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Top Chef Masters Season 3, Episode 4 [Spoilers]

(SPOILER ALERT: i've asked the Mods to add "Spoilers" to the title of this thread, but just to give you fair warning...) Oh that cheese QF! Love that Traci's "carpaccio" won, actually - as the judge said, she let the cheese be the star. Naomi's rare steak & cheese sounded scrumptious, too. Suvir's corn seemed very pedestrian - in fact, it's street food - but I can't see how he thought he could elevate that dish - he prepared it exactly as it's done in my neighborhood by all the Mexican street vendors. Everyone was impressed by Mary Sue's homemade tortilla, but after all, she *does* own three Mexican restaurants.... i wonder what the cheese guy didn't like about Acheson's egg? egg and cheese - a natural to me.

Biggest loser EC - now that's a challenge. Going to watch that now and come back.

ETA: OH NO, IS MARY SUE GOING HOME? Suvir's "lecture on a plate" as whatshername called it, aptly, really should send him home.... commercial break...

Aaaand it's Suvir. Sorry to see him go, but i really think it was deserved.

I thought the discussion between Curtis and Suvir about meat being the cause of America's obesity problem was interesting. Curtis, of course, is right, IMO, there are a multitude of reasons for that malady. And for me, you can't make people change their eating habits by completely taking away everything they love. that's not sustainable, long term. Portion control is key, healthier choices, better cooking techniques, alternative spicing - creatives ways to learn how to eat food you like without killing yourself, literally. Alright, sorry, talk about lecturing....

Floyd's meatball sub looked wonderful.

I'm impressed that they all managed to lower the calories to such an extent, mostly without the use of fat-reduced foods (fat free this or that.) Oh to have a Master Chef in your home....

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  1. Who the heck are these new judges? Rollingmyeyeswithtotalboredom girl and Imcrappingmypantscanyoutell boy? Oy.

    Suvir did deserve the loss but this show has morphed from Top Chef Masters to Top Chef Lite.

    11 Replies
    1. re: MplsM ary

      ^^^^^^^^
      LOL.

      i thought the SAME EXACT THING.

      Bad part with too much gel young "wet behind the ears" bafoon and cute with nothing to say Restaurant Girl. As judges. Again.
      Cool. :(

      Karma. It's a bitch Suvir.
      This show, on the other hand, is no longer about cooking nor top grade ingredients anymore. And obviously it's not about top quality nor well respected food critics/chefs /judges. It's all about the drama.

      RIP Top Chef Masters. RIP.

      1. re: MplsM ary

        I'm with you, MplsM ary. Is that the best that they could do to find expert judges? Huh?

        1. re: roxlet

          Last week when we first saw the bloggers as tasters, I thought “Ooh, look! baby critics!” But then they stayed on for actual judging. That freaked me out.

          This week, like gum on the proverbial shoe, they are still here. I guess Kabletown is trying to attract a younger demographic. In doing so, they have alienated the old farts who can actually afford the Kitchenaid appliances they hawk with every kitchen camera shot. I’m not sure it’s a winning strategy.

          I still like a couple contestants, and will keep watching, but really not paying much attention. This has become just another show to have on while I do other stuff. I took it off my planned DVR record list. Now that Kabletown owns and can monitor my recording for their shows, it’s kinda cool that I can ‘vote’ for NBCUniversal shows just by whether I record them. It’s a bit of a tinfoil hat strategy but I employ it anyway.

          1. re: MplsM ary

            I don't know who's responsible but they are ruining one of my favorite shows!

            I hate these critics. When I saw the bloggers again, I wanted to screamed Nooooo!! until I lost my voice. Where the hell is Ruth? Isn't she supposed to a regular judge? And I've said it before but I want Jay Raynor back. Restaurant Girl is really horrid and GrubStreet guy is so repulsively self-important and condescending. James Oseland has always been annoying but at least he was tempered by Gael and Jay in the past. Now he's lording it over his pathetic proteges.

            Bravo, stop ruining this show. Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!!! I'm turned off by the bickering, the uninteresting food and the sad caliber of the judging. Why are you ruining what was once a truly wonderful, inspirational show?

            1. re: chefhound

              have you complained on their site? Maybe that would do some good. Over here, you're just preaching to the choir.

              1. re: chefhound

                When the GrubStreet guy was introduced last week that he trained underneath James Oseland, I then noticed that the two spoke the same way and had the same critiquing style. Its almost like James Oseland has two votes.

            2. re: roxlet

              Make that unanimous. What is Ruth Reichl doing at the same table as Restaurant Girl and Alan Systma, two people who seem to know nothing about food. LOVED last week when Oseland lectured Systma about being brainwashed to think that veggies needed to be raw (trend over palate).

              1. re: Just Visiting

                Systma - is that the baby-faced male "judge"?

                If so, and Oseland (ugg...) was lecturing him about 'veggies needed to be raw' I might think that Systma knows nothing about cuisines outside his own NA context/preferences. He probably would be bewildered by the Chinese tendency (still) to consider eating raw vegetables, by-and-large and with some exceptions, to be barbaric, for example.

                I have been entirely uninspired by this edition of TCM so far. In fact, I missed the last episode and it was happenstance that I viewed (most of) the last episode and (after deciding I might as well do so) this 4th episode as well. I can;t say it engaged my rapt attention. It's sad, how low TCM has sunk to. It's trash now. Not much better than any of those Housewife spiels.

                TCM1 and TCM2 - those shows were worthy.

            3. re: MplsM ary

              I thought the same thing about the judges, did they just grab random bloggers? Anyone can create a blog, it does not make them qualified to judge this caliber of chefs.

              1. re: MplsM ary

                Agree. sadly.

                This show is boring. The judges are tedious. The editing is all about the drama.

                Compared with the first season where the contestants were true masters, this is a joke.

                1. re: MplsM ary

                  I couldn't agree more. I was completely turned off watching those pretentious give-foodies-a-bad-name kids. I hope their days are numbered and some real judges/critics come back.

                2. I am pretty sure it was Floyd who made the Mexican corn.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Robinez

                    Same here. I will bite my tongue now.

                    1. Ive been a giant Top Chef freak since season one, its the highlight of my television watching week, but I just can't get into this season of Top Chef Masters. The judges are not interesting and the chefs for the most part are not who I would think would be competing for a top chef master title. Seasons 1 and 2 of top chef masters had chefs who were well known and really are at the top of the food world, I dont even know who half of these people are!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: twyst

                        Well if Twyst doesn't know who they are, then they can't be worth much, right? :)

                        1. re: Lizard

                          They are competing for the title of top chef master. This isnt reguiar top chef. If you dont have a michelin star callling yourself a master is a stretch to say the least.

                          1. re: twyst

                            1) what does name recognition have to do with Michelin stars?
                            2) only a handful the competitors thus far throughout 3 seasons of the show have earned Michelin stars at their restaurants, and two of them - Suvir and George - happen to be among this season's chefs.
                            2) they're not calling *themselves* masters, they were *invited* to do the show.

                            1. re: twyst

                              None of the contestants on the show are actually Master Chefs. That distinction is attained by passing a rigorous battery of tests, both technical and practical, through the auspices of the American Culinary Federation. It is a process that takes YEARS, and immense physical stamina.

                              Many very fine chefs in the US never even attempt that.

                              Michelin stars also have little to do with the ability of the chef. Not sure where you came up with that one, twyst.

                              1. re: twyst

                                Having a michelin star is dependent upon...
                                A) working in a city that michelin reviews - in the US, that's only a few cities
                                B) pleasing the notoriously bizarre and francophile leanings of the michelin inspectors.

                                There are a lot of damn good chefs who don't have michelin stars.

                            2. re: twyst

                              I DO know who they are (except for Acheson), and I'm really very "meh" about this season of TCM. I missed last night's show because I was at an AIWF event, and I was not concerned. More like "Whatever..." And I had no problem logging in here now to see what happened. That would never be the case with the regular Top Chef, nor with either of the previous seasons of TCM.

                              Even though I know these chefs, I agree with those who feel there should have been at least a few more recognizable chefs. They ARE out there. Wonder whether there are many declines to the invitation?

                              imho, this version has jumped the shark.

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                I think part of the reason they have the contestants they do is because with this reformatting, the chefs have to be prepared to commit time-wise to the entire run, whereas originally it was one round, the winner would come back for the semi-finals, the losers would go home. End of story. I suppose we should just be thankful they don't make them all live together.

                                I absolutely loved the staightforward professionalism of first and second seasons of TCM (although they did attempt a little sensational editing with the second season), and it's a shame they felt had to change it. RIP, indeed. I imagine I'll continue to watch, but it's no longer the highlight it once was. And coming so soon after the already too-long All Stars, it's just so much more of the same.

                                Totally agree about the callow judges (though I wasn't a huge Gael Greene fan, either)!

                            3. I felt that this week's episode was marginally better than last week. First of all, it didn't start off with bugs. I'll take cheese over bugs any day of the week. As someone who tries -- often unsuccessfully -- to lighten up my recipes, I found the chef's attempts very interesting, to say nothing about how difficult they found it to be. Some of the dishes they came up with are definitely things I'd like to make. Suvir definitely deserved to go home. His "burger" looked horrid, and his holier-than-thou proselytizing was annoying. Buh-bye!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: roxlet

                                Yeah, he got a little too much with his preaching. I didn't quite hear what he said to Hugh when they were having that exchange in the kitchen, did anyone catch it? Alluding to Hugh doing the same type of thing before? Couldn't tell. I like the guy who does Portugese cooking (George), and the chef who had cancer (?). Floyd seems nice. Not moved by too many of them.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  I'm with you Roxlet, i found his preaching annoying to say the least and his food did not fulfill the requirements of the challenge. I really wanted to see a lightened up bacon cheeseburger!

                                2. Well, I loved the challenges this week.

                                  I'm a cheese-a-holic, myself, so the cheese quickfirevin only 12 minutes was really interesting. Carpaccio!! You knew we'd see it ... But made out if cheese?

                                  I'm also a huge Biggest Loser fan; it's an inspirational show, IMO. I was impressed with their ability to create such great flavorful food while still being healthy and calorie conscious.

                                  Suvir deserved to lose. His rant was ridiculous and his food was a very bad representation of burger and fries. I would have sent him packing for subbing red cabbage for fries even if everything else was good!

                                  And I agree about those judges. Join me in my crusade to bring Gael back!!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                    I'm with you, C.H., i really liked this week's episode.

                                    I'm not impressed by the judges, but i'm still holding out hope that this season gets better all around.

                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                      Funny that the QF was all about an ingredient know for high caloric content and heart disease (at least how it is served up in the American diet), and an elimination challenge meant to increase our awareness of healthier choices.

                                      1. re: MartinDC

                                        I thought the same thing. But better than quickfire: tofu

                                    2. The TC all star cast would destroy this seasons masters cast. The food they are putting out looks so boring and uninspired. I just find the whole show to be very slow and boring and can never pay full attention.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: SDGourmand

                                        I agree about the food seeming uninspired. But I think that is in large part to the challenges created by the producers. The challenges are handicapping the chefs to such an extent that it's very hard to put out a product that meets the standards they are known for in the first place. To me, it's kind of insulting to them. Also, the caliber of the judging is insulting as well. James Oseland? I've seen him better in seasons past, but now everything he says seems petty.

                                        1. re: MartinDC

                                          I don't know if the challenges are harder here than they've been in the past. Cooking in a dorm room, which the previous TCM did so well (I'll never forget Hubert Keller running his pasta to cool in the shower and putting the hose directly into the pasta) is as hard as any they've done here. I agree the judging is insulting at times and I don't like these judges and haven't found chefs I'd pull for yet, as opposed to the past when I pulled for all of them and was sad to see one go.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            The judging has made it unwatchable for me.

                                      2. I don't know whether to blame Bravo or Time-Warner, but my DVR failed to record this episode THREE separate times. THREE TIMES. The first airing it stopped twelve minutes in, the second just pixelated the whole episode, and the third went great and stopped halfway through. Boo.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                          may have been the crazy weather. my dvr was having issues yesterday too.

                                        2. well, i personally thought there was nowhere to go but up after last week's episode, so as long as they didn't ask the chefs to whip up a four-star meal with one hand tied behind their backs, using nothing but sugary kids' cereal, Spam and a pasta extruder, i assumed this one would be an improvement.

                                          i actually really liked both challenges, but i just can't STAND watching these critics. i've made no secret of my distaste for Danyelle Freeman, and i personally found the snooty little twit they brought in as a guest critic to be just as intolerable. 3 weeks in, and they've already lost me. such a bummer.

                                          and i was glad to see Suvir go. i respect his position on meat, and i truly believe his intentions are honorable, but that little anti-meat campaign he launched was wholly inappropriate for the situation and disrespectful to his competitors AND to the diners/guests who enjoy eating meat. wrong place, wrong time wrong approach.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            I thought it was an odd time for Suvir to bring up his point about being healthy. He hasn't cooked that way all along and then suddenly he thinks he needs to bring it into play (it's not like he left the cheese out of his QF challenge)? These people have been restricted with healthful foods for so long on the ranch and what they want is a treat to remind them of what they used to enjoy. Why use this time to preach and give them more of the same? I really liked Suvir and would have liked to see him go further but I agree that it was the wrong place, time and approach.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              I was glad to see Suvir go, not only because I completely disrespect his disinformation campaign about meat, health and obesity, but because he's so sanctimonious and self aggrandizing about it. That and he carries all his excess weight around his middle, so whatever he's eating has placed him in the highest risk category for heart attack.

                                            2. got a heart palpitation when they did the QF.
                                              all that cheese, put me in an enviable position.
                                              I did a cheese tasting a few weeks ago in Salt Lake City at
                                              Caputo's. The ones I bought were only made better because
                                              they are so nice about letting you taste before you buy.
                                              It worked for me though because only 1 I tried I didn't buy.
                                              It was a pecorino romano. the lady gave me 2 choices from
                                              what I said I'd like and first one didn't like, last one was duh bom.....

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                I enjoyed the cheese quick fire as well. I'm a cheese lover but rarely venture outside of the tried and true. I think I'll try some of the ones mentioned on this show.

                                              2. I think all this bashing of TC Masters, esp. as compared to TC, goes to show that most of us enjoy watching this show less for the cooking and more for the human drama.

                                                When hyper-competitive, neurotic, Type-A personality chefs aren't sequestered in an urban loft in some major metropolitan city, the cooking (no matter how creative or inspired) just doesn't seem that good.

                                                Why not just watch and enjoy TC Masters for what it is? Sort of like a better serial version of Chopped?

                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  I think all this bashing of TC Masters, esp. as compared to TC, goes to show that most of us enjoy watching this show less for the cooking and more for the human drama.
                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                  depends *which* aspects of the show we're bashing. i, for one, have more of a problem with the critics than anything else. i'd simply like to see the chefs cooking good food during interesting challenges that don't force me to look away from the screen (no more creepy crawlers, PLEASE).

                                                  last night's episode would have been great with different judges for the EC.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    Can someone explain to me why it's "critics" on Masters and "judges" on regular TC?

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      i made that same point in the last thread, for episode 3. maybe it's thought that it's a "gentler: title - i.e, we can't "judge" our master chefs, but we're allowed to critique them, since they're already used to being visited by food critics in their respective restaurants? just semantics, to me.

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        If they wanted to be neutral (or not "judgmental") why not use the term "evaluators"?

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          Because the critic/chef relationship and dynamic is one established and accepted as common practice. Why introduce a new dynamic when they're playing with an old one?

                                                          Also, the anger about the bugs is hilarious given how many 'hounds love to go on about their exotic and adventurous eating. Apparently, that's acceptable, but asking chefs to work outside their comfort zone isn't.

                                                          That said, I hated that episode because of watching the live butchering of animals. (Butchering that occurs without any consideration of pain or anything-- although I am hardly an entomologist so what do I know?)

                                                          1. re: Lizard

                                                            Interesting point. There are no chefs on the critcs panel unlike the regular show maybe because it's a tight knit community and chefs are bound to be friends with other chefs as they travel around and try other restaurants.

                                                      2. re: ipsedixit

                                                        i'm pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that they are, in fact, restaurant critics...

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          Agreed.

                                                          I think they initially ran into a problem where Tom Collichio and/or other fellow chefs were less than willing to go on TV and explain to Hubert Keller why his dish sucked. Using well known professional critics as judges was a natural choice given the caliber of some of the early competitors.

                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                      I think all this bashing of TC Masters, esp. as compared to TC, goes to show that most of us enjoy watching this show less for the cooking and more for the human drama.
                                                      ****************

                                                      I adored TCM 1 & 2 because they were, for the most part, all about the cooking and the food. Along the way we got to know more about each chef and it was pretty much respect and kudos all around. Now that they've reverted to the Top Chef format with oh so many more challenges and episodes - well, mutual admiration and respect is just too dull, I guess (and except for food nerds, I suppose it would be).

                                                      I stick with my assertion that this is now Top Chef Lite.

                                                      Also, if they were going to dumb down Top Chef Masters, following on the heels of Allstars was another big mistake.

                                                      I'm just glad I watched the first two seasons.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        There is bashing of this TCM compared to the other TCM more than anything else. I loved the camaraderie and respect shown in previous seasons and they didn't show as much bickering, as with Naomi and Acheson (sorry, can't remember his first name off the bat). It might be editing but this one is showing more like a Top Chef and I wasn't expecting it to. I could do w/out the drama.

                                                      2. Aside from the overall show I've been surprised by the choices in elimination.

                                                        Last week the guy was eliminated for a good risotto that wasn't elevated to Top Chef level and passes were given to really bad "puddin" and one note ceviche.

                                                        This week a veggie burger went home instead of bad fried chicken and corned turkey hash that no one seemed to like either . (I realize there is a whole massive backlash again Suvir's meat comments.)

                                                        So the people went home for not being top chef master level or not making what the client wanted. I feel that on Top Chef the people who did not properly prepare the food would have gone home. Colicchio would have sent home the ceviche (improperly prepared protein) and liked a properly prepared risotto and this week sent perhaps sent home the chicken for being a bad example of fried chicken for drying out the boring white meat.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: KimMae

                                                          To be fair, Suvir's dish was not only unpalatable, but it completely ignored the mission to produce a food that the BL contestant wanted/loved.

                                                        2. At first Hugh Acheson kind of annoyed me with his squinting look and voice he reminded me of French Stewart on 3rd Rock from the Sun. But now he makes me laugh and I was totally rooting for him against the self-important Suvir.

                                                          16 Replies
                                                          1. re: CodCakes

                                                            Whenever I see a close up on Hugh I want to reach into the TV and shave his unibrow!

                                                            1. re: Bunson

                                                              I was thinking of sending him a tweezer. ;)

                                                              1. re: Bunson

                                                                Oh, me too! I shout at the TV "groom, buddy! You're on television!"

                                                              2. re: CodCakes

                                                                Sticking to one's beliefs is "self-important" huh? That belief happens to be environmentally friendly and morally correct is "self-important" huh? Let's chop down all the trees and burn donuts until the human race die out, all the while eating burgers! mazel tov!

                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                  I don't think the question was about whether Suvir's beliefs were environmentally friendly or "correct" (morally or otherwise) or whether you or I or anyone else agreed with them or not, but that his attitude about them was self-righteous and off-putting. I don't know whether they were or not, but his little speech and the way it was edited make it appear to be that way.

                                                                  One can stand for and keep to one's beliefs without bringing an attitude about them. I think that that's how Suvir occurred for some viewers, just as Hugh occurred for some people as being pretty obnoxious in his own way.

                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                    I'm veg, and I felt like hitting my head against the wall as soon as he started ranting. His whole speech was so condescending! Plus, all he accomplished was to put everyone off veggie burgers. He could at least have compromised and put some bacon on there.

                                                                    1. re: piccola

                                                                      I too am a vegetarian.

                                                                      Though vegetarian, Suvir does not stick to serving only vegetarian dishes in his restaurant; lamb, chicken and fish are all on the menu. Why he could not make a turkey burger for a meat eater craving a burger is beyond me.

                                                                      I love many veggie burgers because they taste like veggie burgers. Boca, for instance is just too dang ‘meaty’ for my wimpy veghead palate. But even Boca is not a burger for a meat eater craving a burger.

                                                                      Not only did he not embrace the challenge but in delivering his anti meat tirade he reinforced many carnivores’ views of vegetarians, that we who espouse vegetablism (‘cause really – ‘vegetarian’ sounds like we are nice to vegetables, when in fact we eat them), are all self-righteous.

                                                                      I’m not a very self-righteous vegetarian. Or, at least I hope I’m not. You can eat the bloodiest beastie while sitting next to me as long as you follow these two rules: 1) Don’t kill the beast in my sight 2) Don’t try and get me to eat it. Easy.

                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                        Exactly. It seems weird that he suddenly decided he wouldn't cook meat when he's done it in almost every other challenge. Besides, I thought one of the basic rules of etiquette is that you don't discuss food politics at the table...

                                                                        1. re: piccola

                                                                          Sufir had seemed rather mild-mannered and gentle. I wonder if he got riled up in what was an increasingly unpleasant rivalry with Hugh and his little speech was in reaction to that? I'm going to see if we saved that episode is on TIVO so I can watch it again looking for that.

                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                            The rivalry thing seemed out of the blue, too. I don't know if he was having a really bad day or if it's just a change in editing, but it all seemed out of character considering how relaxed and good-natured he was in earlier episodes.

                                                                        2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                          i agree. i eat meat and tons of veggies and love a good veggie burger - ones that taste meaty and ones that taste veggie. but the no fries and not even trying to make it appealing to the diner just bothered me. that's done people in in every top chef so far. even though you may be a genius with food, you are still in a service industry and people still have to like what you do. there's a happy medium.

                                                                      2. re: chicgail

                                                                        Exactly. He's made it clear that he values animals above humans and his feelings above all others'.

                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                          I wouldn't go that far, especially since his whole argument was about improving people's health (as opposed to animal welfare). Yes, he got carried away and behaved in a really arrogant and misguided manner, but he's not a misanthrope.

                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                            Since he's completely out of step with any scientific or clinical outcome reality, the only reason not to eat meat is because he was raised, as he said, not to cause pain to animals. So he's also a hypocrite, who cooks meat if he's being paid to.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              I'm not going to launch into a debate on the health merits of meat vs. veg, though I agree he totally made up the link between eating meat and obesity. I'm just saying, let's not judge this guy's entire character and moral value based on one episode of a reality show.

                                                                              1. re: piccola

                                                                                I'm judging his behavior and attitude on this subject, period.

                                                                  2. Savir and Flloyd are the two best Indian chefs in NYC, in a city where they are a zillion Indian chefs and cooks. And Indian cuisine is my favorite, without exception. That Suvir got eliminated, well, perhaps he was not good as a challenger, but trust me, he can cook and send out to you the best plates of food you have ever eaten in your lives.

                                                                    1. For those complaining about the judges/critics this Masters season (and I’m not disagreeing), here’s an interview TV Guide did with Dan Cutforth of the Magical Elves that may shed some light on “what were they thinking”: http://www.tvguide.com/News/Top-Chef-...

                                                                      Below are quotes from Cutforth:

                                                                      “We were actually really happy with the panel of critics we had assembled, but you always want to keep evolving and keep things moving... That said, we wanted to reflect the new reality of food criticism, which is that food blogs and online criticism are a huge part of the restaurant business now. So critics panel will also include people from sites like Grub Street and RestaurantGirl.com.

                                                                      “As for Ruth, she is someone we wanted to work with for a long time. She happened to be available while we were shooting — not all the episodes, but several of them. All of us are in love with her. When you talk about someone whose opinion really carries weight, I mean, there was a palpable gasp in the kitchen when the chefs found out Ruth was going to be one of the critics. And she gives it to you straight. She does not sugarcoat her criticisms, but at the same time has a charm about her and was an absolute delight to work with.

                                                                      “And you're not going to miss Gael too much because she will be back for a few episodes this season. She's not gone. Gail Simmons [who hosts Top Chef Just Desserts] will also be back for a couple of episodes and Padma will be there for one.”

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: intuitive eggplant

                                                                        i'm glad gael and gail and padma will be back and i'm glad to see ruth.

                                                                        watching restaurant girl judge these chefs is like watching my fat slow blind grandpa ref professional sports. i want to see her do one of those blind taste tests where she has to tell ingredients apart blindfolded (like dill and fennel) before i take her opinions seriously. i mean seriously, why not go to the mall and grab the loudest person at the food court? or ask a dog to judge the meat cooking challenges? you could hardly get a worse judge.

                                                                        the idea that grub street and restaurant girl have votes that carry the same weight as ruth's vote proves, without a doubt, that democracy as a whole is a flawed concept.

                                                                      2. Had to watch it on tape and didn't like it. Think it's turned into a side show of freaky stunts and lacks real cooking vignettes. Starting to think it's time to un-dvr it.