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Top Chef Texas - Ep. #6 - 12/07/11 (Spoilers)

The Queen of Mean and the King of Pain are going to featured on tonight's episode! At least, that's what the preview showed. Who are they? Well, you'll just have to watch/read to see, won't you? :-)

The episode starts off back at the TC House, everyone missing Chuy. Only 5 guys left vs. 8 women.

The next day, they show up at Le Cordon Bleu in Dallas, where Padma and Chef Dean Fearing are there to greet them. Paul went to school there, so everything is very familiar to him.

The Quickfire tests their skills as a saucier, the most prestigious position on the line in a kitchen, according to Chef Fearing. They draw knives that each have one of the five mother sauces: Veloute, Tomate, Espagnole, Hollandaise, and Bechamel. Their challenge is to make a dish that uses the sauce they drew, but one that is personalized. They have 1-1/2 hours to cook. Some of the dishes looked amazing!

The dishes that were in the bottom? Dakota, Nyesha, and Beverly.
The dishes in the top group? Grayson, Chris C., and Paul.

And the winner is? Grayson wins! She gets immunity in the Elimination Challenge.

The EC is all about steak - they'll work as one team creating a 4-course dinner for 200 guests at the Cattle Baron's Ball. Steaks need to be medium-rare when they hit the table, and steak must be included in at least two of the dishes. The Ball will be held at Southfork Ranch - the home of the the TV show, "Dallas". The winner will get a 2011 Toyota Venza - they get to drive them on the way to Whole Foods. But first, they have 30 minutes to plan their menu.

First course - Soup - Dakota, Beverly, Sarah
Second course - Appetizer - Edward, Chris J., and Paul
Third course - Entrée - Nyesha, Ty-Lor, Whitney & Chris C.
Fourth course - Dessert - Lindsay, Heather, and Grayson

Edward takes on the role of "Secretary" to keep everyone on track - but he's ticked off that Heather's taking * his* cake recipe and doing the same thing that she did at the Quinceañera.

They make a mess in Whole Foods, breaking bottles. They're back at the kitchen and have 3 hours to prep.

The first course soup will be a Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho. The second course app will be seared NY Strip Steak Carpaccio. The third course entrée will be steak with greens and a potato gratin. Then, the cake for dessert.

Heather notes that Beverly is in charge of one thing - shrimp. Three hours should be plenty of time to prep, but as a team, they're looking for her to do more. Whitney said she won't get her potato gratin in to cook tonight, and Edward is concerned. Meanwhile, Ty-Lor is digging out marrow with an oyster knife, and he cuts himself. The medic tells him he'll need stitches, but he said just to wrap the hand as he's not going to stop cooking. Time is up, and they all head back to the house except Ty-Lor, who heads to the hospital. Ty-Lor is in charge of the steak the next day - this could be a problem. He doesn't show back up until the next morning - the emergency room was very busy.

They all head off to the Southfork Ranch. It's going to a scorcher outside. Heather is doing a lot of organization, getting plates ready to be used for plating each course's dish. Whitney's had to remove the top layer of her potato gratin, as they were discolored. But Heather's also snarking about Beverly taking two full days to prepare the shrimp for poaching.

Tom Colicchio does his walk-through, and notes who's doing what for each course. The steaks that Ty-Lor is responsible for will be marked on the grill, and then finished in the oven. Somehow, Beverly gets all of the shrimp done as well. Ty-Lor's dealing with a buttload of charcoal Weber grills outside in the heat.

Hugh Acheson joins the judges, along with two women who head up the charity side of the Cattle Baron's Ball and the American Cancer Society. Hugh asks who was taking a leadership role in the kitchen, and Tom replies that yesterday Ed got the ball rolling, but Lindsay and Heather took the lead on the day of service.

The first course is a Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho, with Poached Shrimp and Avocado Mousse. Tom thinks they played it a bit safe, but other diners seem to like it.

The second course is a NY Strip Carpaccio with Heirloom Tomato and Asparagus Salad, a Candied Pistachio Vinaigrette, and Mushroom "bacon". Tom wasn't happy with it, but Dean Fearing liked the degree of doneness on the steak.

Meanwhile, when the 2nd course was being plated, Lindsay was nervous that the steaks needed to be started. Timing to serve this course is key - Edward flashed the steaks a bit too early, WAY too soon since the diners were still on the 2nd course. The course was served - a Grilled Rib Eye with Creamy Potato Gratin, Braised Greens and a Compound Butter. BIG problem - Dean Fearing did NOT get a medium rare steak. The potato gratin was undercooked, but they liked the compound butter and the sauce, both of which Nyesha made.

The last course of dessert is a "Right Side Up" Texas Peach Cake, Peach Salad, with a Candied Pecan Streusel. The judges mostly seem to like the dessert, the diners are split.

Service is over, and Ty-Lor feels he's done. Whitney wasn't happy with her potato gratin, and it seems both feel that they'll be at Judges Table.

In the Stew Room, Heather asks what went wrong with the steaks. Ty-Lor said he was responsible for the steak, but had only had 1 hour of sleep. In addition, Heather also called out Beverly about the fact that she only worked on just the shrimp.

Padma comes in and asks to see Nyesha, Heather, and Chris Jones. They're in the Top Group! Chris's steak carpaccio was perfectly done. Heather's dessert (the cake) was well done - light as a feather and very moist. Nyesha's butter saved the entrée. And the winner is Heather with her cake - she gets the 2011 Toyota Venza!

They head back into the Stew Room, and Heather said they want to see Ty-Lor, Whitney and Beverly. You also saw that Edward was visibly ticked that Heather won using his recipe.

Ty-Lor knows the steaks were overcooked when they went out. The Judges's plates were all over the map on the doneness of the steaks they received - everything from rare to medium-well done. Whitney's potato gratin was raw for many of the diners. Edward's salad that was under the Steak Carpaccio was just underwhelming. Edward said that no one wanted to step on anyone else's toes, but Hugh said that someone had to rise up and say that they've got a vision for that plate and it's going to be awesome....and no one did.

Back at JT, *none* of the Bottom Three were well liked. Hard to say who's going home based on what we heard from the judges, but I'm thinking it might be Whitney. Tom's overview highlights all of the faults of each dish, and then said that it wasn't hard to choose who was going home this time. Sure enough, it's Whitney.

Next week preview shows it's a double elimination, and the cheftestants have to judge the three dishes on the bottom!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now it's on to LCK! Whitney heads back to the TC house, and finds Tom's letter to meet him in the TC ktichen. This is when she finds out about her chance to stay in the competition. So it's Whitney vs Chuy...and their challenge is to create the Classic American Burger. Andrew, Keith and Richie are there to cheer them both on. Tom has them draw knives - Chuy gets ostrich, and Whitney gets elk. Both proteins are lean, so they'll have to make sure to keep it moist. Interesting questions and comments coming from the Peanut Gallery of A, K and R, almost as if they were judging! Sure enough, they get to try the burgers after Tom does, and he *does* ask their opinion. I know which burger *looked* better to me.

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  1. Anyone happen to know what species of animal crawled up Heather's back side and died there?

    99 Replies
    1. re: davis_sq_pro

      LOL! Hence, the Queen of Mean moniker she was given. :-)

      1. re: LindaWhit

        I dine at her restaurant frequently and kitchen is open and Chef Terhune is always in view with her crew - one reason I became such a fan of her restaurant when it opened was the obvious good spirit in her kitchen - it's clearly superbly run but also a genuinely happy team. Quite the opposite of any mean.

        And as someone else noted, I'm no pro but I could prep 400 shrimp in way less time. Beverly always seems to be only looking out for herself - thinking of that Whole Foods scene the other week for example ... Quite different from Chef Terhune getting her cake done and then stepping up to expedite.

        1. re: Siun

          Siun, I used the term given her by the Top Chef preview. That's it. I have no personal knowledge of what she is or isn't like.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I think Siun was just commenting on the discrepancy between how Heather appeared to be behaving on the episode and how she occurs in her restaurant (I've seen here there also). Elves at work?

            1. re: chicgail

              Those Rascally Elves and their Magical Editing Machines! They've NEVER edited to create a "character," have they? ;-)

              1. re: LindaWhit

                It's also possible that at her restaurant, there's a defined hierarchy that everyone operates in. Whereas on TC, there is none, and she has a tough time adjusting to behavior of others that she can't control because she isn't their boss.

                1. re: LurkerDan

                  Agreed - they don't take orders from her. It seems we have a lot of non-confrontational chefs so I think we will see that most of them end up ignoring her and her constant yapping. Whereas if Dale T. was in the mix it might be different atmosphere.

                  1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                    @ calibeer: I think it would be very entertaining indeed to have Dale Talde there having a face-down with Heather. :-)

                    1. re: huiray

                      Don't you remember Top Chef All-Stars? We saw a kinder and gentler Dale. He did not like what he saw on TC4 and went to anger management. The Dale Talde from TC4 would have been disqualified from TC8 for clocking Marcel Vigneron.

                      1. re: John E.

                        Yes, that's true. So...let's say it would be very entertaining to be able to see Season 4 Dale Talde on TC Texas!

                        1. re: John E.

                          I miss Dale T. haha, he was quite the character! He was great on TC All Stars and I think he got sent to PYKAG earlier than he should have.

                    2. re: LurkerDan

                      @ LD: Just what I was thinking. In Sable (her home restaurant) she's the Queen Bee. Everyone else says "How High, Ma'am" when she snaps "Jump" at them. On TC, all the chefs are supposed to be her equals and she can't order them around.

                      1. re: huiray

                        On TC, all the chefs are supposed to be her equals and she can't order them around.
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~
                        As much as she seems to want to do so.

                2. re: LindaWhit

                  No criticism of you meant Linda ... Really appreciate your recaps each week!

                  So often on TopChef we've seen group challenges where no one stepped up to get everything complete and served (thinking of the Dim Sum mess for example). I think real chefs step up and lead - Queen Bee's laze about (or just clean shrimp) and expect everyone else to pick up the slack in a team challenge. Expediters inevitably "order" people around - that's how the food gets served ... and of course elves love to create drama.

                  1. re: Siun

                    And sorry for my interpretation of your post, Siun.

                    The group challenges where no one steps up is exactly what Tom C noted on his Bravo blog. But there *is* a way to get people to do what you want them to do. I know in a restaurant kitchen, it's an autocracy, not democracy. I just think that Heather went about it the wrong way. I wonder what she'd do if Paul or Edward or Chris J. took the reins and started telling *her* what to do. Perhaps we'll get to see in a later episode.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Now *that* would be very informative!

                      1. re: mcf

                        Has the potential to make for a fascinating episode, doesn't it? :-)

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Bet (Paul/Edward/ChrisJ) taking the lead would have a different result than Beverly taking the lead...

            2. re: davis_sq_pro

              I didn't really understand how the work was split up. Some people seem to have very little to do. Beverly cooked some shrimp and that's it? Ed at least tried to help with the steak. How does 1 person cook 200 hundred steaks and serve them all at the same time? Why wouldn't they put more manpower on the steak?

              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                Agree - the division of labor seemed kind of lopsided and dumb in this particular challenge.

                Incidentally - I'm thinking that was exactly the kind of situation (200 steaks, one man, all at the same time, perfect consistency needed) that would have called for sous vide. Prep em all med rare. Chill em. Sear em on a bunch of super hot grills right before service to warm em up and get some nice char and smoky flavor. 200 steaks perfectly cooked.

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  Indeed.

                  I was shaking my head at the very notion of *one person* being responsible for sending out 200 steaks, *all* to be medium rare AND, presumably, equally warm, all at the same time. It sounded like it should have been a whole-team effort, with more than just one person manning the grills, more than one or two taking care of the finishing, etc. Many of them helped with the plating, but by then it was too late for the "done-ness" and temperature of the steaks.

                  I wonder if that was indeed taken into consideration by the judges in NOT sending Ty-Lör home, which I thought was a decent decision.

                  1. re: huiray

                    "I wonder if that was indeed taken into consideration by the judges in NOT sending Ty-Lör home, which I thought was a decent decision."
                    _______
                    I don't think Colicchio's blog is up yet, but I'd bet he'll say the exact same thing - Ty-lor messed up a big, hard job, whereas Whitney messed up a much easier one. I'm fairly sure that was a big part of the decision.

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      200 steaks is actually not a lot. they were all supposed to be done mmr, as opposed to different temps-- which would have been harder. the error was 1) actually having too many people with their hands on the steaks and overcooking them 2) in the bizarre choice to mark them and finish them in the oven, rather than just firing them all on a broiler. was there not a broiler in the kitchen?

                      this was a job for two broiler cooks and one assistant. four folks should have been enough to make the plates significantly more elaborate than their menu. ty worked as an exec in a steakhouse. injury or no, he should have taken the fraction second effort to press his finger down on the steaks on the plates being served to the judges to make sure the steaks weren't ruined. if ty didn't do it, ten other people were standing around who also should have.

                      1. re: soupkitten

                        200 steaks is plenty a lot for ONE cook when they're to be served simultaneously.

                        Surely that's why he didn't actually do them all by himself. The issue is that he took responsibility for them as though it were his job alone. Frankly, the way they did it, he had less control of the final doneness of the steaks than other cooks in the kitchen who bore no responsibility for cooking the steaks unevenly.

                        "the error was in... the bizarre choice to mark them and finish them in the oven, rather than just firing them all on a broiler. was there not a broiler in the kitchen?"
                        ________
                        I suspect the judges probably sort of understood that Ty-Lor wasn't personally the one who overcooked the steaks, but they (or at least Colicchio) thought he was justifiably in the bottom just for making the decision to cook them like that.

                        1. re: cowboyardee

                          right. if he/they cared how the steaks came out they would have done them to order on a broiler/grill, not let a wind oven overcook all the steaks on the edge of a sheet pan. cooking mmr steaks on a grill is bang bang bang 2 or 20 or 80. . . actually easier than burgers. if the chef has skill at execution, that is. they should have just done them straight up, and i believe the judges/tom said something to that effect. frustrating to watch.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            Tom C. did seem a bit surprised at Ty-Lor's explanation of how he was planning on cooking them during his pre-service walk-through.

                          2. re: soupkitten

                            the error was 1) actually having too many people with their hands on the steaks and overcooking them 2) in the bizarre choice to mark them and finish them in the oven, rather than just firing them all on a broiler. was there not a broiler in the kitchen?
                            ****
                            I never had a steak in Texas but for some reason, I expect them to be grilled and not broiled.

                            1. re: Worldwide Diner

                              grill/broiler same thing, broiler is indoors and fired by gas usually, occasionally hardwood or charcoal. i do not mean an overhead american broiler like in a home kitchen oven, i mean the broiler station, as in a pro kitchen where there is one person on an open 3' * 5'(+) grill doing the main proteins, another person does saute, another does salads, etc. it is an important position that takes some skill to keep the tickets straight. however cooking all steaks to same doneness is about as easy as you can ask for.

                              if you are referring to an outdoor grill, my apologies, WWD.

                          3. re: cowboyardee

                            That plus Ty-Lor had some steaks not med/rare but many were. Lindsay's dish was raw. Inedible always goes out first.

                            1. re: mcf

                              Yes, as soon as I heard that some of the potatoes in Lindsay's dish were raw, i knew she was a goner.

                          4. re: huiray

                            the judges seemed to think that it should not have been a problem to do all 200 steaks completely on the grill and get it right (though I am not totally sure as to whether they think 1 person should have been able to do it right that way)...

                            I am not sure sous vide would have been a good choice: wouldn't texture have been changed?

                            personally, I was happy with the decision; mostly because I think I could have done potatoes gratin for that many without undercooking with six hours of prep time (and I am no professional chef)....Whitney did not seem at all surprised to be leaving.

                            1. re: susancinsf

                              "I am not sure sous vide would have been a good choice: wouldn't texture have been changed?"
                              ________
                              Not unless you want it to. Common misconception.

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                so, how do you keep the texture from changing then? And how would you control the doneness?

                                1. re: susancinsf

                                  Sous vide cooking doesn't quite work the way you seem to think it does.

                                  You keep the texture from changing by not changing the texture. In other words, people associate sous vide with super tender meat not because sous vide inherently tenderizes meat but because cooks deliberately tenderize their meat while cooking it sous vide by cooking it long enough to break down connective tissue while maintaining a lot of moisture in the meat due to the low cooking temperature. You can think of this as braising at low temperature. it's a nice trick, but it's not the only way to cook sous vide. You can just cook a steak long enough to bring its center to the desired temperature (under an hour), chill the steaks a bit, then quickly grill em for flavor and presentation, but not long enough to bring the center up above your desired doneness. There will be no significant texture change. You can make the steaks nearly indistinguishable from steaks that were grilled to perfection. The upside of this, and why I suggested it, is it allows you to finish the steaks very quickly right at the time of service. It redistributes the workload so that more of the work of cooking the steaks can be done in advance, taking pressure off the cook at service time.

                                  "And how would you control the doneness?"
                                  ___________
                                  That's sort of the essence of what sous vide does. You decide what temperature you want your steaks cooked to. You then punch that temp into an immersion circulator. You then cook your steaks and drink a beer.

                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                    actually, I wasn't asking because I had a pre-conceived notion of how it works. II don't really know how it works. That is why I asked.

                                    I do know that whenever I've had sousvide cooked meat it has had a texture that I would describe as squishy. I like my steaks rare, but I don't like them squishy. However, it sounds like this is not necessarily inherent in the cooking process if your description is correct.

                                    That said, I suspect it is quite possible that the kitchen at South Fork did not have an immersion circulator.

                                    By the way, do immersion circulators ever fail? Can one really drink a beer and not worry that somehow the temp will be wrong because the mechanism failed?

                                    One reason that I think doing the steak completely on a grill (as opposed to partly sous vide, or partly in the oven, or partly whatever) is that (assuming one has enough staffing for the number of steaks) one can pretty much tell doneness by touch/feel alone. I certainly can, and I am no chef. I agree with those that commented that Ty should have touched the steaks to find one at the right temp for the judges. I also agree with those who thought it was a tougher job than the potatoes, so glad he gets to stay and cook some more...

                                    Edited to add: and yes, I know he was at the grill when the others were finishing the steaks, so yes, I also agree it was quite possible they threw him under the bus by not choosing the best ones for the judges. however, he took full responsibility because it was his idea to use the two step system, which did mean he gave up some of the control of the process. I appreciated that.

                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                      "actually, I wasn't asking because I had a pre-conceived notion of how it works. II don't really know how it works. That is why I asked."
                                      _______
                                      Ah.Sorry for assuming you were making assumptions.

                                      "I do know that whenever I've had sousvide cooked meat it has had a texture that I would describe as squishy/"
                                      _____________
                                      Beyond what I've already described, there are a couple other factors that lead people to think of sous vide cooked meats as super tender. For one, some cooks always cook meats to the point of pasteurization and often then a little more just to be safe. This is unnecessary when you are finishing on high temp (like a grill) the same day you cook the meat sous vide (and assuming you handle the meat well). But not everyone seems to know that, even pro cooks. So this leads to longer cooking times and meat that is a bit more tender, sometimes even a little grainy depending on the cut.

                                      The other factor, and a much bigger one, is that when sous vide is used as I suggest to mimic the effect of another method of cooking, a lot of places don't label the dish on their menu as cooked sous vide. You're likely to see the word 'sous vide' on the menu primarily when someone is trying for that 'squishy' and distinctive long-cooked texture. Many people eat sous vide-cooked foods at restaurants without knowing it at all except when the chef wants to draw attention to the technique.

                                      "By the way, do immersion circulators ever fail? Can one really drink a beer and not worry that somehow the temp will be wrong because the mechanism failed?"
                                      _________
                                      They fail just as ovens or microwaves can sometimes fail. In other words, rarely. It is wise to periodically check the accuracy of its thermometer using another high quality thermometer. Most are equipped with an alarm when something goes wrong (most commonly, the thing somehow gets knocked out of the water bath). But that wouldn't help if the whole machine just decided to suddenly give up the ghost. Still, most cooks wouldn't worry about leaving a bath unattended for a while once they are used to the technique and their equipment. It is normally very apparent if something has gone wrong in your absence.

                                      "That said, I suspect it is quite possible that the kitchen at South Fork did not have an immersion circulator."
                                      _______
                                      Yep. Quite possible. Who knows?

                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                        Good point that they don't necessarily always advertise the use of sous vide techniques, and yes, the times I've had meat identified as sous vide I definitely think the chef was trying to call my attention to it.

                                      2. re: susancinsf

                                        i had really wondered if someone had intentionally served the judges well done steaks in order to try to take ty out, too. i had deleted that from my comment last night because it was unclear where he was right at service or who touched the steaks last, but i really wonder.

                                      3. re: cowboyardee

                                        How many immersion circulators would that kitchen have?

                                        That might be a wieldy task to sous vide 200 staeaks.

                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                          Depends just as much on the size of the basins. I'm not 100% positive, but I believe that most professional ICs can handle a bath of around 30 liters. You can fit quite a few steaks in a bath that size. And with 6 hours, you probably even have time to do a few batches. But smaller basins holding under 10 liters seem to be more common.

                                          Anyway, like i said above, it's entirely possible that the kitchen just didn't have the equipment to cook sous vide on that scale or possibly to do sous vide at all.

                                  2. re: susancinsf

                                    The potatoes were an odd choice to prep a day before cooking...there were a couple comments about having time to cook them on day 2, but I was thinking, "won't they discolor, sitting raw overnight?" And I think Whitney even commented that some of them discolored, and she had to remove some/rebuild on day 2. Did anyone else catch this? I was kind of in and out of the room with cookie swap goodies in the oven...

                                    1. re: momjamin

                                      From my initial post: "They all head off to the Southfork Ranch. It's going to a scorcher outside. Heather is doing a lot of organization, getting plates ready to be used for plating each course's dish. Whitney's had to remove the top layer of her potato gratin, as they were discolored. But Heather's also snarking about Beverly taking two full days to prepare the shrimp for poaching."

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        Thanks -- I should have read more thoroughly! (I didn't make it here as early as I usually do ;-)

                                    2. re: susancinsf

                                      The elves made it clear to us that she could have cooked them the previous day but, she was insistent on cooking them the day of service. They were sliced so thin how could they have possible been undercooked with 3 hours of time?

                                      1. re: JAB

                                        the disadvantage of prepping but not cooking immediately after prep is the time lost getting things back to temperature after they've sat in the cooler. cooking in large quantities in big trays further slows the temperature/time curve. it appeared that she put her steel cooking pans right in the cooler filled with her spuds, so those pans also take longer before they will cook their contents.

                                        1. re: moto

                                          And then she had to peel off the top layers because they browned. Has she never made potatoes gratin before?

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            Plus, if she had cooked them the day before they wouldn't have browned and she wouldn't have wasted that time (putting on then peeling off) or the potatoes. Assembly does take time, but if she had managed to get it cooked the day ahead, she might not have gone home.

                                        2. re: JAB

                                          On his blog, Tom disagrees strongly with this. He congratulates Whitney's decision not to cook them a day in advance, as he says that potatoes are no good reheated the next day. His problem is with her cooking technique as a whole, not the decision to wait on cooking them till the day of service.

                                  3. re: Worldwide Diner

                                    Beverly prepped the shrimp and -- I believe -- made some kind of pickled watermelon. (At least, that's what Heather asked her about if I heard correctly.) She does seem to be a fairly slow worker for a pro. I think I could prep 400 shrimp (I assume it was 2 shrimp per bowl) much more quickly than she did and I have zero training.

                                    I don't think that marking the steaks on the grill is a huge amount of work. Probably can do it in batches of 15+ steaks at a time given that they had something like four grills going. A few minutes per side, turn, flip, turn, and that's that. Pop them in the oven at the right time, pull when ready. Had they not screwed up the timing of course...

                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                      The problem isn't quite in the amount of work he did. It's more that he took responsibility for the entirety of the steak cooking, even though other chefs were the ones who actually finished them in the oven. As far as I can tell, he didn't say that at the judge's table - he just said that he was in charge of the steaks. Which was a major part of the meal for one guy to be responsible for when there are 12 other chefs whose responsibilities are things like the shrimp in a soup or a salad that's not much more than a garnish.

                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                        "Probably can do it in batches of 15+ steaks at a time given that they had something like four grills going."

                                        "They" is the operative word. There was no "they" helping Ty-Lor with the grilling. Someone should have been there to help him. Not only would it have been a smart thing to do to for the challenge; He didn't have a Tiffani little bitty cut, he was severely injured and spent the entire night in the ER. He needed a bit of help on a personal level. Beverly and her shrimp were honestly pissing me off this episode while I watched Ty-Lor struggle.

                                        You are absolutely right. The timing was terrible, from the meat to the potatoes.

                                    2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                      I'm not exactly sure what Heather's problem is, but she seems to have an extreme animosity towards Beverly. In last week's episode she was giving Beverly a hard time for making a "big mess" and taking up a lot of space in the McMansion's kitchen. Then in this week's episode she not only called her out for being slow and not doing as much as she could in the elimination challenge, but also for only ever cooking "Asian"(during the quickfire). Now, I'm sure Beverly has her faults, but I think Heather seems to over bully her. I mean, Bev did get all her necessary components finished, and I don't think she's purposely trying to be a hindrance towards anyone else....and hey, if she wants to cook "Asian", let her cook Asian!
                                      Ok, I'm done. Can you tell Heather was really getting on my nerves today?

                                      1. re: yummfood

                                        the other chef with the heavy eye make-up called Heather a bully too...

                                        1. re: yummfood

                                          Heather is blunt and comes on strong, is clearly type A, but I think her issue with Beverly is what many of us have noted. Beverly is all about Beverly, has no apparent consideration of the others working around her. Heather, despite her abrasiveness, seems very aware of and committed to meeting the needs of the whole team. I think the issue with Beverly is about her self absorption.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            This is a competition -- Beverly is under no obligation to help other people. She did the job she was given, and she did it well (unlike Whitney). Heather just sounds like ... not a bully, exactly, but someone who thinks that other people are obligated to behave the way she thinks they should behave. It's not as if she asked Beverly to help with something else and Beverly refused.

                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                              Yeah I tend to agree. If you expect someone to do more than they have been assigned to and agreed to do, you should bring it up when you're assigning jobs, or at least ask politely but directly during the challenge. By saying nothing and then grumbling on camera and in the stew room about how awful Beverly is, rather than coming off as an effective leader, Heather just came off as mean-spirited and spiteful.

                                              And like you said, a competition is not a professional kitchen where it should be taken for granted that everyone will work as a team.

                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                Don't forget, we are only seeing what the producers wish us to see. By the way, had the dish with Beverly's shrimp been on the bottom the fact that she only did one thing and did not help in any other way is what gets chefs sent packing.

                                                  1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                    Yes, and if they have the losing dish, they frequently are sent home for not doing much.

                                                  2. re: John E.

                                                    If they had footage of Beverly refusing to help they would have used it -- it would have fueled the "drama." Helping is a two-edged sword: they've also critiqued people who worked on more than one thing and didn't do one (or both) of them well. In this case, Beverly was smart in focusing on her shrimp and making that as well she could -- in fact, the judges specifically said that the shrimp were cooked perfectly.

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      Agreed - also, they know Tom is going to bust them on any little thing, like a spec of dirt on a mushroom slice, so making sure every one of those shrimp was perfect probably added significantly to her one shrimp per minute pace. Those shrimp were in the spotlight, it wasn't like she was dumping fried shrimp on a plate at Sizzler.

                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                        I stand by my comment that the producers let us see what they choose for us to see. That is not necessarily specific to Beverly, but if I had to choose a side in that little drama I would agree with Heather that working for 2 days on shrimp is too slow.

                                                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      Beverly is under no obligation to help others, true, except in a team competition? Also, in the past, the issue has been that she's impeded the work of others by hogging space and equipment. If someone assumes a leadership role that needed to be taken (As Tom C characterized it) then yeah, a leader gets to decide how others should behave on the job.
                                                      She never got the chance to ask Beverly to help anywhere else; Beverly spent two days prepping shrimp.

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        Well, a link to the recipe is below. I think she did as much, or more, as the other two chefs she worked with.
                                                        http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                                        1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                          I'm not a big fan of Beverly's but i find it kind of strange that everyone is jumping on her for the shrimp dish when this recipe sure looks like she did more than just prep and poach shrimp all six hours.

                                                          Furthermore, no Asian in this dish. I think the criticism directed at Beverly in this episode by Heather and most of the posters on this thread is pretty unwarranted.

                                                          1. re: Jase

                                                            Also, if I remember correctly, the dish she had to repurpose out of their losing chili in the Rodeo episode didn't have any Asian flavors at all. It was also the judges' favorite out of the three who had to cook off against one another.

                                                            I don't love Beverly. I mean, I could definitely do without her constant crying and pushy-ness in the grocery stores, but I don't really understand all this hate she's getting from Heather and a lot of the viewers.

                                                            1. re: yummfood

                                                              Again - we're seeing what the Elves want us to see. We're not seeing a LOT of footage; we're not seeing how she acts on a daily/nightly basis in the TC house. These people are living with each other 24/7. That's going to grate on someone eventually. The editors realized they had a "conflict" between Heather and Beverly and are exploiting it. For all we know, there could be one between Edward and Paul; it's just not as "dramatic" and has been backburnered until something flares up.

                                                              Editing, editing, editing. The Elves are manipulating us into disliking Heather, Beverly, whoever, by editing them into "characters".

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                I think if there's any hint of drama, we'd see it, expounded, eg. if there were problems between Paul and Edward, we would know and we'd think it was much worst than it was. So, I'd guess there isn't a lot of tension between any of the contestants that we don't see. I agree that there is editing to make Beverly and Heather look worst and there are probably leading questions to get the other contestants to say something bad about both. But, there's no editing Beverly pushing herself to the front of the line at WF and demanding to be helped.

                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  EXACTLY. And it was that very moment of "I'm an important person and I'm going to get waited on first and I don't care if you've been here for 20 minutes before me" that turned the tables on Beverly for the audience.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    Closely followed by her taking up a lot of spread out work space that made the remaining space inadequate for others, and didn't she take over the stove or turn off someone else's pot to do her own thing once? And yeah, the crying, whining, and the meat counter are serious turnoffs.

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      It must be discombobulating - if not horrifying - for people on shows like this to see themselves as they get cut and spiced together to create a storyline in the broadcast version of their lives. Yeah, I know they gave permission and even volunteered to do this and that if they didn't say/do whatever they say or do it wouldn't be a problem, but what we see has all context removed and is designed to create a specific conflict that may or may not have been there to the extent we see it.

                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                        Beverly removed someone's blanching water from the back of the stove "because it wasn't being used." So yeah, the strikes against Beverly are many.

                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    I think to really enjoy the show we have to throw out the editing factor (while still considering all the drama with a grain of salt - I'm sure Heather isn't always a bully and Beverly isn't always crying). A friend of mine edits a Food Network show and often has to take 15 hours of filming and turn it into a 6 minute segment. He has producers who tell him what they'd "like" to see and goes from there. Obviously, the producers/editors are playing up the Heather/Beverly thing because we (the viewers) are into drama whether we want to admit it or not, as evidenced by the percentage of thread comments that have little to do with the actual cooking. It's part of what makes a good show. Really, for all we know, Heather and Beverly are secretly lovers and the two Moto guys really can't stand each other. In the end, we can either "trust" that they're showing us something close to what's really happening or we can question it all - from the interpersonal relationships to what's taking place at judges table. I find it easier to just go with the flow of the show and believe what the producers are showing me is a good representation of what's actually taking place. It just makes it easier for me to watch.

                                                                    1. re: bobbert

                                                                      "I find it easier to just go with the flow of the show and believe what the producers are showing me is a good representation of what's actually taking place. It just makes it easier for me to watch."
                                                                      ~~~~~~~~

                                                                      ^^^ That. But I'm still gonna talk about all the draaaaaamaaaahhhhhh! :-)

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Me too. I'm just not going to preface everything with "...well the producers are trying to...blah, blah, blah" That kinda ruins it for me.

                                                                      2. re: bobbert

                                                                        Out of curiosity, would you tell us which FN show your friend edits?

                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                          I just looked it up - it's actually a Travel Channel show. I don't feel real comfortable mentioning the name but it has a guy in it that travels around a lot and eats at a lot of different places. That should at least narrow it down a bit. The point is that I bet you we see maybe 2% of the video that's taken so there's a lot of editing and there's often a story line that the producers persue. Hence we get Heather and Beverly. If one of them goes home, they'll find something else to show - they probably have a list of several possible conflicts, love interests, etc on the drawing board.

                                                                          1. re: bobbert

                                                                            I understand. I used to be a writer/producer/audio guy for a weekly travelling type television show so I know a bit about the production aspect. I always try to figure out what it is that we are NOT seeing based on what it is we do see. What I do know is that these 60 minute 'reality' shows we are seeing have been edited together based on ALL of the footage and thngs that happened and not just based on what happened on a particular day or challenge. Stuff we have already seen is a setup for what we are yet to see.

                                                                    2. re: yummfood

                                                                      For all the knocks on Beverly, I'm a bit weary of people going on about "constant crying." She cried in one episode - the chili cook-off - and not before or since, that I can recall.

                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                        Well, she did also cry at the quincenera during the father and daughter dance.... But yea, I'm pretty indifferent towards her. Just not a huge fan of Heather, and Beverly seems to be her biggest victim.

                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                          she was crying in this last episode - talking to Ed about him being her hero, how she used to watch him cook. She's just a very emotional person, she cries at happy, sad, anger.... not a judgment, just a fact. (i can, annoyingly, be the same way.)

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                            I am not a fan of Beverly's. Regarding her crying jags, she is a breast feeding Mom. In one episode she asked what somebody did with her breast milk.

                                                                            So, I think hormone's may be in play a bit as far as her emotional state is concerned. It doesn't make it any easier to watch, though.

                                                                            1. re: Robinez

                                                                              Now see, I interpreted that "don't touch my breast milk" comment in the same vein I used to tell my roommates not to touch things I didn't want them to eat ('cause maybe I was taking them to an event). Neither of them liked coconut, so I would just say "that's got coconut." Not that it did -- it might have been honey mustard chicken or spaghetti and meatballs. Anyway, maybe there really was breast milk in the fridge/freezer, but the comment happened fast (and I didn't even think it was Beverly), that I had the impression it was a genial "hands off" kind of statement.

                                                                              (Anyone who watched it more than once is ahead of me, though -- and I tend to remember my impressions more than the literal words ;-)

                                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                                Beverly's sister wrote in a Korean-American publication that Beverly has a new baby and the contestants were given 24 hrs to get on a plane for Texas after they got the call.

                                                                                Apparently this batch of chefs were not allowed to contact their family during filming, so I can imagine the baby situation made that particular rule tough for her.

                                                                                I am not sure if she is freezing it or shipping it overnight, but I can also imagine that she is doing whatever she can for her baby without being there. Probably makes her feel a bit less guilty about being away.

                                                                                This is not to make excuses for her, I am tired of the crying too. The rodeo cry was the worst. Just letting you know what could be behind it.

                                                                              2. re: Robinez

                                                                                The hormone that's most in play while lactating is prolactin, the best feel good drug I've ever been on... seriously, that's what it does.

                                                                    3. re: mcf

                                                                      Re: her "impeding the work of others by hogging space".....wasn't that once again Heather that was doing the complaining about that? I don't remember them showing anybody else voicing any concerns. From what we're shown it just seems that Heather has a problem with Beverly for some reason.

                                                                      1. re: boingo2000

                                                                        Nyesha also complained about it.

                                                                        1. re: boingo2000

                                                                          Or Heather has a problem with selfish co-workers, non team players in general. I guess over time we'll see if Heather can be a team member under someone else's leadership and not get snarky. So far, though unpleasant in delivery, I find her points about Beverly to be pretty well founded.

                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                            In the previews for next week, it looks like Beverly and Heather are going to be each other's teammates, so I guess we can really see whether or not they can be team players! Aye yai yai, I smell drama.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              Selfish non-team members like herself who throws people under the bus at the first opportunity? Yeah, that's how you inspire people to follow you as a leader.

                                                                              Or taking someone else's recipe and not even giving token thanks? I have no love for Beverly but I find these attempts to defend Heather pretty laughable.

                                                                              1. re: Jase

                                                                                I'm not defending Heather as a personality, I find her obnoxious so far. I'm defending certain objections of hers that seem well founded to me.

                                                                        2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                          I haven't seen Beverly do anything wrong yet. Heather has been the only one complaining about her, and it seems that Heather has a grudge. Sure, Bev just made shrimp, but Heather just baked a cake (for the second time using a recipe she got from young Mr. Miyagi) and Nyesha just made a compound butter and a simple sauce.

                                                                          Since it seems to be a Top Chef rule that overcooked seafood sends you home, Beverly actually took a lot of risk to make sure all of those shrimp were cleaned and cooked properly.

                                                                          Queen of Mean is too good for Heather - she's a vindictive bitchy she-Shrek. I will applaud when her hypocrisy comes to light in front of the judges and she gets sent packing.

                                                                          1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                            "I haven't seen Beverly do anything wrong yet."
                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                            Umm, have you watched all the episodes?

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              Linda -

                                                                              I've watched them all, but perhaps I phrased that poorly. Has she cooked some dishes that fared poorly, sure, but so far most of the chefs have. I meant that as far as what Heather has been bitching about, I don't see the problem. Beverly wasn't using an inordinate amount of kitchen space in the Barbie's Dream Dinner-Party episode, I don't have a problem with her taking charge to get the products she needed at the grocery store, and as far as the crying goes , as long as she isn't crying into the dish she's about to serve who gives a rat's patooty.

                                                                              Heather's claim that Beverly was acting selfishly just really got my goat because Heather was the one to try to throw another chef under the bus in the first episode, Heather is the one consistently trying to get everyone to get their story straight so that it looks best for her in the stew room before judge's table each episode, and Heather was the one who cooked the same cake recipe for the second time (which she borrowed from another contestant) and whose poor expediting skills put Tylor on the chopping block. Beverly is just trying to cook the best dish she can each week, Heather is actively playing politics trying to shift any potential risk or blame away from herself.

                                                                              1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                You didn't see her remove someone else's blanching pot from the stove without asking, and then dismiss it when that person called her out on it. You didn't see her have 3 colanders taken from the TC supplies when she was only using one. You don't find it rude that she demanded service in front of everyone else in the store, including people who weren't on the show. Umm, OK. :-/ And no one but Heather has said anything about Beverly's actions? I'm pretty sure that's incorrect.

                                                                                I'm not saying Heather is innocent either. She's had her share of WTF moments. But Beverly has not stepped up to the plate either. At least Heather takes a leadership role.

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  "You didn't see her remove someone else's blanching pot from the stove without asking, and then dismiss it when that person called her out on it."
                                                                                  -------
                                                                                  That was Nyesha Arrington. She also complained about Beverly Kim in an "aside" to the camera.
                                                                                  @TT: It might be an idea to look at the episodes again.

                                                                                2. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                  "Heather was the one to try to throw another chef under the bus in the first episode, "
                                                                                  -------
                                                                                  1) You mean Episode 3.
                                                                                  2) That was Sarah Grueneberg (and Lindsay Autry), not Heather Terhune

                                                                              2. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                You've missed some episodes or scenes if you haven't seen anyone but Heather complain about Beverly.

                                                                      2. a very curious episode indeed. does the American Cancer Society there depend on the cattle barons because the diet/drugs of the cattle they raise and habitually consume increase the cancer rates in their subculture ?

                                                                        the 'chefs' seemed to be in a depressed state. three guys eliminated, the Moto sous chef, the Bayless protegee, and the gentle Carolina giant, if nothing else were good for the group chemistry. they were supposed to work as a group in sections, but the collaborative spirit seemed missing -- are they that traumatized already from standing in the losers' groups before the judges ? timing the entree steaks properly clearly required collaboration and collective effort, and the most elementary step would have been to establish how much time it took between the initial firing of the meat and completing its plating for service.

                                                                        rather pathetic that the cake won the car when beef was supposed to be the star of the meal -- the judges would be justified for not awarding any first prize.

                                                                        the set up for the last chance kitchen didn't appear to be fair -- they should either have to cook with the identical raw protein, or have several to choose between with a coin flip for first choice.

                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: moto

                                                                          Good point about not using the same protein in LCK, moto. But either way - both meats were lean, so there was that similarity.

                                                                          1. re: moto

                                                                            "rather pathetic that the cake won the car when beef was supposed to be the star of the meal -- the judges would be justified for not awarding any first prize."

                                                                            That's pretty much what I said to my family. She won for making cake in a steak competition. Either the cake was that good or the steaks were that bad.

                                                                            1. re: jcattles

                                                                              when nyesha was put into the winner's circle for: compound butter-------that really tells you something. like, the whole meal musta really been awful. compound butter is so basic and elementary it's like saying "nice bread crumb and parsley topping on that casserole, dude!"

                                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                While I don't really disagree, she was more highlighted for not making any mistakes. She made the compound butter, which, if I remember, involved incorporating Bone Marrow and a Wine Reduction into the butter. It is not the most complicated thing in the world, but you need to rinse and roast and clean a lot of bone marrow before incorporating them into the butter.

                                                                                Plus, she also made some sort of sauce that they enjoyed.

                                                                                1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                  from what the producers chose to show us, Nyesha didn't share credit for her compound butter with Ty, who cut himself badly prepping the marrow ; she could have helped someone who'd helped her gain the judges' kudos but apparently stayed mum.

                                                                                  1. re: moto

                                                                                    This is repetition of a point made already but we don't know whether Nyesha mentioned Ty-Lor at JT or not. The contestants are standing there for apparently hours while they shoot video and it is edited down to just a few comments.

                                                                                    1. re: moto

                                                                                      We also have no idea how much Ty-Lor helped before he was whisked away. Was he just scooping marrow and doing the prep stuff? Does every chef up there mention who helped w/ prep and plating when you're working as a team? Plus, they divided labor so she was left doing it all herself. It reminds me of when Jaime left because of her injury and Jen was left doing all the work they should have done together. Only Jen didn't fare well.

                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                        Except Ty-Lor wasn't whisked away. He had it bandaged and worked until prep time was up. Then he went to the ER.

                                                                            2. Well, the judges are starting to get pissed because the chefs have been playing not to lose vs. cooking to win. I think we're going to start to see people being sent home having cooked “good" food that is just not top chef material.

                                                                              I think this group is as close to a season of Survivor as I've ever seen. With a few exceptions, just about everyone is out for themselves and will throw others under the bus.

                                                                              The Heather/Beverly dynamic is interesting. I don't like Heather because I think she is not to be trusted. She's being a witch to Beverly BUT she's got a point in her assessment - I just think she could somehow communicate it a bit more tactfully. All Beverly did was shrimp - 6 hours to clean and poach 400 shrimp? Yeah, Heather's got a point.

                                                                              The most stand-up guy of the night was definitely Ty-Lor. I understand why he went with his cooking method although I'm not sure I would have done the same. He was also cooking on charcoal BBQ grills vs. a restaurant grill where you would have very even temps throughout your surface - I have trouble evenly cooking half a dozen hamburgers on a charcoal grill. With that in mind, marking the steaks on the grill and finishing in an even-temp oven might not have been a bad idea. As Cowboy points out up-thread, the problem with the steaks all coming out uneven really wasn't HIS fault - it was the fault of Lindsay and Heather - the two who were expediting - along with those helping to finish the steaks. They are the ones that really blew it. Ty took all the blame - I think almost all of the others would have been pointing fingers - he has my respect for not doing so although I believe he could have made a legit case for blaming others. Finally, 13 supposedly TOP chefs could not find 6 or 8 medium rare steaks to serve the judges??? Give me a break. Conspiracy against Ty to save themselves or just total incompetence? I'm not sure which but boy does that stink.

                                                                              In the end - raw potatoes. As Tom says, that was an easy one.

                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                              1. re: bobbert

                                                                                I was discussing this episode elsewhere, and somebody mentioned the "Survivor" tactic as to why s/he is not liking this season thus far. I can definitely see that, now that I think about it: When otherwise competent chefs are sent to LCK for errors that would have been perhaps overlooked in previous seasons, there's incentive to adopt a Survivor-type mindset.

                                                                                LCK = Redemption Island, TC style.

                                                                                1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                                                                                  BUT....those who are still in the competition have NO idea about Last Chance Kitchen. They think when they're gone, they're gone. Whereas the Survivors know about Redemption Island.

                                                                                2. re: bobbert

                                                                                  Finally, 13 supposedly TOP chefs could not find 6 or 8 medium rare steaks to serve the judges???
                                                                                  ***
                                                                                  Ty-Lor wasn't there to do the final plating. So the others were totally throwing him under the bus by not serving the medium rare steaks to the judges.

                                                                                  1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                    Exactly... and the guy is a class act for taking full responsibility when there were (many) others who had their dirty, guilty hands in there as well. Would Heather have done the same???

                                                                                  2. re: bobbert

                                                                                    I agree with your TyLor comments, I was surprised there was no mention of all the hands on the steak. And yes, could you not find properly cooked ones for the judges.

                                                                                    I'm not as put off by Heather's brusqueness as some others, she makes a valid point about Beverly (altho I agreed with B last week when she said they all made messes while cooking). I just don't like her that much for other reasons nor Lindsay the Martha Plimpton look alike. I was surprised about the cake comment cuz that cake seemed quite different from the 15 year old's party but was probably the same base.

                                                                                    The guest judge is probably some super great chef but he seemed like he should be on a Jimmy Dean sausage commercial to me.

                                                                                    I haven't watched any of the Last Chance Kitchens but do all the chefs hang around and watch subsequent cookoffs like that preview showed?

                                                                                    1. re: Joanie

                                                                                      no, that was the first time. seemed like added pressure, to me.

                                                                                      i agree about Tylor too - very honorable of him, and dishonorable of all the other chefs to not say they had a hand - or should have - with the steaks. I thought Lindsay, although she screwed up, was at least thinking for the team in believing the steaks should have been flashed (too early, turned out.)

                                                                                      1. re: Joanie

                                                                                        This was the first time they had the kicked off cheftestants watching the LCK cookoff, Joanie.

                                                                                        Perhaps the guys asked the producers to be able to watch, since they're just sitting around in their eviction house waiting for the filming to be over? Once you make it to LCK, there's no going back, so it's not like they'd be revealing anything to the TC cheftestants, since they (those still on the show) don't know anything about LCK until they're told to PYKAG.

                                                                                      2. re: bobbert

                                                                                        And I think it was stand up of Ty-Lor (OK, what's with that name?) not to attempt to throw anyone under the bus. It was his part of the meal, and he was prepared to take the rap for it. And he didn't do a 'poor me' about his hand and having spent the entire night in the hospital.

                                                                                        1. re: bobbert

                                                                                          Lindsay fired the steaks. I don't know if it's commendable or just dumb of Ty-Lor not to mention that at judges table. He needed way better backup on the most important part of the meal.

                                                                                        2. This seems like a challenge were the wheels just sort of came off. Raw potatoes, six hours to do shrimp bad organization in general.Looks like heather is being pegged to be the villain. But he does have a point about the shrimps taking so long. However thought shouting pout 'Who wants to take a ride in my new car?' upon entering the stew room after winning was obnoxious. No one like a bad winner.

                                                                                          Still routing for Shara. she seems like a strong contender do far.

                                                                                          1. I can see that Heather was being abrasive, but nobody else was standing up to take charge. Lindsey tried but she made the mistake of firing the steaks to early. There has to be a leader to make sure everything runs smoothly. It seems Heather is used to running a kitchen and expects it to go her way. Do I think she could be a little nicer? Yes, but anytime a woman stands up for herself or takes control, she's considered a bitch. Look how everyone talked about Jen from season 6 when she did that in the military challenge. (was that the right one?) It is obvious there's no lost love between Heather & Beverly. The chefs do seems to be out more for number 1 more this season than ever before.

                                                                                            I got the feeling from Tom's comments to Ty'lor at JT before they sent Whitney home, that the judges knew about the problem with firing the steaks. Again, I'll have to rewatch it to see. I wish Bravo would post Tom's blog already. I think it was a very stand up thing for Ty'lor to do, taking responsibility for the steaks even though he wasn't the only one to cook them.

                                                                                            102 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: jcattles

                                                                                              "Yes, but anytime a woman stands up for herself or takes control, she's considered a bitch. Look how everyone talked about Jen from season 6 when she did that in the military challenge."
                                                                                              ________
                                                                                              Nah... I think Heather comes off as sort of an obnoxious bully (at least in this challenge), but i loved Jen. Jen was assertive and direct in putting a stop to problems as they came up. Heather was whiny and vindictive in bitching about people after the fact. Big difference.

                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                I agree, loved Jen and her assertiveness while being very professional at the same time. That season was great.

                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                  Exactly. I have think that episode garnered her a lot of respect and put her out as one to watch. She was assertive without being a snaky bitch, like Heather is coming off.

                                                                                                2. re: jcattles

                                                                                                  Furthermore, if Beverly were a man she'd be getting less flak for not helping and more credit for being competitive and having a successful strategy. Women are still expected to be more self-sacrificing and helpful and less competitive.

                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                    i think she's taking female chefs back 20-30 years, when it was acceptable for the (male, french) chef in charge to say: "women do not belong in a professional kitchen because of the following bullet list including crying constantly, doing prep at a snail's pace, being a poor team player, and taking too long to pee."

                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                      Crying constantly? Did she cry in this episode? Exactly how many times has she cried that you consider it to be "constantly"?

                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                        she did cry in this episode. she got emotional when telling Ed how much she'd always admired him. again (as above), i'm not criticizing - just stating a fact.

                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                          Unless she's crying during the actual cooking/competitive portions of the show, I don't think it's anyone's business whether she cries. What she does in her "downtime" is irrelevant to her cooking or her competency as a chef.

                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                            people are complaining about having to watch her cry - it paints a picture of her - exactly what the producers are trying to do. i don't care either way.

                                                                                                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                      Oh for crying out loud. There was a Thanksgiving episode years ago where one contestant only made a salad and got booted. I don't remember his name, but it was not Beverly.

                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                        That was carlos. IIRC that episode featured some of the worst, most lameass elimination challenge dishes ever served from a group. The food on that challenge (make modern thanksgiving fare) made the food from this weeks challenge look like the tasting menu from Noma.

                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                          As I recall something as pedestrian as cream of mushroom soup won that challenge (Elia) and Mike did about three courses himself because he could see that his twice baked potaoes and corn on the cob weren't going to be enough ( I think he also did an amuse and a cheese course at the end). That was the episode where Marcel broke Frank's sunglasses and Frank later threatened to beat Marcel so bad his own mother would not recognize him. Ahhh, the good old days of Top Chef. It has become more civilized since that season.

                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                            Yeah, I'm pretty sure Michael's twiced baked potatoes were served as a side... to his own dish that also featured mashed potatoes. Keep in mind that the challenge was to serve 'cutting edge' thanksgiving food. And he wasn't even really in contention to go home since Carlos and Betty were clearly even worse.

                                                                                                            That's an element I sometimes sort of miss since the first two seasons: where the bad dishes weren't just bad - they were freaking ridiculous. It can actually be more entertaining to watch than a season like this one where everyone is pretty much competent but no one stands out too far, good or bad.

                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                              Freaking ridiculous is far better than plain old potatoes gratin with no twist or roasted vegetables. That's even less than the cafeteria lunch ladies did on Chopped! Show us that you're a chef, not a food assembler.

                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                At least a gratin is cooked. And respectable (though simple) if done right, just like a risotto. Carlos had even more time IIRC, FAR fewer plates to serve, a challenge that explicitly asked him to make cutting edge food, and dude made a salad. A mediocre salad at that. There is no comparison between the ineptitude sometimes on display during the first couple seasons and the mistakes of more recent contestants.

                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                  While I have not read Tom C.'s recent blog, I believe the problem he has with the first several challenges this season is that nobody is attempting to stand out by doing something really good or creative Ugly Chris may have been attempting to do so with his 'cigar' but he failed.(His Cindy Lou Who hairdo is starting to bug me a little).

                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                    LOL! Cindy Lou Who? Perfect and seasonally appropriate! The hairdo is bugging me, too.

                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                      That is, in fact, what Tom C said. And a lot of posters on this thread.

                                                                                                                      But here is something that doesn't get mentioned:

                                                                                                                      Yes, many of the best contestants on TC have come out with guns blazing, trying to go for the win on every challenge (the top 4 from season 6, Richard Blais, Hung, Stephan). It was a good strategy for them and made them look like great cooks, which is just as important IMO as actually winning the competition. But I think it was a good strategy for them BECAUSE they were so talented and had a clear edge on the rest of the field. For someone who is less talented and not a clear favorite, it may be better to play challenges safe and make it to the end, where you can leave a great impression on the basis of just a few open ended challenges. Look at Mike Isabella or Kevin Sbraga, or Dale and Casey from season 3. Any of those guys might have just made an early exit if they had taken more risks early.

                                                                                                                      This season, I don't know whether it's the tight field or the competitors' lack of confidence, but everyone (maybe not Paul? time will tell) seems to be waging a war of attrition... which might just be any individual's best shot at helping their career this season.

                                                                                                              2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                season 2 is still one of my favorites

                                                                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                                                                              I'm talking taking flak from you all and the other chefs, not the judges. The judges didn't seem to care that she only worked on the shrimp.

                                                                                                              There were other chefs in this competition who didn't do much -- I don't see people ragging on them. Did it really take all the efforts of three people (Edward, Chris Moto, and Paul) to prep steak carpaccio with some grilled veggies? The judges sure weren't impressed! Did it take all of Dakota and Sarah's efforts to make the non-shrimp parts of the gazpacho (considering the shrimp was the only part that was cooked)? And is Lindsey even on this show? I think the main issue is not that Beverly only prepped shrimp, but that their dish was served first, which left her with time to help, but what about Dakota?

                                                                                                              BTW, Tom says: "Heather took heat from the others for assuming that role in order to keep things moving, because it needed to happen, but the other chefs were her competitors, not her employees, and they didn’t have to listen to her."

                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                I think Beverly is getting singled out in part because of editing. She's being portrayed as slow and unaware of those around her.

                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                  Agreed - what were all those other people doing for six hours? I thought the gazpacho looked like the best part of the dinner (I think I'm going to make it in the summer). I seem to recall someone saying they couldn't taste enough watermelon but other than that they seemed to like it, even if they weren't blown away by it, but I think it was a good start and showed some thought was put into the progression of the dinner, which is something Tom is always looking for. I think this was one of those rare challenges where there wasn't enough to do for the number of chefs. It probably would have been more interesting if they had split into two groups with each group serving half of the attendees.

                                                                                                                  1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                    Also, I was just thinking that Beverly wasn't on Heather's team for the prep, so why should she (or anyone) have helped Heather during their prep time and what skin was it off Heather's nose if she took six hours to prep the shrimp? That didn't affect what went on during dinner service at all!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                      Heather was already done with her prep. Heather was helping to pull service together and she noticed that Beverly was still doing shrimp. It obviously doesn't affect Heather personally, especially since she won the challenge. Heather's point was that if Beverly was working in Heather's kitchen, Beverly wouldn't last. In short, Heather was saying Beverly sucks because she's slow as molasses. I'm not sure if Heather tried to boss Beverly around during cooking, but Heather did call out Beverly in the stew room.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                        Except Beverly doesn't work for Heather -- it was none of Heather's business how long Beverly took with her shrimp. And the dessert team (not just Heather) had taken on the task of pulling service together -- so again, Beverly had no obligation to help, and Heather had no right to "call her out."

                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                          You're right that Beverly doesn't work for Heather; however, it was a team challenge and rational people may have the impression that people who are done with their assigned tasks are supposed to help the rest of the team. No one, including Heather, said Beverly had an obligation. It was more of "I can't believe she spent 6 hrs. doing shrimp." Thus I think Heather's point is that Beverly is slow, as opposed to being lazy. As for the right to call someone out on a TV show, I think any contestant has the right to do that and they do. If Heather doesn't have such right, then they should throw her off the show.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                            "Rights" are different than "rules" -- Heather didn't break any rules in calling Beverly out, except for the rules of how you treat people who are your colleagues. The fact is that it wasn't justified: she's not Beverly's boss, and Beverly had no obligation to help Heather just because Heather wanted her to. There were plenty of other people who did less than Beverly (including Beverly's teammates, who if you look at the recipe, just pureed fruits and vegetables), so why single Beverly out? My take is that Heather is a bully who is singling out someone she perceives as being smaller and weaker.

                                                                                                                            I'm not sure what the timeline was, either. If Heather was asking Bev to help during their prep time, then Bev was certainly under no obligation to help with Heather's food prep. If she was asking for help with service on the day of the event, then she was out of line because Bev's dish was going first (unlike Heather's which was last) and Bev was perfectly justified in working on finishing and plating it.

                                                                                                                            According to the recipe, the shrimp were poached for 30 minutes and then chilled. The only way that Bev would still be "working on" her shrimp would be if she decided to do the poaching and chilling on the day of the event, rather than letting them sit in the fridge overnight, which sounds like an excellent choice from the point of view of freshness of the shrimp, but like it may have led to some fairly tight timing in getting the shrimp poached, chilled and then the dish plated. So the fact that her she was still "working on her shrimp" had nothing to do with the fact that it allegedly took her six hours of prep time to devein the shrimp, but on the fact that she decided not to poach them in advance.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                              I fail to see under any definition of "rights" that Heather can't call out Beverly? They're not co-workers. They're competitors in a cut-throat contest. And I'm sure they're encouraged to belittle each other. Heather could've kept her mouth shut, but where's the fun in that? Now we got two people to bitch about. I can bitch about how pathetic Beverly is and you can bitch about how Heather is a bully.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                LOL! So Heather is competitor in calling out Beverly but Beverly is focusing on her shrimp and not helping isn't considered a competitor. She should drop what she's doing instead?

                                                                                                                                1. re: Jase

                                                                                                                                  LOL! They're both competitors - Heather is a bully, and Beverly just sucks as as chef.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                    I do not believe sxism is the main cause for the 'flak' it is that you refer. I also think editing has a lot to do with it. What is it that we did not see that helped to cause the drama? So the reason Marcel got so much 'flak' is because he is male? Play the sexism card only when it is really there otherwise I believe it diminishes it when it really does happen.

                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                      Well, Marcel got a lot of flak because he's the kind of guy who gets a lot of flak because of his personality -- anyone who behaved the way Marcel did would have gotten a lot of flak (although Marcel got more than he deserved, IMHO).

                                                                                                                      In this case, I don't think what Beverly supposedly did deserves any flak. So why is she getting it? She's getting it because Heather has told us that she deserves it. And why does Heather think she deserves it? IMHO it's because Heather is a bully who is picking on someone she sees as being weaker, in part because she's physically a small woman.

                                                                                                                      And why are people going along with Heather's assessment? Because Beverly has been portrayed as a stereotypical weak woman who is "constantly crying." Do you think that (a) Heather would have called out Eddie for taking six hours to prep a few veggies to grill, or Chris for braising a few greens and (b) that a large segment of the audience would have piled on? I see way to much of the "women are bitchy/men are competitive" dynamic on Top Chef, both on screen and in the discussion threads, to give people a pass on this.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                        I did not see enough interaction on this episode to answer your questions. I will stand by my opinion that sexism has little to do with why Heather was calling out Beverly or even why anybody is giving any flak to Beverly. As I said earlier, to play the sexism card where it does not clearly exist diminishes (if I'm using the term correctly) those that are really the recipient of sexist remarks and behavior (I cannot use the word victim, it's overused).

                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                          Yes, I think Ed would have been called out for taking 6 hours to prep vegetables to grill.

                                                                                                                          Beverly has put herself out there for the world to see; the editors are just taking what they're given and running with it. With both her and Heather.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            Absolutely. I don't get the obsession with labeling Beverly as small and weak and Heather as Big Mean Bully. So far, from my perspective, Beverly has been obnoxious in one way, and Heather in another way. Outspokenness isn't enough to classify someone a bully, not when she's addressing legitimate complaints.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              Well then why wasn't he, because that's what he did! Did you see that course? There's no way three professional chefs each put six hours of prep work into it!

                                                                                                                              In their six hours of prep time, Bev's teammates pureed raw fruits and veggies -- they didn't even cook anything! Chris braised some greens, Nyesha made compound butter -- why weren't they called out for not accomplishing great things in their prep time? Bev had way more to prep (400 shrimp to devein, poaching liquid to prepare, shrimp to poach) than most of them, but she's the one Heather called out. Why?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                Probably because Ed and others did help out after they finished their tasks in a timely manner. The fact is you don't know how long the others took to finish their tasks and what else they did since we weren't shown. You just assumed that everyone else moped around doing only their wn tasks.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                  Heather dislikes Bev. Maybe it's sexism and she hates all women, maybe she hates tiny women, maybe she hates Korean Americans, maybe she's threatened, maybe she thinks Bev is self centered (down to pushing her way in front of the butcher to get service and to taking up too much counter space and making a mess and turning off Nyesha's water) but to put it down to sexism, imo, here is a stretch. No one else but Heather has a real problem w/ Bev. On the board, people have picked up on what Heather said, plain and simple. If another contestant slammed Edward, people would have piled on him. It's not sexism--it's falling for what they want viewers to believe. If you want to talk about sexist stereotypes, I think Nyesha falls into a very feminine one--quiet, diligent, puts her head down and gets the work done and looks smoking hot in a bikini. If Heather were hating someone because they're "feminine", Nyesha would be an obvious choice, too..

                                                                                                                                  This conversation reminds me too much of the defense of Carla when I, and others said she did either very well or underperformed, and it turned into a sexism argument--only after the discussion, she underperformed twice in a row which ultimately sent her packing.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                    Maybe because he's not as apparently self absorbed and self serving as Beverly has seemed to be so far.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                      ed also made the bottom 3 for those vegetables. tom c basically called his work on that course a throwaway, said he expected more of a contribution from him. if whitney hadn't served such an awful dish ed very well may have paid the price for those veggies. ed also was helping with the steaks at a couple of points. beverly is in the mode that does draw ire from other people-- she is doing just enough work to skate by week after week, without doing anything to help others or be a good team player.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                        ^^^ THAT from mcf. Not self-absorbed.

                                                                                                                                        And ^^^ THAT from soupkitten. In the bottom 3 for only the veggies.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                    For me, when Beverly strode up to the meat counter and demanded to be served immediately is when she went on my d-bag list. Deciding whether I like a contestant or not is based on what comes out of their mouths not someone elses.
                                                                                                                                    jb

                                                                                                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                      That was like, two seconds of footage, that was taken out of context (you couldn't see the whole meat counter, who else was there and who else was being served). Are you so sure you really know what happened? Sure enough to make a judgement about a person's entire character from it?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                        For goodness sake I'm not condeming her to hard labor for the rest of her life. I'm just watching a silly show on tv and can think what ever I'd like. None of us knows what is and isn't being shown out of context. If she behaved that way, she is a d-bag and if she didn't and I hear about it I'l be more than happy to change my idea of her.

                                                                                                                                        jb

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                          ruth is right. usually 'round here, character is judged by haircuts.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                            hey you can tell a whole lot about a top chef contestant by their hair! for example, everyone with a faux-hawk is a pretty good chef, moto-chris is a terribly confused individual who wonders why the grinch would be taking the tree (or his "little buddy" richie) away, and that john guy with waist length dreadlocks from a few seasons past, is a horrible, gross, disgusting man, who absolutely can't possibly be able to cook, despite being nominated for a james beard award---- you can just tell, by his hair! :)

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                            Do you know what Heather said wasn't taken out of context? Do you know that she wasn't lead on to say what she did, to bring on drama? Are you sure enough to make a judgement about a person's entire character from it? Yet, you're wiling to bend over backward to give Bev the benefit of the doubt, say that Beverly's actions are out of context and we don't know what happened but still call Heather a bully and theorize that she has it out for someone because she's girly and tiny and call her sexist. Playing it both ways shows a huge bias.

                                                                                                                                            I'm trying to figure out in what context a person would say what Bev did at the counter, even if it's 2 seconds of footage. Why would it matter who else was there? And, how do you know it was taken out of context?

                                                                                                                                            Not taken out of context, I think I'd roll my eyes at someone who wrote themselves inspirational notes, like, "You're the next winner of Top Chef, congratulations" and left them all over the place. I'd also say the crying bugs me. I don't care if it's typical that women express themselves by crying, I don't like it in a professional setting. I don't care if it's typical that men express themselves by getting angry. I don't like that in a professional setting either. Michael Chiarello is your typical Type A type guy and I don't like him at all. Be a professional, whatever sex you are.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                              It was taken out of physical context and also out of time context. Maybe she was there first and the clerk kept overlooking her. Maybe there was a free clerk at the other end of the counter and she was trying to get his attention. Etc. You can't know from what you saw.

                                                                                                                                              My theory is a theory, and clearly stated as such. I don't see Beverly crying in a "professional setting" -- I see her crying about things unrelated to the competition, on her "personal" time. She's not bursting into tears in the kitchen, or asking for sympathy or special consideration or using tears to manipulate. Most "professionals" don't have cameras following them around filming their private moments. In contrast, Heather called out Beverly in a professional setting, in the stew room, surrounded by her colleagues.

                                                                                                                                              I guess I find unreasonable that people are so judgmental in what they consider acceptable behavior when that behavior is extraneous to either the competition or the other contestants. Anyone who deviates the slightest bit is treated with such derision, and their quirks are magnified all out of proportion (Did she leave notes "all over the place"? She put one note on her mirror. Were there others?) and their characterizations are repeated ("constantly crying") until they become accepted as facts.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                "I guess I find unreasonable that people are so judgmental in what they consider acceptable behavior when that behavior is extraneous to either the competition or the other contestants."

                                                                                                                                                So character traits may only be assessed within the context of the competition? Character is character, we each respond to different ones. If I were Beverly, I think I'd be more offended by characterization as a weak, frail victim than as self absorbed and not a team player.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                  As a small Asian woman, it never occurred to me that a large woman would hate me that much just because my size made me seem weak. I'd much rather she hate me because I'm a tough self-absorbed competitor who would shut out the world to win.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                      People are hating on her here for being weak with her "constant crying" -- whether she actually is weak or not.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                        People are hating on her here for being weak with her "constant crying" -- whether she actually is weak or not.
                                                                                                                                                        ***
                                                                                                                                                        You are conveninently ignoring Beverly's other misdeeds already chronicled elsewhere in this thread. Furthermore, I'm not sure anyone is arguing with you about whether Heather is a bully or not. So what if Heather is a bully? Heather's bullying didn't cause Beverly to insert herself in front of the butcher and demand service.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                      I'm not characterizing Beverly as a weak, frail victim. I'm saying that Heather may be singling Beverly out for bullying because *Heather* perceives her as being weak because of her small size (and at the risk of being sizist, Heather appears to outweigh Beverly by 100 pounds). Bullies pick on people they perceive as being weaker or more vulnerable in some way. As has been discussed many times, restaurant kitchens have traditionally been macho environments. People have been bullied on Top Chef for being young, for being old, and for in other ways not fitting into the hard-ass chef mold. Beverly's appearance and demeanor make her a target for bullying.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                        There was a bullying incident with Marcel who was not much younger, older, or smaller - or less hard-ass - than anyone else. What he was was consistently irritating and annoying and when the other contestants had too much to drink they physically attacked him - or attempted to do that. The target for bullying may not be just showing up as "victim material." at all.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                          "There was a bullying incident with Marcel who was not much younger, older, or smaller - or less hard-ass - than anyone else."
                                                                                                                                                          ________
                                                                                                                                                          Actually, he was the youngest and smallest. If he had been 10 years older and built like Cliff (the fella who pinned him down), that season would have been quite different.

                                                                                                                                                          IMO, people have been overthinking this whole thing. It is entirely possible that both of the following are true:

                                                                                                                                                          1) Beverly is genuinely annoying to some, with overly emotional demeanor and mild thoughtlessness about others in the competition or in line for meat at the supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                          and

                                                                                                                                                          2) Heather saw not only someone who annoys her, but also someone smaller than her; someone the other chefs have mixed feelings about and aren't likely to stand up for, someone less aggressive than her and less willing to publicly fight back... so she bullied her (easily distinguished from leadership because Heather waited until the challenge was over and then made a public show of her criticism). In other words, she picked the easiest target and went after her. Sound like a bully to anyone?

                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes, when it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... it's just a duck. Heather came off as mean-spirited most likely because ... she was being mean-spirited.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                            To her face, Heather called her out that one time about spending too much time with the shrimp. It wasn't professional but we've seen people do it in the JT often. Everything else was to the camera. Bev said she was shocked to hear how Heather felt so it's not like she bullied her all along. Heather just said how she felt in the stew room, and again, we don't see what lead up to that. If we have to give Bev the benefit of the doubt about being aggressive at the meat counter, we should give Heather the benefit of the doubt about that scene. I'd say Heather is possibly more mean girl than bully but I don't remember her talking about Bev to other contestants, or rallying others against her. Really, Heather is about bigger than everyone else there. People rub each other the wrong way all the time, not just based on size or whether a woman has "too feminine" attributes. For the record, I don't like Heather and would be happy for her and her cakes to leave. But, if we're supposed to give Bev the benefit of the doubt, we should give Heather the benefit of the doubt.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                              When did I say people have to give Beverly the benefit of the doubt about the meat counter?

                                                                                                                                                              I said Bev is the apparent weakest person in the group based on size, demeanor, and social standing, and Heather's behavior was a fairly clear cut example of picking out the weakest person in her environment, going after her in a mean-spirited and totally unproductive way, and justifying it by saying 'well she was annoying.'

                                                                                                                                                              Marcel was annoying too. And Ilan was still a bully. It's not that complicated.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                I'm not sure I share your assessment of Beverly's strength/weakness. She seems to have little concern about the reactions of others while in pursuit of her own goals. She seems pretty darned assertive to me, even aggressive.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                  Does an aggressive person offer no response when called out publicly as Beverly was? I would have responded quite a bit more assertively in her shoes, and I'm just middle-of-the-road on the passive/assertive/aggressive scale.

                                                                                                                                                                  Being entitled and oblivious is not the same thing at all as being aggressive.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                    Often, it's the strongest folks who most easily dismiss the provocative behavior of others, either due to superior self control or lack of concern about what others think or say about them. We don't know if that's Beverly, but yes, some very assertive folks are capable of completely ignoring provocation, while more aggressive folks often cannot stop themselves from rising to any bait.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                      Beverly has not exactly been a paragon of emotional self-control to this point. I'll stick with my assessment.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                        And maybe that's why Heather dislikes her, not because of her size but that she's come off as emotionally immature. Is she young?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                          I think she's in her early 30s, so not really. She still comes off as an easy target and a bit immature though.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                            Beverly is a lactating Mother and was told to leave her baby within 24 hrs after she got the call for TC. So, yes she is emotional. And, yes it is a big reason why she keeps crying.

                                                                                                                                                                            That said, it is also a big reason why she shouldn't be on this show. She should have stayed at home with her new baby and gone to a rodeo with her husband instead. It's not like they had a finite number of contestant's this year and they would miss her ( although I am sure they always have a couple back up contestant's in case someone backs out ,etc) they had a bunch of extra's.

                                                                                                                                                                            She is all over the map with her emotions and I can imagine it is difficult to work with her. But, removing someone's braising liquid because YOU decided nobody was using it was the straw that broke the camels back for me, not the crying.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                    No, sorry, not you--I just meant it's been said in the thread (and to be honest, I don't always read who writes every post, just read the post). I should have been more clear.

                                                                                                                                                                    I think it's possible that Heather is picking on Bev like that. Or it's possible that she dislikes her for any number of reasons. People rub each other the wrong way all the time, often w/out bullying intents. I also don't underestimate Bev. I think she's weak. And, it seems a few people dislike Heather and Sarah so is she the lowest in social standing?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                      My point was just that it's entirely possible to both dislike someone for legitimate reasons AND to express it in such a way that constitutes bullying. I believe that's what's happened here, Depends on how and when you go about speaking up.

                                                                                                                                                                      BTW, I don't mean that to be an especially damning criticism of either contestant at this point. We all have our moments that we are not proud of, and these contestants are surely under some stress. It was just one episode. Perhaps Bev is just a bit oblivious and makes more of an effort to mind her peers from now on; perhaps Heather just let slip in a moment of frustration and doesn't habitually pick on people who can't really defend themselves, Time will tell.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                It was mob mentality. Marcel for what ever reason (deserved or not) was the odd man out and least able to defend himself. He became a target of a couple of the others who instigated the attack.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly. Just because a person is annoying or obnoxious doesn't mean the people attacking him aren't bullies.

                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                um. well i think it's problematic to think that heather is just arbitrarily going around picking on people who are physically smaller than her. i haven't seen her "pick on" dakota or lindsay or richie or chuy or whitney or anyone else for that matter. heather has at least given reasons for griping about beverly specifically, and these reasons were performance based-- and, other folks have had similar criticisms for beverly. i just don't see these issues as being invented in order to pick on somebody.

                                                                                                                                                                as far as macho, it's maybe for another thread. the pecking order in professional kitchens has, historically, had heterosexual females firmly at the bottom, true... the thing about a competition is that folks are coming in as equals, somewhat-- it isn't as if an individual is hiring people and they are trying to fit into an existing (and created) "culture" and possibly getting hated on or "hazed" or whatever (which does not happen as much as it used to). also, nobody has the noob excuse here. everyone has had something of a career, everyone has worked in pro kitchens for some time, and has overcome obstacles and toughed it out, until they "arrived" at the executive level. i don't buy that sarah or chuy or keith or heather or beverly has traveled a soft cushy road. beverly is an exec and i don't really think that she's weak, though there's probably something going on... the chicago chefs in particular all play in the same pool. maybe heather and beverly have had some conflicts in chicago prior to going on the show, which are playing out here. just as some chefs are buddies with their hometown colleagues, some chefs have prior grudges. and they all gotta go back home at the end of the season.

                                                                                                                                                                the editors are playing up the conflict between heather and beverly for all that it's worth, to create some kind of interest in the contest this season (yawn). looks like we will see if they can play nice together next week, but i am guessing both are professionals and they will do fine.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                  looks like we will see if they can play nice together next week, but i am guessing both are professionals and they will do fine.
                                                                                                                                                                  ***
                                                                                                                                                                  I'm hoping for a knife fight.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                              " Anyone who deviates the slightest bit is treated with such derision, and their quirks are magnified all out of proportion"

                                                                                                                                                              Is this sort of what you've done to Heather? What is a professional setting when they're sitting in the stew room for hours on end w/ endless alcohol, or sitting in bleachers with each other and crying? When you're on camera, you're a professional--and that includes Marcel getting so angry at Dale; Hosea and Leah making out, etc. It's off competition, but it's part of the show, we're going to formulate judgements on what we see.

                                                                                                                                                              Maybe the topic came up in the stew room on who did what and what worked and didn't and Heather said that about Bev, in addition to others? We have no idea but we could contrive an explanation to make her seem like a very nice person for all the situations. As you said about Bev, you can't know from what you saw. So, again it comes down to a bias on being willing to reach to make excuses for one person's behavior and doing the same to another to excoriate her. You've really hammered on Heather's bullying and sexism, based on the same rationale of others disliking Bev.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                Well stated, chowser.

                                                                                                                                                                Ruth - no matter what, we're all judgmental here. We based what our *opinion* is on what we see on the show. Just as those of us who dislike Beverly for what she's done, you dislike Heather for her bullying. Same diff, isn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  "Ruth - no matter what, we're all judgmental here"
                                                                                                                                                                  speak for yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                  "We based what our *opinion* is on what we see on the show."
                                                                                                                                                                  this is disingenuous, as many here have admitted they realize what they see is manipulated through editing, and their opinions are coloured by that, and it's obvious other conclusions and opinions are drawn on previously held prejudices, experiences, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                  again, speak for yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                    Regardless, linus - your judgment and opinion is based on what you see on the show as well. Until all of the footage is shown to all of the viewers, we are forming are opinions based on what we see and what we've experienced in our own lives. An opinion is a personal view or appraisal based on what is known at the time. None of us have the full facts in front of us, unless you have a secret "in" with the show and have seen hundreds of hours more footage than the rest of us.

                                                                                                                                                                    How your opinion is any formed any differently from the rest of us, I'm not quite sure. But this topic is surely dead by now, having been beaten into submission on both sides, with nary the twain meeting in the middle.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                      Linus, consider that we're all judgmental as human beings - not just here, but everywhere. I know that it's noble to deny it, but frankly I have point of view about everything and so do you - including your point of view about Ruth's point of view about Heather's point of view about Beverly. etc. etc.

                                                                                                                                                                      And of course our opinion is based on what we see on the show. What else do we have to go on?

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know of anyone here who is actually on the set and sees everything that goes on that never makes it to the screen.

                                                                                                                                                                      If you have opinions that are based on something other than what you see on the screen coupled with your own "previously held prejudices, experiences, etc.", I'd love to know what those are.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                        What do you draw your opinions on for this show?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                          i don't understand why others are putting words in my mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                          i merely said a) calling everyone here "judgmental," in the sense judgmental can mean, "Having or displaying an excessively critical point of view." (one common online definition) is an inaccurate generalization.
                                                                                                                                                                          and
                                                                                                                                                                          b) stating everyone here SOLELY bases their opinion on what they see on the show is an inaccurate generalization.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                            It's the nature of reality tv. The show edits what they want you to see and viewers follow. If contestants don't want that, don't go on. But, we all draw the line on what's acceptable on being judgemental and what's not. I wonder if your opinions, that you've drawn on the show and contestants, might be considered "judgemental". Is it judgemental to call Heather a bully and mean spirited? Is it judgemental to call Bev weak and unable to defend herself? Is it judgemental to say Ty-Lor should have stayed away from the ER? Or, are those opinions?

                                                                                                                                                                            Your definition of judgemental differs from what I think of it as, which is (from google):

                                                                                                                                                                            "A value judgment is a judgment of the rightness or wrongness of something, or of the usefulness of something, based on a personal view. "

                                                                                                                                                                            That's very similar to an opinion, in my opinion/judgement. And, in the case of Webster:

                                                                                                                                                                            " the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing"

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                              i don't understand what you're saying or what you're asking me in regards to my post.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah I was trying to figure out what you were saying in response to my post (that an opinion and a judgement weren't that different and we all have them) and misunderstood.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                  Does anyone think we can get this sumbitch up to 1000 comments about this subject before Wednesday's episode? I think we can! There's still plenty of life we can beat out of this dead horse people!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL ladybug! I think this particular thread's length more than makes up for the poor showing of under 100 posts for Episode 4 on the night before Thanksgiving. Not that anyone had anything to do that night or the next day or anything. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey -- there was a Thanksgiving knife injury, right, Linda? Which seems to be in line with this season! (Hope you're healing well...)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          Linda, when I saw this episode I thought to myself that the thread on it would be short because i thought it was a fairly boring and uneventful episode. How wrong I was. I also got curious about past seasons of Top Chef and did a search. Is it possible I found the first recap you ever did to start a Top Chef thread? (Season 3 Episode 3)

                                                                                                                                                                                          It was surprising how few of the Chowhounds that posted back then are active now. (I was not one of them. I'm relatively new here, my first posting was March 2010). I'm guessing that besides yourself I might have recognized only a two or three other usernames.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll have to search for the TC3 threads, John. I think back at that time, several people were doing recaps or starting "live blogging" threads. We also had a bit of a different format - someone would start the thread, and lots of us would then add to it as the show was going on in separate posts. But there wasn't a "full recap" as I've been doing recently.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                          LOL. I'll bet Bev brings her newborn to fancy restaurants and lets her toddler run wild and make a mess and THEN undertips! That'll do it.;-) Point taken--I should have bowed out long on in this discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                            I was just thinking that i was glad that a new episode is on tonight. Maybe we can take a break on the Heather/Bev/shrimp situation and whether TyLor REALLY needed stitches. Oops, just remembered that Heather & Bev are working together tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                            i would agree an opinion and a judgment aren't that different. however, i think judgment and judgmental are two different things; judgmental, for me, carries...a pejorative element, i guess.
                                                                                                                                                                                            thus, my point was, yes, everyone makes judgments about this show. however, not everyone is judgmental about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree-- I think my point, that got lost in all my verbiage, is that we all draw the line at different places on what is judgemental and what isn't. There are the obvious extremes that are easy to tell (eg. calling someone unworthy because of appearance) but there are many shades of gray. We all make judgements; at what point does it become judgemental?

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                Enough with the crying! Crying may be annoying, but crying in the stands at the rodeo doesn't affect anyone in any way. Unlike calling someone out in front of her colleagues.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                  From a viewer's standpoint I was more annoyed at Beverly's several episodes of weeping than I was at Heather's bossiness although truth be told I don't really care much about either one of them. I don't recall if in past seasons (discounting All Stars) I had a favorite at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree--neither are endearing qualities but calling someone out is worst. I'd rather just not see either in a professional setting. If I were on a business trip and someone were crying about missing her family, I don't know what I'd do. I don't like Heather; I'm just not convinced she's as bad as her edits anymore than you're convinced Bv isn't as bad as her edits. It has been argued that people dislike Heather for being assertive and they hate seeing women be assertive so they call her a bitch, as a sexist argument.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                  i guess what i find surprising is any regular reader of this part of chowhound only now discovering this "judgmental" behaviour.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                Ruth, you could see at least 3 others standing that the long meat counter, including regular shoppers not in the competition. And does it MATTER how many people were there - even if it were just the other cheftestants? WHY does she get to say "I'm important here, and I have to be served first!" and it's OK?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm with you, Linda. I was really astonished that she (or anyone) would behave that way. I actually like Beverly but find some of her actions so off-putting that I have to try to re-evaluate.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                    I think it's pretty clear that Heather picks on Bev because she's weaker than her, as in she won't fight back the way others would. They've portrayed Bev to be this kind of open, maybe slightly immature woman who doesn't have the toughness of Heather. I see nothing wrong with what Bev's done vs the rest of the cast. Heather on the other hand, gets on my nerves complaining about everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                    Tom Colicchio's blog is up. Bravo "merely" put the wrong blogger ID on it. (Not a surprise, given Bravo's past "competence")
                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                      And Tom C. says what many here have been saying for the past few weeks!

                                                                                                                                                                      "The reason we were so harsh at Judges' Table is that the chefs were complacent and wouldn’t take risks, so they didn’t create dishes worthy of this competition. This group of chefs, more than in any season prior, seemed to be thinking about how to win the game, and at this early stage, seemed to be saying to themselves, “Hey! Just don’t go home! Stay in the middle of the pack until the end. Then step it up.” Like pacing oneself in a marathon. And with a dinner for 200, yes, they could say, “That’s a lot of people -- let’s play it safe.” But they could have been far more creative than they were. "

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                        The link to Tom Colicchio's blog has been corrected by Bravo. The new link is:
                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Just saw Last Chance Kitchen and I was surprised to see that everyone was still there. I'm not surprised they didn't send anyone packing home (that would have too much of a spoiler), but I didn't expect all the eliminated chefs to still be being featured on camera.

                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder if there will be some kind of a cook-off or if they will all be brought back in for something.

                                                                                                                                                                      Certainly eliminated chefs have been brought back to be line cooks or sous chefs in past seasons, but this gives at least the appearance that it will be something more.

                                                                                                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                        With any reality show, the contestants voted off are usually sequestered for a while so they might as well let them out to play.

                                                                                                                                                                        Of course, as the LCK group grows, they'll need more than one burger to split between them ;o)

                                                                                                                                                                        I thought it was interesting that Chef Fearing was being a stickler about the clarified butter. It was like a Coq au Vin flashback.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                                                                                          The sequestering is what I noted above to Joanie. I'd bet that either the guys just asked the producers, or the producers chose to have them come back on to quietly talk (a la "Chopped" judges) about their LCK cookoff.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                                                                                            They make two of the dishes for a challenge like this -- one for the judges and one to look pristine for filming. You could clearly see Whitney cooking more than one burger and frying more than one egg.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                            When told to PPYKAG none of the chefs has ever 'gone home'. They are sequestered in a hotel suite somewhere until the last episodes before the two part finale. If they were actually allowed to go home, their presence at their jobs, hometowns, etc. would tip off that they did not win Top Chef and let the cat out of the bag.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                Yup. That's true of all these competitive reality shows. That's also why there's often a challenge near the end where they bring eliminated contestants back to help the people in the final group.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                  I've never seen another competitive reality show other than Top Chef and the FN shows. (I suppose that's a reference to Survivor. Those references go right by me).

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually, it's a reference to the grand-daddy of the "creative-people-competing" reality shows: Project Runway.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                      I have not (surprise) seen that one either.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                  It's totally true that the eliminated chefs are always sequestered and not allowed to go home, but they are usually not visible to anyone. This is the first time that we have seen them - almost as secondary judges - as part of the ongoing competition. I think something more is afoot.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                    It's also the first time we've seen anything after the fact, other than blooper footage. I think it just makes sense to let them watch and be part--rather than sitting in a sequestered room all the time. I read that in the first Survivor show, they sequestered the contestants in a luxury hotel on a remote island somewhere. For THAT, I'd try to get eliminated! An apartment where you're not allowed to be seen by the public would be tough for weeks on end.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                      <I read that in the first Survivor show, they sequestered the contestants in a luxury hotel on a remote island somewhere. >

                                                                                                                                                                                      They still do - they've done it every season. At some point the producers began referring to it as the "Ponderosa" and offering Ponderosa videos on the Survivor website.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                                                                        "Survivor" actually has two sequestrations: the early eliminated contestants get whisked off to some luxury location; the ones that are eliminated but on the jury stay nearby at a not-so-luxurious-but-with-plenty-of-food-and-medical-care camp -- that's the one they show on the "Ponderosa" videos.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                      I have not watched that particular episode of LCK. My response about the contestants being sequestered was based on your first sentence where you expressed surprise to see everyone. I guess I did not digest your entire post before responding. I wish they would show more of the eliminated contestants on the Bravo TV Top Chef. Can you imagine the grilling the newly eliminated chef goes through once they join the others?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                        On TC7 they showed the eliminated chefs every episode (online videos) arriving at the sequester apartment and the chit-chat before and after each arrival amongst the chefs there. The sequence started with the very first one kicked off, that John dude with the waist-length dreadlock.
                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, that's why I mentioned Bravo TV Top Chef (not Bravo TV on-line Top Chef). I don't particularly like to watch television on my computer and tend to avoid it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh. OK. Still, I imagine you're watching LCK online, as that's where it is... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                              Nope, I'm watching LCK on-demand from Comcast on a 50 inch HDTV.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                        I watched LCK and was really annoyed that the eliminated chefs were constantly asking them questions, which I'm sure the producers had a hand in. It's tough enough to complete their challenges and now you have to answer their questions too?

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm not enjoying this season as much as seasons past. It should be called "Stop Chef!" this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                    "I think I'll make an enchilada with a flour tortilla" Stop Chef!
                                                                                                                                                                                    "I think I'll push my way to the front of the line at the meat counter" Stop Chef!
                                                                                                                                                                                    "Padma is looking so hot..." Stop Chef!
                                                                                                                                                                                    "I'm going to cook 200 steaks on a grill by myself" Stop Chef!
                                                                                                                                                                                    "These potatoes are not quite done but I'll serve them anyways" Stop Chef!
                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm going to serve a nasty looking cigar to some upper crusty air heads" Stop Chef!
                                                                                                                                                                                    "I'm going to cry now" Stop Chef!

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure there are more.

                                                                                                                                                                                    jb

                                                                                                                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                      It will be interesting to see if this season is able to grab our attention better as the episodes progress. I remember having similar thoughts at this stage of TC7 and while not my favorite season, my interest did increase the more I got to know the contestants.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                        I like the "Stop Chef." Kinda of like "C'mon Man" on Monday Night Countdown.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                          Or Coach Ditka's "Stop It!" on ESPN's Sun. pregame.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                          I want a "LIKE" button for JrB's "Stop Chef!" post. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                            "I'm going to buy frozen, precooked shrimp!"

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                              I just realized that there is a real pattern forming this season with regard to shrimp-based issues... Next up, a shellfish allergy?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                It's this season's Top Scallop debacle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  do you think the chefs might be going for shrimp because it's texas?-- gulf shrimp--

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is quite possible, being that it's probably readily available and fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                I like it as well. Or, "Chef Please!".

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agreed. This season, despite having barely begun, is so far the most forgettable season to date. I've found that it's been all downhill since season 6, however: season 7 was alright, 8 was dull, and this season is frightfully bad. None of the chefs are jumping out as particularly skilled and the challenges seem really stifling towards the creativity and abilities of the chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Overall, I'm barely watching anymore; I save the episodes for when I have something tedious to do as background distraction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just watched the first six episodes back to back (was out of the country). About midway through episode three it became a chore; I finished out of some warped sense of responsibility to finish that which I start. I'm hoping that the remaining episodes will be a bit better (surely watching one per week will help). No one stands out as particularly skilled, I can't actually remember any dishes of interest, and I currently do not care who is sent home or who ultimately wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Lots of competent chefs creating decent meals. No head cases so I'm not sure I see much in the way of drama. Who does one root for and why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lambent mediocrity, in my opinion, is the hallmark of this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Tom's comments at JT right before the elimination were surprisingly harsh. Not just, "your dishes were bad" but "maybe we shouldn't have let you in the competition in the first place." He seems pretty frustrated at the underwhelming food coming from chefs with reasonably serious pedigree. It does seem as if they're playing to stay, rather than playing to win. And while it's technically only necessary to avoid being kicked off to get to the final three, it's not very inspiring to watch, or, I imagine, to judge. I hope that as things are winnowed they start to show more fire (excuse the pun).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Read his blog (huiray posted the link above). He explains exactly what you said - they're playing to stay in the middle of the pack right now, not win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hadn't read it when I posted, obviously, and looks like huiray and I were posting around the same time. Anyway, interesting that Tom acknowledges that part of the reason for the lackluster cooking is the nature of the challenge. I hope that after next week, when they're down to ten, they'll stick with more individual challenges and things will start looking better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, group challenges (or group dishes) suck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hope so as well. I understand the need for group challenges early in the game, but it doesn't usually highlight the cheftestants' dishes as well as it could.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                          His final goodbye to Whitney was the harshest I ever remember him giving - something like " usually it's really hard for us to pick the loser but you made it easy." Yikes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I missed that. My dvr cut off at the end. But I agree with Tom. I'd be mortified if I served raw potatoes. I knew she was going as soon as the judges mentioned it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Absolutely, overcooked or undercooked/inedible loses every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. http://eater.com/tags/top-chef

                                                                                                                                                                                                          omygod....

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "The chefs are challenged to present a dish with a personalized mother sauce. A mother sauce? Maybe this is why the men were nervous about being outnumbered. Padma says, "ready for the mother of all Quickfires?" I'm disappointed Padma would engage in such punnery. Many of the chefs, having not made these base sauces since school, are nagged by the proper mother sauce preparation. Chef Fearing is exacting and it's clear there will be no womb for error. But there's no uterus trying to fake it; they have to cervix the best dish possible and fallope for the best. For Nyesha, who says sauce is her favorite thing, it's a labia of love."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          35 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Max is in fine form with this review. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also liked this towards the end:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Ty-Lor, despite a wound and no sleep, was left hung out to dry while Beverly inspected shrimp rectums for half a day. And like, I'm sure the shrimp were SUPER clean, but come on, guys. I'll take a molecule of shrimp shit over an overcooked steak any day."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It must have been pretty deep though. Otherwise they would have just taped him up. Remember that he stayed till the clock ran out and THEN went to get it taken care of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  True, he didn't miss any of the 6 hours aloted however, we then got to hear the excuse of him not having received enough sleep for 4 stitches?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    he had to wait in the ER all night for people with other, more serious injuries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And any ER has its share of motor vehicle accidents overnight. I can see where a few stitches in someone's hand would be at the bottom of the go-to list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly, therefore, he had no business in the ER for that injury.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Where *should* he have gone for sutures after the medic told him he needed them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Knowing what was at stake the next day, he should have manned up and put a butterfly bandage or liquid bandage or something of the sort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He did man up. He didn't bitch and moan. He drank a bunch of espresso and then worked his station. You're pissed off because he complained about waiting for 6 hours to get stitches?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Who wouldn't know about the time that it would take in a metropolitan emergency room to be seen for such a minor injury? Can you imagine the ER DR., having just taken care of the bullet wound to come across Ty-Lor's wound?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                He DID. And he never complained or used it as an excuse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm thinking maybe they need to hire medics that can stitch them up on site. I would probably save some time and headaches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Huh? I don't understand the point you are trying to make. He cut himself. It required stitches. It took a long time (overnight) at the ER to get it done. He did not sleep much but refused to use that as an excuse or any excuse for the overcooked steaks. What exactly is your concern about this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I must have missed the refused to use that as an excuse part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Watch the judge's table part on a re-run. I don't think any of them made excuses and took responsibility for their dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I never said judge's table. He's heard lamenting about only having received an hours sleep for what I consider a poor and elective choice to go to the emergency room for what ended up only needing 4 stitches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unless he knew when he made the choice that it was going to take all night and only need four stitches, how can you say it was a bad choice? Hindsight is 20/20. It could also be that it wasn't in fact his choice: that for liability reasons production insisted he get it stitched.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i don't understand why they don't have a doctor on site, or some kind of PA that could do that stitching. he wasted a whole night in the ER? How many people have cut themselves?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm sure they have some interns and/or a PA to deal with such issues. But when you get a busy night in the ED, staff gets moved around and stiches and that kind of thing gets put on the back burner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm wondering what the liability insurance would be like if they treated contestants--plus, what the added cost would be to have a full time doctor ready. Medics are enough to take care of the situation and make sure the right care is given.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They have medics, who have been shown on camera. Ty-Lor told the medic to clean it up and wrap it up and he'd finish prep. THEN he went to the hospital. At the hospital's ER, you're at the mercy of triage. His wound was obviously not as important as what else came in that night, and he had to wait. Simple as that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              His wound was obviously not as important as what else came in that night, and he had to wait.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i definitely heard him say something about people with gunshot wounds needing to be taken in ahead of him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was all done on his off time, all complaints aside. I'm not a big fan of his but he accepted his problems w/out making excuses and other than his mentioning it when he got back, he didn't bring it up again. It would have been easy for him to do that at JT, but he didn't. I don't think his lack of sleep affected his results as much as his decision to do the steaks and the flash cook them and that was made before the sleep deprivation. He didn't complain about being treated last (lol, as in "I'm in a competition here, I need service NOW!"), he was fine with it. What's wrong with saying you're tired when you are?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "He didn't complain about being treated last (lol, as in "I'm in a competition here, I need service NOW!")"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know exactly how deep it was, but it looked like a puncture wound. Generally speaking, it's wise to seak treatment for any puncture wound that's moderately deep, just because of the possibility of infection. Hard to say without seeing the wound a little more clearly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At any rate, he finished his work for that day, went to the ED, came back and got the job done and didn't seem to screw over anyone on his team but himself. So I don't really see much reason to criticize him. Sometimes you go for stitches and you're there for an hour; sometimes it takes all night. Probably just bad luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              with some wounds even just two stitches can make a big difference in getting the bleeding stopped and giving the wound a chance to clot and heal. a cook would not want a wound that kept seeping blood on his hand where it affects his grip and could get onto the food and prep surfaces. where the wound is located can also reduce the effectiveness of other remedies like butterfly dressings. Bravo no doubt deliberately chooses not to have a physician's assistant available for a number of reasons -- cost, liability issues, and the all important drama of making a contestant choose to go to the e.r.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: moto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You're undoubtedly right about the reasons Bravo probably chooses not to have a PA available but, given the frequency with which people seem to be stabbing themselves on TC, they might want to rethink that decision. It might cut down on the drama somewhat, but would probably also reduce liability since they are now on notice that some cheftestants have needed ER attention for stitches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Regardless, Ty-lor did spend the night in the ER but then came back and finished his assigned job. Even when he could have complained about others not picking up the slack and/or screwing up his dish in the finishing stage (I know that was his own fault for deciding to do the steaks that way, just sayin') he kept his mouth shut and shouldered the blame. I'm with those who give him props for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Who hasn't spent time in the ER and then talked about the wait after? He's got a camera on him. He never made excuses, instead, he said he'd do what it took to make the steaks. The medics wanted to pull him from cooking and he said no way. The medics told him to go to the hospital--who knows what is in their contract as medical care goes and he's not a doctor to know what is needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As the owner of a 40 year old scar on my thumb from cutting an orange that needed 4 stitches, I take exception to the word "only."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 is a lot of wound. One stitch, maybe 2, I can see not being a big deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly--and as nonprofessionals, we see a lot of blood, we see a deep cut, the medic tells us to go to the hospital. We go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've worked in an ER, and seen far too many people come in well after the fact because they're afraid it'll be nothing, from heart attacks to broken bones to serious cuts. Let trained pros decide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hand and head wounds are notoriously hard to call, for nonprofessionals. they tend to bleed a lot, and if your hand wound isn't cleaned and dressed properly, you can get a major infection. if you wait too long to get stitches, it isn't an option anymore. ty was not a pussy for going to the er for his hand, on his own time. it may not have even significantly affected the outcome of the episode, that the injury or the er visit even happened, as he soldiered through pretty well, hurt and sleep deprived, and the (questionable) execution decisions were made prior to the injury.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree--and the proof of it is that he didn't bring it up at judges table or mention it at all, other than as he was downing his espressos. He sucked it up and worked w/ it, w/out asking for anything special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I banged my head on the refrigerator and I couldn't get over how much blood there was, soaked through a towel, so I headed for the ER. I had no idea (who can see the top of her head, through hair and blood. The doctor told me he could shave my hair, do a few stitches and I'd have to live w/ a bald spot and a small scar or he could leave it and I'd have a slightly larger scar. I guess it was a waste of time, in hindsight, but who knows?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tom noted it in his blog. He never offered it as an excuse. Tom found that very admirable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Max Silvestri's recap.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://eater.com/archives/2011/12/08/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He got into serious (i.e. non-jokey) language mode in slapping down Heather Terhune. Hard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oops, beatcha to it! (see above.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ah. :sheepishsmile:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't see your post - because I was posting in-between reading and your post was already in the "closed" mode [I'm sure you know what I mean] and I assumed I had read it already.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, in a similar vein let me post here then what Silvestri said about H. Terhune:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Heather loves any opportunity to take a crap on Beverly, and she criticizes how Beverly always cooks Asian things. "If I were the judges, I'd be sick of it." I did the quick math, Heather, and I know that if I was a judge I would get sick of your petty, cruel face way quicker than I would get sick of Asian food. Do you know how big Asia is? Do you know how big your face is? Big, but not as big of Asia. Eastern cuisine offers exponentially more territory to explore than does your scowling mug barking at strangers."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LOL that jumped out at me, too. And, the picture of Heather's puckered face.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My son's response when she said that was, "Yeah, and you only make white people food. That must get pretty boring to the judges."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The quickfire challenge was about making a mother sauce. Beverly ended with a dish made with soy sauce. It just doesn't make sense. No wonder she ended up in the bottom. Ignoring Beverly's abandonment of her newborn child, her tendency to cry, her cutting in line, her soiled work-space, her lack of team-work - she just doesn't seem very talented.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Where were you when male contestants left behind babies and babies about to be with that condemnation (which they didn't deserve either)? Beverly is all about Beverly, but saying she's abandoned her child is a cheap shot at working women everywhere as well as at her. There are enough legitimate criticisms to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I said ignoring those things - those are a summary of things other people posted. My only point is she's got no talent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                kudos to Ty for not whining and not throwing others, who should have helped, under the bus. Count me in the "heather" camp: she may be annoying but she clearly helped others get their jobs done and she ran a damn tight ship. she could have finished her cake early and said "I'm done, good luck to the rest of you." I have no take yet on Beverly, though she hasn't impressed me with any range, but Paul is the only chef who interests me so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: teezeetoo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I"m not a big Heather or Beverly fan but if it weren't for Heather, they would have continued to flash those steaks. She stopped them. It could have been far worst if she just stuck to her task of cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    13 freaking chefs and NO ONE knows or checks where the diners are at on the 2nd course??? I know they're usually in the back of the house and rely on others (or an auto system) to tell them when to fire the next course but... Lindsay gets nervous and starts to fire the steaks - not one of the other potential TOP freaking chefs says "...maybe we should peek into the dining room to see where we're at". Six of the chefs were done at this point – their courses were served already. Why didn’t anyone say to Lindsay or Heather – “…hey, we’re done. You guys start to to plate your desserts. We’ll take over the expediting because WE HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO DO EXCEPT TO MAKE SURE THE STEAKS COME OUT PERFECT.” As much as I don't care for Heather, I have to agree with you - she's the only one who apparently even thought about, I don't know, looking to see what was going on with service vs. guessing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't like or dislike Heather but she at least appears competent and willing to take a leadership role. Can't say that about the rest of the chefs who seem willing to fly under the radar on team challenges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I believe your last sentence is the problem Tom Colicchio has with the way the contestants have responded to the challenges thus far in the competition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    @WWD: I don't think anyone is particularly defending Beverly, so I don't know what conceptual leap you are making. The sub topic here is how Heather is behaving (according to the show as shown ). Beverly deserves criticism too, along the lines of what you delineate, but I'm not sure what you are conflating together here - what *is* your point? For the record, I don't like Beverly too - but neither do I like Heather as shown on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's awesome, her face is GIGANTIC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Every season someone bitches about a contestant only cooking Asian food. So what? Asian food is so broad and encompasses so many different cuisines, tastes,flavors and techniques. Why is it, if a chef cooks French, Italian and Spanish dishes he is considered versatile and yet if another cooks Japanese, Thai and Chinese he's a one trick pony?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  44 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You have to look at the context. I don't have a problem with someone cooking Asian as long as the challenge isn't cooking some other specific cuisine. And to say that Beverly is cooking Asian is being charitable. She's cooking mostly Korean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you talking about the sauce challenge, the goal was to make a new sauce that stems from the mother sauce. Paul infused his with ginger and lemongrass and ended up in the top 3. I don't understand why you would have a problem with Beverly and not Paul.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My main point is I don't think Beverly is very talented. I don't have a problem with someone cooking Asian cuisine - since I'm Chinese and there's not alot of stuff that I don't eat. I just think that Beverly defaults to Korean cuisine, even when the challenge isn't suited. Paul shows versatility by being able to use certain ingredients commonly used in Asian cooking, but he didn't overwhelm his sauce with the ginger and lemongrass, whereas Beverly presented essentially a soy sauce based dish. I just think Beverly's range is unduly narrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're right: no one says "Oh, s/he always cooks European."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hugh Acheson makes kind of the same point regarding Heather's comment in his blog (he doesn't seem to be a great fan of hers).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He's really funny, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Heather can’t remember who shot J.R., but she’s pretty sure it's Beverly. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Heather hates Beverly. Hates. Heather wonders why Beverly always cooks Asian food. I want to ask Heather why she is always bossy while cooking white people American food. Beverly’s problem is that she’s a bit too soft-spoken and wispy. It’d be awesome if she just suddenly put Heather in a sleeper hold to stop the conversation."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder when the judges get to see the backstage drama--during the judging or after the series airs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Apparently I'm not the only one who theorizes that Heather is bullying Beverly because she's smaller.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Soft spoken and wispy doesn't read to me like smaller. It reads to me like wall flower. Sure I believe people have theorized that it's a size thing, maybe a fat thing, maybe an ugly thing, maybe a racist thing since she talks about the Asian cooking, maybe an envy thing of having a husband and baby (or two), maybe she has a secret crush on her. Everyone hastheories. But, as you said in the other thread about the newborn and people running off on tangents, this is along the same lines--we have no idea why Heather dislikes Bev and only know that she does. I've seen no proof, action, or otherwise that she dislikes Bev because she's a small women and weak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You say small and weak but women know that the tiny petite ones are the fiercest of all. They have something to prove and will stop at nothing. Seriously, I am not large but the most intense, driven women I've known have been the tiny ones, and they scare me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In his blog this week, Tom says, regarding Heather's cake, "We judges don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes and didn’t know it was Ed’s recipe (I learned that by watching the episode this morning!)" so there's your answer: when it airs (or when they get their copies to view so they can write their blogs anyway). They only learn during judging what the contestants volunteer on their own or under questioning from them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like how self-deprecating Hugh is in the blog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                when Heather won the other night using Ed's recipe [for the second time], i wondered again - as i have quite often over the years - just how many JTs might have ended differently if they had all the facts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  although it was ed's recipe, i believe tom c. addressed this issue in his blog, when he pointed out that it was the execution of that recipe that was important, and that if she had done the same recipe badly, or if ed had done his own recipe badly, for that matter, it could just as easily have been a losing dish. i think that would go for the mis-execution of any recipe, no matter how brilliant. for all we know, it isn't really "ed's" recipe either, and it's a base cake recipe of someone else's he memorized. heck, it could be just a 1-2-3 cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ed should not even mention that it was 'his' recipe. He could have kept 'his' recipe to himself. Once he gave it up, he gave it up. If he (or anyone) wishes credit for when a recipe succeeds, should he (or anyone) receive blame for when a recipe fails? That's a can of worms the judges do not care about. All they care about is if the food is successful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yeah, my post kinda came out wrong. my bigger issue was that she made the same cake for two challenges, not that it was Ed's recipe...and yes, as you pointed out, it's not really *his* recipe, though it might have been nice if she had at least thanked him for providing her with the ratios (and any other info) she needed to pull it together. and speaking of pulling it together, didn't Lindsay & Grayson do the streusel & the peach salad that went on the cake? i may not be a huge Beverly fan, but for all of Heather's bitching i'm having a hard time seeing how she did *so* much more work in the kitchen herself. i know she helped set up outside, but as far as food prep goes, hers didn't strike me as a huge undertaking. of course i wasn't in the kitchen to see it all for myself, so what do i know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the whole dessert course, in general, seemed pretty simple-basic to me too, but then, all of the courses really could have been much stronger/more interesting/better executed. i think it really was a "best of the worst" situation-- as the judges pointed out, yes, there were 200 diners, but there were 13 chefs, and you would expect better things from the meal. for the life of me i don't know what some people (hello grayson and cali-chris) were doing the whole time, but so much of that is editing. but it's like everyone went into bad buffet-food mode, when they had enough hands on deck to make interesting, good, well-executed food. hell, they will have half the # of chefs, split into 2 groups, to do restaurant wars... better step it up in a big way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sucks that someone won a car for their lackluster efforts at ec, when so many more of the qf dishes actually seemed to better showcase everyone's skill set, pov and talent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wish they had told the whole group that they're falling short. That a peach cake won (and had to be divided in labor, how long does streusel and cutting peaches take?) is sad. Did anyone have a time consuming role? I'll give it to Heather that she expedited and that must have been hectic. But what was she doing the other 5 hours, other than making a cake?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh, that type of expediting for group dinners isn't a picnic, and just making all your handwritten lists, assembling your 200 plates and garnishes for each course (800 plates total), so that everyone is served the same course simultaneously... it takes more time than anyone would think-- until the first time they get burned at a charity dinner and wreak themselves. folks can call heather a raging one-eyed zombie megabitch all they want, but it seemed like she had that handled okay, and expediting would have consumed most of her (and lindsay's) time on the second day. maybe that even answers my question (what was grayson doing?)-- she was probably stuck in some corner away from the hot kitchen, cutting and garnishing cake for a couple hours, at least, while heather and lindsay were counting plates and making garnish set-ups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I give them some credit and I'd be willing to give them extra credit for the expediting if they did a good job. It was the expediting that was the real failure with the 3rd course. The firing of the steaks is basically what almost sent Ty-lor home. Tom C gave them credit when he told the other judges what Heather was doing and who knows, maybe that helped put the cake into the drivers seat of the Toyota. In restaurant wars, taking that kind of leadership role often results in your head on the chopping block. Of course, in this case, the judges did not know about the "firing mess-up" and as a result there was only the positive of Heather "stepping up" (potentially a risky move).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I certainly would not place the entire expediting screw-up (the firing of the steaks) on Lindsay and/or Heather and I not only wonder where Grayson was during this time but, as I asked before, where were the 6 chefs (Dakota, Sarah, Beverly, Edward, Chris J., and Paul) who were already done with their courses? You would think someone (anyone???) might have taken over the steak expediting at that point so that the dessert people could start their plating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sucks that someone won a car for their lackluster efforts at ec, when so many more of the qf dishes actually seemed to better showcase everyone's skill set, pov and talent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i think that's what was really nagging at me. winning a car for being one of several contributors to a dish that was merely the best of a pretty bad showing is ridiculous. it's too bad the judges couldn't just withhold the prize on the grounds that no one actually earned/deserved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wasn't there one season where there was an EC where no one was declared a winner and Tom made them do a "do-over" with *two* cheftestants eliminated the next episode?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, I think so, that sounds right. He said he couldn't declare a winner because nobody performed like a winner. They were just picking the worst of the worst to go home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i think you're combining 2 occurrences. TC2 Ep 4 - they did declare a winner, but no one was eliminated and 2 chefs went home the next week. TC1 Ep 8 - there was no winner of the EC but Miguel still got the boot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the difference this time around is the prize - they didn't give away so much swag back then, and i'm sure they were obligated to give someone the car in light of Toyota's sponsorship of the show. i'm sure the judges didn't really have the option of withholding the goods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe at this point, they can do a sweep of 3-4 lower performing chefs, get rid of them to light the fire under the rest. Maybe the bottom three last week could have just been let go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I could swear it was a later season, ghg. But no time to go check Wikipedia's progress charts for each season - time for dinner! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is it possible you are remembering last season's TC 8 where they had an episode where nobody was eliminated because everyone's dish was so good? That was the huddled masses episode where they did genealogy that said way back Mike and Antonia had a common ancestor. (I thought they overdid that one. I would not be surprised if they discovered a common ancestor with Colicchio too).