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Top Chef Masters "Episode 6: Thai One On" (8/29/12) [*SPOILERS*]

ipsedixit Aug 29, 2012 08:12 PM

From Playboys to Burlesque ...

Aphrodisiacs for the Quickfire. Takashi wins with oyster, uni and yuzu!

The famed LoS of Vegas makes an appearance at Critics' Table.

Chris Cosentino wins with Laab.

And for Art, well, we hardly knew ye.

  1. w
    Worldwide Diner Aug 29, 2012 08:27 PM

    Lorena thought she had the right to put Patricia in her place. I think Lorena should stay in a Taco Bell kitchen.

    1. roxlet Aug 30, 2012 05:46 AM

      I actually thought that Dita von Tease was a very good judge for the quickfire challenge. She was quite amusing. The elimination challenge was sort of a Masters version of restaurant wars, and you could really appreciate how very difficult it is. But it was just one of many times that Art said something like, "I know that they want X or Y, but I'm just going to do Z," i.e. not really follow the challenge. It's worked out really well for him until now, but no dice this week. His dish didn't look like it came even close to what was asked of them. I am not familiar with Las Vegas, so I had never heard of this restaurant, but it seemed very unfair to have a Thai woman comment on Thai-inspired dishes when she is so clearly a master of her cuisine. I had to laugh when she was asked if this were a restaurant, would she eat there, and the answer was basically, "I make the best Thai food in the world, so why would I want to eat the ersatz version of my food."

      All in all, an enjoyable episode for me.

      17 Replies
      1. re: roxlet
        LindaWhit Aug 30, 2012 05:52 AM

        I only know about Lotus of Siam from reading Chowhound, roxlet.

        And while it looks a wee bit hokey, I'm interesting to see the Let's Get Ready to Sauté! Rumble next week.

        1. re: roxlet
          Jeserf Aug 30, 2012 06:12 AM

          Side note: We went to Lotus on our visit with friends who had come back from a honeymoon to Thailand not too long ago and said the food there was on par with the best they had in Thailand.

          It was very, very good and worth a trip to Vegas in itself. I'm still thinking about a couple of the dishes we had.

          1. re: Jeserf
            Dee S Sep 18, 2012 08:57 AM

            LoS is the best. I've not been there in 10 years but it was spectacular then. Learned all about it here.

            I thought Chris' dish looked spectacular and I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. Kerry's dish looked good as well. Would loved to have judged this episode!

          2. re: roxlet
            ipsedixit Aug 30, 2012 07:50 AM

            but it seemed very unfair to have a Thai woman comment on Thai-inspired dishes when she is so clearly a master of her cuisine.

            Why is that unfair?

            TC and TCM often has masters or culinary savants of a particular cuisine judge their specialty, e.g. Eric Ripert for seafood or Frank Pellegrino of Rao's for Italian.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              roxlet Aug 30, 2012 07:56 AM

              It seems quite different to me. She appears to be a woman who cooks her cuisine and doesn't venture far outside it, evidenced by the fact that she has run this restaurant in the US for years, and still is not comfortable speaking English. That's not a bad thing, and may be why her restaurant is considered to be so authentic-- she stays within her cuisine and there are no outside influences. Eric Ripert or Frank Pellegrino would seem to be far more involved with food culture outside of their specialties than she. Just my opinion.

              1. re: roxlet
                FoodPopulist Aug 30, 2012 02:46 PM

                I think it would be incorrect to suggest that someone who answer "Gagnaire in France" when asked "If you could eat at any restaurant in the world tonight, where would it be?" is living in some kind of Asian food bubble oblivious to other cuisines.

                See http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2011/05/james-beard-best-chef-southwes.html

                for that and other questions.

                She may cook only her cuisine, but she certainly ventures outside of it when eating.


                1. re: FoodPopulist
                  roxlet Aug 30, 2012 03:18 PM

                  But I think it would be very difficult for her to get behind an "influenced by" Thai cuisine. It's my opinion, and, it's ok -- you don't have to agree. :)

                2. re: roxlet
                  DGresh Aug 31, 2012 02:01 PM

                  I had a similar thought. She seemed to be judging using the criterion "Does it taste like something I would make?" And if the answer is "No, I would not make it" she feels it is "not good". And the challenge was slightly different.

              2. re: roxlet
                chowser Aug 30, 2012 05:59 PM

                I have no idea who Dita is but she was a good judge. I'm a woman and agree a/ Patricia that she does ooze sensuality. Lorena, OTOH, doesn't, as much as she thinks she does.

                1. re: chowser
                  DGresh Aug 31, 2012 02:01 PM

                  I'm also a straight woman, but I did not "get" her. She seemed to be forcing the whole "sensuality" thing.

                  1. re: DGresh
                    roxlet Aug 31, 2012 02:32 PM

                    I think that was her job on the show given the challenge was on foods that were aphrodisiacs..

                    1. re: roxlet
                      DGresh Aug 31, 2012 02:38 PM

                      Yeah, I know. She just didn't seem "sexy" to me. Just playing a role....

                      1. re: DGresh
                        roxlet Aug 31, 2012 02:49 PM

                        Yes, I believer her whole personal is playing a role. I mean, look at her name: Dita Von Tease. I suppose it must work with some men though, otherwise she wouldn't have a career!

                        1. re: roxlet
                          nikkihwood Aug 31, 2012 09:36 PM

                          Dita Von Teese is a noted, old-school burlesque artist. She's in great demand, as they say, worldwide - I have to say that this type of role is not to my taste, but I kind of have to admire a woman who sets a goal and meets it, you know?. And she is the former wife, for what it's worth, of Marilyn Manson.

                          1. re: nikkihwood
                            Berheenia Sep 1, 2012 07:35 AM

                            The things you learn on Chowhound! I'm impressed!

                            1. re: Berheenia
                              nikkihwood Sep 1, 2012 09:10 PM

                              Heh, for something I work on, I have to look at all the gossip websites on a semi-regular basis. Dita is definitely out there!

                2. re: roxlet
                  debbiel Aug 31, 2012 09:08 PM

                  When Art made the comment about doing what he knows, I smiled a bit, thinking he'd be going home. Had a bit of a panic when Patricia's duck went out undercooked.

                  I thought it totally appropriate to have the Thai restaurant owner judge.

                3. LindaWhit Aug 30, 2012 05:49 AM

                  I really thought they were going to give the EC win to Kerry, which would have been a major sting for Patricia. I'm at least glad that Kerry realized his error. He does this for a living; how can he not be able to communicate with another chef to ensure the dishes are plated at the same time for delivery to the table? And geez - the comparison between Kerry and Chris as expediter - night and day. Patricia was right - Cosentino should have been the expediter from the start.

                  Lorena was a PITA in the kitchen - Patricia Yeo was right - keep your station clean and don't take up 6 of the 12 burners on the stove! Had to agree with Dita von Teese as well - Lorena's QF dish didn't scream sensuous or romantic to me at all.

                  The minute I heard what Art was making, I figured he would be going home. It was time. And yay for Takashi with another QF win.

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: LindaWhit
                    roxlet Aug 30, 2012 06:02 AM

                    Yes, I agree that Patricia was right, but I was surprised that she was as aggressive to Lorena as she was. For someone who works the line (and I know that this was a special and difficult case), she seemed very frantic. I don't get a lot from Kerry though. He always seems to be in his own world a bit. Either that or he has no personality.

                    1. re: roxlet
                      LindaWhit Aug 30, 2012 06:06 AM

                      Well, Kerry showed some animation while going goggle-eyed over Dita. :-)

                      1. re: LindaWhit
                        roxlet Aug 30, 2012 06:13 AM

                        Hahahaha. I guess you're right about that!

                    2. re: LindaWhit
                      Berheenia Aug 30, 2012 06:08 AM

                      I am continuing to love Patricia and am so glad she didn't go home. She cracks me up- 'bend over' lol

                      1. re: Berheenia
                        LindaWhit Aug 30, 2012 06:37 AM

                        She and her restaurant, Moksa, were featured on "Chronicle" last night as well, Berheenia (repeated from earlier in the year).

                        1. re: LindaWhit
                          roxlet Aug 30, 2012 06:55 AM

                          Where is it?

                          1. re: roxlet
                            LindaWhit Aug 30, 2012 07:20 AM

                            Mass Ave, Central Square in Cambridge.

                            1. re: LindaWhit
                              Berheenia Aug 30, 2012 12:16 PM

                              Caught her on Chronicle but too late I'm afraid. I read that she was leaving in August to pursue a career in the corporate world.


                              1. re: Berheenia
                                LindaWhit Aug 30, 2012 12:28 PM

                                July's follow-up link in that one you gave confirms she's leaving/has left Moksa. Interesting statement from her since she touted last night about "always working the line":

                                "I'm getting too old to work in a kitchen."

                          2. re: LindaWhit
                            ChefJune Aug 30, 2012 08:48 AM

                            been there. good food! love her.

                          3. re: Berheenia
                            SusieQQ Aug 30, 2012 01:17 PM

                            I thought Patricia was rude and out of line. I Saw her in an entirely different light last night. On the way to shop, it wasn't right of her to get the other two to agree that Art and Lorena should be kept off the line. Totally wrong of her. Art and Lorena were pushed into front of the house positions which put them into a disadvantage as far as their food. That was the catalyst for the problems with Lorena.

                            1. re: SusieQQ
                              Worldwide Diner Aug 30, 2012 05:50 PM

                              I guess hogging 6 burners is not an issue to you. I think that is stupid and inconsiderate - I believe Patricia responded appropriately. As for Lorena then claiming she has to put Patricia in her place - I don't buy it. Stupid people don't put their betters in their place.

                              1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                chowser Aug 30, 2012 05:58 PM

                                And, I can understand Patricia being frustrated when Lorena had no clue what else to do so she didn't hog up half the burners. Patricia's response was more along the lines of "You don't belong here if you can't figure out what to do because it's line cook 101" when she gave her the solution. The problem w/ Lorena took place way before she got to the front of the house. Even the other chefs were taken aback by her actions.

                                1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                  SusieQQ Aug 31, 2012 05:14 AM

                                  So, it was appropriate for Patricia to go behind Art and Lorena's back and kick them out of the kitchen during service? That is what set Lorena off. Patricia started the animosity with that action.

                              2. re: Berheenia
                                Shrinkrap Aug 31, 2012 05:10 PM

                                I didn't catch the bend over comment, and as my daughter pointed out, I've already watched 2.5 times. When was THAT part?

                                1. re: Shrinkrap
                                  Berheenia Sep 1, 2012 07:34 AM

                                  During the quick fire when Dita was making double entendre remarks about the food. Just before Dita tries the foie gras

                            2. d
                              DGresh Aug 31, 2012 02:41 PM

                              Two questions:

                              Did anyone catch what Patricia said at the beginning-- something about how the the guest judge for the QF was going to be refreshing after all the girls in vegas .... wearing ......
                              I tried twice but couldn't figure out what she was saying.

                              Is cumin really a traditional Thai spice (as James said)? I think of it as more Indian. But I'm no expert. Certainly fish sauce and cilantro I get.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: DGresh
                                babette feasts Aug 31, 2012 04:46 PM

                                I was curious about the cumin claim as well, definitely not a flavor I associate with SE Asia.

                                1. re: babette feasts
                                  Dave Feldman Aug 31, 2012 09:51 PM

                                  Cumin is used as one of many spices in curry pastes, but in my experience isn't featured as a primary flavor, the way it is in Hunan cuisine, for example.

                                  1. re: babette feasts
                                    moto Aug 31, 2012 09:58 PM

                                    you'd need to go deeper into the components of Thai curries to ascertain whether cumin is used or not. like many ethnic cuisines in the u.s., the americain-ized version of Thai cuisine popularized for the u.s. consumer doesn't represent the diversity of cooking styles in the place of origin. northern Thai food is not what many yanquis are familiar with.

                                    1. re: babette feasts
                                      huiray Sep 1, 2012 05:13 AM

                                      Cumin is widely and extensively used in many SE Asian cuisines. It is a vital spice in Malay, Indonesian, Peranakan, Malaysian-Indian/Singaporean-Indian cuisines; of lesser importance but still used in Thai, Malaysian-Chinese cuisines; there are even Vietnamese recipes with cumin in it.

                                      http://www.malaysianfood.net/glossaryJ.htm (see: "jintan putih")
                                      etc etc

                                      I certainly use cumin when I make Malaysian-Indian or Malay style curries.

                                  2. d
                                    debbiel Aug 31, 2012 09:10 PM

                                    I hope someone at judges' table praised Cosentino for his expediting. Job well done. I'm fine with several remaining chefs but think I'll now declare for him. Yet relieved that Yeo is still in it.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: debbiel
                                      chowser Sep 1, 2012 05:08 AM

                                      Chris has been really impressive overall. As I said before, I had no idea he was a "real" chef, as much as he played one on TV.

                                      1. re: chowser
                                        Shrinkrap Sep 1, 2012 06:44 PM

                                        Also "declaring" for Chris. I like Patricia and Takari a lot, but declaring for Chris.

                                        1. re: Shrinkrap
                                          Joanie Sep 4, 2012 05:35 AM

                                          Am I the only one who's not a Patricia fan? Something about her rubs me the wrong way.

                                          1. re: Joanie
                                            SusieQQ Sep 4, 2012 10:49 AM


                                            Go back and read my two posts. I dislike Patricia.

                                            1. re: SusieQQ
                                              Joanie Sep 4, 2012 12:06 PM

                                              I know you thought she was out of line in that instance, didn't know it was a general dislike.

                                              1. re: Joanie
                                                SusieQQ Sep 4, 2012 03:07 PM

                                                I didn't dislike her until then. Just thought she was a little strange. Now, I dislike her. Let's see how she acts on the next show.

                                            2. re: Joanie
                                              chicgail Sep 5, 2012 05:29 PM

                                              She seems to be a little socially awkward and uncomfortable and I don't have the sense that she's a knock-your-socks-off chef.

                                      2. d
                                        Dave Feldman Aug 31, 2012 09:53 PM

                                        Did it bug anyone else that the "open a restaurant" aspect of this challenge seemed to be a complete throwaway? If it were a Restaurant Wars-like week with 2 competing restaurants, it would be a different story.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Dave Feldman
                                          ipsedixit Sep 1, 2012 09:43 PM


                                          The "open a restaurant" theme was to make all the remaining chefs work as a collective team.

                                        2. s
                                          SFLisa Sep 3, 2012 03:45 PM

                                          Thought this was a fun episode - liked seeing Curtis blush during the quick-fire and was impressed by the accountability of both Patriciha and Kerry for the duck snafu. I did not want to see Patricia go home - I enjoy watching her cook. All in all, this particular series seems to be getting better with each episode.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: SFLisa
                                            DGresh Sep 3, 2012 03:50 PM

                                            Yes, the dialog re the duck was refreshing, wasn't it.

                                            1. re: DGresh
                                              SFLisa Sep 4, 2012 06:46 PM

                                              No one whining and throwing the other under the bus.

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