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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #11 - 02/23/11 (Spoilers)

Well, it's here. The Paula Deen episode. Will we survive? Hopefully we will! LOL

After the last Judges Table, they show the remaining cheftestants in the Stew Room. Tiffany says that she was sure it was her, not Angelo going home.

Next morning at the house, Mike and Richard are discussing his 2 notebooks filled with recipes, ideas, and LOTS of details. Mike is seen reading through one of the books before Richard takes it.

They're off to the TC kitchen, where Paula Deen is there to greet them with Padma. Antonia says she knows it'll be a "fry me something, roll it in butter, and dip it in mayo" challenge. Yup - they're deep frying for the Quickfire - Paula Deen says "if you can eat it, you can fry it!" The winner of the QF will get $5,000.

Dale says Deen's style is night and day away from his...but...he's a greedy American and he wants that $5K! Mike is making chicken oysters, Richard is using MG to make some fried mayo, Carla is doing a catfish fry (and doesn't seem to be doing it well!), Tiffany goes with fried chicken wings and fried pickles, and Antonia makes fried avocado and shrimp. BUT!.......Antonia realizes she only has plated one dish, when she was supposed to plate one each for Paula and Padma. Rut-roh.

When Paula and Padma get to Mike's dish, Richard claims what Mike made was in one of his notebooks, while in a camera confessional, Mike claims he's seen it before.

Low Group - Dale and Carla
High Group - Richard, Mike, and Antonia - Paula Deen says Antonia absolutely had the BEST dish, but because of a technicality (plating only one dish) she cannot win. Damn! The winner is Mike! Richard's NOT happy!

Mike said he'll give Richard a Big Thank You for seeing a picture in his notebook and using it as an inspiration, but he says it was HIS dish. Gah.

Padma says John Besh will join Paula Deen at Judges Table, as the cheftestants will be cooking Gulf seafood for 300 attendees for a charity event for the Greater New Orleans Foundation. AND John Besh says they'll have helpers - in walks Tre, Fabio, Spike, Marcel, Tiffani, and Angelo.

Mike chooses first - Brown Shrimp / Tiffani Faison
Richard - Snapper / Fabio
Carla - Tre / Grouper
Tiffany - White Shrimp / Marcel
Antonia - Crab / Spike
Dale - Amberjack / Angelo

In the discussion before shopping, Carla finds out that Tre doesn't do Southern-style cooking - she jokingly says to Tiffany "you can have him!" and Marcel responds "No, she's going to keep the White Shrimp." Does he really mean himself? LOL Well played, Marcel. Nice bit of self-deprecation.

Back at the house after shopping, Mike is bitching in the confessional that Richard's being a baby and says "if you're going to win, be a winner!" Of course, *he* only won because Antonia didn't plate two dishes, AND he essentially took the recipe from Richard's notebook! Antonia tells Carla and Tiffany about Mike seeing the entire recipe in Richard's book - they're all shocked at his lack of Chef Etiquette.

So - there's a LOT of focus on Mike - is he going home after EC? Hmmmm....

We're back in the kitchen, and Mike seems to be heckling everyone else in the kitchen, especially Richard.

Richard points out how the teams are getting along.....or not. Such as Tiffany and Marcel. Marcel repeats 5 times about using the shrimp heads for flavor - Tiffany finally tells Marcel she's more worried about making sure there are enough dishes for 300 diners - and Marcel finally shuts up. Dale says "if anyone's going to put Marcel in his place, it's Tiffany. A 5'10" Southern black woman with some serious psshhhtt....." LOL

They're at the venue, and they have a VERY short period of time to finish pulling together their dishes. Dale and Richard are concerned with getting their stuff plated.

The diners arrive; lots of other chefs there - I saw Michelle Bernstein, Jonathan Waxman, Carmen Gonzalez.

Mike - Grit-Crusted Shrimp - they seem to like it a lot.

Richard - Citrus Polenta, Crispy Snapper and Pulled Pork - they almost weren't ready when the judges walked up. The judges liked it!

Dale - Amberjack Stew with Andouille Sausage - he's having a tough time getting everything done. When the judges came up, Tom noticed Dale wasn't well prepared. Padma said she had several pieces of undercooked potato, but Paula seemed to like the stew.

Tiffany - Honey-Glazed Shrimp - she needs to have Marcel make additional honey glaze, but she didn't get to taste it. Doesn't get much of a rave from anyone. Some liked the glaze, but most didn't really feel they tasted the shrimp.

Carla - Collard Greens and Grouper - Paula Deen didn't like the greens. Carla gives a Hootey-Hoo to several diners, but she also knows she needs to have someone else be worse than her so she doesn't go home.

Antonia - Crab Cake with Blue Crab Sauce - and the judges REALLY liked it. Could she win this one?

And when the chef helpers leave, everyone's laughing over Fabio stroking Richard's face and Tiffani Faison laughs about their bromance.

In the "in-between", Antonia says she sent Spike out into the dining area for him to be a mole and find out what the judges are saying. All he ends up doing is knocking over a woman's wine "and probably getting a few telephone numbers. Spike's a really good sous chef; but he's a really bad spy." LOL

OK, we're back in the Stew Room. Both Carla and Tiffany realize they could go home on a Southern Food challenge.

Antonia, Richard and Mike are called into JT by Padma. They're definitely the Top Group! John Besh and Paula Deen give the win to Richard! Yay!!!! He gets a 6-night trip to Hilton-Barbados! NICE! And he's going to invite Fabio to go to Barbados with him and his family - how sweet!

All three - Dale, Tiffany, and Carla are in the bottom. Dale said "All of us?" He's not happy.

Padma finds out that Marcel cooked ALL of Tiffany's shrimp - she didn't cook any of it. The honey glaze threw Paula - she liked the head-on shrimp; didn't like the sweetness.

Dale's overly mustardy crouton on his soup overpowered everything else except the andouille - Besh said you couldn't even taste the main ingredient of amberjack.

Carla's grouper was doused in hot sauce, the collards didn't complement anything else, per Paula.

Not sure which way this is going to go - it really could be any one of them! But I'm thinking it's either Tiffany or Carla. :-(

OK, we're back at JT - Tom briefly goes over each bottom dish, and then looks to Padma...and WHOA! It's DALE! No WAY!

Oh, I'm SO sorry to see him go! I was truly hoping he'd be in the finale! And he's really upset in the confessional - he also said he knows he's a better person now. He didn't like himself the first time around, and he hopes that viewers have seen he's grown up. We DID see it Dale, we DID!

And previews for next week's episode? Looks like Padma goes to the cheftestants' house; Liberty Island is going to be visited, and they cook on the (Circle Line?) boat on the way over to the Statue of Liberty. Interesting!

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  1. cant wait to see where this thread goes with all the Mike drama

    6 Replies
    1. re: mattstolz

      I think he's being a major doooosh.

      1. re: LindaWhit

        Mike clearly used up any and all available dooshness this episode.

        1. re: Withnail42

          I think he's got doooshness to spare, unfortunately.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                +1 on doooshness to spare. I couldn't STAND him the first time around, wanted to like him this time, even allowed my dislike to soften a bit and then he pulls this crap. Even Tiffany, Carla and Antonia, gossiping about it, were like, "Ooo, against Chef Law!"

        2. My fave line was when Carla said about tre - "we should take away his NAACP card". Hilarious.

          4 Replies
          1. re: AMFM

            I sort of liked her wistful waving "goodbye, redemption."

            1. re: AMFM

              My fave line was when Carla said about tre - "we should take away his NAACP card". Hilarious.

              _______________________________________________________

              Why isn't there more outrage over this line about Tre?

              It's totally un-PC, and bordering on racist.

              It's sort of like if someone was shocked that Tre didn't like watermelon and fried chicken.

              What if it was Angelo (i.e, a non-African American person) stereotyping every African-American person as a card-carrying member of the NAACP? Clarence Thomas would be offended, I'd imagine.

              Just playing that annoying advocate of the Devil ...

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Sorry about this, but we've removed a bunch of replies to this post, as they had drifted widely from the original topic, and were no longer focused, even tangentially, on food. General discussion of racism and offensive language is off-topic for Chowhound.

              2. re: AMFM

                Did you catch Marcel's response to Carla who jokingly asked Tiffany if she would trade sous chefs? He said, "She chose the white shrimp". That was my favorite comment!

              3. the funnier line would have been Tiffany choosing the white shrimp....and the seafood white shrimp.

                1. Credit to Marcel for some good self deprecating humor referring to himself as Tiffany's 'white shrimp'.

                  Second best line (so far) Richard reminding Fabio of his ex-wife.

                  Mike a serious d**k in this episode.

                  Foreboding with Dale.

                  Still less than happy that Paula Deen is in this episode. Forgot she was on TV almost went off when she came on screen.

                  20 Replies
                  1. re: Withnail42

                    Agree re: Marcel's White Shrimp comment. That *was* pretty funny! And as I said to mattstoltz above - Mike's being a major doooosh. :-)

                    I *am* glad they gave more EC comment time to John Besh.

                    1. re: Withnail42

                      I'll reply more later, but I'll go to the mat for ol' Paula. I thought she acquited herself quite well.

                      1. re: karenfinan

                        I loved it when she told Antonia, "I could bend you over my knee and whoop your cute little ass!" Antonia was on the top in this episode... Maybe it's because I'm from the south or because Paula reminds me of my mother when she's in a good mood, but I'll go to the mat for her too.

                        1. re: LindseyBrook

                          I too am from the south, and I feel like she is a relative, as well. She was related to my next door neighbor, who was an honorary part of my family- so in away, Paula and I are related! ( I don't know her at all) I really admire her as she did not have an easy life and worked VERY hard to get where she is now. She's nobody's fool in my opinion.

                          1. re: karenfinan

                            I am glad to have found a fellow Paula fan! It takes a very gutsy woman to take nothing but her family recipes and traditions and become successful by popularizing or characterizing them even. I wish I had thought of that! Her recipes have saved my ass on many family occasions. They're easy to execute and everyone always likes them.

                            1. re: LindseyBrook

                              i may not like her recipes or her TV shtick, but i respect the hell out of Paula Deen for all she's accomplished both professionally and personally.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I was sitting there thinking the whole time how good PD's recipe was for shrimp and grits- the one with the tasso. They really are the best I've ever had, and I've eaten them many places!

                                1. re: Clarkafella

                                  i'm always willing to check it out if recommended by a fellow Hound - assume you mean this one?

                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

                                  definitely still a bit too typical "Paula" for me with all that heavy cream, but i could definitely tweak it and i'm sure a lightened version would be terrific.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    That is the one- incredible! I'm sure that a "lightened" version would be good too! I'm on a diet right now- if you come up with something please share. My wife wouldn't let me get within 100 miles of the regular version...

                                    1. re: Clarkafella

                                      lightened recipes are my specialty ;) i'll have a look and post on the HC board

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        I have been making shrimp and grits for years. I think her recipe is very good. You could certainly use half and half, or even milk instead of heavy cream. Don't cut out the tasso, or you will not have an authentic dish.Mods feel free to kick this over to home cooking:-)

                                        1. re: karenfinan

                                          I get over to Louisiana about once a month, so always keep some tasso on hand!

                                          1. re: karenfinan

                                            i would never omit the tasso! i have no doubt that's what *makes* the recipe :) i was thinking about swapping out the heavy cream for low fat evaporated milk - i do it in all sorts of sweet and savory recipes and it works like a charm.

                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        I could really use some suggestions on how to lighten up some recipes!

                                        1. re: LindseyBrook

                                          Lindsey, start a new thread on the Home Cooking board about the particular recipes you'd like to tweak and i'll be happy to help you with them...as i'm sure will many other Hounds!

                              2. re: LindseyBrook

                                "I could bend you over my knee and whoop your cute little ass!" made me HOWL! I don't mind PD as much as others, I guess. I really admire how far she's come in her career!

                            2. re: Withnail42

                              "Credit to Marcel for some good self deprecating humor referring to himself as Tiffany's 'white shrimp"

                              As if we need any proof that each one of us sees this show from a different point of view. My take on that clever comment was that Tiffany was so eager to use the white shrimp that she was willing to endure Marcel's presence. Whichever intrepretation matches Marcel's, if he had shown any of that wit and self-deprecation, this group wouldn't have had dozens -- of not hundreds -- of posts containing the vitriol we hurled his way.

                              He's been a contender for a while, but with last night's episode Mike officially earned the delusional label. Going on about his dish and his skills. Yeah. Right.

                              1. re: Indy 67

                                I don't think that anyone was disagreeing with you there -- I think it was clear that Tiffany wanted to use the shrimp (and didn't want to use the other stuff left) and so took Marcel with it. But it was funny when Carla wanted to give her Trey and Marcel referred to himself as the "white shrimp" though.

                                1. re: Indy 67

                                  "Mike officially earned the delusional label. Going on about his dish and his skills. Yeah"

                                  I thought the exact same thing.
                                  People thought Marcel was delusional - but WHOA!

                              2. It's killing me, but once again, I am in a hotel with no Bravo channel. 3rd time in 6 weeks. So sad! Thanks, Linda, for the recap. At this point, I can't help myself!!!!!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                  LOL! Glad I could help, jeanmarie! I *think* I've got all of the details! Just keep hitting refresh to get whatever new stuff I put in the main post. Almost done. :-)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Excellant recap. Thanks, Linda, I'll try to catch the rerun from home this weekend. I just said to someone this week, 'wow, Mike really matured a lot - he's hardly been a jerk at all!' Too soon!!!!!

                                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                                      Yup, you'll have to take that statement back, jeanmarie. Glad you enjoyed the recap!

                                2. Ok, does anyone else have a huge problem with the fact that they're cooking with Gulf seafood?! I mean, I want to see their economy recover as much as anyone, but I still don't think it is/was safe. The FDA just cleared Gulf seafood a couple of weeks ago, which means it hadn't been when this episode was filmed...not to mention the fact that independent studies still don't agree...

                                  43 Replies
                                  1. re: theferlyone

                                    I've been eating gulf seafood and haven't grown any horns yet.

                                    1. re: edible complex

                                      "Yet" being the operative word. There haven't been any long-term studies on the effects of the consumption of petrochemicals. I'm not even sure I'm necessarily against it based on what little I've personally read, but it still strikes me as irresponsible on their part, especially given the timing. What if the FDA hadn't cleared it? Did they have an alternate (and potentially rigged) episode filmed? I'm not saying it's completely wrong, but it's definitely not the smartest challenge they've ever come up with. Best of luck to you with keeping the horns at bay.

                                      1. re: theferlyone

                                        I'm have a shipment of boiled crawfish, raw oysters and shrimp coming tomorrow. I'll have a seafood hangover, and I'll love it!

                                        1. re: theferlyone

                                          I live here so I was/am concerned as anyone, but one thing to remember is that the Gulf is a very big body of water and as much oil as gushed out, there was still a lot of the Gulf that wasn't affected. And from all accounts, there has been more testing than ever since the spill. BTW, John Besh was one of the most vocal critics over the oil spill; he's also known as a true conservationist/outdoorsman so I don't think (and I certainly hope) he wouldn't be promoting seafood that he didn't deem safe.

                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                            yep, too much to lose to serve up something that wasn't safe. eating is big bidness in the big easy.

                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                              Thanks for that info and additional clarification, ncw.

                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                Let's not eat up space on this thread with a tanget that could really get out of hand. For an in-depth discussion of the entire Gulf seafood controversy, go here:

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/725686

                                                1. re: PattiCakes

                                                  I think we already had left it. But some issues needed clarification. And the thread you cite is old.

                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                    OKAY, THIS IS CRAZY

                                                    I'm late to the party..
                                                    I have been reading the posts through...
                                                    We've discussed poitical correctness, Paula Deen, and the safe-ness of seafood from the Gulf.

                                                    WTH?

                                                    Am I the only one steaming mad about Dale leaving???????????????

                                                    I mean, I don't think I have ever been more shocked or disgusted by an elimination EVER before on TC.

                                                    I'm boiling.
                                                    Obviously, I didnt taste his dish, and can't judge just how bad it was, but through the entire competition - he has been kicking ass.
                                                    It's the first time I have ever felt like the judges are toying with us.

                                                    I'm pretty pissed!

                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                      I understand how you feel but instead of conspiracy I think this points to fairness. The losing dish sends the chef home.

                                                      To my mind, Tiffany is this season's Robin, or even Lisa: almost the worst in each of the last three outings, but not the worst. She's skating by. If it were about who they 'want' to send home, then it would clearly be Tiffany. Am I the only one who sees Tom almost wince every time she opens her mouth? It could all be in my head, I guess - the timbre of her voice is nails on a chalkboard to my ears.

                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                        At least Tiffany acknowledges she's not performing. Mike is doing worst and still thinks he's doing well. I think Tiffany makes the bottom, often not because she had a terrible dish but that hers wasn't as good as the others. Tom said that her chicken tortilla soup was good, just not chicken and dumplings. While she completely accepted responsibility for her dish (and should have), it was Marcel's fault that it was slightly overcooked and the sauce too sweet.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          I'll give you that Marcel is on the hook for the shrimp being overcooked, but I'd not be so quick to jump in him for the sauce. It's her sauce, she gave him the directions. She didn't taste it, so we don't know if it was the same as hers or not. She said she didn't tell him to dilute like she normally does, as well.

                                                          So either she left out part of the instructions making it too sweet or, potentially, it was just too sweet to begin with. Either way, it's her dish, her responsibility.

                                                          1. re: Pylon

                                                            Yes, as I said, it's her responsibility and she accepted it as she should have. However, her problems seemed to stem, not from her cooking, but her lack of oversight over a "helper" she knew wasn't completely reliable.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              If she didn't tell him how to make the sauce correctly, it was her poor direction, not his "unreliability" that was the problem.

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                I agree-- imagine if Marcel had deviated from her instructions (say by tasting it and diluting it) and the dish had been criticized! If she didn't tell him everything she wanted done, it's totally her responsibility.

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                  Or it could be both. Though ultimately, it's all on her watch, her bad, and her consequences.

                                                          2. re: MplsM ary

                                                            i have to disagree with that one. i was never convinced Robin could actually produce a winning dish on purpose. the times she was around the top everyone was always surprised, and it seemed to normally be a fluke. Tiffany we at least know is capable of producing some very good food.

                                                            1. re: mattstolz

                                                              But not good enough to actually win anything...

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                yeah that may be true... but i still get the sense that far more of the chefs this season have respect for the skills of tiffany that they ever did for robin, and i think that really says something. ive never once heard a chef this season say anything along the lines of "tiffany shouldnt be here anymore. she doesnt deserve it" whereas that was said AT LEAST once a week about robin.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  Am I recalling incorrectly that she won quite a bit in her original season? She does seem to be having confidence and performance problems this competition, though.

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    In season 7, Tiffany had two double wins (i.e., she won both the QF and the EC in the same episode), and she was in the high group five other times, more than anyone else. She was never in a low group until she was eliminated fifth from the overall win. I'd bet that, like Angelo, she's feeling some burnout after doing the two seasons in succession.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      Tiff had a bigger rest than Angelo did, since she didn't go to finals. They get some number of weeks in between the regular season and finals, no?

                                                                      1. re: momjamin

                                                                        They get some number of weeks in between the regular season and finals, no?
                                                                        ~~~~~~~
                                                                        they do. i think it's something like 6 weeks...?

                                                  2. re: edible complex

                                                    <I've been eating gulf seafood and haven't grown any horns yet.>
                                                    Ditto.
                                                    And so have the folks on the Gulf Coast. The green light was given quite a while ago.

                                                    Thanks, Linda. I fell asleep and missed all but the tag end of the 11 pm repeat. So sad to see Dale go. Sure hope Mike doesn't make the finale. That would be tragic, with all the talent that's gone home already.

                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                      If Mike makes it to the finale, THAT would be a major crime!

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        There would be demostations at Bravo Headquarters that rival Madtown

                                                  3. re: theferlyone

                                                    Gulf seafood has been edible for quite some time - just because the FDA took so long doesn't mean it wasn't edible.

                                                    The FDA is kinda known for being a little slow with things. :-/

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      Eh, I'm spoiled by being in New England, I guess. I have plenty of sources of good seafood without taking that risk...and I'll admit, I'm particularly sensitive to the issue at the moment ' cause my husband and I just decided to start trying to conceive (like, literally, the conversation happened a few hours ago).

                                                      1. re: theferlyone

                                                        I'm in New England as well. But again - the restaurants in the NOLA and FL Gulf coast area have been using Gulf seafood in their restaurants for awhile now.

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          whole foods had key west and gulf shrimp today here in ft lauderdale! and all season long we've had florida lobster without any problems

                                                          1. re: mattstolz

                                                            Again, any problems that you know of...the FDA's testing basically amounts to a sniff-check. If it doesn't smell like crude, it must be ok, right? Further independent testing has shown petrochemical levels far above normal. If anyone wants to take that chance, that's their business, but I don't think it's right for the show to pretend like everything's fine when it might not be...it's not like the FDA's never been wrong before...

                                                            1. re: theferlyone

                                                              A second test examining for dispersants was added back in October 2010.

                                                              http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroo...

                                                              "Experts trained in a rigorous sensory analysis process have been testing Gulf seafood for the presence of contaminants, and every seafood sample from reopened waters has passed sensory testing for contamination with oil and dispersant. Nonetheless, to ensure consumers have total confidence in the safety of seafood being harvested from the Gulf, NOAA and FDA have added this second test for dispersant when considering reopening Gulf waters to fishing.

                                                              Using this new, second test, in the Gulf scientists have tested 1,735 tissue samples including more than half of those collected to reopen Gulf of Mexico federal waters. Only a few showed trace amounts of dispersants residue (13 of the 1,735) and they were well below the safety threshold of 100 parts per million for finfish and 500 parts per million for shrimp, crabs and oysters. As such, they do not pose a threat to human health.

                                                              and

                                                              The 1,735 samples tested so far were collected from June to September and cover a wide area of the Gulf. The samples come from open areas in state and federal waters, and from fishermen who brought fish to the docks at the request of federal seafood analysts. The samples come from a range of species, including grouper, tuna, wahoo, swordfish, gray snapper, butterfish, red drum, croaker, and shrimp, crabs and oysters.

                                                              Previous research provided information about how finfish metabolize DOSS, and at FDA’s Dauphin Island, Alabama lab, scientists undertook further exposure experiments on fish, oysters and crab; similar experiments on shrimp were held at NOAA’s Galveston, Texas lab. These exposure studies further support that fish, crustaceans and shellfish quickly clear dispersant from their tissues, and provided samples with known concentrations for use as standards for validating the methodology. Samples undergoing chemical analysis are always accompanied by standards with known concentrations of DOSS, to verify the equipment continues to measure the compound accurately.

                                                              Nearly 9,444 square miles, or about 4 percent of the federal waters in the Gulf are still closed to commercial and recreational fishing."

                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                              As Scagnetti said below - the Gulf of Mexico is big. It's not just Louisiana fishermen who fish there. Texas and Mexico's fishing grounds weren't affected.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                Wow, it didn't take long this week to get to a long tangential topic ;)

                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                  No, but I felt it was necessary to at least post that info from the FDA, since theferlyone seemed so adamant about their stats. I'd think that any additional discussion should go to a separate thread on NAF. But since they were using Gulf seafood, I found it appropriate based on theferlyone's comment.

                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                            We were told the WTC air was safe to breathe by the EPA, too. Then the bodies started piling up in the years following, and the debilitated 9/11 responders.

                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                              It's a personal choice, obviously. Eat Gulf seafood, or don't. The chefs feel the seafood is safe.

                                                              New Yorkers and WTC rescuers unfortunately didn't have much of a choice with WTC air. One can choose not to eat seafood. One cannot choose NOT to breathe.

                                                              And I'd really not rather let this part of the thread regress any further.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                I'm fine with leaving it there; I was only responding with analogous gov't assurances that turned out not to be so. WTC folks could have been using more precautions and protective gear had they been wiser to the risks.

                                                      2. re: theferlyone

                                                        Maybe news hadn't reached Yankee land yet but here in Texas and Louisiana, we've been eating gulf seafood for a long time. The Gulf of Mexico doesn't end at the Louisiana border, it extends all the way around Texas to Mexico. All fertile shrimp and oyster grounds that were never affected by the oil spill.

                                                        BTW, did you know that Johnny Carson isn't hosting the Tonight Show anymore?

                                                        1. re: Scagnetti

                                                          I'm 26...Johnny Carson's a little before my time. I'm also not geographically retarded. Sarcasm noted. Pardon me for thinking that it was a poor decision on Bravo's part for completely disregarding the issues at hand.

                                                          1. re: theferlyone

                                                            How do you know Bravo comepletely disregarded anything? If you have some inside information, please share it with the rest of us. (Of course I also named my kids' black goldfish Joe Hazlewood. When they asked me why, I told them to Google it).

                                                          2. re: Scagnetti

                                                            Scagnetti, you are wrong. The Gulf does start and end at Louisiana. Just like Mississippi didn't get hit by a record 28 foot storm surge from Katrina, which people seem to forget. I had the very same conversation this morning about how people are avoiding Texas oysters, even though the bays got zero oil from the spill. The oysters are great this year with the cold winter down here, and I've been gorging myself, and will continue to do so. The shrimp are beautiful too. Some of the seafood they are eating almost certainly came from Texas or Mexico, as well as most of the crabs consumed in Maryland are from the bays along the Gulf. I can't wait for May when the speckled trout get hungry, I'll catch my share, and you won't see me putting mustard on fried trout al la Carla's grouper.

                                                            1. re: James Cristinian

                                                              when a friend worked for SWA, she said the flights from NOLA to Baltimore flew more crabs than people.

                                                          3. re: theferlyone

                                                            nope...been eating gulf seafood the entire time

                                                            there is a huge part of the Gulf that was not affected by the spill and generalizations don't help anyone- fishermen or consumers

                                                            sorry to be short, but we're living with this everyday, trying to stay educated on the subject, and I have little patience for disinformation these days

                                                            now, I'm off to KJean's for some boiled crabs!

                                                          4. Richard is going to invite Fabio to Barbados. He is such a class act.

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: theferlyone

                                                              I hope Mrs. Blais enjoys his company as much as Richard does ;-)

                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                Now that would make a good reality show!

                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                    did you read his blog- not charming at all, but petty, sexist and very mean-spirited- but perhaps wouldn't be on vacation!

                                                                    1. re: karenfinan

                                                                      Glad to hear someone say that. I've never liked Fabio and never understood the adoration heaped on him. What other people see as charm I see as superficial and phony.

                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                        Are we sure the gals are invited? Sometimes all that talk about "pants too tight" is just a cover. I'm just saying.

                                                                        jb

                                                                    2. re: theferlyone

                                                                      I don't know -- it kind of seemed tongue in cheek to me. Don't think he was serious.

                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                        I think he was serious. He shared one of his EC prizes with Stephanie because he thought she did a great job with her part of the challenge. It's not unlike him.

                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                          This was on Fabio's twitter account.

                                                                          # And please Auction my Ticket for Barbados and give the money to a Charity of your Choice for me !! ;-)) @richardblais about 15 hours ago via txt

                                                                          I'm sure this will be settled during the Reunion show.

                                                                      2. re: theferlyone

                                                                        Theirs is the romance of the century!

                                                                      3. Well we're clearly going to be talking about Paula Deens line.

                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                          1. re: edible complex

                                                                            I've eaten shrimp for 50+ years- and I have never seen anyone suck the head on one!

                                                                            1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                              You must live up north. suck the heads, eat the tails is a long time saying. And a way of eating crayfish and shrimp.

                                                                              1. re: Janet

                                                                                I live north of New Orleans in Mississippi- sucked many a crawfish head, but never a shrimp...

                                                                                1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                  Have you ever had BBQ Shrimp? Because not sucking the heads is a criminal offense when eating BBQ Shrimp. At least it should be.

                                                                              2. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                Gotta agree with you on that one. Maybe it is a Georgia thing? Crawfish, you suck the heads. Never seen or heard of anyone sucking shrimp heads.

                                                                                1. re: UptownKevin

                                                                                  thats how ive always done it! and i grew up in SC. the heads the best part!

                                                                                  1. re: UptownKevin

                                                                                    unless it's Mr. B's or Pascals Manale's BBQ shrimp. and for those unfamiliar w/NOLA style BBQ shrimp, dem swimps are swimmin in buttah!

                                                                                    1. re: UptownKevin

                                                                                      Also a Chinese thing. In my case, I eat the heads as well provided it's not super tough.

                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                        Also an Italian thing--I've had shrimp in Naples and Sicily where I think they would have been appalled if I HADN'T sucked the heads!

                                                                                        1. re: Nettie

                                                                                          but were they cooked with fennel:-)

                                                                                          1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                            Nope, no fennel. It wasn't in France. :^)

                                                                                      2. re: UptownKevin

                                                                                        I live in new York and am very excited when I get a shrimp dish with the heads on. Soooo delicious.

                                                                                        1. re: donovt

                                                                                          i've had great salt baked shrimp with the heads and shells on that you ate just that way at avhigh end chinese restaurant in cleveland.

                                                                                        2. re: UptownKevin

                                                                                          I am black, from New York and live in California by way of DC, and I buy my shrimp live with heads on from the Asian market, roast in a salt bed, and suck the heads!

                                                                                  2. And it's because he still says things like "and I'm gonna invite Fabio to Barbados with my family." is why you still have to love Richard.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. I Love Dale. So Much. what a great guy.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                          So sad to see him go, especially since it seemed like he was on his game until that challenge. But, what an awesome good bye. He really did mature since his last season.

                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                            Dales maturing as a person compared to his season is what has impressed me most about him as well. It takes a lot of strength of character to boldly identify a flaw within yourself and be willing to do what it takes to correct it. Glad to see a number of people have been complimenting him on this to his twitter account too.

                                                                                        2. I knew it. And I'm SO sad. What a classy exit interview too. I still heart Dale - probably more now. But this show will be way less fun (and less funny) now.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: AMFM

                                                                                            I REALLY didn’t like Dale in his season. Lets give him full credit though - he has matured as a person and as a chef. I thought he had a shot at the top three, and I will miss his humor.

                                                                                            1. re: StewieBoy

                                                                                              He has matured from where he started, but has a long way to go before he can actually be considered mature. I thought he was pretty obnoxious.

                                                                                          2. nooooooo i wish they woulda surprise eliminated mike instead.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                              Would that have been great? "Sorry, Mike, you made a great dish but for being such a douche, please PYKAG."

                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                  would have been one of the best surprise developments in TC history

                                                                                                2. dale!!!??? why do they keep consistently mediocre chefs while sending gifted chefs home? i'm losing interest in the finale cuz it won't have the top 2, 3, or 4 chefs. lame.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: lakeshow318

                                                                                                    Hey - it's been said many times before and Tom Colicchio said it tonight. They're all great chefs, but sometimes one bad dish can send you home. This was Dale's one bad dish. This contest is not judged on how they did overall throughout the show. They're judged on the dish that was in front of the judges for that specific challenge.

                                                                                                    1. re: lakeshow318

                                                                                                      Damn ... my jaw is still hanging open ... not Dale!

                                                                                                      1. re: lakeshow318

                                                                                                        And what Carla said is so so true, "Somebody's gotta mess up worse than I'm messing up." It keeps happening for different folks.

                                                                                                      2. Poor Dale, from the penthouse to the shithouse!!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Scagnetti

                                                                                                          I really thought it was going to be Carla the way she was talking throughout the show. And the way they said none of her ingredients did not make sense. But the challenge seemed really hard! to cook for 300 ppl, and still make it out alive. Their gonna beat these chefs until they come out crying.

                                                                                                        2. I thought for sure Tiffany was going to say "I'll take the white shrimp, oh I'll take the prawns too".

                                                                                                          1. when Dale made that hilarious comment in the beginning about being a greedy American, i had a *really* bad feeling it was an indication that tonight would be his last. i hate when i'm right like that. i went into this episode hoping Tiffany or Mike would go home..but once i heard the comments at JT, i would have settled for Carla. just not Dale! boo :( his exit interview was great, and i hope he does open his own restaurant.

                                                                                                            Isabella needs to go away. he's a total d-bag, and he's giving my home state a bad name! i'll be interested to see if any of the blogs address the "borrowed" recipe issue.

                                                                                                            Blais really is a class act. happy to see that he hasn't completely psyched himself out...yet.

                                                                                                            thanks for yet another great recap Linda!

                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                              Richard said picking Angelo would be no good, just coming off elimination.

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                I was really moved by Dale's interview, when he talked about not liking himself much during his first season and trying to change. He has changed--I think a lot of us have noticed that!

                                                                                                                I was pretty disgusted by Mike's behavior, and I'm so glad that he didn't win the EC. When they showed Richard letting Mike read his book, I'm thinking that it's nice that Richard likes sharing his ideas. But, dude, it's a competition!

                                                                                                                1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                  I'm thinking pea puree part two.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                    I was thinking pea puree, too, but this is much worse. With the pea puree there were some questions as to whether it was stolen. Tonight we saw the filmed evidence that Mike stole Richard's dish straight out of his personal chef's notebook! What an asshole! I'll be interested to see what Tom et. al. have to say on their blogs.

                                                                                                                    I was bummed to see Dale go, too. Loved Richard saying that he was taking Fabio along with his family to Barbados! Wouldn't that be a fun vacation to watch/hear all about?

                                                                                                                    1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                      Let's hope that Andy Cohen reads this board and can make room in the Bravo schedule for "Richard and Fabio's Caribbean Vacation."

                                                                                                                        1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                          I imagine a beautiful Barbados beach - camera panning then focusing on Richard and Fabio splashing in the surf and then a cutaway to to Mrs. Blais and child under an umbrella. Boys giggling like girls. Girls glowering and unhappy. But my brain is just not right. Then again, as a fellow redhead (who has been to Barbados) I know 10 minutes in that sun and Blais will be the white shrimp, fully cooked and pink.

                                                                                                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                            As a very white redhead, this made me laugh out loud!

                                                                                                                  2. Mike said he's seen fried 'chicken' oysters served in an oyster shell before he saw them in Richard's notebook. Bullsh•t. Too bad Richard had not yet figured out how despicable Mike is. Everyone knows how despicable he is now. It will be interesting if the topic of Mike's theft comes up in future episodes.

                                                                                                                    I was sorry to see Dale go. I was sure it was going to be Tiffany.

                                                                                                                    Regarding the quickfire... Does this mean they actually had to make three plates? I know they always make an extra one that we do not see that the producers take away for camera closeups.

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                      Chicken "oysters" in an oyster shell sound exactly like something that would come from the mind of Richard. Mike has never shown that kind of creativity in either season he's been on. Such arrogance.

                                                                                                                      Hopefully, this incident will be a highlight of the reunion.

                                                                                                                      Wah, Dale!!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Debbie M

                                                                                                                        What part of the chicken is used as the oyster?

                                                                                                                        jb

                                                                                                                        1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                          My favorite part of a chicken or turkey!

                                                                                                                      2. Wow, I despise Mike Isabella. What a horrible person, in so many ways, and I hate that Dale had to go before him. And see, Dale, that's the way to turn yourself around -- I couldn't stand him in his season, but I liked him so much this season, and I'm so sad that he left tonight. What a class act, though, and a nice way to go.

                                                                                                                        I didn't really like this challenge, though -- it's a little late in the season for the cook for 300 people challenge, and it just ends up being overwhelming and doesn't seem to get us either good TV or good food. I appreciated the benefit aspect, but couldn't they have done a smaller dinner with the gulf seafood instead? And God, there were so many people in that room; when the judges were talking the ambient crowd noise behind them was so loud that I could barely hear what the judges were saying.

                                                                                                                        1. SHOCKED that Dale went! and sad. I really thought he'd be in at the finale. I really thought it was Carla or Tiffany. Poor guy. he's talented, he's funny, he cleaned up his temper. Sad to see him go.

                                                                                                                          Mike is the new Marcel. DOOOOOCHE. all the chefs agreed (or at least the women, and Blais), that you JUST DON'T DO THAT. "Less is more and simple is better," - HAH - yeah, when you're stealing someone else's idea, when it's all been laid out for you in a DIAGRAM, it's much easier, isn't it.

                                                                                                                          Blais is wonderful, a class act, still, through and through.

                                                                                                                          Felt bad for Antonia, with her technical screw-up. they are all soooo tired and under so much pressure......

                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                            As annoying and socially awkward as Marcel may be he never came close to suck a d**k move as that. Mike created a new never before seen or inhabited category of dooochiness.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                              I agree. Marcel was unintentional but Mike can't be trusted. I still can't believe he's in the top--can his ego handle that? It was too big to begin with!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                Have I got some extra reading for you.
                                                                                                                                http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2007/05...
                                                                                                                                Marcel was involved in a big scandal a little while ago for pretty much the exact same thing. You can decide whether you think it was deliberate.

                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                  Yikes and here I was trying to give Marcel the benefit of the doubt.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                    "Marcel and Mike, please pack your douchiness and go."

                                                                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                    To my untrained eye, Marcel's looks quite a bit different and this was 4 years ago.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                      It does look a bit different. Flavors were pretty much the same, and that would seem to be an unlikely coincidence (though Marcel claims they were both playing off the same flavor combinations and happened to arrive at the same place).

                                                                                                                                      Not sure what 4 years has to do with anything.

                                                                                                                                      It definitely could be a coincidence - stranger things have happened. Though it strikes me a enormously unlikely that Marcel would be unfamiliar with one of Wylie's well known creations.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I was playing with some blocks of primary colors and ended up about the same place as Mondrian.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                          LOL! Although I don't really love Mondrian and think that I -could- actually end up at the same place..

                                                                                                                                        2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                          "Not sure what 4 years has to do with anything."

                                                                                                                                          I thought the comment made it sound like it was something Marcel did recently regarding Top Chef. And while he may or may not have copied a dish, it wasn't done the same way as the Mike/Richard scenario. (I can't call him Mikey, it makes him sound too cute and cuddly.)

                                                                                                                                      2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                        I like the part where wd-50 does it without the foam -- Marcel just can't help himself!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                          Marcel even mentioned the controversy from this article in the episode where he had to cook at wd-50. Notice that he did change the Wily dish slightly.... He just HAD to add a foam garnish. :)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                            Didn't this get discussed during the season already when they were cooking at wd-50?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                              Yup. Ad nauseum. BUT....that's what we do here. ;-)

                                                                                                                                      3. I tried mustard on fish I fried exactly once. It was supposed to be a great recipe. It tasted like mustard, and I like my fish to taste like fish, not the mustard mess Carla made, and then putting hot sauce on it, not something you do to a beautiful tasting fish like grouper, where a simple presentation is better.

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                          I thought it was Dale's dish that was the overly mustardy one? Carla's was overly hot-sauced, but Dale's stew had so much mustard flavor that all you could taste was the andouille.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            It was Dale's crouton that was covered in too much mustard, not Carla's dish.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              Carla's grouper was dredged in hot sauce and mustard prior to flour. Everyone at JT agreed both products overpowered the grouper.

                                                                                                                                              Dale had mustard on his crouton that overpowered the stew.

                                                                                                                                              Sad to see Dale go; he's changed dramatically. I wish him nothing but the best.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                              Mustard plus hot sauce just sounded so utterly wrong for grouper, which is a very delicate fish from both a flavor and structural standpoint.

                                                                                                                                            3. It was so disappointing to see Dale go home while Mike lives to cook another day. Somehow, I wish they could have factored in Dale's previous wins in making their decision. I guess that I think this every season when someone really talented goes home and someone mediocre stays. I mean, look at Tiffany -- she's been in the bottom regularly and has never won a single challenge. Carla's dish looked gross (and I'm a Carla fan), but at least she has proven that she has real cooking chops and has won several challenges. Mike --- ugh! I can't get over what a creep he is and how he appropriated Richard's recipe. Right now, I want Richard, Carla and Antonia in the finale. Wouldn't it be great to have two female chefs competing at the end? I think the door to that possibility just got opened.

                                                                                                                                              1. Bourdain's blog entry at bravotv reflects part of what we're all thinking, but I sure hope we get to hear what he thinks about MIke.

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

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                  VERY short blog! LOL Hopefully he'll add something more.

                                                                                                                                                  And no other blogs are up this morning other than the Team Top Chef's Monica Reyhani, and she's not happy with Mike's behavior either!

                                                                                                                                                2. Poor Antonia... always a bridesmaid...

                                                                                                                                                  She has been in the top so many times but never got the win, she consistently makes fabulous looking food that is well received by everyone, but always gets edged out for the win. And Isabella wins $5k in the quickfire by default....

                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmblerGirl

                                                                                                                                                    I was so upset for Antonia, what a brain cramp she must've had. :-(

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                      I didn't realize they could be disqualified for not plating two (or three) dishes. I thought they did it as a courtesy, especially for dishes that can't be divided neatly or shared without some form of double-dipping.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                        I seem to recall plenty of QFs where the judges shared from a single dish, no?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                          Definitely, yes. But perhaps this was one of the off-camera details we aren't privy to seeing, but it became an on-camera issue when Antonia didn't prepare two plates.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            But since it was so crucial in this instance, it seems like the detail about plating two dishes should not have taken place off camera.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                              True. But perhaps it wasn't mentioned by Padma - it was a producer-type thing.

                                                                                                                                                              There was someone who used to post on these threads (and may still; cannot recall the name) who was a PA for Bravo and worked on TC episodes. Said that for EACH challenge, filming stops, and a PA or producer will have each cheftestant read the rules (or is read the rules out loud) for that specific challenge, and then the cheftestant is required to sign a document stating they understand the rules.

                                                                                                                                                              I'm thinking it was the latter situation - and Antonia just forgot in the 30-45 minutes she had to make the QF dish.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                          Did she say "don't touch me!" to Carla when Carla tried to hug her right after the quick fire?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I think that Antonia was pissed at herself for her mistake and didn't want Carla's expression on sympathy right then--I know for myself that sometimes someone acting sympathetic can make me totally break down and cry, and I'm guessing that Antonia didn't want that to happen on camera.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                              that's what i thought too, she was just too freaked out at herself.

                                                                                                                                                        3. re: AmblerGirl

                                                                                                                                                          I thought that too; Antonia won the one EC (I think) that didn't come with an awesome prize, and she is often in the top w/o winning.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                            And twice she would have won but:
                                                                                                                                                            1)Her team was a losing team
                                                                                                                                                            and
                                                                                                                                                            2)She forgot to plate the second QF dish.

                                                                                                                                                        4. As everyone has said, sad to see Dale go and surprised he was so emotional.

                                                                                                                                                          Mike kept yammering on trying to justify himself but it just made him look like a bigger dick.

                                                                                                                                                          Antonia's getting a little screwed it seems. I mean, I know you need two plates but she keeps doing well and just falling short then when she *does* win, she gets nothing! They should retroactively give her a trip for her win a few weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                            The more I think about it, the more I think that Antonia is the dark horse for this season. Although she didn't make a big impression on me during her original season, I like her -- and the food she makes -- more and more. So do the judges it would seem...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                              Let's make our English teachers proud and throw a little Shakespeare quote from Hamlet into this thread: The [chef] doth protest too much.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                No kidding. I had a hard time watching that jowly cackling persona last nite.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Wow, Dale. Who'da thunk?

                                                                                                                                                              And Mike is still a parasite, hanging on to the V-bros for ideas and technique in his first season and first Angelo and now Richard in this one. Disgusting. I'm almost embarrassed for him. Time for him to go.

                                                                                                                                                              And much thanks and appreciate for Linda - and all of you - for the recaps and conversation. Still out of the country and I can't even get the videos on Bravo for my fix.

                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                Mike = parasite. PERFECT analogy, chicgail! You're right - first Michael Voltaggio (especially since they had worked together in the past) and now Richard. Gah.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  I think we need to get more specific. Mike is a tapeworm that was so far up the Voltaggio's butts he thought he was in the same skills category as them. This season he had to find a new host. Last night it was Richard and Tiffani. Last week it was Angelo. He is running out of suitable hosts.

                                                                                                                                                                  (To be fair however, tapeworms do not have a central nervous system and Mike is not aware of his actions).

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                    '(To be fair however, tapeworms do not have a central nervous system and Mike is not aware of his actions).'

                                                                                                                                                                    I feel you are trying to kill me with funny...Dying ova here.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I was watching a video from last night's ep after the QF when Antonia was bumming about not plating two dishes for the QF, and Mike dooooshily says "Yeah, I feel sorry for you too Antonia, Antonia............thanks for the five G's!" and then he's the only one cackle-laughing.

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.tvsquad.com/2011/02/24/top...

                                                                                                                                                                  It also has Mike sitting down next to Richard and saying in the confessional that Richard pisses HIM off! "If you're going to win, be an effing winner! If you're going to lose, go in the effing corner!" Dipshit.

                                                                                                                                                                  It also has the part where Antonia tells Carla and Tiffany about Mike taking the idea from Richard's book - Carla said "There's Man Law...and there's Chef's Law. Chef Law is you don't take another chef's idea. That's a no-no."

                                                                                                                                                                  BTW, Mike being in the top group for the EC? Was pretty much thanks to Tiffani Faison, who suggested he coat the shrimp in the grits. (She'd worked in NOLA for 2 years and obviously did that there.) So NEITHER of Mike's dishes were his ideas!

                                                                                                                                                                  He's going to be reamed up and down on various sites today, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                  23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                    today's special is Douchebaggery: Mike En Papillote, a bottom feeder poached in a barf bag.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: edible complex

                                                                                                                                                                      today's special is Douchebaggery: Mike En Papillote, a bottom feeder poached in a barf bag.

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

                                                                                                                                                                      BWAH!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: edible complex

                                                                                                                                                                        oh dear god... if you people keep making me laugh like this my coworkers are going to think I've lost my mind!

                                                                                                                                                                        PERFECT description!!! :)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: edible complex

                                                                                                                                                                          tee hee. bottom feeder. barf bag. +1 edible! Too funny.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CapreseStacy

                                                                                                                                                                            and he's a poacher for taking the recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          Not only did Tiffani suggest the grits coating, it seemed (and I think someone said) she made the sauce for the dish, which the judges were very impressed with.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                                                            Oooh. Didn't realize that about the sauce! He's just skating on other chefs' talents. I truly hope he gets his comeuppance!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                              One can hope it's next week's episode. Would *love* for him to go before the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                                                              yes, i think it was Antonia who pointed out that Tiffani seemed to be cooking Mike's dish for him while he ambled around the kitchen taunting the other chefs. ugh, i can't STAND him. i take back anything i said earlier in the season about him having changed or matured.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                              It also has Mike sitting down next to Richard and saying in the confessional that Richard pisses HIM off! "If you're going to win, be an effing winner! If you're going to lose, go in the effing corner!"
                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                              There are a couple of things I noticed about this whole scene. First, while Mike is saying this and they are showing the shot of him and Richard sitting at the table, Richard is sitting there calmly while Mike is the one fidgeting. Secondly, when you see Mike in the confessional he was fidgeting and he couldn't even look straight at the camera, or if you will he couldn't look the camera in the eye. Despite what he says, Mike knows what he did was wrong, and I can't wait to see him PYKAG.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                I noticed that scene at the table as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                Wonder ow that whole thing will play out at the reunion show.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                  Very curious about the reunion show. I am also interested to see if anyone addresses it in their blog.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                    Still bugging me that Tom Colicchio's blog isn't up, dambit. He's really the only one blogging at Bravo's site who would have some insight.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Although I'm sure he'd just say that Richard shouldn't have shown him his notebook. On that I'd agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                      If you look at Tom's Twitter, he made a few references to it last night (he's @tom_colicchio I think). He was not a fan of what Mike did, it seems.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting info, Jasmine. Glad to hear it!

                                                                                                                                                                                        And since I don't use FB or Twitter - can you read Twitter posts if you don't have an account? All I could see was a bunch of people talking AT Tom - not his tweets.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's his Twitter directly: http://twitter.com/#!/tom_colicchio -- most of what he said was in responses to other people, because he was trying not to spoil last night's show. Specifically, he said http://twitter.com/#!/tom_colicchio/s... and http://twitter.com/#!/tom_colicchio/s... (basically, that it happens all the time, and it's not cool).

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                                            OK, thx. He's not cool with it. I wonder if he was aware of it during the filming.

                                                                                                                                                                                            But yes - recipe ingredients *do* get used and then reformatted a bit into a "new" recipe by adding/deleting ingredients and changing the preparation wording on a written recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                  I noticed that as well, lizzy. You just KNOW that by Richard's choice to completely ignore Mike, it was driving Mike crazy.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                  And her reply about boogers and farting? He must have quite the reputation in the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, yeah. Clearly he's worn out his welcome with some people!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, the idiot frat boy. Gross.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                        That's it - he hasn't grown up.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I get the fact that they judge each dish on its own merits every week, but maybe Bravo should reconsider this format? The star system seemed to kind of work on TCM (even though that was only within an episode, not week to week.)

                                                                                                                                                                                    I understand the arguments against it being totally point based (some chefs would be mathematically eliminated early on.) But are we really looking at the possibility of Mike Isabella, Tiffany and Antonia being the final three on TC All-Stars? That just doesn't seem right to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                    33 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                                                                      I see your objection to Mike and Tiffany, but Antonia? She's been doing great. I say she deserves to be in the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't have any strong objections to her, I meant more when you think of the contestants as a whole. At the beginning I could have pictured a finale without Jen Carroll. Or Dale T. Or Richard. But the possibility of NONE of those chefs going through? I guess that's why they call it a competition.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                                                                          Fair enough. But I don't think you should write off Richard just yet. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tiffany's been flying below the radar. I don't remember any win she's had but nothing yet to PYKAG. My guess is that either she or Mike (is that hope?) will go next. And I agree with piccola, Antonio's been shining.

                                                                                                                                                                                        My current pick for finals with Dale gone:
                                                                                                                                                                                        Richard
                                                                                                                                                                                        Carla
                                                                                                                                                                                        Antonia

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                          My current pick for finals with Dale gone:
                                                                                                                                                                                          Richard
                                                                                                                                                                                          Carla
                                                                                                                                                                                          Antonia
                                                                                                                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                          i think every single viewer of the show aside from Tiffany and Mike's family & friends would agree with those picks :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                            If I can't be original, at least I can be in agreement. :>)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                so you'd choose Mike and/or Tiffany over one or two of the others?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If we are talking rooting interest, yes. Anything but Carla. I'd rather see my shoe in the third position.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If it's a question of laying odds, the answer would be different. Of course, after the last two weeks, who knows?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd love to see the Vegas odds on this. I've said in the past, and been criticized for it (among other complaints of sexism) that Carla can perform well but she also underperforms and does very poorly, like the little girl with the little curl. These two weeks show exactly what I meant--very inconsistent performance. How is that rated against someone who is more steady, but doesn't have as many stellar performances, like Antonia?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think Carla's ADD like manic attacks may lead to some of her great food, but are also why she's so inconsistent. If she was able to focus just a little bit more, I think she'd be hard to beat (but probably also less entertaining to watch). Betting she is much less this way in her normal catering job, as, to me, it looks very much like a coping mechanism to overcoming the crushing stress of a long, competition type environment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                      gotcha - thanks for the explanation. i've made no secret of my distaste for Carla in recent weeks, but i'd still rather see her succeed over Mike & Tiffany...Mike's a classless putz who hasn't wowed anyone with his food all season, and based on Tiffany's poor performance thus far i'm scratching my head over how she's even still there. Carla irritates me to no end, but at least she's put up some good food (though i wouldn't want to see her win).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I remember Carla in her firs season as being the exact opposite of a mad manic woman - I remember her as being very composed, focused and totally zen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Am I the only one who feels/remembers it this way?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't remember it that way at all. But I think (as I've said before) that the elves are more than a little bipolar with her editing. Some segments she's calm and focused, some segments she's full on Chicken Lady.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                            yes, as i recall, she was mostly pretty calm...though her revelation about the "hootie-hoo" thing may have been an indication of her inner Chicken Lady...because really, i know everyone thinks it's cute, but who goes around hooting in public? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL!!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              You are spot on GHG!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              "the "hootie-hoo" thing may have been an indication of her inner Chicken Lady..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hilarious!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              but very true...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hell my wife and I have a similar signal. A short whistle followed by a goose honk. Works wonders in crowded spaces and gets some great "What was that" looks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Count me among the people who think it's cute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think it's sad that so many people criticize people on reality television for harmlessly eccentric behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I actually think I may need to do more hooting in public.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure I have an inner Chicken Lady, and it's time I embraced her!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    so now it’s only acceptable for us to express our opinions here on CH if they’re all rainbows, unicorns, and in agreement with everyone else’s, lest we offend the sensibility of a fellow Hound? okay, let’s all join hands and sing kumbaya before proceeding...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    just because someone’s behavior on TV is “harmless” doesn’t mean we’re all required to *enjoy* watching it. Padma’s behavior is “harmless” as well, but i don’t see Hounds getting all up in arms or accusing anyone of being judgmental or critical for observing/opining that she’s a crappy host.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh, and news flash, folks, there’s a reason i use those silly smiley-face emoticons after some of these comments...they’re said in FUN and not intended to be mean-spirited. I’m truly puzzled by how super-sensitive and touchy so many people are in the TC threads this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      well, one could reasonably say you are the one being super-sensitive and touchy! I was only expressing my opinion that sometimes we can get carried away in trashing people on the show, and it seems to me, only speaking for myself, that we forget they are real human beings, not cartoon characters. I wasn't even thinking about you, GHG. Walking away now......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gee, ghg, wasn't I obvious enough that I wasn't addressing your comment specifically by using the terms "people" and "reality show"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think there's a difference between criticizing Padma's ability to do her job hosting the television show we are watching and making personal comments about someone's eccentricity. Which you are free to do. I just think it's SAD (not evil or even wrong) that so many PEOPLE are so invested in such a narrow definition of acceptable behavior and so judgmental of others that they are unwilling or unable to enjoy a wide range of harmless (i.e., not racist, sexist, mean-spirited) but eccentric behavior for a few short minutes on a television program. Sad for them, and sad because when they express those opinions widely on the internet the create an atmosphere where people feel inhibited and unwilling to express any kind of individualism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When it comes to Marcel and Mike, I do think there have been some really mean-spirited, gang mentality comments, but In the Carla case - I think everyone has agreed that she is a nice person, but slightly annoying! So not too mean!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And I think GHG's inner chicken comment was hilarious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was thinking of Marcel, too--that his rapper behavior was slammed while Carla's behavior is seen as charming or endearing. Both are harmless but viewed differently. Not many people have supported Marcel's endearing, harmless action as a rapper wannabe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Main reason I think Marcels eccentricities get slammed more often than Carlas is the difference in their personalities. Carla seems to be always trying to be nice while Marcel seems to often try to act superior to others as well as trying to instigate fights. Thus, many are willing t,o forgive Carlas oddness compared to Marcel. (standard caveats about editing apply of course).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually, I think Marcel gets a bad rap (no pun intended). I think Marcel's attempts at rapping are almost endearingly clueless. I guess I identify with his social awkwardness: he's a bright, talented guy who I think wants to be liked and admired but doesn't have a clue how to go about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In a way, his total social ineptness reminds me of myself when I was younger. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It would be far worse if someone kept leaping to slap down a fellow poster here in such a way as to inhibit participation. Commenting on characteristics of contestants has always been fair game. Even though I find Carla amusing, I'm also amused by GHG's witty commentary about her eccentricities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think you're funny, even when you're verbally eviscerating someone I like. I still find Carla's eccentricity amusing in weekly doses, but I'm highly amused by your lack of amusement, too. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  but I'm highly amused by your lack of amusement, too. :-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL! now THAT was amusing :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  @karen and Ruth, i apologize if i misconstrued your intentions - i assumed your comments were directed at me because they were posted as direct replies to mine...then again, my replies have ended up in the wrong place more than once so perhaps i should have known better than to jump to conclusions! thanks to both of you for the explanation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  @Ruth, my eccentricities - and i have MANY - are not for everyone, and i've grown to embrace that. so i don't see it as sad that Carla's not everyone's cup of tea. i know i'm certainly not, and i'm cool with that - life would be awfully boring if we were all the same. to clarify - and i'm pretty sure i've said this before - i don't sit in *judgment* of Carla as a person, i just don't find her personality as endearing or entertaining as some others do. that's all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  we all good now? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya . . . " OK, now everyone join in ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. I sensed Dale was in trouble when he was standing at his station looking VERY dazed... kind of like Carla did last week in Target. He wasn't happy with his food and couldn't figure out how to make it better. However, he exited the competition a much better person than any of us would have imagined. He was felled by a bad day, and we've all been there. He won a lot more than he lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Carla hit the bottom because she was cooking from pride, which traps us all in its ugly maw from time to time. She always loses when she strays from her good place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Poor Antonia. She really has gotten a bad deal, but at least she's still in the game. I couldn't believe that Richard won a trip... another trip given away as a prize for winning... and still Antonia comes up empty-handed. She has to be feeling some crazy mixed emotions at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am disappointed to see Tiffany still hanging on. Her food is totally unappealing to me, and she keeps messing up fish... which is pretty sad, considering that she heads a seafood restaurant, as she keeps telling us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe Richard is finally hitting his stride. I was glad that he won using innovative flavor combinations, not innovative techniques.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mike? One word: jackass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My sincere hope for top three at this point: Richard, Antonia and Carla. But if Carla doesn't get her head and heart back in the right place, I fear she may not make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Dale and Angelo are out. Carla and Antonia are still in. You sure this is "top" chef and not "lucky" chef? Or fan favorite chef? Not to mention the fact that Mike skated by this entire episode on the ideas/skills of Blaze and Tiffany. I can't believe he just took credit for coating the shrimp with grits/lobster sauce and didn't say sorry to Richard. "If it were his dish, he would have made it." "Thanks for the 5 grand." I thought I liked mike despite his loud personality; but he's turned out to be a sore loser, a sore winner and a plagiarizer. I still think he's more talented than Carla or Antonia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ucallthatcb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is the only reason why Carla is still around is everybody enjoys a train wreck?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I live in Dallas and as she has cooked here, Tiffany is a semi-hero around here but she has been really struggling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Scagnetti

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't agree. Carla has won more than almost all the chefs left in the competition. She is not a train wreck, but her off-beat personality seems to mask both her talent and her fierce competitiveness. I may be mistaken, but I think that, with the exception of Blais, none of the other of the remaining chefs have gotten this far in the competition before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 EC wins - Richard and Carla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 EC win - Antonia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        0 EC wins - Tiffany and Mike

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 QF wins - Richard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 QF win - Antonia and Mike
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        0 QF wins - Tiffany

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's interesting, but by "gotten as far" I meant that by this point in the competition they had been eliminated in their original season. OK looking at that the Wikipedia page-- so Tiffany made it to top 4, Antonia to top 4 and Mike to top 7. Only Blais and Hall made it to the finals and both were runners up. Antonia and Tiffany made it this far before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ahhh, got it. But I also like to track where they are in the EC/QF wins as well on a regular basis. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So Mikey's made it past where he was the last time...I'm still hoping he's out at #5 next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me, too, he cannot leave fast enough for me. I suspect that no one will assist him in any way, no how from here on in, and on his own, he's mediocre. I want Dale back. <*sniff*>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  +2 - on his own I think Mike will fall apart. At least I hope so! He deserves all the disapprobation the other chefs can heap on him!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I gave that rundown last week...

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This was already posted and responded to. See LindaWhit's Feb 24th post above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Where is Carla is the quickfire wins?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LJNew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  She's terrible at quickfires, as she herself admits. A quickfire requires a whole other set of skills and who wins can be somewhat quirky (as there's only one judge -- often not a food professional -- instead of a panel). People are free to do otherwise, but I don't consider quickfire wins in my assessment of a chef's ability. If I did, that would mean some of the Top Chef Masters were lousy chefs, because quite a few of them struggled with their quickfire challenges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LJNew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My bad - should have added her to the 0 WF wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks and thanks for the tally - saves us slackers from having to look it up ourselves. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My problem w/ going by "wins" on skill is that it doesn't take into account the number of times a person is close to winning. Someone like Antonia does pretty well overall, is in the top far group five times. She's making pretty good food (except when she's not because she's been in the bottom a lot, too) and if she can pull it together, I think, has a good chance, especially when she's been in the top the past four times. Sometimes winning and being in the top can be splitting hairs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mike, who can't think more highly of himself, has been in the high group fewer times than Tiffany and yet he seems to discount her completely. Mike needs to go, if it hasn't been said enough yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't disagree with you at all, chowser. I often put the Highs/Lows/Ins in my tallies, but didn't this time. But yes - if you're in the "High" group, the judges thought you made one of the top dishes. Says a lot about Antonia and Mike.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BTW, I wasn't critiquing your tallies and they're very helpful. I was just commenting that it wasn't a complete picture and think it's funny that Mike thinks so highly of himself when he's been the worst performer, as being in the top and winning go. But, then again, he also put himself in the same category as the Volt bros. and Kevin Gillespie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I understand. :-) And yes, Mike comparing himself to the Voltaggios and Kevin is....well, as the Queen would say: "We are not amused!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If anyone hasn't seen it, Wikipedia has a nice chart showing not only EC and QF wins and losses, but highs and lows as well:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Antonia: 1 EC win, 5 highs, and 4 lows (one low has an asterisk because she had one of the best dishes, but was on the losing team).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mike: 0 EC wins, 2 highs, and 2 lows.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tiffany: 0 EC wins, 3 highs, and 6 lows.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That makes it look like Mike has been skating by in the middle a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Scagnetti

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Is the only reason why Carla is still around is everybody enjoys a train wreck?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think that's why people like her, not why she's still on. But still funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. re: ucallthatcb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My assessment of Mike's talent: he may have better overall skills, but he doesn't consistently put out good food like Antonia or Carla. From what I've seen in their respective seasons and in this one, I'd much rather eat their food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd love to see Richard leave out his little notebook with some bogus creation, just to see if Mike would be dumb enough (and assholian enough) to copy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So sorry to see Dale go. He's grown so much as a chef, and especially as a person, and I was really enjoying watching him work this season. I'll miss his laugh, his humour, and his finesse in the kitchen. And what a classy exit he made!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks again for a great recap, Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ucallthatcb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you really believe that it's about the best chef, you don't remember Hosea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Parrotgal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You are right, it's not about the best chef, the whole competition is about the best food each time it is judged. If it were otherwise, the 16-0 Patriots would have been given the Lombardi Trophy for the 2007 NFL season instead of playing the 10-6 Giants in the Superbowl. Hosea had the best food in the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Update to last week's Carla-as-model post. It sems they've posted more pixs of her modelling days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.ivillage.com/carla-hall-di...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There's also a transcript of her interview, but I'll warn of *potential* spoilage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Luckily, the transcript and pixs are available via separate links on the page, so you can just look and not read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          beautiful pix - thanks for posting those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Loved those black and white plaid bell bottoms! In the early to mid-70's my boyfriend was in a rock and roll band and sometimes wore somewhat similar pants. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The chocolate recipes after the photos were nice - I emailed a few to myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Boo, I missed the recipes :( Guess that's what happens when you check at work :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oooh - agree!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like the butterscotch brownie recipe!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Carla's pics are stunning!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Me, too. I think I'll be making them soon. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I'm so sad Dale was sent home, I was hoping he'd take it to the very end. After the show my 10 year old daughter said she was done watching, she doesn't care who wins now, made me laugh. I almost agree with her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mike didn't deserve to win the quickfire, it was obvious it wasn't his dish, especially plating on an oyster shell. That's not his style. I'd bet dollars to dimes that Tiffany F was responsible for his elimination challenge dish too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm really disappointed with the elimination challenge & I know I've said this before, but I really think they need to give the chefs more prep time. How can they do their best work when they are behind from the get go? Give them the proper amount of time & the food they prepare will be better for it. I understand it's a reality show, but in real life a chef has time to plan, shop & a kitchen crew to help prepare. When you have 2 people prepping to feed 300 people in a very limited amount of time, it's not going to go very smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Upthread were some comments about gulf seafood being safe, I think Bravo chose this challenge to show the country that it is indeed safe to eat. Like the poster above said, the gulf is more than just Louisiana. We each have the right to eat what we want & I'm sure there are people who will refuse to eat gulf seafood for many years, but they don't need to knock the ones who are willing to eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't wait to see how heated this thread will be this week on that subject! Bravo is certainly giving us Top Chef fans lots to talk about this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FTR, I would never knock someone for eating gulf seafood. We just make different choices and risk calculations in life, and not just about food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd bet dollars to dimes that Tiffany F was responsible for his elimination challenge dish too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  she was. as discussed up-thread, she suggested the preparation *and* cooked the dish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I have a feeling that Mike is going to learn the same lesson Spike did - it's no fun being known as a d-bag in the real world. He might be getting over on people in this competition, but there IS a professional life afterward. How many people do you think are interested in eating at one of his restaurants? Would you invest in anything his poisonous hands touch? I wouldn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mike, I hope you enjoy your 5 grand - it might be the most expensive money you ever make (that should have been split 3 ways with Richard and Antonia). You can say what you want about Marcel, Spike, or whoever - at least those people left with their integrity in tact.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh and one other thing, Richard shut your damn notebook!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  41 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And if Tiffani Faison had as much to do with his EC dish as it seems she did, his $5K should be split FOUR ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or perhaps keep it split three ways - Richard, Antonia, and Tiffani.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      While I agree with your sentinent about Spike (but I don't think he has any integrity), Spike has opened two restaurants in DC that are very popular. People go there just because he was on Top Chef, I presume (never been, have no interest in enriching him).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But seriously, I've never heard of the Chef's Law. Recipes are copied left and right in the restaurant world. I think Mike's lame for not coming up with his own idea but the outrage expressed here is over the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm in this camp. Mike still had to execute the idea. Richard fried mayo which Wylie Dufrense has been doing for a while. Yeah, Mike has that Jersey boy attitude but he's a consistently good chef. Maybe not mindblowing dishes but he's not skating by by any means. Probably would have won that Rao's challenge if he used boxed pasta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chaptastick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He lifted the ENTIRE recipe - the chicken "oyster" - fried, AND served on an oyster shell. So not just the idea of frying the chicken oyster - the plating as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As Bunson said below - shady.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom Colicchio's twitter says it happens all the time and that Mike should have given credit (though with editing who knows what really occurred) for the technique, but isn't the focus good food. If Mike copped the recipe and fucked up, would this have been a big deal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Either way, Mike is getting the bad guy edit. Its not entertaining television if there isn't someone on there to hate and with Mike's mouth, its easy to make him a villain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chaptastick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To be clear, Tom said that it happens all the time, but that it's stealing and not cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If Mike stole the recipe and messed up, it would still be a big deal, because it shows that he's willing to, that brazenly, steal someone else's idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chaptastick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Probably would have won that Rao's challenge if he used boxed pasta". How do you fugure that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think that was basically what Bourdain said...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not just outrage here, outrage among chefs who know better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was waiting for someone to express this idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And there IS something to it - chefs steal ideas off each other all the time (though ripping an entire recipe is considered low). Heck, the whole field of molecular gastronomy is by and large chefs stealing ideas from just a handful of guys with their own research kitchens. Richard certainly seems to have been influenced by Wylie and Heston and Ferran.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Still to me, there is an added factor of lameness when you steal ideas from a competitor and use it in that competition against said competitor. That's gotta account for some of the outrage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On top of that, best I can tell, Mike did nothing much to make that dish his own. He ripped it off wholesale and arguably took $5k out of the pocket of the man who gave him the inspiration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It wasn't merely an instance of one chef being inspired by another. It was an abuse of trust. Not cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that's exactly the outrage. He used it in a competition, didn't tweak it at all, and won. Do we know if Richard was going to make that for the QF? We don't know if he went with mayo BECAUSE he knew Mike was doing the chicken oyster OR if he was going to hold that idea in his back pocket for another challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Either way - Mike still sucks for ripping the entire thing off for a competition. He won solely using someone else's idea. He's not imaginative enough to have come up with that on his own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Influenced" and "stealing" are two different things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very true. But there is no clear and obvious line in between the two. As a dish gets closer and closer to a reference point created by another, "influenced by" eventually becomes "stolen from." But it's not always obvious exactly where that distinction should be made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In this case, he admitted that he got the idea from Blais's notebook and there was no indication that he had put his own spin on it. "I thought Richard had an interesting idea, but I thought I'd do it this way" would have been "influenced" -- this was just copying. If you want to copy in your own restaurant, fine. But copying directly from a competitor in a competition is really low.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In this case, I agree. Course, I wasn't there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Its a competition though. He didn't avoid cooking nor did he sabotage any equipment, Mike just made good food which, correct me if I'm wrong is the entire point. I'm competitive as hell, if someone had a good idea and wasn't going to use it, I'd take it in a heartbeat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Did he violate the spirit of the game? Maybe. Did he do anything that any other chef wouldn't do and try to make a good recipe? No.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And to cowboyardee above who said its low to rip entire recipes, David Chang's cookbook has numerous places where he says he straight-up took the recipe from another chef. Does that make him any less of a chef?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chaptastick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Did [Mike] do anything that any other chef wouldn't do and try to make a good recipe? No."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              __________
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I very, very much doubt that. At least within the context of a competition against the person whose recipe you're ripping off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "David Chang's cookbook has numerous places where he says he straight-up took the recipe from another chef. Does that make him any less of a chef?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ______
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have that cookbook. To what recipes are you referring? There were several places where he credited a recipe to another chef in the book - a chef under his employ at his restaurants, whose food his book was documenting. Are you seriously equating this to what Mike did? Really??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Or is there something I'm missing? He admitted to being influenced by a lot of chefs and recipes, but I don't remember him admitting to ripping them off, aside from little techniques and such.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chaptastick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                " I'm competitive as hell, if someone had a good idea and wasn't going to use it, I'd take it in a heartbeat. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's not competitiveness, that's opportunism. Competitiveness would mean creating something to beat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Did he violate the spirit of the game? Maybe. Did he do anything that any other chef wouldn't do and try to make a good recipe? No."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Have to disagree. In fact, none of the other chefs there would do it and I doubt that all chefs everywhere else are as lazy or unscrupulous as you suggest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And Mike didn't admit to straight up taking the recipe, he alleges he was inspired. Two competitions and inspiration is one thing Mike has never demonstrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's no confession that Mike "copied" Richard's recipe or that Richard even had a recipe rather than a concept. Yes I agree Mike is low to even use Richard's concept in a competition but there's no way based on what we saw that you can definitively say it was "copying" vs. "influenced."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            +++++1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's true there is (almost) nothing new under the sun, but there is such a thing as competing with integrity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed. Integrity thought process: "That chicken oyster idea of Richard's would be great in this challenge. I wonder if he'll do it. No way I can do it here and now -- I'm no plagiarist, but I might try it later in a non-competitive environment."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exactly. But Mike took it precisely because he's not up to competing with these chefs on his own merits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The sheer audacity of Mike to take an idea and use it in front of the person he took it from is rather unbelievable. I agree that being influenced or even copying a dish from another chef in a restaurant setting is not a big deal, though it does make you look a little unoriginal. But in a competition where concepts and innovation are a factor in judging? Yowsa. Methinks that be stealing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't agree with you re: Carla, but I sure agree with you about Mike!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicken oysters are on wiki. It's not a secret from Richards diary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was the specific way of preparing and plating them that Mike ... uh ... was inspired by.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Both Tom and Eric R have their blogs up- I'm paraphrasing, but basically they both say d*ck move on Mike's part, but Richard should not have showed his notebook to Mike, and no "chef rules" against this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's basically my point in this thread. Sure Mike is a dick but he didn't steal or break any chef's rule as stated by Antonia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ummm, chicken oysters are just part of the chicken, nothing new. It's how it was prepared/presented that was stolen. Richard Blais isn't claiming an entire part of a chicken as original. It would be as if someone had an original idea for the chicken liver and someone used the idea--that doesn't mean that chicken liver won't appear anywhere else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Never heard of a chicken oyster, but being that it's common and called an oyster the idea of serving it on an oyster shell doesn't seem to be a great stretch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mike is still a douche bag for many reasons. I'm just not convinced he stole some big secret from Richard. Elves are having a good laugh on this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love the chicken "oyster", but try first thought was, how much chicken do you have to toss to come up with THAT dish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was wondering if there was some magical place where you could actually purchase chicken oysters as if they were wings or breasts or something. I would be in that place at least once a week. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wouldn't that be an amazing dish? The bigger question to me is how often as the oysters thrown out because people don't know about it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There was a great thread on Chow in the last year or so about the many wonders of chicken oysters - I believe it mentioned several places to purchase just the oysters. I'm not finding the thread tho at the moment. Will post if I locate. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ya know, my online search skills need some work! sheesh.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, that's the thread i was thinking of, I thought it also contained a couple links of where to buy online. Thanks chowser. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ya know, all along I've been thinking it's that gross brown mealy thing, but now I realize that's in the breast so that's gotta be the heart?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oysters in the thighs and they actually do look like oysters! Duh...:o)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You don't have to "toss" anything. In fact, since the oyster is in the chicken back, all you have to do is break down a chicken, using the other parts for anything you like. Your'll wind up with two breasts, two legs and two wings. In other words, a whole chicken that can be used for anything you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They showed Richard writing in his notebook. They showed Mike looking at Richard's notebook. They showed Richard saying Mike got the idea from his notebook. They showed Mike saying he got tge idea from Richard. They also showed Mike denying he got the idea from Richard. You choose to believe what you wish to believe. I'd say 98% of the viewers know that without Richards notebook Mike likely would not have presented a fried chicken 'oyster' on the half-shell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Count me as another Dale convert, also sad to see him go, but yes, his exit was classy. Hope he knows how many people recognize the truth of what he said: he left a better chef AND a better person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And, wow, was I feeling sorry for Antonia last night. Antonia's food always looks good to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Note to Carla: remember the saying "pride goeth before a fall"? Don't cook out of (hurt) pride, Carla! Cook from the heart (your best asset and why so many of us love you), and redemption will follow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As always, great recap, LindaWhit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is getting interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Dale was the chef to go last night (undercooked dish, overseasoned with the mustard, primary ingredient made invisible) but I have gained an immense amount of respect for Dale with how he cooked and represented himself this season. I wasn't a fan of Dale when All-Stars started because of how he acted in his original season and was hoping he would go out early, but as the season went along he became one of my favorite chefs and i was pulling for him to make the final.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mike's lifting of RIchard's oyster recipe is shady. It's just bad karma, I'd like to see if in a future episode Mike tries to ask Richard for some advice on technique and Richard stonewalls him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        31 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I feel the same way about Dale. I wasn't as big of a fan in his season, and I shook my head at him during his TCM appearance, but this time around I gained a tremendous amount of repect for him. I also wanted him to make it to the final.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is an interesting article with him on Entertainment Weekly's website, he really goes into detail about how he didn't like himself during his season and how he was determined to change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/02/24/top...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Excellent interview. Interesting comment about Angelo. :-) He really sounds like he's got his head on straight as well. And I like his pick for the winner. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like his pick too, I've been rooting for Richard from the start. However, I do have to say that Antonia has been kicking it, especially lately. She has been a favorite of mine since her season, and I want her to do well in All Stars. I'm not sure that I would be that upset if she took the title.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was thinking this, too. I wouldn't mind seeing an upset. While Antonia hasn't "won" as many EC challenges, I don't think that's a complete indication of how well competitors are doing--she's been on the top a lot and not on the bottom as much as others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the link. Interesting what he has to say about the "stolen" oyster concept.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dale said:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "What I thought was weird was that Mike confessed that he saw the oyster dish in Blais’ book and said he took it. I thought that was bizarre. Why would you even confess to that? But Blais didn’t create that dish. That dish has been out. Go on Ideas in Food and hit it up. That’s where that dish came from. It’s a cheeky play on that. Blais might’ve been writing it down and had a concept for it, but that dish has been done before. But for Mike to say that, that was like, “Dude why would you say that? Just say you got it from somewhere else!” But “chef code”? Really? Come on. To me, it doesn’t exist. You can’t put a patent on food. Food has been done before, no matter what anybody says."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ****
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So Richard may be Mike's inspiration but if Dale is right, Richard didn't invent the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure if it even matters if Richard invented the dish or not. Even if Dale is right, that does not mean that Richard knew that information. Dale also uses the word "confessed" more than once. I find that word choice curious, especially if there is not a "chef code." You can call it stealing, not cool or bad karma, but that doesn't change the fact that what Mike did was wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There's nothing "wrong." Mike didn't look through Richard's notebook without authorization. Richard freely shared his thoughts with Mike. Mike then used those thoughts to his advantage. I think Mike is lame that he used someone else's idea (no matter where it's derived) in competition but there's nothing wrong, either morally or legally, as far as I can tell. Here's a hypothetical. Let's say Mike already had the same idea before Richard talked to him. What is Mike supposed to do when Richard begins describing that idea? Must Mike announce that he already had that idea or forfeit his right to use that idea? It's a competition, so why the hell is Richard showing off his concepts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Let's say Mike already had the same idea before Richard talked to him. What is Mike supposed to do when Richard begins describing that idea?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mike goes up to Richard and says he's seen that done before (if true) and would like to do a take on it, would Richard mind, or did he have a set plan to use it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, if a designer shared an idea for a dress and that person took it, then it's only the author's fault for sharing it, not the person who stole the idea's fault? Richard was not "showing off" his concepts. Mike was looking at his books. Yes, Richard should have known Mike was a weasel and would do something like that. Richard's fault was in being trusting. It's such a stretch to create a hypothetical scenario where Mike had the idea first and then saw it in Richard's book, to defend Mike.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stole implies taking without authorization. If Richard imparted that knowledge willingly, then no one stole. I already said Mike is lame but he did not steal anything. My point is people exaggerate Mike's conduct. He wasn't a good sport but nothing indicates he copied or stole. And where do you get the idea that Mike was just perusing Rich's notes? It's possible tbut nothing was shown one way or another why Rich let Mike see his notes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By the way, I used the hypothetical only to demonstrate the can of worms that can open when you share knowledge with your competitor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Everything indicates that he stole -- him looking at Richard's book, him using exactly what Richard wrote, him saying to the camera that he used Richard's idea. What about that indicates that he didn't steal? The only way that's not stealing an idea is if you don't believe that ideas can be taken; while that's one view, that's not one that most people in the world share.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You can't steal something that someone voluntarily gave you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Letting Mike look at his notebook of ideas does not mean Richard gave Mike a carte blanche to use those ideas in the competition. To say otherwise is absurd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It likely never occured to Richard that Mike would take an idea out of his notebook and use it in the competition. Richard seems like the kind of guy that would believe the best about someone unless proven otherwise. Boy did Mike prove to Richard what a Richard he really is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But apparently Mike hadn't heard of or seen the dish or even the concept for the dish until he looked into Richard's notebook. I think that makes a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not defending Mike and I think what he did was wrong. But I also think it was stupid of Richard to show him his notebook. They're in a competition - why would you share the ideas you might still want to use during the competition with a fellow competitor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There is something to that. Why Richard would open that notebook to him smacked of arrogance on his part. I was actually surprised that they could bring things like that with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But do we KNOW Richard opened his notebook to let Mike see what was in it? Perhaps Mike was thumbing through it when Richard took it back from him, and Mike saw enough of the chicken oyster on an oyster half-shell to know what to do?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't know. Damn editing monkeys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We don't know if Richard specifically showed that particular dish to Mike, but it seemed pretty clear from what we did see that Mike was looking through his notebook with Richard's full knowledge (since he was sitting right there, and when he took it back he was very nonchalant about it). My thinking is, it may be against this so-called "chef's code" to use another chef's idea, but it's not against the rules of the competition, and that's what Richard should have been thinking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't disagree with you about Richard thinking that *perhaps* someone might take an idea from him. However, I think his scruples and integrity are of a higher standard that he just couldn't imagine someone doing that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Live and learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was a little surprised that Richard would show his book to a competitor, too. But I think it was more his boyish enthusiasm about food that makes him want to share what he's thinking about--I see it as coming from the same place as him helping someone use the pressure cooker or liquid nitrogen even when they're competing. Maybe it's not the best thing to do competitively (except in the Restaurant Wars challenge, where Richard got the win for helping everyone on his team), but it seems like a better attitude in the real world--would you rather have Richard or Mike on your team?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Richard is too nice for his own good, as Mike has said. He helps his fellow competitors out, and Mike said he'd never do that. Richard wants to win because he's the best, not because he wants everyone else to screw up. There are competitors of all stripes--some want to win at all cost, some don't. And, Richard, stupidly, trusted Mike who will stab his buddy in the back to win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: lizzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great article. I liked that he didn't make excuses for the dish that sent him home. He knew it wasn't good and thought it would get the PYKAG treatment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also, it seems his admiration for Angelo's looks is real and not veiled homophobic mockery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's interesting that people thought his comment was homophobic mockery. I thought he genuinely thought that Angelo was a good looking guy who cared/spent time on his appearance. I think the same thing, no slam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think the article showed Dale in a good light. He knows his problems, he's willing to learn, he's humble enough to accept his errors. He also acknowledges that Angelo was a bad pick, for the reason that Richard didn't take him--they all know how mentally and physically fried they are at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I also thought Dale's views on Angelo were genuine. I think some of his past comments, like calling Angelo a mermaid during the fishing challenge, were Dale having a little fun at Angelo's expense. However, in this case, I think Dale was just being honest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chowser, I think your second paragraph sums up why I like Dale this season as opposed to his season or his appearance on TCM. It was nice to understand the background for the change this season. It's rare to see someone be so open and honest in the press nowadays.