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Top Chef Masters Season 3, Episode 7 (SPOILERS)

mariacarmen May 19, 2011 12:35 AM

Woefully unprepared. Staying somewhere where I had no access, even though I tried to watch it online live.... Please, help a brother (er, sister) out... tell me what happened.... even if you hated it! Thanks......

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  1. Joanie RE: mariacarmen May 19, 2011 05:10 AM

    I'll try to help. Their quickfire was to figure out things by taste, smell and touch without using other senses. Floyd was first to go and Hugh won. Surprisingly, no one knew the sound of milk on rice crispies. Then some youngish guy comes out and tells his story of falling in love with a friend and he's going to propose. Hugh's rolling his eyes (which I can understand) and the chefs have to prepare a 6 course meal that relates to various experiences of the couple. Floyd makes entwined shrimp and a watermelon thing, Mary Sue does a mussel stew type thing (this kid had never had shellfish?!), Selina does a fancy pretzel and salad (something about pretzels at a sporting event), Naomi does a nice roast chicken, Hugh does steak w/ basic sides and onion ring (again, OR is special to them somehow), Traci does an apple gallette. A bunch of couples come in for dinner and old Gail and James are at one table while young Gail and the Aussie are at the others observing the action. Also observing the action are the mothers of the future bride and groom. Dessert comes out with "je t'aime" on it, again that's relevant, but the chick still doesn't get it. Finally what's his face (totally spacing on the host's name) makes an announcement and the guy gets the ring out and proposes. The girl is shocked and of course says yes.

    Floyd, MS and Na are tops with NA winning. They said Traci's tart was dry and basic, somehow Selina's pretzel and salad didn't make sense and Hugh's meat wasn't cooked well and the dish was too basic. He says he *will* dumb down his cooking if the case warrants (which it kind of did here) which the judges didn't like but they sent Selina home. Even tho the couple seemed to love it, and a bread product w/ salad makes sense to me, but it was her time to go.

    What did I miss?

    58 Replies
    1. re: Joanie
      i
      Indy 67 RE: Joanie May 19, 2011 06:19 AM

      I thought that Hugh was spot on when he blasted Oseland for the dumbed-down food criticism. "...if the situation warrants it..." The food was dumbed down only to the judges -- not to the client whose romantic history inspired the meal. The kid's tastes are rather basic to start with. Furthermore, the kid is a nervous wreck about the upcoming proposal. This is not the time for a chef to decide his/her mission is to educate the young man's palate. (I'm actually suprised that Mary Sue decided this was the right time to introduce the young couple to shellfish!) Perhaps if Oseland had given an example of what he thought would be more appropriate -- as Gael did in her criticism of Celina's dish -- I might have been more accepting of the criticism. I'd like to hear what food would be elevated enough yet still appeal to the unsophisticated taste of the client.

      But I'm not surprised by Oseland's self-centric view of the food. He is spectacularly clueless to anyone's point of view other than his own.

      1. re: Indy 67
        moto RE: Indy 67 May 20, 2011 02:04 AM

        Oseland must be tone deaf and blind when he reviews the playbacks ; he blasts his declarations like he's a prophet with the true word, with an implied dismissiveness of anyone who'd dissent. Since they dumped the anorexic (what could be more unappetizing ?) hostess, Oseland has no peer for leaving an unpleasant taste behind after viewing and hearing. The chef's riposte was an insightful dig at Oseland, who obviously makes concessions to commerce for a living.

        1. re: Indy 67
          thew RE: Indy 67 May 23, 2011 01:02 PM

          i disagree. the assumption that these people could not understand his food unless it was dumbed down was offensive in the extreme to me. He is not a 11 dimensional string theorist, he's a guy who makes food for people. People may well be able to rise to his food. In fact i'd say his job is to raise them to his food, not dumb his food down to them, if that is even needed. i mean seriously, who is he to say that this couple couldn't get his food in all its exalted glory?

          1. re: thew
            mariacarmen RE: thew May 23, 2011 01:37 PM

            i agree.

            1. re: thew
              i
              Indy 67 RE: thew May 23, 2011 03:42 PM

              Hugh was very sharp with Oseland so I can truly understand the point you're making. However, I'm separating his vigorous rejection of Oseland's comments from his rather sweet intent. He was very proud of his, Traci's and Celina's success meeting the young man's expectations. Other than that single comment, Hugh was quite warm and charming about how he had delivered food to make the young man happy. And I agree.

              Hugh made sure the young man wasn't embarrassed on national television confronting food that was outside his comfort zone. As I wrote above, the young man was likely very stressed out by the proposal that would end the meal. That isn't the time for a chef to decide his/her food is more important than making a fellow's proposal night flawless.

              Unfortunately, the judges, Oseland in particular, threw away the carefully explained objectives of the challenge and substituted his own standards of competition. As others have said downthread, the whole challenge was bogus. Why go through the charade of meeting a specific young man with specific likes and dislikes and specific romantic associations and then, judge on the basis of unrelated criteria?

              So we'll agree to disagree.

              1. re: Indy 67
                mariacarmen RE: Indy 67 May 23, 2011 04:14 PM

                But why would this young man pick Top Chef Masters as the location to propose to his fiancee if he didn't know or guess or assume that the food would be of a certain level? it would be safe to assume that he could encounter some foods he'd never had, maybe never even heard of. The chefs could easily, if they are at all worth their weight in anything, have concocted meals that incorporated the ingredients the couple liked/had special associations with, but in an "elevated" form - just as you said above when Gayle Green criticized Celina's dish. If you're admittedly dumbing down your food, you're insulting your guests. If you are trying to please them, and at the same time win a contest, then you take what they like and you try to give it to them in a creative, not frightening, but aspiring and delicious form. Beef with broccoli? Did the young man really come to TCM to have what he probably could have gotten at any Chinese restaurant, even if it was a really top-notch one? I would think that anyone who watches the show would assume his likes would be translated into something wonderful and surprising. I think the fiancee was pleased at the sight of the pretzel, because it had such meaning for them, but don't you think she would have been even more thrilled - being at a Top Chef Masters event - having something that maybe incorporated pretzel but yet also reached for something a loftier? just asking....

                1. re: mariacarmen
                  w
                  Worldwide Diner RE: mariacarmen May 23, 2011 08:07 PM

                  Cooking want the client wants is not dumbing down. It's not what Curtis Stone or Oseland wanted, so it's dumbed down for them. The fact that they asked what the client wanted but didn't solicit their opinion of the food is ridiculous. Based on your argument, no world-class chef should serve a burger, cause that's dumbing down the food. The young dwarf probably picked Top Chef for his proposal because he wants attention, and he wants free food. Hugh also didn't cook Chinese beef and broccoli. It was a steak with a side of broccoli and onion ring.

                  1. re: Worldwide Diner
                    thew RE: Worldwide Diner May 23, 2011 08:38 PM

                    no, cooking a burger is not dumbing it down, cooking a burger in the most unimaginative and lazy way possible because the marks don;t know any better is dumbing it down. or a steak. or anything. Why would an artist or craftsman ever want to put out anything other than their best? For my part, i always want the next work to surpass the one before. Isn't that the point?

                    1. re: thew
                      w
                      Worldwide Diner RE: thew May 23, 2011 09:11 PM

                      I've seen many versions of a burger on Food Network, from steamed, to stuffed with cheese, to over-sized - still just a burger. You can fancy up the burger with toppings but how do you know they would like foie gras or stinky cheese on their burger? Find me a fancy burger that isn't gimmicky.

                      They key to a burger is the selection of meat, the forming of the patty, the proper seasoning. That's the best burger. It's not elevated, but a simple thing of tastiness. To quote you, it can be "unimaginative and lazy."

                      Same thing with steak. Most people who want a good steak just want a nice piece of beef, properly cooked and seasoned with salt and pepper. Anything more can be ruinous.

                      When you're a chef, you can bring new items on the menu once you've perfected it. It would be crazy for a chef to improvise and improve on each successive dish that goes out.

                      1. re: Worldwide Diner
                        thew RE: Worldwide Diner May 23, 2011 09:47 PM

                        i don't think i said anything about fancying up a burger. I said nothing about gimmicks. nor that a burger be anything but a burger, i'm not sure how saying a burger is a burger puts it down.

                        i understand the simple beauty of the burger. As in most art i prefer simple elegance to rococo contortions, so you mistake what I consider unimaginative, or chef-worthy.

                        A good chef will prepare a burger as you say - and that will not be dumbing it down. Dumbing it down is assuming your talents are above the appreciation of someone you've prejudged as incapable of discernment. It will be using the lesser cut of meat, the uneven sear, the poorly formed patty, because you've decided you do not need to put your best forth for your client.

                    2. re: Worldwide Diner
                      mariacarmen RE: Worldwide Diner May 23, 2011 08:51 PM

                      A world class chef can make a burger because he decides burgers is what he wants to cook, but hopefully he will make a burger that isn't what you can get at MacDonald's or In-and-Out or Applebees or Hamburger Heaven. Hopefully it's a burger that's the most amazing burger he can make, ESPECIALLY if that chef is in a Masters competition. (And i'm only using "he" for the sake of ease.)

                      And I don't see how a steak with a side of broccoli and an onion ring is any greater innovation that Chinese beef and broccoli. Completely boring dish which I would not expect to be served at a Top Chef event.

                      And the client didn't say, cook me exactly what I've had before. The client said, these are things that have some meaning for us, and that we like - the implied request, on Top Chef, is how can you wow me within these parameters? Surprise me, rock my world with your idea, your vision of what I've told you I like.

                      1. re: mariacarmen
                        huiray RE: mariacarmen May 23, 2011 09:02 PM

                        Y'know, what passes through my mind is a dinner I had with an architect acquaintance of mine many, many years ago. We talked about this and that, and touched upon what he admired and, I believed, helped design then - this fancy building in NYC with this fancy front area and soaring facade etc. but which many people had said was user-unfriendly and was rarely observed with actual people in the space. When I mentioned this, his response was "What does that have to do with the (exalted) architecture of the place?"

                        1. re: huiray
                          mariacarmen RE: huiray May 23, 2011 09:20 PM

                          architecture is about function and aesthetics (among other things) - both are important. You seem to be saying it can only be one or the other. Your architect acquaintance seems to only care about his own criteria of aesthetics.

                          food is about taste. hopefully it can be be beautiful too. you can make something very accessible taste good, you can make something too fancy that only tastes good to a few. But we're talking about a competition where the master chefs' job is to prepare food of a higher caliber. Hopefully a Top Chef Master can prepare something that elevates and excites, introduces something new without alienating, while giving the customer what he wants.

                          1. re: mariacarmen
                            huiray RE: mariacarmen May 24, 2011 05:01 AM

                            "architecture is about function and aesthetics (among other things) - both are important. You seem to be saying it can only be one or the other. "
                            ----------
                            NOT AT ALL. I was implying the OPPOSITE when I related that anecdote. I am nonplussed as to how you managed to come to your conclusion. It was my acquaintance who seemed to think architecture was concerned with aesthetics and design, and people should adjust to the architect's vision. BTW on reflection I think he was only at the start of his career and I don't believe he actually had a hand in the design of that building.

                            As others have commented above and below, the EC in this episode of TCM seemed to swing towards one side or other of the analogous situation regarding food, depending on whose viewpoint one was considering, without incorporating both.

                            1. re: huiray
                              mariacarmen RE: huiray May 24, 2011 09:49 AM

                              sorry, i confused your intent for your acquaintance's.

                        2. re: mariacarmen
                          w
                          Worldwide Diner RE: mariacarmen May 23, 2011 09:14 PM

                          "A world class chef can make a burger because he decides burgers is what he wants to cook, but hopefully he will make a burger that isn't what you can get at MacDonald's or In-and-Out or Applebees or Hamburger Heaven. Hopefully it's a burger that's the most amazing burger he can make, ESPECIALLY if that chef is in a Masters competition. (And i'm only using "he" for the sake of ease.)

                          And I don't see how a steak with a side of broccoli and an onion ring is any greater innovation that Chinese beef and broccoli. Completely boring dish which I would not expect to be served at a Top Chef event."
                          ***
                          How do you know that's not the best piece of steak that Hugh ever made? The best steak ever may still be boring to you. Your two points are inconsistent.

                          1. re: mariacarmen
                            chowser RE: mariacarmen May 24, 2011 04:20 AM

                            " The client said, these are things that have some meaning for us, and that we like - the implied request, on Top Chef, is how can you wow me within these parameters? Surprise me, rock my world with your idea, your vision of what I've told you I like."

                            And, this is my problem with the winners. They didn't cook things that have meaning for them. Mussels, or any shellfish, were meaningless to them because they'd never had them before. They completely ignored the challenge. The winners ignored the challenge, the losers followed it precisely.

                            As simple steaks and hamburgers go, how many times have chefs been praised for a perfect poached egg or perfect seared scallops? They don't always elevate and they still win.

                            1. re: chowser
                              mariacarmen RE: chowser May 24, 2011 09:55 AM

                              and i agree that the winning 3 chefs didn't produce something that had meaning for the couple either. i wasn't arguing that they did a better job than the losing 3, just that the losing 3 too slavishly followed the instructions.

                              As to "As simple steaks and hamburgers go..." but did someone actually WIN because they had a perfectly poached egg? wasn't that usually a part of a dish that was also perfect (or near) and elevated in some way? Pair Hugh's lackluster steak and broccoli with a perfectly beautiful poached egg and i think he still would have lost.

                            2. re: mariacarmen
                              LurkerDan RE: mariacarmen May 24, 2011 08:46 AM

                              "And the client didn't say, cook me exactly what I've had before. The client said, these are things that have some meaning for us, and that we like - the implied request, on Top Chef, is how can you wow me within these parameters? Surprise me, rock my world with your idea, your vision of what I've told you I like."

                              Absolutely true. That's what this whole show is about. There's a fine line between divorcing what you make too much from what the parameters were, but the challenge is rarely to reproduce the same exact thing.

                          2. re: mariacarmen
                            Joanie RE: mariacarmen May 24, 2011 04:26 AM

                            "but don't you think she would have been even more thrilled - being at a Top Chef Masters event - having something that maybe incorporated pretzel but yet also reached for something a loftier? just asking...."

                            I actually don't think she would have been. If you incorporated pretzel into a dish, you might not even know what it originally was and it wouldn't have the same impact as it sitting as a side on your plate. Which she obviously appreciated.

                            1. re: Joanie
                              thew RE: Joanie May 24, 2011 04:34 AM

                              there must be a middle ground between unadorned and so incorporated as to be unrecognizable

                              1. re: thew
                                Joanie RE: thew May 24, 2011 05:37 AM

                                True, but if eating pretzels at the ballpark (if that indeed was the story) was a big deal to you and you got a dish with say pretzel croutons that were clearly pretzels, I still don't think it would make the same impact. And I think the suggestions of crushing them and whatever would be completely lost even if you had little descriptions for each dish. I think it was tough to try to make creative dishes and incorporate their stories for two unadventurous eaters.

                                1. re: Joanie
                                  thew RE: Joanie May 24, 2011 05:51 AM

                                  i agree it was difficult to do. which is why it was a challenge

                      2. re: Indy 67
                        g
                        gmk1322 RE: Indy 67 May 23, 2011 02:04 PM

                        It reminds of something Jen Carroll alluded to in one of her seasons, do you cook for your clientele (in this case the couple) or for the judges (to stave off elimination)? It seemed to me that the Top 3 cooked for the judges palates, while the bottom 3 cooked for the people celebrating their occasion.

                        One instance of cooking down to customers was recently in the All Stars Season Finale when the chefs had to cook for "royalty." I recall Richard and Antonia had more refined dishes benefiting a royal occasion, but when it turned out to be the King of Junkaroo they changed their dishes after the kitchen fire.

                        1. re: gmk1322
                          thew RE: gmk1322 May 23, 2011 03:19 PM

                          i'd amend that to the bottom 3 cooked to their perception of the people celebrating. one might look at you and i and not see out CH bona fides, just some schlubs off the street. and they would be making a grave error

                          1. re: thew
                            chowser RE: thew May 23, 2011 04:19 PM

                            I agree about the bottom three. I also think the top 3 just ignored what was said and cooked what they wanted. Lesson learned is to ignore the challenge and cook what you want, as long as it's good. Although, that is what TC often comes down to anyway.

                            1. re: chowser
                              LurkerDan RE: chowser May 24, 2011 08:47 AM

                              Alas, "ignore the challenge and cook what you want" is often the way to go on these things. I think the bottom 3 may have adhered TOO much to the parameters put before them, but the judges adhered too little to the parameters. As is often the case.

                            2. re: thew
                              w
                              Worldwide Diner RE: thew May 23, 2011 08:12 PM

                              The food wasn't prepared based solely on appearance. The midget had no palate and he said as much, so why should the chefs march our truffles, foie gras, sea urchin, etc. for these people? How many Americans rise up to chicken feet? Pigs feet? Pigs ears?

                              1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                thew RE: Worldwide Diner May 23, 2011 08:42 PM

                                I guess i don't use the word American as a pejorative.

                                Seeing as there are thousands of americans on this board that love truffles and pigs feet, i'd say many Americans will rise up to anything of quality.

                                The way to get people to rise up to your lofty standards is to offer a hand up, not pull the rope ladder after you and say sorry, no way up.

                                1. re: thew
                                  w
                                  Worldwide Diner RE: thew May 23, 2011 09:20 PM

                                  I guess i don't use the word American as a pejorative.

                                  Seeing as there are thousands of americans on this board that love truffles and pigs feet, i'd say many Americans will rise up to anything of quality.

                                  The way to get people to rise up to your lofty standards is to offer a hand up, not pull the rope ladder after you and say sorry, no way up.
                                  ***
                                  Americans in general are wasteful. When's the last time you ate chicken neck, chicken crown, chicken feet, chicken gizzard, chicken tongue, chicken ass, chicken liver, etc.? Tell me the last time you ate any of those that's of quality to you? Thousand of Americans on this board? That's a tiny fraction of the Americans overall. So based on the tastes of a tiny fraction of Americans, you think every chef should be jamming chicken feet down every American's throat? People who want a hand up will reach their hand up. Jamming a ladder down isn't likely to do much of anything other than get people all pissed off.

                                  1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                    thew RE: Worldwide Diner May 23, 2011 09:54 PM

                                    i did not say this board contained the totality of people open to food in america - i said that if we exist, there are a hundred thousand times as many out there. Chowhound alone is not keeping Alinea, and Per se, Commanders Palace and Katz's Deli, open. People out in America eat. Many of them eat well. Any RIdiculously General Comment about the tastes of 300,000,000 people is going to be as false as it is true.

                                    And once again - i said something about giving a helping hand up, not a violent jamming down to the swine below

                        2. re: Joanie
                          j
                          jeanmarieok RE: Joanie May 19, 2011 07:36 AM

                          I like Hugh even more for standing up to Oseland's criticism. I think the line is blurred between meeting the challenge and cooking directly for the judges. I thought Floyd's dish looked really impressive, and was surprised it was aggressively seasoned, considering the kid's school boy palate. While it was time for Celina to go, I didn't think the judge's criticism was fair. But maybe I was underwhelmed by the whole proposal thing. I am looking forward to next week.

                          1. re: jeanmarieok
                            p
                            Parrotgal RE: jeanmarieok May 19, 2011 11:50 AM

                            I agree completely. They were given a specific challenge, then judged by different standards. The chefs who weren't the first 3 called rightly (to me) assumed they were called first because they met the challenge best. Even the chefs thought that!!!!! Hugh gets a slightly snotty attitude when he's questioned (just like I do) but he was right; the judges were way off base.

                            That said, Mr. Charming Aussie is starting to grow on me. He does seem more comfortable and natural as a host than past skinny Asian chicks.

                            1. re: Parrotgal
                              CapreseStacy RE: Parrotgal May 19, 2011 07:17 PM

                              I liked Curtis' little trick with the mussel shell "spoon." Hadn't seen that before. Not sure if I'll use it, but was cute to watch.

                              1. re: Parrotgal
                                c
                                cresyd RE: Parrotgal May 23, 2011 03:47 AM

                                The challenge matched with the judging for this challenge had such a great disconnect.

                                What is the point of bringing in a guy, who has a fairly tame palate but wants to create a romantic/memorable engagement dinner - and then not judge the chefs based on the flow of the overall meal or the couple's satisfaction? Neither Floyd nor Mary Sue seemed to to do anything really tying into their story - and Naomi made a meal that apparently made the couple so full that they didn't seem all that excited to eat Hugh's plate at all.

                                Naomi's dish may have tasted the best, but it seems just really pointless to give them a challenge with all of these aspects - and then only judge based on who had the best tasting dish. Even if the judges would have picked the eventual loser/winner, for such a challenge I don't understand why the couple's view had nothing to do with the judging.

                            2. re: Joanie
                              mariacarmen RE: Joanie May 19, 2011 07:42 AM

                              Thanks Joanie, much better than I would have done!! Can't wait to see the re-run. thanks again.

                              1. re: Joanie
                                C. Hamster RE: Joanie May 19, 2011 08:31 AM

                                The sexual innuendo bantered back and forth between James Oseland and Gael Greene on their "date" bordered on the disturbing for me.

                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                  a
                                  araknd RE: C. Hamster May 19, 2011 09:25 AM

                                  +1. As was Gael's revelation of being bedded by Elvis!

                                  1. re: araknd
                                    j
                                    jeanmarieok RE: araknd May 19, 2011 09:54 AM

                                    Didn't make me want to read her book, that's for sure. And I thought Oseland seemed more like a giddy girlfriend than a date during that little bit of repartee.

                                    1. re: jeanmarieok
                                      c
                                      charmedgirl RE: jeanmarieok May 19, 2011 10:02 AM

                                      The Elvis thing is pretty much the opening anecdote of her book, IIRC (which I may not, but I think I do). She's clearly very proud of it.

                                      ETA: my dislike of her book is actually one of the reasons I was never thrilled with her as a judge on TCM, and I wasn't heartbroken to find out she was no longer a main judge this season. That being said, now that I've had a taste of the alternative judges, I do prefer her.

                                      ETA 2: Though I prefer (and miss desperately) Jay Raynor above them all.

                                      1. re: charmedgirl
                                        Miss Needle RE: charmedgirl May 19, 2011 10:43 AM

                                        Oh man, Gael Greene is wonderful compared to Restaurant Girl and Oseland's doppelganger (and I wasn't a huge fan of hers to begin with). But I agree, Jay Raynor was awesome and sorely missed.

                                        1. re: Miss Needle
                                          Debbie M RE: Miss Needle May 19, 2011 03:38 PM

                                          If Jay was still a judge, TCM might still be considered appointment TV!

                                          1. re: Debbie M
                                            Miss Needle RE: Debbie M May 20, 2011 07:45 AM

                                            Yes, I actually don't watch it live anymore. Last night, was flipping back and forth between the Matrix and Sixth Sense. Please bring Jay back (if there's another season)!

                                    2. re: araknd
                                      mariacarmen RE: araknd May 19, 2011 10:12 AM

                                      Gael Greene has bedded anyone and everyone you can think of even remotely connected -or not - in the food world. She was quite a hottie when young, and a bit of a slut! but hey, really not judging her, it was the wild days of the 60s and 70s. Her book was interesting, not great, and had way too many hot-and-heavy scenes. still, it's her story, so who am i to say.

                                    3. re: C. Hamster
                                      p
                                      Parrotgal RE: C. Hamster May 19, 2011 11:52 AM

                                      I know---ewww! I'm their age and certainly we're not dead from the neck down, but it was so forced and icky. I did know about Gael and Elvis; that's kind of when I lost interest in her book.

                                      1. re: C. Hamster
                                        chicgail RE: C. Hamster May 21, 2011 01:30 PM

                                        As in, "who are they kidding?"

                                        1. re: C. Hamster
                                          thew RE: C. Hamster May 23, 2011 01:03 PM

                                          it was clearly tongue in cheek, as oseland and gael don't play on the same team. and her elvis story made me like more than i'd ever done before

                                        2. re: Joanie
                                          LindaWhit RE: Joanie May 19, 2011 10:12 AM

                                          You done good, Joanie. :-) And can I just say I was "in and out" of this episode? I found watching the last half hour of Sixth Sense (which I've seen countless times) infinitely more interesting than this episode. The food wasn't all that interesting; the "story line" wasn't interesting, and I was bored overall.

                                          Oseland's and Gael Greene's attempts at "romance" just completely squicked me out. And did we REALLY need to hear about Gael and Elvis yet again? It was a freakin' HOUR you spent with him and then he asked you to order room service. Bleah.

                                          But then again, I guess the combo of Oseland and Greene is better than Oseland and his fawning syncophant Grubstreet boy (or wherever that guy works).

                                          I'm thinking that TCM has jumped the shark. This season is just meh, and I have no vested interest in any of them, although I have to say that Naomi is doing well, so good for her!

                                          ETA: I just read Oseland's blog on Bravo, and he starts it off by saying "I don’t really think of myself as a romantic guy. Usually when any sort of lovey-dovey nature starts to rise in me, my first instinct is to throw cold water on it."

                                          Could have fooled me that he's not a romantic guy. :-/ Ummm, yeah. That entire scene with you and Gael Greene was one big bucket of cold water, James.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                            chowser RE: LindaWhit May 19, 2011 12:12 PM

                                            I agree it's jumped the shark. When Hugh was in the bottom three, I thought, if he goes home, I'll probably stop watching. It's not that I'm pulling for him but I think he's so funny he keeps the show entertaining.

                                            I don't get the whole EC--who was that guy and why was he picked? I would HATE to have had that as a proposal. I wouldn't want it broadcast in front of the world, and the moms and everyone else eavesdropped. And, what was the point when the judges' favorite dishes ignored the challenge anyway? Backdrop is all.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: LindaWhit May 19, 2011 08:54 PM

                                              And can I just say I was "in and out" of this episode?
                                              ~~~~~~~~~~
                                              i've been that way with every single one - haven't made it straight through an entire episode this season. i considered just deleting the series recording from my DVR, but i can't bring myself to do it - it feels disloyal somehow :)

                                              agree with all of you re: the ickiness of Gael & James' exchange - no one needs to see/hear that!

                                              like Chowser, i thought the EC was bizarre - he must have been pretty darned confident that she'd say yes! i felt bad for the woman, being put on the spot like that. what if she wanted to turn him down or wasn't ready? no doubt she was feeling pressure with all the cameras there. and i don't know about any of you, but i'd prefer not to have one of the most intimate/meaningful moments of my life broadcast on national TV. heck, i don't even like to witness other diners' proposals/engagements when i'm in a restaurant - it all just feels too intrusive & voyeuristic to me.

                                              i'm surprised no one has mentioned Mary Sue's knife incident! she cuts off the tip of her thumb, tosses it in the trash, and keeps working...a far cry from Jamie running off to the hospital for 2 stitches.

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                C. Hamster RE: goodhealthgourmet May 19, 2011 09:56 PM

                                                I immediately thought of pathetic Jamie when Mary Sue casually tossed her thumb in the trash, put a finger cot on and carried on.

                                                But I didnt say anything perhaps because I was so disturbed by James and Gael.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                  chowser RE: goodhealthgourmet May 20, 2011 04:21 AM

                                                  Mary Sue was so calm through all that. Even after when the medic said it was going to sting, she didn't seem to flinch. I want her on my side in any emergency. Yes, a far cry from Jaime.

                                                  And, I was disturbed by James and Gail.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    j
                                                    jujuthomas RE: goodhealthgourmet May 20, 2011 05:52 AM

                                                    i'm surprised no one has mentioned Mary Sue's knife incident! she cuts off the tip of her thumb, tosses it in the trash, and keeps working...a far cry from Jamie running off to the hospital for 2 stitches.
                                                    ~~~~~~~~
                                                    I would have flipped out, and there she is just "oh, darn," worrying about how much time she's going to lose when her finger is tended. that is one tough chick! :)

                                                    1. re: jujuthomas
                                                      scubadoo97 RE: jujuthomas May 20, 2011 09:39 AM

                                                      I've done the same thing but still had the piece connected by a small flap. Stick it back on, taped it up and kept going. Really should of had stitches but hey it healed fine

                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                      Miss Needle RE: goodhealthgourmet May 20, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                      "i've been that way with every single one - haven't made it straight through an entire episode this season. i considered just deleting the series recording from my DVR, but i can't bring myself to do it - it feels disloyal somehow :)"

                                                      I've been disloyal from Episode 2. The episode gets promptly deleted from my DVR as soon as I watch it. Completely different as I've purchased all of the other seasons (with the exception of TC Masters 2) on my Itunes.

                                                  2. re: Joanie
                                                    scubadoo97 RE: Joanie May 20, 2011 09:42 AM

                                                    I thought the quick fire was a lame challenge. The first taste test with the nose clip. WTF, there is no taste with a nose clip. You can't taste anything. They should have labeled that one as Mouth Feel.

                                                    1. re: scubadoo97
                                                      Joanie RE: scubadoo97 May 20, 2011 01:25 PM

                                                      I was wondering what kind of smell mayonnaise had. None as far as I know.

                                                      1. re: Joanie
                                                        Miss Needle RE: Joanie May 20, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                        As somebody who isn't the biggest fan of mayo, there definitely is an odor. Bit vinegary and eggy. I can eat it in smaller doses now (generally when it's used as a binder), but the slightest smell of it would make me sick as a kid. People used to make fun of me eating my dry tuna fish on toast because they thought mayo was so innocuous.

                                                  3. r
                                                    ratgirlagogo RE: mariacarmen May 20, 2011 01:53 AM

                                                    It was kind of hard to understand why the guy wanted to propose to his girlfriend on a cooking show in the first place when neither one of them seemed to be foodie types in any way.

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                      chowser RE: ratgirlagogo May 20, 2011 04:22 AM

                                                      Exactly. Who were they? It was just odd to have them under a microscope like that. Moms watching a proposal on TV in the back room?

                                                      1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                        d
                                                        DGresh RE: ratgirlagogo May 20, 2011 04:50 AM

                                                        Yeah it was weird. He seemed like a perfectly nice but perfectly ordinary person; why should we be in the middle of their romance?

                                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                          LindaWhit RE: ratgirlagogo May 20, 2011 05:29 AM

                                                          15 minutes of "fame". Plain and simple. Can't get on any other reality show, I guess. :-)

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                            Joanie RE: LindaWhit May 20, 2011 07:59 AM

                                                            True (he obviously wasn't ever gonna be on The Bachelor), plus all those people who arrange for their engagements to be shown at games and stuff. It's not that bizarre. The mother thing was weird tho.

                                                            1. re: Joanie
                                                              LindaWhit RE: Joanie May 20, 2011 08:05 AM

                                                              Agreed on the mother thing. But perhaps because the new fiancée had said that she would want to speak with her mother as soon as she got engaged and the producers thought "ooh, good for the show!"? Was this something the proposing guy had told the chefs? I missed that part, if so. So perhaps that's why the mothers were there in the kitchen?

                                                            2. re: LindaWhit
                                                              ChefJune RE: LindaWhit May 20, 2011 08:21 AM

                                                              Or maybe he was a friend of one of the Magical Elves?

                                                              1. re: ChefJune
                                                                LindaWhit RE: ChefJune May 20, 2011 08:30 AM

                                                                Ahhh, a good supposition, ChefJune. Friend of the producers makes sense.

                                                                OR - perhaps a "call" went out via casting, and this was the only couple who could get family members to sign off on appearing on TV?

                                                            3. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                              c
                                                              charmedgirl RE: ratgirlagogo May 20, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                              I agree the pair was totally lackluster. (I actually thought the guy was sort of a d--che, but it feels mean saying it.) And I've long, long wondered how any of the folks who get to be the Top Chef "eaters" get chosen. The challenges frequently involve hosting food events with 100-200 guests, or Restaurant Wars where there is a pop up restaurant for a night, and there are customers in the seats or mingling through the room. Those people don't seem to have just stumbled across the taping. Who are these lucky people? (And... how do I become one? Ha ha!)

                                                            4. mariacarmen RE: mariacarmen May 22, 2011 08:51 PM

                                                              Does anyone know where I can watch this episode online? Bravo only seems to have the first episode available for viewing.... i don't want to subscribe to a service either..... thanks for any help.

                                                              10 Replies
                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                Shrinkrap RE: mariacarmen May 22, 2011 10:56 PM

                                                                Do you have "On Demand"?

                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                  mariacarmen RE: Shrinkrap May 22, 2011 11:42 PM

                                                                  Nope. found it tho, online, thanks.

                                                                  So just watched the episode, finally. I didn't much care for the QF, as I think it didn't really say much about their talents - they all seemed to do ok to varying degrees - without smell it's really hard to taste your food. Except, of course, Floyd, who seemed to have the worst time of it.

                                                                  I was totally fine with the EC. I had no problem with the silly banter Gayle Greene and Oseland threw at each other - they were just playing around, not actually flirting - it was just shtick. And as for Celena being sent home for making exactly what the couple asked for and liked - she could have done anything with pretzels, somehow incorporated them into a dish (as Gayle suggested, a chicken pot pie with pretzels in the crust), but instead she just made and plunked down pretzels on a plate with some salad. Sure, the couple liked it, but these chefs are supposed to be elevating their food.

                                                                  I loved that Oseland was tearing up, as was Naomi. On the other hand, i loved Hugh being snarky about the cloying sweetness of it all. you could tell that the couple isn't super knowledgeable about food, though they themselves obviously feel that they are, and all the chefs, except maybe Floyd, made very simple, straight-forward dishes (can be read "dumbed-down"). But, they liked the taste of Naomi's chicken better than Floyd's dish.

                                                                  The people I felt bad for were the other women on that Date Night, whose significant others weren't the ones with the romantic idea!

                                                                  And no one's mentioned that Mary Sue Milliken is married to her business partner Sue Feniger's ex husband! what a nice little romantic story, not the least because it shows how good friends Susan and Mary Sue were and still are.

                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                    d
                                                                    DGresh RE: mariacarmen May 23, 2011 03:24 AM

                                                                    That reminds me of some math I was doing in my head; didn't Mary Sue say she'd been married 35 years to him? After he'd been aleady married? I'm only married 20 years and I'm no spring chicken!

                                                                    1. re: DGresh
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: DGresh May 23, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                                      25 years, not 35. they got married in the mid-to-late 80s.

                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                      C. Hamster RE: mariacarmen May 23, 2011 09:20 AM

                                                                      Where online???????

                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: mariacarmen May 23, 2011 10:08 AM

                                                                        And no one's mentioned that Mary Sue Milliken is married to her business partner Sue Feniger's ex husband!
                                                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                        i guess i didn't think to because those of us who have been following their careers for a long time already knew the story. they've talked about it in TV & magazine interviews & such...but an interesting tidbit nonetheless :) it's also a bit easier to understand how their friendship survived it when you note the fact that Susan's marriage to him didn't last because she came out...

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                          mariacarmen RE: goodhealthgourmet May 23, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                                          you know, i'd completely forgotten that of course I knew Susan was gay! duh! i knew of them, and went to their restaurant in L.A., Border Grill, many, many years ago, when i still lived in So. Cal., but i guess I'd never heard that tidbit.

                                                                          (Ooh, C. Hamster, re online viewing - I'm not sure now, i have it on my laptop at home, I can let you know tonight. it's one of those things that buffers a bit slow, and then at a certain point, it says, you've been watching for "___" minutes, please wait 1/2 hour and finish watching." but no commercials made it totally worth it.)

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                            C. Hamster RE: mariacarmen May 23, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                                            I Hulu at lunch and TCM isnt on, so I'd love to know the site! TNX

                                                                            1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                              mariacarmen RE: C. Hamster May 23, 2011 08:44 PM

                                                                              http://www.videoweed.com/file/tutkl25...

                                                                              so this link will take you right to that particular episode. you have to click on and exit the ad that comes up on the screen and then hit the play button in the center of the screen. My BF found it for me - that's how i find anything! but you won't be able to search on that exact site for other top chef shows. I just tested it and it worked - hope it works for you!

                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                C. Hamster RE: mariacarmen May 25, 2011 07:16 PM

                                                                                Thank you very much!!!!!!

                                                                  2. C. Hamster RE: mariacarmen May 25, 2011 07:16 PM

                                                                    Replay of creepy James and Gael date coming up in a minute.....

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                      mariacarmen RE: C. Hamster May 25, 2011 11:14 PM

                                                                      OK, how and when did i miss Episode 8? i watched/heard at 9:00 p.m. (in No. CA here) the rerun of Episode 6, and then I watched at 10 p.m. the rerun of Episode 7.... and then at 11:00, The Hos of New Jersey came on! what the what??

                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                        LindaWhit RE: mariacarmen May 26, 2011 05:24 AM

                                                                        Oh wait - that's right - last night was a repeat! I just posted in the WFD thread that I couldn't believe I had missed TCM3 last night - but I really didn't, did I? LOL

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                          C. Hamster RE: LindaWhit May 26, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                          You missed the reprise of The Smug Raccoon telling the Little Imp that he's feelin' it during their date and she replies "En Garde"

                                                                          Even creepier the second time around.

                                                                          1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                            LindaWhit RE: C. Hamster May 26, 2011 10:54 AM

                                                                            Yeah, I *so* didn't need to be reminded of that, C.Ham! LOL

                                                                            And now that you mention it, Oseland *does* look a bit like the little impy elf log for the Magical Elves, doesn't he?

                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            chicgail RE: LindaWhit May 26, 2011 05:36 PM

                                                                            So glad. I didn't see it. It didn't record on TIVO. I thought I blew it.

                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                              LindaWhit RE: chicgail May 26, 2011 05:44 PM

                                                                              I hate it when we get crank-yanked like that. :-)

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