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Top Chef Texas - Ep. #14 - 02/08/12 (Spoilers)

Well, we're getting down to the wire - there are just 4 cheftestants left.......HEAD FAKE! There *will* be five, once the surprise LCK winner returns to the TC Kitchen.

The shows starts off with the 4 chefs betting back at the house who will be coming back - Ed bets a pack of cigarettes, and Sarah bets a banana....Sarah said "A pack of cigarettes and a banana - sounds like a good night!"

They return to the TC kitchen in the morning, and Tom and Padma are there. And who joins them? It's BEVERLY!!! The looks on Sarah and Lindsay's faces were priceless! Tom tells them if Beverly continues to cook the way she did in LCK, they're in trouble.

For Quickfire, they lift the cloche and there are blindfolds. They'll be competing in a blindfolded pantry raid. Once they're done picking their pantry items, they can remove their blindfolds and start cooking. They *must* use all ingredients they pick and have 30 minutes to "shop" and cook.

The winner gets a CHOICE for the QF win...an all new Prius V OR a guaranteed spot in the final rounds.

They start their search with Tom and Padma directing them if they're off course. Lindsay's going for seafood, and Sarah's going for soup ingredients. Edward notes that the meats are in cryovac bags, so they can't feel them or smell them.

Sarah and Lindsay holler out that they're ready to cook and they can remove their blindfolds.

Interesting choices they weren't aware they had chosen - Beverly got an avocado, Edward got pork casings (instead of pancetta), and Lindsay got mascarpone instead of creme fraiche.

Beverly's WAY behind in her meal preparation but gets everything on the plate.

BEVERLY - Striped Bass with Avocado, Lime and Jalapeno - the fish is undercooked

PAUL - Sauteed Prawn with Thai-Style Tomato Salad - Tom asks if he feels the prawn is undercooked, but Paul says it's at the place he wants it to be.

EDWARD - "Udon" with Ribbons of Zucchini, Mushrooms and Scallions - the pork casings' water was used as the base for the soup and seemed to be enjoyed.

SARAH - Corn Soup with Onion, Red Chili, Roasted Mushrooms and Peaches - Padma asks if she's ever done the mushroom/peach combo, and Sarah says no, but she's trying to push the limit.

LINDSAY - Fish with Bulgar Wheat, Mascarpone, and Broccoli Rabe - Padma asks her if she had any problems in the pantry, and Lindsay replies that she walked into a wall a couple of times. Tom says cryptically "hopefully you didn't metaphorically walk into a wall." Whoa. Lindsay doesn't look happy with that statement!

Tom reviews all of the dishes, and Edward and Sarah have the top two dishes. The winner is? SARAH. So she gets to choose either the car or the guaranteed spot - and she takes the guaranteed spot. Both Paul and Ed would have taken the car, to make sure they WIN their way in to the finale vs. being given the spot.

~~~~~~~~
NOTE: I'm curious what people think about Sarah taking the open spot in the finale vs. the car and cooking herself INTO the finale? And not really caring what the other 4 think?
~~~~~~~~

Padma and Tom bring in each chef's mentors who have all had major impacts on their careers, so each chef introduces their mentors:

Sarah's mentor - Chef Tony Mantuano from Spiaggia
Lindsay's mentor - Michelle Bernstein from Michy's
Beverly's mentor - Chef Sarah Stegner from Prairie Grass Cafe
Paul's mentor - Chef Tyson Cole from Uchi
Edward's mentor - Frank Crispo of Crispo Restaurant

Everyone - chefs and mentors - are very emotional during the introductions. Their Elimination Challenge is to impress their mentors - they are to make a dish that will fulfill and exceed their mentors' expectations of them. They have 2.5 hours to prep in the TC kitchen, and they'll have 1 hour to cook the next day in the kitchen at the Hotel Valencia. The winner of the EC will get a Toyota Prius V.

Because Sarah won the QF and chose a spot in the finals, she doesn't have to compete in the challenge - she gets to relax with Chef Tony Mantuano. They take off to relax. Meanwhile, the other cheftestants gets to talk with their mentor about what they might will be cooking.

They then get into a Prius V and talk about the headroom, blah, blah, blah. Off to Whole Foods to do their shopping. Edward can't get fresh oysters, so he buys canned smoked oysters. Lindsay can't find calamari or octopus, so who knows what she ends up getting. They head back to prep.

Meanwhile, Sarah and Chef Mantuano head off to Citrus Restaurant for lunch and some tequila. Prep shows some chefs confident, some not so confident. Edward notes that if he loses a spot in the finale because Beverly came back and took it, he's going to be "really pissed!" (Hmm....a foretelling?)

Thirty minutes left for prep, and some are under the gun to finish. But they get everything on the racks to go into the walk-ins. Beverly returns to the TC house. She unpacks and they sit down to dinner. Beverly asks if they were surprised to see her return, and Sarah says (rather nasally and blandly, as if she doesn't mean it), "No." Lindsay asked what both Grayson and Beverly made, and Beverly briefly described what each made (Grayson made a seared scallop and Beverly a pan-seared snapper). Beverly said attention to detail was what won it for her. Lindsay said in the confessional that she had had problems with Beverly but she's back and she just has to beat her. Edward said "We were all excited because we thought we were the Final Four."

The next morning, Paul is shown on the phone with his girlfriend before they head out to the Hotel Valencia and finish their prep. Beverly notes that since she's doing a wok dish, she has to cook in small batches, so the most important time for her will be the last 10 minutes. Cook too early, and it will sit and wilt; too late and she risks not finishing her plating. Meanwhile Paul notes most of yesterday was cooking for him, but today was mostly assembly - with 14 steps to plate it. Lindsay is making a "unique interpretation of seafood stew."

The judges arrive at Citrus. They are the 4 mentors, Hugh, Gail, Tom and Padma.

BEVERLY is first up - Gulf Shrimp and BBQ Pork with Singapore Noodles - Tom was impressed by her cooking in a wok for so many people and Sarah thought the dish was very good.

LINDSAY - Seafood "Stew" with Mussels, Clams, local Gulf Shrimp over Toasted Couscous with a Broth of Emulsified Cream - Michelle Bernstein and Hugh both thought the various seafood was cooked perfectly, but Frank Crispo thought there was a bit of overpowering raw thyme flavor at the end.

PAUL - Chilled Sunchoke and Dashi Soup with Summer Vegetables - Michelle's first spoonful of the soup she thought was overly salty, but Hugh noted it was perfectly balanced with the unseasoned vegetables. Tom noted that Paul had been cooking a lot of Thai food, and this soup was something *not* seen from him all season. His mentor, Tyson Cole, said this is it is everything that had been preached to Paul over the years - balance of flavors. Back in the kitchen, Lindsay tries his soup and says "Wow, that is nice!"

EDWARD - Braised Pork Belly and Smoked Oyster Crema with Pickled Vegetables - Gail said that Ed packed the plate with a ton of flavor. Frank said he went back to his roots - he expressed what he likes to eat and prepare; Tom said he wasn't a fan of that particular oyster sauce. Both Gail and Michelle both think he needs to package his pickled vegetables and sell them.
~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE - during the commercial, I realized "Wait! There's only 4 dishes - where the hell is Sarah's dish?" I started to back up the DVR before realizing Sarah did NOT have to cook! LOL
~~~~~~~~~~
They're back in the Stew Room, and Sarah comes back in. Edward notes how daunting their challenges were during the season. Padma comes in and asks to see all of them, except Sarah. So Sarah gets to sit and wait in the Stew Room allllll byyyyyyy herrrrrrsellllffff.....don't wanna be....allllll byyyyy herrrrrsellllffff....anymore....

Tom said the judges were impressed, and their mentors were all pleased with the dishes. Tom told Paul that he had a lot of nerve to come in with a cold soup, but said he knew *when* to stop adding more flavors. For Beverly, Tom asked how she cooked for so many people, and Beverly said she had two woks with two batches. Tom noted how risky it was because you can't go back and reseason.

Padma announces that Paul and Beverly had their favorite dishes. Majorly CRUSHED looks from both Lindsay and Edward. Paul and Beverly will both be moving on to the finale, but PAUL wins and gets the Prius V! Woo hoo!!! He da man!

They leave the kitchen and go back into the Stew Room, where Sarah is. Beverly points to Paul as the winner. Sarah hugs him, but doesn't seem to say anything except a brief "congratulations" to Beverly. of course, there could have been those Elves doing something with the editing showing no hug from Sarah to Beverly.

So it's Lindsay and Edward in the bottom group. Gail noted that the aroma of Lindsay's dish was intoxicating, but asked why she added the cream. Lindsay thought it needed some fat to bring it together, but she realizes it would have been fine without as she had made a brown butter. Hugh noted that the herbs were overpowering - Tom said you'd be tasting a wonderful spoonful of the stew, and then you'd be chewing on the dried herbs.

For Edward, his pickled vegetables were wonderful, but the oyster sauce was just off. Hugh asked if they were canned, and Edward said yes, there were no fresh oysters available at all. Tom seemed very interested in the fact Edward had no access to fresh oysters (I'm wondering if he's going to say later at JT that he should have changed the conception of the dish and use something else that was fresh?) They leave and Lindsay asks if he had any bourbon to drink while waiting. Edward quietly notes that it's going to be him going home and not Lindsay before they enter the Stew Room.

Back at JT, the judges discuss the details of their two dishes. Each took missteps - Lindsay knew she made mistakes, but didn't try to fix the dish. Edward's oyster sauce was brought up - and sure enough, Tom noted that he ended up choosing the canned smoked oysters instead of changing the recipe. Hugh said "don't get fixated on the recipe; go to the market and see what's there and then cook from there."

So...who is it going to be going home? I think it'll be Edward leaving due to those oysters, although I'd LOVE to see him stay. We're back at JT, and Padma tells Edward to PPYKAG. Sadz. :-( Beverly noted that it's ironic that she idolized Edward, and she made it past him in the competition. They toast with champagne first to Edward, and to the four of them for making it.

Previews show they're in Vancouver, BC, cooking outside in the freezing cold! THIS ought to be interesting! Going from the heat of TX to the cold of Vancouver!

And that's it for tonight, folks. Time for bed - there IS no LCK tonight, although damned if I didn't go to Bravo's site looking for it! LOL

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  1. I had to pause the playback to allow for my laughter when Ed said he had pork casings. Would have loved for him to win just for that.

    Paul please. PLEASE!!

    1. What a terrible episode. "I lost to bev" should be a t-shirt for all the losers.

      28 Replies
      1. re: kristina_kim

        as much as bev was a space cadet during the show, when it comes down to make a damn good dish she apparently came through.

        this is one of the issues i have with top chef. i get its any week you make a bad dish you go home. but ed was a star and not having him in the finale is a shame. i don't like they gave sarah the chance for spot in the final 4. at this point immunity for a quick fire is unfair.

        1. re: arjunsr

          I absolutely agree that immunity at this point is wrong. Ridiculous.
          I'm pretty disappointed that Ed isn't going on, but I had a feeling it would happen as soon as canned oysters made their way into his cart.

          1. re: debbiel

            agreed. It was a fairly obvious mistake, IMO.

            1. re: debbiel

              yep. that decision plus his comment about how pissed off he'd be if Bev came back and took his spot in the finale made it pretty obvious [to me, anyway] that he was out.

              perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me, but i could swear that someone in a past season made the same mistake of using canned smoked oysters in a dish and went home for it. does anyone else remember that? (did i make it up? was it on a different show?)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I don't remember if it was oysters, but it was something very close, but cannot remember who it was. I think it was last year or a recent past season.

                1. re: mcf

                  I'm not sure if it was in the early days of top chef or another show, but I too remember someone had brought a tinned product for their big meal, and it failed.

                  1. re: Bellachefa

                    I thought that happened on one of the "other" reality cooking shows, like maybe G. Ramsay's ??? It was someone who had never cooked with oysters at all and thought canned would be ok.

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  The funny thing is, Beverly did not take his spot, Lindsey did.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I believe you're right. And there was also the frozen scallop incident.

                    1. re: perk

                      That really baffled me. Frozen scallops and shrimp are the way to go. Fresh is only good if you live by the ocean. The vast majority of what you buy in markets and what is served in restaurants has been frozen.

                3. re: arjunsr

                  +2 on Quickfire immunity. Granted, they didn't call it that, but that's what it was. And NO surprise that Sarah took it.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I agree immunity at this point for a random quickfire is dumb. Sarah should have taken the car! At least she would have something when Paul beats her in the finale. But it really does show her lack of confidence.

                    This season has been pretty boring IMO. The challenges have been totally random, most have strange elements/constraints and are not about who can make the best food. Besides that, I think it's been pretty obvious Paul is the best in that group since the 4th episode, so there's not really any suspense over who is going to win.

                      1. re: Firenzilla

                        I recall writing this same reply somewhere else in this thread. Ed got an automatic entry into the finale for winning a QF in the second to the last episode when they were already at the finale destination of Singapore and there were four and not five chefs still in the running so it has been done before.

                        I agree that much of the reason for the lackluster season has been the producers' fault and not the contestants. They took too much money and direction from Texas. I hope they don't make as many concessions in future competitions.

                    1. re: arjunsr

                      But remember Ed was on the "Bubble" and already had a second chance as was Grayson.

                      1. re: Berheenia

                        But Ed and Grayson were never eliminated and then given a second chance. They were in the "not sure" category.

                    2. re: kristina_kim

                      I don't get what the big deal is with cooking noodles in a wok for lots of people. Any half decent Chinese chef can do that. If Bev served a great dish, fine, but the degree of difficulty isn't what it was made out to be.

                      It is a shame that Ed went home, I think he can give Paul a run for his money. Seems like this season is edited to emphasize the drama between the women (i.e., Sarah, Lindsay, Heather, and Bev). Maybe that's just to give this season something else to focus on other than the lack of talent!

                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                        Very happy for Bev and Paul, I hope they continue to do well. I don't know about the degree of difficulty in regards to wok cooking but Tom was impressed and that's good enough for me. Bev's cooking has been impressive to me all along but I'm partial to her style of cooking. Given the opportunity I would choose to eat food cooked by Paul or Bev over the rest of the pack. Well, I would add Grayson because I think the eating would be huge fun.

                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                          "Any half decent Chinese chef can do that"

                          The problem with that is that you end up with half decent Chinese food. I've cooked fairly large dishes in a wok and I end up with half decent dishes but since I'm cooking at home for the family, half decent is ok. If you pile too much stuff into that wok it just doesn't cook right - that was the risk. It was actually pretty nervy to try that at this point in the competition. If she ended up with a dish that you could get in most Chinese restaurants, Beverly would be gone.

                          As soon as Ed was picking up those oysters I was thinking "not good" although I thought he might have pulled it off. I would have liked him to move on.

                          Of the 5, I think only Ed and Paul would have taken the car instead of the free pass to the finals although I don't blame Sarah for her decision.

                          Overall, not too bad of a challenge. Not too exciting but at least it was pretty straight foward cooking. Paul is still the guy to beat.

                          1. re: bobbert

                            i agree those two would take the car because they're the most confident. i just wish we could see them in the finale instead of sarah getting a free pass.

                            1. re: arjunsr

                              Agree 100%. Paul night have ended up with 2 Prius Vs - one for the QF and another for the EC. :-) It's going to be bad enough having Lindsay and Sarah both in the final 4, seeing Ed leave made it even worse.. It would have been wonderful to have Paul and Ed in there competing their little hearts out.

                              I also agree with Bobbert re: Paul being the guy to beat. I like him, so hope he wins!

                              1. re: KailuaGirl

                                I would guess the Prius that Ed won for the EC is technically the same one that Sarah turned down. I would guess the contract with Toyota called for them to give away one car, not necessarily two cars.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  I think so too. Wonder what the "prize" for the EC would've been if she'd taken the car? A bottle of wine? :)

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    I would guess the Prius that Ed won for the EC is technically the same one that Sarah turned down.
                                    ~~~~~~~~~
                                    you mean Paul?

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      Yeah, I don't know why I said Ed. I must have been posting something about Ed at the same time as that post.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        Those boy chefs. They all look alike. LOL

                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                              It wasn't too hard compared to some of the stuff the chefs have already done in this competition (Paul cooking three dishes and expediting during RWs, or two hours to cook healthy food for 200 people without grills or refrigeration and while under attack by bees), but it was challenging in a way that the other chefs' dishes were not in this particular challenge. A wok is usually thought of as a good way to make dishes that will be served sequentially, but not so much a way for one person to cook a bunch of dishes that need to be served all at the same time, all well composed and of the highest quality.

                              Maybe a little more fuss over the difficulty than necessary, but I think it was, at heart, a legitimate point.

                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                Obviously I can't taste the food, but it does seem as though the judges, including Tom, are favoring her, but from here it's really hard to see why.

                            3. BTW, I just checked out the Wikipedia page - Paul has had SIX Elimination Challenge wins. Granted, two were team wins, but still - I think that's the most any chef has had for EC wins going into a finale. (He also had 2 QF wins.)

                              The only other season that came close was Kevin Gillespie in TC5 with 5 EC wins.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Ah you beat me to it - I was still writing my post.

                                I don't think I would count that first EC win, since it basically just meant that he was on the winning team. But the other 5 are very legitimate, including his other team challenge win (in the BBQ challenge), since he clearly led his team there. Being up there with Kevin G is nothing to scoff at anyway.

                                Also of note - Stefan had 4 EC wins, but also won 4 QFs.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  In the Aftershow thing with Andy Cohen, Padma said that of all the contestants, Kevin is the one she'd like to have sexy times with. Andy said something like "the chubby ginger?" lol.

                                  1. re: secondbecky

                                    "gingie," Andy never says "ginger." He's all about cutesie pie stuff. :-)

                                2. About Sarah choosing the spot: when she was id'd as s top two in qf we both said, "she best take the spot." We just didn't feel she should be too confident about winning a spot in EC.

                                  I hated that they had immunity at this point, but if they do...take if. Take the spot in the finals. I get the pride of winning your way in, but y'know, none of the 4 nfl teams that had a playoff bye said, "no, thanks, we'd rather play our way to the division championships." Play by the rules, take any advantage the game offers you. Did anyone say they wouldn't take immunity in earlier rounds? Why would it be different now?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: debbiel

                                    that's not an applicable analogy. if you lose in second without selecting the prizes you're going home with nothing.

                                    at least according to the first season people, they want money and exposure. having a guaranteed car usually means a lot.

                                    1. re: arjunsr

                                      Yeah, it's funny to me that people assume she's insecure for taking the guaranteed spot. To me, it's actually more of a gamble - if she loses in the last round, she goes home emptyhanded. Whereas if she takes the car, she has some kind of prize regardless of what happens later.

                                      1. re: piccola

                                        Exactly what I thought - at least she'd have the car...

                                    2. re: debbiel

                                      Your NFL analogy does not work because it's not offered to NFL teams to get extra money to play a first round game to advance in the playoffs.

                                    3. I thought this episode was worth watching, which is better than the last couple. A little more insight into the food this episode too, which was nice. Thoughts:

                                      - I enjoyed the 'cook for your mentor' challenge. Already a cliche on reality TV cooking contests is a whole lot of talk about how everyone takes inspiration from their mothers' cooking. The mentor twist is much more interesting and, IMO, sweeter too. It also lends a kind of intensity and urgency to the challenge that having the chefs cook for their family does not. I liked that everyone was so worried about letting their mentor down - it came off as genuine in a season that so far has been pretty hokey.

                                      - Notice how Bev thanked her mentor for the 'tough love'? Not sure the affection was quite at the same level between those two as it was for the other chefs. Just sayin.

                                      - Sarah probably made the right call by taking automatic bid to the final round. Regardless of the quickfire win, she strikes me as the weakest chef left in the competition.

                                      - Likewise, had he won, Paul would have done the right thing to take the car. Not leaving a whole lot of room for doubt about who's the front-runner this season. Despite the apparent weakness of this season's chefs (which I still think has more to do with the nature of the challenges than the talent level), I think Paul would rank pretty high among previous Top Chef winners. In fact, he has the most elimination challenge wins of any TC contestant in a single season to date.

                                      - Anyone notice Lindsay saying how hard it is to make chicken stock in 2.5 hours (sounded like she said chicken stock, but I thought she was making seafood stock). Just pointing out - she could have used a pressure cooker to good results If she had enough burners or a big enough PC.

                                      - Why is Malibu Chris still fan favorite? Guess there are more people still on MySpace than I'd realized.

                                      - Sorry to see Ed go. Seemed like a nice guy (meltdown in the BBQ challenge aside), and possibly a bit more talented than one or two of the chefs that are left. Some elements on his dish got a lot of praise, so I was a bit surprised he got the boot, but his error might have also been the most egregious.

                                      25 Replies
                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                        " Despite the apparent weakness of this season's chefs (which I still think has more to do with the nature of the challenges than the talent level),"

                                        +1 Going in this group probably had the most impressive resume's of any season. They just have not been given the opportunity to show what they can do.

                                        Watch out for Bev. The girl can cook. If she doesn't have to do crazy, multi-tasking, she's a force to be worried about. I'm thinking Paul, Bev, Lindsay and Sarah in that order.

                                        1. re: bobbert

                                          "Watch out for Bev. The girl can cook. If she doesn't have to do crazy, multi-tasking, she's a force to be worried about."
                                          ________
                                          I'm thinking the same thing. Bev has some obvious weaknesses in how she works, but making food that tastes good when she doesn't have a ton of constraints and teammates seems to be one of her strengths. If I had to bet, I'd say that the finale will come down to the judges picking between Paul and Bev.

                                          I think Sarah is outclassed a bit at this point, which isn't to say that she's dead in the water. Lindsay has some real talent, but she seems to be losing confidence and second guessing herself. Maybe a little wait in between taping this episode and the finale will do her good though.

                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                            That makes you wonder how she would perform in a challenge that involves leading a team consisting of eliminated contestants.

                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                              Interesting. I keep wondering how lindsay managed to stay in. I've been singularly unimpressed with her the whole season. Sarah hasn't been especially "nice," but I've eaten her food at Spiaggia and, while she seems limited to Italian, she can definitely cook that superbly!

                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                I haven't personally eaten either of their food. But Lindsay has made several dishes that really wowed the judges this season - her veal in the second episode, her beef cheeks last episode, her meat ball (I read an account of one of the guests who claimed hers was the tastiest dish there and that apparently her treatment of the quinoa was more interesting and innovative than came across).

                                                Sarah, while seeming competent, hasn't really impressed me with any single dish. Her wins have tended to come when the others haven't done so well, and nothing she's made stands out in my mind. I'm thinking she was a good bet to make it deep into the contest because of her ability to crank out reliably good food, but not a good bet to win because she just doesn't have as much ability to knock people's socks off as the others do.

                                          2. re: cowboyardee

                                            " Despite the apparent weakness of this season's chefs (which I still think has more to do with the nature of the challenges than the talent level),"

                                            this so much! All of the chefs this season have great technique, excellent work experience but it seemed like most of them really didn't have many chances to be chefs and instead had to be caterers and cooks for uninspiring events.

                                            1. re: tjinsf

                                              The more that I think about, the I more that I think that there was a real failure this season was the tone set by the first two challenges. The quinceanera challenge went to the team that was more authentic. The chili cook-off was won by the team that was more traditional. The dinner party for the awful people that followed should have been an opportunity to do really inspired foods without any weird constraints, but .I think a lot of chefs just dropped the ball because they had to deal with freaks.

                                              I can see how those early challenges make sense from a desire to weed out the idiots who failed to put in the research to understand the food and culture of the setting, but it didn't work as well as it could have.

                                              1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                I think the problem was Texas itself. Not that Texas is bad. It’s a fine state. The problem is that somewhere along the line, the producers agreed (read: were paid big bucks - $600,000) to showcase the three cities and “All things Texas”. Tex-Mex, Chili, BBQ, stupid housewives and their husbands, the Alamo, etc. For the first time the cooking took a back seat to the venues and it really hurt the show. The contract with the state dictated a lot of stuff that had to be worked into the show and therefore the stupid challenges. I don’t know if it was a net gain or loss for Bravo ($600,000 cash vs. the loss of viewership/income from other sponsors).

                                                  1. re: bobbert

                                                    + another 10 - especially re: venues taking front seat vs. the cooking.

                                                    1. re: bobbert

                                                      yes, agree wholeheartedly! And even WITH all the Texas promotions going on, the Houston Press still complains that it's not enough Texan.... C'mon, don't you want them to actually COOK??

                                                      1. re: bobbert

                                                        Is there anyway to get comments like this one to the producers? Or maybe to Tom?

                                                        There are so many great ideas in these threads on how to fix a show dying a slow death.

                                                        1. re: bobbert

                                                          The problem I see with your last point is that I doubt they have lost viewers because of their Texas commitments. The people that read and post on Chowhound are certainly not typical Top Chef viewers. My fear is that they have more viewers and will be seeking to get the money and give away the store, so to speak, in future competitions in other states.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            I'm afraid that I have to agree with you.

                                                    2. re: cowboyardee

                                                      Malibu Chris is still fan favorite because each week it has been the same chick "Sheila from Lexington, Ky" who "earned the most points for her fan favorite." Seriously, Sheila needs a life. (and yes I realize the irony of that statement as I sit here and type this on a message board lol)

                                                      1. re: secondbecky

                                                        ROFLMAO! Has it been the same person, becky - really?

                                                        1. re: secondbecky

                                                          Do ya think Sheila's his mother ... or just a desperate long-distance crush?

                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                            Or a stalker that resembles Glenn Close, who has a hankering for rabbits.

                                                          2. re: cowboyardee

                                                            "- Anyone notice Lindsay saying how hard it is to make chicken stock in 2.5 hours (sounded like she said chicken stock, but I thought she was making seafood stock). Just pointing out - she could have used a pressure cooker to good results If she had enough burners or a big enough PC."

                                                            She did say chicken stock. Surely, she must have misspoken, but I clearly did hear her say that.

                                                            1. re: Leepa

                                                              Seafood stock, unlike say, beef stock, takes only a short time, less than a 1/2 hour to make.

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                I watched it again last night and she definitely said chicken stock and it appeared to be chicken stock when she poured it into the storage container with all the veggies, etc.

                                                                As mentioned below, she used a combo of chicken and seafood stock in the dish.

                                                              2. re: Leepa

                                                                I looked at the recipe since posting above: it seems she used a mixture of chicken and fish stock, and also used chicken stock for her couscous.
                                                                http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                                                Still would have been faster with a pressure cooker, but in Lindsay's defense, I believe she was trying for a specific effect inspired by what Michelle Bernstein taught her.