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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #16 (FINAL Finale Pt. 4) - 03/30/11 (Spoilers)

Can you believe it? It's here...the FINAL finale Top Chef-All Stars episode! It sure seems like a long time coming this season, huh? Anyway, duking it out for the top spot are Richard Blais and Mike Isabella. The guy that most loved to love and one of the guys that many loved to dislike. :-)

Bravo shows how they both made it to the finale - the wins they each had throughout the season.

And what do they get to do for their final challenge? They are to create the restaurant of their dreams! No twist or turns. They are to create a 4-course tasting menu.

The next morning, Padma meets ALL of the Top Chef All-Stars (except Richard and Mike) in the kitchen - they have 30 minutes to create an amuse-bouche for Richard and Mike to taste in a blind tasting - and the top 3 dishes they pick will be the sous chefs they choose.

Both Richard and Mike try and figure out who made what - and they can't.

Richard's choices - Spike (Ceviche of Squid), Angelo (Chicken Wing) and Antonia (Egg dish). (He had wanted Dale, Jen and Angelo, so he got one of them!)

Mike's choices are Tiffani F. (Coconut Curry), Jamie (Pork Tenderloin) and Carla (Tropical Salsa)

How funny is it that Mike said he didn't want Jamie, because - well, Jamie is Jamie (slow). Nor did he want Marcel, as they hadn't worked well together.

They have 1 hours to plan, 5 hours to cook the next day, and they'll have 70 customers as well as the judge's panel.

Back in their restaurant choices, Mike chooses to cook in the Seafire @ the Atlantis and names his restaurant Restaurant Iz. Richard is in the Cafe Martinique in the Atlantis, and his restaurant is called Tongue in Cheek.

Mike has Carla as FOH and on dessert; Tiffani is on the fish station, and Jamie is the cold station.
Richard has Angelo doing the mise for all cold dishes, Antonia is prepping all vegetables, and Spike will do meat and FOH.

Tom Colicchio checks in with both - thinks Richard knows what he's dealing with since he had the same pressure in his season; whereas he thinks Mike may not be able to handle the pressure.

Finale Judges: Lydia Bastiniach, Hubert Keller, Alfred Portale, Bill Terlato, Art Smith, and Curtis Stone. The first 4 are part of Padma's group, the last two are dining with Tom and Gail. (I miss Anthony Bourdain, dammitall!)

Lots of scrambling in both kitchens trying to figure everything out - Richard has 4 (FOUR!) proteins on his plate, as well as an amusette - he's thinking of tossing out the oyster amusette as he's not happy with how they look, but he chooses to go with it with frozen creme fraiche pearls - oysters and pearls - very clever (and Tongue In Cheek!). And they REALLY like it!

1st course - Richard - Raw Hamachi with Fried Veal Shortbread
1st course - Mike - Spiced Beet Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette and Nuts

2nd course - Richard - Pork Belly, Black Cod, and Bone Marrow
2nd course - Mike - Halibut with Kumquat Marmalade

3rd course - Richard - Braised Short Rib with Red Cabbage Marmalade
3rd course - Mike - Braised Pork Shoulder with Pepperoni Sauce

Dessert - Richard - Fois Gras Ice Cream with Cornbread and Whipped Mango
Dessert - Mike - Rosemary Caramel Custard

(Phew! Wasn't sure if I was going to get all of those dishes! LOL)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The in-between has their sous chefs talking to the confessional camera about the chefs they were sous chefs for....and all of them show great respect for who they were cooking for. Mike's shown a lot of strength and worked really hard in the last few months to be where he is, per Tiffani, and Richard is one of the finest chefs that Angelo's ever worked for, and someone who collaborates well, per Antonia.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The 2nd group of judges show up at each restaurant, and they go through the same thing. A LOT of talking from Mike as to how confident he is; Richard and Spike tweaked his fois gras ice cream the 2nd time, and it seemed to go over much better.

And their back waiting for JT...both say their team did very well for each of them. And then they head into JT....here we go!

Mike gets very good reviews from Gail - finesse, effeminity (from the women in the kitchen?) and great flavors.

Richard is told he had intense, extraordinary flavors throughout his meal. And in their answer to "Why should you be Top Chef?" THAT is where Richard's big smile and happiness came from. Rut-roh!

And while their waiting for JT, family members show up in the "Stew Room".

Back at JT, each course is judged:

1st - goes to Richard
2nd - goes to Richard
3rd - goes to Mike
4th - several give it to Richard, and 1 gives it to Mike, but for some reason, they give it to Mike (perhaps because not everyone had the same good fois gras ice cream from Richard?)

Gail said she'd want to eat at Mike's restaurant during the week, and Richard's restaurant on the weekend.

I just can't figure out which way they're going to go! PLEASE let the amuse that Richard gave everyone put him over the edge into the Win column!

And we're back! Their family members and the other All-Stars are there for the final judging!

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Richard wins! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I *loved* seeing how happy and tearful Richard was - especially when he called his wife on the phone (who *was* still pregnant at home when they filmed the finale) to tell her he had won. I'm thrilled for him - he SO deserved this win!

And THAT, my friends, is Top Chef All-Stars. The best of the best won!

And we're out....... :::::::::::::::Fade to black::::::::::::

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  1. Thanks, Linda! I can't stay up to watch it (I'm on the west coast) i have to be on the road at 3am, so I am so looking forward to the rest of your post. You always make me feel like I've seen it. Thank you very much.

      1. ack!!! ok, despite our belief that Blais had this in the bag, i'm FREAKING out right now because the judges had such high praise for Mike...and what if they come back to JT standing in opposite positions???

        i hopehopehope that the amuse put Richard over the edge...

        2 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I think they showed swaying back to Richard...... I want to taste that hamachi first course! Funny how dessert is always bad, though.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I'm SERIOUSLY hoping that amuse puts him over the edge as well! EVERYONE liked that!

            ::::::tummy is all jumpy!:::::::

          2. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              1. wheeeeeee!!!!!! Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                1. OK, I am dancing around the living room!! Yes! Yes! Yes! Go Blais!!!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Phaedrus

                    ::::very big grin:::::: I think ALL of us are doing the same thing, Phaedrus!

                    1. re: Phaedrus

                      ME, TOO! It's the Blais Dance of Victory. Wooohoooo!!

                    2. My last post didn't go thru....and I forgot what I said. Oh well. Yay for Richard..

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                        The right thing happened.

                        HOORAY!!!!!!!!!

                      2. Antonia made some sort of egg dish. More importantly, yay Blais!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tartandfit

                          Thanks, tartandfit - I've fixed my initial write-up to reflect she made an egg dish - appreciate it!

                        2. Now I can watch the show and enjoy it!!! Thanks Linda once again for a great wrap up and even better news that Richard won!!

                          1. INTERESTING in the Watch What Happens show afterward - they show a preview of the Reunion show next week, with Elia still challenging Tom Colicchio on his buying practices for his restaurant. And Elia is *still* bitching at Tom for what he does. He repeats "I've bought more product from farmers/farmers markets for my restaurants than you'll do in a lifetime!" And he points out to her "It wasn't personal. Until you made it personal." Whoa.

                            And the other cheftestants are looking at Elia like she's a complete idiot for calling out Tom Colicchio. (Which she is.)

                            They'll also be showing who the Fan Favorite is in this show as well.

                            ETA: Carla and Fabio are the two finalists for Fan Favorite (Fabio beat Carla for FF in their season!). I hope Carla gets it! And Harold Dieterle shows up to announce the Fan Favorite....and it's Carla - yay Carla!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              LW, you might want to edit your post - Tom says he's bought more product from *farmers* (or farmers' markets - i don't remember which one) for his restaurants...

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Out of all the contestants in Top Chef series, I honestly think Elia was the most mean spirited.

                                1. re: foodseek

                                  She did a lot of egging on in the "shave Marcel" incident in her season, proving to be not so nice. (Although I would totally snatch Marcel bald-headed if given the opportunity, proving me to be not so nice.)

                                  1. re: Parrotgal

                                    Not to mention she had worked with Marcel in her previous "real life." In the first few episodes of that season she was sympathetic and "had his back." Then she fell in with the adolescents Ilan and Sam. That's where she lost me.

                              2. A comment on that first break from LA....the glare from the lights for the TV shot did not provide a flattering image for Antonia. I really like her cooking and she is one of my TC favorites, but that shot wasn't good to her.

                                On the intro, Padma described Richard as an Atlanta native. Nope, he is from Long Island.

                                Oh, Mike, please lose the hang loose sign. It doesn't work for you.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: John E.

                                  Since we're talking about unflattering... what was up with Jen Carrol's hair in the restaurant dining room scenes???!!!!

                                2. Is Andy stoned? Red eyes and he looks like he's having a cocktail. Does Carla have a weave?

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                    Probably - Harold just took a drink from his glass, I think! LOL

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      and it is CARLA!!!! Chicken Lady Rules!

                                    2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                      my sources tell me he always drinks - i think bourbon - during the live broadcast.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        I was annoyed with his mazels at the end and his rant about the cobra. Was he being especially flamboyant?

                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                            yeah I don't like watch what happens live either. I think he does things just to be controversial or to get a rise out of people.

                                            1. re: porkbutt03

                                              Nah ... Andy's just being gay party host. Plus, isn't he the director of Reality TV programming for Bravo? That would lead me to liquor ... dealing with all those "housewives."

                                              1. re: MartinDC

                                                Director, nah! Don't call him that! Director is a lowly position title in TV land, just after Manager and before VP. Call him VP, at least!

                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                              i wouldn't know - i don't watch it. but from what i've read & heard, as LW said, he's always like that.

                                          2. okay, now that my breathing has returned to normal, can we discuss how AWFUL Padma is as a live host? and why in the world did they have to bring in Bethenny Frankel for the first break? she's so overexposed on Bravo already that every time i see her i have to squash the urge to hurl something at the TV.

                                            and re: our debate last week about whether or not they technically credited Richard with the win...tonight when it was time to choose their favorite sous chef dishes, Padma told Richard he got to pick first since he "won the last challenge."

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              Agree re: Bethenny. I just can't abide her (bobblehead like Katie Lee Joel). But there are many who like her - my sister watches her show all the time and loves her. I just wanna punch her lights out. :-)

                                              And good catch re: whether Richard "won" the EC last episode! *We* knew he had. :-)

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                YES! I thought Padma was drunk too! Seems to prove all the myths about her behind the scenes behavoir are right.

                                                Yes, and why Betheny Frankel, I am so sick of these Bravo housewife "characters" who think they are celebreties. The commercials during the episode were really starting to grate on me!

                                                1. re: AmblerGirl

                                                  Elia Abramoud's attitude stunk
                                                  I agree, Padma Lakshmi prolly was drunk
                                                  But it's worth it all; we've been waiting for days
                                                  To confirm and to say, "congrats., Mr. Blais."

                                                  A poem. By me.

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        Linda, Roxlet: You can't see me, but I'm digging my toe into the ground modestly. Really. : )

                                                  1. Yay for Richard, and yay for Carla. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks she's great. It was a very close finale it seem, and it also seems that Spike's spying might have helped win the day. I thought he was hilarious the way he was skulking around the table. My only question is: pepperoni sauce? Gail was smitten with that.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      I'd be very interested to try that dish - will look it up tomorrow a.m. when I'm at work all bleary-eyed to see if it's manageable in my own kitchen (or after I move and have a better kitchen, that is!)

                                                    2. Thank you Linda for a great season. You're our All Star!

                                                      1. oh, and Linda, *******THANK YOU****** for being our champion recapper throughout this very loooong season. you're as much of an All-Star as Blais!

                                                        1. Now's the time, to say goodbye
                                                          To all our family....

                                                          T - O - P........ "Pee" ya real soon!
                                                          C - H - E - F........so "Effin' " glad Blais FINALLY won Top Chef!

                                                          A - L - L STAR - ARRRS!






                                                          Nighty-night, everyone. Elvis has left the building!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Well done, Linda! Well done, Mikey! Well done, Blais! Did anyone else get teary when Richard did? Whew!

                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                              yup. tissues were in play in the ghg household :)

                                                          2. dangit. original celebration post got deleted. i am guessing due to extremely long single words that trailed off the page. anyways:

                                                            YESSSS RICHARD!!!!!! SO PUMPED!!!!

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: mattstolz

                                                              yeah I tried to respond to reply after your post, and it didn't let me! lol! it was a super post though. The thread couldn't handle it!

                                                              1. re: mattstolz

                                                                Yeah, sorry I had to report your celebration post, but you broke the thread, matt! LOL

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  lol i understand. my apologies! cant have this awesome thread with its great news being broken!

                                                                  and the important thing is richard still won!

                                                                  thanks again for writing all these up!! its been amazing to have them this season!

                                                              2. YAY! YAY! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                And thank you so much Linda! You made the season even better for us folks here on CH.

                                                                1. anybody else notice how pissed Fabio looked the whole time? He refused to talk, had an angry look on his face. I knew Carla had won for that reason. And he didn't deserve to win in my opinion, after reading his meanspirited petty sexist blog after he lost. yay Carla.. and Richard
                                                                  and Linda Whit, thanks so much for all your work putting up these recaps! Great job and great place to chat ( and chat and chat) about our obsession:-)

                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                  1. re: karenfinan

                                                                    Do you mean in the Look What Happened Show? I thought he just couldn't hear Andy.

                                                                    But I agree. He would have never gotten my vote after that blog post. If I actually voted in fan favorite, I think I would have gone for Dale or Antonia.

                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                      no, andy said, maybe he can't hear me, then a second later said, oh, he can hear me. Fabio was refusing to talk.

                                                                      1. re: karenfinan

                                                                        Andy said "...oh, he can't hear me". Fabio wasn't refusing to talk. Carla couldn't hear Andy either, in fact she never did. A producer relayed the question to Carla.

                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                          agreed. It was apparent to me that neither Carla nor Fabio could hear the questions from Andy.

                                                                        2. re: debbiel

                                                                          Well it seems like he leaked who was going to be in the finale if I'm looking at it correctly on his exit blog post on his website. What do you guys think?

                                                                          http://fabioviviani.com/blog/top-chef...

                                                                          1. re: porkbutt03

                                                                            well, I admit that I found his less than charming stream of conscience babbling to be difficult to read through, but once I did it looked more like a good call than a leak...

                                                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                                                              I couldn't get more than a third of the way through, it was too painful.

                                                                          2. re: debbiel

                                                                            "i thought he just couldnt hear andy"

                                                                            maybe that was for the best lol

                                                                        3. And once again, Linda, you do the most awesome job of recapping the show. Thank you again for a wonderful season!

                                                                          1. BTW, my one minor quibble with Blais tonight...Tongue *and* Cheek? i can't decide if it was a semantic error on his part, or if he meant it to convey that he would use different components of the same base ingredient in each dish...?

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              I'm guessing, from what I know about The Professor's love of wordplay and his sense of humor, is that it was deliberate, like you suggest about the different components.

                                                                              Or that the editors, who have been known to spread misspellings before, misinterpreted "tongue 'n cheek."

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                  when Richard was explaining his ideas to his sous chefs, I thought he said exactly that: that it was a play on words meant to convey the idea of using different components in each dish...

                                                                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                    thanks susan, i must have missed the explanation. i was so distracted by that stupid ampersand and kept thinking "the saying is tongue *in* cheek, Richard!"

                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    BTW, my one minor quibble with Blais tonight...Tongue *and* Cheek? i can't decide if it was a semantic error on his part, or if he meant it to convey that he would use different components of the same base ingredient in each dish...?
                                                                                    ________________________

                                                                                    I would pay quite a bit to eat a dish that was made with a tongue stuffed inside a cheek.

                                                                                    Beef cheeks stuffed with beef tongue, anyone?

                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                      Didn't Thomas Keller do that a long time ago at the French Laundry (and has since had many riffs on it)? It's even in the FL cookbook.

                                                                                  3. I found it funny how Mike has been lambasted in these threads for his view and treatment of women, and he gets "stuck" with three women chefs. And proceeds to be gracious and appreciative and pretty the opposite of discriminatory and demeaning to them.

                                                                                    I think it just goes to show that you can't really judge someone completely based upon an edited reality show.

                                                                                    Happy that Richard won, but damn did Mike impress me this season. At the beginning of this season, no way would I have picked him to get as far as he did. But he deserved it, I would love to eat at his restaurant.

                                                                                    79 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                      I never thought I would agree with the kinds words you had for Mike, but I alnost do.. That little trick he pulled on episode 11 when he stole the fried chicken oyster idea from Blais is still holding me back from really liking Mike. (Although Blaise seems to be over it).

                                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                        I think I had written something in the previous episode recap about what a hoot it would be if Mike got stuck with all women. It happened and he dealt with it, but I also wonder what the private conversations with his friends and family were after losing.

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          Exactly, roxlet. I do wonder what family said about his behavior throughout the entire season. His wife sure can't have been pleased with it, or his mother.

                                                                                          But yes - Mike did do amazingly well. Never would have picked him to be in the finale - nor did Tom C! Only Mike picked himself to be there, and good for him. He worked hard to be there, that is obvious, especially in the interim between the regular and finale shows.

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            "I do wonder what family said about his behavior throughout the entire season. His wife sure can't have been pleased with it, or his mother."

                                                                                            The thing is, if Mike's comments about women this season (and during season 6) are reflective of him generally, they'd be no surprise to his wife or mother. He's fairly recently married, so I'm pretty sure his wife has taken him for what he is.

                                                                                          2. re: roxlet

                                                                                            "It happened and he dealt with it, but I also wonder what the private conversations with his friends and family were after losing."

                                                                                            Yes, why not disparage the guy. It's clear what he's like based on edits, right?

                                                                                            Hozabout, for a change, we give a dude some credit for maybe not being the tool that he had already been declared by the peanut gallery?

                                                                                            1. re: Pylon

                                                                                              I am not disparaging the guy, I'm just wondering about the conversations he might have had with his family. If you're looking to argue with me about editing again, look elsewhere. I seem to recall you did some pretty good attacks on Carla awhile back, so declarations by the peanut gallery work both ways.

                                                                                          3. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                            Well, being gracious in one circumstance doesn't mean one is not a chauvinist. And btw, I cringed when he called them his angels.

                                                                                            That said, it appears he made one helluva meal.

                                                                                            1. re: debbiel

                                                                                              And btw, I cringed when he called them his angels.
                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                              yes! meant to mention that last night. sexist much? i know some people probably thought it was cute, but ugh.

                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                Ugh, ugh, ugh! Do you think Gail was being facetious when she said something to him afterwards about working with the 'girls'?

                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  I think some of you already made up your mind on Mike and are going to criticize him on anything. I fail to see how calling them his angels is anything but a high compliment. It certainly isn't sexist.

                                                                                                  As for Gail's comments, well, yeah, she and everyone knows that Mike has been part of the "boy's club", I'm sure Mike wouldn't disagree either, so of course her question was in reference to that.

                                                                                                  1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                    "I fail to see how calling them his angels is anything but a high compliment. It certainly isn't sexist."

                                                                                                    Eh, that's not really true. "Angel", just like "sweetie" and "darling", can definitely be sexist. Sure, it isn't misogynist, but you don't have to hate women to be sexist. In this case, he was clearly complimenting them, but he was doing it in a way that seemed a tad demeaning. Just a tad. He certainly put faith in them to execute components of his menu and he praised their skill and work after the fact. There was a lot I liked about Mike in this episode and he moved up a couple notches in my book with his attitude and performance in the episode. But a good deal of his past behavior/comments colors him for me.

                                                                                                    1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                      I guess I just have to strongly disagree. There was nothing to me that was even a "tad" demeaning about it. And if he had a guy or guys on his team and said the same thing, it wouldn't even merit a mention. But some people here have made their minds up about him and will view anything he says in whatever possible negative light they can.

                                                                                                      He was nothing but complimentary about his team at all times; he even stated how excited he was to get Carla as a teammate because she was a great chef.

                                                                                                      A lot of it is editing, they edited him before to look super sexist (yes, I know he said those things, but we don't know what else he said that they didn't show) and they edited him this episode to look wonderfully complimentary towards the women (and again, we don't know what else he said that they didn't show). I can accept that it is all editing and in real life he may be a sexist bastard or as sweet as pie. But for this episode, as edited, he was nothing but complimentary.

                                                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                        lurker Dan, I am going to assume you are a male, not female, so perhaps you should listen to women when they say something is sexist. Calling them Angels is demeaning, and patronizing.

                                                                                                        1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                          I think intent has a lot to do with it and while I'm no fan of Mike's, I don't think he was usi g the word 'angels' in an attempt to be sexist or demeaning. I would say it came off as a little sexist (although I believe there are male angels) but I would not go so far as to say demeaning. You might be able to make that assumption if he had otherwise treated them poorly, but he seemed to treat them with respect. Mike went on and on about how hard Jamie worked.

                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                            look, if I use a racially charged word, and I don't mean anything bad by it, it is still racially charged.( fill in word of choice) In fact I have done that out of ignorance in the past, using a word I didn't realize had a racist origin and connotation. My ignorance of the meaning of the word didn't give me a free pass, and when someone explained it to me I never used it again.Mike most likely was being complementary, and didn't mean it in a demeaning or condescending way. That doesn't mean is ISN"T demeaning and condescending. And yes, he was pleased that the chefs were so capable and worked so hard and so well with him. However he would never have called male chefs his "angels". It is sexist, no matter how well intentioned he was.

                                                                                                            1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                              Who said anythi g about ignorance? I just don't think Mike was intending to be sexist or demeaning. And when I post tat, I'm focusing on the demeaning parr because that I believe is the more offensive of the two. I also think people go out of their way to be offended or looking for something that isn't necessarily there and that is a waste of time and energy. From what we saw on TV last night Mike treated his sius chefs with respect, dignity and showed gratitude for their work. I am going to leave it at that.

                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                well, I said I wasn't going to add anything else, but I don't want you to think I was saying anything about you being ignorant. I was trying to say, that even if Mike didn't mean anything by what he said, it still wasn't ok. I was giving an example of a time when I did something, not being mean-spirited, but out of ignorance- meaning not knowingly, innocently-and it still doesn't make it ok. I am tired of talking about this, sorry you took offense, none was intended to you in any way. However, I don't care for Mike's sexist statements, and I think this was obviously, egregiously sexist.

                                                                                                              2. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                Leaving aside the fact that implying the word angels is a "charged word" seems crazy to me...

                                                                                                                The "he wouldn't have called his men chefs 'angels'" argument is no more compelling than "you're a man so you're not qualified to comment on sexism" argument (which has been debunked as some women have disagreed with you too). Even if you are right, that he wouldn't have used the word angels in reference to men (even given the fact that there are some pretty darn well known male angels), that doesn't prove anything. Obviously, our language has words that are specific to a specific sex, and also has words that we use for a specific sex. Most women would not find it a compliment if a man called them "handsome", just as most men would not find it a compliment if a woman called them "beautiful". But calling a woman beautiful -- even if you would not use that word to describe a man -- doesn't mean that the use of the word is sexist.

                                                                                                                As I have said before, I think many of you viewed that comment through the lens of his previous comments; you had him pegged as sexist and thus saw that comment as sexist. And maybe you simply aren't able to go past that. But on its own, in a vacuum, calling them angels is not a sexist comment.

                                                                                                            2. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                              Oh, I see. Only women get to decide if something is sexist, demeaning or patronizing? You do realize that there are women who might feel differently? How would your "system" handle disagreement by someone of your own sex? And that adhering to a philosophy like that means you accept that you can never have an opinion about anything that has to do with being male or how a male might perceive or feel about something (yes, occasionally we do have feelings ;-)? I openly acknowledge that women and men have different perspectives and recognizing *both* is important in understanding such a thing as sexism. But I resoundingly reject the notion that women alone get to have input on it.

                                                                                                              I'm not the misogynist or sexist that you want to paint me as; I'm usually pretty darned sensitive. And would completely agree with the general idea that he was portrayed as sexist in prior episodes (though I am of the camp that completely judging someone based on a reality tv show's editing might be a mistake). I merely disagree that he was sexist in this episode (as edited).

                                                                                                              And most importantly, I doubt that in a vacuum -- ie without the prior history -- many of you would have found this demeaning. Would it have been demeaning if Antonia had made the finals and said that about her female helpers? Would it have been demeaning if Richard had 3 female sous chefs and said it about them? I think y'all found the use of the word "angels" as demeaning because it was said by Mike, someone that you had labeled (rightly or wrongly) as sexist. Heck, angels isn't even a male or female reference, if you asked me to name 3 famous angels, I know that at least two of the ones I would name would be male (Gabriel and Clarence; yes, Clarence). In fact, I don't know if I could name a female angel. Is that it? He called them men by calling them angels?

                                                                                                              I really am curious what is so demeaning about calling someone an angel? Why do you feel the reference is demeaning or sexist?

                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                @LurkerDan:

                                                                                                                :::::::::::::APPLAUSE:::::::::::::::

                                                                                                              2. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                Thank you, Karen. you saved me from having to make that post!

                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                  you're welcome! those posts are a little scary to write, as I know there will be pushback, but I can't help myself.

                                                                                                                  1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                    This is how the rest of us feminists get a bad rap for being humorless. :-)

                                                                                                                2. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                  Well, I'm a female and I didn't take it as sexist at all. I did assume that it was a reference to Charlie's Angels, but didn't look at it as a demanding man having three women do his bidding and being subservient. I looked at it as what you would associate with a group of three girls and one guy--Charlie's Angels. The same way if I knew of a couple that got married and each had three kids of the same gender I would think--Brady Bunch. I lived with two guys friends and thought we were like Three's Company. I think people are getting a little two worked up about this. Has he made sexist comments? Yes. But I just think that this was a innocent remark.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                                    Maybe it was innocent, but in the context of every other demeaning thing he said about 'girl' chefs this season, it is difficult to not see it through the lens of his previously stated attitudes towards his fellow chefs of the female persuasion.

                                                                                                                  2. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                    I'm female, feminist and context matters. I think he was an absolute pig about women and is very chauvinist at least in talk if not actions. But I think he was being genuine and not even close to demeaning those women by calling them angels.
                                                                                                                    He needed help; they were going to be his helpers and he needed to believe in them. That's what I got.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                      ok, would he call male sous chefs angels? to me that is the context that matters. He would not do that because it is patronizing. Patronizing is unequal- the patronizer is above the one being patronized. Now of course he is the chef and they are the sous, so in that way of course it is unequal. But again, I keep repeating, he would never say it to men. And I didn't think of Charlie's angel's- just "angels". As mamachef, I believe said above it's like 'sweetie" or "honey"-not something you call a peer.

                                                                                                                      1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                        Why does it matter if he would call male chefs that? I don't accept that as the criterion for demeaning language or patronization. I also believe that intention and context matter. I've been a feminist since before Mike was born and I picked up on his tone, his clear sense of warmth and gratitude for their help. Context and intentions matter, not just our own personal reflexes.

                                                                                                                        I know lots of folks who use "sweetie, honey" with peers or even superiors, it depends upon age, culture, personality. I find life is sweeter when I consider the intent of the speaker, even if s/he uses terms and language I typically would not.

                                                                                                                        1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                          i think he seemed like he was actually really grateful to have them there. but i could be wrong

                                                                                                                          1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                            Would you have been equally offended if Carla had had three female sous chefs and she said they were her angels? I'd think it was that she was saying they were her saviors and heaven sent. Given that it's Mike, it's easy to attribute different ideas to it but I don't know what he meant--I'm guessing not in the sense that they were there in bikinis to be sex objects. I hate defending Mike but I'm not convinced he meant it in a condescending, patronizing way--I took it to mean he was grateful.

                                                                                                                            1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                                              What if he would not call his male sous chefs (if they were male) angels? He probably would have called them 'beasts in the kitchen' and guess what, he referred to Jen with that term. He might have even called them 'studs' for putting in a good effort for him. So what? Believe it or not there is a difference in the genders and how they are perceived and it isn't always a bad thing.

                                                                                                                              Sure Mike may have used sexist behavior in past episodes of TC, but what I believe what we saw in last night's finale in Mike's interaction with his sous chefs was not one of those instances.

                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                I can't believe this angel thing is even an argument. Mike certainly was a putz much of the time but calling someone angels didn't even register to me. And even if he was referring to Charlie's Angels, it still doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

                                                                                                                            2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                              +1

                                                                                                                              When someone says "angel on my shoulder" isn't the word "angel" understood to be shorthand for guardian angel? I thought Mike was sincere and grateful for the support his sous chefs gave him. They were his guardian angels in the kitchen that night and he make his appreciation clear in his body language and tone of voice even if we can debate the specific choice of words.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                +1 to mcf's sentiments. He's a weenie, but his "angels" comment wasn't part of his usual weenie-ism.

                                                                                                                            3. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                              Mike was indeed complimentary and I think he was genuine in praising Carla when he found out she was on his team. He changed his tune on Jamie and praised her and said good things about Tiffani. He really was a good chef all episode long and I think he deserves credit for that. BUT, would Mike have called male sous chefs angels? There is something inherently sexist about using the term in such a way as he did, even if he wasn't trying to be demeaning. The connotation is that the women were there to make him feel comfortable when they were actually there to help create a great meal. karenfinan said it very well when she used the word patronizing. Just because he wasn't being mean by saying angels doesn't mean it was 100% positive. It's along the same lines as saying a female chef is a "great female chef" or a "great chef for a woman". Technically, it's praise, but it still carries a hint of "women are automatically not quite as good."

                                                                                                                              1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                Can you please explain to me how "angel" is sexist?

                                                                                                                                1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                  I could be wrong, since I'm not in his head, but what *I* got from his comment was that they were like "Charlie's Angels." Like he's the guy in charge and they're just there to do his bidding. Hence, sexist. Or at least that's what it conveyed to me.

                                                                                                                                  Had he meant angels in that they were helpful and supportive and saved him? That's ok -- it's something that could've been said of either male or female sous chefs.

                                                                                                                                  But given all we've seen of him, I'm guessing he meant the former. Especially since (if I remember correctly) he said it in the context of "hey, look, all my sous chefs are female!"

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bax

                                                                                                                                    That's what I immediately thought: Charlie's Angels. Mike's the boss and his Angels will do his bidding.

                                                                                                                                    For the record, I do think Mike's a jackass but I'm impressed that he has improved his cooking skills. But is still a jackass. He probably thought he was complimenting them, and in his way he was, but did it in his usual derogatory way.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                    So many responses here. I heard it as many others have noted above "Charlie's Angels" with three women doing the big guy's bidding.

                                                                                                                                    I wonder about the breakdown of women to men in how that was interpreted: how many women heard Charlie's Angels and how many men thought "oh, wasn't that nice." Or vice versa.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                      It did not occur to me that Mike was using Charlie's Angels as the context for his use of the term.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                        Is Mike even old enough to know about Charlie's Angels?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: onrushpam

                                                                                                                                          This here's my final, final final word(s) on the subject. A. Yep, he's old enough to have caught the re-runs and the more current movies. Also, "Charlie's Angels" is a totally pop-culture reference which is very well-known even to kids who aren't chronologically old enough. Which leads me to this:
                                                                                                                                          Mike's words were, "they're MY angels", (emphasis his, tonally, and mine, observationally.) That denotes that they are His angels, as opposed to someone Else's Angels. Now, the only other commonly known reference to _________'s Angels is G-d's Angels, and I don't think Mike Isabella was saying, "they're not G-d's angels, they're my angels" with a religious bent. His reference was very clearly to Charlie's Angels. He's not THAT megalomaniacal.
                                                                                                                                          Cheers, y'all. I'm outtie.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                            So, Clarence wasn't George Bailey's angel? When people talk about a guardian angel, ie their angel, they are secretly referencing Charlie's Angels, because the only two possible possessives related to angels are "God's angels" and "Charlie's Angels"? Okay........

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                Hey, I was gone all evening when a bajillion posts were made! I just had to respond, I had to!

                                                                                                                                                I'll stop now.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                            i heard charlie's angels (i am female)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                              I thought "Charlie's Angels" but who knows if that's what he meant. Reading through these posts, I may have missed it if someone else mentioned it, but I think it's interesting that Charlie was some disembodied voice and the Angels were the ones who did all the work and kicked butt. I think angels is only sexist if you want it to be - i've called my friends angels for coming to my aid. I do think people would have thought differently if Richard had said that, but I suppose he never would have.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: suse

                                                                                                                                                You may have missed a whole load of posts that have been 'disappeared'.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: suse

                                                                                                                                                  Maybe those that decided Mike's comment was about Charlie's Angels are themselves sexist.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                    37 year old female here - and i don't find either reference of angels sexist. just my two cents. and i find either one possible - even saying my angels.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                                I see it this way: it's patronizing. I did not pick up a Charlie's Angels vibe, but rather the typical meaning: sweet, caring or comforting. In most contexts, that would be totally complimentary. However, he was not talking about these women as friends who are angels to him in his personal life, but rather talking about them in a professional setting. Those women were there to help him create a great meal, not be comforting (or whatever else comes with being an angel). Calling them "angels" focuses on their femininity not their acumen (skills in the kitchen) relevant to the context.

                                                                                                                                                I've seen some say he perhaps meant they were his angels in that they were saving him. If that was his meaning, I wouldn't find patronization in it. But given his (valid) confidence and belief in his menu and skills, I don't think he believed saving was what he needed and therefore don't believe that was his intended meaning.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                  "I've seen some say he perhaps meant they were his angels in that they were saving him."

                                                                                                                                                  I thought of it more as aiding him, not his salvation. Mike can't even get credit for the first whole night he *didn't* behave like a peeg. ;-)

                                                                                                                                        2. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                          I fail to see how calling them his angels is anything but a high compliment. It certainly isn't sexist.
                                                                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                          maybe i was wrong, but i took it as a reference to Charlie's Angels...3 women doing the work for the man behind the curtain. *that* is why it bothered me.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                            "maybe i was wrong, but i took it as a reference to Charlie's Angels...3 women doing the work for the man behind the curtain. *that* is why it bothered me."

                                                                                                                                            I still don't see how that is sexist. He was their employer and they were his employees, so yes, they did what he wanted.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                                                              The sexism comes in when you note that in every incarnation of the Angels, their main "jobs" involved running around in a great deal of lingerie in situations that don't generally call for such apparel - and the situations themselves that played into generally sexist fantasies (going undercover in nasty exciting women's prison, etc.)
                                                                                                                                              I don't generally knee-jerk, and if this had been the only time I'd witnessed such sexist, boorish behavior (and I KNOW it's edited, don't even start) I mightn't have noticed it. But given all that has gone before, it didn't sit well with me - or Mr., who really could totally care less in the first place. When even HE notices something like such, well, it's pretty overt.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                thanks mc - you explained my issue with the Charlie's Angels connection better than i did :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                To me, it comes down to the context of the ages of the people concerned, both on this thread and on the show. Mike Isabella is certainly of an age that would give him reason to make that connection. I will never believe that he wasn't using the phrase, "they're my angels" in a context other than that one. If it had been all-male sous chefs, would he have as likely said, "these are my avatars", or "They're my little Cherubim?"

                                                                                                                                                I got a great sense of humor, even for a womanist. Which is a term I prefer to feminist.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                  well said, and I also am noted for my great sense of humor. Funny no one has complained about Lurker Dan or fame de lupo lacking a sense of humor. I think I have said all I need to say on this subject:-)

                                                                                                                                                2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                  i can't believe it...we're disagreeing on something? quelle horreur! ;)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                    I know, right? It's not the first time, though first in this venue. :-)

                                                                                                                                                3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                  Wow. I didn't expect to come back to this much here. And can't process all right now. I will say, clearly he was referring to Charlie's Angels, because he actually mentioned Charlie's angels.

                                                                                                                                                  I'm not a humorous feminist. My coworkers would laugh at the idea that I'm a humorless feminist. But in the context of so many other things Mike has said on television, I heard that and thought, wow, gross.

                                                                                                                                                  And that's all I have on this for now. Gotta get back to work.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                    He mentioned Charlie's Angels? Until I read this thread, I don't remember hearing that term from anyone.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                      I never once heard Charlie's Angels come out of his mouth. Maybe you saw a show I didn't.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                I just thought he was thinking "Charlie's Angels" not so much the way it came out. Mike just
                                                                                                                                                doesn't have the "social appropriate" filter gene... I have to say, as a chef, he's come a long way fast all of a sudden. I always think of those limp, disgusting braised leeks he made as the low point of all of TC ever.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                              i thought this was really funny too! but i wonder if he would have listened to ideas from male sous chefs unlike he did with the women.

                                                                                                                                              i think alot of it has to do with in the last couple episodes the editors have really tried to paint a better picture of him

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                But they haven't been completely successful because Mike's mouth always gets in the way!

                                                                                                                                                Did anyone else find all the confessionals -- both Richard and Mike's -- to be a little bit annoying and very repetitive. Yeah, we got it. You think you deserve to win and you worked really hard to get there. Richard=redemption; Mike=proving himself. Fine. But over and over again ad nauseum.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                  "but i wonder if he would have listened to ideas from male sous chefs unlike he did with the women"

                                                                                                                                                  Not to defend Mike, but it would have been stupid of him not to already have a menu in place. They had all night to plan their menu. I don't think that either Mike or Richard came in to the kitchen that day not knowing what the menu already was. Plus look what happened to Carla in the final when she followed someone else's advice.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I am sure that they have menus, but unless I am mistaken, didn't Blais make a point of allowing his sous chefs to tinker with the dishes?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, but not to choose the menu, and with very close collaboration. That's different than having Tiffany make one of her dishes.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                        Did Tiffani want to make one of her dishes? I must have missed that...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, a parmesan cream, which is when Mike said he was going to make it entirely his menu, not use their dishes.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                            That was the moment that I knew Mike was going to shine in the challenge. How many times have we seen people trying to be democratic and inclusive while killing their own chances. hello Karla. That was impressive.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, I think you knew from the start in both groups that each chef was going to lay down his best meal.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                    Yes. This. I was happy he dealt so graciously with three chicks in the kitch. He turned out to be an okay guy after all.

                                                                                                                                                  3. First of all, thanks to Linda for the wonderful season! It has been a pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                    I have to say, I am really glad that Richard won. However, there is one aspect of his created restaurant that I *really* don't get: Why in the world did he EVER let Spike walk around the dining room with a hat on! How Rude! I know Spike wasn't thinking, but what the heck was Richard thinking?

                                                                                                                                                    ok, I've gotten that off my chest, and I would have been thrilled to eat there, even though seeing the FOH person wearing a hat in the dining room would have been extremely annoying...

                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                      The alternative (Spike walking around the dining room with seriously disheveled hair) might have been less appetizing!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                        you are probably right momjamin. And I do think that gathering the intelligence may well have made the difference for Richard in a tight race. So kudos to Richard for having Spike do what he does best (be sneeky). But a hat? In a fine dining restaurant? umm, no. Glad it didn't annoy Tom as much as it annoyed me!

                                                                                                                                                    2. Looks like Top Chef went for the mega-happy ending. That's nice. Though I was almost hoping for Michael to win just to see the rage it would inspire. Also would've been happy with the Scooby Doo ending (Mike, led away in handcuffs, turns out to be Marcel in a gigantic latex suit).

                                                                                                                                                      Observations:

                                                                                                                                                      -Mike says near the beginning of the show that he is a better cook than Richard. Great chance for all of us out in viewerland to roll our eyes, but mostly I found myself wondering whether Mike really believed that or if he just wanted to float the idea out there.

                                                                                                                                                      -I thought Mike and Richard picking their sous-chefs by their plates was a cool little twist. For one, I found it interesting that they were both essentially hoping for the same people - Jen Carrol, Dale, Angelo. At least that's the impression I get.

                                                                                                                                                      Also interesting - people have long been saying that, for the sake of fairness, Top Chef judging should be completely blind (not me though - I think that's dumb; it kills much of the dramatic tension, and allowing the chefs to build expectations and reputations is a good thing; screw fairness). Anyway, the common retort to that, often delivered by Tom C., is that the judges would soon be able to figure out exactly who made what anyway. It would seem from this little twist that maybe that isn't true - Rich and Mike seemed to have a really hard time figuring out who cooked what.

                                                                                                                                                      -I'm wondering if people are coming around on Mike, or failing that, at least his cooking. Was his performance here strong enough that people are now impressed with him as a cook? I know I was hoping to find a recipe online for his third course (especially that pepperoni sauce) just to see what all the fuss was about - not posted yet, alas. Richard, by his and others' accounts cooked very well even by his standards, and Mike still gave him a serious run for his money, with Gail voting him the winner (as per Tom C.) - would anyone have predicted that a month or two ago? Think it was a fluke? I'm thinking probably not.

                                                                                                                                                      -Richard's food for much of this season had been laying off some of the bells and whistles that distinguished his food in season 4. I think some people thought he was off his game. Well, at the beginning of the season, I mentioned that i thought Richard wouldn't win because his food was too concept driven.Turns out (it seems anyway) that he was trying to address this - that Richard was trying to balance out his big-concept cooking with more concern for taste and texture and gut-level appeal. He alluded to this briefly, mentioning the pleasure principle.

                                                                                                                                                      So are others fully impressed with his finale meal, or are people still expecting edible scale reconstructions of the Eiffel Tower from him and wondering why he's making food in a similar style to, say, Bryan Voltaggio. Or maybe his techniques haven't much changed, but no one is really awed by creme fraiche pearls or foie gras ice cream like they would have been a few years ago?

                                                                                                                                                      Was this the Richard you hoped to see?

                                                                                                                                                      -Fabio was a finalist for fan favorite and not Dale. I was expecting this. But still- dammit, people! What's it take, huh? Not that I personally voted. But Dale was awesome - a great redemption story. Whereas Fabs had... a tortoise on a string and hilariously mangled sentence structure... ok, Dale never stood a chance.

                                                                                                                                                      -Finally, Linda - thanks are in order. Another fine season of real-time recaps. Lord knows I couldn't do it. You make it look easy. It's not. Woe to the poor soul who tries to fill your shoes with TCM (if we can find one).

                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                        You know, its funny you ask about Mike. By the end of the show tonight I found myself secretly rooting for him. Maybe it was just the underdog thing, or maybe it was the pepperoni sauce :-), but he definitely became more likeable as the show went on. I think it started when he learned he was Antonia's "cousin." He definitely cares for family first, and that's big with me. And his attitude towards the women working with him was nothing if not professional. But the other thing is that Richard's "poor, pitiful me" routine got old. Mike had confidence, and that's likeable. Richard had none, and his "am I going to choke again" thing just got old. But I think they both did a great job in the end.

                                                                                                                                                        And yes, thanks to Linda. Why AREN'T you going to be our go-to gal for TCM?? (peer pressure, folks. Peer pressure :-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                          We're thinking very similarly, I would have been okay if Mike had won. It seemed like he knocked it out of the park and showed lots of talent during the last month or so. And I agree with Richard's "poor pitiful me" thing, got sick of him repeating the same lines over and over, but I'm glad he won. I kept waiting for him and Mike to shake hands or hug at the end but I didn't see it. I was a little bummed with Mike's sourpuss face at the announcement but I guess it's hard to fake it after this long long (long) season.

                                                                                                                                                          So how many times did Bourdain actually judge this season? Will I be able to go right into TCM and watch that squiurrely guy for however many weeks this thing lasts?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                            As to why I'm not recapping TCM3 - I have a gathering to go to next Wednesday (which means I'll probably miss the Reunion show, which I'm bummed about, as I really want to see Tom C. give it to Elia again!). So I probably won't be home for the start - OR will be too tired to even watch it, as Ep. 1 is going to be on at 11pm.

                                                                                                                                                            But more importantly - I'm moving in about a month. A lot of my time will be spent throwing away or packing stuff I've accumulated over the past 16 years. :-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                              Don't throw away your recapping hat! Make sure you pack that sucker!!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for your TC work again Linda. I'm still fairly new here (1 year) compared to some, I have a question. Prior to your recaps, which seem to start with TC 7 in DC, were there long TC threads such as these? The search engine on this site doesn't seem to work too well so I don't know if they exist somewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                About the reunion show ...I would have thought Elia would back down a little on her criticism of Tom and his use of corn-fed beef. Apparently she wasn't smart enough to do that. She's reacting like a militant animal rights supporter which is a little incongruous for a chef that cooks and serves all kinds of meat products.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                  I think prior to Season 6, it was a free-for-all. Someone would start a thread, and many of us would just pile on throughout the show (usually during commercials the threads would expand exponentially! LOL). No real "recap", per se.

                                                                                                                                                                  The search has to be *really* refined via Advanced Search. Regular CH search only checks for the past year. When you do your initial search for TOP CHEF LAS VEGAS (which was Season 6) click on the Advanced Search and then choose "Past 5 years". You should get almost all of Season 6.

                                                                                                                                                                  http://tinyurl.com/5rs33fb

                                                                                                                                                                  However, it depends on what was put in the subject line. You might have to remove the "Las" in the search to come up with Episode 1 and 2 for that season.

                                                                                                                                                                  And then for Season 4, Chicago wasn't even mentioned in the title - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588013 So I'm not sure to actually access any of the previous seasons easily enough without just putting in "TOP CHEF" in the search and dealing with countless pages where the show was mentioned.

                                                                                                                                                                  As for Elia, very good description of her. I thought she might be a bit more repentant as well, but guess she hasn't had enough hits with the Clue Stick yet.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                I didn't think much of Mike, either, because of his previous bravado and negative attitude towards some of his competitors in season 6. But like Dale, I think he came back a more matured chef for All Stars. He still had his moments, but I saw him more as a grown up this time than a doofus.
                                                                                                                                                                Throughout the seaon, I didn't enjoy the glimpses of Richard being a sore loser. Bravo did a good job emphasizing those clips. I'd seen enough by the finale to be turned off by Richard. Mike performed so well int he finale...he cooked like he wanted it. I was super excited to see that competitive heat was turned way up.
                                                                                                                                                                However, I did know that Richard was going to get the win for this one. You can usually tell by the chefs answers to the "why should you be top chef" question. I don't think Mike nailed the answer. You could feel Richard's answer radiate off of the TV. The answer to that question is as equally important as the food to the judges...especially Tom, I think.
                                                                                                                                                                Congratulations to both of the chefs!
                                                                                                                                                                I'm ready to see Elia get reamed for improperly criticizing Tom. In my opinion, that's like commiting career suicide.

                                                                                                                                                              3. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                Re: Richard and Mike trying to figure out who cooked what -- I was amused that Richard picked the squid ceviche first -- don't you suppose he thought it was another crudo from Angelo?

                                                                                                                                                                I have to admit I mostly voted for Richard for fan fave, 'cause I was so nervous he might end up "choking" again and I wanted him to win something! But I did throw in a few votes for Dale -- great story indeed. I'm not at all surprised that Fabio and Carla were voted most engaging personality.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks cowboy! It's been fun (but exhausting trying to get all of the details down on paper and then on screen!) Re: some of your points:

                                                                                                                                                                  - I think Mike *does* think he's as good a cook as Richard - just a different type of cook. I will be very interested to hear how his new restaurant does.

                                                                                                                                                                  - Mike's *cooking* impressed me towards the end. He started off just "meh" (as is evidenced by the number of times he was just in the "In" column on the Wikipedia Progress chart). But he definitely stepped up his game towards the end. That pepperoni sauce is one I want to try as well (recipe still not up on Bravo's site).

                                                                                                                                                                  ETA: But Mike's attitude still ticked me off throughout the season. Especially towards female cheftestants.

                                                                                                                                                                  - Richard slight change in his style of cooking - this is what I wanted to see from him. Obtainable recipes, but still with a bit of mystery or "wow, how did he do that?" I'm glad he pulled back from the constant MG stuff (which Marcel seems to be unable to do).

                                                                                                                                                                  - Agree - if not Carla, Dale *should* have been in the running. I'm rather stunned that people think Fabio is still funny. He showed a side of himself this All-Star season that I didn't like. And then there's his blog.... :-/

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, I agree with you so much about Fabio, and I loved him in his season. I would have liked to have seen Antonia get a little fan favorite recognition. I think she proved herself to be not only an excellent chef, but a nice person as well. I think her little aside with Blais ("I'm fine") showed a great deal of moxie to say nothing of a generosity of spirit. I felt the same way about Carla helping Mike. He was the worst proponent of the "Boy's Club," but despite this (and despite interviews I've read with Carla saying how pronounced it was), she went right to work with good grace and her usually sunny attitude.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                      Good point - Antonia was another who I was "meh" about in her season, but she seemed to have matured as well. Both she and Carla (and Spike, for that matter) all did everything they could to help their guy win. There are definitely others who I feel if they'd been chosen, wouldn't have been so amenable.

                                                                                                                                                                      I have to say - when Jamie was chosen by Mike, I thought "he's a goner." But even she stepped up her game and did just what he needed her to do.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                    -Fabio was a finalist for fan favorite and not Dale. I was expecting this. But still- dammit, people! What's it take, huh? Not that I personally voted.
                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                    well i DID vote online, the maximum number of times allowed. and i split my votes evenly between Tre and Dale Talde...so yeah, i was pissed. but hey, at least Fabio didn't WIN.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. A big shout-out and thanks to Linda for her dedication, enthusiasm, and punctuality all season long.

                                                                                                                                                                    Here's hoping (and praying and begging?) she's up to the challenge for Masters 2 ...

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                      It's TC 3 and I believe Linda has said she will not seek, and will not accept, the nomination by her Chowhound peers to another term as our Top Chef synopsis specialist for Top Chef Masters. (I do hope she is up to it for the next round of regular TC).

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                        ROFL! Perfect, John. Thanks for being my press agent. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO GREAT!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                      Disjointed thoughts:

                                                                                                                                                                      My ONE CRITICISM of Richard was... LEARN HOW TO PRONOUNCE THE WORD, DUDE! He kept saying "amuzeh" for "amuse" bouche. There's no accent on that "e", you're a CHEF, for god's sake, and haven't you heard that word a bazillion times, just on TC alone??

                                                                                                                                                                      Other that that, Bravo. Very happy for him.

                                                                                                                                                                      So, what was the surprise Tom was supposedly talking about?

                                                                                                                                                                      They both did a great job tonight, you can tell Mike REALLY stepped up his game - to have Tom say it was the best fish he'd tasted on Top Chef! Of course, then he said that he had said that BEFORE he tasted Richard's! i love that Richard won without most of his bells and whistles - they were slight touches only (frozen creme fraiche on the oysters, foie gras ice cream), but mostly he focused on TASTE.

                                                                                                                                                                      Funny that Mike got all women sous chefs - and of course he was nice to them, he had to depend on them! I too am very curious about that pepperoni sauce, they were loving it.

                                                                                                                                                                      Richard's main was more rustic, simple, didn't wow, but I love the comment about wanting to eat Richard's food on the weekend - it means it really was special, in the end.

                                                                                                                                                                      Mike is talking right now about how Dale & Angelo should have stayed on longer, and Tiffany and some of the others maybe should have gone home sooner.

                                                                                                                                                                      Yay for Carla - of course she won! She's a sweetheart, you can tell she's a good egg.

                                                                                                                                                                      And speaking of goodness - Richard offering to give money to Mikey for his restaurant if he wins? Who in this entire contest would have been more gracious? I SO happy he won.

                                                                                                                                                                      Linda, thanks again SO MUCH for an excellent job, for your consistency, for your thoughtful summaries, sense of humor, and for doing this, for all of us! you, Linda, are our Fan Favorite! Have a great season off, and we'll await you next time!

                                                                                                                                                                      18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                        I noticed that too about Richard's pronunciation. He went a little overboard by adding an 'é' sound when there isn't one. One would have thought that the word is so common he would have picked up on the right way to say it.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder if Richard is one of those people who just can't pronounce foreign words easily--I know several intelligent, capable people who have that problem. I remember that during the first season of Top Chef Masters that Michael Chiarello was insisting that his sous chefs (from previous TC competitions) had to pronounce his name correctly, and Richard couldn't do it. Of course Richard went on to work with Rick Bayless and they seemed to do very well together.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                            Richard did it on purpose, IIRC. He made a comment that people who ask "What's my name?" should never have it pronounced correctly.

                                                                                                                                                                            Chiarello is a bigger douche than Scott Conant...and that's saying something.

                                                                                                                                                                            I do not, in this hallowed place, use the word "douche" lightly.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                              Especially if the option is to work for either Hubert Keller or Rick Bayless who both exude class.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                                As someone whose name is constantly mispronouced, I usually brush it off if it's an occasional mistake. But if you're dealing with someone regularly, learn how to say their name, for chrissake.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey - your name is easy - it's pronounced like those cough drops:

                                                                                                                                                                                  REEE-coh-lahhhh!

                                                                                                                                                                                  :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    True! Unfortunately, this is only a nickname. My real name is a little trickier. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                    I understand where you are coming from, but it was coming from more of a "If you don't know who I am, you aren't worthy to cook with me". I wouldn't expect any working chef to know the names of all the food network chefs, regardless of how 'popular' they are.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                                      For sure, I wasn't taking sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Just going back to the pronunciation thing -- if it's an ingredient you'll be working with a lot, learn to say/spell it right. It always puts me off when Italian or French restaurants have misspelled menus or the staff can't pronounce the words properly. It actually makes me question their knowledge of the cuisine and their attention to detail.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                        I think you are very right about that. A menu is the story about your restaurant that your customers read to themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                  The first couple times I heard it I wondered if Richard felt that saying only the first word, without the extra syllable, just sounded "too short". I also wondered if *anyone* ever just uses the first word. Later on, I think Tom did, and it sounded just fine as one syllable, so who knows. But I really wonder if Richard was saying the *whole* term, whether he'd leave off the "e"

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                OK - now THAT is why I kept calling it "amusette" in my OP - that's what I kept on hearing! I *know* what an amuse bouche is - I just thought "amusette" was something new in the restaurant world I was unaware of.

                                                                                                                                                                                My apologies to all. Perhaps I'll have the Mods fix it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                Re: the "surprise" Tom C. talked about - I have to believe it was that Jen Carroll was booted so early in the competition, and perhaps that Dale Talde didn't make it either.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                  <My ONE CRITICISM of Richard was... LEARN HOW TO PRONOUNCE THE WORD, DUDE! He kept saying "amuzeh" for "amuse" bouche. There's no accent on that "e", you're a CHEF, for god's sake, and haven't you heard that word a bazillion times, just on TC alone??> Then I'm not the only one who was bugged by that. ;) Thought the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                  <Funny that Mike got all women sous chefs - and of course he was nice to them, he had to depend on them! > I laughed out loud when he picked Jamie. But I was SO hoping he would also end up with Marcel (and Elia). Or was I just being perverse?

                                                                                                                                                                                  I sure hope Elia doesn't want to cook in New York ever in her life. Tom is so respected in this community, I can't see anyone ever hiring her, especially after she continued with her misdirected tirade.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I am not sorry Richard won, but at the start of the season he wasn't in my Top Four picks. Wonder if he will stop coubting himself now?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                    I think after her performance on TC and her spiteful, stupid attacks, she may want to keep her mind on self employment from now on.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                      She's supposedly opening a restaurant in Los Angeles, last I read? I cannot believe *any* of the bad press she's received is going to be good for business. Unless it becomes a "any press is good press" situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                      I also really hope Richard can stop doubting himself. He earned his TC title, and I believe that he will be one of the winners who people feel deserved the win.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        According to last night's insta-poll, 84% or so felt the "right person won". (That's gotta stink for Mike!)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Special kudos to three people who have earned more than their fair share of vitriol during this season: Jamie, Spike, and Mike.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Mike earns some major points for studying so he could deliver on the plate the level of food that he has largely yammered about. Also kudos to ability for controlling his disdain for Jamie and, ultimately, his sweet praise of Jamie's work ethic and skill.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Kudos for Jamie for putting forth for Mike what she couldn't achieve for herself. Of course we'll never know what psycho-dramas were playing inside Jamie's head while she was actually competing this season, but she at least demonstrated the chops that got her invited back to compete in All Stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Kudos for Spike for taking his responsibility to Mike so seriously during FOH duties. Had he not communicated important intelligence about the first batch of foie gras ice-cream, I suspect the judges might have given the prize to Mike.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                        I have to agree with all of your kudos, Indy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                            Whoops! Thanks for catching that mistake!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I actually cried!!! LOVED it!! Yay Richard!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Very pleased with the show. Like the was they picked their 'staff'. Seems like everyone pulled their weight. Mort importantly it was good to let them just cook they way that they cook. no little tricks or pitfalls or surprises.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. just wanted to throw this question out there:

                                                                                                                                                                                              If you were Mike and Richard, which sous chefs would YOU want??

                                                                                                                                                                                              I think i'd want Dale, Angelo, and Fabio (who would be in the front of house as much as possible)

                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                                                Dale, Jen Carroll, and probably Angelo. Except you're right - you do need a FOH - for that, I'd choose Carla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                    hmm guess it is all guys isnt it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    well my next person to actually COOK (if there was no front of house) woulda been antonia, but after watching multiple resto wars with fabio i just dont think i could pass up putting him in the front of the house. im pretty sure that fabio could win you a resto challenge just by being fabio

                                                                                                                                                                                                    and also i know alot of people are gunna say jen carrol, but after watching her in two separate seasons i just feel like we have YET to see her actually live up to her resume

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jen wilts under pressure but I think she'd be great as a sous chef in those conditions. She has the techniques and the background. When she shines, she's unstoppable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'd amend that to say she cleary does not wilt under pressure, hence her job leading a kitchen for Eric Ripert. I'm sure that's high pressure every seating. She wilts in competition, which is a whole 'nuther thing. Fear of losing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good point--I agree. I think that's why she'd be a great sous chef in this competition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Definitely agree; she's a team player and an incredibly skilled chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                            i think jen seems to kick butt under "normal culinary circumstances"-- which is something that the show doesn't necessarily give the contestants. more like "make something good out of packaged chips and hot dog buns, with a butane torch, in fifteen minutes, for three famous fashion designers."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            give her a proper commercial kitchen and a timeframe and she's a demonstrably formidable force.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And, she ran one tight kitchen in her season, even though she had immunity. She had all the chefs do their thing, while making sure everything was in place, everyone got what they needed, etc. She's also a forward thinker--in her season when they did the blindfold teammate challenge, she immediately started with her stock to develop flavors and everything flowed from that. I'd pick her first for my team, too, just as Mike and Richard wanted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd take Dale, Angelo and Antonia as sous chefs. All skilled, hard-working and creative while ego-free enough to recognize that it would be my show. FOH I'd take Carla over Fabio for a couple reasons: 1) I am biased towards her personality to be honest, both are great at FOH and 2) I would trust her to lend a skilled helping hand in the kitchen (if needed) over Fabio, especially where salads/starters and desserts are concerned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hung... er, wait ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jen (if it isn't her ballgame, the stress won't break her down; when she's fresh, she crushes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Angelo (great ideas that need to be restrained, by you the chef)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Carla (dessert specialist - again we see how crucial deserts can be)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. YAY!!! And <*phew*> I felt pretty sure it was Richard after yesterday's today show. Very sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks again, Linda for the seasonal effort!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Since no one else had done. Well, many have thanked her but I will get it started.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            As Jack Buck would say: I am standing, I am applauding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you LindaWhit. You deserve the standing O.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Diito! Thanks Linda for the exellent recaps. I think you deserve Chowhound Fan Favorite!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also standing & joining the applause.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                <Chowhound Fan Favorite!!!> How appropriate!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kudos, Linda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes. Thank you LW! I did not enjoy watching TCAS as much as anticipated, but loved these discussions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Best of luck in your new home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Look forward to TC Season 9 recaps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. So...Im surprised this hasn't been said yet. Was anyone really surprised that Richard won since we all saw Padma's eyes last week in the preview? I certainly wasn't sitting on the edge of my seat with anticipation waiting for the announcement. I would've been more surprised if Mike had won.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, in fact, that tell was so blatant, I thought they'd done it purposely to create a big surprise at the end. So when they stood there with Richard to the right, we already knew who'd won without a doubt before Padma said it. Between that and the obvious Today show spoiler, it lacked suspense, but made up for it with joy for me, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly. It's not like the Elves haven't screwed us over before with their editing! We would see something in a preview (obviously planted to get viewers talking!) and then it would be non-existent in the episode or completely different as to what we all through. So I *was* wondering if Mike had won...especially when he did so well in the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Indeed. I actually had to watch the end first because I was sure they'd screwed us with editing. I just couldn't bear the thought that Mike won. Silly? Petty? Betcherass!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did not go back and re-watch the preview, and since I don't watch bravo except for TC (and Project Runway) I didn't see the preview during the week. So yeah, it was a surprise for me! I wanted it that way, I'm glad I made it thru all of yesterday without stumbling on any spoilers! :) I watched the show the moment I got home and did a HUGE happy dance that Richard won.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      loved the episode, LOVED the sous chef selection process.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and of course LOVED Linda's recap! thank you Linda for a great season, good luck with your move. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. I also want to give a BIG thanks to LindaWhit!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TC aired so late in Bermuda I never got a chance to watch, but ever Thursday morning while drinking my first cup of coffee I would "read it" and it was like I actually watched it....THANKS AGAIN! SUPERB JOB!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ::::grin::::: Very glad I could help out for those of you in countries where it wasn't airing or airing late.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Soooo happy how this turned out. Very pleased Richard won, but more importantly, THIS was EXACTLY how a TC finale should play out: The chefs given plenty slack to put forth exactly what they want and have to do it as the chef, not just a cook and then have both chefs knock the ball out of the park. By the end I wouldn't have been totally upset about Mike winning because he put together a fantastic dinner and proved he belonged in the finale. But thank god Richard put it together. Mike clearly evolved as a chef from his season and even this season, but Richard did too. Richard channeled his skill into creating dishes that were accessible while still being progressive. Great, great finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Thank you, LW, for all of your fine fine work throughout the season. You deserve some sort of award!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My nephew was super excited to see Richard win. He just got an exec sous job in Atlanta & can't wait to be in the same town as Chef Blais and maybe flip a burger or two. .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Looks like Linda gets fan favorite here. Congratulations on an excellent season!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great idea! LindaWhit, CH fan favorite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh geez Louise. Now *I'm* digging my toe into the ground in front of me looking very sheepish. It were nuthin', I swear! ;-)







                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (But I have to say I'm kind of glad for a bit of a respite until the next TC season! LOL)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Are you doing it for Top Chef Masters? Bravo says it begins next Wednesday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aw, c'mon, just get a big dumpster, take only what you can throw into a pickup, Beverly Hillbillies style, and cater to us, your dependents...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hmmph. Sumpeeps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, DEAREST LW!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For She's a Jolly Good Lady......
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And a righteously good sport.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you, LW; for taking the time to be our intrepid observer and reporter. You did such a really good job and were so responsive, not to mention on the ball.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cheers, honey!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Marci

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. First, thanks to Linda--I love watching this show but these recaps and the discussion have made it so much more fun. Love, love, love the final. I love that they both cooked their hearts out; I loved seeing their sous chefs pull all out for them; loved Spike in front of house as the obvious spy; loved Antonia who must have been all out tired/exhausted, disappointed working so hard for Richard; loved how Richard listened to his sous's (that sriracha suggestion from Angelo, thinning the ice cream from Spike); loved seeing them both get choked up in the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Most of all I loved that Richard won.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think you hit upon everything that I loved about this episode as well. While Mike wasn't my favorite by far, he had come very far since his season (as well as since the beginning of this season!) and both really did very very well. And I'm especially glad that the sous chefs all pulled together doing everything they could to get their guy to win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Great job, Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I got home late last night and was way too tired (jet lag) to watch. Your re-cap and thread made for a terrific morning read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh my god, i LOVE the way he makes Padma out to be the super bitch monster!!! So effin' funny. Love this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "And then there is just Richard. Padma approaches him and says, "Part of your prize is that I am going to touch you for 2.4 seconds above the waist in a gesture some people would call a hug. If you try to cop a feel, I will fucking rip your sausagey fingers off. Got it?""

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "in a gesture some people would call a hug." - I'm not the only one who finds her a glacial queen!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roxlet, i'm stupid, i can't figure out how to link to that blog on my own - like when i get to Gawker, I can't find Moylan's blog. I want to read everything he writes from now on. Please help the brain dead? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mc, look for "Recaps" in the list of subjects on the right side of the Gawker home page.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it's not about mercy, it's about paying it forward! i've had serious bouts of brain fog lately, so hopefully others will come to my rescue one of these days when my neurons & axons just can't get the job done ;) happy reading!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "This finale was boring enough, but how boring is one person cooking in the kitchen by themselves. Unless that person is high on bath salts and trying to avoid electricity that's chasing him while flipping pancakes with his fingers while blindfolded, that shit is pretty boring."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LOL!!!! love the visual :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Great recap!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a lot of food in the finale. I've watched it twice and there just wasn't as much talking about what the dishes were, what was in the dishes, etc. I would've liked a little bit about the amuse done by each chef...I realize there were a lot of them, but I wouldn't mind a 90 minute or longer finale. I can only guess the core audience isn't as much interested in the food, as they are the chefs/challenges/drama.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was really impressed with both Mike & Blais talking about how they've grown, especially Mike saying the chef he was in his season, couldn't have handled the finale challenge. I think that shows massive class and growth to say something like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was so sweet to see Richard crying and hugging all the judges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Did Jen Carrol's face look dreadfully red every-time they pictured her? Or was that my tv?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As an aside...does anyone else think "Pepperoni Sauce" would be better named Heartburn on a plate, or possibly acid reflux liquid?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Can You Put it in a Bottle"? Right next to my Sriracha and Cholula, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL....that's possibly from my inability to eat cooked tomatoes and pepperoni ALWAYS gives me heartburn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sommrluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Regarding Jen's face - yes she DID look red every time. Maybe sunburn?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm betting Rosacea. She fits the demographics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Possibly, and that can be exacerbated by alcohol and sun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's very possible. I wasn't sure if she was mad at Mikey not picking her or I don't know what.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where was Dale L.?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. During the Watch What Happens segment, was it really Jen Carroll heckling Cohen after he made a comment on the whole situation with Elia?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gomes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is the "Watch What Happens" available online somewhere? I didn't get to see it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SO happy Richard won. And although I enjoyed this season, I'm glad it's over so I don't have to sweat through every episode hoping he would prevail! Ha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bax

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.bravotv.com/watch-what-hap...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not sure how much of the show is there, though - just seems to be snippets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: gomes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah Andy was trying to stir the pot yet again to get something juicy for the guests to talk about. I'm glad someone called Andy out on his absurdity. He is a s*** stirrer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: porkbutt03

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is the "Watch What Happens Live" show on line anywhere? I fell asleep before the regular show ended but I was able to find it on youtube, but I haven't been able to find the results show anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: gomes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I watched WWH last nite, what a stupid show. I'd only ever seen clips of it on The Soup or something. Andy's a big goofball. The whole scene with the fan faves was bad, no one could hear anything, he asked the same question 9 times. Mike looked drunk or stoned. If that was Jen yipping in the background, she sounded like an idiot. Harold looked bloated and unhealthy. It was kind of embarrassing all around except for the audience members asking questions who seemed to be coherent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Silvestri's recap is finally up as well:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://eater.com/archives/2011/03/31/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      he's got some winners in this one too...and appears to have interpreted Mike's "angels" comment the same way as *some* of us did ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was confused most of the episode. "When is Padma going to come out and make them use their hands as feet and feet for hands? They sure seem to be waiting a long time to make theme each switch out their proteins with something from the Mystery Sack."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gail can't stop saying "pepperoni sauce," which I understand, because it is very fun to say, and definitely something I would have written in fifth grade had I made up a cookbook with crayon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          other gems:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "For recapping's sake, I'd love to now say that Carla ran into the kitchen in a giant peacock costume and spilled hot milk all over Mike's head and then Richard sneezed into his soup."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "I don't think I've ever rooted for both chefs in the finale before! What exactly happens when two underdogs fight each other? I think that's how they make cats. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wonder if they both were on edge the whole time during the meal, in case Padma walked in with some new challenge. "Okay, switch kitchens..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I forgot to post this earlier, but did anyone notice that Mike ONCE AGAIN, licked his fingers and dipped them into a bowl of food again???? Twice into the same bowl! He deserved to lose for that, too. ICK, ACH, BLEAH!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Disgusting, Itellya.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              but his angels were watching over him.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                seriously, relax a little. every time you touch a door handle, grocery cart, or computer keyboard you get worse on your hands. do you know how much bacteria from fecal matter is feeding on your dead skin cells on your keyboard right now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i'm much more repulsed by hysterical overreactions like this than i am by a chef double dipping. Look, you're gonna get a tiny bit of the cooks dna and germs in your food when you eat. it's just unavoidable. but it's not a problem. too little exposure to germs causes allergies, asthma and all sorts of health problems. now sit down and eat your spit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TheFoodEater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm very aware of germs and where they are. That doesn't make Mike's kitchen hygiene any less disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    May one assume that you never, EVER, eat out?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No. One can assume I practice good hygiene and that I don't put my spit in food I'm preparing for others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Had dinner at Sprout last night, Dale Levitski's Chicago restaurant. The food was wonderful, but we were delighted to find that both Carla and Tiffany Faison were also there. Tiffany was much prettier in person than on TV, although she kept to herself. Carla OTOH, was gracious and generous. She came over and said hello to our table - all TC fans. Dale also visited out table. We took pictures of the food each other and our TC favorites. What a terrific surprise!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wow, what a great night, lucky you!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Seriously lucky - glad you had a fun time, chicgail!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was awesome and memorable. So glad we could it it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Details? What were they doing there? How did they know you were fans? Did they just make the rounds? And, more importantly, how was the food?;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We were there for my son's birthday (he's a chef and a big TC fan). We had asked the hostess if Dale could come by to say hello which we had requested when we made the reservation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Carla and Tiffany were in town for Wednesday night's "Live at the Girl and the Goat." We noticed Carla and Tiffany at the bar and a back room. Tiffany didn't interact with anyone in the restaurant that I know about, but as Carla was walking out, we waved to her. She came over and took photos and remembered that she had met my son once before. We were thrilled. He was thrilled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The food was very good. I don't think I would say it was great. The menu is a $62 prix fixe. Dale deconstructs standard fare (Lyonnaise salad; Surf & Turf) with an interesting twist. Some dishes were memorable (the Opakapaka); others had mixed reviews. The foie gras mousse that I had didn't taste at all like foie gras :>( and I left it on the plate. Two intra-courses supplement the prie fixe (a butternut squash soup and a very indulgent grilled "cheese course").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        More details and pictures on FoodBeest.com (http://foodbeest.com/?p=1925)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What a great birthday celebration! Nice blog, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And why didn't you invite us all? :-(
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, so I'm in NY.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whaaaa anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. What the hell happened to Bourdain? There was a ton of fan fare and PR news that he was going to be a celebrity judge on TC. I don't think he was even in half the season. Did he piss of Tom? Outing the fact that he gets potted on gin and tonics at JT? Did he clumsily brush off one of Padmas inebriated passes (you know she hits on the all the guys when she drinks)? Maybe he got busted spending too much time staring at Gail Simmons ample cleavage. Perhaps he said the wrong thing at Raos (I think that was his last episode) and they made him on offer he couldn't refuse. They made such noise about it and instead of launching verbal cannon balls to the delight of his rabid fans he disappears like a cheap hooker after grabbing the cash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm just saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree, the disappearance of Bourdain was the most disappointing thing about the season for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Or maybe he just had commitments to his own show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                maybe, but those commitments wouldn't have caught anyone by surprise, and it would seem odd to make such a big deal of him being a judge on the show if they knew he was only going to judge half the season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I mentioned this a week or two ago. Bourdain had a falling out with TC during season 4 (I think) over product placement or ads on his blog or something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm thinking something similar happened again, since you would expect that there would have been more fanfare with his leaving or at least a token statement or two in the blogs (not even a 'congrats Richard!' this week) if he were still on good terms with the show/producers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been asking this every week and asked above if we knew how many shows he actually was on. He was still writing blogs for a while even when he wasn't a judge. I agree with Lurker Dan, disappointing not to have him around on this long season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If the reason Bourdain has not been seen recently and you say it was a falling out he had with Bravo from TC 4 then why did they bring him back at all? My guess is that he could not go to the Bahamas for the last 4 episodes. I also think he appeared in all of the episodes for which they contracted him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You misunderstood me. I'm not saying the TC 4 dispute had anything to do with this season. Just that there is precedent for him and the producers not seeing eye to eye and parting ways on bad terms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm only speculating, but I suspect if the only issue was that he had been unable to attend taping for the later episodes due to his own schedule, his blog would have continued, at least in a perfunctory fashion. The complete silence from AB along with the fact that his absence was never mentioned or explained on the show or any other blogs makes me think there was another disagreement (or whatever).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You misunderstood me. If they had a problem with him in the past then why did they bring him back? Bourdain has never been one to keep quiet. If they told him to not come back he would have written or said something about it. I think the reason you haven't read anything about this is because he appeard on the shows for which they contracted him. I don't think it has to be a big mystery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "If they had a problem with him in the past then why did they bring him back?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          _____
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know. Cause he's good for ratings? In fact, I think the issue wasn't so much that they had a problem with him as vice versa. Honestly, I don't remember where I heard that there was some issue during season 4, or else I'd just list the source and let you decide. As for him saying something about it, AB himself has said before that the TC contract is ridiculously prohibitive about discussing many aspects of the show in the media (source: "Medium Raw")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AB is probably good for ratings, and according to him TC doesn't pay much at any rate, so I don't see why the producers wouldn't take him back after he storms off, assuming he's willing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I find it fascinating that no one here (at least, not that I noticed) has mentioned the very real possibility that Chicken Lady cost Mike the win. The Professor adjusted his dessert on the fly, but Mike's dessert was, to quote Tom, "cooked too hot and too fast." That was all her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  She can be fan favorite. There's no accounting for taste, I guess. But the one dish that didn't impress the judges on Mike's table was hers to execute. Yes, he has ownership, but what's his option, not send a dessert?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not saying she sank the ship...but she had her hands in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The beet salad did not impress them either

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ehhhhh, it's a non-issue since no one suspects that Mike himself could've made it any better. Dude couldn't bake a cookie earlier this season - I suspect pastry isn't his strong suit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Guess you didn't catch the shot where Mike told Carla to put it back in for another 15 minutes. His call, and it didn't turn out right. Perhaps she herself would have pulled it then and let the residual heat take care of business. But she followed Mike's instruction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tom C's blog made it clear that the differences in quality in the good dishes are what tipped it to Richard. Dessert not an issue, and not nice taking the slap at Carla. It was Mike's food, the good and the not so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Slaps as Chicken Lady are always as fair of game as slaps at Marcel. (Not saying you've taken them...don't really recall. But he's always fodder, and so is she, and so are they all, I guess.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Again, didn't say it was her fault, but the dish she worked on was panned as much as any. Which isn't much, granted. Just an observations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But she's fan favorite, and lots of fans on here. So....yeah, not surprising, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Slaps at Marcel have been about his boorish behavior, which is pretty undeniable. Suggesting, with zero evidence, that Carla cost Mike the win when she's made it so far in her two competitions was just a gratuitous slap, IMO. Mike never expressed any concern about his dessert and her prep of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You aren't saying it was her fault, you are just strongly suggesting it out of the blue. Got it. Also, refer above to cmvan where Mike told Carla to put the dessert back in the oven. His direction there, not her initiative, so it's likely that he had as much a hand in it's improper cooking as she did. Also, Tom was fairly clear about how and why Richard won on his blog and the dessert did not play a large part (especially considering the votes on the desserts were split down the middle).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "no one here (at least, not that I noticed) has mentioned the very real possibility that Chicken Lady cost Mike the win. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  STRONGLY suggesting. I'm not a Carla fan but I think it's unfounded to blame her for the loss and throw her under the bus. Richard won this by cooking better, pure and simple. It's completely unfair to him to suggest that Mike lost due to Carla (especially since she was just following his direction of cooking it longer). Mike was happy with all that he produced and proud of what he did. He didn't try to change it, didn't think there was a problem with it. Richard performed better, period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mike also didn't feel the need to throw anyone under the bus himself, something he has done in the past (though perhaps not during this season) and could have done here if this was actually an issue. Richard simply outperformed Mike, agreed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I'm glad Blais won but I knew he would be the winner when I saw last week's episode. At the end of that episode, they showed clips from the finale and in one clip you can clearly see Padma is gazing to her right when she announces who is Top Chef. Then there is the second clip showing the 2 finalists standing in front of judge's table and it is Blais standing to her right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This happened several times in previous seasons and each time, I've told my DH who the winner would be and I've been 100% correct so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Looking forward to seeing the reunion episode - looks like Jen's meltdown when she was eliminated will be a non issue compared to Elia's decision to continue attacking Colicchio!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks Linda for all the recaps!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SeoulQueen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, we discussed the right side gaze in the recap thread that week. Then the Today show aired Matt Lauer congratulating Richard the morning just before the finale aired, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was really touched by Eli's piece on Blais. Richard's cooking gets a lot of love and respect but it is grand to know that his character matches his creativity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Does anyone know where to find the recipe for Mike's pepperoni sauce? I tried to search the Bravo site but no luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's going to be on the menu at his new DC restaurant:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://bites.today.com/_news/2011/03/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But he gives a basic idea in the middle of the article:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Michael gave us a quick tutorial on how to make the pepperoni sauce. He didn’t have measurements on hand, so you’ll have to do a little experimentation there. Luckily this isn’t chemistry class, where going wrong has direr consequences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                “It’s actually pretty easy,” he chuckled. “You’re going to laugh.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Saute onions, garlic, chili flakes and fennel seeds in olive oil. Add chopped pepperoni, and let it sweat for couple minutes. Add a can of San Marzano tomatoes and add some chicken stock. Don’t add too much liquid, as you want the sauce to be hearty. Cook the mixture for 45 minutes, until the pepperoni gets soft and moist. Puree “the heck out of it” in a blender and salt to taste."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds easy and pretty tasty. Obviously, everyone attempting to make this will have to guesstimate on proportions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, Linda. I knew I could count on you to know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ahh, but I didn't know. It was PTG.....the Power of The Google. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      nice. power of the google. love that. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is all-knowing with its Yoda-like knowledge. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Google or google not. There is no try." : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A pound of pepperoni for almost 5 cups of sauce! I'm going to have to try this in much smaller quantity after the move. It sounds intriguing!