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Top Chef Texas - Ep. #8 - 12/21/11 (Spoilers)

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OK, mcf said at the tail end of last week's thread that I'm required to stay here recapping until the finale, so here I am again. :-)

Tonight's episode is all about tributes - the cheftestants will get to pay tribute to the person who taught them how to cook, and they get to create a dish in that person's honor. But we're getting ahead of ourselves - that's not until the Elimination Challenge!

The show starts with the end of the previous show, with Beverly saying that Heather stepped over the line. Padma steps into the still very hot kitchen, and tells everyone to pack their bags...they're heading to Austin! This is Paul's hometown, so he'll have to represent.

They all jump into the Toyota Siennas (thanks, Chris Crary, we *never* would have known!), and hit the road. Chris J. asks Heather, who's driving, what kind of guy she's looking for. She says she's been career-focused, so she's not had a chance to find a guy, but he'd be tall and dark. Then Edward asks her she has a choice - one night with John Besh, or $5,000 and immunity in the next challenge - she takes John Besh. In another car, Chris C. asks Paul if they were both on Match.com, would they be compatible? Grayson said Malibu Chris would be the girl and Paul would be the guy. Chris complains "Why do I have to be the girl?" and Grayson replies "Because you're so beautiful!" It seems Chris Crary got the nickname of Malibu from the other cheftestants, says Grayson, because he's the most beautiful and most concerned about his hair! LOL

They all arrive at The Driskill Hotel and check out the suite in which they're staying. The relax a bit, and then head out to Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, where both Padma and Tom Colicchio greet them.

The Quickfire will be directed by fans on Twitter, of all things. Per Padma, Twitter gained popularity in 2007 at the South by Southwest Festival. It seems for this challenge, they had fans tweet what they wanted the chefs to do, and any time Tom Colicchio of Padma see a suggestion they like, they'll call it out. No matter *what* the cheftestants are doing for their dish, they are required to switch it up based on the latest tweet. The winner of the QF will get $10,000 - BUT no immunity.

The first tweet comes out with "everything is better with bacon" - so they have 45 minutes to create a dish with bacon. Chris Crary said that's a softball challenge, as it's everyone's guilty pleasure. Beverly goes for the pressure cooker, even though she's never used it before, to braise pork belly. Meanwhile, Tom is asking the Twitter universe for the first twist.

The next Tweet says "Do a hash for a #hashtag challenge." A hash has to be one component as part of their bacon dish. Edward could have a issue, has he's making a bacon paté, and pairing it with softshell crab, so the hash will be an interesting blend. Meanwhile, Beverly's pressure cooker is open, and her pork belly is tender.

The next Tweet Twist - "Every chef needs to pick a pantry ingredient and then hand it off to another chef to use in another dish." Chris C. gives Lindsay a bottle of sriracha, and she gives him a container of maple syrup. Chris Jones gave Beverly a lemon, and she gave him oil. Edward gave Ty-Lor scallions, and he gave Edward sriracha. Grayson's got to get a tomatillo on her plate, and ends up pureeing it and uses it like a sauce.

We're back for judging - Beverly's crispy pork belly with a corn, bell pepper, and habanero hash. It looks very good! Chris Jones ends up over-salting his Corn Purée with Bacon and Butter Poached Potato Hash and a Seared Scallop. Tom said something was too salty. Chris realizes he over-salted the potatoes.

Heather said she immediately thought of making a bacon jam. She did a Smoked Paprika Quail with Bacon Jam and Leek Hash. Edward makes a Potato Hash with Bacon & Soft Shell Crab DeGlazed in Sriracha. Sarah did a Burrata-Stuffed Squash Blossom with Bacon & Zucchini Hash. Tom said "It's crispy!" Next up is Chris Crary, who did Bacon-Wrapped Monkfish with Potato, Leek and Bacon Hash with Clams and Passionfruit-Glazed Bok Choy and Maple Syrup. Tom said he think it works very well, and was very surprised. Grayson is next - she made a Shrimp Puff with Crispy Bacon Hash Cake. Tom asked why she called it a puff, and she replied she wanted it in their mind that it was light.

Next up, Ty-Lor - he made Maple-Glazed Bacon with Bacon & Kale Hash. And finally, Paul made Bacon several different ways - Bacon Fat, Crispy Bacon, Blackberries, Chorizo & Mushroom Hash.

The bottom group is: Grayson, Chris Jones, and Ed
The top group? Beverly (and yup - we see a roll of the eyes from Heather upon Tom's announcement that she's in the top group!), Sarah, and Paul

The winner? Paul! Sarah's really disappointed. Bu Paul's up to $30,000 in winnings - Tom said the drinks are "on us in the hotel bar - but don't go too crazy!" OK - you KNOW what this means! Tom and/or Padma will show up to announce another challenge! The piano player starts up in the bar, and then announces Patti LaBelle, and she sings on stage (which I fast-forwarded through!). And YES - Padma comes into the bar - and says that Patti is a guest judge. Patti and a few of her friends will join them for dinner. Padma asks Patti who taught her to cook, and Patti explains how she started cooking. So Padma says to the cheftestants that the judges want to know who started them on their culinary journey. The cheftestants are to tell a story with a tribute dish to that person who helped give them their love of cooking.

They'll have 2 hours to cook before serving at the Driskill. The next day, they're off to Whole Foods - 30 minutes to shop.

We're back, and they're shown getting ready in their rooms in the a.m. Sarah asks Beverly about the picture of her family - Beverly's son was only 4 months when she left for the competition (or so it seems - he was at least 4 mo. when the picture was taken). The Congratulations Beverly! sign goes back up on the mirror, and Beverly notes that the competition is for her family and even though there's a lot of bullying going around (HER words, people! - and the Elves show Heather at the mirror getting ready), she has to keep it in perspective. Her family keeps her motivated.

The two Chris's are shown getting ready, and Crary said to Jones "Chris - crack kills" - and Jones ends up tugging up his sweatpants. LOL Ty-Lor and Edward are at the table, asking each other who their inspiration is. Ty-Lor had a Japanese housekeeper growing up, and Edward's grandma always made vegetarian soups, so he'll make something vegetarian even though he doesn't cook a lot of vegetarian. Ty-Lor said that's pretty cool - it takes some balls! Edward replies "I've got balls...and I'm gonna show 'em!" Lovely. :-)

They head off to the Top Chef kitchen in the Driskill Grill. Everyone's going balls to the wall in trying to get everything done on time. The judges file in to the dining table - Emeril Lagasse joins Tom, Padma and Patti at the dining table, along with friends of Patti's.

The first chefs serving are Heather and Chris Jones.

Chris (tribute to his grandmother) - Lemon-Pepper Steak with Baked Potato and Vegetables
Heather (tribute to her mom) - Beef Stroganoff with Herb Spaetzle & Roasted Wild Mushrooms

The judges like Chris's dish, although Emeril calls out the use of A-1 in the demi-glace. But everyone seemed to like it. For Heather's dish, Emeril said he didn't even know the cut of meat, and Patti replied "It's Bigfoot!" Emeril said to Tom "I feel like I'm at a banquet at one of those hotels you drag me to!" Padma said "I don't even want to know the rest of that story!"

Next up - Sarah and Paul.

Paul (tribute to his grandmother) - Quail Adobo with Ginger Rice and Green Mango Salsa
Sarah (tribute to her grandmother and grandfather) - Pork Sausage-Stuffed Cabbage and Spinach with Browned Butter

Tom really liked Sarah's dish - light and nice. He said whoever taught her how to make this dish should get a kiss and hug! Paul's dish was also well received. Patti's NOT a quail lover, but she never got to the ginger rice because the quail knocked her out! Emeril asked Patti that if Tom and he came to Patti's house for dinner, what would she make? Fried chicken & cabbage and mac & cheese with 8 cheeses with lobster and shrimp. Yeah, not TOO heavy a meal, is it?

Next for service is Beverly and Chris Crary.

Beverly (tribute to her mother) - Korean-Braised Short Rib with Edamame, Scallion Purée and Hon Shemeji Mushrooms
Chris Crary (tribute to his uncle) - Sockeye Salmon with Confit Potato & Brown Sugar Carrot Purée

Patti liked the carrot purée but thought the fish was just fish. Tom, however, didn't like the carrot side, as he didn't taste carrots. Too much going on in Chris's dish. Beverly's dish, however, was VERY well received!

Service time for Edward and Lindsay.

Lindsay (tribute to both of her grandmothers - one Greek, one Southern) - Trout Spanakopita with Crispy Leeks and Rainbow Trout Roe
Edward (tribute to his grandmother) - Modern Bibimbap with Lemon-Chili Sauce

Lindsay's dish was liked by Patti - the Trout Roe reminds her of caviar, which she first had with Emeril. And Lindsay's dish reminds her of that. Emeril likes the crispiness of the trout, loves the roe, but there's too much butter and it shuts down the dish. One of Patti's friends who joined them at the dining table is allergic to egg, but she *loved* Edward's dish. Emeril sid the dish played right into the story of his grandmother.

Finally, Grayson and Ty-Lor are up.

Grayson (tribute to her parents) - Grilled Rib Eye Steak with German Potato Salad and Grilled Vegetables (and her 12 oz. steak is HUGE!)
Ty-Lor (tribute to his Japanese nanny) - Duck Fat-Fried Chicken Tenders with Pickled Peaches

Ty-Lor's dish was liked a lot. Tom noted that his story about his nanny ties in well with his dish. Grayson's dish was overwhelming - and the meat was gristly and stringy for some diners, although Grayson stands by her dish in the kitchen.

Padma comes into the kitchen and asks to see Grayson, Heather and Chris Crary - based on the comments from the diners, they are DEFINITELY in the bottom group! Yup, they're the least favorite dishes. Could this be Heather's farewell? (probably not, but oh my fingers are crossed, even though I still have some typing to do!)

Discussing Grayson's dish, Emeril said the beef wasn't trimmed (although she said she did trim all the fat outside and that she felt confident cooking it the way it should be). Padma said it was sinewy and spongy. Tom asked why she didn't take a more modern take on it and Grayson said she took the challenge literally.

Chris's salmon dish was seared too fast, and Emeril said the dill was overpowering. Heather's stroganoff just went awry. Padma said the dumplings were dry, overcooked, and chewy. Patti said the meat wasn't cooked enough - it was so gristly. Tom asked if it was supposed to be braised, it wasn't braised enough. Heather said she was afraid to use the pressure cooker, as it was used last time for duck and the duck was stringy. Tom dryly pointed out that Beverly pressure-cooked her meat, and "she's not here!" Woo-hoo Tom - NICE bit of a slam to Heather. Loved it!

Beverly, Sarah and Edward are asked to go in - they're the top group! Wouldn't it be pure justice if Beverly wins? Heather's shown shrugging her shoulders as the three of them file out to JT.

All three dishes were enjoyed - Patti liked the mushrooms were like meat, with a beautiful presentation. Beverly's dish was noted by Tom as beautiful presentation, with every ingredient having a purpose. Sarah's dish was praised for the techique by Emeril - she could have bought the sausage, but she didn't.

Patti announced the winner - and it's Sarah! Doesn't look like she wins anything, though.

The judges discuss the bottom group - Heather's dish was too gristly, Chris's dish just had things thrown on a plate to see what happens and Grayson's dish didn't have any "freestyle" and wasn't made current.

I'm thinking it's Grayson or Chris Crary who are going home. We're back in front of the judges, and Tom reviews the issues they had with all three dishes. And who is it? WHOA!!! It's HEATHER!!! Woo hoo! Latah!

The camera pulls in on Beverly's face in the Stew Room at her finding out Heather was going home, and then in the confessional, she said "Heather reaped her own karma. No one told her what to do, and she's going home for what she did." Beverly had some personal satisfaction for that as well.

Previews for next week show an outside BBQ, and Sarah seems to have problems with the heat and ends up being taken away in an ambulance, and Edward getting ticked off that she's not there to finish up her dish. (Their dish?)

~~~~~~~~

We're on to Last Chance Kitchen, where it'll be Nyesha against Queen of Mean, Heather. The LCK Challenge is to create a dish using three techniques - frying, injecting and foaming. Nyesha said she relished the fact that Heather walked in the door - that she talked down to people and she really wanted to shut her up and wipe that laughing smile off her face. Whoa. "Undermining and condescending." It seems there WERE some cheftestants who didn't like Heather either!

They've got 30 minutes. And all the other ejected chefs are there asking questions, stressing Heather out while she starts cleaning jumbo prawns. Nyesha, on the other hand, is going to make a dessert! Out of the blue, Heather's injection got shrimp juice on Nyesha's fried dough because she's a total mess in her kitchen. Tom tried Nyesha's dish first and then Heather's. Tom was pleased with Nyesha's dessert, and he really liked Heather's prawns. And a winner is chosen in LCK. :-D

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  1. Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead!

    2 Replies
    1. re: dmjordan

      Right, now let's cook.

      1. re: JAB

        Don't care if it was the producers, karma or just an off cooking night for Heather but I am so glad that the storyline/and or Heather actually being a bully is over.

        The quickfire was ok but I wish they had more than three suggestions from twitter.

        Really liked that they didn't have a texas themed challenge and actually got to cook individually and without any crazy twists.

        Also liked Emeril's critiques and even Patti LaBelle were useful and actually explained why the dishes didn't work.

        Liked that a lot of the chefs used their memories as a jumping off point to their dishes.

    2. I did not expect the elimination.

      1. And that takes care of that.

        1. What I took from this episode:
          Hey, they can cook! There were some very nice dishes being put out tonight.
          Sarah is making a move.
          A pressure cooker is a good kitchen tool.
          Paul rocks.
          That pan Asian fusion stuff looks really good.
          Tom to Heather - "Beverly used a pressure cooker and she's not here". I thought WE were bad enough. Et tu Tom?
          Heather, for all she's been, was pretty gracious on the way out.
          Finally, karma can be a bitch.

          15 Replies
          1. re: bobbert

            Sweet justice. Tom's comment was awesome.

            Bev sure proved she can cook! And now we know her kiddo was 4 months old when this was filmed.

            1. re: LurkerDan

              Actually, I thinks said her son was 4 months old when the picture was taken not necessarily his age when she left for the show. At least that's how I understood it.

              1. re: bobbert

                Yes, that is how I understood it, too. The son was 4 months old when the photo was taken, not when she started Top Chef.

              2. re: LurkerDan

                Bev sure was a whiz with the pressure cooker for someone who has never used one before! We're probably lucky that Heather didn't want to use the pressure cooker. For all we know there wouldn't have been another one available and she would have blamed Bev for THAT, saying that if that mean, rotten, lazy, sous chef Bev hadn't hogged the pressure cooker and prevented her (Heather) from cooking food "her way/the way she wanted" she wouldn't have been on the bottom!

                1. re: LurkerDan

                  Yes, I LOVED that he said that. I think the judges have been very open with their disapproval of Heather personally this season. I think she really is That Mean.

                2. re: bobbert

                  That pan Asian fusion stuff looks really good.
                  ***
                  Yeah, that's why PF Chang is packed. At least the Heather drama can go away now. Paul is still the only person that seems to show real creativity and talent. I would love to try his adobo dish. The rest just seems so ordinary regardless of their resume. Oh Sarah would actually look cute if she wasn't obese (at least she looked good when she was young). If Ed can bring it on a consistent basis, he'd give Paul a run for his money.

                  1. re: Worldwide Diner

                    Did you catch Emerils eyes light up when Paul said adobo. Mine did as well. Kudos to Paul

                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                      She actually IS cute regardless of her weight.

                      1. re: LaLa

                        agree with Lala. Although I wish she'd grow her hair out a little I guess for a chef shorter hair makes sense though.

                    2. re: bobbert

                      "Finally, karma can be a bitch." That about sums this episode up.

                      1. re: JAB

                        I thought it was especially poetic that 1) Bev was in the top 3 while Heather was in the bottom and 2) two of the top 3 dishes were "Asian." Take that, Heather!

                        1. re: KailuaGirl

                          Yes, there was a certain satisfaction in seeing that.

                          In fact, I would consider Beverly Kim's dish as almost wholly spruced-up "Asian"/Korean, while Ed Lee's seems to me to be a kind-of "Noveau Korean". :-)

                          Perhaps the rest of this season will see an easing up of scurrilous comments about different cuisines. :-)

                          1. re: KailuaGirl

                            The only thing that could have been better would have been Bev winning while Heather was told to PYKGH. Perhaps, further proof that the show is judged fairly? Damn you Pandora and your box!

                        2. re: bobbert

                          Nice "drop-dead, HT" from Tom Colicchio.

                          Since we know TC & Co heard all that clap-trap from HT last episode at JT, surely he must have surmised certain things about HT and the dynamics in the BOH which he probably had in the back of his mind at this week's JT, notwithstanding the "judging each episode by the food presented that episode only" stuff. :-)

                          1. re: bobbert

                            <karma can be a bitch.>

                            Sounds like the t-shirt motto for this season, eh?

                          2. Is pickled fruit is the new foam? Shit's on everything.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ladybugthepug

                              Yeah, I thought the same thing!

                              1. re: ladybugthepug

                                This is one trend I'm all for. I'll eat pickled anything!

                              2. Though I thought I"d gloat about Heather, there was no schadenfreude and I thought she handled her exit well. Nice to see some of the chefs step out and do something unusual.

                                1. Ok, time for this thread to blow up! She's outta here!

                                  All in all I liked this episode & the challenges. Most of the chefs did a great job and there were quite a few dishes I would love to try.

                                  1. So glad Heather is gone.

                                    Predicting Paul, Ed, and Sarah for top 3.

                                    By the way: Anyone else find it hilarious that Emeril criticized someone for using too much butter? I recall an episode or 10 of Emeril Live in which he got the audience cheering as he shoved 3lbs of butter into a single dish of mashed potatoes or something similar...

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                      Yes, the male version of Paula Deen. :-)

                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                        To be fair, Emeril wasn't saying lots of butter is always bad, just that it didn't work in that particular dish. Mashed potatoes, on the other hand, have a pretty much linear relationship with butter and cream: the more of each you put in, the better the final dish. (I think there's a Chow video on how to make mashed potatoes where one of the steps is "Kill It With Cream." Same goes for butter.)

                                        1. re: monopod

                                          The mashed potato really only functions as a binder for the butter and cream, IMHO.

                                          1. re: monopod

                                            when was the last episode? I think I missed one.

                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                              last week was a repeat, the last new one was 12/21. This Wednesday's is new.

                                        2. I think it's pretty cool that holubtsi wins the elimination challenge. We always have a roaster oven full of these at Thanksgiving. They are quite a bit larger than Sarah's however.

                                          Minnesota is much like Wisconsin. I didn't think Grayson's steaks were all that large. I also didn't think her dish was worthy of Top Chef.

                                          I bet Ugly Chris would rather have the moniker Malibu Chris.

                                          So much for the producers choosing the winners and losers. If that were the case Heather would not have been sent packing tonight.

                                          39 Replies
                                          1. re: John E.

                                            So much for the producers choosing the winners and losers. If that were the case Heather would not have been sent packing tonight.
                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                            Exactly. But it'll continue to be brought up every. single. season. :-)

                                            OK, off to bed for me! ::::yawn::::

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Thank you,, Linda, for doing yeoman's duty yet again!

                                              1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                From me, too, Linda! No rest for the weary, wouldn't want to watch without you!

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  Thanks. The DVR is a dangerous thing, allowing me to pause, rewind, get details, get more details, and get LOTS more details....causing me to finally finish the original post a half hour or more after the show is over! LOL

                                                  Oops - I just made dinner plans for next Wednesday night - I need to see if there's a new episode next week! If so, I'll either have to change it or go to dinner VERY early....

                                                  ::::YES!::::: It's a repeat - the Tequila/Game episode showing at 10pm on the 28th - I get a brief respite. :-) The BBQ Pit Wars will be on January 4, 2012. And it looks like BBQ Pit Wars is taking over the Restaurant Wars theme this season, as Restaurant Wars usually happened in Episode 9.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    On the topchef website they show BBQ Restaurant Wars and then another Restaurant Wars the very next episode. It's on the Cheftestant score page. http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                    Even RW is bigger in Texas.

                                                    jb

                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                      *OR* it's a two-part RW...they've done that before when neither restaurant team won.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Well, they're down to 9 competitors, since they had a double-elimination last week, and one this week, right? They usually do RW when they're down to 8 (2 teams of 4), although it's possible there have been other even numbers. Maybe Pit Wars is 3 teams of 3.

                                                        Linda -- enjoy your dinner out and night off from recapping! I won't have to arm-wrestle my visiting dad for the TV remote ;-)

                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                          Pit Wars - sounds like an underarm deodorant commercial. :-) But yes - could be 3 teams of 3.

                                                          And I can just see you tackling your father for the remote...."But Dad - I *HAVE* to watch Top Chef and then post on LindaWhit's CH thread! No, it CANNOT wait until tomorrow!" ;-)

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            With my coaching season starting, reading Linda's recap is sometimes the only time I can keep track of the TC battles. Plus, the personality given in the recaps is unparalleled.

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Exactly! I got him to flip to Project Runway once...for as long as it took him to discover there were no airplanes involved... "Oh, *that* kind of runway..." ;-)

                                                            2. re: momjamin

                                                              "Linda -- enjoy your dinner out and night off from recapping! I won't have to arm-wrestle my visiting dad for the TV remote ;-)"
                                                              Hey, momjamin! Speak for yourself. We need Linda more. She needs to cancel dinner if it's going to interrupt her recap. The mental well being of a couple hundred people is at stake. Linda, sometimes in the course of world events certain people find themselves in a place where they must act for the good of the many over the needs of the few. You may not have asked for this but you have become one of those people. If it's a rerun, enjoy dinner. If not, I guess I'll have to stay up all night anxiously waiting for you to watch on the DVR and recap. You will do that after dinner, yes? :)

                                                              1. re: bobbert

                                                                LOL! Well, if the mental health of CH is on the line, bobbert, I guess I have no choice but to be one of the magnanimous "those people". :-)

                                                                The recap after several glasses of wine at dinner, however, might be a bit lacking. Or pretty damn funny.

                                                                But I seriously *was* going to move dinner plans to another night if TC was a new episode! LOL

                                                                I can't quit you. :-)

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  "mental health of CH"? i thought we were all already nuts-- we don't have much to lose, in that case? ;-P

                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                    Nope. So please....join me in the loony bin, will you? ::::holding out a very comfy chair for soupkitten::::: ;-)

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      aw, thanks! *soupkitten purr* you can have the remote for the tv & the DVR, i'll make snooty salted caramel popcorn.... :)

                                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                                        If we're all loony in here, don't you think you should make Cracker Jacks instead? (we're NUTS, remember?)

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          hmm, you're probably right, but be sure to make an allergy friendly alternate!

                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        " So please....join me in the loony bin, will you"

                                                                        Maybe I can help...but only licensed in California..,,

                                                                      3. re: soupkitten

                                                                        I think it should have said, "If the unmental health of CH is on the line." The recaps and discussions are insane and we don't need it any other way.;-)

                                                                      4. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        If it were a new episode, I'd just send my dad to dinner in your place, then we'd both be all set...as long as they brought us good doggie bags!

                                                                      5. re: bobbert

                                                                        Some people have greatness thrust upon them.

                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                          "So much for the producers choosing the winners and losers. If that were the case Heather would not have been sent packing tonight."
                                                          _______
                                                          Beat me to it. No TV producer in their right mind would choose to send Heather home this week.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            Re: Grayson Schmitz's steak -

                                                            To me it did look kind of large by comparison with the other stuff on the plate and in contrast to what was being presented by the others in a general sense. I could easily imagine that a diner at the table, after having the other plates such as we see on our TV screens, would have a mental hiccup when faced with GS's plate especially as it was presented at the end of the meal. Didn't some of them (Tom Colicchio and Patti LaBelle, for example, IIRC) say "Wow..." or something like that - and not in a good sense?

                                                            But yes, it was rather pedestrian and not really TC-level. Besides, the judges did also say that there was (appreciable?) gristle etc in the meat...

                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                              Emeril Lagasse said there was gristle on his steak and he thought Grayson should have trimmed the steaks better. When I said they did not look to small I was referring to a steak at a family dinner in Minnesota or Wisconsin or at a steak house, not a Top Chef Elimination Challenge plate. I don't often order steak in a restaurant, I usually order seafood, and we don't have steak too often at home anymore either, maybe 3 or 4 times a year but when we do, it's usually a steak similar to what Grayson served, either a ribeye or strip steak.

                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                It looked like what you might get at a Wisconsin Dinner Club. It might be good food, but it's not Top Chef-quality food. Someone pass me a beer.

                                                              2. re: John E.

                                                                I really thought that Grayson would be out since her dish was badly cooked AND unimaginative. The other thing that occurred to me was that both Grayson and Heather used meat that was described as gristly and tough. What's up with Whole Food's beef? I have never bought meat there, and I guess that now I never will!

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  They carry Niman Ranch, maybe also Coleman? I hate both. Tough, sinewy, tasteless, IME.

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    <They carry Niman Ranch, maybe also Coleman?>

                                                                    At the WFMs I frequent, they carry lots of local grassfed meat. And not every chef knows that grassfed cooks differently from grainfed. Could that have been Grayson's problem? We now know that Heather tried to braise a steak! What's up with that?

                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                      We buy and eat grassfed here and it's delicious!..It certainly isn't gristly or stringy, just tender and tasty. Granted, it does taste a little different from standard beef, but not in a bad way.

                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                    But it was edible. Big yes, so just eat less

                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      I haven't been happy with any meat I have bought at WF. It's all tough, and has no flavor. Despite all of its advertising re: being the best.

                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        There is one WFS in the Twin Cities but is located in Minneapolis and not really convenient to us so we have not shopped there more than a few times. I have never bought anything from their meat counter. The only thing I really stop in to buy there is the stone ground corn meal for polenta. The Quaker brand just does not cut it.

                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          As someone else pointed out, Heather tried to braise a ribeye. Even I know that will result in tough meat, regardless of the source. And Grayson's steaks did not look trimmed at all; I think she removed the rim of fat on the outside and that's it.

                                                                          I buy my meat at WF all the time - if nothing else, they're transparent about where it comes from and how it's processed/treated. I've had absolutely amazing beef from them, and also so-so beef (as with any market where what's available depends on the supply that day). My WF carries both grassfed and corn-finished beef, and the difference is noticeable but both can be very good. I personally don't believe it's the fault of the WF beef that these two ended up on the bottom; it appears they both failed to cook their meat correctly, and that was the primary issue.

                                                                          1. re: monopod

                                                                            There's not enough connective tissue in rib eye to braise it. I almost can't believe that she purposely braised it or would have put it in the pressure cooker or believed it needed more time to cook to be tender. We're talking meat 101 and for all her faults, Heather T. is not a novice cook.

                                                                            1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                              In her defense, because I had said the same thing about braising rib eye earlier, she later said she noticed her rib eye was spongy and the texture was off and the only thing she could think of trying was braising it. I don't know how that might have helped but it seemed like a Hail Mary move on her part.

                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                I don't understand (1) how braising would have helped it be less "spongy" but mostly (2) why she bought ribeye in the first place! Of all the possible cuts of meat, that would have been way down the list of possibilities, and it's one of the most expensive cuts, to boot!

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                  I agree on both counts. I have no idea what she was thinking but maybe she was thinking she'd "update" beef stroganoff w/ a higher end cut of meat? Then, when it was spongy (I don't get what that means as rib eye goes. I've never had a spongy rib eye but it made me think of Mad cow disease and the spongy texture a brain can become), she had no idea what to do but knew she couldn't serve it as is? I was trying to think what I'd do at that point. But, braising would just overcook and toughen it.

                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                    I was thinking the same about her thinking she'd use a better cut of meat but she should have not tried to braise it. She should have tried cooking it seperatly and added the meat at the end. She probably could have used a tenderloin and done it that way and a lot better.

                                                                          2. re: roxlet

                                                                            It might have been wishful thinking on my part, but I thought of the three up for elimination it would be Heather. It seemed there were at least as many negative remarks about her meat, followed by something like, "It all went down from there", and the dumplings were bad. Also, was her beef stroganoff any more imaginative than Grayson's supper club plate?

                                                                            Anyway, I'm very pleased with the outcome. (Oh, and thought the same thing about Whole Foods..this wasn't exactly a great advertisement for their meat department)

                                                                        2. DING DONG THE WITCH
                                                                          IS DEAD!!

                                                                          Excellent recap, Linda. And thanks a lot for it.

                                                                          1. Still watching here, but ka-pow! A Beverly to the face! ( Heather's). I am finally remembering some names.

                                                                            1. For those who don't know, Patti LaBelle, who has been a part of so many key moments in my life, was diagnosed with diabetes, lost weight, and then wrote her cookbook. Just saying.

                                                                              22 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                I've seen her on commercials for diabetes testing units and was wondering at her ability to eat such fat-laden food. When I saw her on the show, I thought they would impose some restrictions that were relevant to people with diabetes. Low sugar, low carb, etc. But it appears she's managed it well enough to be able to eat deliciously. Big ups to her!

                                                                                1. re: soypower

                                                                                  That's actually not true, if you read about her travails and inability to stay on stage due to what appear to be hypoglycemic episode. Also, her violent public outbursts which could be triggered by hypos, which cause irritability and mood disturbances.

                                                                                  1. re: soypower

                                                                                    Hi folks,

                                                                                    Sorry about this, but we removed a bunch of posts that were focused more on managing diabetes than on Top Chef.

                                                                                  2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                    Thanks Shrinkrap. Didn't realize re: the diabetes, but do know she lost a lot of weight, and knew about her cookbooks. I've read the mac & cheese recipe (with 8 cheeses) and it's definitely *not* low-cal...so perhaps that was created before she lost weight. Or...she eats a very small portion of it now. Good for her - dieting shouldn't be about restricting foods you like. Just the discipline of eating a *lot* less of those foods you like. :-)

                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                      i believe patti labelle has *several* cookbooks, and more than a passing interest in food & cooking.

                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                        Among my Patti connections; I am from New York and was visiting my mom, for what turned out to be one of the last times. We heard Patti through my hotel window, from pretty far way. Last year, visiting moms sister, for what turned out to be the last time; saw Fela, and Patti was in it. Total surprise.

                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                          Didn't know that. Can you say more?

                                                                                        2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                          I loved seeing Ms. LaBelle. Why her friends were there was a bit of a head-scratcher.

                                                                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                            The male friend was also her piano player.

                                                                                            1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                              because they are her friends and she wanted to share the moment with them? Besides, a few more diners at the table increases the challenge...

                                                                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                I was kind of surprised that it wasn't shared beforehand that one guest was allergic to eggs...that could have been a pivotal error.

                                                                                                1. re: pine time

                                                                                                  i was so confused by that. she said she was allergic to them but made it sound as though she ate the dish anyway...?

                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                    That's what I thought also. I saw the egg on the side of the plate but it looks like she ate the rice. I thought if someone was allergic to something they need to stay away from anything that food touched.

                                                                                                    1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                      In my experience, there are lots of levels of sensitivity. But I don't remember if she said she was "allergic to eggs" or "can't/doesn't eat eggs" -- which can mean a lot of things. I know people who just don't like 'em.

                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                        I heard allergic and my head snapped up because I was like, "and you're judging a food show?"

                                                                                                        I have to imagine that the diners disclose any allergies and the producers probably tell them every single ingredient that went into each dish so that they can decide what they want to do.

                                                                                                        And sign a waiver.

                                                                                                        And I had to wonder about these "friends." Padma sort of hesitated when she said friends. LIke they were Facebook fans who won a prize or something. There was something very odd about those "friends."

                                                                                                        1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                          as I understand it, the other people at the table (at this and other challenges) don't actually directly participate in the judging. The judges may take their comments into account, but the judges (including the judge who is specifically introduced as as a 'guest judge' as Patti LaBelle was) do the judging. The friends were introduced as 'friends who will be joining us at dinner', NOT as judges.

                                                                                                          The 'allergy' thing was a bit strange, since I did get the impression she ate the dish or at least tasted it, but otherwise I saw or heard nothing that led me to believe that the friends were somehow strange. As was pointed out, one was her piano player: hardly a FB fan who won a prize. And the few comments the friends made (other than the one egg comment) were a heck of a lot more on point than the comments made by the Dallas would-be Housewives and spouses on a previous show.

                                                                                                        2. re: momjamin

                                                                                                          I definitely heard that she said she's allergic to eggs, because I also remember a murmur or sympathy sound from someone else at the table.

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                            She definitely said she was allergic, and the fried egg was sitting on the side of her plate, removed from the rest of the food.

                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                              OK, but some folks are less sensitive on the allergy spectrum, if you will, so eating food that's been touched by their allergen is OK. My dad takes benadryl when he eats lobster, but he avoids softshell crab after a particularly scary reaction. His reaction to shellfish is usually a rash and itchy fingers -- not all allergies produce immediate anaphylaxis.

                                                                                                              Also, some people say "allergy" when they mean they don't care for something. I don't condone this practice, but it happens -- people find it easier to say they're allergic then try to explain. (My grandmother says she's allergic to raspberries, but she'll drink a punch with frozen raspberries floating in it -- she just doesn't scoop up the berries.)

                                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                        Agreed - I have multiple food allergies, and wouldn't be eating anything that was on a plate with something that I was allergic to.

                                                                                                        My worst food allergy is apple, and the last time I came into contact with it a preschooler smeared it on my face - it didn't even get into my mouth, that I know of. Still got to give myself a needle and ride in an ambulance.

                                                                                                        No way would I be eating anything off the same plate with apples. We don't even have apple products in our house. (and apple is in WAY more things than you think)

                                                                                                        1. re: jw615

                                                                                                          Similar here. I'm allergic to lots of antibiotics, including Cipro which is what they give chickens. If I have non-organic chicken, eggs, or even food cooked with regular chicken broth I react. I always have to ask at restaurants and all friends know to either steer clear or go organic if I'm eating at their houses.

                                                                                                  2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                    http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairbal...

                                                                                                2. yep, karma's a bitch and so is Heather. Absolutely loved Tom's very pointed comment about Bev NOT being at judging table for the bottom three. HAH. and i don't give Heather credit for exiting gracefully - you don't get points for acting like a decent human being just because it contrasts so much with you having been such a bitch royale previously. good sportsmanship - especially when losing - should be the base, not something you get kudos for. i will say, tho, that during LCK, her dish looked really good. no one said she couldn't cook. but i'm glad she's gone.

                                                                                                  Loooved Patti LaBelle singing - girl STILL has the tubes!

                                                                                                  i liked that Tom said that the chefs' dishes during quickfire were exciting - they looked it.

                                                                                                  So: what's next to bitch about? Wonder how short this thread will be?

                                                                                                  I'm really liking Ty-lor and Ed, Paul too. Sarah's my 4th. Bev did a good job tonight.... i really wished I could have tasted her elimination challenge dish.

                                                                                                  Thanks as always, Linda, great job!

                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                    Absolutely loved Tom's very pointed comment about Bev NOT being at judging table for the bottom three. HAH.
                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                    YES. that was awesome. i let out a loud "Hah!" when he said it :)

                                                                                                    i sort of suspected Heather would get her comeuppance this week after Bev's confessional comment about karma early in the episode. and how great was it to hear Patti LaBelle say that Heather served them Bigfoot?

                                                                                                    now that the Wicked Witch is gone, i'd like to see the departures of all the chefs that have just underwhelmed me so far - namely Lindsay, Grayson, Chris C and Chris J.

                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                      Yeah, both Chris's don't seem to be stepping up to the plate. And I *want* Grayson to wow me, but not sure if she can.

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Is it just me or is Lindsay just a touch grating. Not annoyingly grating but just enough to make me not pay attention to things that she does. She could be an under the radar type.

                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                          Lindsay has the same effect on me.

                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                            It's not just you. I've not really been overly impressed with her. All of her "living and cooking in Mexico for 3 years" talk hasn't served her well in the couple of challenges that seemed tailored for that type of dish.

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              I thought her EC dish looked great and was very well received until Emeril mentioned the butter. Too much butter for Emeril? As someone upstream alluded to, the guy is personally responsible for $1 billion in Lipitor sales annually. She must have really overdone the butter.

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                +99 that she's been underwhelming thus far.

                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              I know, I like her so much, but she's so not inspiring with her food.

                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                i thought that the dish grayson had recently that was a qf win looked really great...

                                                                                                                1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                  I know, but it's an exception. I've liked her so much since the first airing, and I think she's just really underperforming. I hope she can step it up. Right now, I'm still hoping for Nyesha to come banging back, but I like Paul, Ed, Beverly (food only, so farK), Ty Lor, Sarah... I want to like Grayson's food more. And I REALLY want Nyesha back in now, not later! I think she can wipe the floor with most of these chefs, just a hunch.

                                                                                                        2. I watched the show an hour later and was literally falling asleep so went to bed as they were going to call out the first batch of folks and forgot to watch the last 10 min this morning. Figured I better read this without knowing who won to not get behind but I don't think this will turn into 600 posts. I have to say, I'm surprised Heather went home with the way they seemed to really not like Grayson's dish. Now there's nothing to bitch about the rest of the season, right? I might have fallen asleep anyway, didn't think this was so exciting altho some of the dishes looked good.

                                                                                                          53 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                            I honestly thought that Grayson or Chris C. was going home as well. As for nothing to bitch about for the rest of the season? THIS group? Silly Joanie. I'm sure we'll find something. ;-)

                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                              It's likely that Grayson's dish, while unimaginative and with a steak too large, was cooked correctly. Heather's beef was overcooked for steak and undercooked for a braise, ie. tough.

                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                Yes. Remember, if something ends up inedible, and Heather's dish appeared to be falling into they realm, that pretty much trumps anything else. Grayson's giant steak could have gone well (like motor Chris with his miniature food) if she only did something creative with the dish. As she said, she simply did her fathers dish - she took the challenge literary. The big steak could have been part of a good story.

                                                                                                                1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                  (like motor Chris with his miniature food)
                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                  you threw me for a second there - the name of the restaurant he works at is "Moto" ;)

                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                    I seriously want Moto Chris to get rid of the samurai ponytail.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      If anyone can explain the attractiveness factor of Moto Chris' hair do, please do so now. I am flummoxed.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                        I am less bothered by his hair as I like it when poeple step out of the norm. I think we could use a bit more flair in our daily lives, but if you are going to have crazy hair you'd best have the chops to back it up. Lillipution food ain't gonna cut it.

                                                                                                                        jb

                                                                                                                        1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                          Well, unless they're working at a T.J.I.Fridays, there's no way they could have enough flair. :-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            Okay, that took me a second to catch but when I did Diet Coke came up my nose. Well done.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              Is it possible to love someone you only know on a message board? Linda, I love you.

                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                LOL! Sometimes I can come up with *just* the right thing at *just* the right time. :-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                  I think we are all in love with Linda. Not in a weird stalker kind of way of course.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                    I promise never to boil her bunny.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                      LOL! chicgail, Phaedrus and mcf, I'm blushing.

                                                                                                                                      But mcf, what if rabbit is on the menu? I wonder what the cheftestants would do - perhaps a good sear, then simmered with wine and herbs, and finished with a nice mustard pan sauce? Or would they all go the was of making a Hasenpfeffer? ;-)

                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  Well, color me clueless...What are you getting at? (Maybe Firegoat or chicgail could also fill me in)
                                                                                                                                  According to Google TJIFridays comes up as "thank june it's friday" which is neither here nor there; or leads to a restaurant facebook page which only lists nearby restaurants - a bunch of the usual national chain-type places, which may be some sort of comment on Chris Jones cooking like someone at one of those chain restaurants. Looking at the map for the place gives the coordinates (30.21032612, -95.45899559) which is a hair salon in Conroe outside Houston, which may be a comment on the hairstyles done at that place, but which assumes LindaWhit has some particular reason for choosing that hair salon for her comment...or is it a general comment about Texan hairstyles? (large, bouffant, that sort of stereotype...?)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                    Watch Office Space. You'll then get the "flair" quip

                                                                                                                                    1. re: lbs

                                                                                                                                      Oh. I've never heard of the movie let alone seen it. Searching for it turns up stuff [e.g. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0151804/t...] about "pieces of flair" that the lead actor says about the Nazis making jews wear (you mean the Star of David?)/that this actress has to wear at that restaurant in Texas modeled on TGIFridays (not TJIFridays); and citations about that quote and notes about the actor being in the movie 'Band of Brothers' where he participated in liberating a Nazi concentration camp; & etc etc. Nothing seems funny to me.

                                                                                                                                      Guess one needs to have "been there" to get this.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                        Saying "nothing seems funny to me" about what you've *read* about a movie? If someone told me that in a movie, the horses would neigh every time someone said "Frau Blucher", that wouldn't be very funny, but it's damn funny in the movie. Look that one up if you need to, as well. ;-)

                                                                                                                                        For anyone who has ever worked in a cubicle environment, Office Space is a classic. Easily one of my top 10 favorite movies.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                          @LD: Oh, like these?
                                                                                                                                          http://blog.moviefone.com/2008/03/18/...
                                                                                                                                          http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/bl...
                                                                                                                                          http://www.ladyofthecake.com/mel/fran...
                                                                                                                                          http://www.ladyofthecake.com/mel/fran...

                                                                                                                                          Eh, I always liked this part best - http://www.ladyofthecake.com/mel/fran... which, of course, was such a hysterical trampling of this one... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_m7un...

                                                                                                                                        2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                          Or perhaps you need to watch the movie to understand, especially if you've worked in an office environment (or waited tables at a place like TGIFriday's).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            @ LW and LD - OK, I guess I need to rent a copy of that movie... :-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                              huiray - it's one of those "are you freakin' KIDDING me?" things that companies sometimes makes their employees do, and if they don't, they get dinged for it.

                                                                                                                                              Kind of like those inspirational posters that some idiotic HR people think are going to "inspire" their employees to be more productive when all it does it piss them off. "Flair" is definitely like that for those @ TGIFriday's (or in the movie). :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                I seem to remember getting "pieces of flair" on Facebook......I thought it was one of those inexplicable Facebook things.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  This idiotic HR person is more of a fan of Despair.com ;o)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                                                                    Aren't they tho? LOL

                                                                                                                                        3. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                          huiray - check out Office Space and the bit about "flair": :-)

                                                                                                                                          http://movieclips.com/rZXFU-office-sp...

                                                                                                                                          And DAMMITALL on the T.Jay.I.Friday's! LOL Of course, I meant T.Gee.I.Friday's. :-)

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                      maybe it's a thing at Moto to have a weird hairstyle. I mean look at Richie.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                        Oh brother!

                                                                                                                                        I watched the episode last night, and the whole time, I kept thinking how cute his hair looked!

                                                                                                                                        I like it....allot.

                                                                                                                                        Edit: Chris moto - this was meant to be a response to way above comments about Chris' hair. Still like it!!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                          Really? The pony tail on top? I guess it's just not my thing!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                            What I found interesting was how much TIME he spent putting his hair in that ponytail. AND I think he was looking in a mirror while doing it. Now I know why he usually wears two sets of glasses at the same time. He needs that 2nd pair back real soon so he can see what he's doing.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                        i'm reserving comment on this one. as we've been systematically wading through 40-plus years of family keepsakes and photos, i've recently been reminded of my own questionable hairstyle choices at various times in my youth. hindsight is 20/20, as they say ;)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                          Youthful bad haircuts/styles can be blamed on your parents, ghg. Or the era. :-)

                                                                                                                                          (Says she who had a short haircut with a tight curly perm back in the mid-80s....GAH. I *think* all of those pictures have been destroyed!)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            People from my era has had to dig up all the portraits with the Farrah "do", or the Tony Manero "do" and burning them.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              when i dine out, i always go back into the kitchen to check out the chef's hairstyle before i sit down to eat.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                Dining out and watching television are not the same thing, and unless one is at a 'sports bar', they should never be done simultaneously.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                  to paraphrase what someone else once said, watching a t.v. show about a food competition and commenting on someone's hairstyle is like dancing about architecture.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                    While I understand your analogy, it would only work if a television show were not part of the picture. So far, you are the only person that I recall posting here that the chef's hairstyle affects your choice of restaurant in which to dine out.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                      i.was.kidding.
                                                                                                                                                      i stand by the analogy.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                        I guess my point is that despite it being called 'reality television' TC is not reality. This thread is all about commenting on the participants on this show. If someone were to really decide where to eat based on the chef's hairstyle that would indeed be petty.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                          i read an interview with chris jones where he said the producers made him style his hair that way to get viewers talking about it.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                            Are you saying he did not bring his own scrunchies from home?

                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            I prefer to refer to his hair do as a "Cindy Lou Who". His haircut is preferable to see once in a while as opposed to his butt crack.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                              Well yeah. Topknot hair vs. butt crack is a GIVEN, John E. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                At least he got rid of the 2nd pair of glasses on his head. Baby steps...

                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                It reminds me of Mulan

                                                                                                                                              3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                The device I use to input with often corrects me by writing the words it thinks I mean like motor instead of moto. Sometimes I don't catch it. Sorry bout that.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                  gotcha. no need to apologize, just wanted to make sure you knew :)

                                                                                                                                                  damned auto correct...
                                                                                                                                                  http://damnyouautocorrect.com/

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                    +1

                                                                                                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                              I'm pretty sure that when Emeril says "I don't know what cut of meat this is" and the guest judge calls it "Bigfoot" your dish is a loser. Plus, it was supposedly inspired by beef Stroganoff, which I've always seen as sliced beef of beef tips, not a big hunk of knarly meat.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                I've had an amazing beef stroganoff that had huge pieces of tenderloin in it. But they were cooked separately (seared) and added only at the last minute, so they weren't braised with the rest of the dish. It was like eating steaks floating in a sea of stroganoff and noodles, and I personally loved it. I imagine that if Heather had done it that way, she might not have been on top but she certainly wouldn't have gone home.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: monopod

                                                                                                                                                  In addition to "Big Foot" according to the judges' comments she also made spaetzel instead of noodles, which sounds like a great idea to me, except that they were dry and overcooked. It was an all-around "fail" on the dish.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                  If she had borrowed some of Beverly's short rib meat, Heather could have braised it and it would have been a delicious riff on beef stroganoff.

                                                                                                                                                  Don't know what she was thinking in braising rib eye. She might as well have served boiled filet mignon.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                  And her dumplings (spaetzle I think, but didn't someone call them dumplings?) and sauces were deemed bad.

                                                                                                                                              2. Grayson was very lucky that Heather used rib-eye (rib-eye?!) to make stroganoff.
                                                                                                                                                (And if I lived in Austin, I'd think twice about buying rib-eye at that store. Were they the only two that bought rib-eye, and both landed on the bottom? Grayson should have at least had a chance.)

                                                                                                                                                Great stories from all the chefs. Loved the chicken fingers and the bibimbap with a rice cake. Sara's sausage/cabbage did look good.

                                                                                                                                                Loved Tom's comment about Beverly to Heather -- "We didn't send you home last week, because the other dish was inedible, but we do see what's going on."

                                                                                                                                                And now I have "karma karma karma karma karma chameleon" going through my head, driving out the Christmas carol earworms ;-)

                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                  just curious what would be a better meat for the stroganoff. Hubby was also questioning the rib-eye but I haven't made stroganoff since my college ground beef days (and those were a long time ago!) so I wasn't sure what I'd suggest instead. Sirloin tips maybe?

                                                                                                                                                  The dish I wanted to eat was the bibbimbap; that's my idea of comfort food!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                    I was wondering if she tried to braise rib eye. Why would she do that? I think of stroganoff as either a quick meal where you could use rib eye but not braise it; or using something like chuck roast if you're going to braise it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                      There are recipes with cubed chuck roast; or tenderloin or sirloin, cut into thin strips...but I suppose stewing beef or even short ribs (yum!) would be good with a long, slow braise. Two hours with short ribs should be enough, I would think; maybe stew beef might need longer?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                        The stew cuts can be sliced thinly which would help but still needs time. I can't imagine rib eye braised. A pressure cooker would have been perfect. I think Heather should learn to use one correctly if she wants to win a competition like this. Has she never watched the show? It was not the pressure cooker that made the duck stringy, it was her use of it that did.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                        Ditto on thinking of stroganoff as a quick meal. Thinly sliced, quickly pan-seared - either tenderloin or top round - and then cooked with the sauce is usually the way I go. The whole braising idea didn't quite make sense to me for a straganoff - but then again, I'm not a chef.

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                        I use beef tenderloin/filet in my stroganoff and I sear it quickly and add back at the very end so it's medium rare when served. My stroganoff kicks butt ;-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                          It did seem like she was trying to braise the rib-eye to make up for something going awry, but I didn't catch her whole process. In any case, I agree with any of the other choices listed here for a better stroganoff cut. Rib-eye just says "steak" to me, that is, like Grayson served it, but smaller and better ;-)

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                          Hmm. Why is rib-eye a bad choice at that store? (regardless of the correct choice for Stroganoff)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                            Grayson's rib-eyes were reported to be gristly and spongy.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, they were - I just thought there was a general reason for avoiding rib-eyes at that store that you were aware of.

                                                                                                                                                        3. I want to hear the rest of Emeril's story about "hotel buffets Tom used to drag him to."

                                                                                                                                                          Maybe we'll hear that at the reunion show.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Edward replies "I've got balls...and I'm gonna show 'em!" Lovely. :-)

                                                                                                                                                            They head off to the Top Chef kitchen in the Driskill Grill. Everyone's going balls to the wall in trying to get everything done on time.
                                                                                                                                                            _____________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                                                                            It seems our lovely Linda has balls on the brain. :)

                                                                                                                                                            First of all, I am super jealous that they are staying at the Driskill. I wanted to stay there when I lived there but never got a chance.

                                                                                                                                                            Since they are in Austin, I am kind of hoping they would use the restaurants there for some of the challenges. Since Paul is already from Uchiko that would knock it out. I would like to see them in Fonda San Miguel or the Salt Lick.

                                                                                                                                                            Here is a favorite saying for Heather as the door slaps her on her butt on the way out: "Be nice to everyone, karma is a bitch only if you are."

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                              ::::snort:::: Balls. Christmas balls. Cookie balls. "BALLS!" said the Queen. "If I had two, I'd be King!"

                                                                                                                                                              Is having balls on the brain a BAD thing, dear Phaedrus? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                Not so much. Just pointing that out.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Tom Colicchio's blog went up last night pretty soon after the 1st broadcast of the episode and apparently he had time to read the comments about HT. :-) OTOH still nothing from him about last week's episode. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                Interesting re: the differences in the bottom 3 dishes, AND his comments about Heather braising a rib-eye:

                                                                                                                                                                " You want to braise cuts like shoulders, shanks and bellies, because they have a lot of collagen and connecting tissue that breaks down as it’s braised, creating a rich dish. You don’t want to braise cuts of meat like strip steak or rib eye or tenderloin. Heather could have braised that piece of meat for three days, and it would never have worked. "

                                                                                                                                                                And even Tom C. acknowledges that the only thing sweeter for Beverly would have been to win the EC when Heather went home.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm glad to read that he said that. I was wondering the same thing but thought Heather, being a trained chef, might know more than I do about braising a rib eye. Apparently not!

                                                                                                                                                              2. I'll be the first to say I wasn't broken up about seeing Mama Cass shown the door. (She's the kind of person I would enjoy winding up, though.)

                                                                                                                                                                However, Grayson's dish looked like...well....her old man cooked it. What the hell? The only think missing was everybody scooping the sides out of Tupperware Bowl and her stabbing each steak asking, "One steak, or two?", and flopping it on the plate in front of the judges.

                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                  I wasn't broken up about seeing Mama Cass shown the door.
                                                                                                                                                                  ---------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                  Hahahahhahahah!

                                                                                                                                                                  You nailed it!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bart Hound

                                                                                                                                                                    Mama Cass was nice! And talented.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                      Good point. That comment was unfair to Mama Cass.

                                                                                                                                                                      I still got a chuckle out of it, but I'm a big jerk sometimes!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bart Hound

                                                                                                                                                                        If only Heather would have gone out on a ham sandwich......

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                          That actually made me LOL

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                            Like. Like. Like.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                              Pretty close--she went out on beef stroganoff. I'll bet Sandra Lee makes a pretty good beef stroganoff!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                Wow. Very funny. But also very mean. At least Heather didn't make any tablescapes.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                  Phaedrus,
                                                                                                                                                                                  We don't know this for certain. As has been discussed here ad nauseam, the tablescape could very well have been edited out. In Heather's defense, I didn't see any Hamburger Helper boxes laying around, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                    Those dastardly elves cleaning up after Heather. Point taken.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                "If only Heather would have gone out on a ham sandwich......"

                                                                                                                                                                                if only mama cass had...

                                                                                                                                                                      2. That's who I expected to go home, with Grayson a possibility. When judges say they don't even konw what the meat is... So glad to see her gone, especially with Beverly outperforming her so completely. Do I hear the march of diners' feet past HT's bar and on to Beverly's, block's away?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I love this from Hugh: "Toyota Sienna wagon train time. Hopefully they don’t go via the Donner Pass… these chefs would eat each other faster than any other expedition in history."

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                            ::::giggling::::

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                              That is awesome!! *like*

                                                                                                                                                                            2. As thrilled as I am that Heather is gone, I do have to stick up for her in saying that I feel LindaWhit's comment regarding her behaviour during the QF (i.e. she rolled her eyes when Beverly's name was announced as a top dish) is incorrect. I rewatched that scene because upon reading this, I kept thinking that I would have remembered that and didn't, and certainly, Heather did not roll her eyes: she just looked to the side.

                                                                                                                                                                              There's plenty to call her out on without having to look for things that aren't there.

                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                                                                It seemed like a 'dis' to Beverly, as I remember it, too. I'll have to rewatch to see why I have that opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I *would* classify HT's response (as shown, if the sequence is "correct") as an eye-roll in the general sense, even if you may not have seen the whites of her eyes. It was *definitely* an ill-dispositioned response (if correctly juxtaposed) to BK being called as a "top-three" in the QF. I, on my part, fully agree with LW's characterisation.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                    Nice to see many of the chefs do well last night and show why they were chosen for the competition in the first place. I think the consensus that this is a weak group has had more to do with the challenges than the talent levels of the chefs. It also seems to take many of the chefs a while to get used to the competition and based on last night I'm optimistic that several that were stumbling at the beginning are finding their happy place.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think eye roll was a fair characterization, and I watched it twice. That said, this was one of those places where the elves get to play their little games. She may have made that expression in response to something completely different, and they edited it to create more Bev/Heather drama.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly. I meant to reply to huiray and jeanmarie earlier saying that. Those damn Editing Elves could have been playing tricks again with something taken from a completely different comment/reaction. We'll never know.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          True, which is why I said "if the sequence is correct". :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                                                                      We also don't know when Heather rolled or didn't roll her eyes. Could have been in response to a completely unrelated comment at a different time. Editing can be oh so misleading.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tru dat!

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Ty Lor's explanation as to the origination of his EC dish got me a little curious. He said it was something his Japanese nanny cooked for him. How many of you 'Hounds had a nanny growing up? That sounds quite upper-class to me. I have a hard time relating to that kind of childhood. Of course I grew up in the 60s and 70s when stay-at-home moms were the norm.

                                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Many middle to upper middle class families have nannies. It's often less expensive than placing children in day care, and they get to be in their own environment. Nannies also do more around the house than just baby sit.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                          I understand that that's what often happens now. My question was really about having a nanny 30+ years ago. I was wondering if it was as common then as now.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                            It was, often au pairs in upper middle or middle class families. At least in metro east coast areas I'm aware of.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                          He also said he lived in Bangock for a while so I wonder if his family lived abroad for a while when he was a kid hence the nanny. Pure speculation on my part. Just that I know a guy who's parents were missionaries and when they lived in Japan, he had a nanny to help with languages. etc

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lbs

                                                                                                                                                                                            American friends who grew up in Japan had Japanese nannies. Another pair of brothers who were raised in Hong Kong had an amah that stayed with the family even after the boys went off to college in America, graduated, and were off into the world. Years later I stopped in to visit one of them in Hong Kong and the amah was still living at the parents' house and taking care of the parents instead of the kids. She really was almost a part of the family, if still a servant of sorts.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The you probably remember The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Eddie had a Japanese nanny and they didn't seem upper class.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                              But that is a TV comedy show.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                And this isn't? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I had a live in sitter (we had three housholds in 1500 square feet) but she was my grandmas cousin from the islands , and wore garlic around her neck. That smell is what I remember, and dreamt about, and not in a good way. I did not know any "stay at home moms"; we probably thought Of it as "welfare"....but that was in Queens and Brooklyn.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Hugh Acheson's blog is up, and reminded me of yet another "Balls!" comment I missed: Paul was "sweating balls" when they headed for Austin. :-)

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

                                                                                                                                                                                              His blog is pure gold. He calls Ty-Lor "Slingblade." LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                Indeed. I liker HA's blogs. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                Note too that all of the three "expected" blogs went up really quickly last night. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hadn't read his blogs before, frickin hilarious!! He kept saying "karma police" and I kept waiting for him to say Radiohead. Actually, every time someone on here or on the show said karma, I started singing karma police in my head, haha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. **** i am responding w/o seeing the episode-- LW's excellent recap is enough to go on

                                                                                                                                                                                                  i'm with everyone else who is glad to see heather's exit. really hope the producers/editors can focus on the cooking now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  i am glad to see that sarah did well-- i had expected her to "bring it" much earlier in the competition, given her pedigree and experience... maybe we can still see some good stuff from her, once she's out of the team challenges which certainly don't seem to be her forte.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  the "crack kills" and "malibu chris" stuff cracks me up. i was gobsmacked in the discussion in the last ep (sorry to bring it up), that folks thought it was more acceptable to disparage people's character than their appearance-- because as illustrated by these comments, it is part of the pro kitchen culture to poke fun at one another based on dress/appearance. . . folks who can't take a good-natured joke about themselves (and be able to dish back) should never work in the biz, i guess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                    but SK, "crack kills" and "malibu chris" were actually said TO the people, by people they knew (at TC, at least), in pretty good-spirited, gentle-fun fashion (and i too laughed at "crack kills"!). it's very different for people to be saying "fat fat ugy fat ugly" about a person that is mostly disliked because she appears to be mean-spirited, controlling and nasty to a fellow chef. it appears that people think it's ok to disparage someone for their looks once we've determined we don't like them for something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I can tear up Heather just as easily as I can Kim Kardashian. Fat and ugly typically doesn't solicit many laughs in the adult world; it's got to be a bit more creative and thoughtful than that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I am a texan and it's killin me that we are seeing week after week of huge ('texas sized") steaks, BBQ and chile. honestly, folks. we got a lot of really great food here... i promise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    kh

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: khintx

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am awaiting the huitlacoche and chicken fried steak challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. "Go Chef!" :o)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. While I'm glad that Heather is gone, it does sort of sadden me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        So much less angst, bitching, and general overall vitriol has been lost now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Part of what makes these shows so intriguing is conflict. Beverly v. Heather was like a cat fight for the ages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        And I must admit, Patti LaBelle looks freaking great for her age. I'd hate to have to pay her Botox bills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seriously, no drama and shitty food. What would be worth watching?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Patti LaBelle looks freaking great for her age. I'd hate to have to pay her Botox bills."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe...but some say..."black don't crack"...
                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.thegrio.com/entertainment/...
                                                                                                                                                                                                            And c'mon ....Tina Turner?She is freakin' 72
                                                                                                                                                                                                            At 68
                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Can I say that? I'm not "fat" , but I am black, so.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought she looked a little too tight to be natural. You don't think she's had some work done?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                >>>> And I must admit, Patti LaBelle looks freaking great for her age. I'd hate to have to pay her Botox bills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                __________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So, yes, I absolutely think she's visited a mechanic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Am I the only one who heard Padma's voiceover in the Last Chance Kitchen promo that was broadcast ast the end of this episod? Sh seemed to be referring to Heather as "lean and mean?" I rolled that one over in my head a few times. Mean? yea. Lean? no really. Was it a double-edged sword? A zinger? Or just a throwaway that I am adding too much meaning to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                chicgail, I think the comment was "Queen of Mean" - which was the name given her last episode and a phrase I used at the beginning of Ep. #8's recap - "Queen of Mean and King of Pain", referencing Heather and Ty-Lor. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gotcha. They say that when you get old, the back and legs start to go and then you can't hear so well. Glad you can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    eh? What was that, chicgail?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What was what, Linda?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Did I mention that I also have CRS (can't remember sh*t)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Y'all are killing me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Huh? There's someone here named Y'all? Sounds Eastern European.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And if it's just one person named Y'all, shouldn't that be "Y'all IS killing me"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And why is Y'all trying to kill you, Phaedrus? What did you ever do to Y'all?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Eater and that Houston blog have got their blogs up. I'd post here if I knew how to but am trusting that someone else will do so. Both were funny and had some good quotes, including Max saying it was too bad Ed's grandma wasn't still around to tell him to "shave your stupid beard" and referring to Heather's "overwhelming personal charm.".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  here's Max's from Eater:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://eater.com/archives/2011/12/22/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    here you go. now to read.... UH-OH SPOILER ALERT - IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN LCK, DON'T READ EATER'S BLOG ENTRY!

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ahahahaha! "....Paul made a very unusual looking plate of bacon fat, crispy bacon, blackberries, chorizo and mushroom hash. It does not seem like much on screen, but it earns him the win and ten grand, making Austin temporarily proud. He immediately buys an ounce of weed and his dogs shit everywhere."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's the Houston Press: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        From her blog:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Who is Emeril to say otherwise, to say that your sense memories are not valid? They're valid because they're your own, and therein lies the entire problem of asking someone to make comfort food and then define it by your own interpretation of the "genre," if we can even call it that. Everyone's idea of comforting or soulful food will be different depending on their background and childhood -- especially this diverse group of chefs -- and so every dish will reflect that. Not what you, as a judge, deemed comforting at some long-distant point in your past."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Did people see the link about Patti's security guards seemingly beating up a dude waiting for a ride at the airport. I didn't see anyone mention this, it's pretty crappy that the kid is getting suspended from West Point and possibly sent to Afghanistan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairbal...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I did. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8244...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I thought the cop fussing over her and ignoring the incident was pretty shocking too. Here's a few more links. (There are more)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/p...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She also had a recent skirmish in the lobby of her apartment building in NY, yelled at a mom for not parenting Patti's way, then threw a water bottle at mom and toddler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I thought the behavior of her security guards and the airport cops was disgusting! I read that one of the security guards is her son (so much for being a standard for good mothering). I guess that's one way to keep diminishing resources in the family. I've never understood those stretch limos, either, unless you have a whole gang of people. For proms etc. where a bunch of teenagers pool their money, go out together, and (often) drink illegally it's good to not have them driving. For weddings it's fun to see the celebrants popping out of the moon roof. For everyone else, including celebrities and wannabes like Real Housewives, it's just showing off/conspicuous consumption in its most flagrant manifestation, Makes me want to bust out the pitchforks and torches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The "Real Housewives" usually have a camera crew in the limo with them, so the limo makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Just looked at the very end of the show, the tease for next week. The big fire pit kind of looked like the pit at the Salt Lick. It's been years since I had been so if someone from Austin could verify or deny, that would be great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Great interview with HeathervTerhune who runs a wonderful happy kitchen here ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.tvguide.com/News/Top-Chef-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              31 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Siun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, the "I'm not mean, I just tell it like it is to your face" routine. A real classic. I wonder why people who "just tell it like it is" never say anything nice? If they say what they think, and they never say anything nice, then they must never think anything nice. Right? And as for people not saying she was being mean to Bev, they did -- Dakota defended Bev at judges table against Heather's rant about how Bev had a "different work ethic."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In one of the TC threads here someone who used to work for Heather posted how difficult she was to work for and mentioned something about foul language.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And this is verified how?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Messages on a local message board from people with credibility suggest just the opposite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Siun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know only what I wrote in the post to which you replied. I looked for the post, but with hundreds of posts over several threads I did not find it. I have not read other message boards on the topic of Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was interesting that in her interview Heather mentioned all the people who think she's wonderful but didn't mention employees or people she has worked with or for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't remember seeing someone posting that she is difficult to work for. I do recall people saying that the open kitchen in her restaurant looks friendly enough and that they've only seen her being pleasant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been to her restaurant and haven't seen anything that I would question, but I do think it's very different to view a chef when one is a patron than when one is an employee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is a strong difference of opinion about the quality of the food in her restaurant. Some people rave about it. Others of us think her place is more of a great bar than a restaurant and that she makes really good bar food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        American comfort food would work as a description. Truffled deviled eggs are good as are her veggie sliders. She does a corn pudding creme brulee that occurs for me as creamed corn with a brulee crust. But not the worlds most astonishing cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know any more than what I have already posted. I don't know which kitchen the OP was referring. I don't even know if it was in Chicago. I did not make it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've been there too and not seen anything that stuck out - like screaming going on in the kitchen - but as you say the "customer experience" is very different from the "employee experience". (Mind you, I can't say that my "customer experience" has also been that great) Since it is also an open kitchen, I can imagine that *any* open confrontations visible/audible to the dining public must surely be written into the contracts as a "firing offense", something that sane employees would keep in mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The food? Like you I'm not one of those who gush in ecstasy ;-) over it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Totally get your reference, huiray. LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL! I just got it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  heh. well having just one (or a couple) of very voluble fans is better than having none, i guess. it's important for those of us who lurk on the chicago board to realize sometimes that it's just a small percentage of folks often repeating the same rec, vs. many folks stating their underwhelmed-ness, who state it infrequently, or just once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In one of the TC threads here someone who used to work for Heather posted how difficult she was to work for and mentioned something about foul language.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              _________________________________________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is true for just about any chef, whether they are on TC or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wow, working in a kitchen is difficult! and there is foul language!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                you. don't. say. LMAO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There's foul language in my office place at times too. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    F*** yeah!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In that interview, Heather explained herself and took responsibility. For example:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Everyone's on your case for bringing up the shrimp at Judges' Table last week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Heather: Well, it wasn't my choice to talk about that! [Laughs]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Who brought it up?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Heather: The judges asked us about it. They asked us, so I answered. I mean, I'm not stupid. Why would I bring up something that happened the week before? It doesn't make any sense. It had nothing to do with the competition that we were in and it was a double elimination, so I would've gone home with Beverly. Beverly and I actually got along during that whole cook."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I guess it's cool to kick a dog when it's down. Oh Heather is so mean and she never has any nice thoughts. She probably kills puppies and serves them up as bulgogi in her farm to table restaurant with a dash of pan-Asian crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heather says that, so it must be true, right? Of course, the author of the production blog, who was also there, wonders why Heather brought it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I can imagine a scenario that went like this, based on what we saw:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As we saw, Heather jumps into the discussion and starts talking about how from the very beginning they didn't get along, and how they have different "work ethics"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Judges want to know what she means by that. Heather brings up the shrimp "issue."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Under this scenario, you could claim that she was just answering the judges' question. But not for one minute do I think the judges specifically asked about the shrimp. That also doesn't explain why she was talking about it in the stew room. Did the judges ask her about it there, too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  +1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    +2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WWDiner, just because Heather said it doesn't make it as it happened. I'm more likely to believe the production staffer's blog than Heather at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And when Dakota AND Nyesha AND Edward and others note ON CAMERA that Heather's been a bitch to Beverly during the various competitions and in the Stew Room, I'm inclined to believe that Heather isn't all that nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      +3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And I'm just glad we don 't have to talk about her any more after this episode. Unless, of course she asserts herelf negatively at LCK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What are the odds??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nyesha took care of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No spoilers, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ruth has it spot on. does editing happen of course but she is still responsible for her words and actions and she doesn't deny making them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not really surprised that the Elves would do an edit like that, but didn't the judges say something like "...that was last week..." in reference to Heather's statements about Beverly and the shrimp from the previous challenge? I would like to hear from Beverly to get her take on Heather's statement "Beverly and I actually got along during that whole cook."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sure they did. Didn't you see? Heather laid down the law on what they would or would not do and Beverly kept her mouth shut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Heh. :-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They got along so well, in fact, that HT had to justify their still being supposedly competitors by making some noises about not being able to do her dish the way she wanted to, *not at all*, etc etc etc. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's exactly it. To Heather, getting along means that they had friendly interactions and no overt conflicts. That doesn't mean a thing. I had a co-worker once who was so awful, and the supervisor wouldn't do anything to control him (his dad was a congressman), that I finally quit because I couldn't take it. But I still "got along" with him, I just gritted my teeth through the normal daily pleasantries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had a passive aggressive (and sometimes just plain aggressive) boss like that - I "got along" too. Until it got to be too much and I gave notice and quit. She couldn't understand why and actually asked me to stay, offered me incentives, etc. I knew that they would last for just long enough for me to get comfortable and then it would all start again. I was so relieved when I gave my notice, it felt like a physical weight had been lifted off of me. Needless to say I didn't reconsider for even a second. I imagine that's how Bev feels...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interestingly enough, on that same interview page there's a link to one with Dakota, and they asked her about judge's table:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Did you think it was weird she [Heather] brought up last week's challenge? Everyone knows the judges don't care about what happened even earlier that day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dakota: Yeah, absolutely. We were all baffled ourselves. A few people were like, "Get over it! This is a new day, new challenge." The fact that they got paired together — we all knew that this isn't going to go well. [Laughs] It was very strange, very awkward. I'm definitely glad it's over. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ruth, Good point about "telling it like it is" etc. My mother warned me about people like that (including those who tell you mean or unpleasant things "only for your own good") when I was in elementary school. Her advice has stood the test of time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Bah, a 12 oz steak is tiny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Says the guy in Wisconsin whose top preferences at a nice supper club goes something like 1) Porterhouse 2) the largest size prime rib 3) T-bone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't order steak at a place that doesn't have a porterhouse or T-bone on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Did anyone else find themselves wishing that Chuy was still on for this challenge? I bet he had like a 100 more stories to tell about who inspired him to cook!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hadn't thought about it, but you're right! I would love to have heard more "Chuy's dad" stories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Did anyone else wince when Heather Terhune l-e-a-n-e-d over into Chris Crary, draped her arm over him and leered oleaginously when she put the moves on him when he haplessly moved over to the couch before Patti LaBelle appeared on stage to, uh, "sing"? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did anyone else wince
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  more than that - i cringed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oleaginously, that's not a word I have ever seen. Even firefox spellcheck thinks it's misspelled!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Had to look it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Prof Higgins...Pygmalion...Eliza...My Fair Lady...Karpathy...Ball...Waltz...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      =))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh god I was wondering if someone was going to mention that. I went EWWWW. Also all that talk in the car..... bad images.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.c...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (If it loads at the first page...manually go to post#35)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oleaginous -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1.having the nature or qualities of oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Unctuous; fawning; smarmy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What a great word choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's such a great word! Especially for the way she was trying to put the moves on Chris C. It literally makes me shudder to recall the incident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oleaginously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I stand in awe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You really think "Shrek" was putting the move on "Malibu"? You don't think "Shrek" was just acting in front of the camera? Remember the word "karma." If bites back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And merry Xmas (in a secular sense) to all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmm, I wonder what happened to your earlier post and to my previous response to your 'replacement' post...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, whether she was acting (most probably) or not (unlikely) she surely would have known that the cameras were rolling and she is providing yet more fodder for the editors to play with and broadcast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Season's Greetings to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oooh, what a GREAT descriptive word, huiray - "oleaginously". Just. Freaking. Brilliant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In most contexts "oleaginous" makes me think of politicians. In this case, however, it perfectly fit Heather! Huzzah huiray!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to everyone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. BTW I guess the "Car Curse" struck again. IIRC Michael Voltaggio has been the only one to beat it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Chris Cray is super cute. That is all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I get the sense that many here like Beverly but I am just not sure if she's good or just lucky. Getting her dishes correct after never having used a pressure cooker? Wow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also saw she got help from one of the ladies in setting it up. I think I saw this for the elimination challenge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's not the first time Beverly has pulled this off. It's like she has a sense of what to do, but lacks experience and/or a solid foundation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not sure about her either, but she seems to be doing well enough to have been in the top 3 a few times. So, time will tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think there are all that many, here or otherwise that are rooting for Beverly in particular. I think many people are neutral. She was not on my radar until the whole Heather thing. You don't have to like Beverly to dislike Heather. As far as popularity goes, Chris Cray is leading the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        really?! i was with you until you said Chris Crary.... not on my radar at all, except some people apparently think he's cute - not my type, and i don't think he's shown much cooking pizzazz. I'm looking at Ed, Paul, and maybe, just maybe, Nyesha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ok, wait, you said POPULARITY. ok. i guess that's important...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          According to the Fan Favorite poll at Bravo's site, Crary is ahead by almost 2 million votes. @@ Sorry - Paul would get my vote any day including Sunday for favorite over Crary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.bravotv.com/live-vote/top-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Paul looks very strong, but I wouldn't discount Sara. Or Nyesha just yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Unless Nyesha wins LCK, I wouldn't give her a snowball's chance in hell of winning fan favorite, and even then it would be quite a stretch. Just not that many people follow up online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Personally, I like Paul (he's a kindred soul in his knife nerd-ism), but I think he's too reserved to win fan favorite. Crary is the logical front runner unless he goes home in the next few weeks. Then probably Ed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh...The Poll. Well, he's not my type in terms of looks, he hasn't interested me with his cooking, and he kind of creeped me out in early episodes talking about Padma, and perhaps someone else. At least I think that was him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                :::nodding::: That was him. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's not about the food, it's about his hair. It's all about the hair. As the famous Elaine Benes once said, "I could be dating that hair?!?!". Makes him look more scrumptious than the dishes they're cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That oyster dish he made for the tequila quick fire looked pretty tasty to me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can see how "Malibu" is popular. He seems nice enough in addition to being impeccably manscaped. I'm also looking at Ed or Paul to take it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chris Cray? Really? I don't see it...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On my radar: Paul, maybe Ed, minimaybe Sarah, and I fingers crossed for Nyesha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5. I was really rooting for the stuffed cabbage to win, although all 3 top dishes looked good. The first thing that I thought about making was golabki when the challenge was announced. I thought the balsamic sauce was a very interesting choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Divertimento.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://eater.com/archives/2011/12/29/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SEVEN of Carla Hall! LOL And I love the one of her dancing on Jimmy Fallon's show. ;-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Thought I'd let everyone know on this thread that tonight's ep (#9) is an EXTENDED one, in case you're DVR'ing:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/826492

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just saw that when I was programming my DVR, but you beat me to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grasshopper still can not snatch the pebble from the master's hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ahh, but try, you must! Master the knives in Top Chef Jedi kitchen, only then can you! Yeesssssss.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (yeah, I know - mixing Yoda up with Master Po...so sue me!)