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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #13 (Finale Pt. 1) - 03/09/11 (Spoilers)

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So....is it REALLY better in the Bahamas? :-)

Well, it's going to be for either Richard, Antonia, Carla, Tiffany or Mike! But probably not tonight - we'll have to wait just a wee bit to find out for whom the Bahamas is best!

And we get to see the chefs who won these finalists' seasons! Kevin Braga, Michael Voltaggio, Stephanie Izard, and Hosea Rosenberg (repeating my :::::gag!:::: from last week!)

They arrive at the island fort - RIchard's wife is due with their 2nd child any day now! ETA: He also has a scruffy beard which he says he's not going to shave off until he wins. Carla says to him "Sorry you'll have to go home with that scruff!" (Hmmm, is that a foretelling that it could be Carla going home instead of Richard?) Mike said he did a lot more training since they left NYC - pastries, cooking in lots of kitchens to try different things. Tiffany feels she's the underdog.

They walk into the fort and see their season's winners - Mike Isabella is psyched, as he thinks Michael Voltaggio is going to be his team member!

Eric Ripert is the guest judge. The cheftestants find out they are going head-to-head against their season's winners. When Mike Isabella realizes he's cooking against Michael V., he's nervous!

Padma says the winner gets $10,000 - either the All-Star or the Season Winner gets the money! And each dish must include a secret ingredient that Tom Colicchio picked out for each season.

TC4 - Rack of Veal
TC5 - Leg of Lamb
TC6 - Duck
TC7 - Pork

They have 40 minutes to cook. Hosea says he has to prove all the haters that he deserved to win his season. (No, you didn't, Hosea!) Michael V. went crazy using all the tools available. Richard's nervous yet again (no surprise!) And many of them are having problems with the induction cookers.

TC7 - Pork - Kevin does BQ; Tiffany does Pork Stew - Tiffany wins!
TC5 - Lamb - Hosea does Braised Lamb, Carla does Jollof Rice and Harissa Pork - undercooked rice does her in and Hosea wins.
TC4 - Veal - Stephanie does Veal Scallopine and Antonia does Roast Veal on the bone - Stephanie wins. Then when Stephanie's up against Richard, Richard wins hands down! So both Stephanie and Richard get $10K.
TC6 - Duck - Michael V. does Citrus Duck Breast and Mike I. does Cashew Dusted Duck - and Isabella wins!

For the Elimination Challenge, they are cooking for a dinner party being thrown by Bahamian Royalty. But in the meantime, they head over to The Cove at The Atlantis.

Next morning, shopping and prep cooking. And they get a police escort over to the party to finish cooking - Mike says every time he has a police escort, he's been headed to jail! LOL Carla is wondering if they're going to get a "Mack Daddy Kitchen" to cook in. Oh, think again, Carla!

They get out in front of Twin Bros. Seafood and Steakhouse to a big street party - King of Junkanoo greets them along with Tom Colicchio. They're cooking for the King and his Crewe.

They rush into the restaurant, and see a microwave, fryer, and flattop. Yeah, NOT the Mack Daddy Kitchen Carla was hoping for! Sure enough, one of the fryers catches fire! Yikes!

Richard covers the fryer with a sheet pan, and someone comes in saying they've all got to clear the kitchen. They cover their food and leave. The fire dept. comes and puts it out. Antonia's now wondering if she can even cook what she was going to cook based on the equipment failure - and she's getting nervous!

Tom Colicchio said since the chemicals got all over the food *and* the kitchen, they have to scrub the kitchen down - so it's a complete do-over. Tom Colicchio said they will try to have the same food available, but when Richard asks if they can recalculate their dishes, Tom said yes. Only Antonia and Richard are changing dishes.

Carla - pork tenderloin in the fryer - which she would normally never do, but thinks it'll cook more evenly. But her pork tenderloin's center is raw - so she's trying a McGyver move on the flattop.

Carla's dish - Fried Pork Medallion with Sweet Potato Puree and Apple Chips - unfortunately, Gail's pork was still underdone.

Antonia made Fried Shrimp with Grits with Pork Shoulder Bits and Slaw - Tom Colicchio said "Howard Johnson called and they want their garnish back". OUCH.

Mike made Sous Vide Chicken with Lobster Hash.

Richard made Roasted Lamb Loin with Braised Turnip and Pickled Cannelloni. Richard's talking to himself in the kitchen that he didn't like his food. Richard - CHILL, man!

And finally, Tiffany made Roasted Pork with Dirty Rice, Curried Slaw, and Tomato Relish.

In the in-between, Richard compares nuts to music....

Almonds - like Opera or Ballet
Peanuts - are the Rock nuts
Walnuts - are like peanuts - British rock. :-) (thanks Nettie!)
Pistachios? That's Pop.
Hazelnuts are the "hippie nuts" (but what kind of music is that?)
And when Mike asks about Brazil nuts, Carla said "Does anyone eat them?" Mike says "well, they're always in mixed nuts!" Carla says "Because they take up space!" LOL I'd say Brazil nuts would be Samba! (thanks to edible complex for the suggested fix from Salsa!)

And they're back at The Atlantis. Mike said he second guessed all of his dishes all season, as did Richard. Carla realized she had to "do what I do", and Antonia said "Yeah, but today was *not* what I do!"

Padma calls them into JT. The meal as a whole missed the mark, she says. One person will go home.

Carla - too sweet apple chips and undercook pork for some.

Antonia's shrimp were overcooked and had very dry pork bits in her grits (which were also dry).

Tiffany's slaw was not curried, had dry meat, but her Tomato Ginger relish was well received.

Mike's dish got very good reviews overall.

Richard, when asked what he thought of his dish, said "I hate everything I do!" But his dish was well received. Gail liked his cannelloni; but Eric thought they were too soft.

Eric Ripert announces that Mike Isabella wins! Figured as much based on what everyone said at JT. But Richard is also safe. So it's among one of the women. I'm thinking it's Antonia or Tiffany. I *really* want Antonia to stay in and cook in the finale, so while I like Tiffany, I'd rather she go.

And we're back at JT...Tom Colicchio reviews the three women's dishes. Said they were all too basic, even though they all cooked from their heart.

And Padma tells Carla to PYKAG! Whoa! I wasn't expecting that - but Carla's saying she realizes that she didn't make a good enough dish and the judges made the right decision. Sorry to see you go, but your grace and fun has been wonderful to watch!

Next week - it's Padma in a bikini! They have to go catch their own conch - and Richard looks like a beached whale trying to dive for the conch - he can't get below the surface of the water! LOL

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  1. I have no tolerance for people who actually say "OMG."

    6 Replies
    1. re: Pylon

      I know - I *only* say the letters when I'm pretending to be a Valley Girl. (Which I'm *so* far from! LOL)

      Like...Oh. Em. GEE!

      1. re: Pylon

        I agree. I think Carla should been eliminated just for that alone.

        The pressure for the contestants to come up with a good dish and to then execute that plan must be tremendous. Right now Mike Isabella has a lot of confidence. Beating Mike Voltaggio in the QF must have really given him a boost.

        While I have no favorite to win the competition, I do hope Mike is not the winner. I realize that is a childish attitude, but to me, even after he showed vulnerability in the last episode, Mike is not a likable person. I just know that if I were one of the contestants, we would clash. I had a few teammates like Mike on my high school and college wrestling teams. (One of the !#%*!#* even wound up being one of my roomates, it didn't end well).

        1. re: John E.

          I'm with you on not wanting Mike to win!

          1. re: John E.

            Unlike viewers, in every contestant interview (including female chefs) I've read that mention Mike, he's very popular. He must be very fun in-person.

            1. re: dach

              I have read the same - it seems that the other contestants really like Mike. I keep waiting for someone to point out that he gets a bum deal on his edits, but no one has said that.

              1. re: dach

                Maybe he is getting a bad edit. I just get the feeling that Mike and I would clash. I'm basing this on his behavior in TC6 as well. Then again, maybe a lot of what bugs me about him are things he says in the confessionals, in which case I would not be aware of most of it until the programs are on TV.

          2. I just have to say, this is the best Gail has looked in quite some time. I think she's outpaced Padma by more than a little bit tonight.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pylon

              I really hope he is not as fragile as he appears. He looks ematiated and a man on the verge. Last week when he said, "why would they know that, they know how crazy i am" or something of that nature I laughed at his self acknowledgment . Tonight at judges table he looked like he was ready to crack. Hope it was the editing and he is ok. Carla left with class and from Jimmy Fallon show, we know she will remain a force.

              1. re: Bellachefa

                I assume the "he" you are referring to is Richard. His internal dialogue is what lost the finals for him in the last season. It is entirely possible that it will be his undoing again this time.

              2. re: Pylon

                I was thinking the same thing during the show.

              3. I'm glad they gave Richard a quick answer on being safe. After last week, he DESERVED to be let off the hook.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Pylon

                  VERY much agree on that one, Pylon!

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    +2!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Make that 3.

                  2. re: Pylon

                    I think they worry about him!

                    Dude! Where's your Prozac?

                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                      Gail's blog this week expresses concern about Richard, as ghg observes below. I was hoping to see him come back a little rested and refreshed, not having pulled a 4-month all-nighter cramming for the Big Test.

                      1. re: momjamin

                        You may have hoped that, but are you surprised he didn't take that path?

                        1. re: Pylon

                          Actually, I thought Richard did look rested and a bit more relaxed.
                          I also thought the spark was back in his eyes, and he didnt seem as crabby to me.However, I was shocked by hm saying he wanted to get into Antonia's head etc.
                          Didnt seem like him at all.

                          1. re: NellyNel

                            That clip was clearly chopped and up reformed. The audio was all over the place. Who knows what he actually said?

                            But he is a competitive guy, and for him to win, she has to lose, right?

                        2. re: momjamin

                          I was hoping to see him come back a little rested and refreshed, not having pulled a 4-month all-nighter cramming for the Big Test.
                          ~~~~~~~~~~
                          well as Pylon said, it's hardly surprising that he was consumed with preparing during their time off - he's clearly never forgiven himself for throwing letting the win slip through his fingers his first time around. plus he's got a new baby coming any day, and he said he was concerned he'd miss the birth....so add that to the mountain of of worry he's piled onto his plate :)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Of course, at the time of filming Richard's baby was on the way, but if I remember from Richard's twitter feed, the baby was born a little while ago and I think he was there for the birth.

                            1. re: Nettie

                              According to Blais' Facebook page, daughter Embry was born Feb. 2, so that was probably after filming.

                              If you have Facebook access, he has a very cute picture of him pretending to be putting Embry into an immersion circulator...

                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Not at all surprised he prepared. Just wished he could have seemed a little more balanced. The S7 finalists in Singapore (who also prepared, at least some of them) didn't look that haggard after a trip halfway around the world.

                      2. Linda, you have your 6s and 7s mixed up. TC 6 got duck and 7 got pork.

                        (Mods, delete this after the fix).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: John E.

                          Thanks, John! (And Mods, no need to delete - I sometimes screw up!) It's been fixed.

                        2. So so so sad for Carla.

                          34 Replies
                          1. re: Phaedrus

                            Agree

                            She was my fave

                            1. re: Phaedrus

                              i've made no secret of my annoyance with Carla this season, but even i felt bad for her tonight, if only because she said she would have felt better going home after cooking a *good* dish. however, she totally did it to herself, and she KNEW it.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                But she was so gracious in defeat.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  That's just Carla. She is grace personified. She's like a little kid when she wins but she knows who to blame when she doesn't. I just wish then would have sent Tiffany home instead of Carla.

                                  1. re: Dee S

                                    "She is grace personified. She's like a little kid when she wins ..."

                                    These seem like contradictory statements to me. Just saying.

                                    1. re: Pylon

                                      I think Dee S. meant that Carla knows to blame herself rather than others or malevolent forces when she loses. IF that's the case, then there's no contradiction.
                                      EDIT - lower down there's a link to an interview with Carla in which she says, and here I'm paraphrasing, that you have to take responsibiliity for your own mistakes etc.

                                      1. re: KailuaGirl

                                        The quoted statement :""She is grace personified. She's like a little kid when she wins ..."
                                        IS a contradiction - I laughed when I read Pylons correct obsevation..

                                        However, in reference to Carla - both sentences happen to be true!

                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                          That wasn't a full sentence you're quoting. I believe that the "grace personified" refers to the rest of the sentence that you and Pylon left out, "but she knows who to blame when she doesn't." - THAT is where Carla shows her grace.

                                          and you're right, both things are true!

                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            1) She is grace personified
                                            2) she is like a little kid when she wins
                                            3) she knows who to blame when she doesn't [self...or Casey]

                                            1 and 2 are contradictory. Acting like a child is not being "grace." We've seen it in action. Showing grace, even to the nth degree, in situation 3 doesn't make her graceful in #2.

                                            1. re: Pylon

                                              You don't think folks can act with grace and also with childlike enthusiasm at different times?

                                              Very few people are just one way.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                It really depends on how it is phrased. "acting like a child" to some implies a bad thing. Acting with "childlike enthusiasm" sounds better, and I thins is what was meant. I agree that she doesn't give up being graceful because she gets giddy over something good that happens to her.

                                                1. re: LurkerDan

                                                  Whatever. I'm tired of talking about her. I'm just glad she's gone.

                                                  1. re: Pylon

                                                    Meanie. :-)

                                                    1. re: Pylon

                                                      +1

                                                      1. re: gmk1322

                                                        +2

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          Well then I think we can all agree it would have been better all around had she gone home weeks ago, right? ;)

                                                          1. re: Pylon

                                                            Smug meanie!

                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                              : )

                                                              I'm enjoying it as much as most people enjoyed seeing Marcel go.

                                                            2. re: Pylon

                                                              you mean you and roxlet and gmk1322 can all agree on that! ( :

                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                Huh? No, no. I'm in the Carla camp. I'm so sad she's gone.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  If you're happy I'm not grousing about her, then I thought it would make you happy for me to have a reason to stop a couple of weeks ago instead of waiting this long.

                                                                  Man, you can't please some people. ; )

                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    oops, sorry, i thought you said +1 to happy to see her gone. so sorry roxlet!

                                                                2. re: Pylon

                                                                  I don't agree. I do think Tiffany should have gone home weeks ago.

                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                    I think you missed the point of my post...No worries though.

                                            2. re: Dee S

                                              Tiffany's food was edible, Carla's was not, which is why Carla knew it would be her. I thought the next lowest in line was Antonia, not Tiffany. Both Antonia and Carla are faves of mine...

                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            That's one reason I liked her so much. None of this delusional "it was fantastic but they just didn't get it" nonsense we've seen from others. So sad to see her go!

                                          3. re: Phaedrus

                                            I was sad too... I really enjoyed watching Carla!

                                            1. re: jujuthomas

                                              I enjoyed watching her leave...

                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                yeah, you've made your opinion quite clear in this thread.

                                                1. re: jujuthomas

                                                  Are you sure you've got it? Let me try again.

                                                  WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

                                                  There. : )

                                                  1. re: Pylon

                                                    Brat.

                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                      Oh, man I was starting to get concerned about "the tone of this thread, blah blah blah." That being said, I'm not glad Carla had to go, but Pylon's last post made me laugh out loud, and for that, thank you.

                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                        rabaja's post made ME laugh out loud!

                                              2. re: jujuthomas

                                                Same here! I really liked Carla and am sad to see her go.....

                                            2. Brazil nuts are Samba~

                                              40 Replies
                                              1. re: edible complex

                                                THAT'S it, ec! Thanks (also fixed!) I *knew* salsa wasn't right. :-)

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  but they're all party nuts!

                                                  1. re: edible complex

                                                    Dumass Mike called them "Brazilian" nuts

                                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                                      yes! i meant to comment on that. he & Tiffany were quite a pair tonight - Bohemian Royalty and Brazilian Nuts :)

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        Loved the "Bohemian royalty." Who did she think lived in the Bahamas? Maybe it was just nerves, but still... Maybe she'd been listrening to "Bohemian Rhapsody."

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          LOL! I totally missed the Bohemian Royalty - but rather appropriate for the King of Junkanoo, don't you think? ;-)

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            EEeeekk -
                                                            In my neck of the woods - I hear them called Brazilian nuts all the time, and probably have said it myself - Never realized it wasn't proper.Yikes!
                                                            Maybe its a NYC/Jersey thing?

                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                              nope - i'm from Jersey :)

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

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                LOL
                                                                thanks GHG.
                                                                (bows head in shame...)

                                                              2. re: NellyNel

                                                                I'm in metro NY, and I've never heard them called anything but Brazil nuts.

                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                  ha ha - I know my family used to say "I don't like the Brazilian nuts!" whenever we had a mix....

                                                                  I don't know why no one seems to like 'em?
                                                                  They are my favorite!

                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                    Maybe they weren't talking about the snack food.

                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                      They look so very unappealing due to size, mostly, and the color of the exposed parts of the nut is so pale. Great source of selenium, though, great for thyroid function.

                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                        I don't know why no one seems to like 'em?
                                                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                        probably because shelled brazil nuts turn rancid VERY quickly, and my guess is that many people have only eaten ones in which the oils have already started to turn...and that is one nasty flavor!

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          I always keep any nuts I buy in the freezer. Nothing like a bite of rancid nut, yech.

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                            Oh yeah - agreed - rancid ones are horrid...but still a good fresh BRAZIL nut - is delicious!

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              Exactly. Any time you have a can or a bag of mixed nuts the Brazil nuts are the first to turn rancid. But they're good when they're fresh.

                                                                              1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                                Brazil nuts are so oily I always wondered why brqzil nut oil is not sold at the store. I guess this thread has provided the answer.

                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                  Watching Top Chef is so instructional. ;-)

                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                    I think nut oils in general are prone to fast rancidity; I keep them all in the fridge.
                                                                                    Olive oil is best sold in dark or opaque containers, too, or in foil wrapped bottles to prevent oxidation by exposure to light. Completely filled containers, to the brim, have less oxygen to react to, also.

                                                                            2. re: mcf

                                                                              I've always known them as Brazil nuts, but mostly from the old musical "Charley's Aunt" and play, Where's Charley?", where Dona Lucia D'Alvadorez was from "Braaaahzeeeel.....where the nuts come from!" :-)

                                                                            3. re: NellyNel

                                                                              I am sure the Brazilian males are happy to not have their jewels referred to all the time.

                                                                          2. re: C. Hamster

                                                                            You should hear what my dad called them....

                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                              I was wondering if anybody else used that name.

                                                                              I love 'em.

                                                                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                http://nonprophet.typepad.com/nonprop...
                                                                                "We agreed that if we ever even said that in our own home our mothers would have slapped us so fast we wouldn't have had time to duck."

                                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                  wow. just wow.

                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                    That's what my dad's family called them when I was little. Dad's side was from the south & that was normal for them. I think my mom told me they were Brazilian nuts so that's what I've always called them.

                                                                                    1. re: jcattles

                                                                                      Yup. My dad was black, born in Alabama in 1918.... or 1916... or whatever...never sure. He had the same age on ALL of our birth certificates, even though there was seven years between the three of us.

                                                                                    2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                      yeah i'd heard that before. stupid people. world is over-full of them.

                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                        +1

                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                          I must have lived a sheltered chilhood because I first heard it when I was in college. We had them in the bowl of mixed nuts to crack at Christmas time and I don't think anyone ever successfully opened one. (My grandparents had a dog that would crack open hazlenuts and eat them. He left the shells everywhere).

                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                            i definitely didn't have a sheltered childhood, and i've lived all over the country - including 8 years in Atlanta with roommates from Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee & Georgia - and this is the first time i've ever heard it.

                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                              My father used to use the term when I was younger. Not often, but I did hear it on occasion. (Grew up in northern NJ.) I didn't realize what folks here were talking about until I clicked on the link above. Then I recalled Dad saying it.

                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                I've heard it many times in the years I've been on the internet, but don't believe I've ever heard of it prior.

                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                  sad to say my dad's family (he's 80, from Pennsylvania) called them that growing up.

                                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                    Same with my parents....they'd be 82 and called them that all the time.

                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                  And as far as I can tell, nobody has actually posted it, at least I hope not. I grew up in a small farming community in rural Minnesota which most resembles Leave it to Beaver but a few years later. (I don't remember my mother wearing pearls however, or speaking jive for that matter).

                                                                                                3. re: John E.

                                                                                                  Tonight's my first time hearing of this. Jefe (german shepard +) was a wiz with walnuts -- left the shells clean as a whistle!

                                                                                              2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                How appalling! I'm glad I never heard them called that.

                                                                                    3. re: edible complex

                                                                                      And hazelnuts are The Grateful Dead.

                                                                                    4. Really, a grease fire in the kitchen that requires a fire department! I am starting to believe that this is nothing but a staged show.

                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: anndillman

                                                                                        You're just starting to believe that ... now?

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                          Seriously, if you both don't like the show and its "staged" scenes, why bother watching and commenting? How do you know it was staged? If you have proof, please show it.

                                                                                          I'm not saying I believe everything I see on TV (I know better) but the type of fire it was (grease fire in a fryer apparatus with flames dripping from the bottom of the fryer) is difficult to put out. Alarms are going all over the place in the restaurant; why *wouldn't* the fire dept. show up?

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            Especially with the insurance BRAVO is holding on this show, the consequences, etc..
                                                                                            It would be so irresponsible to stage a large grease fire like that, that's just nuts.

                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                              But why the hell did they go to THAT restaurant to prepare the meal. If this is the finale, they should be done with much of the commando challenges.

                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                It was for the ole bait and switch. They said they were cooking for royalty to lead the chefs to believe that they'd be cooking in a much different environment.

                                                                                                1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                  I realize that but it is still kind of "eh". Now, when they went to Singapore and made them work in a hawker stall, that was cool. This was not.

                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              I think Bravo stages a lot of stuff. I don't think this fire was planned, staged or anticipated.

                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                "Okay, Antonia and Carla, we want you to stand next to this big smoking vat of oil and we're going to have it explode and catch fire with you standing next to it, no protective gear or anything...good acting, everyone, on pretending to plan and prep an entire meal to be wasted..."

                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                  LOL! Exactly. "It's safe, we PROMISE you!"

                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                    +1 chowser; I agree; didn't happen. Insurance wouldn't ever have stood for such a thing, either Bravo's or the restaurant's.

                                                                                                  2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                    Lol, Chowser. chicgail, you are right!

                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      Perhaps it was all done in front of a blue screen?

                                                                                                      jb

                                                                                            3. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

                                                                                              WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

                                                                                              WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

                                                                                              *pant* *pant* *pant*

                                                                                              WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

                                                                                              OK, settle down. Seriously.

                                                                                              A weak round after everyone being so good last week. Carla burned again by her meat cooking method in the finals.

                                                                                              Expected better from the ladies all around, but you can't go far with raw pork. But if past finals are any indication, we will see her again before it is all over.

                                                                                              While I've never been a fan, she had a very professional edit this week, and I would have liked to have seen her (and the others) perform better.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
                                                                                                WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
                                                                                                WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
                                                                                                *pant* *pant* *pant*
                                                                                                WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
                                                                                                OK, settle down. Seriously."

                                                                                                srsly, I thought this was for Ripert~

                                                                                                1. re: edible complex

                                                                                                  Even Eric couldn't compare to Gail tonight.

                                                                                                  1. re: edible complex

                                                                                                    I withheld my adoration. This time. :-)

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      I was dissapointed in Carla. Its a game against herself. She fights with her own doubt. Once she gets out of her head, things will shine. I kinda agree with the judges though, sweet potato, apple, and pork? Sounds too sweet for me. But undercooked pork? thats a no-brainer.

                                                                                                2. "I hate everything I cook"? Richard-wtf...the yang to cook with love yin? and of course so sorry to see Carla go, but as Richard said- one chicken(winning it all), but many eggs? I wish only the best for Carla

                                                                                                  1. So is this a 2 or 3 part finale? I don't watch the previews (in fact, I change the channel during the show to not see anything coming up, even on that hour), so not sure if next week is the end.

                                                                                                    27 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                      Oh wow - it *is* a three-parter! Next week, they cater a high-end lunch party for a yacht company's 80th anniversary, and on March 23rd, the title (according to TV Guide) is "Last Supper."

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Just noticed in Tom's blog he said there are THREE more episodes in the Bahamas. Is the "last supper" a double episode maybe?

                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                          Either that or the Last Supper isn't! My cable guide isn't showing past the one on the 23rd, so I don't know the title, but Entertainment Weekly this week referred to a March 30 finale. I suppose it makes sense that they'd go right up to one week before the start of Top Chef Masters.

                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            Sheesh - so there are THREE more write-ups to go? LOL How long can they stretch out a finale? I thought three was going to be a lot - now it's four?

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              That's what happens with 5 in the finale. Does that mean we get a one on one perhaps?

                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                No, it means Carla comes back ;-)

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  Yeah, that's what I said way up above. Those who get cut in the first (or second...or third...) round of the finale usually come back, either to help or to sit at the table.

                                                                                                                  Bet she's not dancing, though...

                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                    AHAHAAHAHAH! love it!

                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  It's probably two more episodes and a reunion show.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                    A reunion show in the Bahamas, right after the finale?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                      It's the only way it makes sense. Top Chef Masters is starting April 6, and you know there's going to be a reunion show.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                        I guess its possible. Would also set up better for the 3 person final round. I was just thinking about having to fly everyone to the Bahamas for the reunion, and that a couple of them would be pretty raw from losing the finale.

                                                                                                                        Of course, they could always have all the contestants there for the finale as the dinner guests...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                          Reunion show has already been shot (no real spoiler in this article):

                                                                                                                          http://eater.com/archives/2011/03/07/...

                                                                                                                          1. re: Debbie M

                                                                                                                            I only read enough to see it was shot in NY. So there you go.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Debbie M

                                                                                                                              Well, we definitely know now there's a reunion show. So next week, one chef will probably go and they'll do the finale with three chefs the week after. Then the reunion will air the third week.

                                                                                                                              I know people tend to dissect every single minute detail on TC (including me), but I think what Tom meant to say is that there are just three episodes left. What he said about the Bahamas was just probably an error with words.

                                                                                                                              The only way what he said about the Bahamas jives with the reunion in NY is that if they do a double episode for one of the weeks. While I would love to see something like that, I doubt that's in the cards for us.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                Nope, I think I posted last week that All Top Chef reported this season is a 4-part finale.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                          Oh THAT'S right - that makes much more sense, Miss N!

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            They have previously shown the reunion show the hour before the new show debuts. I think the Reunion show will be on April 6 @ 9pm...

                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                              Well, let's certainly hope that's the case as I would love to get an extra episode of Top Chef All Stars.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                Actually, I believe Top Chef Masters premieres on April 6 at 11:00, so I'm guessing the All-Stars Reunion show will be April 6 at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern, er, daylight time).

                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                  I like Top Chef and everything but it's becoming more like America's Next Top Model with a new "season" every 10 weeks it seems. Not sure I can (or want to) keep up without some breaks in between. And now I've got the new Deathwish Movers on the Travel Channel at the same time, a friend is on it (reality show about a moving company? Not the first pitch I'd make).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                    Well, I won't stop watching TC, but I have to say, I *love* your friend's new series title! LOL Why is it a "deathwish move"? Is it about moving an 18-wheeler full of a home's furniture across a rope bridge in the Andes Mountains? ;-)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                      They're the moving company of last resort, huge pianos, when that couch won't go up curvy stairs, etc. Travel Channel blurb:

                                                                                                                                      http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows...

                                                                                                                                      And short article in the Phoenix this week:

                                                                                                                                      http://thephoenix.com/Boston/life/116...

                                                                                                                                      I've known Keith for >20 years.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                        OMG, they're Boston-local! Very cool - will have to look for reruns. :-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                          This cracks me up from their dictionary:

                                                                                                                                          BUCKLE STRAP: A form of guy code. They'll say something like "Will you get me a buckle strap?" to alert each other to the presence of an attractive woman instead of yelling it out like a pig.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            Makes sense they're Boston-local. Great location for the deathwish combo of narrow streets, narrow stairs, etc ;-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                              Just heard Hank Morse this morning (does traffic on the local country station and sometimes does some talk radio hosting), say that Deathwish gang moved his daughters' piano and did a GREAT job of it.

                                                                                                                                              (Probably enough of the WAY OT stuff about Deathwish, tho.)

                                                                                                                    2. hazelnuts = jam bands. Think anything from the Grateful Dead to Phish, and a whole lot in between.

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: tartandfit

                                                                                                                        Also, Richard said that peanuts are like rock, and walnuts are close--like British rock.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                          Thanks for the help - I knew I missed a few (added it to OP!)

                                                                                                                        2. re: tartandfit

                                                                                                                          See, I think hazelnuts would be classical or something like that because they're upscale (expensive) and mostly used in European dishes.

                                                                                                                          Overall, I'm not sold on Richard's comparisons. :)

                                                                                                                        3. Way back in TC 5, one of the Foo Fighters commented that it looked like someone spit on the banana s'mores. Richards dish looked like he spit into it.

                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                            I thought that too!

                                                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                                                              I am so over foam. Any foam. Anywhere

                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                Foam is important. I used foam to shave this morning.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                  And you want SOME kind of foam when you're washing dishes to prove they're getting clean!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    I withdraw my disdain for "any" foam and restate it as my disdain for any foam on a plate of food that someone expects me to eat.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                      I agree. Looks like someone spit on the plate.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: suse

                                                                                                                                        It looks exactly like the bubbly puke my water gulping cat leaves all over the place.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                          THAT is exactly why I dislike it as well!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                        What about whipped cream? Or a nice souffle? Those are foams. : )

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                          Well, not really. Properly made, they don't flatten out in a foamy egg spawn like mass on the plate. I don't know how you'e making yours... ;-)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                            Hey, a foam that has been baked and stabilized is still a foam...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                              Foam-enting dissent I see.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                Oh geez - this is reminding me of a never-ending debate on another thread where someone was insisting that bread is a foam. Was that you, Pylon?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                  Um....no....not that I can recall. I'm not saying I wouldn't take up that challenge if I had to, but I don't think I would willing agree to bread being a foam anyway.

                                                                                                                                                  (I started to explain why I would disagree with it being a foam, but probably best to just back away slowly, huh?)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                    Pylon, i think we know we can count on you to disagree!! ( :

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                      What can I say, it passes the time. Heck, if we all agreed all the time, what fun would that be?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                        Give it a rest, would you? Pylon, you remind me of my cousin Henry. Heck, for all I know you might BE my cousin Henry!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                          Henry and June? Really?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                            Nope.

                                                                                                                                                            (But you are free to not read...)

                                                                                                                                2. As soon as I heard shrimp & grits I knew Antonia was doomed but on Top Chef raw meat will trump overcooked anything, every time.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                    Unless it's a tartar or crudo. :) but yeah, raw pork is always a no no. I'm betting almost everyone who watched, when they saw raw pork, knew Carlas time was up.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                      It's not just raw meat. It's "inediblity." If I recall, it was the oversalting of Angelo's soup that made it inedible and led to his elimination.

                                                                                                                                    2. There was a lot of talk last week about Richard, and then, after a 4 month hiatus, he came back to the competition even more self-depricating than ever. Stress, a baby that was due, all that, true. But he was even more down on himself in this episode. Hope it gets better for him before it's all over...

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: cmvan

                                                                                                                                        I hope he wins and that it gives him not just more confidence but also some money for that new baby!

                                                                                                                                      2. random thoughts/observations:
                                                                                                                                        - Padma pulled a "hands up, utensils down" switcheroo again - anyone else catch that? just once i want the chefs to *drop* their utensils everywhere :)
                                                                                                                                        - note to Tiffany, it's Bahamian royalty, not "bohemian."
                                                                                                                                        - Richard left pecans out of his nut/music theory? serious omission for a Georgia boy! what say you folks? country?
                                                                                                                                        - LOL @Tom's comment about Antonia's carrot shreds: "Howard Johnson's called, they want their garnish back."
                                                                                                                                        - surprised to see Isabella rule the day on both challenges (and bummer that he beat Michael V), but i suspect the tides turn for him next week based on the previews.
                                                                                                                                        - it was pretty obvious from the comments during the meal that either Antonia or Carla was going home in fact, i actually thought they might end up sending both of them packing to make up for last week's skipped elimination...and i kinda thought they should have.

                                                                                                                                        a mediocre (at best) episode IMHO. i was kinda bored.

                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                          Tiffany's "bohemian" reference was funny.
                                                                                                                                          Pecans should be bluegrass, maybe?
                                                                                                                                          I agree, a totally underwhelming episode. I still watched it though!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                            i was going to say bluegrass for the pecans! my first instinct was jazz, but since pecans are a Southern staple i figure bluegrass would be the perfect compromise...but then i thought the Georgians might insist on straight-up country :)

                                                                                                                                            after Tiffany made that comment about the bohemian royalty i couldn't stop thinking "Bohemian Rhapsody" - so it was just perfect when Richard started talking about music.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                              Pecans were not mentioned when Richard was classifying the nuts. Was surprised, coming from a Georgia boy!

                                                                                                                                              I think Richard looked ill in tlast night's episode. I hope it was just the lighting.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                "I think Richard looked ill in last night's episode. I hope it was just the lighting."
                                                                                                                                                it's balmy in the bahamas.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                              I thought it might be a double-elim as well...especially since I didn't realize that last was part of a three-part finale! Not sure how I'm feeling about a three-parter.

                                                                                                                                              And yes - pecans are definitely country music. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                I agree, I was a bit bored too.

                                                                                                                                                Glad we didnt see too much of Hosea.

                                                                                                                                                I was actually happy for Mike (he got me with his grandma story last week, I think!); his face looked genuinely grateful and proud when he had won.

                                                                                                                                                Again, I thought Richards spark was back.
                                                                                                                                                but still, wasnt too pleased about his "getting in antonias head" bit.

                                                                                                                                                Loved Toms Howard Johnsom comment!!!!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                  What is interesting about the Howard Johnsons cooment is that for an entire decade, Jacques Pepin and Pierre Franey, two notable French chefs were responsible for their menu.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                    Pecans- REM (kind of like British Rock but from Georgia.)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hambone

                                                                                                                                                      +1

                                                                                                                                                      although i'm actually in the bluegrass camp. :)

                                                                                                                                                  2. I really don't care to watch Richard break down any further. With all of the classy exits as of late I find witnessing his angst painful. He doesn't seem to get that it is not about winning, but about what you take away from the game. Carla and Fabio get that and will reap the benefits, as will others. I adore Richard and just don't want to see him meltdown on national television.

                                                                                                                                                    If I was a judge and saw Mike dripping beads of sweat into his food, I would just say no!

                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, the dripping, sweaty face was gross!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                        Reminded me of Howie.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                                        i'm guessing neither of you watches Iron Chef America :)

                                                                                                                                                        Kevin Sbraga was shvitzing pretty badly during the QF...but no Top Chef contestant has EVER been sweatier than Howie from S3.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                          eeewwww - howie sweat - ick ick ick!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                                            Jose Garces is exactly like Howie with the sweat - it totally distracts me when he's on ICA because i get so focused on the sweat dripping into the food!

                                                                                                                                                            someone actually started a Facebook group about Howie's sweating :)
                                                                                                                                                            http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid...

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                            Beat me to it. Well played.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Did I see Padma eat off her knife?

                                                                                                                                                          Did she do it just because she was dining with EP?

                                                                                                                                                          Because I don't recall her doing that before.

                                                                                                                                                          Call me a rube, but I hate it.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                                            I saw that too!
                                                                                                                                                            Crazy.

                                                                                                                                                          2. since so many have commented on Richard's emotional state, i figured i'd post this to the OP. from Gail's blog:

                                                                                                                                                            "But Richard has to lay-off of the self-loathing. I know it's sincere, and I know the poor guy can't help himself, but come on! Have some confidence or pretend to have some confidence. That's how you get confidence. Fake it till you make it, because if anyone has to see him make a great dish and complain about it one more time, I cannot be responsible for the actions taken by our viewers. And I don't blame them if they're exasperated by it. He's so talented and so awesome, he needs to stop all the worrying. I love him, but I think he could use a therapist. "

                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                              If she truly loved him, she wouldn't have made such a cruel public statement like that.
                                                                                                                                                              BuBye Gail

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                                                x2

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                                                  just to be clear, i didn't say she *should* have posted it - i thought it was insensitive, though certainly not malicious in intent. but since the topic was being discussed here anyway i figured i'd share it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't find that statement "cruel". It's an honest comment on something that we have all seen; you'd have to be blind not to. It's not like Gail is revealing some deep secret of Richard's that none of us has seen. And surely isn't cruel to suggest someone could benefit from a therapist. Most people I know could probably benefit from a therapist, including myself!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                      I agree that it's not cruel to suggest that someone see a therapist. I just think it's unkind to append it to a public discussion. If you really think someone is that on edge, especially.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                                                      that statement have far more praise than cruelty in it

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                        I haven't heard (or heard of) anyone who knows Richard who doesn't speak highly of him.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                      Wow. Gail really wrote that for public reading? I'm not sure I like her calling out the need for a therapist!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                        It's true, though!
                                                                                                                                                                        Thats what I was sayin in last weeks post.
                                                                                                                                                                        It's an unhealthy way to live!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          I was horrified by his gaunt and haunted visage last night. I'm not sure a therapist is in order first, maybe meds before he stresses himself to death. Gail is right, though I'm not sure I'd have written it all publicly.

                                                                                                                                                                          Folks don't want to find the most gifted contestants literally painful to watch. He looks like he's decompensating before our eyes...

                                                                                                                                                                      2. i REALLY thought Antonia was going home. Tom said that both major components of her dish were bad. Much as I liked Carla, I'm glad she went instead of Antonia. And Tiffany's dish was just boring, not bad in any way, so she deserved to stay. wow.... what if she ends up winning!?!

                                                                                                                                                                        But i do feel bad for Carla - it was an emotional night for her.

                                                                                                                                                                        i am one (maybe the only?) person who didn't like Michael Voltaggio - i recognize that he is an extremely talented chef, but he was always so angry in his season, and against his brother too (yeah, i get sibling rivalry). and i know he's super competitive. but anyway, i just don't like him much and was glad he didn't win the QF, EVEN THO it was against Mike Isabella. And I know it happens in all professional kitchens at times, but Isabella sweating into his food grossed me out more than a hatha yoga class i took that had CARPETING on the floor.

                                                                                                                                                                        Richard has confirmed that he has serious self-esteem issues - he just can't stop spewing his self-loathing! he'd better watch it, that can be contagious..... Pull it together, man!!! I want you to win!!!

                                                                                                                                                                        A pretty meh episode, overall. I'm glad next week isn't the last week.

                                                                                                                                                                        Linda - great, great summary, as usual - so packed with detail! you rock.

                                                                                                                                                                        30 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                          A few random thoughts since I seem to be wide awake at four in the morning...

                                                                                                                                                                          re: Richard's self loathing: as others have said, it can bring down his cooking performance when he psychs himself out, but more to the point for me it also makes him less of a chef in my eyes. I see Richard as a chef with great technical skills but not necessarily as someone I would call a great chef. it definitely makes his food less interesting. I prefer to eat food made and served with love. How can I love or even genuinely like the food if the chef who made it hates it?

                                                                                                                                                                          Sigh. I will miss Carla.

                                                                                                                                                                          OTOH, I thought it was going to be Antonia going home (after all, Eric Ripert said his pork from Carla was perfectly cooked, and hey, if it is good enough for him...,) but I will admit I was glad to see Antonia stay; I'd like to see her out-perform Mike. Perhaps then he really would develop enough humility to actually be a bit likeable.

                                                                                                                                                                          And while I like Tiffany, I'd hate to see boring win over mistakes in the end.

                                                                                                                                                                          Re cooking for Bahamian Royalty: Did all of the contestants really not know that the Bahamas were part of the British Empire until the 20th Century (and are still part of the Commonwealth, I believe)? Did they think Charles and Camilla were going to show up for dinner? I am surprised that they were caught off guard by the King of Junkanoo. You'd think if you were going to the Bahamas for the finale you'd do a little research on the place first.

                                                                                                                                                                          Can't wait to see next week's show; as we watched the preview both hubby and I (scuba divers who are notoriously bad free divers) said in unison as we watched Richard; 'Even I can free-dive better than that! :-)'. And yes, Tiffany, there are sharks in the Bahamas; it would be fun to see one! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh and one final thought: Linda, you surprised me when you didn't have your usual (correctly) adoring words about Eric R in the initial summary... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                            LOL susan! Well, since I had had my eyes filled with the REAL Chef Ripert just 5 days earlier, I thought I'd forgo my usual fawning over him this time.

                                                                                                                                                                            But if he's on next week's episode, I'll resume the love-fest. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                              jealous! are you going to post (on the appropriate board) so that the rest of us can live vicariously?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                LOL! I posted in last week's thread the links to both the Globe's "Dishing" blog and Herald's Inside Track articles about them. I was too busy enjoying the back-and-forth. And using my sister's field glasses for close-ups. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                The Globe's "Dishing" blog write-up was best, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                                                                                                                                                                                http://bostonherald.com/track/inside_...

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                              I was with you on the "Did no one research the country's history?" Seems like the focused on the food, but politics and other aspects of history play a big role in the development of food.Though, in her blog, Gail commented that the judges didn't really understand that they weren't actual royalty either, at first. As a result, I found the whole thing rather odd.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Terrieltr

                                                                                                                                                                                i was surprised by that too. whether or not you know it's actual *royalty* you'll be serving, you've got to take your surroundings and the local cuisine into account. when Antonia started describing the dish she was planning with the lamb and blue cheese, my reaction was "what the hell is she thinking? they're on a tropical island in the Caribbean!" her idea sounded to me like it would be more appropriate served in Great Britain or Basque country.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm really hoping that someone cooks lionfish for one of the challenges. It would show such a great understanding of the country and its concerns.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Terrieltr

                                                                                                                                                                                    Good report on lionfish on Dan Rather Reports on HD Net. Also well covered in the Divers Alert Network magazine. It would be a great thing if they could spotlight this important issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                      even more on lionfish, re: an OSU research study funded by the National Science Foundation:

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archive...

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Terrieltr

                                                                                                                                                                                      And lion fish tastes great! You just have to be careful when you're catching and/or cleaning them.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                        KailuaGirl: How were they prepared when you ate them? I've never had one, but have heard they are bland and not that good, though I have never tasted one myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                          We caught some when sailing in southern Japan every summer. We just cut off the fins/barbs (that's where you have to be careful), filleted them, and usually put them in a marinade for anywhere from 1/2 hour to 1 hour - kind of teriyaki style but heavy on the ginger and citrus - then grilled them over charcoal. Maybe it was the marinade that made them so tasty. Or maybe it was just that we were hot, happy, and hungry while out on the ocean and exploring little uninhabited or barely inhabited islands.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Right now, in light of the tsunami, I'm worrying about the people on my favorite island in the world. There's only 1 phone and a generator for the entire island's population (16 the last time I was there). There's a supply ship (they go out to it in their fishing boats) that brings the mail etc. twice a month. It's a fishing community and everyone speaks some pretty outdated Japanese - it's really charming!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                            well, a teriyaki style heavy on ginger and citrus and then charcoal sounds like a perfect prep for a bland fish...I'd like to try them myself and do wish (as the article I linked suggests) that people would eat enough of them to turn them into a regular food source to reduce their numbers...your island sounds wonderful and I will keep them in my thoughts along with all the people of Japan!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, Susan! And I agree with you that it would be a good thing for more people to eat them, and in great quantities. God knows they'll never become endangered!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Terrieltr

                                                                                                                                                                                    I feel like the same thing happened in Singapore - they knew where they were going ahead of time, but when they were there it was like they were dropped from a plane onto another planet.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                      Richard mentioned that he did extensive preparation--something about cooking every fish found anywhere around the Bahamas.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                        He did seem to be the only one familiar with Junkanoo.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                    My thoughts exactly on the whole royalty thing. I saw that one coming a mile away. Unless they were expecting Prince William and Kate to show up!

                                                                                                                                                                                  4. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                    I wasn't a fan of Michael Volt either - much preferred his brother, Brian. But I would have liked him to have beaten Isabella.

                                                                                                                                                                                    My fingers are crossed for Richard. I really want him to win. But I was surprised at his comment to the judges that he hates everything he cooks. I think that was an impulsive statement, as there have been enough times when he's been very pleased with his dish. Yes, he'll always always always nitpick his dish to death, but there *have* been times he's liked the plating and flavors of his own dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                      I liked Brian better, too (he's the older one, right?).

                                                                                                                                                                                      I was a little disappointed when Richard said he wanted to mess with Antonia's head. It seems to go against everything he's done before -- helping others, wanting to beat them at their best, etc. I mean, I know it's crunch time, but still.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm with you on Michael Voltaggio. He too wasn't a likable contestant in TC6. Brian Voltaggio and Kevin Gillespie have more class in their pinkies fingers than most of the rest of the TC contestants.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Another thought. Mike said that Michael Voltaggio dominated TC6. That is his selective memory at work. Michael, Bryan and Kevin dominated, but if you had to choose only one of them in reference to that term it would have to be Kevin. I'll go so far as to say that if Kevin's emotional state was not in disarray because of the break-up of his marriage he likely could have won the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                        True dat. Kevin was at 5 EC wins, Brian at 4. Michael had 3. And I agree with you re: Kevin's state of mind during the finale being a reason for the lack of focus on the cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                        I seriously thought I was the only viewer who didn't like that Voltaggio brother. I thought he was a jerk. Liked Bryan just fine. Not that it matters, but I certainly never saw him as hot, like so many people did. And yeah, didn't hurt him a bit to be brought down a peg by Mike I.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Parrotgal

                                                                                                                                                                                          I found MV obnoxious but so clearly the baby brother trying not to be. I didn't find him endearing at tall until the end, when he said "I just didn't want Brian to win."

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Parrotgal

                                                                                                                                                                                            Nope, I didn't care for Mike V his season at all. Angry, cocky and I found his food too fussy (not to mention his constant disses of Kevin's food as something he'd make on his day off). To me, Bryan was the superior V bro, but I really wanted humble Yukon Cornelius (aka Kevin) to win.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Parrotgal

                                                                                                                                                                                              +1 Except I wish it had been someone other than Mike who brought him down.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                              I totally agree about Mike V., the Eater guy said it best: "Voltaggio is all intensity and let's just say he doesn't have a face built for smiling". Humorless as ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I find Richard's insecurity really weird and contrasts with his bragging that had been going on (that everyone here hated). Again a good Eater quote:

                                                                                                                                                                                              "Blais gives an annoying speech about how he hates everything he cooks. I understand that you are neurotic and beat up on yourself, but you clearly think you are a very good cook, and mock self-deprecation does not cover up how you are confused each and every time someone else's dish wins out over yours."

                                                                                                                                                                                              Carla's leaving actually made me tear up this week and I'm not a fan.

                                                                                                                                                                                              And why the heck is there no Bourdain lately? Bums me out.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                With you about Bourdain! what the hell?
                                                                                                                                                                                                Re the Eater quote, I don't think Richard's self-deprecation is mock. i think that the bragging coexists with the self-loathing. i think they're different ends of the spectrum of insecurity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I loved how Tiffany asked him what was wrong when he was mumbling to himself about hating his food, and she said to talk to someone, not to himself, but as soon as she heard what he was saying, she said please don't do that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Tiffany asked him what was wrong when he was mumbling to himself about hating his food, and she said to talk to someone, not to himself, but as soon as she heard what he was saying, she said please don't do that!I"

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I noticed that as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They are still clearing the air of Paula Deans perfume. If those two ever come even close to making contact it will be like matters and doesn't matters colliding and the universe as we know it will implode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  jb

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Anyone watch the extended judges table visor on bravotv.com yet? Is it just me, or does Padma, in the extended video, seem like shes drunk at JT? She can't stop laughing at first, then all of her lines are said very stiffly, even for her. I'm not a big Padma hater like some are, but she really seemed to be off the mark in this video.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I don't remember Richard being such a nervous Nellie during his season. Was he?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I am so sorry to see Carla leave, but once Gail said that her pork was raw, and therefore inedible, the handwriting was on the wall. Has there been anyone more gracious in losing? And I adored her comments on personal growth and how being on TC had been a learning experience for her. I know that there are some Carla haters out there, but this is my paean to Carla, whom I find to be one of the warmest and most genuine chefs to have ever been on the show. And, she cooks some pretty delicious food as evidenced by her wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Richard's self loathing is so extreme that it almost seems as if he's lost his grip on reality a bit. He did look gaunt, but I happened to really like his hair when it was combed and he got away from that 'I just stuck my finger in an electric socket' look that he usually walks around with. I was also very disappointed to hear him talk about discomforting Antonia so that she wouldn't do as well. What happened to having a fair fight? Would he have said this about Dale? I doubt it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    From the perspective of the competition, I would have liked to see Beaumont go home, she proved again that she is just skating by producing another truly mediocre dish. She just doesn' have the chops for this competition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mike, once again, upped the obnoxious quota, and while he won, it seemed to have been in the context of the best of a bad lot. I think he needs leave the Bahamas and go to Beaumont. I just can't warm up to this guy, and if he wins, it will be because others have done badly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Antonia was uncharacteristically self-doubting, which was her downfall in the episode. I would like to see her in the finals, and after Richard's s comment, I think I would like to see her win the whole shooting match, though I would like to see the finals be Antonia and Richard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was actually shocked when they told Carla to PYKAG. I'll miss her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tiffany has been just getting by his whole season and her meal this time was characteristic of that. It just wasn't particularly interesting. I know that uncooked pork is worse than boring food, but that woman has gotten every possible break. She's a nice person and a good chef, but she's outclassed by the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Even Richard said Tiffany was "lucky" (or something like that) in the Stew Room after last week's episode (at the beginning of this week's ep). He was strongly inferring that it could very well have been Tiffany who went home last week instead. Tiffany seemed to agree, although she didn't say anything - just put her head down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shocked? With raw pork on the table?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was hopeful it would be her instead of Anotnia. Tiff's was plain, but not inedible. Just boring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know that there are some Carla haters out there, but this is my paean to Carla
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                          even i said last night that i felt a little sorry for her. there's never been any question in my mind that she's a genuine, gracious woman, i just didn't find her enjoyable to watch this season. but a friend of mine said last ngiht that she wants to order cookies from Carla's company now, and i told her i might even be willing to chip in to try one of the GF varieties she makes, just for kicks ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          as for Richard's comments about getting into Antonia's head, i'm surprised people are bothered by that. contestants say/do it all the time, and i personally don't see how doing it to your competitors in the kitchen is any different (or worse) than doing it on the tennis court, or football field, or baseball diamond...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wasn't bothered by it, I was just surprised.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            He always seemed the "I want my to beat my competitors at their best" type to me...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Re: Richard's comments: I agree. It is after all, a competition. I took it to mean he saw Antonia as serious competition. And aside from that: I'd rather see him try and get into someone else's head than to get lost in his own....

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ain't that the truth!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                didn't bother me either. it's not incongruous to me that he's a nice guy but willing to play a bit with someone's head to win. it's not like he's going to sabotage anyone or anything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. It really doesn't matter that ER's pork was perfect as long as one portion was served raw. In fact it makes the mistake more aggregious, IMO

                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am not sure I agree, but I do see your point. Indeed, it occurred to me as I was watching that ER's statement was sort of his way of trying to make Carla feel better, knowing that it was a possibly fatal mistake. But then, of course I don't know Eric Ripert but like to think that he is as kind as he is attractive... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  IIRC, Gail said "pink", Tom said Gail was generous and it was "undercooked", EC said Tom was being generous at that. They all may have been trying to cushion the blow, but she knew. She knew when it went out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I watched it twice last night and I am pretty sure Gail said "raw" at one point or another.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But I will watch it again ... and again .. and will pay better attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      She said it at the table, but I don't think she said it at JT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bingo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and when she tried to be gentle/diplomatic about it at JT, the other judges were a bit more forthright with Carla about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Having just read this interview with Carla:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.ology.com/screen/exclusive...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am 100% rooting for Antonia!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I see the stress that Richard is undergoing as self inflicted. Since he was last on TC, he'd opened two restaurant concepts, three physical restaurants, he is working on a fourth restaurant, has been all over the world with his consulting business, and impregnated his wife. All but the last task were pretty stressful. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I see why he wants to strike while the iron is hot but this is ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So then why is Richard boo-hooing that he needs to win to open a restaurant? What up with that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's not cheap to do so, and having a half-mil in the bank definitely would attract investors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought he meant he wants to open a more formal, "proper" restaurant, which would cost more to get off the ground, and more to operate. (Aren't his existing places on the casual side?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Debbie M

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FLIP burger is very casual. Great burgers and shake, done with a Blais twist, although he does add some pretty adventurous dishes to the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Okay, but the way he made it sound was that he had never opened a restaurant and the win would make it possible, but I could be remembering incorrectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I heard that he wants to open his "dream" restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Did Richard forget to bring his mouse and hair gel to the Bahamas? Probably was a good thing too, his hair might've shot up in flames as part of that kitchen grease fire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Why were there 5 people seated in a four-top booth? Tom looked like he was about to fall off his seat during the entire meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bet this was the first time foam has ever appeared on the Bahamian islands (apart from Richard's other appearance on TC).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think a better elimination challenge would've been to force the chefs to make a meal out of the fire-retardant contaminated food left in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've always been a Blais fan but he is getting on my nerves. I'm tired of hearing him say he should have won Season 4. He got beat by an excellent chef and he should move on, no one owes him anything. Both Richard and Mike are coming off as very whiney in my opinion. Mike saying that he really went for it while Antonia and Carla just skated by all season. Look at the scoreboard Mike and see who was cooking for the middle all season.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The girls are showing a lot more toughness, class and guts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I still think it's clear that Blais lost S4, as opposed to Stephanie winning it from him. He should have won it, and he knows it. I'm sure that is contributing to his stress level.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Why should he have won it? Stephanie beat him in the finals, period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I mean that as in he was stronger overall, not that he deserved it based on that meal. He choked, and he knew it. It was clearly the right decision based on that meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think some chefs don't realize that on any given day they can be beat in this competition by just about any other chef. There seems to be a sense of superiority with some of the cheftestants that you don't see in other competitions. I'm thinking in terms of sports and in most cases the losing team/competitor will handle the defeat with some dignity, congratulate the winner, and not hold a grudge for years into the future.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think one of the things that bugs me is that you never hear Richard say that Stephanie really cooked well and knocked it out of the park in the finals. It's always about how he should have won.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think one of the things that bugs me is that you never hear Richard say that Stephanie really cooked well and knocked it out of the park in the finals. It's always about how he should have won.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very good point, tofu. While it *was* his to lose, he did lose it. And yet Stephanie had just as many EC wins as Richard did - 4. She certainly put up the right dishes at the right time, and WON for those dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed. I think one of Stephanie's strengths is that I don't recall her ever crumbling under pressure during S4, nor do I remember her involved in any kind of drama. As much as I like Richard, I always feel like he's crying sour grapes half the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't seen it in a while, but I don't recall thinking that Stephanie DID knock it out of the park. IIRC, she did a fine and admirable job, and was deserving of the win, but would it have beaten him at his best?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know the answer, but I think it's fair to say someone as driven as the Professor will tell you he should have won if he performed as he was capable. But he didn't, so it's a moot point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I may not be remembering correctly but I think she made a lamb dish with a blackberry sauce that the judges really loved.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A search revealed the recipe below and I think this was it:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/1308...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I recall Gail going on and on about how imaginative, unusual and excellent the lamb dish was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He does think he lost because he choked but I wonder if he remembers that Dale left out Stephanie's protein (was it pork?) and she had to wing it at the last minute and didn't let it upset her? She didn't serve her best dish, or expected dish at least, either and she was able to overcome it. It's not like he was beaten by someone performing her best and he choked so he lost. He was beaten by someone more handicapped in that moment than him. Give her credit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          +1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And if Richard had come up with the lamb/pistachio/blackberry dish everyone would have said "Blais is such a genius, only the professor could have thought of such an idea."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think a better word than "deserved" would be "poised". He was poised to win S4, but then he choked. I'm also tired of the Blais worrywartathon. Get over yourself and stop taking it so damn serious. Even if he wins he won't enjoy it. I'm rooting for Antonia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, to be fair to Blais, I think the editors are really playing up his neurotic side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They don't have to; just *look* at his scared, gaunt face and shrinking body.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They sat that way to fit into the camera angles. They could not put someone on the end because looking at someone's back is bad television. I did not notice if there were tables at which the judges could have eaten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hello all...first time poster ( on this thread ) but long time reader & fan. thanks linda!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i am surprised no one else caught this: right after the chefs finished cooking, i told my husband "carla is going home" i told him i knew %100 she was....because: in the previews/commercials leading up to the finals in bahamas they have shown the other 4 chefs in their bathing suits. i was waiting in the beginning of this episode for them to go swmming/fishing/whatever their doing but they never did. i clearly remember seeing richard, antonia, and tiffany in a bathing suit and i remember isabella commenting on padma in her suit. and NOT remembering seeing carla...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      random thoughts too:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gail did look gorgeous, fresh and rested and just great...best ive ever seen her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i do love richard too, but im over his self doubt craziness. enough is enough

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      isabella has totally grown on me and now i find myself cracking up at his goofiness

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i want antonia to win the whole thing...i WOULD want richard to win and very much think he is the best, but im just over him so bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i loved dale the best and sad to see him go....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: niccole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ahhh, nice catch on the cheftestant preview from next week, niccole! And welcome. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: niccole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, that royal blue color was really stunning on Gail. She looked great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gail actually wear royal blue a lot - I think what made the difference this week was that her hair was wavy and natural-looking. Normally she wears it very straight with a very defined part, which is less flattering to her face. Just my 2 cents. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: niccole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I noticed that too ... I had tuned in at the very end in preparation for the next full showing. I had not seen who packed their knives, but based on that pre-view I was not surprised to see that it was Carla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: niccole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I noticed that they weren't all there, but didn't rewind to see it was Carla who was gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: niccole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                very observant niccole!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and brave of you to speak up for your love of Mikey! i don't think there are many others here who feel that way..... but bully for you for saying it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: niccole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought the same thing about Gail. She looked so naturally pretty, compared to Padma who was overly made up, especially for the islands. I think Padma often overshadows her, with her glamour, but Gail looked great and I think prettier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: niccole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I noticed in the videos on Bravo's site for next week, there is a clip of the four remaining cheftestants worrying about what's next and Richard says he has seven recipes for conch. Maybe a bit of foreshadowing that either he has an advantage or should of kept quiet and not reminded the others of a unusual ingredient they might not of thought of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: txpickyeater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...should of kept quiet and not reminded the others of a unusual ingredient they might not of thought of.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      conch is hardly an unusual ingredient for that region. in fact, it's a staple of Bahamian cuisine and the first thing that came to mind for me when the chefs were told they could choose to make anything last week. i'm sure they've all thought about cooking it at some point during the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      though i do think it's safe to assume Blais won't be giving Isabella a peek at any of his recipes this time ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        These are the same people who thought there are such things as Bahamian royalty, remember. Or actually Bohemian royalty in the Bahamas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fabio had a pet turtle on a leash. Do you know if Richard has a leash for his mouse?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I agree that I was underwhelmed with this episode. I was doing dishes and prepping for the next day while watching it. I was most excited for the QF against past winners, but was so sad Carla couldn't spank the bejebus out of Hosea (he still looks so icky).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Why are the finals not in the States? This will sound silly, but given the economic climate, you'd think TC would celebrate some more of the fantastic cuisine of the US. I loved the Aspe, Napa and NO finales that really celebrated the area and its cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bet they went to the Bahamas because it is seen as exotic and it's close to NYC since it's about 45 minutes from Miami.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Could it be....a significant bribe on the part of the Bahamian tourist board? Just saying...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I thought the King looked a bit uncomfortable as he said it, but it seemed plausible to me that he had marching orders to note that things really are 'better in the Bahamas'...and I am sure they aren't paying for that suite at the Atlantis...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        besides, it gives them a good excuse to show footage of Padma in her bathing suit :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe because it was shot in the dead of winter in the US, and they've already been to Miami, LA, NO, Napa, Hawaii? Hard to find local seasonal ingredients in many food-centric cities in the US in Jan/Feb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Poor Richard. He's lost the zest for cooking--is there any worst curse for a chef? It seems like he needs to take a step back, maybe a vacation away from the rat race and enjoy his family.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Vacation with the fam and Fabio! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fabio or Dale? I get the bromances mixed up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fabio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dale was Angelo ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To be fair, there was plenty of joking (on this board and IIRC, in the Eater parody-recap that week) that he'd moved on or was unfaithful after he went on about how he'd miss Dale when Dale was eliminated. But it was Fabio that Richard said he'd take on the trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to Chowser and KG: Where was the vacation he won -- thought it was the Bahamas -- as it turned out, hotbed of non-relaxation!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sarah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Barbados. Close, though. Would have been funny if they told him this WAS his trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Would have been funny if they told him this WAS his trip.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                haha! can you imagine? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That would be too cruel after last week! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I remain disturbed at the sight of Padma eating from her knife.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eating from a knife isn't really that uncommon, outside of the U.S. I think we are just about the only culture that switches the knife and fork from one hand to the other while eating. I picked up the habit of not switching when we had a German exchange student living with my family in high school. I still get an occasional comment about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Another great synopsis from Linda! Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Am I the only one who is put off by the bad equipment these contestants have to put up with? Burners that fade out and quit working. Ovens that don’t heat. Deep fryers that go up in flames. If the focus of these cooking competitions is SUPPOSED to be the chefs’ creativity, then stop handicapping them! It really ticks me off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The other side of that coin is how little forethought some contestants put into what kind of everyday ordinary kitchen gadgets to take along that could really save their butts in a pinch. I suspect Carla is beating herself for not having a $6.00 instant read meat thermometer with her. I don’t know of any other way to be sure a whole pork loin is cooked to the proper serving temperature when you cook it the way she did. I do feel for her. It must be miserable to think how a six dollar gadget could have changed her life. The Boy Scouts got it right. Be prepared!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I bet you she has one in her kit. She was cooking the tenderloins whole and then slicing them. She really should have saved more of the pieces that were cooked properly to serve to the judges and she likely would not have had to hear PPYKAG.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I got the impression that they did not know which plates went to the judges. That is, Carla said something about how she dialed in the pork temp for the later plates but that it just so happened that the judges got her first ones. That made me think they didn't know which were judges' plates as they left the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I guess that means she should not have plated ANY raw pork. She sliced it so she knew it was way under.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, I'm not defending her for plating raw pork, just saying that I don't think she knew which ones went to the judges. Also, since she seared them on the flattop after slicing, she may not have known just how raw those pieces were in the center. Doesn't excuse her from serving raw pork, though...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And that's exactly why she would have benefited so much from an instant read thermometer. I don't understand professional cooks who aren't familiar with and don't take advantage of technology that ensures safe food service. Strange!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Totally agree Caroline - I am tired of seeing handicapped chefs. Really, a kitchen with a flat top and deep fryers? For the finale? That is absurd. This isn't Top Cheesesteak or Top Fish and Chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hate to say it, but I´m getting bored of this season, a season that really hit a high, high point for me with Restaurant Wars and has been steadily downhill since. We are left with one true all-star chef, two good chefs whose food I'd happily eat but don't want to watch cook, and Tiffany. With middling talent, the producers should be doing their utmost to coax great food out of these people, but they've been doing the exact opposite. But maybe I am still hungover from the brilliance that was Season 6.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought the show in Singapore last season served a purpose, put them in a foreign environs and watch them go. The Target episode served the purpose of giving Target some free promo but it also served a purpose of seeing how creative they can be with regular everyday cooking appliances. But this one was a head scratcher, no purpose was really served in terms of the competition, but the it did serve up some manufactured drama.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder if this was a bonus challenge, since they probably had to add one to their original Bahamas plan given the extra finalist. They had 4 months or somesuch to figure out the extra challenge, so it coulda been better, but just a thought...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "The Target episode served the purpose of giving Target some free promo but it also served a purpose of seeing how creative they can be with regular everyday cooking appliances."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Imma go ahead and say that Target paid good money for that promo. TC and Bravo have too many placements to think ANYTHING is given away. (I'm still twtiching over the chicken broth product placement during the cookie challenge...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ya'think!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > Target paid good money for that promo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ... and didn't get their money's worth, given that the induction cooktops didn't work right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Are you sure the malfunctioning induction burners was on the Target episode? I thought it was this episode which is why Carla's rice was undercooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Spot on. All of the Target merch worked fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Including the steam irons ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  IDK, it seems they've had problems with induction burners on a couple episodes... they've used them several times, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    IIRC, the only time they mentioned faulty induction burners was in this episode. (Since I don't text or tweet I still have to look up the acronyms. Believe it or not I could not figure out IDK). I would have to be reminded of the specific instances to remember them).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It would be great to see them in a challenge, no time restraints, their own kitchen or at least great kitchens. Just make the best food you can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wouldn't that be a welcome change! And I suspect the contestants would be over-the-top happy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They have done that at least once - I remember it. Well, not no time restraints, but they could make anything they wanted and in a fully-equipped kitchen. I can't remember which season it was, but I do remember that a surprisingly high number of the chefs didn't do that well. They seemed to have trouble focusing without all the usual constraints.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's ridiculous that we have to think this hard about how often/when this type of challenge occurs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the challenges where they could make anything was in TC 5. I remember the blond with the bangs (bad hairstyle, worse green cap) got the PPYKAG for making fish tacos that resembled catfood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes yes! That's exactly the episode I was thinking of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Silvestri's blog is up. love his new nickname for Richard: Two-Ways Blais :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://eater.com/archives/2011/03/10/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              44 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Too funny. I love what he says about Hosea:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Hosea has grown even more thumbheaded. "I'm here to prove to the haters that I deserved to win." First off, haters are something that wildly successful rappers have to deal with, not already-forgotten cable reality show winners. More like Whosea. Secondly, be quiet. Go back to thumb wrestling yourself, or as you like to call it, the-shape-of-your-head wrestling."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And, Michael Voltaggio:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Eek. Voltaggio is all intensity and let's just say he doesn't have a face built for smiling"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Whosea! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "I'm here to prove to the haters that I deserved to win."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I missed it, but yup it sounds exactly like him!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't understand why people dislike Hosea for winning his season. If they think he wasn't worthy, they should be all over Stefan for not cooking better food in the finale. People seem to think this is a contest about accumulating wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't recall thinking of him as a very creatively inspired chef. I wasn't a great big Stefano fan, either, though he had more interesting moments, I seem to recall, than Hosea did.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plus the whole Leah/Hosea thing was an icky distraction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with everything you said. But in the finale, Hosea had the best food. I think there have been TC winners that are better than others. I would put Hosea in the same category with Ilan and Kevin. Then I would put Harold and Stephanie together and then Michael and Hung. I suppose whomever wins TC 8 should be in the last group just because of the competition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't put Hosea in the company of any of those, except maybe Ilan, who bored me to tears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The equivalent of Hosea winning would be the same as Tiffany winning. Being the last one standing doesn't mean you're the best chef. Much as I dislike him, I think Mike deserves to win over Tiffany.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I gotta stand up for local boy Hosea. ;-) He was better than that, IMO. He won a couple of challenges and a QF, and he was definitely among the better chefs that season, let's say top 6. It's clear that Stefan was better, and at their best Carla, Fabio, and Jamie are probably all better than him, but none of them was as consistent. But he was/is a good chef. He is in the category of Ilan and Kevin, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would rank the winners from best to worst as such (purely subjective, haven't tasted any of their food):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Voltaggio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Stephanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hung
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hosea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kevin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ilan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, man. Here we go....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Voltaggio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hung
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Harold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stephanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kevin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hosea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ilan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Heh, your list was one of my iterations, I moved people around a bit. I originally thought Hung was second but looked back on the details of his season and was surprised to see he wasn't as dominant as I remembered, and I let that sway me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think almost everyone will agree with #1 and #7 on the list!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From an interview with Dale: http://www.ology.com/screen/exclusive...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "One more question. Now that you've been eliminated, who would you like to see win?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm all about season 4. I got to represent the season I'm in. I know we had more chefs. We had the most amount of chefs from our season in this competition, but we repped pretty hard. Really hard. I'm a sports geek also, so I look at percentages and the math doesn't lie. It's hard to validate and say what the best dish was, but if you look…15 out of 22 challenges were won by season 4. You can't deny that the best season of Top Chef was season 4. So, no one in particular, but I'd like to see season 4 win."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      He makes a very good case. For those same reasons, after editing I put Stephanie 2nd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree on #7, but not #1. I thought Voltaggio was very skilled, but I prefer less "fussy" food, so I'd put Stephanie (or maybe Harold) #1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pylon, i'm beginning to think you're my Top Chef brain twin - we seem to share the same thoughts on everything! my list is identical to yours, though i think positions 6&7 are pretty much interchangeable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Um....you might not want to say that too loudly...but I've always thought you seemed really smart, so maybe there is something to it. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, if true, you'll appreciate that I'm planning a trip to Atlanta next month, and am putting a trip to Flip Burger on the agenda at least once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ha! i think most CHers know by now that i don't censor my opinions for the sake of popularity. if anyone turns on me for agreeing with you, so be it ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and yes, i appreciate your plans, but not just because you're going to FLIP Burger...i lived in ATL for 8 years, and i'm *long* overdue for a visit, so i'm glad you're representing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Uhm...did you see the post that started this part of the discussion? It wasn't in list form, but Pylon and you were agreeing with me. (How's that for a petulant post)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              aww, i didn't mean to cut you out ;) i was responding to the fact that Pylon & i have agreed on pretty much *everything* this season...and that most of our opinions have proved us to be in the minority. but if you want to be inducted as a full-time member of the misfit club, we're happy to have you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'd rather be an honorary member or occasional member.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  full-time member of the misfit club
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure you'll all eventually be adopted by a good girl or boy, thanks to Rudolph's nose pointing the way for Santa to come to the Island of Misfit Toys! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    *sniff* Nobody wants a Charlie-in-the-Box! *sniff*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Or a water pistol that shoots jelly, or a train with a caboose with square wheels!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In all seriousness, who would turn down a jelly pistol?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      personally i'd like to think we're more like these Misfits:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misfits_...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Supernatural powers? Well, then, you need to head back to the ORIGINAL Misfits. Gotta admit, Marilyn sure had some supernatural powers! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055184/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yeah, the problem there is all the bad karma associated with the film...not to mention the poor horsies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                your list is the one i agree with Pylon - hey, we agree on something! ( :

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                although i might put Hosea after Ilan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No one would blame you for that. At least Ilan could make a paella, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Voltaggio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stephanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hung or Harold (completely different styles, but two I'd like depending on the setting)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kevin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hosea/Ilan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it was a poor season. So, he was the last one standing in a field where most of the competitors choked. I agree w/ your list of winners, though Hosea and Kevin are pretty close. I don't know why I think of Hung doing better--I think it's because he was so helpful to Angelo in his finale and more in the forefront of my mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You might be right. If Tiffany were to make it to the finals and she made better food than the other two finalists, she would then be the Top Chef. Hosea made it to the finals of TC 5. Fabio messed up in New Orleans with his food and did not make it to the finals. Hosea then made better food than did Stefan in the finals. They do not accumulate wins to see who gets the money and the title of Top Chef. It's a single elimination contest. That means if you lose once (make the worst food) you are elinimated. Hosea never made the worst food in TC 5. It might not always have been the best, but it was in the last challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't see Kevin and Ilan in the same category at all. Ilan was pretty much inexperienced, and all he cooked in his season was the same Spanish dishes with slight variations over and over. Kevin is a skilled chef who has cooked in some top places. His food is exceptionally delicious. I wouldn't go across the street for Ilan's food....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not to defend Ilan but apparently he is doing some pretty good food at his own LA restaurant. I don't really know much about what the Top Chef contestants do outside of the competition. I just know that I was not too impressed with Kevin in TC 7. He is the only TC winner that was up for elimination 5 times, even more than Hosea. Michael Voltaggio was up for elmination just once. Kevin had just one EC win. What Kevin did do and what the favored Ed did not do was to study up on Singapore cusine. Ed didn't even come up with a decent dessert for the finale. Ed didn't choke, he threw in the towel. I still wonder why he didn't put mire effort into the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't think Ed was favored to win. I thought Angelo was favored and then he got sick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Look at the TC7 Contestant Progress chart on wikipedia. Ed had morexmomentum than did Angelo and won the first EC in Singapore. Was Angelo ill then?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Ch...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ilan was not too charming in his season, but I've eaten at his restaurant and it's quite good. Not my favorite ever, but still very decent. And the menu is not Spanish at all, so I think he has more range than he is given credit for. Funnily enough, my favorite dish was his sticky toffee pudding, which was the "F--- You" dessert he made for Ed in Singapore!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's very good to know. He just didn't impress me at all. His food just didn't look very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        +1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ilan may even overtake Hosea as my least favorite winnner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Re: Hosea/Leah - I couldn't watch it, and I can't watch it now on reruns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My List
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Voltaggio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stephanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hung
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kevin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hosea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ilan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd put Richard about equal Harold. If he wins.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'd put Voltaggio, Hung, Stephanie on top, Kevin and Hosea on bottom, and I don't remember enough of Ilan or Harold to say. But if we want to say best chefs in Top Chef, regardless of final placement? These guys are far and away my top 5:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Voltaggio, Michael
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kevin G.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Voltaggio, Brian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Blais
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Angelo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hard to argue with that list. Harold seemed really good, but not sure if he cracks that top 5 or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very close to my all time top 5 as well. Jen Carrol or Stefan might edge out Angelo on my list though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When Angelo put white chocolate on his fish and pulled it off, he won my top 5 spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's been done before, though. Richard did it in his season, and it had been done in restaurants before that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6. Colicchio was on the Today show this morning demonstrating how to cook a pork porterhouse. It was undercooked! He said it should've rested longer, but it was one that had been cooked previously for the beauty shot so had been resting quite some time. Wonder if Carla was watching...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LJBTampa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He was SO embarrassed, don't you think? I like my pork cooked pink, but not rare/red.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I didn't see it posted as I read through, so apologize if it was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did anyone notice that the "Pack your knives" comment at Blais last week was edited out when they showed the recap?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder if they were embarrased.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      it was mentioned more than once...happens all the time in these crazy-long TC discussions :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since it's been brought up again -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am pretty sure that this wasn't the first time, that Padma used that fake out -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was either season 1 or 2 (maybe 3?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but I distinctly remember her doing it. "Please pack your knives - you are going to the finale"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        or something like that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone else remember ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it was TC 2 where they brought four to the finale in Hawaii, Ilan, He-who-remains-nameless, Sam and Elia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            , He-who-remains-nameless
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He has a name...... It's MC Foam :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, they edited it out for the one hour version and then used that version for the recap. The original was 75 minutes. They also took out some of the family comments, specifically a few words Carla's husband said while the were eating. There was more but that's all I can remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For rhose of you with Comcast the long version is available on-demand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Interview with Tom: http://www.avclub.com/articles/tom-co...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting comment by Tom: "we said, “Can we just bring everybody back?” The answer immediately was, “Yeah, that’s okay.”"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought they had argued with the producers from the Elves and Bravo re: wanting to bring all 5 back? Producers in the "No, make a decision to boot someone" court and the judges in the "we want all 5 to come back" court?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And "Wednesday [March 9], that wasn’t a finale. That was just another challenge that just happened to be in a different location. And I don’t think we’re considering the next one a finale either. The actual finale is the finale."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So tonight's not part of the "finale" - just a "different location". Well, I'm considering it at least a 3-part finale. So THERE, Tom. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also some comments about the recipe stealing by Mike from Richard. The reunion show will be interesting. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i was JUST about to say the exact same thing about bringing all 5 to the Bahamas! had the quote all copied to paste and everything. That seems very contradictory to everything Tom's said before this on that issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              agreed - VERY strange.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i know there are some Colicchio haters out there, but when i read things like this - where he admits that he screws up dishes and acknowledges that Bourdain knows a lot more than he does about international cuisines - i'm reminded of why i like & respect him so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There are Colicchio haters?? WTF? He loves to fish and to cook and he loves when others do it well, too. And he turns all red and gets goofy embarrassed when anyone tells him he's sexy or hot, in a way that makes it clear he doesn't think so himself. I like him, too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Never puts on airs about cooking and food.