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Apr 3, 2011 08:06 PM

Chopped All-Stars - Grand Finale [spoilers]

Nate Appelman takes it.

I've got this weird image in my head of Marcus Samuelson with a huge afro ...

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  1. Thought Nate was gonna be chopped first. I can't stand any of the judges, including the contestants.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Worldwide Diner

      Yeah, there was definitely a lot of "edit monkey" business with that.

      Nate's first dish looked appalling to me. And the judges' comments were so cherry-picked to make it look like he'd be gone first.

      I very much dislike the "story" being so necessary in FN competitions.

    2. i figured the nfns guy would be first...then nate with it being anne and aaron....
      oh well i was close...

      but they did the "person who had the cute kid" number again...
      not that it wasnt nice to see his charity get the money...

      1 Reply
      1. re: srsone

        but they did the "person who had the cute kid" number again...
        i suspect that if Anne had won they would have trotted out her nephew.

      2. I think Aaron was robbed, but I'm also glad Nate won because I think he truly was in it for his charity.

        3 Replies
        1. re: DiningDiva

          he was
          i would agree if the cake was the only thing on the plate..if its dry..

          but as far as i understood it..he meant it to be eaten with the other ingredients..
          in which case i think it would have beaten nates ice cream

          1. re: srsone

            Don't you think the judges discussing "I hope the cake isn't dry" before it was served influenced their finding it that way?

            1. re: Parrotgal

              cuz alex did mention it...

        2. I'm surprised that the judges said nothing about Aaron picking the raisins and chocolate out of the trail mix and using only the nuts. (Maybe they didn't realize it though.) I've seen them pick on other chefs for taking a weird item and only using the not-so-weird components.

          12 Replies
          1. re: dmjordan

            Although I did enjoy the show, it does seem to me that there was something of a double standard happening the whole way through vis-a-vis the judges' decisions - mistakes that would've gotten contestants chopped were overlooked or allowed to slide for longer than contestants who aren't the judges' true peers. Just my opinion, folks. And while I'd have enjoyed watching Aaron Sanchez win, Nate, (despite his somewhat glacial attitude) won fair and square, in my book.

            1. re: mamachef

              I'm in complete agreement mama. For example Aaron's lamb was tough but they didn't criticize him and I think Aaron took it to new extremes talking about his unborn baby and how to show him what it is to work hard (on TV???).

              I am a little tired of contestants on any TV show talk about doing 'it' for their children. I don't spend my day telling people how I'm working a hard 40 hour week for my kids.

              1. re: smartie

                I am a little tired of contestants on any TV show talk about doing 'it' for their children. I don't spend my day telling people how I'm working a hard 40 hour week for my kids.
                well it's not like Nate just started talking about his kid out of nowhere. when competing for charity on a show like this, contestants always have to explain which charity they've chosen and *why* they chose it...and more often than not, the choice is based on a personal or family experience.

                they do the same thing on TC Masters.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  ghg, many of the contestants in food competitions tell us about their kids and how they want to win for them blah blah blah, even Aaron did this time and his charity had nothing to do with children. It's a little OTT for me.

                  1. re: smartie

                    I've noticed this too and it is a bit much sometimes. I'd really root for any regular $10,000 contestant who just came out and said "I'm doing this for me, so I can have some extra cash to blow".

                    1. re: smartie

                      in all fairness i had forgotten about Aaron's comments - i figured you were talking about Nate. i agree it is a bit OTT, but i'm sure the editors encourage it in the [misguided] interest of establishing a more personal connection with viewers.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Yes, we do need to keep in mind the editing process. What we see is a subset of the material that was recorded, and the contestants are encouraged to talk about certain things. Usually the focus is on being a strong competitor - confidently superior to the other contestants. But here they need to play up the charity card. These a celebrities competing on the behalf of others.

                        Assume, for sake of argument, that the cooking and judging are unscripted. Then the final scene where Nate's son comes on stage must have been recorded at a later time. From what we know of Iron Chef competitions, the sort of thing is entirely possible, even likely.

                2. re: mamachef

                  I agree as well about somewhat of a double standard. For instance, the one chef that Zakarian basically skewered for being messy and not "respecting ingredients or kitchen space" by putting trash on the floor. But yet Robert Irvine had a stack of pots, pans, food and trash on the floor, and I know I saw Anne Burrell toss stuff on the floor or shove it off the station, and I'm willing to bet other chefs did the same.

                  Not that I have an issue with a messy station, when I cook at home it looks like the perfect storm swept through, I imagine it would be significantly worse if I had a time limit on my hands. But not a word was said to them about things like that.

                  1. re: sommrluv

                    I saw those infractions and had the same thought as you cross my mind. They let the all-stars have a pass on it but not the regular competitors?

                    But Geoffery wasn't a judge for the all-star series and it might not have been as much an issue with the other judges as it is for him. If you saw the espisod in which Geoffery competed, you might remember that at least one of the judges commented about how "clean" Geoffery was working and how clean his station was. That would lead me to believe he's probably pretty meticulous in his kitchen and puts working clean at a premium.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      I agree, I 'think' he's also a french-trained chef, and a clean working space is pretty much paramount above all else in that mindset.

                      It seemed that episode other judges jumped on the bandwagon of how outrageous it was to throw things on the floor, but no one dared to reprimand the celebrities.

                      I wish Food Network had information on all of the participants charities. You would think the celebs are donating their time to do this and FN can't put up a link page.

                3. re: dmjordan

                  I was also surprised that they didn't ding Anne for her crostini. By making a dish like that, she was able to serve the ingredients separately, she didn't really have to combine them into one cohesive dish.

                  I enjoyed it, and don't necessarily think they were much different as judges than normal. Nate is clearly a supremely talented chef, but after seeing him on this show twice and on the Next Iron Chef, he doesn't come off as very likable.

                  1. re: LurkerDan

                    Definitely! In a normal episode that could have been grounds for getting chopped...

                4. Did anyone else notice Aaron opening up his can of black beans in the entree round with an opener despite the fact it was a ring-pull can? Wonder if he was just too busy to notice or if there was an actual reason for doing this.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: CodCakes

                    CodCakes, I saw that too and wondered exactly the same thing. I'm always super-happy when cans have a pulltop (it doesn't take a whole lot to make me happy, you see) and would NEVER go to the hassle of actually using an opener, but I'm lazy that way and it's how I do.. : )

                    1. re: mamachef

                      Plus in this kind of scenario, the extra 5-10 seconds it takes to use an opener may cost dearly in terms of getting food on the plate or presentation.

                      1. re: jackbauer

                        I know, right? 10 seconds will get your plates finished, if you know what you're doing - and it makes such a difference! (Like: WINNER/loooooooooser........)

                    2. re: CodCakes

                      I noticed it! I figured he was just in such a hurry that he didn't notice he could have done it an easier way.