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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #14 (Finale Pt. 2) - 03/16/11 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit Mar 16, 2011 07:26 PM

Well, Tom said in an interview this is not a 3- or 4-part finale; just that the competition has moved to another venue (Bahamas). But I say it is a several part finale. So this is Part 2. :-)

After last week's competition, they're sitting around talking about Carla. Antonia is still second-guessing herself, just like she did in her season. Mike is very cocky and confident. Hmmmm...that usually means someone's going home! LOL

As they head out the next morning to the Atlantis kitchen, Richard wonders "will we be cooking with not enough time? Not enough equipment?" Little does he know. :-)

Padma and Lorena Garcia greet them in the kitchen. The Quickfire Challenge will be all about Consistency and Precision - they are to pair up (ends up being Richard & Mike vs. Antonia & Tiffany) and they are to create 100 plates exactly the same for hungry diners in the dining room. Padma and Lorena will choose 2 different numbers from each of the plates they are serving from as "blind" tastings, to ensure they don't plate judges' plates more nicely. They have 1 hour to cook.

The guys go with Pork Bolognese with fresh macaroni and Pecorino cheese. Mike said the guys have the upper hand, and the girls know it. There's that cockiness again!

The women go with Seared Beef Tenderloin Salad with Lentils and Chimichurri Sauce. The guys are going crazy in the kitchen; Richard has a drippy sweaty nose.

The judges liked both the guys and women's food...Mike, cocky again, says the women's dish is way too easy...but Lorena Garcia ends up saying that the women win! Antonia said "The guys are definitely sour grape salty losers!" LOL The ladies get $5,000 for their win. Mikey is ticked off. Awwww, poor baby!

So Padma describes the Elimination Challenge - the Commodore of the Nassau Yacht Club has invited them to an 80th anniversary party lunch for him and his friends. Conch is a signature dish of the island, and Lorena says they should be sure to use it.

Mike and Richard both practiced with conch back on the mainland, so they sound prepared. They meet the next morning at the dock to be taken to a deserted island - and there's Padma in her itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini. :-) Time will start when their feet hit the beach. They'll have 3-1/2 hours to cook.

When they get there, they scramble for the baskets. Lots of great seafood but no conch - and then they see the snorkel masks in a basket marked "Conch". Yup - they have to go out and find it themselves in the water! Here's where Richard says "I don't want to see Mike Isabella topless......and you don't either!" LOL (P.S. He was right!)

They have difficulty getting the conch, but they do. Here's where Richard's lack of swimming ability gets shown. LOL! After pulling up the conch, they then realize there's no electricity, no gadgets, just a wood-fired grill with some pots and pans. Not going to be easy! They know there's going to be the issue of sand in their dishes. Tiffany has major problems removing the conch from the shells...Mike learned to heat them up in the shell and they are more easily removed.

Antonia's in the weeds, and Richard is very nervous with his NON-Caribbean dish.

Richard's dish = Sweet Potato Linguini with Conch and Spiny Lobster - they all said "ingenious!" when they realized it was sweet potato "noodles", although there was some slightly undercooked lobster. But I thought his dish looked superb!

A storm is now coming in - will they all be able to finish?

Next is Antonia - her dish = Seared Snapper with Conch Tartare. Interestingly, Gail takes a bite and immediately reaches for a glass of water - VERY spicy! But the Bahamians love it, as they love their spices! But Tom's fish is overcooked, while someone else's is undercooked.

Tiffany - she ended up plating too early - could be an issue with soup! Her dish = Coconut Chowder with Snapper and Conch. Padma said the soup would have been good if it was warm, and others think it was never meant to be served warm. Hmmm.

Finally, it's MIke's turn. His dish = Banana-Wrapped Grouper with Braised Pineapple and a Warm Conch Vinaigrette. Some felt the dish was overwhelming with the pineapple, but others, including Gail, loved the risk he took.

In the in-between bit between commercials, they compared themselves to the characters on Gilligan's Island:

Richard = The Professor
Mike = The Skipper
Tiffany = Ginger
Antonia = Mary Ann

And Carla would have been Gilligan. Good choices, all! LOL

OK, we're back - they're back in the suite, and Richard is still nervous re: his flavor profile (and Antonia kind of gives him a dig about it!) Back at Judges Table - Tom notes that no dish had any sand - yay!

Antonia's dish had good balance, per Lorena, but the conch needed to be bigger, said Tom. Padma said her dish out of all four, was the "most predictable" - but Antonia takes that as a compliment, because she wants them to know it's her dish.

Richard's "pasta" dish was very much enjoyed - Gail said the flavors weren't typical, but they all worked...but Lorena had slightly undercooked lobster.

Tiffany's dish - they liked her chowder, but it was asked - was the soup supposed to be hot or cold? It was supposed to be hot - Tiffany said the wind kicked up during her plating and cooled it down too quickly. It was also too sweet for some.

Finally, Mike's dish - Tom liked the banana leaf smokiness, but the butter just didn't belong.

Interseting - there was something wrong with each dish, according to the judges. Who's going home? I'm thinking it's going to be Tiffany. But who knows anymore?

And we're back for the elimination - wow - Mike wins again! Damn. I really thought Richard might pull that out. As for who's outta there? It *is* Tiffany who's told to PYKAG. But Tiffany's got some damn fine trips to take with her husband!

So it's going to be Richard, Antonia, and Mike in the finale. And OOOH! It's another "Last Supper" competition for Wolfgang Puck, Michelle Bernstein, and Masaharu Morimoto! Interesting!

  1. a
    ahack Mar 16, 2011 07:33 PM

    After seeing the attitude of the girls following the Quickfire win, I really wanted to see the guys do well. Congrats to the girls for the victory, but they could have done it with some class, imo.

    10 Replies
    1. re: ahack
      LiveRock Mar 16, 2011 08:07 PM

      I actually found myself cheering on the ladies...because the guys were being so condescending! It's interesting how differently things are percieved. Although...on this end it could have been the vodka.

      1. re: LiveRock
        LindaWhit Mar 16, 2011 08:14 PM

        I had no vodka, and I was cheering on the ladies as well. The editing really laid it on thick with Mike's overbearing cockiness. I was glad he was taken down a small peg by the ladies winning the Quickfire.

        1. re: LindaWhit
          goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 08:45 PM

          i was actually rooting for the guys simply because i thought their dish was far more ambitious, and it was quite impressive that they executed it well.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            John E. Mar 16, 2011 08:54 PM

            I think the guys anticipated getting a lot of credit for the difficulty of preparing their dish in the time alotted. It didn't appear to be a factor for the new judge.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              Terrieltr Mar 17, 2011 11:45 AM

              But the challenge was about consistency. They stirred their sauce and pasta altogether, so the only thing they had to worry about was keeping the portion size consistent. Also, those were some ugly plates.

              1. re: Terrieltr
                goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 12:10 PM

                well, if the challenge was to be judged *solely* on consistency with no concern for difficulty of preparation, complexity & development of flavors or creativity, then they might as well just have plated 100 identical PB&J sandwiches and walked away with the win...and then it also shouldn't have mattered that they were "ugly plates" as long as they all looked the same.

                i'm not saying the women shouldn't have won the challenge. none of us were there to taste the food, and clearly they presented a well-executed dish. it just seems to me that some people are going out of their way to avoid giving the guys due credit for what they pulled off.

            2. re: LindaWhit
              KailuaGirl Mar 17, 2011 07:14 AM

              Mike did prove that he can make pasta from scratch, unlike his adventures at Rao's. I'm glad the girls won, if only to stick it to Mike a little.

              1. re: LindaWhit
                mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 12:33 PM

                i was cheering them on as well, because not only was Mike's cockiness annoying, but that new judge said that the 4 components of the girls' dish made it actually more difficult to achieve consistency, so she at least felt the level of difficulty was the same as the boys'.

                1. re: LindaWhit
                  momjamin Mar 17, 2011 12:35 PM

                  Mike made me cheer for the ladies, too -- and against Blais for the first time.

                  1. re: momjamin
                    LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 01:51 PM

                    Well, if there was a way to cheer for Richard and against Mike, I would have done so. Richard became collateral damage when cheering for the women to win. :-)

            3. a
              AMFM Mar 16, 2011 07:48 PM

              okay - antonia's line to richard "yeah, potato noodles are classic. what's wrong with you?" was hilarious!!!!

              27 Replies
              1. re: AMFM
                LindaWhit Mar 16, 2011 07:54 PM

                I thought it was pretty snarky mean. Damn - Richard's already feeling like crap - she needed to say that?

                1. re: LindaWhit
                  LiveRock Mar 16, 2011 08:02 PM

                  Maybe it was just me but I took it as Antonia saying "Really? Quit dissing yourself Richard"!

                  1. re: LiveRock
                    LindaWhit Mar 16, 2011 08:04 PM

                    OK, that makes sense. However, with as much as Richard is down on himself, he probably took it as cutting him down! LOL

                  2. re: LindaWhit
                    Shrinkrap Mar 16, 2011 11:22 PM

                    I wondered if she was irritated with false modesty.

                    Husband and I were annoyed that there were no black people in the yacht club, but plenty to serve.... sigh...I know.... it's a cooking show....

                    1. re: Shrinkrap
                      ChefJune Mar 17, 2011 06:40 AM

                      Last week at the Junkanoo episode, almost all the diners were "of color." Yes, apparently the Yacht Club is segregated, and I don't approve of that, but we didn't set the venues for these challenges.

                      1. re: ChefJune
                        John E. Mar 17, 2011 10:30 AM

                        We really don't know for sure if the yacht club is segregated. We do know that if there are minority members, none of them were invited to this particular event.

                        1. re: John E.
                          ChefJune Mar 17, 2011 07:16 PM

                          ...and why would ALL the members NOT be invited to the 80th anniversary celebration? I'll just bet they were all there.

                          And now, back to the food.

                          1. re: ChefJune
                            John E. Mar 17, 2011 08:37 PM

                            ALL the members? How many members do they have? Using your logic, ALL the members were there, all 10 of them. Whether the yacht club is segregated or not, they couldn't invite all of the members to eat in the sand of a deserted beach.

                            1. re: John E.
                              Mayor of Melonville Mar 18, 2011 05:08 AM

                              It's a fairly large membership. They have a website:


                              I doubt there are many "locals" in the Club, but that's not the point. If TC offered the services of the cheftestants, why would they refuse?

                              1. re: Mayor of Melonville
                                John E. Mar 18, 2011 09:08 AM

                                You really should have directed your reply to June. I don't have any problems with the yacht club. I just think it's a little silly to judge them from afar with little information.

                                1. re: John E.
                                  Mayor of Melonville Mar 20, 2011 12:32 PM

                                  comment was not directed at you, John E, but at the thread

                    2. re: LindaWhit
                      mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 12:32 PM

                      no i totally thought it was her saying cut it out - you're fantastic, stop being down on yourself already!

                      1. re: mariacarmen
                        AMFM Mar 17, 2011 01:10 PM

                        agreed - that's what i thought too! i thought she was saying "you're FABULOUS!"

                        1. re: mariacarmen
                          jujuthomas Mar 18, 2011 05:34 AM

                          That's how I heard it as well.

                          1. re: mariacarmen
                            chowser Mar 18, 2011 05:38 AM

                            I agree--I thought it was a great comment from her, not condescendingly nice.

                            1. re: chowser
                              LindaWhit Mar 18, 2011 05:50 AM

                              Interestingly, the link posted below by ghg from Silvestri's blog on Eater.com seems to see it the way I did - condescending:

                              "Before Judges' Table, the chefs fret. It was a close one! Richard is worried about how he was the one who didn't do Caribbean flavors. "Mine was too classic." Antonia rolls her eyes. "Yeah, potato noodles are super classic. What's wrong with you?" "


                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                chowser Mar 18, 2011 06:08 AM

                                I don't know--I read what she said as a fact. She did roll her eyes and say that but Silvestri didn't say anything more than what happened. I think we'll read that as we saw it. If we see it as her cutting him down, we'll read it as such; if we saw it as her disagreeing with what he said in a sarcastic way, we'll read it as that.

                                1. re: chowser
                                  Joanie Mar 18, 2011 08:51 AM

                                  I don't see condescension either. Maybe more exasperation cuz he says that shit all the time. Obviously after making sweet potato noodles, you can't take him seriously commenting that it's "too classic".

                                  1. re: Joanie
                                    chowser Mar 18, 2011 09:07 AM

                                    If anyone is old enough to remember the scene in Moonlight when Cher slaps Nicholas Cage in the face and says, "Snap out of it!!!!" That might be appropriate for his stewing. And I like Richard!

                                    1. re: chowser
                                      roxlet Mar 18, 2011 09:18 AM


                                      1. re: roxlet
                                        chicgail Mar 18, 2011 11:33 AM

                                        The movie.

                                        1. re: chicgail
                                          roxlet Mar 18, 2011 11:33 AM


                                        2. re: roxlet
                                          chowser Mar 18, 2011 11:56 AM

                                          Moonstruck--I'm old enough to remember the idea but forgetful enough to forget the details. Thanks.

                                          1. re: chowser
                                            roxlet Mar 18, 2011 12:39 PM

                                            It was very charming and Nic Cage played a baker who had only one hand, and who romanced Cher.

                            2. re: LindaWhit
                              chef chicklet Mar 17, 2011 03:03 PM

                              I thought she was trying to ease his worries, it's just her way. She's doesn't come off as the most sensitive person, and frankly his whining about his dishes is odd. The beatings he gives himself come across as aconstance cry for reasurrance. Don't get me wrong, I like Richard, I think he's an awesome chef, but just from the few clips seeimg him be so critical of himself, and the negative self talk like he hates "his food" and wants to "smash it". So needy, one of the reasons why he and Fabio got along so well, Fabio was very nurturing and catered to his whining. Oh well.

                            3. re: AMFM
                              NellyNel Mar 18, 2011 06:41 AM

                              I'm with you AM - I thought it was hilarious, and I also thought it was a good natured tease

                              So many funny lines in this episode!

                              1. re: NellyNel
                                NellyNel Mar 18, 2011 11:04 AM

                                This is weird - when I replied to AMFM's comment this morning - Linda's was the only othe comment on this posted, but now there are loads that werent there this morning, but were posted yesterday.

                            4. mattstolz Mar 16, 2011 07:59 PM

                              was padma crying as she told tiffany to PYKAG?

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: mattstolz
                                Pylon Mar 16, 2011 08:46 PM

                                I thought the same thing. Sure sounded that way.

                                1. re: Pylon
                                  edible complex Mar 16, 2011 09:19 PM

                                  editing,,,I thought that big sniff/sigh was Tiffany as they then cut to her crying.

                                  1. re: edible complex
                                    Pylon Mar 17, 2011 06:28 AM

                                    Coulda been. I think one reason I thought it was Padma is that they didn't show her while she said it, which is a bit unusual.

                                    1. re: Pylon
                                      goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 09:44 AM

                                      they did show Padma's face when she said it...because i was watching her intently to see whether her mouth was going to form a T or an A!

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        Pylon Mar 17, 2011 09:50 AM

                                        IIRC, they cut away pretty quick, like right after she said the name. The "sob" in question was after that. But I only saw it once, so I could be wrong.

                                        1. re: Pylon
                                          goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 11:26 AM

                                          i'll have to check a rerun if i catch one - i deleted the recording after my second viewing last night.

                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                          mattstolz Mar 17, 2011 11:07 AM

                                          i was hopin for an "M"!!!

                                      2. re: edible complex
                                        goodhealthgourmet Mar 24, 2011 10:37 AM

                                        you're right. i watched the repeat last night while i was waiting for the new one to start, and the sob/sharp intake of breath was Tiffany.

                                    2. re: mattstolz
                                      chef chicklet Mar 17, 2011 03:03 PM

                                      sure sounded like her voice broke to me.

                                    3. n
                                      Nettie Mar 16, 2011 08:16 PM

                                      Richard had a couple of interesting tweets during the show. First, he gave a warning about "topless chef" coming in a few minutes, and having just seen the previews of them diving I figured that we'd be seeing more than we might want to of one of the guys. In his interview comments during the judging he said that he didn't believe that his lobster was undercooked, then in a tweet he said he'd like to get Eric Ripert's opinion on it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Nettie
                                        samlev Mar 18, 2011 11:18 AM

                                        My wife and I looked at each other when the guest judge stated her lobster was undercooked and both agreed that it most likely wasn't. She seemed to be the type that makes snap judgments and then searches for reasons to back up her initial judgment. She did this with the QF and with the EC. Note her going out of her way to praise Tiffany's dish by stating "I love anything with ceviche on it!" Sorry but Tiffany serving "ceviche" on top of a hot soup kind of defeats the point of ceviche.

                                        For what it's worth, this judge was my least favorite....even worse than Paula Dean or Lorraine "Obnoxious and Grating Voiced" Bracco.

                                      2. John E. Mar 16, 2011 08:35 PM

                                        I thought I would get the answer to this question on the rerun, but I missed the exchange. There was a guest in the beach that was a 'three time world champion'. In what?

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: John E.
                                          ahack Mar 16, 2011 08:57 PM

                                          A simple google search revealed this:

                                          "About Donald Martinborough
                                          Commercial Property Manager. Licensed Broker member Bahamas Real Estate Association. Three time World Champion, Sunfish Sailing Class."


                                          1. re: ahack
                                            John E. Mar 16, 2011 09:37 PM

                                            I couldn't google anything because I also didn't catch his bane. We had a couple of sunfish class sailboats when I was a kid when what we really wanted was a ski boat. I got to be a pretty good sailor for a 15 year-old.

                                            1. re: John E.
                                              goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 09:42 PM

                                              i swear it sounded like he was saying "selfish" - and he *only* said Sunfish, not sailing, so for the life of me i couldn't make a connection to anything that made sense :)

                                              1. re: John E.
                                                ahack Mar 16, 2011 09:49 PM

                                                No worries. I just googled Three-time world champion bahamas... ;)

                                            2. re: John E.
                                              goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 09:01 PM

                                              not a clue. i just rewound & replayed it four times to get you the answer, and i have no idea what the guy is saying!

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                sommrluv Mar 17, 2011 01:16 PM

                                                Sunfish is a pretty specific and common type of small sailboat. My husband used to sail them and he got it right away, and it took me a few moments.

                                                Now I miss my sailboat...lol

                                                1. re: sommrluv
                                                  goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                  i know what a Sunfish is - the problem was that in the midst of a discussion about Bahamian Club Commodores and Mayor Mike Bloomberg, it was totally out of context for me.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    chicgail Mar 17, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                    It may have been appropriate dinner talk, but many of us would have preferred it to land on the floor of the cutting room (yes, I know digital editing means that nothing winds up on the floor).

                                            3. c
                                              cartbaby Mar 16, 2011 08:41 PM

                                              Did it seem like the guest judge was biased for the girls?

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: cartbaby
                                                John E. Mar 16, 2011 08:52 PM

                                                I think the girls cooked for the guest judge. Didn't they have a chimichurri sauce on their QF dish? I don't think a pasta ragu dish would impress her (and apparently it didn't).

                                                1. re: cartbaby
                                                  goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 09:09 PM

                                                  kinda sorta. i don't know - i'm already Lorena Garcia'd out from seeing her on America's Next Great Restaurant. i wasn't thrilled to see her pop up here for the cross-promotion.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    ChefJune Mar 16, 2011 09:49 PM

                                                    Aside from being on America's Next etc., who is Lorena Garcia? I've never heard of her.

                                                2. goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                  interesting that Richard & Mike's dishes were the best received, and they were the ones who practiced with conch during their time off. it pays to be prepared! i actually couldn't believe that neither Antonia nor Tiffany had ever worked with it.

                                                  i had a feeling Tiffany was going home from the beginning - it was just time. plus they gave her too much airtime talking about her difficulty getting the conch out of the shell, and then how she was feeling really good about her EC dish and liked playing with temperatures...once i heard the comments about the soup being cold and too sweet i figured she was a goner. honestly i'm just glad they *finally* sent her packing.

                                                  disappointed that Blais didn't win the EC - i really thought he might pull it out.

                                                  it was impressive that they all managed to prepare their food without getting any sand in it. i'm over all these challenges that make it so difficult for them to focus on just cooking good food. sand flying everywhere, equipment that barely works...enough already! i thought Survivor was on a different network...

                                                  ETA: the Gilligan's island bit was cute - particularly the part about Carla as Gilligan. and it looks like Mike was right - Antonia is *still* the Black Hammer! she partnered with Tiff in the QF, and look who went home...

                                                  61 Replies
                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    grant.cook Mar 16, 2011 09:12 PM

                                                    BTW, what in the heck was the tool Richard used to cut the potato noodles?

                                                    1. re: grant.cook
                                                      goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 09:16 PM

                                                      it was a spiral slicer, and i'm so glad you brought it up! i thought i was a really bizarre tool to include for a deserted island type of challenge.

                                                      examples here:

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                        sinjawns Mar 17, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                        So the 'noodles' are just thinly sliced s.potato, boiled?

                                                        1. re: sinjawns
                                                          fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 12:10 PM

                                                          I don't believe he cooked them. If he did, they wouldn't stay together.

                                                          1. re: fame da lupo
                                                            sinjawns Mar 17, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                            raw sweet potato?

                                                            1. re: sinjawns
                                                              fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                              My only guess is that it softened with the sauce?

                                                              1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                sommrluv Mar 17, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                                He had to have cooked it, raw potato is nasty. (and it makes me REALLY sick) lol

                                                            2. re: fame da lupo
                                                              LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 01:53 PM

                                                              He was shown stirring them in a pot of water, I believe. I'd think they'd have had to have been cooked somehow...Tom said he didn't get any "crunchiness" at all, which is why he thought it was really pasta.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                sinjawns Mar 17, 2011 02:23 PM

                                                                Sorry to perseverate on this... I can't eat actual pasta these days and am intrigued.

                                                                I rewatched just now-- he squared off the potato, ran it through the ribbon slicer, and then I guess manually sliced the ribbons into strips. He poured the strips from a bowl (were they seasoned?) into a pot of boiling water. He said "These sweet potato noodles are risky-- they really have to taste like pasta". Later, I saw him tossing them around in a pan-- saucing them I guess.

                                                                Other than a heavy salting of the water, what else might he have done to make them pasta-like?

                                                                BTW, Gail said "I thought it was raw sweet potato; it had a crunch to it."

                                                                1. re: sinjawns
                                                                  fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 02:35 PM

                                                                  I have a hard time figuring out how boiled potato ribbons would maintain structural integrity.

                                                                  1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                    Bellachefa Mar 17, 2011 03:49 PM

                                                                    they weren't 'boiled' they were 'blanched'

                                                                    1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 03:55 PM

                                                                      Ahhh, that's a better way to put it.

                                                                      And sinjawns, I do remember Gail saying her "noodles" had a bit of crunch, but I'm pretty sure that Tom said his didn't.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                        sinjawns Mar 17, 2011 04:31 PM

                                                                        yes, they had different opinions on what they were tasting... inconsistent cooking or differing palates?

                                                                        1. re: sinjawns
                                                                          LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 04:44 PM

                                                                          Could be both, sinjawns, without seeing if Richard's "noodles" were all consistently the same width.

                                                                    2. re: fame da lupo
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 03:53 PM

                                                                      it's a simple matter of how long they were in the water. the same goes for zucchini/squash or carrot ribbons - they need just enough cooking to make them soft & pliable without making them turn to mush or disintegrate.

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                        mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 07:49 PM

                                                                        oooh, one of my favorite things is zucchini ribbons lightly sauteed in sweet butter for just a couple minutes and then sprinkled with dill. just tastes like the best, freshest egg noodles.

                                                          2. re: grant.cook
                                                            Nettie Mar 16, 2011 09:25 PM

                                                            Oh, and how cool was it that Tom thought that the potato was actually pasta noodles?

                                                            1. re: Nettie
                                                              goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 09:31 PM

                                                              when Tom was talking about how much he loved the noodles, i totally thought Blais had it in the bag. boo.

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 05:19 AM

                                                                Same here - the undercooked spiny lobster must have been the ding that put him below Mike?

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  Pylon Mar 17, 2011 06:31 AM

                                                                  I would have liked to have seen the lobster in question. During the show his comment of "apparently undercooked...which I doubt" felt like it was sliced together. If Blais was tweeting about it during the show, though, then I guess not.

                                                                  I know at this level it's the small things that make the difference, but I'd like to know just how close it was.

                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                  Nettie Mar 17, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                  This is one where I was really annoyed by the editing. During the meal there was one comment about the undercooked lobster, and lengthy discussion of how good Richard's dish was. When they tasted Mike's dish, most of the discussion was negative--so much so that I thought he might be going home. But then it turns out that they name Mike the winner. I know that they have to edit the comments to make it seem interesting, but in a few cases like this they make it deliberately misleading.

                                                                  If it's any consolation to Richard, if I had to choose between eating at Mike's restaurant or Richard's restaurant, hands down I'd eat at Richard's.

                                                                  1. re: Nettie
                                                                    LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                                    If it's any consolation to Richard, if I had to choose between eating at Mike's restaurant or Richard's restaurant, hands down I'd eat at Richard's.

                                                                    Most definitely.

                                                                    1. re: Nettie
                                                                      Debbie M Mar 17, 2011 12:25 PM

                                                                      It seems to me that this season, the editing is such that a fewf times, with both winners and losers, I wouldn't have guessed who it would be from the judge's comments.

                                                                      1. re: Nettie
                                                                        mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                                        i agree about the editing making it seem like Mike was going home - drats! totally wanted Richard to win, especially with a dish that so intrigued everyone (the "noodles"). but they said at the end of JT that the dish that made the best use of the conch was apparently was Mike's despite its butter flaw. so, flaws aside for all the dishes, they liked Mike's way with the conch best. I don't like it, but i get it.

                                                                3. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                  Nettie Mar 16, 2011 09:24 PM

                                                                  When Tiffany said that she was putting cold ceviche on top of her hot chowder, I was wondering how that was going to work--it sounds like it didn't.

                                                                  1. re: Nettie
                                                                    Pylon Mar 17, 2011 06:32 AM

                                                                    As soon as she said it I though "bad idea." Put it on the side and have the diners top their chowder at the table. Hot stays hot, cool stays cool. Like a Top Chef McDLT.

                                                                    1. re: Pylon
                                                                      sommrluv Mar 17, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                                      Is there anything better than a McDLT reference?

                                                                      1. re: sommrluv
                                                                        porkbutt03 Mar 17, 2011 03:52 PM

                                                                        I dont get it, whats McDLT? I don't remember her saying that.

                                                                        1. re: porkbutt03
                                                                          John E. Mar 17, 2011 04:07 PM

                                                                          It wasn't mentioned on the show, just here. It was a McDonald's burger from about 18 years ago that was marketed to adults. One side of the box had the bottom of the bun and the burger while the other side had fhe top of the bun and lettuce, onion, and tomato (the cool side). The customer put them together to eat. Apparently it did not generate enough profit to keep it on the menu.

                                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                                            sommrluv Mar 17, 2011 07:40 PM

                                                                            And the best part of the McDLT...


                                                                            Jason Alexander singing and dancing in the streets.

                                                                            I remember the huge containers when I was a kid.

                                                                            1. re: sommrluv
                                                                              Bellachefa Mar 17, 2011 07:47 PM

                                                                              I don't remember it, but that was funny!!!

                                                                              1. re: sommrluv
                                                                                John E. Mar 17, 2011 08:47 PM

                                                                                Whadda-ya know, George Costanza with hair. It was longer ago than I remembered. Of course, it must have been marketed to adults back then and I was still a kid, or recently a kid.

                                                                                That's the kind of video Leno likes to show his guests.

                                                                          2. re: sommrluv
                                                                            Pylon Mar 17, 2011 10:32 PM

                                                                            I was wondering if anyone would get that one. +1 to you!

                                                                          3. re: Pylon
                                                                            chowser Mar 18, 2011 05:01 AM

                                                                            Even more so, the follow up commercial by BK that said, so when you put it together, the hot side then gets cool and the cold side gets warm and how does that work? Maybe Tiffany is too young to remember.

                                                                          4. re: Nettie
                                                                            C. Hamster Mar 17, 2011 09:23 AM

                                                                            Personally, I screamed WTF???

                                                                            1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                              fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 09:48 AM


                                                                            2. re: Nettie
                                                                              Debbie M Mar 17, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                                              During a recent Honolulu visit, I bought a poke rice bowl at local supermarket Foodland, then walked about 10 minutes to my cousin's house, where I was going to eat. I worried that the steaming rice might cook the poke, but when I sat down to eat, everything was fine. Tiffany's dish kind of reminded me of this conceptually, so it sounded like, had the timing worked out better, the hot/cool could have been nice.

                                                                              1. re: Nettie
                                                                                gastrotect Mar 17, 2011 01:29 PM

                                                                                I assumed she was going home at that point. It just sounded like a bad idea. I figured the ceviche would cool down her soup and screw up what she was going for.

                                                                                1. re: gastrotect
                                                                                  edible complex Mar 19, 2011 10:18 AM

                                                                                  from Tom's blog:
                                                                                  "And, as Tiffany herself stated, Tiffany was outcooked by the other three chefs. Her placing the cold ceviche into the bowl with what was supposed to be a warm chowder was a strange choice. Chefs have made soups where one spoonful is hot followed by another that’s cold, but that was not what Tiffany did here –- the whole dish was just lukewarm."

                                                                                2. re: Nettie
                                                                                  chef chicklet Mar 17, 2011 03:13 PM

                                                                                  me too, if I was to do that, I'd be serving that piping hot chowder pronto. I kept thinking she should throw a towel over the cups(but then again sand factor). They do have bowls with covers perhaps she wasn't able to get them. Richard had his spiral cutter, wonder did he ask for that, or was it provided for all?

                                                                                  The soup to me sounded good, but with all the fresh fish, all that produce, to serve chowder? She seems to be an excellent chef, why soup, I was dissapointed with her choice. I figured she had time off, she was knew she was going to the bahamas and she was saving the best for last. Whatever the case, I am truly sorry to see her go, I was rooting for her.

                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                    John E. Mar 17, 2011 04:10 PM

                                                                                    I hink the chefs get to bring just about any cooking utensil and gadget they can think of. I'm sure Richard brought that along himself.

                                                                                3. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                  John E. Mar 16, 2011 09:44 PM

                                                                                  Yeah, they thought that was the real Gilligan's Island. If they were correct, Gilligan could have swimmed to Florida. (Swam? Swum?)

                                                                                  I remember catching crawdads out of the lake and eating them (alone, I might add. Nobody else would even try them). I think having them catch their own conch was cool but I'm wondering if there really were that many conch just off that beach the day before. Something tells me they were planted there to get some video of the chefs diving.

                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 09:52 PM

                                                                                    Something tells me they were planted there to get some video of the chefs diving.
                                                                                    definitely. wouldn't be the first time - i'm pretty sure they've stocked the water for past fishing challenges.

                                                                                    when Antonia made the comment about the "real" Gilligan's Island i assumed she was joking and/or she meant that it was the island where the show was filmed...though if that's the case, she was wrong.

                                                                                    oh, and it's "swum" :)

                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                      John E. Mar 16, 2011 10:08 PM

                                                                                      Yeah, I tried swum first and it didn't sound correct. I think the Gilligan's Isle reference was to a nearby island that resembled the one on the TV show's opening credits. I was attempting humor. I don't know how they could have stocked the Atlantic off Montauk. (More humor).

                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                        ChefJune Mar 17, 2011 06:41 AM

                                                                                        "Swum" may not sound correct, but it is. Love the "swimmed," though, John. ;)

                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                        susancinsf Mar 17, 2011 07:10 AM

                                                                                        yes, I am sure the cove was seeded with conch. I've done a lot of diving in the Bahamas and I've never seen that many in one place (or in water that shallow, right off the beach).

                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                          KailuaGirl Mar 17, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                                                          The "real" Gilligan's Island is Coconut Island in Kane'ohe Bay on the windward side of O'ahu.

                                                                                          The water had to have been salted (pun intended) with the conch. There's no way there'd be that many living in a bunvc, just waiting for someone to come and grab them.

                                                                                          1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                            madisoneats Mar 17, 2011 07:37 AM

                                                                                            Im embarrassed to know this but....Coconut Island was just season 2 and 3. Season1 of Gilligan actually used the island we saw-- in the Bahamas-- called Sandy Cay.

                                                                                            1. re: madisoneats
                                                                                              Phaedrus Mar 17, 2011 07:56 AM

                                                                                              I am impressed. Or amused. Not sure.

                                                                                              1. re: madisoneats
                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 09:47 AM

                                                                                                yes, i knew about the different GI locations, which is why i said Antonia was wrong. and i'm not embarrassed that i knew - it came up in a discussion with friends a while back so we looked it up :)

                                                                                                1. re: madisoneats
                                                                                                  John E. Mar 17, 2011 10:46 AM

                                                                                                  I looked it up. It's a three acre island just seven miles from Nassau and it recently sold for $2.67 million. (Might be a good deal if 1960s Ginger were included).

                                                                                                  1. re: madisoneats
                                                                                                    mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 12:43 PM

                                                                                                    madisoneats, i LOVE that you know that. and now i know it too!

                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                      madisoneats Mar 17, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                                                                      Thank you...now I am far less mortified that someone appreciates my love of bad tv!!!
                                                                                                      Lol this was my favorite show as a kid.

                                                                                                      1. re: madisoneats
                                                                                                        dmjordan Mar 17, 2011 01:53 PM

                                                                                                        I admire you. I'm just waiting for the chance to show off my encyclopedic knowledge of the Brady Bunch!

                                                                                                        1. re: madisoneats
                                                                                                          John E. Mar 17, 2011 04:15 PM

                                                                                                          I know I've seen every episode of Gilligan's Island. Probably most of the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family too. I'd be embarassed except my response would be that I've never seen 2-1/2 Men. (1-1/2 now?)

                                                                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                                                                            Pylon Mar 17, 2011 10:34 PM

                                                                                                            That's more than OK.

                                                                                                      2. re: madisoneats
                                                                                                        KailuaGirl Mar 18, 2011 01:26 AM

                                                                                                        Hmmm. Didn't know that, madisoneats, so thanks for the info. I always thought it was so cool that it was Coconut Island, a place that I love to go out to and that has played host to presidents and other hoity toits in the past.
                                                                                                        I was a GI fan, too. I hoped I could grow up to be Ginger. :-)

                                                                                                  2. re: John E.
                                                                                                    chicgail Mar 17, 2011 12:41 AM

                                                                                                    The comch appeared to be laying on the ocean floor, an equidistant apart. That wasn't coincidence.

                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                      Phaedrus Mar 17, 2011 07:21 AM

                                                                                                      If you have ever watched Scrapheap Challenge (UK) or Junkyard Wars (US), you know that the people would always miraculously find what they needed in the next scrap heap they walk to. There was an interview with the production guys for those shows and he talks about working his tail off trying to find all the hardware they would need and then placing them discreetly but not too discreetly in a spot for them to find.

                                                                                                      Same deal here.

                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                        edible complex Mar 19, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                                                        stunt conchs

                                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                        Maggie Larkin Mar 17, 2011 11:43 AM

                                                                                                        couldnt agree with your post more! as a fellow long islander i was totally pulling for richard this time. it breaks my heart a lil everytime (even though i cant help by laughing) when he is so hard on himself. anyone catch his face as they annouced mike the winner?

                                                                                                        also with the commericals & previews they totally made it seem as if they judges were gonna tear mike apart. anyone else feel the same here?

                                                                                                        it will be interesting to see how this all plays out now. i cant predict

                                                                                                      3. ChefJune Mar 16, 2011 09:53 PM

                                                                                                        Mike clearly practiced his a$$ off during the hiatus. Aside from the very last challenge before the finale, had he EVER won an elimination challenge either this season or Season 6? He is really making some impressive food, but I still abhor his mysoginistic attitude.

                                                                                                        18 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                          John E. Mar 16, 2011 10:17 PM

                                                                                                          The only EC's Mike has won have been in the Bahamas. I think you are correct in your observations about him. While I think he's an ass, I don't think he dislikes woman. He might be a bit of a male chauvinist, but isn't that a little different?

                                                                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                                                                            chicgail Mar 17, 2011 12:45 AM

                                                                                                            It's not a difference at all. Male chauvanists don't hate women. They love them when they stay in their place at home, "barefoot and pregnant," and don't get in his way out in the world.

                                                                                                            Mike "loves" women - as long as they are not competing in the realm over which he dominates. It's totally patronizing and insulting.

                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                              cowboyardee Mar 17, 2011 10:04 AM

                                                                                                              "It's not a difference at all. Male chauvanists don't hate women. They love them when they stay in their place at home, "barefoot and pregnant," and don't get in his way out in the world."
                                                                                                              You don't think that's a bit of an overstatement with respect to Mike? I mean, yeah he seems not to think too highly of his current female competitors (though he seemed to revere Jen Carrol). But that's not necessarily chauvinism - he might just overrate himself and also view Richard (correctly, IMO) as a front runner in this competition.

                                                                                                              He's definitely a bit of a boor, possibly with some chauvinistic tendencies, but the whole barefoot and pregnant thing - what evidence do we have that he's anywhere near that extreme in his attitudes?

                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                edible complex Mar 19, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                "He's definitely a bit of a boor,"

                                                                                                                not to be confused with the wild boar from Lord of the Flies that Richard was hoping they didn't have to catch and slaughter.

                                                                                                              2. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                John E. Mar 17, 2011 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                Which makes him a male chauvinist but not a misogynist. I don't mean to defend him, just clarify. I think Jen actually likes him. I guess the women in his life just accept him and say "that's just Mike being Mike".

                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                  chicgail Mar 17, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                  Agreed. I never said misogynist; just chauvinist. Thanks for clarifying what you were saying.

                                                                                                                  That being said, Jen may like him. His wife and mother may like him.

                                                                                                                  But over here where I am, he doesn't get much credit for not "hating" women, but only thinking that his version of plumbing makes him somehow superior to people with a different kind of plumbing and that they are not in the same class or level to compete with him.

                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                    roxlet Mar 17, 2011 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                    Agree 100%.

                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                      fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                      Mike has his d-bag moments, but he's the only one on the show I'd want to have a beer with.

                                                                                                                      1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                        Phaedrus Mar 17, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                        But would you eat his food? I would worry that he'd try to add some nuance by belching over the dish.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                          roxlet Mar 17, 2011 12:19 PM


                                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                            fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                            Mike's food has always looked good to me, going back to his season. I think you put him in a season like Hosea's and he wins.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                              John E. Mar 17, 2011 04:17 PM

                                                                                                                              Not to mention the sweat.

                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                NellyNel Mar 18, 2011 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                Last night it was Richard with his sweaty nose who made me gag.

                                                                                                                            2. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                              tofuburrito Mar 17, 2011 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                              He's the last person I'd want to have a beer with. Imagine listening to him boast about himself and criticize everyone else all night.

                                                                                                                              1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                                aching Mar 17, 2011 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                                I bet he's a REALLY sloppy drunk, too!

                                                                                                                                1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                                  NellyNel Mar 18, 2011 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                  To be honest, the only time Mike seems to be obnoxious and incredibly arrogant - is when he is alone with the confessional camera.
                                                                                                                                  He actually seems very congenial and fun-loving when he is in a group.

                                                                                                                                  I can forgive Mike his arrogance, I think because I grew up around so many guys who are exactly like him. It's a shield, but deep down, I think he's a sweetheart.

                                                                                                                              2. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                sharonlouk Mar 17, 2011 05:33 PM

                                                                                                                                Just because he thinks he is a better chef than the other women in the competition does not mean he thinks this way about all female chefs or women in general. He also thinks he's a better chef than most of the men in the competition.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sharonlouk
                                                                                                                                  Parrotgal Mar 18, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                  In his own season, episode 1, he made an incredibly obnoxious remark about "girl" chefs, followed by others during the season. I don't hate him, but I sure hope he doesn't win!

                                                                                                                      2. roxlet Mar 17, 2011 04:16 AM

                                                                                                                        I was not sorry to see Tiffany go home, but I was sorry to see Mike win. I thought that a lot of problems with his dish were pointed out while they were eating (too many things going on, too buttery), so I was disappointed for Blais. I was also disappointed because I don't think that Mike needs any extra help being cocky. I can't stand his arrogant attitude, and it can't be just editing since all those words do come out of his mouth. Kudos for him for practicing with conch prior to the finale, but I just can't stand him.

                                                                                                                        Of all the dishes served last night, I have to say that I personally would have been most interested in eating Antonia's. That's the one that I would have ordered off the menu in a restaurant. But it was cool that Tom thought Blais had really made pasta.

                                                                                                                        Personally, I can't wait till these guys get into a well-equipped kitchen to cook. Enough with all these tough, sub-par conditions. Let it be just about the food please!

                                                                                                                        32 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                          Pylon Mar 17, 2011 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                          "...it can't be just editing since all those words do come out of his mouth. "

                                                                                                                          Don't rush to judgment on that. Not to defend the guy too much, but it's all editing to tell a story. But that story is for sure not a complimentary one.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                            roxlet Mar 17, 2011 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                            No, I think I WILL rush to judgement on that. You can be sure that if the other contestants uttered words that were as completely condescending and self-agrandizing as Mike's, those clips would be used as well. He is saying those things and they are using them. Period. Do you really think that there are clips of Mike saying how much he respects Antonia or how bad he felt for Richard? I doubt it highly.

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                              Pylon Mar 17, 2011 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                              This seems to be a reoccurring them. If you (meaning the general "you", not specifically you, rox) don't like someone, well then it's clearly not because of editing. There's no chance that they are being cast in a good or bad light by editing, despite the numerous examples of manipulation we've seen and the number of cast members who have come out and said they editing was misleading.

                                                                                                                              I love watching TC like most people here. But when are people going to wake up to the fact that IT IS A TELEVISION SHOW. It is produced to get your attention and keep it, which means creating conflict when needed. If I put a camera on anyone for 24 hours a day for weeks at a time, I promise you, you can be turned into any personality type the editor would choose.

                                                                                                                              Look back at the dichotomy of Carla. Depending on the edit, she's either a down to earth, soulful chef or a spastic dork. And as glad as I am to not have to watch her anymore, I am pleased to be rid of the CHARACTER that has been created. I don't think anyone, be they on TC or some other show, are so two dimensional as we are shown.

                                                                                                                              It's entertainment, not real life.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                JuniorBalloon Mar 17, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                No one is saying he is two dimensional. They are saying they don't like this dimension and that it's not all editing that this dimension of Mike is douchey.


                                                                                                                                1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                  Scagnetti Mar 17, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                  <<Depending on the edit, she's [Carla] either a down to earth, soulful chef or a spastic dork.>>
                                                                                                                                  I'm in the spastic dork camp. Other than Angelo, who I couldn't stand, Carla was just plain annoying.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                                                                                    mcf Mar 17, 2011 05:31 PM

                                                                                                                                    She can be both, too. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                                                                                      Just Visiting Mar 18, 2011 03:52 AM

                                                                                                                                      YAY! I've been hesitant to say one thing about Carla, who seems so beloved, but she annoys the living daylights out of me.

                                                                                                                                      The late great Don Martin (who died in 2000) obviously had a crystal ball when he did this portrait of Carla Hall:


                                                                                                                                      (scroll down)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Just Visiting
                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Mar 18, 2011 10:55 AM

                                                                                                                                        YAY! I've been hesitant to say one thing about Carla, who seems so beloved, but she annoys the living daylights out of me.
                                                                                                                                        clearly you haven't read anything i or Pylon posted on the threads when Carla was still in the running ;)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                          JuniorBalloon Mar 18, 2011 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                          Not surprising that JV missed them as your combined anti-carla post total is only in the low triple digits.


                                                                                                                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                            Pylon Mar 18, 2011 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                            Sounds like we got some work to do, GHG. Bring on the reruns!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Mar 18, 2011 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                              LOL! the only reason *i* even had more than a couple was because i kept having to defend & explain myself!

                                                                                                                                              @Pylon, i think i've made my position clear - no need to beat a dead horse...or chicken lady ;)

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                        cowboyardee Mar 17, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                        "Depending on the edit, [Carla was] either a down to earth, soulful chef or a spastic dork."
                                                                                                                                        I thought she was both. Probably is both (to an extent anyway) in real life as well.

                                                                                                                                        It's easy to say that the contestants' true personalities are obscured by the camera. But that doesn't mean that what we're seeing is 100% dog-and-pony show. Despite the edit, many of the chef's real personalities come through (and it also becomes clear that certain chefs - say Angelo or Spike - pose a little more for the camera than other chefs). We just have to keep in mind not to judge a contestant too harshly based on the most ridiculous and contentious moments from a month+ of constant filming.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                          roxlet Mar 17, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                          I know a lot about TV having been in the industry for 20 years, including working as an assistant editor, and being head of a major network programming department, so I probably know more about editing than most of the people on Chowhound. You can't edit in something that is not there.

                                                                                                                                          I know what is entertainment and what is reality, but thanks for the heads up.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                            chicgail Mar 17, 2011 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                            Thank you Roxlet.

                                                                                                                                            If you don't want it broadcast, don't say it.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                              You can't edit in something that is not there.

                                                                                                                                              THANK you, roxlet. This is exactly what I've been thinking but couldn't put into words. Mike's make the comments - good, bad, or indifferent. He's SAID them. If he didn't want them there, then he shouldn't have said them.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                and Mike doesn't even seem to be bothered by his "persona"! he does not seem to temper himself, not self-edit. This is not his first time on the show, he knows how it works and that what he says will be aired on the show, ESPECIALLY if it's something that can be construed as creating conflict/drama/entertainment!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                  chowser Mar 18, 2011 05:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I agree-even after his last season, when many people wrote to his restaurant to complain and say they'd never eat there, his attitude in many interviews was "Oh well." People have said they like Carla because she's comfortable in her skin. I think Mike is, moreso. He doesn't care if he comes off as arrogant and cocky and doesn't seem to care that it bothers others.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                Terrieltr Mar 17, 2011 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                You can't edit in something that is not there.

                                                                                                                                                Exactly. There are are some things that just shouldn't be said, in any context.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                  Pylon Mar 17, 2011 10:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Don't make me go back and edit your words to prove a point. Because I could, and it wouldn't be hard.

                                                                                                                                                  And if you worked in editing, you know that's true. And you should know how easy it is to manipulate sound, especially off camera. You can hear all the cuts, right?

                                                                                                                                                  If you worked in the business, you should know how easy it is.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Mar 18, 2011 12:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                    are you saying that they actually edit his sentences, that may actually be him saying nice things, so that he is heard as saying not-so-nice things? like splicing sentences to form new sentences??

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pylon
                                                                                                                                                      John E. Mar 18, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                      According to Tre, they did edit his comments to make it sound like he was criticizing Marcel much more than he actually did. Tre called Marcel an a**hole in a confessional but the elves edited out Tre saying something to the effect of, "but so am I".

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Mar 18, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                        But that is cutting off the end of what Tre said. Not taking bits out of one soundbite and adding it to another.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                          John E. Mar 18, 2011 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, it is. That was my point.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                          chicgail Mar 18, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I do media training with some very high-powered people. The rule is simple. If you don't want it repeated, broadcast or written about, don't say it. Period.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                            roxlet Mar 18, 2011 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Or put it on the internet! Right you are chicgail.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                              John E. Mar 18, 2011 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Yep, that's true. I used to do media training as well, mostly with business people and politicians. They have to assume somebody will always hear and repeat what they say. I think one of the most famous examples of this happening is what happened to Earl Butz.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                        Parrotgal Mar 18, 2011 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                        On the other hand, you can edit a facial expression that was meant for one thing to imply it was for something else. I can't believe how long it took me to realize that someone may not be reacting to what they show, so I completely ignore those now.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 18, 2011 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                          oh absolutely, it's complete obvious when they do that, it's embarrassing to watch it's so blatant.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                  i agree with 99.9% percent of what you said Roxlet: - except i was sorry Tiffany went home before Mike.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                    roxlet Mar 17, 2011 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I completely know what you mean, though I guess I was still thinking about last week and the fact that Carla went before Tiffany, who has underperformed all season, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 07:52 PM


                                                                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                    occula Mar 21, 2011 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I totally agree - it's Top Chef, not Survivor! I don't care how well they can swim or cook over a half-ass open fire or struggle with non-heating hot plates, for god's sake.

                                                                                                                                                  3. Joanie Mar 17, 2011 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                    And I ask again, where's Anthony Bourdain? It's been many weeks and I thought he was an almost regular judge this season.

                                                                                                                                                    Gratuitous Padma in a bikini made up for the rest of them in their swimwear, oof. I thought it was funny the guests/judges were all dressed in white for the dinner. Had kind of a cultish feel.

                                                                                                                                                    I like how Mike was cool and "collective" (you'd think I was an English teacher).

                                                                                                                                                    I didn't begrudge the girls their glee in winning the quickfire but when you realize they didn't actually hear the guys' confessional, then maybe it was a bit obnoxious. Not after seeing what Mike had to say tho. In fact, I was surprised Mike and Richard immediately gravitated toward each other after the issue with stealing the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                    Best commercial break: watching Deathwish Movers move a mixing board out of a recording studio and the guys arguing about who was the best band who recorded there. Thank god these basic cable shows repeat several times often within an hour or two.

                                                                                                                                                    43 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 05:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I'd bet that Bourdain will be back for the "real" finale. They usually have all of the regular judges for that.

                                                                                                                                                      And missed the Deathwish Movers commercial. Probably was typing furiously during a commercial break. :-) Will have to look for the repeat(s).

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                        Joanie Mar 17, 2011 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Sorry, I meant commercial break and me switching over to the Travel Ch. Have to watch the whole episode but knowing one of the guys def. makes it worth DVR'ing.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                        susancinsf Mar 17, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                        re: the girls not hearing the boys confessional: they were so happy not *just* to win, but to beat the boys, that I suspect they may be putting up with comments in the suite off camera similar to what we see on camera. After all, unless Mike is just playing to the cameras, if he is willing to say what he says on camera....

                                                                                                                                                        and honestly, if the boys had expressed similar reactions to winning (the first pump, the hugging and jumping around etc., though btw I think Antonia's fist pump might also have been in confessional, not done in front of the boys), I don't think it would have drawn as much comment. 'Girls' are expected to be more gracious in winning; 'boys' are expected to be competitive.

                                                                                                                                                        Just my opinion, and complete speculation. Obviously.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                          susancinsf Mar 17, 2011 07:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                          by the way, I do think that to a certain extent Mike is playing to the cameras (even though I think he also says those things off camera). He strikes me as insecure, and using put-downs as a way to help build his own self-confidence; building a 'bad-guy' persona because he feels vulnerable, in other words.

                                                                                                                                                          hmm...guess that means that I have a secret soft spot for him even though I want very much to dislike him.

                                                                                                                                                          Definitely *not* rooting for him to win, however. Even though (for reasons I can't put my finger on), I just can't warm up to Antonia, now that Carla is gone I think I am rooting for her, just for the pleasure of seeing Mike get 'beat by a girl'.

                                                                                                                                                          ok, so I guess perhaps that makes me petty also. So be it. :-)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                            tofuburrito Mar 17, 2011 08:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I think there is a big difference between expressing joy over winning 5K in a quickfire and going into the stew room and jumping up and down in front of the doomed after an E.C. win. I also didn't see how the guys quickfire was so creative and difficult. Was it because of the fresh pasta? Remember Nikki in Chicago? She could knock out fresh pasta in her sleep, it's not that difficult.
                                                                                                                                                            I wonder why Tom announced the winner rather than the guest judge. I wonder if they had a major difference of opinion. She and the guests seemed to like Anotnia's best but maybe Tom overruled her.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Was it because of the fresh pasta? Remember Nikki in Chicago? She could knock out fresh pasta in her sleep, it's not that difficult.
                                                                                                                                                              it's a time issue. bringing the dough together may be a relatively quick exercise, but you usually want to let the dough rest & hydrate for a while to ensure tender pasta. then you have to roll the dough and cut the pasta. then you have to cook it. then you have to compose 100 plates...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                LurkerDan Mar 17, 2011 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Actually, didn't Mike say that the challenge of that dish was cooking the bolognese?

                                                                                                                                                                In any case, for a challenge that involved presentation (more than usual), I thought the guys made a poor choice. Because making macaroni and meat sauce dish look "good" sitting on a plate, is difficult.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                  aching Mar 17, 2011 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I thought the same thing - I love to eat it, but it's not beautiful.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                  John E. Mar 17, 2011 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Fresh pasta isn't that difficult. Besides that, I think Mike used one of thesecto make his macaroni: http://www.popeilfamilystore.com/pm.html

                                                                                                                                                                  Set it and forget it!

                                                                                                                                                                3. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                                                                  cowboyardee Mar 17, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  "I also didn't see how the guys quickfire was so creative and difficult. Was it because of the fresh pasta? Remember Nikki in Chicago? She could knock out fresh pasta in her sleep, it's not that difficult."
                                                                                                                                                                  One hour, 100 plates - fresh pasta and from-scratch bolongnese - yeah it was difficult. Try knocking out 10 portions in an hour, even with a decent pasta maker and a food processor. The veg prep alone would have been a serious job.

                                                                                                                                                                  Not saying that it should have won on those grounds, but it was definitely more work intensive than the steak salad (from what we saw of the steak salad).

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                    tofuburrito Mar 17, 2011 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I get that it's time intensive but I didn't think that was the point he was making. My impression of what he was saying was that it took superior skill and creativity to come up with their dish, but apparently he was really just impressed with his dazzling speed and couldn't understand why the other dish would win based on flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                                                                    CurlieGlamourGirlie Mar 17, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Quite honestly, based on appearance alone? I thought the girls' dish looked better. The boys' dish just looked like a plop of macaroni with sauce on a plate. I was much more impressed that the girls' plates all looked cohesive and the same - a large feat for a plate with that many components - not just a plop on a plate and done. I thought Mike's comments about the girls' dish was really just nasty.

                                                                                                                                                                    Not only that, but cooking all that meat and cutting it to be similar? Way harder I'd think than the macaroni plop. Granted, the boys' were checking for meat clumps, etc, but I wasn't impressed in the least.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tofuburrito
                                                                                                                                                                      fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Bolognese and fresh pasta isn't the height of creativity - Italian nonne have been making it for centuries. And Bolognese never looks aesthetically good on a plate - pasta rarely, if ever, is going to win points on presentation (Blais' sweet potato pasta was plated very well, however).

                                                                                                                                                                      Then again, steak with chimichurri isn't breaking new ground either. There are probably 10,000 houses in Argentina preparing this as we speak.

                                                                                                                                                                4. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 09:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I like how Mike was cool and "collective"
                                                                                                                                                                  ha! that made me cringe.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                    aching Mar 17, 2011 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    My husband and I simultaneously yelled, "COLLECTIVE?!?" =) It might have been just a slip of the tongue, but it's a real pet peeve of mine when people incorrectly use a word that's longer than the correct word because they think it makes them sound smarter (e.g. "simplistic" instead of "simple") - and that seems like Mike.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                      C. Hamster Mar 17, 2011 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I had a good laff over him being cool and "collected"

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                    chowser Mar 18, 2011 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    It didn't seem like the guys gravitated towards each other as much as Mike seemed to pick Richard who didn't disagree. I wonder, if they had been standing next to different people, eg. Antonia next to Richard that they would have ended up in a different pairing.

                                                                                                                                                                    While I thought Gail looked great last week, Padma in that bikini shot like she was modeling, so soon after having a baby...wow, I'd give my right leg to look like that pre-baby! And, I agree about everyone in white. I thought Padma's dress looked toga-ish. Again, I wouldn't mind looking that good in a toga!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 18, 2011 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I'd give my right leg to look like that even sans baby!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                        AMFM Mar 18, 2011 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        i agree BUT it was SO ridiculously over the top. she didn't need to show that off and with those heels she just looked ridiculous. i am not in the if you've got it flaunt it camp. if you've got it... you look fab even without flaunting it and like a nicer cooler person because you don't have to. desperation is never pretty.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                          Debbie M Mar 18, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Definitely, but she used to be much worse. I remember in season 2 (her first season), she showed up at a beach challenge in a Daisy Dukes, a bikini top and fur vest.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Debbie M
                                                                                                                                                                            jlbwendt Mar 18, 2011 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Keep in mind that she may not be dressing herself...the producers must have a say in that too.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Mar 18, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            i was just talking about what good shape she appears to be in - not the clothes. i wouldn't wear the stuff she wears even if had that body.

                                                                                                                                                                            but i really don't think Padma is "desperate".... i am sure she didn't choose to be dressed like a cheesy Miss America bathing suit contestant. i think that they're trying to portray her as a glamor girl with exotic outfits. who knows. she may be mostly a jeans kinda girl.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                              AMFM Mar 18, 2011 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              oh not claiming SHE is. but the stylists dress her that way. ick. i do think she's pretty and has a beautiful body. i think it's too bad.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                momjamin Mar 19, 2011 03:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Padma's a model. Do a google image search for her. (NSFW)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Mar 19, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  actually, i had to Google NSFW to find out what the heck you meant :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                    sommrluv Mar 19, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Here's another girl who think's Padma is hot. :) I think Indian women are amongst the most beautiful women on earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                    My husband, however, does not find her attractive. He thinks Antonia is gorgeous. I'd say he's more a personality type of guy, but I'm not sure what they would imply about me!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 19, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      yep, i knew that, just saying maybe when she's not being dressed for t.v. and modeling gigs she's a more down-to-earth dresser. who knows?

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                                    NellyNel Mar 21, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree AM- I noticed the heels too, and thought: Good God she looks a tramp!

                                                                                                                                                                                    But, she did look like a stunning tramp.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                                      chicgail Mar 21, 2011 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      It just reinforces my view that the only reason Padma is on the show at all is for eye-candy.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                        Pylon Mar 21, 2011 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I wasn't aware there was any debate on that topic. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                          thew Mar 21, 2011 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          thats a bad thing?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                            chicgail Mar 21, 2011 09:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not bad. Just totally uninteresting and irrelevant in my world.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                              AMFM Mar 23, 2011 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              i agree. or at least give me some eye candy in return. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                                                                                                                chicgail Mar 23, 2011 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Where is Sam Talbot when you need him?
                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, for the return of Eric Ripert. Or even Anthony B.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                  mcf Mar 23, 2011 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tony B is a tad rumpled to be eye candy... his face looks like a wrinkled bed sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Mar 23, 2011 10:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i agree. weathered is one thing, but IMO Bourdain just looks haggard. however, i'd be happy to see Sam Talbot come back for a visit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 24, 2011 05:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good. More for me. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And I do wonder why we haven't seen Sam at ALL in any of the seasons after his other than the Four-Star All-Stars. Perhaps he was one-and-done with the show - *I think* he's still working out on Montauk at The Surf Lodge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ETA: Nope - take that back - not on Montauk anymore - he's at the Imperial No. 9 at the Soho Mondrian.


                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                        momjamin Mar 24, 2011 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe they've invited Sam back and each time, a certain SyFy host was also going to be there, and he declined ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                          NellyNel Mar 24, 2011 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I swear Sam was a guest judge for a quickfire!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Probably season 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I swear!!!


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                            momjamin Mar 24, 2011 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Close, but yes, he came back as a judge, season 4 for the EC (not sure who judged the QF, he may have done that too) -- the Police Academy healthy challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                              NellyNel Mar 24, 2011 07:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was season 4 - I googled and found this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Episode 10: Serve and Protect (Air Date May 14, 2008)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The remaining chefs battle fatigue and each another in a salad-making Quickfire Challenge. Past Top Chef contestant Sam Talbot makes a surprise appearance as a guest judge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 24, 2011 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Judging ain't cookin'. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                                        NellyNel Mar 18, 2011 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was reading through the posts and bursting because no one mentioned the cool, calm and and "collective" line!

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. k
                                                                                                                                                                                        KailuaGirl Mar 17, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Mike heating the conch to get it out more easily is a pretty common trick. In Japan we used to skin dive for turbot/top shells every summer and cook them on the rocks by the ocean over a charcoal fire. As the temperature inside their shells rose, the animals would start to come out to escape the heat. Then we'd dump a combo of shoyu and lemon or lime juice into their shells. That would cool them down enough that they'd go back into their shells. Several dousings later they'd be perfectly cooked, nicely seasoned, and easy to remove from their shells. It sounds sort of barbaric but boy, was it delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                                                                                          Pylon Mar 17, 2011 07:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          That would have been an interesting dish to put on the table, for sure!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                                                                                            DGresh Mar 18, 2011 03:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            That sounds vaguely sadistic!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                                                                                              KailuaGirl Mar 18, 2011 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I know it does, hence the "barbaric" comment, but then some people put crabs and lobsters into cold water and let it warm up to a boil with them in there scrambling to get out. Not quite the same but similar. Besides, I don't think shellfish really have brains, although they did demonstrate some discomfort by coming out of their shells a little.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't know, but it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. C. Hamster Mar 17, 2011 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Padma looked great in her swimwear!

                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                                                                              cowboyardee Mar 17, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, she did. Made up for Mike I in his swimwear later in the episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                aching Mar 17, 2011 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                At the risk of incurring the wrath of some CH's who can't stand it when people talk about Padma's physical appearance - I think she lost a lot of weight between the regular season and the Bahamas - and she did look great in that bikini!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet Mar 17, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree. Even her face looked much thinner at JT when she turned it to the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    she looked fantastic. i'm not a HUGE Padma fan (nor am i huge! ( :) but she looked like she'd done a lot to get back into shape after the baby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                      NellyNel Mar 18, 2011 07:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I never saw Padma as even pretty - I always thought she is slighly scary looking - but WHOA - after seeing her in that bikini - I totally get it now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Mar 18, 2011 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        to me there's something cold about her which takes away from her appeal but, objectively, i think she's a beautiful woman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                          roxlet Mar 18, 2011 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think I know what you mean. She always seems like she is holding back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                      chicgail Mar 17, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not for me. Just one woman's POV. :>)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mike again surprises with his creativity - he's always been a better chef than people here give him credit for. Blais will pull it out next week, though. Give him time, ingredients, and a real kitchen, and he is unbeatable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                      momjamin Mar 17, 2011 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      What was Richard's line when they were exploring their cooking space? Something like, "No running water...No liquid nitrogen, it's really basic cooking."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                        C. Hamster Mar 17, 2011 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That was funny! I love his sense of humor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowser Mar 18, 2011 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          He has great dead pan humor, from his bacon fat/liquid nitrogen for his hair to last night's comment about getting the beard to be ready for the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                      momjamin Mar 17, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Inconsequential aside: if we could have more cast members as castaways, I propose this TC S8/Gilligan's Island casting:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Skipper -- Mikey works
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thurston Howell III -- Stephen Asprinio
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lovey Howell -- Jamie (doesn't want to get her hands dirty)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ginger Grant -- either Tiffani (redhead) or Casey (bit o' glamour)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mary Ann Summers -- Antonia works (girl next door)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Professor -- Blais, no contest
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gilligan -- he who must not be named, who everyone likes to pile on

                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        LOL! Casey definitely works better as Ginger vs. Tiffany! And perfect pick for Thurston Howell III! Tee hee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for Gilligan? Definitely *not* he-who-must-not-be-named (IMO :::grin:::), but what about Michael Midgley from TC2?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really liked Tiffany as Ginger! no she's not the hot, red-head beauty queen, but i do think she's quite beautiful (eyes, skin, teeth) and there is definitely something sexy about her, in my opinion, and certainly sexier than Casey. Casey is younger, in better shape maybe (or at least thinner, if that's a criteria for most), and pretty, but she's got that wholesome, tom-boy look - not at all a bombshell look. Tiffany has those sleepy eyes that to me say a little more about seduction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ok.... let's hear it.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                            jackbauer Mar 18, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think Tiffany's pretty hot, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jackbauer
                                                                                                                                                                                                              roxlet Mar 18, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              She's got those great dimples!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                            AMFM Mar 18, 2011 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't see Casey as Ginger AT ALL. would have to think about who else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            agree with you on:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Mike as Skipper
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Stephen as Mr Howell (perfect!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Jamie as Mrs Howell
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Casey as Ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Antonia as MaryAnn
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Blais as Professor (obviously)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            but Gilligan was actually somewhat *likable* so i can't get behind your choice on that one ;) i actually thought Carla was a great choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                              momjamin Mar 17, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed about Gilligan's likability -- but I also couldn't see any of them bopping Carla on the head with a hat ;-) Midgely's not a bad candidate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Misspent youth meets misspent adulthood!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Midgely's not a bad candidate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                ah, but we were limiting it to All-Stars ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  momjamin Mar 17, 2011 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ah, but we were limiting it to All-Stars ;)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, that's how I landed on the SyFy Channel guy, thinking of the piling on...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, *I* wasn't when I suggested Midgely! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              No one has mentioned the strange envelope thing at the end - is it some Golden Ticket to the next series, Top Chef Best of the All Star Champions Ceviche and Scallops?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              30 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                yeah, i don't know what that was about. Padma said the winner of it got the last spot in the finale, so perhaps it was the result of a vote of some sort? maybe they do another challenge cooking for a group, the judges choose one winner, and the diners vote for the other one...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh, and Eater finally provided some clarification regarding the remaining episodes & airtimes:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                part 1 of the *actual* finale airs next week, followed by part 2 the following week...then the reunion show airs April 6th just before the premiere of TCM3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Joanie Mar 17, 2011 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is Max's review up yet? I didn't see it linked to the above Eater link. Damn, this thing just goes on and on (and on once TC Masters starts up so quickly).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    not yet - i have the page open in another window, and i'll refresh it every so often until the new post comes up :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i promise to post as soon as it does - the Aztecs game just started so i'm not going anywhere for a couple of hours!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A two-part finale? Is that a first?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No, they've done 2-part finales since TC1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I consider the finale the show when they declare the winner - e.g. the last show, the finale. Typically the last show has 3 contestants, they choose 1 winner. We now have 3 contestants. Why would there be 2 more episodes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Typically the last show has 3 contestants, they choose 1 winner.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yes, but they typically do that over TWO episodes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LurkerDan Mar 17, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            maybe they eliminate one, and have a last show with two chefs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 03:57 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Click on each season and then look at the Episode list. Each one shows the last two episodes as "Finale, Part 1", Finale, Part 2".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fame da lupo Mar 18, 2011 04:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In finale part 1, they eliminate 1 person and are left with 3. We have 3 now. Is there going to be another episode where they don´t eliminate someone? Or for the first time will we have a one-on-one finale?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Mar 18, 2011 05:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wasn't on set, so I don't know. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John E. Mar 18, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been thinking of this since I counted up the remaining contestants and the number of shows. There are still two more episodes and three chefs, so I'd say they are changing things up a little.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If they have a one-on-one finale it will be reverting to the way they did it the first two seasons. In TC 2 they brought four to the finale in Hawaii and eliminated both Sam and Elia in the second to the last episode. It appears they might be doing the same this season because of Tom's reference to getting the "last spot" in the previews for next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NellyNel Mar 18, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I prefer head to head as a finale.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think it's much more exciting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fame da lupo Mar 20, 2011 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed! Mike and Blais would be my preferred pairing, as I see them as more creative cooks than Antonia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom says, "Whoever wins is getting that last spot." Then, Padma holds up a TC envelope and says, "Remember this?" LAST SPOT FOR WHAT?? AAAARRRRHHHHH the suspense!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LurkerDan Mar 17, 2011 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Perhaps it is a spot in TC Masters?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nice, that'd make sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that's a really interesting possibility...they announced the 12 TCM contestants a while back, but i guess they could always toss in another to make it a baker's dozen. though i think it would just be *too much* for someone to dive right back in and film ANOTHER season right after this one. couldn't have been much down time between the finale of TC8 and the beginning of TCM3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LurkerDan Mar 17, 2011 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, that would be the equalizer then, because these folks would have a big advantage over the TCM cast (familiarity with the format).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gotta disagree with you on that. burnout is much more of a handicap. but i was also thinking about what it would mean in terms of another extended absence from family & work right on the heels of this one - i just don't see it happening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    INTERESTING! Oh, now THAT could be very cool!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shoot! I think I've got a gathering I'm to go to on April 6th, which means I miss the April 6th reunion show! Damn, damn, damn. Anyone know if that is shown online after the show? TCM3 I can watch at another time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    you can't record it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ummm. I'm one of the ancients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No DVR. (Which I plan to get when I move into the townhouse, but that's AFTER the reunion show.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John E. Mar 17, 2011 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They usually repeat it several times starting Thursday and then also over the weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, John. Will keep an eye out for the reunion repeats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    susancinsf Mar 17, 2011 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    perhaps the envelope contained their guesses as to who would leave when, and the closest to actual got the best spot? You know, a pool of some sort. Somthing they filled out when they started on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey, it is the sort of thing 'Survivor' would do, and last night's episode did have a touch of that last one remaining on a dessert island type of scenario....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      roxlet Mar 17, 2011 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, you're right fame da lupo. Very mysterious, indeed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Voidsinger Mar 18, 2011 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yup, I also thought it might be the final spot on Top Chef Masters 3... or even more interestingly - maybe TC9 is a limited series with all the TC winners (A allstar All-Stars) and as the winner of TC8, they get the final spot in the winner's series.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I dunno, I think TCM3 is the most obvious answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Voidsinger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          roxlet Mar 18, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I think so too. In the promo that I saw last night, Padma said something about there only being one spot left as she showed them the envelope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sommrluv Mar 17, 2011 01:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm surprised that those who were outraged over the junk food quickfire weren't irritated with with this challenge. I don't see how the ability to snorkel for your own protein is a needed aspect of a Top Chef.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While I'm assuming there is probably some obscure questionnaire that the cheftestants fill out with questions such as "Are you able to swim?" "Are you afraid of heights?" etc...what exactly would have happened if someone was afraid of the water?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I realize the conch were all planted, but it seemed like a pointless waste of time to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is probably colored by my own dislike of ocean swimming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sommrluv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          what exactly would have happened if someone was afraid of the water?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          they probably would have been paired up or something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i, for one, was bothered by both the junk food challenge *and* this one, but i just see no point in beating a dead horse...or conch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fame da lupo Mar 17, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yea, another Survivor challenge :-/ (<---- Blais smirk)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sommrluv Mar 17, 2011 07:54 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sommrluv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              karenfinan Mar 17, 2011 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              well, it really looks like the conchs were planted, unless they line up four feet apart in lines, in nature. Also, it looked like they were not over their head in the water at any time, so I think the Elves would like it to look dangerous and edgy, but I don't think it really was. Ever present liability and insurance concerns would rule out anything really dangerous, don't you think?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sommrluv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                momjamin Mar 17, 2011 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There was certainly some sort of knowledge going into the EC, since the chefs were all wearing swim suits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sommrluv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 08:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, this ain't Top Conch! (have to credit my BF for that one. made me laugh.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sommrluv Mar 18, 2011 06:42 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  okay i've been waiting for Silvestri's blog to post to Eater, and in the meantime i spotted this - serious case of mistaken identity in one of Blais' tweets! pretty funny.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i wonder if Lorena Garcia is offended that he has no idea who she is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    roxlet Mar 17, 2011 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe he means that Nina Garcia is actually one of the judges for the real two part finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LurkerDan Mar 17, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Come on, this tweet is long after he returned. It's obviously a joke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        @roxlet, it *really* wouldn't make any sense to have Nina Garcia judging the TC Finale. plus, we already know that Morimoto, Wolfgang Puck & Michelle Bernstein are next week's guest judges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        @LD, i honestly don't think it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          roxlet Mar 17, 2011 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, I didn't know that, so it's a joke -- I think!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LurkerDan Mar 18, 2011 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, we'll have to disagree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He's shown that he has a biting sense of humor, and he had a few months to look her up, so I just highly doubt that while watching the show, where she is referred to as Lorena Garcia on more than one occasion, that he still thinks that she is Nina Garcia (especially given that the substance of his tweet indicates that he knows who *Nina* Garcia is). I'd say the chances that he's serious are less than 1% there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bellachefa Mar 17, 2011 05:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Blais is starting to look like gollum looking for the ring

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JuniorBalloon Mar 17, 2011 06:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nitrogen my precioussssssss, we wants it. Yessssssssss.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 17, 2011 06:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ROFLMAO! OMG, this is just brilliant, Jr. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Mar 17, 2011 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AHAHAHAHAHAHA! good one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. goodhealthgourmet Mar 17, 2011 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              as promised, Silvestri's blog. sorry for the delay - they posted it when i actually had the nerve to leave the house for a few hours!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              this one had me cracking up:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Mike scoffs once again at the ol' slice and serve. He makes a very complicated analogy: "If I had to do Antonia's dish, I probably could have sent Richard to the store to buy a six-pack while I celebrate the win after doing it all myself." Who is he insulting there? Antonia's dish, Richard's cooking ability, Richard's speed at buying six-packs, Richard's love of beer, how Richard doesn't like celebrating, or his own ability to construct jokes in the subjunctive?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the comments about Deutsche marks and Roman Polanski were pretty funny too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Joanie Mar 18, 2011 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh man, that picture of them getting into the water and the Deutschmarks comment was great. And "Cool Mike with his shirt off - something for the ladies". Plus the picture of Padma in that pose with her heels on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Padma and Sammy Hagar show up to drive the chefs to the island. Of course it's very relevant that Padma is wearing a bikini and heels. It's not gratuitous at all."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Mar 18, 2011 05:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I loved the Sammy Hagar comment! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shrinkrap Mar 18, 2011 08:20 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "It is funny the way in which Blais absolutely hates his food right up until he first second someone criticizes it. He doesn't even believe that some of his lobster wasn't perfect."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  is why I sometimes think false modesty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mcf Mar 18, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I see your point, but I think both the hating his food and the defensiveness may come from the same place, actually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Terrieltr Mar 18, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a personality much like Blais, so I don't think it's false modesty. Rather, it's serious anxiety that makes it hard to admit a mistake while, at the same, convinced that what you've done is terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Terrieltr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Mar 18, 2011 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        dingdingding. some of us are all to familiar with this merry-go-round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Terrieltr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowser Mar 18, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm the same way. My son told me I'm the Richard Blais of skiing because no matter how many instructors, at the examiner/development team/level 3 level tell me I ski well, all I see is what I don't do right, especially on video. OTOH, I had someone make a comment in a class about something I know I don't do and I bristled at the comment (in part because it seemed like she was trying to call me out)--and the instructor in the class said she was wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also think his lobster wasn't that bad, the other judges didn't see it, though it looked like they were trying to find points to critique for the sake of drama. I want to see the extended judges table to see if they discuss what "slightly underdone" means.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Terrieltr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mcf Mar 18, 2011 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Exactly my take on it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shrinkrap Mar 18, 2011 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree they can come from the same place. Is neither appraisal false?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mcf Mar 18, 2011 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sure that there are times they are and times they aren't. But I think the hating and the defensiveness are there on all occasions whether there's reason for it or not. Unless you think he's flat out disingenuous? In which case, I'd disagree. I think he's too candid for his own good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Mar 18, 2011 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you watch all the self-doubt he has when he's done something, when you see him stew, when you see him down on himself, it's hard to imagine all that is false modesty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Mar 18, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love this line:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Maybe they should banish the ex-Commodore for being Roman Polanski."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. lisavf Mar 18, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi, everyone. I've had a busy week, so I haven't had a lot of time to participate in posting about the last two episodes (which I found kind of boring, actually). But I just read this from Gail Simmons and found it interesting and insightful, so I wanted to share:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was particularly interested by this: "I would take a simply plated dish that has a lot of flavor and is cooked really well over a dish that might reach a little further but isn’t executed properly... Obviously we want the contestants to push themselves, but I think you can also do that by making sure that your food is well-seasoned, well-thought-through, and well-balanced. That’s all more important to me than the bells and whistles."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This speaks to an issue we discussed a few weeks ago, about what is most important, what role innovation plays in the judging as compared to flavor and execution. Innovation is important, but only if it accompanies great flavor and execution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. chicgail Mar 18, 2011 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Does anyone know more about what the previews hinted at?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Antonia said something tasted rancid and then there was a shot of Padma saying something about that she was sorry, but something had happened (I know that's not an exact quote).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DGresh Mar 18, 2011 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes I thought that little segment looked intriquing-- *looked* like some high drama, but who knows! Did the producers give the contestants BAD FOOD???? Oh the horror!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  txpickyeater Mar 19, 2011 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe a return of the dreaded "Someone left the refrigerator door open" routine from past seasons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. John E. Mar 20, 2011 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bravo has a re-run of this episode on right now. A few things occured to me. Padma in her bikini with the net/scarf thing around her waist reminded me of the Raquel Welch poster from the caveman movie: http://www.google.com/m/search?site=i...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tiffany said she was a small town girl. I thought she was from Beaumont, Texas? My brothers' wives are small town girls. One of them has a hometown with a population of 376 and the other Is 424, both about 500 when they grew up. Beaumont has a population of almost 120,000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  susancinsf Mar 20, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I live in a town of about 80,000 (Merced, CA), but believe me, when compared to my previous home (the city of San Francisco), it is a small town!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was reminded of this last night when we had dinner downtown, and given our parameters as to what we wanted, we ended up at a place solidly stuck in the 80's, with food to match. (even though we are less than 150 miles from San Francisco and right in the middle of one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't been to Beaumont in years, but I suspect she was thinking of it compared to NY and some of the big cities where some of the other contestants have worked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John E. Mar 20, 2011 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I understand all of what you said, but your town and Beaumont is not the same as growing up in a small town. My hometown is about 10,000 and The biggest town for about 60 miles around a d I consider it to be a small town. A city of 50,000+ cannot be considered a small town, in my opinion. Sure they are small when compared to NYC or SF, but not when the comparison is made in the other direction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      susancinsf Mar 20, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My point, and I am guessing Tiffany's as well, is that when it comes to high end restaurants (of the type where Top Chef contestants would work), there isn't usually much difference between a town of 500 and a town of 100,000. (in other ways, I am sure they vary quite a bit).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unless said 'small' towns of 50k to 150k happen to be in a tourist area or a very economically upscale one (which I don't believe is the case for Beaumont and which I *know* is not the case here in Merced, where the closest major tourist draw is 80 miles away and the current unemployment rate is 21.5%), a town of the size of Merced (or Beaumont) simply cannot support a restaurant of "Top Chef" caliber.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Edited to add: I suppose the exception would be if someone wanted to turn Merced (or wherever) into a tourist destination for eating by establishing such a restaurant, adding a nice place to stay next to it for out of town visitors, and relied on local farmers and providers for its kitchen. If anyone is thinking of such a venture, come to Merced. Please. I'll be thrilled to support your business. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John E. Mar 20, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ok, but I wasn't focusing on the restaurant scene just the description of small town. There are likely big cities without too many high end restaurants too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A population of 80 - 100 k seems like a medium size city too me. That's the way they are defined in a media standpoint and that's is where my point of view is from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shrinkrap Mar 20, 2011 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed! In Solano county...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      momjamin Mar 20, 2011 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Of course, she could actually be from a small town near Beaumont. I'm from a town of 18,000 in western NC, and once met a woman in a Chicago elevator who happened to be talking to someone else about being from NC. I asked where from, and she named my hometown. When I said, "me too!" she replied, "I'm actually from <nearby town of 1000>, but no one's ever heard of that."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John E. Mar 20, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, it depends on how close. I live in a town of 4,000 but it's 25 minutes from diwntiwn Minneapolis so anybody that grows up here doesn't really come from a small town.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jcattles Mar 20, 2011 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, I just had a chance to watch the episode & catch up on the posts here. Does anyone else think Tom seemed kinda grumpy? I know there isn't alot of love for Mike, but it sure seems like he did his homework. I'm getting tired of the condescending attitude from Mike & Richard though. I agree with other posters that there was alot of conflicting editing at JT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. jenscats5 Mar 20, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also thought the swim for the conchs was odd....however, would it be usual to smash them open like that? I guess they would have to due to the time factor.....

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