ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mattstolz Feb 17, 2011 04:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          dear lord, paula deen and the neelys on top chef at the same time would be the last time i watched the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          however, i watched a episode of Best Dishes last week with Besh on it, and they seemed to get along quite well

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shrinkrap Feb 17, 2011 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Best Dishes"? Is that the name of a show? Not "Best Thing I Ever Ate"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mattstolz Feb 17, 2011 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Its a Paula Deen show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "im wishin yall love and best dishes, from mah kitchen tew yers"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Feb 17, 2011 10:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                my sister does a great imitation of PD extolling the virtues of a croque madame: "ah guess they call it that becuz it looks lak a buh-rest."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    edible complex Feb 17, 2011 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fat rendered in fat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  momjamin Feb 16, 2011 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Judging begins - cinnamon is used in one of their cookies - Padma said she and cinnamon grew up in the same area of the world. Elmo said "Really? TMI!"


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I heard Telly say, "I thought I tasted cardamom," and Padma said cardamom and cinnamon were related and from the same part of the world. Elmo's "TMI" was a great response to "Professor" Padma ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Feb 16, 2011 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ack! Thanks! I missed Telly's comment. Would you mind if I changed my OP to reflect the correct comments, momjamin?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      momjamin Feb 16, 2011 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      not at all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Feb 16, 2011 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks! (and done!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          momjamin Feb 17, 2011 02:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm always amazed at the details you do get in there -- thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 17, 2011 04:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Believe me, I'm writing notes frantically during the show, and then typing as fast as I can during commercials! I guess going to Katharine Gibbs back in the late 1970s and testing to 124wpm with only 2 errors in my typing class was good for something! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. lisavf Feb 16, 2011 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, to everyone who said that Antonia "just made mussels" and Carla "just made chicken pot pie," how about Dale winning $25,000 by making just grilled cheese and tomato soup? That's all the proof you need to see that it's all about how the food tastes. Simple food, flawless presentation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    btw, that made it a double win for Dale tonight - QF and EC. Looks like he's got his mojo back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    49 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lisavf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Feb 16, 2011 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      VERY good point, lisa! I had thought about that when even Dale said "So I win for making grilled cheese and tomato soup!" It ends up being: ITFS! (It's The Food, Stupid!) :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lisavf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cowboyardee Feb 17, 2011 12:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Given the nature and constraints and demands of this challenge, soup and a sandwich was a lot more of an undertaking than mussels were in the Italian themed challenge two weeks ago. The chefs didn't react with surprise to Dale's win because there was nothing to be surprised about. (Likewise their lack of surprise at Carla's win last week - her dish was no small undertaking either).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        People acted surprised about Antonia's dish winning because it actually WAS really easy and simple for the time and space provided. Not the case over the last two weeks, despite appearances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          huiray Feb 17, 2011 04:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          People need to stop conflating separate/different circumstances together and automatically call out 'sexism'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ladybugthepug Feb 17, 2011 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The people in no way, shape, or form will do anything of the sort. They categorically dismiss any such notion of sexism and will continue to cling to the idea of superior technique! The inferior Target implements proved too big an obstacle for the god-like skills of the male contestants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In all seriousness, if Jen Carroll had made the dish there would be no argument from the other males, knowing that if they spoke out of turn she would grind them into sausage. I think it has everything to do with the fact that the female chefs that are left don't have aggressive personalities. That's fine, they talk softly and carry a big stick - winning much cash and many prizes along the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ladybugthepug
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cowboyardee Feb 17, 2011 08:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big +1 to your second paragraph.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This season has in some ways turned into a clash of type A personalities vs type B personalities, and many posters here are mistaking that for being Men vs Women, with sexism being the only plausible explanation for a little bit of smack talk (which has featured at least as prominently in every season so far)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee