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Top Chef Texas - Ep. #5 - 11/30/11 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit Nov 30, 2011 07:34 PM

(Just a reminder - no reveals or spoilers about Last Chance Kitchen that will be online after tonight's episode. Thanks!)

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Padma shows up at the end of last week's episode to tell them to sleep well - everyone is hitting the road and heading to Dallas. They get up and pack themselves into the Toyota Siennas and head out! Chuy takes Cute Chris in his car, so Ugly Chris has to go into another car. :-) Edward tells his car that he's been married for just one year, and Ty-Lor's in a relationship.

All of a sudden - they come up to the TX Highway Patrol closing off their "highway" (a.k.a. NOT-Highway) and they're required to stop. He asks them to all pull into the nearby field, and Padma's there with John Besh. (Chris Crary did NOT talk about Padma in her shorts; he liked Besh's teeth! LOL)

The Quickfire is about being resourceful and inventive. They pop the Sienna trunks and see survival kits - they have to make a tasty meal in 30 minutes for $5,000 and immunity.

Canned fruit,garbanzo beans, chocolate, peas, sardines, canned meat, chipotle, green chilies in a can, canned chicken, and other packaged dried foods with no cutting boards or can openers to use. The burners are not heating as well as the should because the wind is very strong. Edward pulls his back out, and Lindsay's father used to eat Vienna sausages out of the can, which grossed her out. Edward also noticed that everyone seems to be making "mess food', and he won't do that.

Ty-Lor's dish of Black Pepper Chicken Stew with garbanzo beans with plain rice on the side looked pretty good - and Padma said the rice was pretty good. Edward's Thai Peanut Soup with Salmon, Tofu and Hominy with Nori-also looked very good, as did Paul's Pork and Beans with Coffee & Basmati Rice.

The bottom group? Whitney, Dakota, and Chris Crary
The Top group? Edward, Lindsay, and Chuy

The Quickfire Winner is Lindsay! Wow - Edward's ticked off - said that Lindsay's dish looked as dry as the Texas farmland they were standing on. I think so too. :-)

The Elim Challenge is a Progressive Dinner in Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas. Ty-Lor said he knows the expectations of the guests, cooking for Bill Gates, rock and movie stars.

Appetizers, Entree, and Dessert are the three courses. The challenge is an individual challenge. Meaning they can't blame their crappy dish on someone else!

Apps = Chris Jones, Paul, Whitney, Lindsay, & Sarah
Entree = Beverly, Chuy, Heather, Nyesha, and Ty-Lor
Dessert = Dakota, Grayson, Chris Crary, and Edward (And Dakota's ticked off)

They head to the hotel to check out their suite and then head to the clients' home. They have 15 minutes to plan the menu. The App house wife is a lifestyle planner who has written books about it. She's also picky about food - no bell peppers, or cilantro. Nothing that would make the diners' breath smell, or get stuck in their teeth.

The Entree house wife doesn't like cilantro or raspberries. The guy likes spicy food, she doesn't - and while he loves beef, she doesn't eat meat at all.

The Dessert house wants something that is worth every calorie. The guy wants his inner fat kid to cry - but he had a giant Gummy Bear for a wedding cake? REALLY?

They go shopping, and the next day, head over to their respective houses to start cooking. Sarah's going Italian with her apps. Chris Jones is going to make something that looks like a cigar...Paul said it's ballsy to not try and impress the lady of the house.

In the Entree house begins to get set up. Beverly starts to take over the house, taking extra pots, extra colanders, moving someone else's blanching water.

Dessert house, Chris is going cupcakes, while Edward is going more elegant.

The judges arrive at the app house - John Besh, Gail Simmons, Padma and Tom Colicchio.

Chris Jones - Roasted Chicken Cigar with Sweet Corn, Collard Greens and Cumin Ash
Sarah - Grilled Roman-Style Artichoke with Date Purée
Lindsay - Roasted and Raw Beet Salad with Chickpeas and Greek Vinaigrette
Whitney - Seared Scallop over Sweet Corn Purée and a Succotash of Zucchini
Paul - Fried Brussels Sprouts with Grilled Prosciutto

The TX people talked about the # of people at their wedding - Gail jokes by saying "700?" and someone replies "actually, 800." The hostess said "We had 1200!" Gail looked beyond astonished.

The cigar dish didn't go over that well, nor did the scallop dish, but Sarah's artichoke dish was liked.

They head over to the Entree house. Ty-Lor's not hapy with his presentation. All dishes are served family style.

Heather - Garlic & Rosemary Griled Lamb Chops with Garbanzo Beans and Mint Chimichurri
Chuy - Sockeye Salmon Fillet stuffed with Goat Cheese and Avocado Relish
Beverly - Pan-Seared Diver Scallops with Creamy Polenta and XO Sauce
Ty-Lor - Spice-Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Summer Slaw
Nyesha -Roasted Filet of Beef with Vegetable Mélange with Red Wine Sauce

Beverly's scallops were well received, but Heather's lamb chops and Ty-Lor's pork tenderloin weren't liked.

Over to the Dessert House - Gail hopes for ice cream! LOL She'll get it from Chris and at least one other.

Dakota - Warm Banana Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Bread Pudding,Roasted Banana Mousse and Banana Date Milkshake
Chis C - Strawberry Cupcake with Banana Custard and Chocolate Icing
Edward - Cardamom Panna Cotta, Cataloupe Consommé and Raspberries Stuffed with Basil Pudding
Grayson - Chocolate Sponge Cake with Caramelized Bananas and Semifreddo

Grayson's dish was "too rich" for some, but Tom said he didn't think it was possible to be too rich in Dallas,Texas. :-) Edward's dish was "jiggly" and looked like a little Elmo, but tasted fancier than it looked. One liked Chris C's cupcake, but Tom C. said his mother said if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. OUCH! Finally, Dakota's brad pudding was *very* well received.

In the in-between, Chuy's dad stories were relayed - he made all the furniture in their house, among other stories told by Chuy. Chuy's dad is superman - he can do anything!

Padma comes out asking to see Sarah, Grayson, Paul and Dakota - they're the top group! The winner is Paul with his Fried Brussels Sprouts & Grilled Prosciutto! He then goes back to the outside Stew Room to tell Chris Jones, Chris Crary, Ty-Lor and Chuy that the judges want to see them. They are the least favorite.

Chris Crary's cupcake - Tom skewers his dessert - the dish was just a mess. John Besh said take what they tell you and work with it - don't caved in to their every whim. Ty-Lor's pork tenderloin dish was not plated well, nor was there any finesse in the cooking, and Chuy's salmon dish with cheese was overcooked just so the cheese would melt. Chris Jones cigar app was called a gimmick by John Besh and was hard to eat.

They're back in front of the judges, and Tom tells them that thinking through their respective dishes could have corrected a lot of the mistakes they each made. Who's going to head to Last Chance Kitchen? OMG, it's Chuy! OMG, OMG OMG. I had hoped to see him go through so much further. Let's see how he does in LCK against Keith! The rest of the cheftestants are all shocked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Off to LCK online! It's Chuy vs. Keith. They head to Bolner's Meat Market to choose their protein. The butcher cuts up a Prime forequarter for them into one ribrack for each of them and they head back. Tom tells them what they have to do: they have to butcher five bone-in Ribeyes and perfectly cook one Medium Rare steak. Chuy said having Tom tell them what he wants is like having the Puff Daddy of steak tell them. :-) They have 45 minutes to butcher, cook and rest and serve the meat and he gives them a visual as to how the ribeye should look after butchering. Interesting upside-down cast iron cooking method that Keith uses! And I thought the winner would be who it was.

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  1. kubasd23 RE: LindaWhit Nov 30, 2011 08:27 PM

    When they were first talking about their dishes, I thought that Chris Jones' dish looked the least... well, refined, and I could not picture those "Real Housewives of Dallas" type women eating something like that delicately. I thought it looked even odder when the "cumin ash" was described. I was sad to see Chuy kicked off, but when they were talking about his dish with him, the fact that the salmon had to be over cooked (pretty much) in order for the cheese to get melted sounded a death knoll in my ears. Chris Crary's cupcake did look like a huge mess, and my first thought was "mint chocolate chip ice cream.... with strawberries and a cupcake???" I have to say, I really like Paul and Lindsay, and was very happy to see Paul win this elimination challenge and Lindsay win the quick fire.

    1. w
      Worldwide Diner RE: LindaWhit Nov 30, 2011 08:53 PM

      Those people that hosted the elimination challenge were scary. John Besh and Tom C. were noticeably annoyed with the idiotic comments.

      I think the talent pool is pretty shallow this season.

      47 Replies
      1. re: Worldwide Diner
        LurkerDan RE: Worldwide Diner Nov 30, 2011 09:09 PM

        "I think the talent pool is pretty shallow this season."

        Really? I think the talent pool is extremely deep this year. Nobody has yet separated themselves from the pack like the Voltaggios or Blais, but many of them seem very accomplished.

        1. re: LurkerDan
          w
          Worldwide Diner RE: LurkerDan Nov 30, 2011 09:22 PM

          Because no one stood out, I think they pretty much all suck. The winner of the quickfire was a saltine sandwich with viennese sausage? I think people made better dishes with crap from a vending machine. Anyway, time will tell.

          1. re: Worldwide Diner
            xo_kizzy_xo RE: Worldwide Diner Dec 1, 2011 06:13 AM

            It's still too early for anyone to really stand out, IMO. To me it looks like a very talented cast, all of whom are hanging back at the moment because none of them wants to stand out like a sore thumb. If you stand out like a sore thumb at this point, you're more apt to have a target on your back down the line.

            1. re: xo_kizzy_xo
              LindaWhit RE: xo_kizzy_xo Dec 1, 2011 08:24 AM

              I completely disagree that it's too early for at least one or two to stand out. As LurkerDan said, the Voltaggios, Richard Blais, Kevin Gillespie, and Jen Carroll all stood out right out of the gate in their respective seasons.

              This isn't TC5, by any means, as it relates to talent, but it's also nowhere near TC6.

        2. re: Worldwide Diner
          y
          yummfood RE: Worldwide Diner Nov 30, 2011 10:28 PM

          My all time favorite season is the Las Vegas season where Michael Voltaggio won. That season was full of undeniably high talent with Michael and Bryan Voltaggio, Jen Corral(?), Kevin Gillespie, and even Ashley and Mike. It was really exciting to watch them cook and to see what they would come up with. Honestly, I don't get that same excitement watching this season's chefs. Oh well.

          1. re: Worldwide Diner
            g
            gulfcoastpirate RE: Worldwide Diner Dec 1, 2011 04:01 AM

            As a Galvestonian I was embarrassed for my state. In fact, the entire season has been mostly a cliched embarrassment. I can't imagine how anyone can spend more than a few minutes in Highland Park (or most of Dallas) without getting sick to their stomachs. I'm not sure how much more of this I can watch. Very disappointing so far.

            1. re: gulfcoastpirate
              Joanie RE: gulfcoastpirate Dec 1, 2011 04:46 AM

              Those people were pretty obnoxious but they had the other walk of life with the girl's 15th b-day party. I don't think you have to be embarrassed for all of Texas.

              With that said, I didn't like any of those women.

              Padma and Gail were sure popping out of their dresses. I think there was a gratuitous closeup shot of P in her shorts too. And there are some large women cooking this season.

              I think Chris's cigar should have gotten the boot, it was ugly and completely against the rules.

              Did someone remark on Dakota being straight edge already? Funny to see a chef with those X's, not a job that lends itself to no drinking and drugs.

              1. re: Joanie
                chicgail RE: Joanie Dec 1, 2011 05:59 AM

                Chris' cigar was no surprise to me. The restaurant he works at, Moto, is known for it's "whimsical" molecular gastronomy. The kitchen often creates kind of odd, out-of-the-box dishes that are not necessarily great food, but because someone figured out how to do it. That being said, Michelin just gave it a star, so I guess it can't be all weird.

                1. re: chicgail
                  huiray RE: chicgail Dec 1, 2011 11:12 AM

                  Actually, doesn't Moto have something similar on their menu?

                  ETA: OK, I went to refresh my memory and yes, they have what is called "PHILLY MONTE CRISTO & cuban cigars" on their menu: http://www.motorestaurant.com/categor... . Here's the image of the cigar from their 'Gallery': http://www.motorestaurant.com/wp-cont...

                  1. re: huiray
                    scubadoo97 RE: huiray Dec 2, 2011 11:38 AM

                    They sure do. A Cuban sandwich in the form of a cigar. Now I'm a cigar guy so the though doesn't gross me out but his dish did. As soon as he started talking about it I was like, hey that's a take off something he does at Moto.

                2. re: Joanie
                  John E. RE: Joanie Dec 1, 2011 06:29 AM

                  Why do you consider the cigar against the rules? Of all the food in this episode, including all the vile Quickfire dishes, the 'cigar' is the last thing I would have eaten, but I'm not aware of any rules broken by serving it.

                  1. re: John E.
                    Joanie RE: John E. Dec 1, 2011 09:48 AM

                    I meant the "rules" of the lady asking for appetizers that were easy to eat, leaving nothing stuck in the teeth, etc. It seemed like the last combination of stuff that she'd want.

                    1. re: John E.
                      huiray RE: John E. Dec 1, 2011 11:05 AM

                      To add on to what Joanie explained, Gail Simmons talks about it not fitting the criteria they asked for: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso... Hugh Acheson touches on the same meme - that it was the wrong thing (Moto stuff) for those folks: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso... Tom Colicchio on his blog (and the show?), and John Besh on the show said that it was no more than a 'gimmick'.

                      1. re: huiray
                        John E. RE: huiray Dec 1, 2011 11:47 AM

                        While I have not read the blogs I understood 'rules' to mean the rules of the challenge such as the number of ingredients, time limit, etc. Not the suggested likes and dislikes of the hosts. I too thought Feed Corn Chris should have gotten the boot first, Ty Lor second and Chuy third but since overcooked fish is one of the biggest mistakes,, well, we all saw what happened.

                    2. re: Joanie
                      cowboyardee RE: Joanie Dec 1, 2011 08:22 AM

                      "I think Chris's cigar should have gotten the boot, it was ugly and completely against the rules."
                      ______
                      Not sure why it would be against the rules.

                      Anyway, I think the right dish got the boot. Sure the cigar was visually unappealing and problematic to eat with ones hands. But it was ambitious and showed some technical skill. And it was not flawed in quite so fundamental a way as the salmon and goat cheese roulade, which was neither ambitious or indicative of a skilled chef. A dish concept that forces you to cook one or both components of a dish badly is a perfectly good reason to get sent home.

                      1. re: cowboyardee
                        C. Hamster RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 08:28 AM

                        Overcooked fish gets you sent home 9 times out of 10

                        But that cigar was repulsive ....

                        1. re: C. Hamster
                          cowboyardee RE: C. Hamster Dec 1, 2011 09:15 AM

                          Ever eat grape leaves?

                          http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h...
                          Aside from the questionable addition of 'ash,' the presentation can be pretty similar.

                          1. re: cowboyardee
                            huiray RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 11:26 AM

                            Re: the grape leaves (from the Google search):
                            Hmm, the link doesn't work as posted. I think you meant this one? (removing all the other stuff in the url generated from the Google search): http://www.yogurtland.com/2005/09/26/...

                            1. re: cowboyardee
                              John E. RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 11:52 AM

                              If Ugly Chris had made a 'cigar' similar in size as Greek dolmades and actually used grape leaves his dish might have worked. I think the size, ash, and stringiness of his greens is what was the major problem. However, even if he had prepared them in that manner I still don't think the Dallas housewives would have liked them. Tom suggested thinkong about that idea and then doing something else.

                          2. re: cowboyardee
                            chowser RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 09:27 AM

                            I was thinking it was a good thing Scott Conant wasn't there for the fish/cheese thing. Both salmon and goat cheese are such strong flavors that I can't imagine how that would be even if the fish were cooked well.

                            1. re: chowser
                              chicgail RE: chowser Dec 1, 2011 10:50 AM

                              He said he was attempting a play on lox and cream cheese. Not that that explains or justifies anything, it just demonstrates what his thinking was.

                            2. re: cowboyardee
                              huiray RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 11:22 AM

                              @cowboyardee: A "cigar" is a current menu item at Moto – see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8206...

                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                scubadoo97 RE: cowboyardee Dec 2, 2011 11:40 AM

                                I just would take off points because it is something they do at Moto. Different ingredients but the same concept.

                                1. re: scubadoo97
                                  chowser RE: scubadoo97 Dec 2, 2011 11:43 AM

                                  I think most of these chefs do something they've done before. Why not if it works?

                                  1. re: chowser
                                    iL Divo RE: chowser Dec 5, 2011 08:30 AM

                                    agree chowser

                                    1. re: chowser
                                      scubadoo97 RE: chowser Dec 5, 2011 09:28 AM

                                      The cigar is just such a novelty

                                    2. re: scubadoo97
                                      cowboyardee RE: scubadoo97 Dec 2, 2011 11:56 AM

                                      I have a lot of respect for guys like Richard Blais who comes up with all of his competition dishes during the competition and doesn't rely on things he's made at his restaurants (at least that's what he's claimed).

                                      That said, I bet most of the dishes offered up in any given elimination challenge, especially a fairly open ended one like this, are things that people have made before in their restaurant (or restaurants they've worked in), or at least closely based on said restaurant dishes. It would be impossible for the judges to sort out what is a new concept and what's been tried out before.

                                      Since he is chef de cuisine at Moto, it's hard to guess whether the cigar dish was his own concept originally or not. I'd certainly agree that it's lame to go repeatedly making other people's dishes in competition a la Ilan from season 2.

                                  2. re: Joanie
                                    d
                                    DGresh RE: Joanie Dec 3, 2011 02:13 AM

                                    What does the X mean? I confess to being way behind the times.

                                    1. re: DGresh
                                      cowboyardee RE: DGresh Dec 3, 2011 03:35 AM

                                      In some circles it's a symbol that one refrains from drinking, drugs, and tobacco. It can also sometimes be extended to exclude promiscuous sex, sex in general, meat, and/or animal products depending on the particular sect of 'straight edge' mindset.

                                      It also ostensibly means that one listens to punk music.

                                      It also sometimes means that all of these things just sounded really awesome to you when you were 18 and could finally get a tattoo.

                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                        y
                                        yummfood RE: cowboyardee Dec 3, 2011 03:02 PM

                                        Doesn't one also get marked with an "X" when they're denied from entering into a club because they are underaged or for whatever reason?

                                        1. re: yummfood
                                          v
                                          VintageMolly RE: yummfood Dec 4, 2011 08:20 AM

                                          Yes, that's where the symbolism comes from.

                                          1. re: VintageMolly
                                            kubasd23 RE: VintageMolly Dec 4, 2011 10:46 AM

                                            huh, good to know! I knew it meant straightedge, but i thought it was related more to X-ing out those things they did not partake in. Like X = no.

                                  3. re: gulfcoastpirate
                                    d
                                    DougRisk RE: gulfcoastpirate Dec 1, 2011 05:25 AM

                                    Pirate, something you should probably understand is that TV producers from LA and NYC do NOT go to Texas looking for nuance...and if they find it, they will kill it, in favor of everything being big and having a twang.

                                    Big Beef Steaks and Working Class music can be great things, but, for TV producers, it must be big, Big, BIG if you are in Texas.

                                    The only other state that probably compares is Alaska, where everything must be wild and rustic. (God forbid they ever run into a doctor in either state.)

                                    1. re: DougRisk
                                      g
                                      gulfcoastpirate RE: DougRisk Dec 1, 2011 08:22 AM

                                      There are plenty of people in Texas with as much money as in Highland Park and they wouldn't last 2 seconds with any of those bimbos. I may be prejudiced but in my travels I think I've seen enough to say that Texas females in all income distributions are as good as it gets anywhere. It was just a shame that producers chose that type of caricature to put on display. I did appreciate some of the smirking from Besh and Tom. Maybe future shows will be better.

                                      Maybe I'm just a little giddy over that 37 - 7 whupping that UH put on the Highland Parkers from SMU a couple of weeks ago.

                                      1. re: gulfcoastpirate
                                        d
                                        DougRisk RE: gulfcoastpirate Dec 1, 2011 08:49 AM

                                        "It was just a shame that producers chose that type of caricature to put on display."

                                        That was the point I was trying to make.

                                        1. re: DougRisk
                                          MplsM ary RE: DougRisk Dec 2, 2011 10:32 AM

                                          I sense the synergistic hand of Andy Cohen. (Hey, that didn't come out right!) Real Housewives of Dallas? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real...

                                        2. re: gulfcoastpirate
                                          chowser RE: gulfcoastpirate Dec 1, 2011 09:26 AM

                                          Yeah, Tom's expression when they were raving about the cupcake dish was priceless and his, "My mom said if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all so I'm not saying anything at all" was the best line after all the raving.

                                          1. re: chowser
                                            j
                                            jeanmarieok RE: chowser Dec 1, 2011 09:30 AM

                                            Tom eyerolled one of them during the appetizers. With a great big smirk on his face.

                                            1. re: jeanmarieok
                                              chicgail RE: jeanmarieok Dec 1, 2011 10:53 AM

                                              I've met women - and men - like the ones on the show. Those woman may have had too much "work" done, make up, and money - and they were easily portrayed as caricatures.

                                              On another level, though all that smirking and eye-rolling by Besh and Collichio was pretty patronizing and self-righteous in its own right.

                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                l
                                                Leepa RE: chicgail Dec 1, 2011 08:27 PM

                                                Agreed. It was bad form.

                                    2. re: Worldwide Diner
                                      twyst RE: Worldwide Diner Dec 1, 2011 07:19 AM

                                      "I think the talent pool is pretty shallow this season."

                                      The cheftestants this season have serious cred, more than half of them are working in high level positions in places that are nominated for james beard awards etc.

                                      My money is still on paul, that guy is a beast and is the exec at a restaurant that receives tons of nationwide press

                                      1. re: twyst
                                        kubasd23 RE: twyst Dec 1, 2011 05:45 PM

                                        I agree with Paul being in the top running. And, unlike other chefs we've seen, he's not a cocky, arrogant a@@! haha

                                        1. re: kubasd23
                                          cowboyardee RE: kubasd23 Dec 1, 2011 08:40 PM

                                          I am now liking Paul even more after seeing the video on bravo.com of him with his knives.
                                          http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                          Go paul!
                                          (this will make sense to anyone who braves the knife-centric postings over on the cookware board)

                                      2. re: Worldwide Diner
                                        cowboyardee RE: Worldwide Diner Dec 1, 2011 08:47 AM

                                        Ehh - it's not so much that the talent pool is shallow, IMO. The talent is actually pretty deep, and almost everyone would seem to have a chance to win. Look at what people are going home for (salmon roulade with overcooked salmon, interesting but too sweet chili, using flour rather than masa tortillas) and compare that to early exits from previous seasons where the food was often inedible. I think that most of the chefs this season are talented and capable, whereas most other seasons have had some real duds.

                                        What this season doesn't have is a Voltaggio-style rock star who seems able to really stun the judges with his or her brilliance. The top guys this season don't seem that much better than the bottom guys (so far). All of the seasons have had someone or even a handful of people who really stood out with their obvious talent. This season - not so much.

                                        Taking the analysis a step further - every season since season 4 has had someone who embraced or at least integrated elements of modernist cooking and MG into their cooking and done very well -Richard Blais, Stefan, the Voltaggio bros, Angelo (and even season 3's Hung used sous vide quite a bit, which was a lot less familiar to the public at the time). This season's offerings in technical wizardry seem a little weak, as the Moto boys don't seem to have the talent of previous technical virtuosos in terms of making fantastical and elaborate dishes appealing to the judges and audience. It's really this lack of guys at the top pulling off truly impressive (and appealing) feats of culinary engineering that is making this season look a little weak and flat by comparison.

                                        But as you said, time will tell. We're only 3 challenges in.

                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                          JAB RE: Worldwide Diner Dec 2, 2011 06:51 AM

                                          Yes, especially Besh.

                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                            w
                                            wincountrygirl RE: Worldwide Diner Dec 2, 2011 07:44 AM

                                            I think there is talent here. But, this season so far has been a real snooze fest. Who cares - the sweet sixteen, the plastic housewives with no taste in food. The talent is not being showcased and the challenges are boring.

                                            1. re: wincountrygirl
                                              LurkerDan RE: wincountrygirl Dec 2, 2011 08:01 AM

                                              I do agree with this, I think there's a lot of talent here but it hasn't been allowed to shine. And the challenges have been snoozers.

                                          2. s
                                            soupkitten RE: LindaWhit Nov 30, 2011 08:55 PM

                                            i thought chicago chris was gone for sure, the cigar seemed like a train wreak and if paul won for *listening* to the clients it seemed to me like chris should have lost for ignoring their wishes. he also pulled the classic city slicker blunder, trying to pick dry field/feed corn, during the quickfire, thinking it would in any way resemble fresh sweet corn. hell, that's a very old joke that the country mice pull on the city mice, right up there with "do you want to pick dingleberries?" way to walk right into that one on your own, chris.

                                            limited palates on those guests today, huh? tom and john besh looked thoroughly bored by the food during the dinner party in this episode and kept exchanging smirks while the others were commenting.

                                            i think chuy caught a bad bounce, he may have had a much better tasting dish with better ingredients or a cooler oven-- but the thought process/conception of his dish was sound. a bit baffling-- maybe it was really really bad, but i'm shaking my head-- both chrises had fails on conception and execution, and ty's food was boring. bah-dunt-dah-- boring, get it? ;-P dh, who really wants to be annoyed by top chef but i think secretly likes it, commented that ty-lor should have to wear arm-nets to cook! LOL

                                            i thought the older, blonde lady guest who wasn't one of the trophy wives, the one with henna on her hands, was funny! the couple of comments on camera, like the one about someone's food reminding her of what her parents may have served in the 1950's-- LOL.

                                            yeah, i think chuy should have stayed and they should have sent one of the chrises packing. lame.

                                            42 Replies
                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                              LindaWhit RE: soupkitten Dec 1, 2011 08:33 AM

                                              I didn't get the running into the field for corn either. You could *tell* by the look of the brown stalks it wouldn't be usable for human consumption! And LOL on "picking dingleberries." :-D I also meant to comment re: Tom's smirk at one of the dinner party guests liking something that was obviously not good - can't recall the dish, however.

                                              I agree that Chuy shouldn't have gone - although the idea of salmon with cheese doesn't entice me. I really thought it would be either Chris.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                LurkerDan RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                Reading Tom and Gail's blog, it sounded like it wasn't much of a debate about sending Chuy home.

                                                I think Tom's smirk was at Chris's dessert, after the guy said it was the best cupcake he'd ever eaten and they asked Tom for his opinion of the dessert, and he said "if you can't say anything nice..."

                                                I couldn't believe the woman who commented on the panna cotta being jiggly and unappealing. it's a freaking panna cotta!!!

                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                  chowser RE: LurkerDan Dec 1, 2011 09:30 AM

                                                  Oops, this is what I said above. Yeah, I had to laugh at the woman who complained about panna cotta being jiggly and unappealing. Could they at least pick people who have a clue? That 15 year old girl blew the housewives and househusbands away w/ her comments.

                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                    LindaWhit RE: chowser Dec 1, 2011 09:42 AM

                                                    BINGO on the 15yo girl knowing more about food than these idiots!

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                      kubasd23 RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 05:49 PM

                                                      Exactly!! Those women (AND their husbands) were so ignorant and childlike in their food critiques and restrictions! That 15 yo girl knew her stuff, and was able to provide real, accurate criticism.

                                                      1. re: kubasd23
                                                        d
                                                        DGresh RE: kubasd23 Dec 2, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                        I agree-- I was really impressed with the young lady's insightful comments about the food.

                                                    2. re: chowser
                                                      scubadoo97 RE: chowser Dec 2, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                      "Could they at least pick people who have a clue?"

                                                      No kidding. The three couples were a disaster. Little knowledge about food and too many "trendy" food restrictions.

                                                      1. re: scubadoo97
                                                        NellyNel RE: scubadoo97 Dec 6, 2011 08:14 AM

                                                        "The three couples were a disaster. Little knowledge about food and too many "trendy" food restrictions."

                                                        I am pretty sure, this is precisely why they were picked for the show!

                                                    3. re: LurkerDan
                                                      y
                                                      yummfood RE: LurkerDan Dec 1, 2011 10:34 AM

                                                      I thought it was pretty funny that, with the exception of the cigar, there was a rave (from the Dallas homeowners) for almost all the dishes that the judges had some kind of problem with; the beet salad, the salmon, the cupcake, and even the steak.

                                                    4. re: LindaWhit
                                                      susancinsf RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                      Re: running to the corn field: actually, I thought it was worth at least running to check, although granted I think he should have been able to tell when he saw the corn itself, and before cooking it, that it was feed corn, if that was the case, and also granted, though I live in a rural area I am a city girl at heart. Still, I live two miles from a corn field that sells corn that I've eaten, often bike by it, and I've seen it look similar to that one with still a few good ears. IMO, it was worth a shot., even if it was a long one, and don't think he deserves to be made fun of for trying it. Shows initiative, if nothing else, even if it does brand him as a city boy.

                                                      1. re: susancinsf
                                                        John E. RE: susancinsf Dec 1, 2011 11:56 AM

                                                        The corn that you ate from he field near your home was sweet corn. Feed corn, also known as dent corn and field corn is only consumed by people after it is processed in some manner.

                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                          susancinsf RE: John E. Dec 1, 2011 01:16 PM

                                                          I know this. I thought my reference to field corn, or perhaps that was in my othe post, made that obvious. My point is that while he probably should have been able to recognize the difference in the ears, I don't believe the difference in the appearance of the plants from 50 yards is all that different, and I give him credit for running over to check it out. Indeed, since feed corn is usable after being processed, other than the fact that it slowed him down, I don't think he was that far off to try and use it (and of course, he did use the husk for his presentation, which did look nice to me, although I hope it wasn't what gave Chuy the inspiration to do the salmon,,,,).

                                                          1. re: susancinsf
                                                            John E. RE: susancinsf Dec 1, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                            Sweet corn is harvested all at once in the summertiime. It would not be left in the field to dry up like we saw on this episode.

                                                            edit: I see by other posts below that you are living in a farming area...I don't mean to be preaching to the choir. When I was a kid, my dad planted sweet corn in the outer four rows of an 18 acre cornfield we owned. Our family froze a couple hundred pints of sweet corn each year (remember Seal-a-Meal?) and gave away most of the rest of the corn. When I was in high school I was out bow hunting on the edge of that cornfield and picked some of the dried sweet corn still on the stalk. I shelled it and attempted to pop it. What I got was similar to Corn Nuts. If the deer didn't always eat most of the corn before it gets dry enough to recreate Corn Nuts I would have made them more than a couple of times.

                                                    5. re: soupkitten
                                                      cowboyardee RE: soupkitten Dec 1, 2011 09:23 AM

                                                      "i think chuy caught a bad bounce... but the thought process/conception of his dish was sound"
                                                      ________
                                                      How do you figure? I could be wrong, but it looked to me like he put a goat cheese filling at the center of a thick cut of salmon and then attempted to cook it until the goat cheese melted, which entailed that the salmon surrounding it would be overcooked. I mean, you might do the same thing with chicken breast, but you normally cook chicken to 155+

                                                      I believe he could have pulled this dish off sous vide, though I'm not 100% certain of the temp at which goat cheese melts (something like 130 might have both cooked the salmon properly and melted the cheese, though there wouldn't be much browning or texture). He might have even been able to somehow melt the cheese before cooking the salmon and then serve it before the whole thing congealed. But that doesn't appear to be what he did, either. Even something so simple as using a thinner piece of salmon might have worked had he cooked it gently enough. But the way he tried to do it just seemed to have been flawed conceptually. And that doesn't address the equally troubling question of whether goat cheese and non-smoked salmon work together as flavors in the first place - it wouldn't take much goat cheese to completely overwhelm the fish.

                                                      I get the impression that it was more the failure of his thought process than the effect of the finished dish that really got him sent home. At least Moto Chris was trying for something ambitious, while Biggest Loser Chris was being very literal in following his host's commands (and actually did succeed in pleasing the host, btw)

                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                        l
                                                        lrhr RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 09:41 AM

                                                        Also, Chuy told them he had served this dish at his restaurant. Which means he has had plenty of time to get the proportions right so that you could have melty cheese and properly cooked fish. He served a dish he has worked on, thought about, and served to paying customers and it was still a fail.

                                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                                          s
                                                          soupkitten RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 11:14 AM

                                                          @ Cowboyardee and @ Irhr --- sure, i would be happy to explain my reasoning. did you hear some of the judges, partic Gail, mention salmon/lox & cream cheese? my impression was that chuy used or was attempting to use a fresh (creamy, spreadable) goat cheese in his dish-- which does go very well with salmon and other fish. it has a much more forward, tangy presence than cream cheese, but has some of the appeal of cream cheese, and that nice gooeyness of melted cream cheese, if you can picture a nice, very, very soft neufchatel or similar, without the stabilizers and gumminess of a philidelphia-type cream cheese. it's a good flavor and texture combination. apparently other folks on the thread are thinking it was a hard aged goat cheese, which of course would be a different story and would take longer to melt. soft goat cheese "melts" almost instantly. soft, high quality fresh goat cheeses from the upper midwest would be available to chuy at his restaurant in chicago. however, these are quite perishable and not nationally distributed, as they have a shelf life of just 2-4 weeks. i have no idea what kind of goat cheese would be available at a whole foods store in texas, but chuy may have bought what he thought was a similar product and had an unpleasant surprise. the ingredient flub would have led to the execution fail, as with limited time, he would have overcooked the salmon he'd prepped in an effort to get the goat cheese of unknown provenance/quality/freshness to behave like a high quality product he was accustomed to. just like he said happened. made perfect sense... excruciating to watch, because the same prep with a good goat cheese would have been exquisite and not as thuddingly boring as the other mains put forth.

                                                          i would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that chuy's dish at his restaurant, with an upper-midwest fresh goat cheese, is succulent and delicious and totally successful. have any of the chicago hounds tried it? at any rate i was wincingly aware of what he was going for but chuy was foiled by the quality of ingredients available to him. to me, his sins were not comparable to moto-chris' stringy collard leaves and "edible ash," or other chris' putting imperfect strawberries on a judged showpiece dessert plate, along with 20 other mismatched components. i didn't taste any of the food, either, but considering those dishes i would not have picked chuy to go home.

                                                          1. re: soupkitten
                                                            huiray RE: soupkitten Dec 1, 2011 11:41 AM

                                                            "soft goat cheese "melts" almost instantly. soft, high quality fresh goat cheeses from the upper midwest would be available to chuy at his restaurant in chicago."
                                                            --------
                                                            Perhaps like one from Capriole (http://www.capriolegoatcheese.com/Hom...), who sells at farmer's markets in Indy and Chicago and supplies restaurants in both... or similar concerns... ;-) [I have no financial or personal connection with this business]

                                                            I've not eaten at Chilam Balam but the equivalent dish is not on their current menu: http://www.chilambalamchicago.com/chi...

                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                              s
                                                              soupkitten RE: huiray Dec 1, 2011 11:55 AM

                                                              yeah *exactly* like the fresh goat cheese under the "fresh" tab of that farm/company's website. people pity the coastal chef who goes inland, away from day-boat seafood... well, chuy journeyed outside of the dairy mecca and tried to pull off a dairy-dependent dish :(

                                                            2. re: soupkitten
                                                              cowboyardee RE: soupkitten Dec 1, 2011 08:50 PM

                                                              Thanks for the elaboration. I've never had goat cheese with salmon before. In my mind, it would make more intuitive sense flavorwise to serve it with nova in an uncooked dish, but I'll hold off judgement on the flavor pairing until I try them together.

                                                              I assumed he was using chevre or some sort of soft goat cheese. Truth is I'm not sure exactly what temperature chevre melts. I assume he at least wanted it to be warm bordering on hot.Tom made some mention of it 'bubbling' which would imply that it's hotter than just melted.

                                                              But here's the thing - it's most common and trendy to cook salmon pretty rare in the center, much more so than most other fish - usually something like 120-125 in the center (I'm extrapolating from having cooked salmon sous vide at a few different temperatures). If you try to effectively warm chevre in between two thick hunks of salmon, I just don't see that happening without cooking the salmon well past that standard.

                                                              I could see it happening with really thin layer of chevre, or if you cook it sous vide or something. I didn't feel like going back and watching the episode again just to see that. But I noticed a good shot on this video. At the 1:45 mark. http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...
                                                              It looks like he mixed the goat cheese with some vegetables and put a really thick layer in the middle. If he cooked it less, I'm still not sure that the result would have been appetizing. Too cold in the middle, too congealed, and it would beg the question of whether the salmon is OK to eat since exposed surfaces would still be undercooked.

                                                              At any rate, from the exit video, it seems Chuy is taking his loss in stride and learning from the experience, so good for him.

                                                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                s
                                                                soupkitten RE: cowboyardee Dec 2, 2011 09:46 AM

                                                                huh. looks like a salmon sandwich with the chunky chevre layer in between? well, that isn't a roulade, and it wasn't what i was thinking, either! guess we were both off on chuy's construction, and i can see how that was a downfall of his dish. wondering if there were other components to the dish between the "sandwich" and the corn husk on the bottom, or if he attempted to cook the salmon separately and add that to the package. i still think chuy may have made adjustments to an inferior cheese product to try to salvage the dish, like adding those vegetables or cream, which wouldn't normally be necessary with a good chevre. but what the hell do i know? my comments were more about the flavor profile of fresh goat cheese w salmon, which is similar to, but imo better than, the classic combos of salmon/lox plus cream cheese, or salmon plus cream sauce or creme fraiche. other folks in the thread have pulled out the old "no cheese with fish" saw, but imo that isn't at all what he was going for, he was using a fresh rather than an aged dairy product. i just wanted to make that point. one thing is certain, his fish wound up way overcooked, doing it this way. even though it was a fail i still think the judging was very inconsistent. i wonder how much of the judging is compromise, or if one judge can really put her/his foot down wrt axing a dish/contestant.

                                                                1. re: soupkitten
                                                                  John E. RE: soupkitten Dec 2, 2011 10:05 AM

                                                                  Assuming the entire concept was not flawed (going for the cream cheese and lox thing) Chuy could have made the dish in a different manner. I don't know all of the components but he could have cooked the salmon separately, broiled the goat cheese and assembled the dish for service. That would be even easier if he were making the dish one at a time in his restaurant.

                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                    s
                                                                    soupkitten RE: John E. Dec 2, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                                    i agree. i don't know why chuy made his decisions, but it seems like he may have altered his original plan due to ingredients. whether or not that's the case, sorry i keep going on about it. the stringy cigar and the storebought dessert plate are still bigger offenders, from where i am sitting. there is no "official top chef judge" plaque above my armchair, or anything :) so that's just a fwiw observation.

                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                      cowboyardee RE: soupkitten Dec 2, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                      I wonder if the judges knew how much of the dessert plate was store-bought. It wasn't apparent to me - only people who watched the edit a lot closer than I did noticed. Perhaps they gave him some credit for doing a lot of 'work'? Still, they usually ask that kind of thing at the judges table.

                                                                      I still say that though the concept and visual were basically unappealing, it's entirely possible the 'cigar' actually tasted better than the salmon, especially if the salmon was as overcooked as the edit made it seem (a bit overcooked is one thing, but well done salmon is cat food IMO). And I could totally see giving partial credit for ambition if nothing else while deciding whether the salmon or the cigar goes home.

                                                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                                                        John E. RE: soupkitten Dec 2, 2011 10:49 AM

                                                                        I missed the 'storebought dessert plate'. What was that?

                                                                        I said before somewhere, I agree the cigar and bad pork dish from 'Ty Lor' appeared to be worse, but it seems overcooked fish trumps everything else.

                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: John E. Dec 2, 2011 01:07 PM

                                                                          I missed the 'storebought dessert plate'. What was that?
                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                          Chris Crary's plate. store-bought gelato, candy bars & fruit pretty much just plopped onto the plate, and there's some debate about whether he also used a boxed cupcake mix.

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                            m
                                                                            momjamin RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 2, 2011 02:28 PM

                                                                            I thought he said he had a cupcake recipe, and he'd see if it worked. My impression was that he had memorized it knowing he'd need a dessert at some point, but hadn't actually done it.

                                                                            1. re: momjamin
                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: momjamin Dec 2, 2011 02:43 PM

                                                                              i heard him say that, but a couple of people said they thought they saw boxed mix. i deleted my recording - i'll have to see if i can catch a repeat and look more closely. i wouldn't be shocked if it turned out that he did use a mix because he sounded pretty apprehensive about his untested recipe.

                                                                        2. re: soupkitten
                                                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: soupkitten Dec 3, 2011 01:29 PM

                                                                          I guess I'm not sure why you've assuming tat Chuy necessarily had to buy inferior ingredients, just because he was in Texas and not on his home turf. No one but locals knows with surety what's available at Dallas-area WF, but there is plenty of artisanal fresh goat cheese made in Texas that would be fresh and local if he bought it, and not dreck. If he bought an inferior product, well that's on him, too, as smart ingredient shopping has always been part of the equation on Top Chef. How many times has Tom admonished contestants for not changing course when they found something they bought wasn't great or giving the results they wanted.

                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                            s
                                                                            soupkitten RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 5, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                            i said i wasn't sure what would be available in a texas whole foods, but just to be clear i'm not really talking about a cryo pac chevre, more of a farm-direct fresh hand packed item. the selection of ingredients at wfm has foiled more than one contestant on the show, including chefs i wouldn't really call incompetent-- like stephanie izard, who commented specifically on the quality of meat and seafood compared to what is available to chefs through restaurant distributors and direct sales. i do not think it's out of the question that chuy would have been sold the wrong item by a member of staff at the store-- as this thread illustrates, people can be confused about this product. i guess i am going on the assumption that he was trying to make a dish he had experience with, but that the ingredient did not work, so he wound up accidentally overcooking the dish-- as he said happened. in my words, "he caught a bad bounce." obviously he did not have the time or backup ingredients to fix the problem. other people want to go on the assumption that he is incompetent, has a bad palate, or that he is a liar, or all of the above. i guess that's fine, except i would wonder how he bungled his way to winning the prior challenges over stiff competition, were that the case.

                                                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: soupkitten Dec 5, 2011 09:35 PM

                                                                              I understood that you weren't talking about mass market, cryovac chevre, which is why I mentioned that there appear to be local producers of high-quality product. To clarify, when I said it was on him if he ended up using an inferior ingredient, what I meant is that the judges will count it against them regardless (the "you shouldn't have served it" Catch-22, as if they have a choice to serve nothing). I guess I'm not sure what caused his problems - the quality of the ingredients, the McMansion's oven, or a miscalculation in executing a dish he's successfully done before, as it seems like any (or a combination) could be true. I was sorry to see him go, and think he seems quite talented.

                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                s
                                                                                soupkitten RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 5, 2011 10:16 PM

                                                                                i agree that it was probably, not to be overly technical ;-P -- a "clusterfuck of epic proportions." i'm just moderately annoyed that they would send a talented person home, given the other plates in the bottom four. otoh the dish was not good, and at the end of the day, that's all the judges have to go on.

                                                                                1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                  mcf RE: soupkitten Dec 7, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                                  At this level, any elimination is sending home a talented person. Overcooking pretty much always sends someone home, and honestly, his stated reason for it betrayed a serious lack of skill and judgment in this instance.

                                                                            2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                              b
                                                                              bobbert RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 6, 2011 07:00 AM

                                                                              Having just watched the episode a second time I have to say that those bottom four were all PYKAG worthy. Maybe pretty Chris got cut some slack because he was doing dessert. The cigar really had an unappealing, excuse me, turd, look to it. The pork was a mess BUT they were all at least attempts at something more complex than Chuy's "salmon with goat cheese" to quote Tom. In the end, I think that messing up a simple dish was worse than messing up a more complex dish. A review of the quickfire showed the dishes at the bottom were the "simple" ones. I guess, being top chef and all they don't want dishes that we could do at home and I could have done Chuy's dish at home.

                                                                        3. re: soupkitten
                                                                          chowser RE: soupkitten Dec 2, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                                          I went to Bonefish Grill once because people raved about the bang bang shrimp (pass). The special of the night was salmon and goat cheese. Maybe that's the reason I wrote it off right away. Everything we had there was bad so I assumed that combination would be, too.

                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                            mcf RE: chowser Dec 2, 2011 03:05 PM

                                                                            I went there once with people who'd ordered that shrimp dish, it was all batter and sugar, really gross. But I had a really excellent meal of grilled arctic char and perfectly cooked veggies on the side.

                                                                            I can't imagine enjoying a cooked salmon and goat cheese dish, nuh uh, no way.

                                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                                              chowser RE: mcf Dec 2, 2011 03:54 PM

                                                                              I can't remember what we ate anymore but no one likes their entrees. We went for the bang bang shrimp so I remember that.

                                                                    2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                      b
                                                                      bobbert RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                                      I think Chuy really did himself in when he all but stated that he HAD to over cook the salmon to melt the cheese. I haven't re-watched it yet but to me, it sounded like he deliberately over cooked the fish and the judges couldn't get past that deliberate act.

                                                                      1. re: bobbert
                                                                        John E. RE: bobbert Dec 1, 2011 07:24 PM

                                                                        I live in the Twin Cities and there are several bars who make their 'signature' burgers something called a Juicy Lucy which essentially is two hamburger patties with cheese in between. I generally avoid ordering the Juicy (or Jucy) Lucys because in order to melt the cheese the beef patties end up being well-done. The melted cheese does ooze out of the burger but I prefer a cheeseburger with the beef not overcooked. This is basically the same thing that happened to Chuy. I think it was a failure in conception.

                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                          Joanie RE: John E. Dec 2, 2011 06:11 AM

                                                                          I've only had one Jucy Lucy (at the place in St. Paul 5 years ago) but the burger didn't seem overdone at all. Maybe cuz it's all so oozy and greasy, it'd have to be really overcooked for me to notice.

                                                                          1. re: Joanie
                                                                            John E. RE: Joanie Dec 2, 2011 09:25 AM

                                                                            It's not as noticeable because of all the cheese, but for the cheese to melt properly the internal temperature has to get hot enough to melt it which is also hot enough for long enough for well done beef. I prefer the cheese on the outside of the beef patty but enough people like the gimmick that they are big sellers. Then again, I know a lot of people that like their steak well-done.

                                                                      2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                        Ruth Lafler RE: cowboyardee Dec 4, 2011 10:33 PM

                                                                        How can it be sound when Tom asked how he thought that it was a good idea?

                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                          NellyNel RE: cowboyardee Dec 6, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                          "Chris was being very literal in following his host's commands (and actually did succeed in pleasing the host, btw"

                                                                          I am surprised that more was not made of the fact that he was actually following the hosts lead, and that the host, was in fact, super pleased.

                                                                      3. LurkerDan RE: LindaWhit Nov 30, 2011 09:15 PM

                                                                        A gripe about Bravo (and a warning to everyone): they don't seem to start Top Chef exactly on the hour, it might be 30-60 seconds late. And with Last Chance Kitchen, they discuss that at the end of the episode. I missed the first airing at 8pm and was going to catch it at 9pm. Turned it on at 9, and found out that Chuy was going to LCK, ruining the suspense of the entire episode.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                          John E. RE: LurkerDan Nov 30, 2011 09:42 PM

                                                                          Since each episode starts with a recap and then the regular intro, it is easy to turn it on a minute or two late and not miss any of the current episode while not getting the spoiler from the first (or subsequent) showings.

                                                                        2. s
                                                                          SarahInMinneapolis RE: LindaWhit Nov 30, 2011 10:06 PM

                                                                          The "real" people in the McMansions embarrassed the heck out of themselves. Particularly the women. I'm quite sure they have no idea how vacuous they came across. I suppose the point is that "top chefs" will have to cook to the desires of dumb blonde social x-rays. Boring. This episode, however, was one of Top Chef's worst. And I was so sorry to see the guy who had to go home in the Last Chance Kitchen (but I liked that challenge).

                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                          1. re: SarahInMinneapolis
                                                                            moto RE: SarahInMinneapolis Dec 1, 2011 01:31 AM

                                                                            if bravo's choices in programming indicate anything, their core audience enjoys watching the 'real'/vacuous lives of those 'social x-rays.' as bad as this episode was, at least there was some justice in seeing gruesome food getting served to some pretty grotesque rich-niks.

                                                                            several of the chefs seemed especially naive and inexperienced in this round, not to observe their surroundings with the host couples, then failing to make appearance/plating and execution their priorities.

                                                                            1. re: moto
                                                                              JAB RE: moto Dec 2, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                                              Perhaps, a preview of the Real Housewives of Dallas?

                                                                            2. re: SarahInMinneapolis
                                                                              f
                                                                              FoodPopulist RE: SarahInMinneapolis Dec 1, 2011 01:50 AM

                                                                              I think I would love solid food designed to be things those people hate. I sort of want to make fun of the guy in the dessert house, but I'll hold off on that.

                                                                              1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                LindaWhit RE: FoodPopulist Dec 1, 2011 08:36 AM

                                                                                What, you don't think having a Gummy Bear wedding cake is like the COOLEST THING EVAH, FoodPopulist? ;-)

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                  j
                                                                                  jeanmarieok RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 09:32 AM

                                                                                  That was the most hilarious thing I heard all night. I wonder if it looked like this?
                                                                                  http://www.vat19.com/dvds/worlds-larg...

                                                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                    chowser RE: jeanmarieok Dec 1, 2011 09:40 AM

                                                                                    Oh my gosh--that's what did Craig in on Top Chef Just Desserts (well, that because of complete lack of technique). Tempting to have one mailed to him!

                                                                                    I loved Edward's response on how he was NOT going to do gummy bears. Come to think of it, I'm surprised Chris didn't throw some on top of his cupcake. See, he did do some editing.

                                                                                    1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                      LindaWhit RE: jeanmarieok Dec 1, 2011 09:45 AM

                                                                                      Holy crap. That is just freaky!

                                                                                      And for how it might have looked? http://cheezburger.com/View/3527111168 (although MUCH bigger, since I think the gummy bear guy had a wedding for 800 people!)

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        chowser RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 09:55 AM

                                                                                        Molecular gastronomy meets gummy bear...

                                                                                        Warning, may be graphic for gummy bear lovers:

                                                                                        http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-just-...

                                                                                        Even scarier is Craig's gummy bear. Page down for shot:

                                                                                        http://eater.com/archives/2011/09/15/...

                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                      chowser RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 09:41 AM

                                                                                      Bwahahaha, there really is one!

                                                                                      http://blog.girlybubble.com/2010/06/0...

                                                                                      They won't legalize gay marriage but they can legalize children getting married. Go figure.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        f
                                                                                        FoodPopulist RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 11:24 AM

                                                                                        He just had that really, really Southern personality, the mama's boy subtype that some people confuse for being gay. Or do people think he really is a Texas closet case?

                                                                                    3. re: SarahInMinneapolis
                                                                                      h
                                                                                      HollyDolly RE: SarahInMinneapolis Dec 1, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                                      I got home late from TJMAXX,so I didn't see the start with the QuickFire Challenge.I did see some of it but turned it off, since I can't those so called "Real Housewives" whether in Dallas or elsewhere.

                                                                                    4. iL Divo RE: LindaWhit Nov 30, 2011 10:16 PM

                                                                                      my husbands comment when he walked in the door tonight and it (TCT) was on TV:
                                                                                      "does anyone still watch this tripe?"
                                                                                      pretty much how I feel about this season also....but....I do love John Besh.

                                                                                      dumb quick fire though, like...really?

                                                                                      1. f
                                                                                        FoodPopulist RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 01:46 AM

                                                                                        I was delighted to see Lindsay win the Quickfire and I hate anyone in this thread who would turn their nose up at Vienna sausage. It's on my list of things I would like to see as a secret ingredient on Iron Chef America.

                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                          iL Divo RE: FoodPopulist Dec 1, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                                          how funny, you 'hate' anyone in this thread who would turn their nose up at VS? well, then I'll shut up.

                                                                                          speaking of Iron Chef, what's the big secret coming up about the very odd secret ingredient

                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo
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                                                                                            FoodPopulist RE: iL Divo Dec 1, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                                                            Nothing wrong with hating.

                                                                                            Maybe I speak a bit strongly, but I don't find food snobbery more appealing than the culinary tastes of the Dallas nutjobs in this episode.

                                                                                            1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                              iL Divo RE: FoodPopulist Dec 5, 2011 08:36 AM

                                                                                              hahahah, you're funny foodpop......
                                                                                              I'm not a hater but vienna sausage in a little can, so far, I'll pass :)

                                                                                            2. re: iL Divo
                                                                                              kubasd23 RE: iL Divo Dec 1, 2011 05:54 PM

                                                                                              you mean fruitcake?

                                                                                              1. re: kubasd23
                                                                                                iL Divo RE: kubasd23 Dec 5, 2011 08:37 AM

                                                                                                how'd you know that? wasn't it first run last night the 4th of DEC?
                                                                                                not surprised that MM won, he is duh bom :)

                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                  John E. RE: iL Divo Dec 5, 2011 09:32 AM

                                                                                                  When I was a young child we lived in a house with a gas stove. We also did a lot of camping so I was aware of roasting hot dogs on an open fire. I was about 4 years old when I got caught roasting a Vienna sausage on the end of a fork over the open flame of the gas burner. When I was a little older I used to take an aluminum pie tin, pour a mound of sugar on it and make a 'volcano' with it on the stove. I don't think I was a pyro but merely fascinated with cooking.

                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                    kubasd23 RE: iL Divo Dec 5, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                                                                    I saw them slicing fruitcake in the ads, and just inferred that that was the secret ingredient. :) I'm crafty like that! Morimoto is pretty amazing, I ALWAYS root for him when he competes. His plating, his creativity, his technique.... I would love to eat at one of his restaurants. The no reservations episode that had morimoto in it was one of my favorites. I would love to do omakase with him too

                                                                                                    1. re: kubasd23
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                                                                                                      acgold7 RE: kubasd23 Dec 5, 2011 05:54 PM

                                                                                                      Having done the omakase at Morimoto Philadelphia a couple of times, I can tell you it was one of my most spectacular culinary experiences ever. The food at the NY and Honolulu locations is equally wondrous.

                                                                                                      I always try to talk to the staff whenever I'm at one of his restaurants and they all confirm he's quite insane, albeit a genius (obviously not literally; it's hyperbole, in the vein of "Mad Genius").

                                                                                                      I had the privilege of sitting next to him at lunch one time while I was with the Network. He had a cold and was grumpy because they were in contract negotiations and he never said a word to me. It was one of the coolest days of my life.

                                                                                                      1. re: kubasd23
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                                                                                                        Siun RE: kubasd23 Dec 5, 2011 07:53 PM

                                                                                                        Have you seen the Iron Chef episode where team Moto takes on Morimoto? It's on YouTube if not ...very worth a view.

                                                                                              2. susancinsf RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 02:02 AM

                                                                                                The dinner did indeed look to be awkward, with the guests not getting the judges, and vice-versa. Tom did look miserable (actually Gail did too, she was just trying harder to be polite). I thought that the only remotely interesting bit of conversation was when Gail and one of the trophy wives discovered they grew up in the same area: and that was only interesting because I didn't quite catch the area, other than it wasn't Dallas, and I could have sworn the wife said, 'actually I grew up in Haiti'. Now *that* would have indeed been interesting, but obviously my hearing was playing tricks on me: I looked up Gail's biography online and she is apparently Canadian: born in Toronto, schooled in Montreal.....

                                                                                                It seemed to me that very few of the dishes seemed to really match what the clients wanted, but then, not sure I can blame the chefs for trying to be a little more creative than the clients seemed to want (even though the cigar was an obvious fail). Indeed, that salmon must have been very overcooked to send Chuy home (it also looked to be a bit boring, so I am not sure it was a great idea even had it been well executed). Very sorry to see Chuy kicked off also.

                                                                                                23 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: susancinsf
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                                                                                                  momjamin RE: susancinsf Dec 1, 2011 03:59 AM

                                                                                                  I also heard "Haitian" first, but realized it was "Canadian". Gail has often mentioned she's from Canada (especially in challenges that are particularly American), and when she replied "I am, too," the wife said she knew that.

                                                                                                  In Tom's blog, he explains his crankiness (overdue for back surgery plus having to walk between houses), but he didn't come out and actually diss the hosts. He says he was glad he had his friend John Besh there. (Implication: someone to roll eyes with!)

                                                                                                  Other random comments:

                                                                                                  Bravo needs to realize that they have different audiences -- not many are equally fans of both Top Chef and the "Real" Housewives. (Granted, my known Top Chef fanbase is right here.)

                                                                                                  This travel to different TX cities has me very curious about the logistics, especially with LCK. The meat market seemed to be in San Antonio -- so did Chuy get his letter in Dallas, then have a nice little rest/ride back to SA, where the LCK incumbent was waiting? Are they always going to send them back to SA first, or will there be a secret posse following the chefs around for each LCK? How many sequester houses are there?

                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                    chowser RE: momjamin Dec 1, 2011 04:57 AM

                                                                                                    I thought this might be a segue to a new Housewives series. The Real Housewives of Dallas? But, really, get people on the show who know food, or at least eat it regularly and don't have a fear of food touching their lips (why do they draw their lips back that much to eat?).

                                                                                                    1. re: chowser
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                                                                                                      DougRisk RE: chowser Dec 1, 2011 05:33 AM

                                                                                                      That was exactly what I thought. Actually, I thought there was already a Real Housewives of Dallas and that they were being included.

                                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                                        mcf RE: chowser Dec 1, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                                                        Lipstick... they don't want to mess up their lipstick.

                                                                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                                                                          chowser RE: mcf Dec 1, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                                                          I know but really? Enjoy your food and fix your lipstick later. Function over form. But, maybe that's why they didn't call me to be on Housewives of DC.;-)

                                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                                            mcf RE: chowser Dec 1, 2011 06:20 PM

                                                                                                            Yeah, I'm sure that's why. Count your blessings. ;-)

                                                                                                        2. re: chowser
                                                                                                          2
                                                                                                          2roadsdiverge RE: chowser Dec 4, 2011 08:03 PM

                                                                                                          Top Chef and Real Housewives are produced by two entirely separate companies. So even though they are both on Bravo it is unlikely that there would be any kind of crossover.

                                                                                                          1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                                            Ruth Lafler RE: 2roadsdiverge Dec 4, 2011 10:35 PM

                                                                                                            Except, of course, for the crossover with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Top Chef Just Desserts!

                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                              chowser RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 5, 2011 04:33 AM

                                                                                                              Exactly. It's happened more than once.

                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 5, 2011 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                didn't some housewives also make fools of themselves as guest judges in an episode of Top Chef Masters?

                                                                                                                Edit: oops, huiray already covered that below:
                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8206...

                                                                                                              2. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                                                chicgail RE: 2roadsdiverge Dec 5, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                it has nothing to do with the Production Companies. It is the network cross-promoting it's products.

                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                  bobbert RE: chicgail Dec 5, 2011 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                  I can't imagine for the life of me that the network would lower itself into becoming some kind of promotion whore or that they would use those chefs to carry out their plans. After all that the chefs go through? Entire days of driving around in Toyota products to shop at Whole Foods and then all the cooking using their GE Monogram appliances. It would be downright shameless to exploit them in such a manner.

                                                                                                                  1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: bobbert Dec 5, 2011 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                    I can't imagine for the life of me that the network would lower itself into becoming some kind of promotion whore or that they would use those chefs to carry out their plans.
                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                    perish the thought! Top Chef is serious business, and a truly philanthropic project. they really just want to help one deserving chef make their culinary dreams a reality by awarding them $125,000...furnished by Healthy Choice, of course. there's no way the network would engage in something like shameless self-promotion that could potentially sully their pure intentions.

                                                                                                                    now if you'll excuse me, i'm off to Whole Foods in my Toyota Siena because i need more Glad bags to store the leftovers from the Food & Wine recipe i cooked for dinner tonight in my GE Monogram oven using Uncle Ben's rice and Swanson broth (the leftovers will be a great side dish for the Healthy Choice meal i'm having for lunch tomorrow)...and i'd like to get everything put away now so i can watch the Real Housewives and Millionaire Matchmaker.

                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                      huiray RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 5, 2011 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                      GOOD ONE.

                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                                                        ratgirlagogo RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 6, 2011 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                        What!!??!! You mean you're not going to be making a desert using Quaker Oats and Diet Dr. Pepper???

                                                                                                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: ratgirlagogo Dec 7, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                          that was last week, and it was actually breakfast - pan-seared oatmeal with a Dr Pepper syrup.

                                                                                                                          tonight i'm making a risotto dish with scallops & curry foam, garnished with toasted corn nuts that i grabbed while standing in line at the gas station earlier today. pouring Terlato Family Vineyards wine to go with it.

                                                                                                                    2. re: chicgail
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                                                                                                                      momjamin RE: chicgail Dec 5, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                      Also, a cheftestant (Brian of the hats?) appeared on an episode of Real Housewives, catering a dinner party, IIRC.

                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                        mcf RE: momjamin Dec 5, 2011 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                        So did Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.

                                                                                                                2. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                  susancinsf RE: momjamin Dec 1, 2011 06:09 AM

                                                                                                                  come to think of it, as they were walking up to the houses, didn't they show a brief clip where one of the chef contestants actually said something to the effect, 'these look straight out of what you would see on Real Housewives'. I always forget both are Bravo since I never watch the later. Not sure how I could forget with all the ads, however, but I try. :-)

                                                                                                                3. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                  janetofreno RE: susancinsf Dec 1, 2011 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                  I also heard "Haitian" so don't feel bad. I thought "huh?" I am glad it wasn't just me....yesterday was the first day in our new office since moving over the weekend...and it was a doozy of a day (no phones or internet; trying to do business via cell phone, looking for stuff all day long, etc...) so I blamed my hearing that on sheer exhaustion...

                                                                                                                  I felt like the entire progessive dinner thing was just an excuse to show off how the 1 percent live in Texas...very boring to me. Actually, it might have been a silly quickfire challenge but to me it was much more interesting.

                                                                                                                  1. re: janetofreno
                                                                                                                    John E. RE: janetofreno Dec 1, 2011 09:54 PM

                                                                                                                    They didn't appear to be in the 1 percent category, maybe 2 or 3 percent however.

                                                                                                                    1. re: janetofreno
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                                                                                                                      momjamin RE: janetofreno Dec 2, 2011 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                      Well, the progressive dinner (which is a concept I'm familiar with, having grown up in the south) was also a way to spread out the chefs to have room for them in the kitchens. Given you want them cook in homes, then progressive dinner + oversize kitchens and other rooms makes sense from a production point of view.

                                                                                                                    2. re: susancinsf
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                                                                                                                      dondcook RE: susancinsf Dec 2, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                      I thought they said Katy a town/city down by Houston.

                                                                                                                    3. C. Hamster RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                      The best part of the episode was the delicious ridiculousness of those Highland Park people. Really ?

                                                                                                                      The worst part of it was contemplating eating that vile "cigar.". Really?

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                        chowser RE: C. Hamster Dec 1, 2011 05:44 AM

                                                                                                                        It would have been tempting to make something they had to dig their fingers into, like ethiopian food, to see them do it, even if it meant going home!

                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser
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                                                                                                                          lawgirl3278 RE: chowser Dec 1, 2011 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                          The housewives were terrible. I can't remember who made the salad (Whitney?), and I said, "She spent all that time just to make a salad, but I bet the blond toothpicks would love it." Sure enough, they were fans. They probably eat, sleep and breathe salads.

                                                                                                                      2. xo_kizzy_xo RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                        My take on this episode? Meh.

                                                                                                                        I'm not a "Real Housewives Of Whatever" fan, but to be shown that particular way of life, to me, is an anthropological study. Oh, the theories one can conjure :D

                                                                                                                        I want to hold off until I've watched a few more episodes, but I'm starting to think the producers are stretching for ECs -- yes, Texas is BIG, Texas has lots of cities, Texas has ranches, Hispanic history, etc., but I'm wondering how much you can actually milk from all that. Do you know what I mean?

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: xo_kizzy_xo
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                                                                                                                          momjamin RE: xo_kizzy_xo Dec 1, 2011 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                          It's funny, because in other cities we've complained that they didn't showcase the local stuff enough. Maybe it's just these first couple episodes, then they'll throw in some more locale-independent challenges.

                                                                                                                          1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                            xo_kizzy_xo RE: momjamin Dec 1, 2011 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                            Hopefully that's the case.

                                                                                                                        2. mariacarmen RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                                                                                          This episode was annoying because of the Real Bimbos aspect - such vacuousness! you could just see how hard it was for the TC judges to try to conduct real conversations with those people. I didn't like this episode much, EXCEPT that it was good to have them all doing individual dishes instead of being part of a team. The thing we like about the LCK is that the chefs are given the exact same challenge with the exact same ingredients and it's really an even challenge. That would probably be a bit boring if that's all they did all season but i think it really showcases their talents/skills.

                                                                                                                          I was sorry to see Chuy go, and i thought his excuse at judge's table was just that - a lame excuse. He didn't say that he purposely left the salmon in longer so that the cheese would melt when he first noticed that the corn husks were browned - that line made him sound like he didn't understand his own dish. I thought he would last longer.

                                                                                                                          As for Chris looking for fresh corn - who in this day - ESPECIALLY chef - doesn't know that most corn fields aren't planted for people to eat fresh? (as opposed to feed or to make into HFCS)? Didn't he see King Corn?

                                                                                                                          49 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                            C. Hamster RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                            I thought the same thing about the corn ... what kind of idiot thinks that?

                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                              mcf RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 07:56 AM

                                                                                                                              Why all the hating on the Dallas women? They were shallow, vacuous and annoying, but so were their men!

                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                C. Hamster RE: mcf Dec 1, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                Yes. They deserve each other.

                                                                                                                                We deserve their kitchens.

                                                                                                                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                  mcf RE: C. Hamster Dec 1, 2011 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                  I'm with you...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: C. Hamster Dec 1, 2011 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                    +2.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
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                                                                                                                                      momjamin RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                      Oh yes. As I commented on skilletdoux, nothing tempts me to discontent like 800 sq ft kitchens with top of the line counters and appliances for people who don't enjoy cooking and eating.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: momjamin Dec 1, 2011 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                        "But honey, we simply MUST get the Italian marble for the counter - just THINK of the resale! Yes, I *know* I don't bake bread, silly - that's what the bakery is for! But it's what *everyone* says we just *must* have, so I want it!"

                                                                                                                                        or

                                                                                                                                        "Oh that 6-burner Wolf stove? Isn't it just gorgeous? How do we clean it? Haven't had a need to - we don't use it! But if you want to while you're housesitting while we're in the Bahamas, make sure you take the instruction booklet out of the oven, OK? Mary Sue's caterer turned on her oven without checking, and it's taken them simply *forever* to get the smoke smell out of everything!"

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
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                                                                                                                                          soupkitten RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                          bwahahahahahaha.......ha...............ha.................*sob*

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                            huiray RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                            My understanding is that there really are places/folks just like you describe in certain locales all over and not just in Dallas. ;-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: huiray Dec 1, 2011 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                              I never said there weren't, huiray. They are a stereotype, for sure, but they EXIST! The previous owner of my townhouse *never* cooked - my oven was spotless when I bought the place - and she kept crackers and bread in the overhead microwave.

                                                                                                                                              Let's just say I'll have to figure out how to use the self-cleaning gizmo on my oven pretty soon. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                huiray RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                Indeed they do, as your own experience indicates.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit
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                                                                                                                                              momjamin RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                              *snort* But seriously -- do you think both of those ovens had ever been used simultaneously before? ;-) I went to a meeting at a home in my town when the host had just finished her beautiful kitchen/family room re-do. We all oohed and aahed, and I looked around carefully and said, as tactfully as possible, "Um, do you cook?" (The Trader Joe's snacks were yummy, though ;-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: momjamin Dec 1, 2011 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                Well, if her personal chef had anything to say about it, I would say "yes!" to the use of both ovens at the same time. Just not by the Dallas homeowners. :-)

                                                                                                                                                And LOL on the Trader Joe's snacks. :-)

                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                chicgail RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                LOL!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: C. Hamster
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                                                                                                                                            linus RE: C. Hamster Dec 1, 2011 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                            what have i done to deserve those horrific and tasteless looking kitchens? ugly is a strong word, but...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: linus
                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen RE: linus Dec 1, 2011 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                                              i agree, besides the size of them, and that they had good equipment, to me they were kinda tacky looking.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                It's the EQUIPMENT and SPACE I wanted. I've already got the granite countertop. :-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
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                                                                                                                                                  linus RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                  if i'm being honest, i didn't notice whether or not the equipment was any good, except for the glass front fridge i thought was pretty trick.
                                                                                                                                                  i was too busy throwing up looking at the aesthetic choices. oddly, when i looked at what i'd done, was a perfect match.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linus
                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen RE: linus Dec 1, 2011 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                    ahahaha - yep.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linus
                                                                                                                                                      NellyNel RE: linus Dec 6, 2011 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                      LOL!!
                                                                                                                                                      +1

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                      chowser RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, for the most part, kitchens like that are about aesthetics and not functional. I've seen some done where they put that massive island in the middle of the work triangle. Let's put it this way--I've yet to see a huge McMansion kitchen that is functional. The best kitchens I've seen are ones where they were remodeled by people who love to cook.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen RE: mcf Dec 1, 2011 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                  yes, you're absolutely right. equally so. Himbos.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 08:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                  The kitchens in those Highland Park homes looked fabulous. I wonder how many of the homeowners featured in this episode know how to cook? Did you notice one of the women mentioned that she would tell her caterer to serve one of the apps (was it the artichoke?). I have read comments from realtors that frequently with homes/lifestyles such as that seen in this episode the kitchens mostly get used by personal chefs and caterers.

                                                                                                                                                  I don't begrudge these people for their money or their homes, with the exception of their kitchens.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: John E. Dec 1, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I doubt any of them cook. As you said, they have the help do that, I'm sure. This *is* Highland Park, after all. :-)

                                                                                                                                                    These people very much reminded me of where I grew up in northern NJ...there was an "old money" area of town - gorgeous, stately houses, often inherited money in the family, but not often flaunted. And then there was a "new money" - some pretty ugly monstrosity houses (built in the 70s), the precursor to today's McMansions. The families tended to flaunt their money with their houses, their cars, their clothes, similar to the Real Housewives. The two groups rarely, if ever, mixed. As you said, John, I didn't begrudge them their money but I *did* dislike the way they treated people once they *got* that money.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
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                                                                                                                                                      HollyDolly RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                      You're right about that.Old money types like you describe rarely mix with the noveau riche,like these bimbos.And yes, some of them are down right rude,etc.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                        roxlet RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                        When I was in graduate school, I worked as a cook for John D. Rockefeller's daughter. She drove an old station wagon to their place in Pocantico Hills, and the boys all had patches on their pants. The boys would talk about how rich their classmates who were dropped off at school by limos were, lol.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                          huiray RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Heh. How would you classify Upper Mountain Ave. in Montclair?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: huiray Dec 1, 2011 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                            That general area was where I went to Katharine Gibbs back in the 70s...and I'd call that "old money", IIRC.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
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                                                                                                                                                              momjamin RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                              And by "Katharine Gibbs" you mean "training camp for Top Chef Recap Season", right? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: momjamin Dec 1, 2011 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Typing speed upon graduation - somewhere around 102wpm, IIRC. So yes. :-)

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                huiray RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, that seems right. Mind you, when I worked and lived around those parts one heard jokes about Mafioso there...with their financial resources aplenty...and headless bodies buried in the backyards. Good for a chuckle or two. That iris garden down a bit from Montclair State was wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: John E.
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                                                                                                                                                            niccole RE: John E. Dec 1, 2011 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                            * Those people were pretty obnoxious but they had the other walk of life with the girl's 15th b-day party.

                                                                                                                                                            that family was REAL. last nights couples made me cringe. they were so awful.

                                                                                                                                                            * come to think of it, as they were walking up to the houses, didn't they show a brief clip where one of the chef contestants actually said something to the effect, 'these look straight out of what you would see on Real Housewives'. I always forget both are Bravo since I never watch the later. Not sure how I could forget with all the ads, however, but I try. :-)

                                                                                                                                                            he was talking about deperate housewives & wisteria lane

                                                                                                                                                            i really like paul, so glad he won. does anyone else think he reminds you of dale? im also liking ed, whitney, and dakota too. edna bugs the sh*t out of me...

                                                                                                                                                            what happened to emerill?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: niccole
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                                                                                                                                                              dmjordan RE: niccole Dec 1, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Who's Edna? Are you thinking of the woman on Survivor?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                                                                                                w
                                                                                                                                                                Worldwide Diner RE: dmjordan Dec 1, 2011 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                LOL....Edna is on Survivor, she must've meant Beverly.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner
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                                                                                                                                                                  niccole RE: Worldwide Diner Dec 2, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  hahahaha YES beverly! i hate edna from survivor too :)

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: John E. Dec 1, 2011 01:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Did you notice one of the women mentioned that she would tell her caterer to serve one of the apps (was it the artichoke?).
                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                              it was Beverly's scallop dish. the wife said she'd ask her to come back and cook it for a dinner party.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                              susancinsf RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                              So, for mariacarmen, again on the corn: I really don't get your last comment: re: the percentage of corn that is planted for feed corn vs planted to be eaten fresh, so what if it is very high? I live around corn fields and I know that some of the fields within a few miles of my house produce corn that is delicious and that I've often eaten. Climate here in the summer is as hot as Dallas, though granted not as humid. and yes, we have a lot of ranches here too, and a lot of cattle, so presumably we also grow feed corn around here.

                                                                                                                                                              So, even if it is a small amount, SOME corn is planted for human consumption, presumably even in Texas. Why wouldn't it be worth the shot to at least check if there was something fresh worth using in the area? The likelihood of payoff may be low, but doesn't that just increase the potential if it turned out he could use it? Is he an idiot or was he taking initiative and trying to think outside the box?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: susancinsf Dec 1, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Susan, I don't think he's an idiot, but just *looking* at the brown, dead cornstalks, I can't see how anyone would think it would be good, even if it were sweet corn vs. feed corn. And they ARE in cattle country.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen RE: susancinsf Dec 1, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  knowing that the percentage is high of planted for feed vs. planted to be eaten fresh, It would have been worth it for him to taste it before he used it, wasting his time, finding it was dry after the fact and having to throw it away. i admit, i'm a total city person, but I thought that the corn that is not grown for human consumption can be readily identified as such by its lack of taste. running out to grab some of the corn didn't make him an idiot (which i never said he was, anyway, that was your word) but not tasting it first was poor judgment and a waste of his time. i know certain things get sweeter if you cook them, but i would think you'd be able to tell if something was really not going to be edible. maybe i'm wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                    LurkerDan RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, tasting it first would have told him whether it would be edible or not.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                      huiray RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I thought Chris J.'s comment "Fresh is always better..." was both untrue (in a general sense) and weird with specific regard to the (obviously) dried corn in the fields...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                        susancinsf RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        the idiot was not my word, it was c. hamster's responding to your post. My apologies for not making it clear that I was responding to both of you. I do agree that he could have tasted it, and should have been able to realize at that point that it wasn't usable, but I stand by my point: I give him props for being the only one to at least try to use something from the surrounding fields. Several posters here seem to be making fun of him (talking about city mice vs country mice, and the like) for even trying, whereas I thought it showed initiative.

                                                                                                                                                                        Linda mentioned cattle country, FWIW, and I think I said this in my prior post, I live in an area that has both cattle *and* sweet corn (along with field corn also).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                          soupkitten RE: susancinsf Dec 1, 2011 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          i used the country mouse city mouse ref. i was joking, but i think it is valid to think that some chefs know what their ingredients look like in their most whole, fresh state, and some do not. just as some are accustomed to breaking down whole animals or primals, and some get out a box cutter and open a case of cryovec-ed steaks.... some open the oyster or fillet a fish proficiently, and then you have others who open a can or hit a defrost setting on a microwave. maybe the other chefs didn't go running into the depths of a field of feed corn, in the midst of a field corn monoculture. . . because they recognized what it was.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                        Siun RE: susancinsf Dec 3, 2011 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        What people are missing in their rush to diss Moto Chris is that Moto's whole approach thrives on experimenting and play. Watch Future Foods on the Green Network or on YouTube... Watch the Moto Iron Chef episode... They will try almost anything to see if it works ... And that's what Chris did. It's a wonderful exploratory way of engaging with food and often, as in the dinner I had at Moto, pays off in both a spectacularly tasty meal and nonstop grins. And btw, they served a cigar dish when we ate there and while I found it heavy and just took a bite since we were on a later course of the Grand Tour Moto, my two gentleman dining companions loved it ...really loved it. Chris saw cigar paraphenalia in the house and made a dish to amuse one the husbands ...who apparently don't have enough wit to enjoy the joke.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                        Shrinkrap RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        "who in this day - ESPECIALLY chef - doesn't know that most corn fields aren't planted for people to eat fresh?"

                                                                                                                                                                        Err.....I didn't know, and I live within about 5 miles of being SURROUNDED by cornfields in N. Cal. And I buy corn to eat from the them at the farmers market, and at the little stands they set up

                                                                                                                                                                        Hmmm...well I'm originally from Brooklyn, so....

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                          iL Divo RE: Shrinkrap Dec 1, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          with you shrink

                                                                                                                                                                          living in aggieville (food growing land) we often times stop at stands for "pick your own corn" or produce. those fields did look dismal tho.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                                            Shrinkrap RE: iL Divo Dec 1, 2011 06:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Wait till you hear my strip mall skills!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: Shrinkrap Dec 1, 2011 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            ok, you're right - it's my viewpoint living in a city, having been raised in another city, and never having lived near cornfields. i just thought that information was widespread, especially with all the press out there about HFCS.

                                                                                                                                                                            i certainly wasn't saying there are NO cornfields that produce fresh corn for human consumption. i've seen roadside stands as well, and of course i've always assumed those were fit for people to eat, and not for feed lots.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen RE: mariacarmen Dec 1, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              i just watched it again. corn-boy actually DOES taste the corn before he cooks it, realizes it's too dry, and says he's going to make popcorn or something out of it. then later realizes he can't use it at all, throws it out.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Xericx RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Such a creepy vibe from the hosts. It was interesting to see the taste of McMansion suburban hell types with money versus food critics, etc...a pretty accurate reflection of how America probably really is culinary-wise, otherwise the Cheesecake Factory and Olive Garden would be out of business.

                                                                                                                                                                          The food itself seemed really horrible and uninspired. The judges seemed pretty disappointed with the food.

                                                                                                                                                                          The tension was palpable in the room. Is "getting margaritas" code for swapping wives? Just got a weird vibe from them like that.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Xericx
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                                                                                                                                                                            jeanmarieok RE: Xericx Dec 1, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            LOL on the 'getting margaritas' thought. It hit me that he thought he was being 'cool'. I thought it was an odd choice to follow a big dinner like that.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jeanmarieok
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                                                                                                                                                                              ultramagnetic RE: jeanmarieok Dec 1, 2011 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Just another example of the level of sophistication that the hosts have.

                                                                                                                                                                              moto mentioned earlier in the thread that some of the chefs seemed naive and inexperienced and didn't focus on plating and appearance of the dishes for these people. I remember one of the chefs saying something along the lines of being surrounded by so much elegance. I shouldn't be surprised that some of the chefs, like many people in society, confuse money and appearances for true style, grace and depth.

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                                                                                                                                                                            DougRisk RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I don't really disagree with what anyone is saying about the "Real Housewives (and Husbands)" of Highland Park, but, something bothers me about people like Tom Colicchio *choosing* to have these people host a challenge and then making those faces as he ate with them.

                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, they may have been vacuous and vapid, but they seemed gracious enough. And I know that some will say, "Well, it was the producers that chose these people, not Tom and Co.", which might very well be true, but he could:
                                                                                                                                                                            1.) Definitely throw his weight around to get something a little bit more culinary, or
                                                                                                                                                                            2.) At the very least, be a polite guest (Gale seemed to do her best in that manner)

                                                                                                                                                                            But, sticking with the first point, he (and the others) had to know that this was not going to be a great place for getting the most (or much) out of the chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                            I am going off on a different point here, but, I guess that, as a fan, I get disappointed when they so often put otherwise talented people in a situation where they can't seem to spread their wings at all. I understand that it is a series of competitions that challenge them in sometimes unorthodox ways, I completely understand, but progressive dinner parties for vapid people is a sure fire miss. Th Quick Fires are one thing, but this is something else entirely.

                                                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DougRisk
                                                                                                                                                                              Xericx RE: DougRisk Dec 1, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I think if I were there, I would have done an upscale take on a blooming onion and see how'd they would like it.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DougRisk
                                                                                                                                                                                LurkerDan RE: DougRisk Dec 1, 2011 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                On his blog, Tom explained his grumpy manner as being due to needing back surgery at the time and having to walk between the homes and sit for so long too.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                                                  DougRisk RE: LurkerDan Dec 1, 2011 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I was not referring to his grumpiness. It was that look(s) he gave.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DougRisk
                                                                                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                                                                                    californiabeerandpizza RE: DougRisk Dec 1, 2011 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I like this season but tend to agree with most of the comments about The Real Housewives of Dallas segment. I think the talent is there and I've enjoyed watching what they come up with. My sleeper pick is Dakota. She seems solid all the way around and can knock out an awesome dessert when she has to.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: californiabeerandpizza
                                                                                                                                                                                      Shrinkrap RE: californiabeerandpizza Dec 1, 2011 01:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Was Dakota the one who said "I did not come here to make desserts"? What do you think she meant by that?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: Shrinkrap Dec 1, 2011 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        She's had to make dessert in two of the three challenges so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                          Shrinkrap RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I see. I sometimes get the impression that making dessert does not display the skills these folks want to display. Is that true?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: Shrinkrap Dec 1, 2011 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            They do need to be able to pull off a few desserts, especially if they make it to the finale, but it's usually not their forté, as it's a completely different animal from cooking, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Shrinkrap Dec 1, 2011 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          she also got stuck making the cake for the Quinceanera...and the judges said that if she hadn't been on the winning team for that challenge she would have been in the bottom for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                            LurkerDan RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 1, 2011 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, she was on the losing team but had immunity (which is why she wasn't in the bottom). Of course, had she not had immunity she might not have volunteered to make the cake!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: LurkerDan Dec 1, 2011 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              oops! yes, right, thanks for the correction :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                                                                                                              californiabeerandpizza RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 1, 2011 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought she had the good cake in that episode. I guess batting .500 on desserts is still pretty good. I liked that the judges were more impressed with her dessert than she was. Typically it seems the chefs are wowed by their own creations while the judges are often times much less impressed. The ability to be self-critical may be beneficial on Top Chef as long as you don't freak out too much. Didn't she win a Quickfire too? Beer battered rattlesnake?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: californiabeerandpizza
                                                                                                                                                                                                huiray RE: californiabeerandpizza Dec 1, 2011 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                No, Heather's tres leches cake was the favored one, even if it was a leaning mess. Dakota's was "too colorful' and had too much icing/too sweet (per the Birthday Girl and the judges) and Hugh Acheson also mentions that Heather's cake seemed to have won in his blog. I remember one of the judges saying that if Dakota didn't have immunity she would have been standing at JT with the other losers from the Pink Team.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                d
                                                                                                                                                                                                dondcook RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 2, 2011 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I thought it was because she immunity. sorry this didn't go were I wanted and I didn't see the post that stated immunity.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: DougRisk
                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: DougRisk Dec 1, 2011 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            but we can't be sure that that look actually was a reaction to whatever remark one of the hosts made. it could easily have been a look regarding something else, or someone else - Padma, Gayle - and just edited to make it seem like he was dissing his hosts.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: DougRisk
                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                          FoodPopulist RE: DougRisk Dec 1, 2011 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think it was a sure-fire miss. I've been watching season 3 of Top Chef Masters and this is not that different from cooking for Maroon 5. It's basically a challenge of being a personal chef for a day. The client is different, but the concept is the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                          If anything, I think this challenge was simpler than I like. I'm not looking for food porn. I want there to be a degree of difficulty in the challenge. There wasn't a huge time pressure. You make a mistake by not understanding the audience or flat-out bad cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The missed opportunity was for some chef to say, "These people are idiots who need some education" and creating a dish that provides an opportunity for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                                                            DougRisk RE: FoodPopulist Dec 1, 2011 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            "... Maroon 5..."

                                                                                                                                                                                            Was that the one where they needed to cook on the RV? If it was, I was disappointed by that episode as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                            With that sentiment that I made up-thread, well, obviously I am only speaking for myself, but, I find the show so much more interesting when the chefs are given a real opportunity to make something great.

                                                                                                                                                                                            And this was not that.

                                                                                                                                                                                            For me, the episode had already failed before it even got off the ground. Top Chef has had their chefs cook many times for, what was basically, a dinner party in the past, but on this occasion (and I understand it was not the first) the guests (or hosts, depending on your POV) basically said, "Nothing too interesting...Nothing too culinary", and, like I said up-thread, I am not blaming them. They were likely being consistent with who they always were.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Let me reference an episode from many seasons ago in an attempt to clarify my point:

                                                                                                                                                                                            In something like season 3 or 4 of Top Chef, Tom was especially disappointed with the overall quality of the food. So, at the end of the episode, he declared that nobody would be going home and that they would have a double elimination in the next episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                            For that episode, he said that their would be no gimmicks, tricks, weird guests, or themes. They were simply challenged with making the best food they could.

                                                                                                                                                                                            At the end of the night, he had said it was the best food he had tasted (from that group) so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, I am not saying that they should just have an open challenge like that every episode, but when you so often put the chefs in these places where they (within the parameters of the challenge) can only do so much, well, I think that it is going to be disappointing.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4. j
                                                                                                                                                                                          jcattles RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Did anyone catch the frame where Chris C was putting the ice cream on the plate next to the cupcake? It looked to me like he was scooping from a store bought ice cream container. I haven't rewatched the episode but it looked like he had 2 quart size containers sitting beside the plates.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            soupkitten RE: jcattles Dec 1, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            yeah it looked like he was scooping from "talenti" brand gelato containters. (pint size), 2 kinds

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://talentigelato.com/Products/Rom...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                                                                              jcattles RE: soupkitten Dec 1, 2011 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yet, none of the judges (that we know of) commented on that fact? Of course they didn't like his dessert at so maybe it didn't matter. They blasted the chefs for using store bought tortillas but not store boughtt ice cream?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                soupkitten RE: jcattles Dec 1, 2011 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                i agree that it's lame, and it sounded like he also used store-bought candy bar pieces on his plate as well as several types of imperfect fresh fruit that were not "transformed" or cooked or enhanced in any way. he cooked the cupcake (i am now wondering if it was from a boxed mix or not LOL) but everything else on the plate was an exercise in assembling prepared foods. everyone else at least cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. w
                                                                                                                                                                                            Worldwide Diner RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            So Chris C said something about Besh is a handsome man. I guess he's an equal opportunity flatterer. And he lost 70 lbs over 2 years to become a pretty handsome man himself. I just wonder how many more people he's going to compliment this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                              Sandwich_Sister RE: Worldwide Diner Dec 3, 2011 06:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I think his massive weight loss is the reason he is like that. He sees the physical beauty in people whether it's John Besh's teeth or Padma's figure

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                                                                                                                                                Joanie RE: Sandwich_Sister Dec 3, 2011 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                He didn't seem *that* big to me from the photo they showed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen RE: Joanie Dec 3, 2011 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  no but 70 lbs is a big weight loss.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. ipsedixit RE: LindaWhit Dec 1, 2011 07:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Were some of those wives auditioning for Bravo's next season of "The Real Housewives of Dallas"?

                                                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                                                cowboyardee RE: ipsedixit Dec 1, 2011 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not sure if you're joking, but that's actually quite plausible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                  ipsedixit RE: cowboyardee Dec 1, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's only funny because there's a (significant) percentage of truth in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                                                                    bobbert RE: ipsedixit Dec 2, 2011 04:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bet it's around 90%

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                                                                      KailuaGirl RE: bobbert Dec 5, 2011 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      How grim! Could you imagine having to spend any amount of time with those people? They don't cook, probably don't read, don't have any decorating sense, and seem incredibly shallow. Just right for a Real Housewives spinoff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee
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                                                                                                                                                                                                    2roadsdiverge RE: cowboyardee Dec 4, 2011 08:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I mentioned this above, but it actually isn't that likely. The two shows have entirely different production companies. Magical Elves produces Top Chef, while Real Housewives is produced by Half Yard Productions. They probably wouldn't cross promote, even though they are both on Bravo

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                                                                                                                                      huiray RE: 2roadsdiverge Dec 4, 2011 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Top Chef Just Desserts had the Housewives of Beverly Hills on Episode 3 of Season 2. The EC was to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of Villa Blanca. They also chose the winning team.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Top Chef Masters had the Housewives of Orange County on Episode 3 Season 2 to judge the QF (Cocktails).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I seem to remember there were two casts of Housewives in one episode of an early season of Top Chef but don't remember which one and can't quite track it down at the moment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                                                                                                                                        chicgail RE: 2roadsdiverge Dec 5, 2011 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You are repeating yourself. And it is the network (which owns the shows) cross-promoting, not the production companies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler RE: chicgail Dec 5, 2011 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Right. Just because independent companies are doing the actual production doesn't mean that they aren't working with Bravo to cross-promote Bravo programming. Which they demonstrably are. After all, they're all "Bravolebrities"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          PS: Wasn't Jeff Lewis (Flipping Out -- production company "Authentic Entertainment") on an episode on one of the Top Chef productions? ETA: Yup: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1471986/

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                            r
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ratgirlagogo RE: chicgail Dec 6, 2011 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            They don't just cross-promote between the different Bravo shows, they also cross promote with the NBC shows, since NBC owns Bravo. Thus the cooking for Maroon 5 mentioned above, because Adam Levine was a judge on The Voice. Jimmy Fallon, Isaac Mizrahi, the Muppets, the Telemundo staffers, the Today show people, etc. - all these people were judges because they worked for some part of NBC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                                                                                                                                            mcf RE: 2roadsdiverge Dec 5, 2011 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you actually *seen* Bravo*? :-) They already have cross promoted between their franchises more than once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Joanie RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, tell us how you really feel Max from Eater.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "The theme of this week's Elimination Challenge is terrible, disgusting people. God. What a parade of rancid dogshit. The chefs will be cooking for a progressive dinner party in Highland Park, an extremely rich and equally tacky old money neighborhood in Dallas, Texas. It is called a progressive dinner party because you start at one couple's house for appetizers, move to another's for entrees, and finish at a third's for dessert. Your night gets progressively worse until you slam your eyeball down on one of the many pewter horse-shaped candlesticks and then fall dead onto a La-Z-Boy fainting couch. More like POOveau riche, am I right? I have no money and am desperate for it but these people make me hate it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://eater.com/archives/2011/12/01/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Joanie Dec 2, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i thought it was pretty darned funny, as always.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 2, 2011 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            that's his best one yet! i love CC wishing he had two boners....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            and this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Gail and Padma remind everyone they have breasts, as if Chris C. forgot."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            there are too many great lines in this one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
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                                                                                                                                                                                                              soupkitten RE: mariacarmen Dec 2, 2011 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              <<
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Each couple lays out their food preferences. Let me summarize. "I don't like spice, cilantro, colors besides pink, adventure, surprises, using my hands, messes, Catholics, new flavors, brown and/or disabled people, the middle class, gun control, bell peppers or social responsibility. I love gummy bears, bananas and beef.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                              LMAO

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                FoodPopulist RE: soupkitten Dec 2, 2011 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love almost all those things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Except gun control. But it's people like that who both make me hate gun control and make gun control a good idea.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DougRisk RE: soupkitten Dec 2, 2011 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "..gun control..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guarantee you those couples are in favor of Gun Control. They are fashionable, and simple, and their politics would reflect their style. Yes, I know its Texas, but I would bet a ton that they are in favor of Gun Control...and Catholics and people of Color...Wealthy people like that are very often in favor of immigration, that is how they get their "help".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DougRisk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John E. RE: DougRisk Dec 2, 2011 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You will have to come up with more to convince me that you are correct about their beliefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: mariacarmen Dec 2, 2011 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yeah, the boner line had me howling :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 2, 2011 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This *was* one of Max's better reviews. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 2, 2011 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had forgotten about Beverly asking if Dolly Parton was from Dallas. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I just broke out laughing at Max's comment about Edward letting his wife into his life: "Love is all about buckling under pressure and abandoning your principles due to sheer exhaustion. Take notes, ladies. Keep hammering away at your man. It may not seem like you are doing much, but it's like The Shawshank Redemption. You make a little bit of progress each day, then you take a walk in the yard and shake the crumbs of your man's remaining dignity out the bottom of your pant leg."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chowser RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2011 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And the follow up:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Ed asks Ty-Lor if he thinks that he will get a float in the gay pride parade if he wins Top Chef. Ed understands gay people and parades as much as he understands marriage."

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  momjamin RE: Joanie Dec 2, 2011 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Max sure makes Tom's eyerolls and smirks about the dinner hosts seem pretty genial, huh? ;-)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  FoodPopulist RE: LindaWhit Dec 2, 2011 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No LCK spoilers, but I am disappointed that Last Chance Kitchen didn't involve killing one of the Dallas people and preparing a nice soylent green-based meal paying homage to working class values that are the opposite of those obnoxious people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    scubadoo97 RE: FoodPopulist Dec 2, 2011 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LMFAO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gaffk RE: FoodPopulist Dec 2, 2011 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alas, I found LW's "And I thought the winner would be who it was." an LCK spoiler as I knew who she would think the winner should be. Then again, I am a degenerate reader of this thread before I view the episode, so I knew who was sent PYKAG'd before I saw LCK ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: gaffk Dec 2, 2011 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Damn....sorry about the reveal, gaffk! But we like degenerates here. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        moto RE: FoodPopulist Dec 2, 2011 05:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        an alternative preparation would be to remove and saute or poach parts of their brains a la Haniibal Lecter ; some of the 'organ donors' post op would show little change in functioning ability, so ingrained are their manners [Buñuel, "Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie"].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: moto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Phaedrus RE: moto Dec 2, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I knew I liked this bunch for a reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. huiray RE: LindaWhit Dec 3, 2011 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Review in the Houston Press:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowser RE: huiray Dec 3, 2011 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is a riot--rivals the Eater.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: huiray Dec 3, 2011 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "I'm baffled that Once Fat Chris and his bizarre cupcakes made it through, but maybe Besh thought it best that his potential stalker be well-occupied while Besh gets a new alarm system for his house and perhaps a bodyguard or two."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ha!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2011 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OK, I about lost it when I read: " The second hostess hates cilantro, too. And raspberries. *Raspberries*. "These people are high-maintenance," sighs Chuy. YEP. WELCOME TO DALLAS, ASSHOLES. The third hostess's husband wants Gummi Bears in his dessert, and also probably his mommy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And then the picture of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard with the caption "A Picard facepalm is equalled in intensity only by a Colicchio eye roll."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tee hee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              kubasd23 RE: huiray Dec 3, 2011 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just went back and read all of her reviews... hilarious!! Definitely adding it to my reading list! Thanks huiray :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Phaedrus RE: LindaWhit Dec 4, 2011 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't know how many of you have seen this thread, but I thought people here would enjoy reading and contributing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/821107

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tvmovielover RE: Phaedrus Dec 7, 2011 04:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                About the real kitchens of Highland Park: I have seen several that I would have killed to have and yes they are functional. They have to be otherwise how would the caterers warm up and/or cook the food they bring?

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