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Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #4 - 11/28/12 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit Nov 28, 2012 07:37 PM

We rejoin the Stew Room with the argument that CJ and John were having. Josh calls John out about his lack of tact, saying there's a reason John's the most hated chef, because he's a pr*ck. John retaliates saying Josh has no balls. Lovely. So it looks as if there are several people not liking Tesar.

The next morning, several chefs watch John walk through the suite, and no one says anything. John calls Josh a redneck in a camera aside (based on the argument the night before). Stefan notes the tension in the suite because of the catfight in the Stew Room, but says he loves that John pushes everyone's buttons. He calls it "Housewives of Seattle." LOL Kristen also gets a foot rub from Stefan out on the deck.

Back into the TC Kitchen, and Padma is there with Top Chef Masters alum Naomi Pomeroy, chef/owner of Beast. The Quickfire ingredient is behind a curtain, and Padma removes it to reveal two primal cuts of beef. They have 1 hour to create a dish with their favorite cut. Naomi says butchering skills are going to be part of the judging, but to use the sides of beef as a blank canvas. Padma notes safety first--only two cheftestants allowed to cut on one side of beef at a time.

One group is unable to get their beef off the hook, wasting a lot of time. CJ is going with steak tartare, John and Micah are both going for the oxtail, Kristen cuts herself, Tyler is going with Spanish-style crudo, hoping that Naomi and Padma see he's thinking outside the box. Stefan looks to be doing a meat-filled ravioli, and needs an aspirin dealing with Carla. Lizzie's concerned her pressure cooker isn't working well.

Eliza - Grilled Flank Steak with Cherry Cognac Reduction, Asparagus & Potato Cake - Padma was surprised at the asparagus with cherry reduction.

John - Braised Oxtail, Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Veggies & Celery (isn't celery also a veggie?) - Naomi is surprised he was able to get it tender enough in the time allowed.

Josh - Beef Metaballs with Creamy Polenta & Pickled Shallots - nice acidity

Sheldon - Kalbi Round Steak with Tomato Cardamom Broth & Fennel Salad - Naomi liked the flavors, but prefers is closer to a medium doneness.

Brooke - Grilled Hanger Steak with Smoked Onion Figs & Cauliflower Puree - a tiny bit on the rare side, but it's Naomi's favorite cut of beef.

Tyler - Hsipanic Crudo with Charred Tomato Sauce & Cilantro Radish Slaw - Padma asked how he cooked it - flash-grilled it.

Kristen - Top Sirloin Tartare with Mustard Sabayon & Carpaccio Salad - Naomi asked if she got the cut she wanted; Kristen said she went for what she saw first so she could get cooking.

Micah - Oxtail Polenta with Truffled Romanesco Cauliflower - Naomi thought he did a great job in his butchering.

Carla - Sirloin Medallions Wrapped in Bacon, Asiago Risotto with Marsala Sauce - Naomi liked the flavor - the sauce was nice.

Stefan - Braised Top Round Ravioli with Marjoram & Aged Parmesan - Naomi liked the flavors.

CJ - Top Round Tartare, Raw Juniper & Kohlrabi - Padma says "very nice!"

Chrissy - Grilled Hanger Steak with Brown Butter, Parsley & Radish Salad - no comments heard, but a couple of approving nods.

Lizzie - Briased Foreshank with Turnips & Dill - Naomi thought it needed a bit more time in the pressure cooker but appreciated the risk.

Bottom group - Lizzie, Eliza, and Tyler
Top group - CJ, John, and Josh

The Quickfire winner? John Tesar. Both CJ and Josh looked a bit disgruntled at his win. He gets immunity at the next challenge.

The Elimination Challenge is a Time Traveling one. Mark & Brian Canlis join Padma and Naomi. They are the owners of Canlis Restaurant in Seattle. Their grandfather opened the restaurant in 1950, and for one night only, the cheftestants will revive the original Canlis menu from 1950. The winner of the challenge will win $10,000. AND Padma announces that two of the cheftestants will be eliminated.

They get copies of the menus, and divide out who's making what. Looks to be Stefan is assigning dishes - Kristen is ticked off she gets sauteed mushrooms and fried onions to do. Carla's not happy with the squab and doesn't like being told what to do. Chrissy gets the Canlis special salad that is *still* on the menu from when it opened.

John will expedite, since he has immunity. He and Josh discuss french onion soup - John tells Josh he'll jump back and help Josh, as that was his first job in a French restaurant at his first job in 1975. Josh rolls his eyes.

Back at the suite, Sheldon wonders if LCK is happening. Josie asks how it works and when the LCK winner comes back into the TC kitchen.

The next morning, they're off to Canlis to begin prep. Carla tries to figure out what to do with the squab - leave in the rib cage? She notes the grill room is tiny - only Sheldon and Bart can get in there, so she tells them how she wants the squab done. Just before service, John starts telling the cheftestants how side dishes are to be delivered with the entree. And tells everyone no yelling at each other.

Diners arrive, and Hugh Acheson is joining them, along with Emeril and Naomi. John seems to be a bit confused as to how to expedite and call out the tickets.

First the appetizers:

Tyler - Fresh Crab Leg Cocktail
Lizzie - Marinated Herring
Josh - French Onion Soup
John - Steamed Clams Bordelaise
Chrissy - Canlis' Special Salad
Brooke - Seafood Salad a la Louis

Tyler's crab cocktail was well received. Josh's soup was too salty, cold (per Hugh), no bubbling cheese, per Naomi, and not guest-friendly, per one of the Canlis brothers. They needed a spoon, a fork, and a knife to cut the crouton. Too much work. Brooke's seafood salad was just as if it came out of a Time-Life Cookbook back in the day, and Tom C. said the seafood was perfectly cooked.

Chrissy's salad was way over-dressed, croutons were very soggy. Padma said if there was more mint in it, she'd have been OK with it. Lizzzie's herring is Naomi's favorite dish - well marinated, and Emeril loved the crackers. Tom C. loved John's clam dish.

Time for the second course - Stefan and Carla start to get into it, as Stefan can't hear anything because Carla's too loud. Squab has already come back from the diners, as it was too rare. Someone else didn't want a squab, and the waiter said they didn't want it, to fire mahi. A *third* squab comes back, and it's also too rare. Carla thinks it's supposed to be medium-rare, but she she tells Sheldon to cook them further so they're cooked more.

Sheldon - Mahi Mahi with Beurre Blanc
Carla - Squab with Red Wine Reduction with a side of....
Micah - Mixed Vegetables
Stefan - Calves Liver served with....
Kristen - French-fried Onions
Bart - Double-Cut New York Steak
Josie - Gargantuan Baked Potato
CJ - Shish Kebab with Pilaf with...
Kristen - Sauteed Mushrooms

Sheldon's mahi mahi was well received. Tom did receive a dish with part of the bloodline still in, but said the fish was perfectly cooked. One of the Canlis brothers notes that their grandfather used to pack the mahi mahi in the Pan Am flight attendants' suitcases (packed in ice) to get the fish to Seattle.

Hugh notes Micah's carrots are way underdone, the turnips are overdone; a mish-mash. But Naomi said it was the perfect blend of vegetables to signify the 1950s. Carla's squab wasn't boned properly, per Tom, Hugh said it should have been cut in half, and Naomi said she's never seen squab cooked that much (contrary to what other diners were sending back!). Stefan's liver dish probably looked and tasted exactly as it was back in 1950. Emeril said he respected the product and *finally* - he left something alone. Kristen's fried onions were *very* well received by the Canlis brothers.

CJ's shish kebab was underseasoned; Hugh said the lamb seemed very mealy, and Tom noted he thinks it was cooked via sous-vide. There wasn't really enough rice in the rice pilaf, and it was sort of soggy. Bart's steak was only fairly received. It was sliced with the grain, not against the grain. Josie' s potato was beautiful, but one fo the Canlis brothers would have preferred to have cut it himself to see the steam come out of it and Padma thought that oil on the skin would have allowed them to crisp up. And again, Kristen's sauteed mushrooms were very well received - one of Tom's favorite dishes.

Time for dessert!

Danyele - Vanilla Ice Cream
Danyele - Royal Hawaiian Supreme
Eliza - Mint Sherbet
Eliza - Frozen Hawaiian Pineapple Parfait

Padma said the desserts, out of all of the courses, smacked of the 1950s. Tom said Eliza's parfait was "good" - fruit was fine, ice cream was fine, had a bit of a crunch - what else do you want from a parfait? One of the Canlis brothers liked Danyele's ice cream with the salty brittle on top (although when someone tried it - Hugh? - it looks like mint soup). Naomi liked Danyele's Hawaiian Supreme because of the marshmallows.

The table discusses the dishes - Chrissy's Canlis salad was very poor, as was Carla's squab, CJ's Shish Kebab and Josh's onion soup.

Padma comes into the kitchen and asks to see Lizzie, Kristen, Tyler, and Stefan. They had the winning dishes. Hugh announces the winner - and it's Kristen! She gets $10,000. And Stefan was very happy for her for winning!

They want to see Carla, Chrissy, CJ and Josh for preparing the worst dishes. Remember - TWO of them will be going home. The onion soup was too salty, per Tom (which another cheftestant had teasingly said to Josh in the kitchen) and Tom received a cold soup. Hugh asked how it was expedited, and Josh said everyone thought John had a plan, but he didn't, and he was "like a monkey". Chrissy's salad didn't have the flavor in the vinaigrette, and it was soggy. Carla' s squab wasn't cooked; the judges were astonished to hear she didn't check the squab on a regular basis as they were going out to the diners. She got to try the *last* squab but not enough of them beforehand. CJ also noted that the lamb kebabs were slightly mealy; Tom asked why, when preparing a dish from the 1950s, was he sous-viding the lamb? CJ said in hindsight he wouldn't have done it at all. (Like, DUH!) Emeril also didn't get the flavor of the marinade and didn't want to eat the lamb at all.

Who's leaving Top Chef? It's Chrissy for her salad and Carla for her squab. I'm sorry to see Chrissy go; have to say I'm *not* all that sad to see Carla gone.

And YES! Last Chance Kitchen is back online! Jeffrey, Kuniko, Carla, and Chrissy all get a chance to battle.

Previews show an ENTIRE TEAM going home next week! (Oh wait - a "team" seems to be 2 people.)

NOTE - I think what we did during the last regular season of Top Chef was an entirely separate thread for Last Chance Kitchen, rather than here. So someone else can start a separate thread if they want. Either way, I personally don't want to do LCK here. :-)

  1. d
    DGresh Dec 4, 2012 05:44 PM

    I know someone somewhere posted the link for the video recipe of the mushrooms that Michael Voltaggio did on the Top Chef web site. It annoyed me a bit that he started off doing it "his" way rather than Kristen's. I made them tonight and have to say they were nothing special. Wonder if it's because I followed his recipe rather than hers. The moisture really wasn't sufficiently removed using his method, so they didn't start to immediately brown in the second stage. Kind of disappointing, given how much the judges raved about hers.

    5 Replies
    1. re: DGresh
      John E. Dec 4, 2012 06:49 PM

      From what I could tell from this episode, the only thing she did differently was to roast the mushrooms in a 450 oven. For how long, I do not know.

      1. re: John E.
        d
        DGresh Dec 5, 2012 03:31 AM

        That was the whole issue. He heated a pan, got it hot, threw the mushrooms in, covered it, and moved it off heat. He let it sit for "some amount of time". I think that it just wasn't enough heating time (for me) to get the mushrooms to completely release their juices. They continued to sizzle and pop for another minute or so off heat. So when I cooked them the second time, they continued to release water for quite awhile, unlike in his demonstration. Cooktops are all different, and I think a more reproducible recipe would have been hers.

      2. re: DGresh
        cowboyardee Dec 5, 2012 04:39 AM

        In my experience, the reason most home cooks don't get good a good sear on their mushrooms isn't because they fail to remove enough excess water - that's helps, but it's a small matter, comparatively. Really, it's because they don't use enough heat on the stove, and/or they crowd the pan. Notice that in the video, the oil in the pan is smoking before the mushrooms are added.

        Voltaggio always does things his own way in the Top Recipe videos. I don't think the contestants get together with him to walk him through their hazy recollections of exactly what they did in the challenges, so I'd rather see him tell you how he'd do it anyway - he has more insight into the process that way.

        1. re: cowboyardee
          chowser Dec 5, 2012 07:13 AM

          That's a good point. We might not necessarily want the version the chef made, often on the fly with limited ingredients and time. It would work for a seasoned pro but maybe not a home cook.

          1. re: cowboyardee
            Ruth Lafler Dec 5, 2012 01:38 PM

            That's why I agree with DGresh that -- in this case at least -- the original recipe would have been more easy to reproduce for the home cook.

        2. Withnail42 Dec 4, 2012 05:56 AM

          Terrific recap as per usual LW.

          I enjoyed the episode, loved the nod to the fifties. It was straight froward cooking. One of the judges commented that the food looked like it came out of a Time-Life book. I was thinking the same thing.

          Not sorry to see Carla go.

          1. Terrie H. Dec 1, 2012 09:06 AM

            I was just able to watch this episode now. I can't tell you how how happy I am that Carla will no longer be on. I don't know how anyone could have ever employed her or worked for her. There wasn't a single thing Professional about her.

            1. hal2010 Nov 30, 2012 09:24 PM

              If they wanted to keep someone in "for the drama" there would be no better contestant than the botoxed, loud Latin woman. I was sorry to see her go. At least she was realistic about her abilities.

              1. huiray Nov 30, 2012 08:37 AM

                " Tom C. loved John's clam dish."
                -------
                So did Emeril Lagasse who voiced pleasure with it, not just Tom Colicchio. ;-)

                1. huiray Nov 29, 2012 11:21 PM

                  Regarding the previews for the next episode: the second preview on the bravotv website shows an interesting scenario between two cheftestants from that big Southwestern state. One of them says certain things in a TH that, if taken at face value, appears consistent with certain notions I am forming about the other one.

                  1. John E. Nov 29, 2012 07:02 PM

                    I found one of Tom's comments at the restaurant interesting. One of the Canlis brothers was telling the story of the opening of the family restaurant. His grandfather couldn't get a bank loan so he took $50,000 of his own money and built the restaurant. Tom made a comment indicating he was not impressed with that figure because it was so small. Well, by today's standards it is not much money. It would be the equivalent of $450,000 today and even that is not enough to build a restaurant. However, most restaurants are not built by one family these days, it seems that every chef-wannabe-restaurant-owner has to find investors. I bet Tom did not open his first restaurant with only his own money.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: John E.
                      JuniorBalloon Nov 30, 2012 08:27 AM

                      Interesting. I took it to mean the opposite. Tom seemed quite impressed with what Peter accomplished with $50k. It seemed a recognition of the changing times. Even at the adjusted value of $450k you could not build Canlis in that location for that money.

                      jb

                      1. re: JuniorBalloon
                        chicgail Nov 30, 2012 08:41 AM

                        I heard it the same way you did, JB.

                        1. re: JuniorBalloon
                          John E. Nov 30, 2012 09:06 AM

                          That's right, he was impressed with what was done with ONLY $50,000. My response would have been "wow, he HAD $50,000 of HIS OWN money to spend without help from a bank or investors"?

                      2. t
                        tjinsf Nov 29, 2012 04:15 PM

                        Max's review is up on Eater:
                        http://eater.com/archives/2012/11/29/...

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: tjinsf
                          b
                          bobbert Nov 29, 2012 05:00 PM

                          Some interesting pics in his review.

                          Stefan's look at Kristen as she wins - as someone upthread stated - vomit in the mouth.

                          CJ at judges table. What is he, like 8 feet tall?

                          1. re: bobbert
                            John E. Nov 29, 2012 05:17 PM

                            6' 10"

                            1. re: bobbert
                              Phaedrus Nov 30, 2012 08:45 AM

                              http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/bio/c...

                              Nope 6'8"

                              He played middle in the NCAA Division I finals one year. They had a good chance to win it too, until he got hurt. He was quite a player. I think he played at one of the Cal States.

                              1. re: Phaedrus
                                dave_c Dec 3, 2012 10:23 AM

                                6'8" Holy smokes!

                                A little sidebar... CJ played volleyball for Pepperdine.

                            2. re: tjinsf
                              huiray Nov 29, 2012 06:40 PM

                              Heh.

                              Max Silvestri had this to say about CJ Jacobsen:

                              "CJ is literally cutting random pieces of this dead animal and putting it in his mouth, like someone who wants to get a disease for the insurance money. He probably thinks he's too talented to get diseases now. He is incredibly cocky this season. Apparently his two months as an intern making tea out of mushroom ashes at Noma has convinced him that he floats above the ground. And man does he hate everything that comes out of John Tesar's mouth."

                              1. re: tjinsf
                                Joanie Nov 30, 2012 04:29 AM

                                I'm surprised and bummed he had no quips about the Snidely Whiplash mustache. I did like the comment at the end about Tesar tweeting re: Josh calling him a monkey.

                                "Cool tweet! Is he the most hated Tweeter in Twittertown?"

                                1. re: Joanie
                                  k
                                  KailuaGirl Nov 30, 2012 01:37 PM

                                  He made Snidely Whiplash comments in his posts on earlier episodes. I just love the reference!
                                  When I was little my Dad grew a handle bar moustache and I asked him about Snidely. He kept it a little while longer, but then shaved it because it scared me and it was humbug to keep waxing etc.

                              2. JuniorBalloon Nov 29, 2012 12:04 PM

                                Will miss carla, john makes it hard to like him, but I want to, cj can go next, then micah, then wax mustache boy. The rest of you can stay.

                                John strikes me as a guy that wants to be looked up to and thought of as a great chef, has the cooking chops, but almost everything that comes out of his mouth is the exact wrong thing to say. Is it on purpose or because he's just that un-self-aware?

                                jb

                                24 Replies
                                1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                  LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 12:19 PM

                                  "wax mustache boy" - ::::stifling my loud bark of laughter because I'm at work::::

                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                    Shrinkrap Nov 29, 2012 01:15 PM

                                    He actually twirled the ends on film last night!

                                    1. re: Shrinkrap
                                      Joanie Nov 29, 2012 01:23 PM

                                      I meant to comment on that. And am waiting for the Eater review where I can't imagine he'll let that slide, but it's *still* not up, nor is last week's. C'mon Max, get on it.

                                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                                        l
                                        linus Nov 29, 2012 01:50 PM

                                        um...that's how you get the ends to look like that. maybe he likes his mustache like that. i'm not sure how that affects his cooking.

                                        1. re: linus
                                          JuniorBalloon Nov 29, 2012 02:47 PM

                                          Unless he twirls while he cooks I don't think it does, but I wasn't commenting on his cooking skills, just his attitude, which the stache twirling, at least the way he does it, make him look like he would tie John to a railroad track and demand the rent.

                                          jb

                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                            l
                                            linus Nov 29, 2012 03:56 PM

                                            i think divining attitude by chefs' grooming habits is a slippery slope. i suppose one could assume stefan's blofeld hairstyle gives him a blofeld personality, but i just don't find it very interesting.

                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                              LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 08:09 PM

                                              "You must pay the rent!"
                                              "I can't pay the rent!"
                                              "You MUST pay the rent!"
                                              "But I CAN'T pay the rent!
                                              "I'LL pay the rent!"
                                              "My hero!"
                                              "Curses! Foiled again!"

                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                JuniorBalloon Nov 30, 2012 06:15 AM

                                                LOL. But who will step in and save poor john from himself?

                                                jb

                                              2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                k
                                                KailuaGirl Nov 30, 2012 12:13 PM

                                                LOL! +1

                                              3. re: linus
                                                t
                                                tjinsf Nov 29, 2012 04:01 PM

                                                he uses mustache wax. I hate that I know this. freaking hipsters.

                                                1. re: tjinsf
                                                  l
                                                  linus Nov 29, 2012 04:11 PM

                                                  o.k., he uses mustache wax. what can we tell about him from this?

                                                2. re: linus
                                                  Shrinkrap Nov 29, 2012 09:30 PM

                                                  I didn't think it reflected his cooking, but I wondered what it might signify if you did it while being filmed. Is it something that needs to be done of and on during the day? I'll admit, I might, on rare occasion, twist my locs midday.

                                                3. re: Shrinkrap
                                                  LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 02:01 PM

                                                  Oh damn - REALLY? I missed that! So very Snidely Whiplash. :-)

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                    huiray Nov 29, 2012 05:47 PM

                                                    It seems he didn't become this Snidely Whiplash impersonator until he went on Top Chef.
                                                    http://blog.newsok.com/fooddude/2012/...

                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                      e
                                                      ennuisans Nov 29, 2012 09:05 PM

                                                      Personally I think he's going for Yukon Cornelius. 'tis the season after all.

                                                      1. re: ennuisans
                                                        LindaWhit Nov 30, 2012 09:44 AM

                                                        Perfect. :-) Wonder who his Bumble is?

                                                        1. re: ennuisans
                                                          NonnieMuss Dec 3, 2012 06:49 AM

                                                          I posted this same thing above (after you did) (but before I saw that you did). It's uncanny. And during the show we saw the Geico commercial that has Yukon holding a crock of soup. It was brilliant.

                                                           
                                                          1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                            e
                                                            ennuisans Dec 3, 2012 07:04 AM

                                                            I wish I had been fortunate enough to see that commercial, or smart enough to post a pic. That one really does make the case.

                                                            1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                              The Dairy Queen Dec 3, 2012 07:16 AM

                                                              HA! Well, if they ever need to shoot live action commercials, they know who to call!

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                      2. re: Shrinkrap
                                                        John E. Nov 29, 2012 03:14 PM

                                                        I saw that too. I hope we don't see him twirling it in the kitchen while he's touching food.

                                                    2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                      b
                                                      Bart Hound Nov 29, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                      I'm gonna miss Carla too.

                                                      At first I found her loud, obnoxious and annyoing, but I loved the way she didn't take any crap, and in fact gave it right back, when Stefan called her "sweetie". You go girl!

                                                      Plus, as she herself noted, she has a great ass!

                                                      1. re: Bart Hound
                                                        JuniorBalloon Nov 29, 2012 01:29 PM

                                                        Carls is such a mix of things. Partly I like her brassiness, her, at times, slightly out of control energy and yes in part because it was so obnoxious, hey I do watch for entertainment, but as we got to see her in lower gears, not running around talking to her demons, she was interesting on a variety of levels. That said I don't care how nice her ass is I don't want to spend even a minute in the same room with her. :)

                                                        jb

                                                        1. re: Bart Hound
                                                          f
                                                          FoodPopulist Nov 30, 2012 12:34 PM

                                                          I'm going to miss Stefan calling her "sweetie". I was looking forward to him baiting and needling her.

                                                          1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                            k
                                                            KailuaGirl Dec 3, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                            And the inevitable explosion!

                                                      2. j
                                                        jjjrfoodie Nov 29, 2012 10:33 AM

                                                        Creepy fun last nite.

                                                        LOL highlights to me:

                                                        Creepy pissy intro typical of the "elves"

                                                        3 or 4 cut-ins of the "girls" trying to lift the beef side off the S-hook on the engine hoist. Total LOL.

                                                        Engine hoists in said kitchen. WTF.

                                                        Creepy footrub scene.

                                                        Cooking in a grill room smaller than a clown car. I thought "Hannibal Lechter jail cell" all nite after those shots.

                                                        Good drama.
                                                        Weird drama.
                                                        Not a bad episode.

                                                        Thaks for the recap LindaWhit.

                                                        1. LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 10:13 AM

                                                          The link for the LCK thread Joanie started:

                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879691

                                                          Please note - there *ARE* spoilers, so if you don't want to know who won, don't click the link.

                                                          1. C. Hamster Nov 29, 2012 08:13 AM

                                                            We were creeped out by Kristin and Stefan ...

                                                            In a way, I was sorry to see Charo go. She didnt even cook her own dish.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: C. Hamster
                                                              huiray Nov 29, 2012 08:12 AM

                                                              You might be interested to take a look at LCK...

                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 09:04 AM

                                                                NO HINTS, huiray! ***PLEASE*** No LCK talk here. We all don't get to see LCK until later/the next night.

                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                  C. Hamster Nov 29, 2012 10:11 AM

                                                                  is it up????

                                                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                    LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 10:13 AM

                                                                    It is. Just watched it. About 11 minutes long (preview of LCK, and *then* LCK).

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      C. Hamster Nov 29, 2012 10:50 AM

                                                                      Tnx.

                                                                      I just watched it too. Im happy with how it turned out but would have been happy with any of the 4 returning.

                                                                      1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                        k
                                                                        KailuaGirl Nov 30, 2012 12:10 PM

                                                                        Same here!

                                                              2. huiray Nov 29, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                                I did think Chris Jacobsen and/or Joshua Valentine should have been sent packing rather than Carla Pellegrino and/or Chrissy Camba. From what was presented on TV and the descriptions of the errors that we were given to hear the errors were more egregious for the two men than the two women, except maybe for Carla P. – although, after all, even if she could not actually cook the squab herself she did a poor job of quality control over them. Still, I would have preferred to see one of the men - maybe Valentine marginally over Jacobsen - get tossed out rather than Chrissy Camba or Carla Pellegrino. That onion soup really sounded like a disaster. (...and, of course, after Valentine dismissed Tesar's offers of help doing a soup that he was doing before he, Valentine, was even born. We certainly don't *see* Tesar helping him with it, and there is no reason to think he did after Valentine's comments about Tesar just bullshitting about it)

                                                                Heh, I noted yet again the braggadocio coming from Micah Fields. His chest-thumping about his nailing it with his ox-tail was...amusing. (Not really)

                                                                61 Replies
                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                  LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                                  An overdressed, soggy salad sounds worse than slightly mealy lamb kebabs. I'd have to watch an extended JT to see what they specifically said about each dish. Perhaps tonight.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    cowboyardee Nov 29, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                                    On the other hand, a soggy overdressed salad could plausibly be explained by understandable errors and factors related to the competition - slow expediting, an accidental over-pour of the dressing, rushing while plating due to general kitchen disarray (though Tom objected, rightfully enough, to her use of the outer leaves of lettuce) . CJ's lamb showed he didn't know what he was doing, IMO. His dish was not only badly executed but poorly conceived. That's been a factor in who gets cut in the past. I'd like to see an extended judges table as well.

                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                      LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 10:36 AM

                                                                      Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be any extended JT videos @ Bravo's website. What I *have* noticed is that the cheftestants in the bottom group aren't sent back to the Stew Room while the judges deliberate after telling them what was wrong with their dishes - it appears that they're told immediately (although that's probably not what's actually happening). Maybe that's just an editing thing right now because they're trying to fit more cooking into the show vs. talking heads.

                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      d
                                                                      DGresh Nov 29, 2012 01:57 PM

                                                                      That salad looked disgusting.

                                                                      1. re: DGresh
                                                                        huiray Nov 30, 2012 09:29 AM

                                                                        I didn't mind it. If it's a "Cæsar-type" dressing as what I understand this "special Canlis salad" is, then it seems not that bad at all - to me. Yes, it would be nice to have crispy romaine etc but what we see as being presented hardly seemed disgusting nor a hanging offense.

                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                          d
                                                                          DGresh Nov 30, 2012 09:38 AM

                                                                          I love a Caesar salad, but that thing was swimming in dressing.

                                                                          1. re: DGresh
                                                                            LindaWhit Nov 30, 2012 09:47 AM

                                                                            That thing was soggy with dressing. Wilted greens. That looked like what's left in the catering bowl at an office lunch 3 hours later.

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                              huiray Nov 30, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                                              But was it inedible?

                                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                                Phaedrus Nov 30, 2012 10:35 AM

                                                                                Hey, I went to grad school, anything is edible.

                                                                          2. re: huiray
                                                                            babette feasts Nov 30, 2012 04:15 PM

                                                                            It's not really ceasar, it's just oil, lemon, and herbs. No anchovy or egg or garlic.

                                                                            1. re: babette feasts
                                                                              chowser Nov 30, 2012 04:22 PM

                                                                              Didn't they also say it had mint?

                                                                              1. re: babette feasts
                                                                                huiray Nov 30, 2012 04:31 PM

                                                                                Au contraire. it has egg, garlic, lots of cheese, even butter in some iterations besides the oil. OK, no anchovies, but as purists like to harp about, that too was not in the "original" Cæsar. I would even consider the bacon to substitute for the anchovies.

                                                                                http://canlis.com/food/recipes/the-canlis-salad/
                                                                                http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Canlis-Salad
                                                                                http://www.themoonlightchef.com/imported-20091221021958/2011/7/11/canlis-salad.html
                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/611019

                                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                                  chowser Nov 30, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                                                  Not according to Mark Canlis:

                                                                                  http://mynorthwest.com/11/661521/Seattle-Kitchen-Why-the-Canlis-salad-is-a-cherished-tradition

                                                                                  While the foundation of the salad is Romaine, Canlis is adamant about not calling it a Cesar salad.

                                                                                  The reason for Romaine is "it is the right shape for the salad, it's full of flavor, it's a rich lettuce, it has the right texture, it has a lot of moisture in it," explains Canlis.

                                                                                  A photo of the Canlis salad looks much lighter than a Caesar and nothing like the one Josie served.

                                                                                  http://www.natashareedblog.com/2011/07/04/canlis/
                                                                                  http://www.natashareedblog.com/wp-con...

                                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                                    John E. Nov 30, 2012 04:53 PM

                                                                                    According to the Canlis menu, the salad has a coddled egg. They may not wish to call it a Caesar salad, but it certainly is a version of a Caesar salad.

                                                                                  2. re: huiray
                                                                                    babette feasts Nov 30, 2012 07:01 PM

                                                                                    Ok, thanks. I was only going on my experience of eating it, without knowledge of the recipe.

                                                                                    1. re: babette feasts
                                                                                      huiray Nov 30, 2012 07:17 PM

                                                                                      You're welcome. :-)

                                                                                      1. re: babette feasts
                                                                                        chowser Nov 30, 2012 07:17 PM

                                                                                        Did it taste like a Caesar salad to you? With all the additional ingredients, I was wondering if someone who ate it would immediately think caesar.

                                                                                        1. re: chowser
                                                                                          t
                                                                                          tjinsf Dec 1, 2012 12:03 AM

                                                                                          I've eaten it a couple of times and the dressing does not taste like a Caesar dressing. It's much fresher and herbier (I know it's not a word) than a Caesar salad.

                                                                                          1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                            chowser Dec 1, 2012 04:59 AM

                                                                                            Thanks. It does look lighter, though not Chrissie's version. I first thought it was like a Caesar, from the description, but not after seeing the recipes. I just read Hugh's blog and he did say it was like Caesar salad. But that leads to the whole discussion of authenticity...

                                                                                            1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                              John E. Dec 1, 2012 02:26 PM

                                                                                              The description looks like a Caesar with the addition of bacon, and of course the herbs, mint and oregano.

                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                babette feasts Dec 2, 2012 06:17 PM

                                                                                                Plus tomato, minus anchovy. How many times can you change a thing before its not that thing anymore?

                                                                                                1. re: babette feasts
                                                                                                  John E. Dec 2, 2012 07:50 PM

                                                                                                  A lot of places sell 'Caesar' salads that have stuff in them that were not in the salad invented by Caesar Cardini, such as chicken, bacon, anchovies, etc.

                                                                                            2. re: chowser
                                                                                              babette feasts Dec 2, 2012 06:17 PM

                                                                                              No, that's the thing. To me, Caesar is all about the anchovies, the lemon is secondary, so a nice lemony romaine salad with a little cheese, tomato and herbs is just that, not an almost Caesar. And Canlis is not the kind of place to go over the top with garlic and cheese, so the lemon and herbs really shine. It is a nice refreshing well balanced salad with enough variety of "goodies" to make it interesting. I think it sounds more like a Caesar in print than it tastes in reality.

                                                                                              1. re: babette feasts
                                                                                                chowser Dec 2, 2012 06:22 PM

                                                                                                Thanks--that sounds like tjinsf's description. I think I'd like that better than a Caesar.

                                                                                                " I think it sounds more like a Caesar in print than it tastes in reality."

                                                                                                This might be what tripped Chrissy up. She was trying to make a more Caesar-like salad, based on the description.

                                                                                  3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                    mcf Dec 2, 2012 08:31 AM

                                                                                    Yabbut, it wasn't just that; it was outer leaves (ick) and as noted on LCK, just one note, not any flavors coming together. That seemed to be the central issue, in fact.

                                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                                      huiray Dec 2, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                                                      Personally, for myself, I really don't mind the outer leaves of a head of romaine lettuce. I *like* the non-supertenderness of those leaves. I *like* them when they are blanched in oiled water, too, then dressed with something like oyster sauce. I consider it such a waste to toss them. I also personally think that the overly tender (with no bite to them) of stuff like butter lettuce and "hearts"/inner leaves of this-and-that type of lettuce used in "salads" to be lacking in texture and mouth-feel. I used to "make my own combinations" from the deli counter at my office cafeteria by asking for a scoop of tuna/egg/chicken/what-not salad, to be put on some leaves of lettuce that would normally have been used for BLTs, other sandwiches etc - and I would always have to stop the server from breaking off the stems of the lettuce leaves.

                                                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                                                        mcf Dec 2, 2012 08:46 AM

                                                                                        I don't like butter lettuce either, but I also dislike the texture and floppiness of romaine outer leaves. They're heavier and droopier than those closer to the heart. I can enjoy them in other uses but not salad. The crunch in romaine is inside, not in those outer leaves, IME.

                                                                                  4. re: huiray
                                                                                    John E. Nov 29, 2012 11:18 AM

                                                                                    I'm guessing the the reason Valentine did not get sent packing is because part of the problem was the temperature of his soup and they figured that was not his fault. What was his fault is he used the wrong technique in 'plating' his soup. He needed a narrower bowl, put the crouton on top of the soup, put a generous amount of cheese onto the toast, and then broil it until the cheese was melted and the crouton was softened by the soup. It appeared to me that he put the crouton on a sheet pan, put a small amount of cheese on and then broiled that and then placed it on the soup just before it went out.

                                                                                    I think the judges made the correct decision although any of them could have been sent packing and i would not have cared. So far, I don't have enough emotion invested in any of the contestants to really care what happens at this point. Although, I will admit, I would like to see Josie go home soon.

                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                      b
                                                                                      bobbert Nov 29, 2012 12:43 PM

                                                                                      "I'm guessing the reason Valentine did not get sent packing is because part of the problem was the temperature of his soup and they figured that was not his fault"

                                                                                      My thought exactly. I believe that saved him. He appeared most shocked that the soup was cold. That could also factor in the cheese not being as "gooey" as expected. Interesting theory would be that Tesar deliberately tried to do him in (maybe I watch too many political shows). I thought the salt issue still might send him packing. Do I recall it correctly but did someone use the "I" word? Inedible? That's usually the kiss of death.

                                                                                      I don't know about the salad issue but the fact that it's still on the menu probably sent Chrissy home as much as anything else. As one of the cheftestants mentioned early - everyone actually knows how that's supposed to taste so you better get it right.

                                                                                      Carla was gone when she got stuck with squab. She didn't want it to begin with - interesting in that Stefan appeared to be the one handing out assignments - maybe Carla should take some assertiveness training. Of all the times when she should have spoken up, she keeps her mouth shut.
                                                                                      More thoughts: I don't get the grill station situation. I know it's a little room and all but come on Carla, everyone is complaining about how your squab is being cooked. How about demanding that you cook the judges table squabs yourself? Maybe cook it differently to begin with - roast it and finish on the grill? Do something, anything. Everyone could see this train wreck coming. Oh yeah, you don't want to come across as overbearing. Talk about throwing in the towel.
                                                                                      Maybe I've been missing it, but there appears to be a lack of product placement so far this season. I'm at a loss as to what kind of car I should drive or broth I should cook with. I don't even know what brand of appliances I should buy for my kitchen.

                                                                                      1. re: bobbert
                                                                                        roxlet Nov 29, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                                                        I agree about the grill room, which I mentioned upthread. It seems strange to get sent home for the way your meat is cooked -- when you haven't cooked it! The sauce, which Carla did do, Padma liked a lot. But am I alone in thinking that Carla just seemed off last night? In the end, I wasn't surprised she lost

                                                                                        In terms of the cheese on the onion soup, there was a shot of Josh grating cheese onto the crouton, and it seemed like a pretty light grating of cheese to me. Also, the dish was salty, according to at least one judge.,

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          bobbert Nov 29, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                                          I really think that Carla was beyond "off" last night. She really just threw in the towel. The whole time prepping and cooking the squab - she was basically throwing up her hands in WTF gestures and then when they started being returned to the kitchen, I think she just gave up. It was a bit sad to watch.

                                                                                          With Josh, part of the problem was the bowl he used. In the 50's they probably had those onion soup crocks where the cheese would melt under the broiler. I'm guessing he was stuck with regular bowls and had to improvise with melting the cheese - not done well - don't really know what other options he had. That may have also figured into the decision to save him. Maybe at extended judges table?

                                                                                          1. re: bobbert
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            linus Nov 29, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                            sometimes i think mountains of molten cheese can cover up a bad soup. i disagree with the judge's assessment ( i forget her name) that onion soup demands all that cheese.
                                                                                            i'd rather the soup tastes good for starters.

                                                                                            1. re: linus
                                                                                              b
                                                                                              bobbert Nov 29, 2012 01:59 PM

                                                                                              "i disagree with the judge's assessment ( i forget her name) that onion soup demands all that cheese."
                                                                                              But 1950's onion soup does.
                                                                                              Just like the monster baked potato.

                                                                                              1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                l
                                                                                                linus Nov 29, 2012 02:32 PM

                                                                                                i think the soup is more important than the cheese, no matter the year.

                                                                                                1. re: linus
                                                                                                  gaffk Nov 29, 2012 02:53 PM

                                                                                                  Nah, I order French onion soup specifically for the cheese.

                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                    huiray Nov 29, 2012 06:01 PM

                                                                                                    I hate, HATE that mountain of cheese on so-called "French onion soup". If I order "Onion Soup", I want ONION SOUP, not a block of melted cheese with some bread in it and with a slight suggestion of onion flavor.

                                                                                                    Besides, in France if you want it with cheese you would ask for "soupe à l’oignon Gratineé".
                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/877198

                                                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                                                      gaffk Nov 29, 2012 06:10 PM

                                                                                                      To be clear, I don't like "a mountain" of cheese, just a good thick coating of cheese with an excellent onion soup underneath buffered by a hearty slice of bread. (AKA the way mom made it ;)

                                                                                                      1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                        C. Hamster Nov 30, 2012 10:38 AM

                                                                                                        +1

                                                                                                        Onion soup without a head of very good bubbly cheese is like a day without sunshine

                                                                                                        1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                          d
                                                                                                          DGresh Nov 30, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                          Especially in that time period. It would *absolutely* be expected.

                                                                                                          1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                            mariacarmen Nov 30, 2012 11:47 AM

                                                                                                            +2 - the first dish i had in Paris, my first trip, was a delicious french onion soup - and it came with a nice fat melty head of cheese. parfait!

                                                                                              2. re: bobbert
                                                                                                k
                                                                                                KailuaGirl Nov 30, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                                I'd guess that the crocks were available. After all, it was the Canlis kitchen and my guess would be that, like the salad, they'd have kept the French onion soup on the menu. It is a classic steak house dish. Sometimes I'm a happy camper with nothing but French Onion Soup, and I don't even like onions. The broth and all that gooey melted cheese are what make it so damned delicious and such a filling dish.

                                                                                                1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  bobbert Nov 30, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                                                                  If crocks were available and he passed on them to plate in those bowls, I think that by itself would have been enough to send him home. That must have been one really bad salad.

                                                                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                    gaffk Nov 30, 2012 03:12 PM

                                                                                                    I was curious, so I checked out their menu on line. Turns out the French Onion soup is no longer on the menu, so perhaps crocks weren't available?

                                                                                                    http://canlis.com/food/menu/

                                                                                                    And I'm with you KG . . . although I do like onions, sometimes I'm a happy camper with just a gooey crock of French Onion soup.

                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                      KailuaGirl Dec 3, 2012 12:16 PM

                                                                                                      Bobbert, You're right. Thanks for checking it out, gaffk. My mistake. I wonder why they don't have the soup on the menu anymore? I really think of it as one of the first things I'm going to order (along with escargots) when going to a new steak house or French bistro.
                                                                                                      Having said that, there still must have been more appropriate bowls for the soup. And he really messed up with the crouton and cheese portion. Who ever heard of a crouton so hard that you had to cut it with a knife and fork, as one of the Canlis brothers commented?
                                                                                                      Good thing for him that salad was such a mess!

                                                                                                2. re: roxlet
                                                                                                  Shrinkrap Nov 29, 2012 01:21 PM

                                                                                                  When everyone else was making their case, Carla was saying something like "yeah, whatever, let's get this done". THAT didn't seem like her. Wonder what was going on behind the scenes.

                                                                                                3. re: bobbert
                                                                                                  Shrinkrap Nov 29, 2012 01:12 PM

                                                                                                  I feel like I' seeing a lot of frozen diet food...lean cuisine maybe? But I guess it's all commercials "courtesy of", rather than product placement.

                                                                                                  1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                    mariacarmen Nov 29, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                                                    i think the word "inedible" was in a commercial for next week's episode...

                                                                                                    " I'm at a loss as to what kind of car I should drive or broth I should cook with. I don't even know what brand of appliances I should buy for my kitchen." - ahahahahaha!

                                                                                                    1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                      Phaedrus Nov 29, 2012 01:47 PM

                                                                                                      I may have missed it, but did Chrissy actually taste that salad she was supposed to re-create?

                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                        bobbert Nov 29, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                                                        My guess is probably not. The problem is that everyone at the table probably had. Still, if she hadn't made the mistake that she did (overdressed, soggy croutons, etc.) she would have probably been safe so poor execution really was was got her sent home.

                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                          tjinsf Nov 29, 2012 03:57 PM

                                                                                                          no she specifically said she had never tasted it before.

                                                                                                          1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                            latindancer Nov 29, 2012 08:26 PM

                                                                                                            All she had to do was follow the recipe for Canlis Salad....the salad, itself, is renowned and she messed it up badly.

                                                                                                        2. re: bobbert
                                                                                                          John E. Nov 29, 2012 03:09 PM

                                                                                                          Carla's problem with the squab was also in how she cleaned it, or rather, did not clean it. She left the breast plate in and that made it difficult to eat. I understand how early on the squab got sent back for being underdone so the guys cooked it more and apparently it went too far.

                                                                                                          As far as assigning dishes for the EC. While Stefan appeared to be assigning dishes, I'm not sure that's what happened. What appeared to me is that he was writing down what people were cooking and the assertive contestants shouted out early what they wished to cook and some of them got stuck with something they did not wish to cook.

                                                                                                          Tom did describe the onion soup as something nearly inedible, or something similar to that.

                                                                                                        3. re: John E.
                                                                                                          huiray Nov 30, 2012 08:37 AM

                                                                                                          Tom Colicchio said in his blog that what saved Valentine's otherwise failed soup was that his stock/broth was nicely beefy. Everything else about it was wrong, including the incorrect plating.

                                                                                                          As you noted elsewhere here, he also did call it "almost inedible" during their discussions at the table as shown to us the viewing public. One would have normally thought that that characterization (inedible) and the "oversalted" one (even Padma Lakshmi said she could only take 2-3 spoonfuls) were usually both kiss-of-death offenses. Then he slams Chrissie Camba's salad as so, so much worse. I simply don't see how soggy overdressed salad is as bad as "inedible" soup. I would have considered that salad certainly edible. Colicchio seemed to go out of his way in his blog to justify keeping Valentine on the show.

                                                                                                          FWIW both Acheson and Reyhani in their blogs also badly faulted Valentine for his soup, with Reyhani also commenting that he should have taken Tesar's advice. :-) Let us recall also that one of the Canlis brothers commented that Valentine's soup was diner-unfriendly, that one needed a knife & fork besides a spoon to attempt to eat that soup with the hard, large "croutons" that he poked with his finger and which did not yield at all to his poking. :-D

                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                            linus Nov 30, 2012 09:16 AM

                                                                                                            how is reyhani, whoever the hell that is, privy to what advice john was going to give joshua about the soup?

                                                                                                            1. re: linus
                                                                                                              JuniorBalloon Nov 30, 2012 09:18 AM

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

                                                                                                              1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                linus Nov 30, 2012 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                thank you for the information.

                                                                                                            2. re: huiray
                                                                                                              gaffk Nov 30, 2012 03:14 PM

                                                                                                              I cannot, of course, defend the decision to favor the soup over the salad (having obviously not tasted either). But I cannot abide an over-dressed salad and that salad looked like it had drowned. (Which is why I tend to order my dressing on the side.)

                                                                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                John E. Nov 30, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                I'm guessing the reason the soup was both 'beefy' and too salty is because he started with a commercial stock and reduced it too much.

                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                  bobbert Nov 30, 2012 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                  Commercial stock? I've been at a loss as to what brand of broth to use due to the lack of product placement this season. I know I need a Kindle Fire but please tell me the brand of commercial stock . Thanks in advance :)

                                                                                                                  1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                    John E. Nov 30, 2012 07:14 PM

                                                                                                                    I have no idea... ; ). That was just speculation on my part. Somebody upthread noted there seem to be fewer product placements. I wonder if the elves did that on purpose or if they have had less success in selling the product placements. (FYI I don't think there are ANY commercial beef stocks worth using for soup. Heck, I wouldn't make soup with commercial chicken stock either).

                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                      bobbert Nov 30, 2012 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                      That was me upthread. Just humoring myself and trying to lighten things up a bit after the not so fun turn it took upthread.. I do use commercial stocks when I'm more concerned with putting food on the table and taste is 2nd. Otherwise I certainly agree with you.

                                                                                                          2. Phaedrus Nov 29, 2012 06:14 AM

                                                                                                            Surprised they didn't whip out the old Jello mold salads, or Swiss steak.

                                                                                                            Threw up in my mouth when Stephan started to flirt with Kristen. I know what he was looking at but what is she looking at?

                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                              huiray Nov 29, 2012 06:37 AM

                                                                                                              Well, maybe they weren't on that 1950 menu? I think they were supposed to recreate that menu?

                                                                                                              I *do not* want to see yet another on-camera roll-in-the-bunk scene, this time with Richter and Kish.

                                                                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                KrumTx Nov 29, 2012 07:11 AM

                                                                                                                I've been reluctant to post this before, as I know our awesome recapper will be disappointed, but I like Stefan. Liked him his first season and now again. Actually, I think I'm crushing on him. Then again, my history shows poor choices in men. Ha! I'm happy to see the chefs this year do more individual dishes. The team chili challenges for the Texas edition were so tiring and unfair. Keep up the great work, LindaWhit!

                                                                                                                1. re: KrumTx
                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                  Nah, I don't mind Stefan this go-round. I think he's more talk than action. So if he puts the moves on anyone, I sort of hope he gets shot down a few pegs. :-)

                                                                                                                  And YES - so far, I'm enjoying the fact that the chefs have been responsible for individual dishes. A very nice change from Texas team challenges.

                                                                                                                  1. re: KrumTx
                                                                                                                    cowboyardee Nov 29, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                    Stefan doesn't bother me too much either. He's like a more talented Spike - more mischievous than malevolent. I can see why others wouldn't like him, but I don't think he comes off too terribly.

                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                      dmjordan Nov 29, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                      I like Stefan, too. Mischievous--that's a great way to describe him, cowboyardee.

                                                                                                                    2. re: KrumTx
                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Nov 29, 2012 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                      i'm kinda with you.... he's funny and cute in a goofy bad-boy way.

                                                                                                                      1. re: KrumTx
                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                        tjinsf Nov 29, 2012 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                        There is something so honest about Stefan even when he's making comment or hitting on people. I also think his humour comes off as far meaner than it is. I find him more charming than not.

                                                                                                                        1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                          Phaedrus Nov 29, 2012 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                          I think that Germanic accent gives him that level of sinister-ness that turns people off. I don't particularly care for his personality nor his sense of humor but I don't really despise him, which some people seem to be doing.

                                                                                                                          1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                            DGresh Nov 29, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                            me too. I kind of like him.

                                                                                                                            1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                              babette feasts Nov 30, 2012 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                              I think it's cute how he gets all shy schoolboy when Padma walks in.

                                                                                                                              1. re: babette feasts
                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Nov 30, 2012 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                Probably because he knows Padma could probably kick his ass if she had a mind to do so. :-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                  Phaedrus Nov 30, 2012 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                  I think he would very much enjoy getting his ass walloped by Padma, just a hunch I have.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Nov 30, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                    OK, point taken, Phaedrus. :-)

                                                                                                                      2. Joanie Nov 29, 2012 04:25 AM

                                                                                                                        Actually watched this in real time. I thought CJ would join Chrissy leaving last nite. I know no one can stand her, but I think the show will be missing a fun semi-villain with Carla gone (she's kind of plastic looking don't you think?). Stefan's exasperated "I need an aspirin" about her cracked me up.

                                                                                                                        I wondered if Josh's comment about John expediting might get him some grief but not yet.

                                                                                                                        Knowing what Hugh said about Tyler and wanting to cheer him on with pom poms, I thought he might push for him to win. It was nice to see him do well after being so sad for being in the bottom of the quickfire. We didn't see a few of the chefs' QF dishes right?

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                          I noted 13 QF dishes in my OP; there were 16 cheftestants left before last night's double-elim. Now down to 14. So we're still dealing with time constraints.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                            DGresh Nov 29, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                            I'm glad to see Carla gone. Both her constant yabbering and her greasy hair falling down in her face drove me nuts.

                                                                                                                            1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                              Leepa Nov 29, 2012 07:03 PM

                                                                                                                              And the bracelets while prepping her squab. Looked a bit unsanitary to me. Actually, she always looked a bit unsanitary to me. Like she had a cold and her nose was going to drip in the food.

                                                                                                                              1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                                mcf Dec 2, 2012 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                She's really annoying, but I was happy to see her on the show after watching the stuff she made at Rao's last year. Was that on TC, when they had a challenge there?

                                                                                                                            2. t
                                                                                                                              tjinsf Nov 29, 2012 01:07 AM

                                                                                                                              I got the feeling they kept CJ and mustache hipster guy in for the drama. I get that people don't like John Tesar's personality and he is tactless and harsh but it's pretty clear that he can cook. Also hipster boy's comment about him were pretty harsh considering John was actually saying that he would jump in and help him if he needed it and was trying to help hipster boy with a dish (french onion soup) that he clearly didn't know how to make. Then again he is working as a pasty chef now while John has actually opened up a new restaurant so they really aren't equals anyways. If you are going to talk smack about someone else, you actually have to have the skills yourself. Maybe he can go and stage for John and learn some things.

                                                                                                                              CJ is another chef that thinks he know more about cooking than he does. Working for free at famous restaurants doesn't actually make him a better chef especially when he think overcooking in sous vide is a good idea for a 50's style shisk-kebab.

                                                                                                                              I liked the elimination challenges aren't ridiculous and they seem to be given enough product and time to cook. It's nice to see that while they are having a Seattle element they are still sticking with real cooking and judges that have decent palates.

                                                                                                                              Watching Stefan hit on Kristen was a little gross but I still like his cooking. It's funny how he always hits on the queer girls.

                                                                                                                              And like every other human I want to know why John wears his glasses like that and make him stop it.

                                                                                                                              39 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                roxlet Nov 29, 2012 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                I agree with you. I thought that CJ was a goner for sure as well as Josh. Padma really liked Carla's sauce and had fewer problems with the dish than some of the other judges, so I thought that would mitigate against her going home.

                                                                                                                                I didn't understand the whole room for grilling though. Everyone's dish that had to be grilled was cooked by someone else? How does that work. And was the squab overdone or underdone? (I understand that the bones were part of the problem, but the degree of doneness seemed to be a big factor.) And that goes for CJ too. Didn't he say that he was expecting that the corners would get charred? So if you're not cooking your own dish, who, exactly, is responsible for it?

                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                  Phaedrus Nov 29, 2012 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                  Isn't that due to the constraint of the kitchen? The grilling station is too small and they needed to get the dishes out. I am sure they all would have preferred to grill their own meats but logistics won out.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                    latindancer Nov 29, 2012 08:23 PM

                                                                                                                                    They all should have spent a few minutes aquainting themselves with the kitchen before they started cooking. Peter Canlis's kitchen and his reputation for producing some of the finest dishes in the world is iconic. ...
                                                                                                                                    The entire episode seemed chaotic and disorganized. There just seemed no excuse for the kebabs. The salad? How in the world did she mess that up?

                                                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                    I think the initial squab sent out to other diners was underdone (according to those diners) and Carla then asked for them to be cooked longer. So the ones the judges got were overdone.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                      tjinsf Nov 29, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                                      The person responsible is the executive chef in this case each of the contestants. They are responsible for telling the people working the grill how to cook their meats.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                        roxlet Nov 29, 2012 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                                        But the execution isn't always what the chef intends, as we have seen. And in the heat of service, it's clearly a challenge for the executive cheftestant to assure their element is cooked properly.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                                      "And like every other human I want to know why John wears his glasses like that and make him stop it."

                                                                                                                                      ::::snort!:::::

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Dec 2, 2012 11:14 AM

                                                                                                                                        +1 - the glasses trick has GOT to stop - does his forhead need to see more than his eyes? If he needs bifocals, then dude - go on and get em!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                          John E. Dec 2, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                          What if he doesn't need bifocals? His forhead (sic) is simply a place to push up the glasses out of the way when they are not needed and yet still handy for when they are needed.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                          jujuthomas Dec 2, 2012 08:01 PM

                                                                                                                                          hehehe

                                                                                                                                        3. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                                          charmedgirl Nov 29, 2012 06:15 AM

                                                                                                                                          By queer do you mean gay? Kristen explicitly said in the first episode that contrary to what everyone assumes about her and her best friend, they are not lesbians.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: charmedgirl
                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                            dmjordan Nov 29, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for confirming that. I was starting to wonder if it was someone else that said that.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                            huiray Nov 29, 2012 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                                            I agree completely with your first and second paragraphs. I also note warily the hatred that seems to be building up with various posters here towards Tesar.

                                                                                                                                            I'm not sure "hipster boy" (heh, is that the term for that mustachioed brat?) was even born yet when Tesar was making French onion soup in that restaurant. (How old *is* hipster boy?) That "eye-rolling" scene (as LW described it) and his comment about Tesar just bullshitting when he talks (if I heard that correctly) reminded me a lot of some cocky young know-it-all guys who disrespect anything their elders may know or the experience they have. Speaking generally, not of Tesar and hipster boy specifically.

                                                                                                                                            ETA: Hipster boy was not born yet when Tesar was making that French onion soup (in 1975). According to this article he is 33 y.o. Interestingly, he did not look like a Snydely Whiplash impersonator until he did Top Chef. :-D
                                                                                                                                            http://blog.newsok.com/fooddude/2012/...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                              linus Nov 29, 2012 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                              as hard as i try to like john, i'll take joshua's side in this one. there's a way to offer help without being condescending, and john chose the other path.
                                                                                                                                              i've found nothing in joshua's behaviour to be remotely brattish or h***ter in attitude.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linus
                                                                                                                                                w
                                                                                                                                                Worldwide Diner Nov 30, 2012 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                I don't recall exactly what Josh said but it was pretty harsh.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                              Bart Hound Nov 29, 2012 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                              <<<Watching Stefan hit on Kristen was a little gross but I still like his cooking. It's funny how he always hits on the queer girls.>>>>

                                                                                                                                              She's gay??? I thought she made of point of mentioning that people always think she and her best friend (the blonde chef eliminated on the first show) were not gay even though everyone thinks they are?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                                                Berheenia Dec 3, 2012 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                I thought they were just fellow smokers.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                                                Janet from Richmond Nov 29, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                Because John thinks he is oh so cool....but is not.

                                                                                                                                                Unfortunately he seems to be a good chef and will probably be with us to the bitter end. I noticed at one point he had to stop his glasses from falling. My one wish is for them to fall into a pot on the stove and screw up a dish for him,

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                  linus Nov 29, 2012 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                  i dunno...i've seen no evidence john thinks he's "cool."
                                                                                                                                                  is he extremely confident in his cooking skills? yes, he's stated such. but "cool" i have not seen on the show.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                    KailuaGirl Nov 30, 2012 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Janet, I've been hoping for the same for John and his glasses from the first time they appeared! Can you imagine the "gross out" factor? Sweating in the food is bad enough, but throwing in a bunch of facial oil and dead skin cells? Horrifying!
                                                                                                                                                    I wish he would be eliminated. Until his gratuitous, snarky comments about Kuiniko's "inability" to cook the potatoes in 5 hours I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and thinking he might just be totally socially inept. Nope. He's a prick and has earned his rep as the most hated chef. I hope karma comes and gets him soon!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                                                      John E. Nov 30, 2012 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                      What bothers me more than John's glasses is when I see someone wearing a knit cap in the kitchen. Commercial kitchens are hot enough and it is not necessary to wear a winter cap. (Are they even available to purchase in Hawaii, if so why?) The snap brim cap of Snidely Whiplash bugs me too, as did Spike's and Brian Malarkey's fedoras in TC 4 & 3.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                        NonnieMuss Dec 3, 2012 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Everyone please google Yukon Cornelius. He even appears in a recent Geico ad - holding a bowl of soup. The resemblence is uncanny.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                                          jujuthomas Dec 3, 2012 07:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                          omgosh... no need to google for me... I was trying to place who he looked like, you've nailed it exactly! :-D

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Dec 3, 2012 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                            aahhahahaha! hilarious.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                                                                            KailuaGirl Dec 3, 2012 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Apparently those ridiculous knit caps are available in Hawaii because I see young guys wearing them all over the place. It's warm enough all seasons unless you're going up in the mountains or to the volcanoes or somewhere really cold in the winter. Wearing them in the kitchen, or in Hawaii, is just a stupid "fashion statement" that should be put aside in favor of comfort. All those hats bug me, too. They look kind of cool when not in the kitchen, but the knit caps look stupid any time in Hawaii.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                                                              John E. Dec 3, 2012 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Not to mention just being too hot in the kitchen to wear a knit cap. The only time I wear a hat like that is when it's about 10 above and I'm going to be outside for a while.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                            Dee S Nov 30, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                            As a glasses wearer, my glasses have to be VERY clean. I can't see through them if they are dirty; even a micro-speck of dust has me cleaning my glasses. So, I'd like to know how he SEES through those things when you just know they are smeared up with hair/skin oil.

                                                                                                                                                            *shudder*

                                                                                                                                                            But he can cook.....gosh darned it! Karma is always a b!tch!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dee S
                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Nov 30, 2012 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                              but his glasses don't actually touch his skin - only the frames on the nose bridge do. pushing them on to the top of your head, where they will actually come in contact with your hair, which many people do, would actually make them greasier than what he's doing.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                JuniorBalloon Dec 1, 2012 09:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                He must have a massive supraorbital ridge for those glasses to be able to rest in that position. I tried and my glasses fall right off. The thickening of that ridge is common in neanderthal skulls, which could explain a lot about his attitude and lack of social graces.

                                                                                                                                                                jb

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet Dec 1, 2012 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  That's funny! I tried it too, and no dice. I wonder how many people tried to get their glasses to perch on their forehead like that after watching the show.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Dec 1, 2012 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    you have to push the ear parts higher too. i'm doing it right now with some cheapo reading glasses! and i have a very normal supraorbital ridge.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                      roxlet Dec 1, 2012 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Aha! so there's a technique, is there!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Dec 1, 2012 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        : )

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                        mcf Dec 2, 2012 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I can do it, too, and I have no noticeable ridge. I think it's also a function of the length and depth of the curve of the temple piece to pull on them and hold glasses in place.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                          huiray Dec 2, 2012 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I can do it without any problem too. I just hook my glasses such that the frame sits on my brow on its pads, "just high enough", with the hooked ends of the side arms digging just slightly (but comfortably) into maybe 3/4 of the way up the junction of my ear flaps and the sides of my head. Easy-peasy.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                          gingershelley Dec 2, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Too funny. Are you SURE, MC that your 'superorbital' is normal? I have to wonder.... hehe

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                        Leepa Dec 1, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Like.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                          John E. Dec 1, 2012 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I sometimes rest my sunglasses on my forehead like that and I do not have a massive supraorbital ridge. It's probably more a function of the glasses rather than the forehead. During the human genome sequencing of about a decade ago, it wa discovered that humans do have some Neanderthal DNA.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                            chicgail Dec 2, 2012 05:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe it's like hanging a spoon. It just takes a little moisture and practice.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Shrinkrap Nov 28, 2012 11:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Well done Linda, as usual. My D and I likened the catfight to that schoolyard thing where the retort is "No! YOU are! "

                                                                                                                                                                  John's goofy smile when he won. Ugh. I still wish him, and anyone else in recovery well. Just not on television.

                                                                                                                                                                  My have done Cornish hen in my youth, but not squab. Anyone want to comment on how hard it is to hit the sweet spot between under and over done? I'm guessing harder in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                  Also, was the foot rub in EXCHANGE for something?

                                                                                                                                                                  Happy for Kristen, sad for Chrissy. Perfect timing for LCK. And we dared question t!

                                                                                                                                                                  21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, I wasn't sure about that foot rub either. Kristen said something like "What do *I* get?", implying that there was an exchange. Along with Stefan's glee at Kristen winning the EC...who knows? Maybe just have turned into good friends?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                                      charmedgirl Nov 29, 2012 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      She did something to his eyebrows.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: charmedgirl
                                                                                                                                                                        huiray Nov 29, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Like lick them? Just wondering.

                                                                                                                                                                        I really don't want to see another soft-core loin-grinding on Top Chef. Stick to the cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                                                                          charmedgirl Nov 29, 2012 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Well, that's a disgusting thought.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Agreed. Don't need to see another Hosea/Leah showmance. PLEASE.

                                                                                                                                                                            But I think this is just Stefan being Stefan. Or at least I hope it is, and that Kristen is smarter than that.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                              bobbert Nov 29, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              "...and that Kristen is smarter than that."
                                                                                                                                                                              I certainly hope so. I think she recoiled just a bit when her win was announced and Stefan gave her a hug and kiss. I know he's European and all, but I think Stefan is getting a bit creepy. Let's hope Kristen puts a quick end to it or at least uses Stefan and then discards him. I get the feeling he probably has experience doing that with women - it might be fun seeing it the other way.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                w
                                                                                                                                                                                Worldwide Diner Nov 30, 2012 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Isn't Kristen gay? I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just that Stefan has a thing about gay women. Just read below that she's now gay.....

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Nov 30, 2012 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  OK, what did I miss posted below about Kristen *now* being gay? She said on the show that she wasn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                    C. Hamster Dec 1, 2012 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes. She said that very clearly.

                                                                                                                                                                                    But she does set the dar off.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Stephan canoodling creeps me out.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                                                                      mcf Dec 2, 2012 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I assumed she was gay immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                        Leepa Dec 2, 2012 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I did, too. I think she meant they weren't *gay* with one another.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                          mcf Dec 2, 2012 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          My take, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                                                                            charmedgirl Dec 2, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Disagree. She said they weren't lesbians, not that they weren't a couple. It would have been a very different statement if she meant they were gay but not together. (And I will correct myself; Kristen didn't say it, her best friend, the one who got cut said it.)

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                            juliejulez Dec 2, 2012 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps she's bi.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                              mcf Dec 2, 2012 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Anything is possible...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                chicgail Dec 2, 2012 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                And this is important ... why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                  mcf Dec 2, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's not important, just a conversation. Ain't no thang.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shrinkrap Dec 2, 2012 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not that there is anything wrong with that ! ( I can never resist a Seinfeld reference).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                                      mcf Dec 7, 2012 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I almost included that in my post. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                                                                    tjinsf Dec 3, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    bingo.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                              w
                                                                                                                                                                                              Worldwide Diner Dec 2, 2012 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I meant "not" gay.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. cowboyardee Nov 28, 2012 10:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Random thoughts:

                                                                                                                                                                                    - The argument at the beginning of the show was one of those affairs where everyone arguing came off worse for it. At least Tesar doesn't have a good reputation in the first place to ruin via squabbling on TV. Never fails to surprise me how little self awareness (or awareness of the camera crew, anyway) some contestants demonstrate.

                                                                                                                                                                                    - Anyone pumped to watch a Stefan and Kristen love affair develop? Anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                    - I feel a little bad for Chrissy. She went out early for a fairly arbitrary dish without any major theatrics, and as such she didn't get to make any real impression. I'd root for her on LCK on principle, except I'm already kinda pulling for Kuniko.

                                                                                                                                                                                    - The playing field seems very level so far, with no one consistently dominating or bringing up the bottom. That tends to favor people who just don't make obvious technical mistakes in their cooking. Offhand, Tesar seems to fit that bill. Hard to handicap a lot of the other contestants. Though there have been a lot of bafflingly avoidable technical errors - Josie's turkey last week, Josh's choice of bowl for his french onion soup, Bart cutting steak with the grain rather than across it, CJ... well, see below for more about CJ.

                                                                                                                                                                                    - A note on CJ's shish kabob. The edit seemed to imply that his lamb was mealy because he cooked it sous vide. That's not quite true. Almost certainly, his lamb was mealy because he cooked it sous vide for WAAAYYY too long. Probably 2.5 hours minimum, when it would have been cooked through (and not at all mealy) in 25 minutes. That's what happens when tender cuts of meat are held in a sous vide bath for too long. Why was CJ baffled? Because he doesn't know the technique very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    His mistake was worse than that though. As pointed out by the judges, there was no reason at all to cook shish kabobs sous vide if you're going to grill them afterwards. By the time you grill it on all sides, it's going to be cooked through. If you hold back on the grill to try to preserve the evenness of the sous vide cooking, you're just killing the great flavor from the grill. It was a textbook example of someone using a new technique without purpose or mastery of the technique. Makes me think all of CJ's talk about upping his game was a lot of bluster and a few simple tricks, not real growth as a cook. I found myself hoping he'd get the boot this episode, because it's this kind of thing that makes people hate sous vide, one of my favorite cooking techniques (if that's not already obvious).

                                                                                                                                                                                    - While I'm sure many people might be happy that Carla is leaving, I suggest we take a solemn moment to empathize with those eliminated chefs who will be stuck with her in the Top Chef evictee house for the next month or two, without even the promise of TV stardom or maybe winning a Prius to console them.

                                                                                                                                                                                    42 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                                                                                      linus Nov 29, 2012 03:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      while i don't want to turn this thread into a sous vide symposium, do you really think sous vide is a de facto no-no for cooking kebabs?
                                                                                                                                                                                      it's my understanding, and i'm happy to be corrected, sous vide allows you to hold the product at any temperature you want for an infinite amount of time -- assuming the kitchen had a means (immersion circulator or equivalent) of precise temperature control.
                                                                                                                                                                                      thus, perhaps c.j.'s intention, if, say, he wanted to serve the kebabs at medium rare, was to cook and then hold the kebabs at a temp somewhat below medium rare, and then finish them on the grill to get the grill marks and crust and achieve a pleasing final temp or degree of doneness.
                                                                                                                                                                                      don't many cooks sous vide meats and then get a char or crust by finishing them with conventional cooking methods?
                                                                                                                                                                                      don't many cooks sous vide meats because of the texture achieved by holding them at a temp for extended periods of time? does a piece of steak, for example, turn mealy if you hold it at 120 degrees for 120 hours?
                                                                                                                                                                                      is there a marked difference in texture of a piece of steak held at, say, 125 degrees for twenty minutes and a piece held at 125 degrees for twenty hours?
                                                                                                                                                                                      i don't know the answer to this.

                                                                                                                                                                                      i'm pretty ignorant of this stuff, so i'm happy to be corrected and informed. c.j. seems reasonably accomplished to me, and i think it may be premature to label him ignorant of a technique because he screwed up once in a high pressure situation.
                                                                                                                                                                                      for example, i think josie probably knows how to cook a turkey, but just screwed up the one she cooked last week. stuff happens.
                                                                                                                                                                                      unfortunately, because this is a "competition," you only get one shot per week and the consequences can be "dire."
                                                                                                                                                                                      i would contrast c.j., who i think (but i certainly may be wrong) knows how to sous vide meat and messed it up, with carla, who seemed to not know how to cook a squab.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linus
                                                                                                                                                                                        cowboyardee Nov 29, 2012 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        "while i don't want to turn this thread into a sous vide symposium..."
                                                                                                                                                                                        ______
                                                                                                                                                                                        *Shrug* I always kinda like it when the discussions/arguments/whatever in these threads turn toward the cooking techniques. Bring it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        "it's my understanding, and i'm happy to be corrected, sous vide allows you to hold the product at any temperature you want for an infinite amount of time"
                                                                                                                                                                                        _________
                                                                                                                                                                                        Not quite, but that's a common misunderstanding. Sous vide breaks down connective tissue in meat. That's why you can use sous vide to make braising cuts (short ribs, pork shoulder, pork belly, oxtail, etc) extremely tender. But it also slowly breaks down connective tissue in tender cuts. And when too much of the connective tissue in these cuts breaks down, you get an unappealing mealy texture, rather than the luscious gelatin-rich texture of the braising cuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                        You have a large window of time to remove tender cuts from the heat - much larger than with other cooking methods. There is little difference between cooking an hour vs 90 minutes (depending on thickness). But that window isn't indefinite. You can 'overcook' meat using sous vide - you just can't overheat it (unless you pick the wrong temp). If CJ got a mealy texture, he left his lamb in the bath for several hours, when less than one hour would have sufficed and not hurt the texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                        "do you really think sous vide is a de facto no-no for cooking kebabs?"
                                                                                                                                                                                        __________
                                                                                                                                                                                        There are certain situations where sous vide might be used for kebabs, but they don't apply here. If you wanted to make kebabs out of a meat that is normally considered too tough for kebabs, you might cook the meat sous vide for a long time, chill the meat, and then grill. I've done this with short rib chunks, for example. But CJ didn't have time to do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Another example - if you wanted to use chunks of meat substantially thicker than you would normally use for kebabs, then sous vide might be useful to make sure they're cooked through uniformly, since cooking large chunks on the grill might tend to either burn the outside or make for uneven doneness. Of course, then the chunks wouldn't be bite-sized. And this didn't apply to CJ in this challenge either.

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you had no intention of grilling the meat after cooking - say you wanted to finish the chunks with a thick flavorful glaze instead, then sous vide might be appropriate. Again, not the case here. Or if CJ was grilling in the exhaust of a jet engine, then sous vide might be a good idea. But we'd be talking about 15 seconds per side on the grill - stupendously hot, even for a professional model. You could also sear with a blowtorch, but you'll get much better flavor searing traditionally on a grill, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                        "don't many cooks sous vide meats and then get a char or crust by finishing them with conventional cooking methods?"
                                                                                                                                                                                        _________
                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes. But realize that sous vide either limits how much of a sear you can put on a piece of meat while still retaining the evenness of cooking obtained from sous vide, or else requires that you use a thick cut of meat to get a good sear and still retain some of sous vide's benefits. The problem in CJ's case - he was using kebab-sized hunks of meat which weren't thick enough. And to get ideal flavor on a grill, he'd have to sear em on all sides. This would have cooked the lamb through and killed the evenness of the sous vide cooking. It also made it very possible for him to overcook the meat on the grill if he didn't let the lamb cool off after the sous vide bath (though it seems he was not guilty of this, at least).

                                                                                                                                                                                        If he hadn't left the lamb in the bath for too long, cooking it sous vide wouldn't have hurt anything, but it wouldn't have helped either.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Wonderful explanation, cowboyardee - thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                                                                                            bobbert Nov 29, 2012 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            My thought with CJ and the sous vide was his attempt to make sure his meat was tender, then put some grill marks on it to appear that was how it was prepared. He simply blew the technique... badly, and was called out for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                              cowboyardee Nov 29, 2012 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              It's certainly possible to superheat some grill grates, cook meat sous vide, and then give it ~30 seconds/side on the grates to put some marks on it without much changing the way the interior is cooked. But that's just such bad technique in its own right. Using the grill for markings but not for flavor completely sets up the dish to disappoint. Better to finish another way entirely, if you're dead-set on cooking the lamb sous vide. Either that or grill em properly to develop all the flavor those marks normally promise, in which case sous vide isn't necessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                              linus Nov 29, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              well, i'm a hypocrite, 'cos here comes some more symposia.

                                                                                                                                                                                              is not the breaking down the connective tissue a product of temperature, not time? that is, (if you'll indulge me getting my harold mcgee on), if connective tissue breaks down at temperature x, then, if the temp never goes near or above x, the breaking down of the tissue does NOT occur?

                                                                                                                                                                                              thus, when cooking tenderer cuts of meat, like c.j.'s kebabs: he sous vides them until they reach, say, 115. and holds them there indefinitely. you're saying, even if the temp doesn't rise above 115, breakdown of connective tissue occurs? or does breakdown of muscle fibers themselves occur given enough TIME?

                                                                                                                                                                                              so in a perfect world, c.j. holds his kebabs at 115, and gets a really hot fire going, sears them on two sides, properly rests them, and the temp climbs to 125-135 or so, medium rare.
                                                                                                                                                                                              if no connective tissue is involved, (say, what would be in a tender cut of steak, be it lamb, beef, dik dik, whatever), is the REMAINING tissue affected by TIME as well as TEMP?

                                                                                                                                                                                              sorry if if this is redundant. i just want to get a handle on whether or not c.j.'s method was poor, or his execution.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linus
                                                                                                                                                                                                cowboyardee Nov 29, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                "is not the breaking down the connective tissue a product of temperature, not time?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                _______
                                                                                                                                                                                                It's a function of temperature AND time. That's why you get completely different textural effects cooking sous vide short rib 20 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours, even if you use the same temperature in each case. If it was a function of temp only, all you would have to do is cook em through to your desired temp - which would take maybe 40 minutes, not the 40-72 hour cook times you often see listed for sous vide short ribs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                "he sous vides them until they reach, say, 115. and holds them there indefinitely. you're saying, even if the temp doesn't rise above 115, breakdown of connective tissue occurs? or does breakdown of muscle fibers themselves occur given enough TIME?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                _________
                                                                                                                                                                                                Short answer: the tissues in the meat break down as a function of time and give tender cuts an unappealing mealy texture when you cook em too long. It happens quicker at higher temperatures, but it happens either way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Longer answer: this starts getting complicated. For one, I'm claiming that connective tissue breaks down as a function of time and temp (which is certainly true), but I'm not at all certain that connective tissues are the ONLY proteins that break down, or that it is this break down of connective tissue specifically that is responsible for the mealy texture. I just know that the texture gets mealy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Complicating things further, you actually have different processes happening at different temperatures. I know that connective tissue starts breaking down at a temperature as low as 130 f. Could be lower - I'm not sure. And as I mentioned above, tissues break down more quickly the higher the temperature. Which is why you're more likely to cook short ribs for 72 hours at 131 degrees and 48 hours at 140 degrees. And also why tender cuts cooked to medium sous vide will get mealy a little bit sooner than the same cut cooked sous vide to medium rare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                But interestingly, at temperatures between about 100 deg f and 125 f (I'm not certain on the exact numbers), a different process causes breakdown of meat tissue - that temperature range increases the activity of the meat's own enzymes, and the meat digests itself, in a sense. The end result in either case winds up being mealy-textured meat if it's held at those temperatures for too long. Hypothetically, I've read you can deactivate/denature meat's own enzymes by bringing the temperature above about 140 (again, inexact figures), and so I don't really know what would happen if you raise the meats temp fully but briefly to 140 f and then hold it in a bath at 115 for a few hours - you might not get the textural breakdown (though this is perhaps problematic from a microbial point of view). But in any case, these are experiments that I have not yet tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                                                                  linus Nov 29, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks for the info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pylon Nov 29, 2012 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Excellent review. Thanks for the education!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can see the connection between time and temp. Anyone who has braised a roast should. But I never really thought about how the lower temps would have the same effect, basically, over time. Very interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Phaedrus Nov 30, 2012 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is why I love this site. I never knew any of this stuff. Thanks for giving the tutorial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: linus
                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. Nov 29, 2012 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The biggest problem with CJ's kebobs was that in 1950 at the Canlis Restaurant they were not cooking anything sous vide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    cowboyardee Nov 29, 2012 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do think there are ways you can use sous vide well in updating some classic dishes while staying true to what's essential about the dish. But this wasn't one of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      NonnieMuss Dec 3, 2012 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They weren't using snazzy table top electric ice cream makers either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                                                                                                                        babette feasts Dec 3, 2012 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was wondering why they were using those ice cream makers. Maybe Canlis only has a Paco Jet and not a batch freezer? Surely they have something better than those little Cuisinart things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Nov 29, 2012 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I didn't understand the reason behind the sous vide either if they were grilled. They're small chunks of meat. Grill them and they're done in about 5-7 minutes, max!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I LOL'd at your last paragraph. Last night after I finished the recap, I went to Bravo's website to see if LCK was up there. Wasn't yet at 11:45 pm EST. But I did see videos for "After the Knife" - the eliminated Cheftestant House videos. Will have to watch them tonight. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                      gingershelley Dec 2, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      'I feel a little bad for Chrissy. She went out early for a fairly arbitrary dish without any major theatrics, and as such she didn't get to make any real impression."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      CowboyRdee - Just so you know - in Seattle, that salad is FAMOUS! Iconic! Everyone who is a foodie knows that salad, and it is a pretty big crime to screw it up. If you can't be careful enough to make a good version of a salad that you know has 60 years of history behind it - and then double the crime by overdressing it - that is certainly a reason to be sent packing. Just a native's opinion:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And - I am with you on the silent prayer for everyone stuck in the LCK with Carla!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leepa Dec 2, 2012 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Too bad Chrissy wasn't a native. Or hadn't had better direction on what it even is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                                          huiray Dec 2, 2012 11:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, especially when she was apparently mislead by one of the Canlis brothers when she *asked* what it was supposed to be like.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you are a native of Seattle AND have eaten at Canlis several times then I agree it would be expected that you should know what that salad is. Even then, I wonder how many "foodies" in Seattle are really cognizant of that salad. Are ALL folks in Seattle *expected* to know what that particular salad is? How long does one have to have been in Seattle before it becomes an "acid test" of what that salad is?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it a reasonable supposition that Chrissy Camba had never seen that salad before nor known what it was supposed to be like. Yet she was judged by those who knew what it was supposed to be like when she *did not* know what it was really supposed to be like nor had gotten correct or useful info from the Canlis brothers when she asked them about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Even her rival cheftestants realized that her challenge was the hardest, because she was going to be judged against a standard that people OTHER than herself knew about in the current time frame but which she did not. Certainly we heard her cheftestants comment about it. To me, it was an unfair comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                                                            tjinsf Dec 3, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think if you live or travel to Seattle and are into food then yes you are going Canlis. I lived there only 8 months and went three times, once with a local and twice with folks visiting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen Dec 3, 2012 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Really? Wow. I had no idea it was that special. Now I want to go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                tjinsf Dec 6, 2012 08:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't know if it's that "special". I eat out 5-7 times a week and Canlis is an institution. The food is good especially since the chef from EMP took over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                                            chowser Dec 2, 2012 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I thought that about Chrissy at first, that she was at a disadvantage because she didn't know what the salad was but I started wondering if any/all of the contestants knew the Canlis version of their dishes? I wonder if she just asked the wrong question. She said she asked if the dressing was "thick." That's so subjective for salad dressing. Caesar is thick compared to a vinaigrette but not to mayo. Had she asked if it were like a Caesar, they could have told her no, it's much lighter, more lemony, etc. and how it was different. That would have been much more helpful. Overall, I'm also thinking if she had made a great salad, whether it was like Canlis' or not, she might have stood a chance. The dishes that did well tasted good, They weren't necessarily closest to Canlis's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                                                                                              DGresh Dec 2, 2012 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I completely agree. I don't care what "era" we're in. That salad she created did not look appetizing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                chowser Dec 2, 2012 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, was she the one to dress the salads? It looked overly gloopy and I'm surprised it was sent out like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Phaedrus Dec 2, 2012 04:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So what is the big deal about having her see and taste the salad before she went out and tried to duplicate it. Having her taste and see the thing makes better sense in terms of testing her culinary abilities and taste better than guessing blindly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowser Dec 2, 2012 05:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly. That could be said for all the contestants and their dishes. Having seen/tasted the dishes would have been helpful for all so she's not the only one w/ that disadvantage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bobbert Dec 2, 2012 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But... her dish is the only one still on the menu. She had to recreate a dish that everyone at the table had actually tasted. With all the other dishes, they had to "imagine" how they must have tasted on the original menu. Therefore the comments on the other dishes were along the lines of "this is just how it would have looked in 1950" or "the cheese on the onion soup would be bubbly and gooey", etc. With the salad there was no having to imagine anything - it didn't look or taste how it's supposed to. Big difference and pretty unfair IMO. BUT, if it were at least a GOOD salad, I think she would have stayed. Appeared that it was not only a poor version of the famous salad, it was a poor version of ANY salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chowser Dec 2, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I must have been half asleep when I watched it because I thought they said it was the one dish that was no longer on the menu. The comments are much more consistent w/ what you're saying. I agree that it is unfair if everyone had the real salad and not the other dishes. Yes, I also agree that tasty food doesn't get sent home. There have been cases where the person ignores the rules/constraints, makes good food and stays. It just looked like a bad salad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        huiray Dec 2, 2012 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://canlis.com/wp-content/uploads/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The other cheftestants in this episode were saying that Camba had the hardest task *because* the salad was a current item. The Canlis brothers did say the salad was the only thing from 1950 that was still on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          John E. Dec 2, 2012 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They also have mushrooms on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            huiray Dec 2, 2012 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, that's true. I had either the appetizers or main dishes in mind, though. Even so, I wonder if "Forest Mushrooms" means those button mushrooms/normal white mushrooms that Kristen Kish used. After all, the Canlis brother at the "introduction" to the EC did say that all the dishes except ONE (the salad) had "fallen off" the (1950) menu going through the years into present times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        huiray Dec 2, 2012 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's not in question that she *did* make a bad salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The larger issue in this case was whether it was so much worse than that inedible soup from Joshua Valentine or those disastrous kebabs from Chris Jacobsen, or even the squab from Carla Pellegrino. Even if gloopy and overdressed and lacking the correct taste profile etc etc, at least Chrissy Camba's salad was edible IMO. Tom Colicchio says in his blog that her salad was much worse - yet their comments at judges' table about the 4 dishes don't bear that out, even though he goes on at length about why he thought it was in his blog.** I can't help but wonder if what you also referred to - her being judged by a dish that was still current, as distinct from dishes that were only imagined, did play a part. And to be misled/given insufficient info about a current menu item by the Canlis brother - she was told that it was a thick dressing, so it seems (as distinct from her asking if it was a thick dressing) - was not helpful. As has already been said elsewhere, even the cheftestants recognized that she (Camba) had the hardest task in that regard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ETA:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        **Well, he's the judge on that show. Personally, I disagree with his comments about the outer leaves of romaine. I would certainly use them. Not the very outermost ragged leaf or two, but everything else from the 3rd leaf in, say, would be used. I like them. In fact, if I were in one of his restaurants and got a salad with only the inner core romaine leaves I would think it was missing something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          John E. Dec 2, 2012 07:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the soup was described as either 'almost' or 'nearly' inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bobbert Dec 2, 2012 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I pretty much agree with everything you've said. I thought the soup was gone for sure along with the squab. I think the soup got a pass because of possible expediting issues. From what I could figure, the kebabs were probably the least bad of the four and the judges took maybe a little glee in being able to knock a "veteran" as they did with Stefan the previous week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've said it before and will have to say it again, that must have been one hell of a bad salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cowboyardee Dec 2, 2012 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To me, the most problematic part of Chrissy's elimination was that it wasn't the most egregious error by any single judging criteria. If the judges wanted to eliminate the two dishes that were the least enjoyable/edible, then the too-salty and cold onion soup was arguably a better candidate. If the judges wanted to eliminate based on poor technique, then you can make a good case that CJ's lamb showed more egregious and less understandable errors in execution and thought process.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ultimately, I think you can make a reasonable case for any of the bottom 4 to have gone this week from what we saw (and just from the comments during dinner, I was surprised that Micah's vegetables got a pass, btw). I mentioned upthread that I felt a little bad for Chrissy, and that's at least partly because she seemed like a nice person. But that's also because she got caught up in a much harder challenge than the other chefs faced this week - trying to faithfully recreate an esoteric dish she'd never tasted after what seemed to be only a description. I also think this challenge wound up being mostly self-imposed - she likely would have been better off making a good salad that freely took liberties with the Canlis version than making too heavy a dressing because she thought that was how it was done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                huiray Dec 2, 2012 11:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here's the recipe for the "Canlis salad" as first done by Chrissy Camba (when she was told it was a "thick" dressing) versus the "Canlis salad" she put out in LCK after she was told it was "light and fresh":
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/canlis-special-salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                She left out the red wine and even the cheese in the LCK iteration (the recipe for which seems to have left out tomatoes) but the main difference is in the technique - in the EC she was clearly going for a thick dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Dec 3, 2012 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly. I can't think of one person in the history of Top Chef who was told to PYKAG simply because an otherwise good dish didn't meet the parameters of the challenge. When discussing the dishes they may take that into account, but IIRC is has *never* been the deciding factor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The judges know she's never eaten the salad and I don't think they expected her (or anyone) to recreate the dishes faithfully. I think they expected them to produce the dishes faithful *in style/concept* to the original dishes -- as opposed to some challenges where they've been asked to reinterpret or modernize classic dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    FoodPopulist Dec 3, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beverly last season in the episode with Charlize Theron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John E. Dec 3, 2012 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder if Ruth meant that a contestant was sent PPYKAG for othewise good dish that didn't meet the parameters of the challenge instead of another dish that was not good but met the parameters. As I recall, the episode where Beverly was sent packing had everyone making good dishes but that Beverly's was not 'gruesome' enough in its appearance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LurkerDan Dec 5, 2012 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plus, the likelihood of getting sent home for a good dish that didn't meet the challenge increases as the season goes on and there are fewer chefs left, as was the case with Bev (because of the reason you state, the fewer chefs there are, the greater likelihood that all made good dishes). This early in the season, make something damn tasty and you are safe, regardless of whether you met the challenge or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler Dec 5, 2012 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good point. However, we don't know for sure how good the dish was compared to the others, and as Lurker Dan pointed, out, towards the end there may be all good dishes and they have to start picking nits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Dec 3, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do we have to have another discussion about how the judges' comments are edited to make it less obvious what the worst dish is and who is going to be eliminated? The editors will choose comments to emphasize the flaws in okay dishes and downplay the errors in bad dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't know how you can reasonably say that the salad was edible when you didn't taste it or that it wasn't as bad as the other dishes when you didn't taste any of them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. juliejulez Nov 28, 2012 09:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Count me in as someone who doesn't like Tesar. I'm sure some of it is editing but I really can't stand people like that. It's one thing to be able to speak your mind etc, but another to just be totally rude about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I enjoyed the quickfire challenge, it let each chef just do their thing in their own style. I thought the EC was a bit lame, as people got stuck doing things they wouldn't normally do, with no creativity involved. I was not disappointed with the eliminations though, Chrissy never stood out to me, and Carla was just really f'n annoying and spent more time yelling at other people instead of tending to her food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chicgail Nov 29, 2012 03:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used to think that editing was a big factor created by the Elves to hype drama, but let's face it, they can't create drama or highlight bad manners or ill behavior unless a contestant provides it for them. As someone who used to media train spokepersons, one of the primary rules of the road was "if you don't say it or do it, they can't use it against you." And folks have a hard time with that one, believing they were "quoted out of context." Nonsense. If you behave badly, you'll look bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        juliejulez Nov 29, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's very true. I also think some of the contestants get a little crazy in that setting. My best friend knows Heather Terhune very well (also Tyler Wiard from this season), and she said that Heather is not nearly as crazy and bitchy as she was on the show. She has her moments I guess but not nearly as bad as she was on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mcf Dec 2, 2012 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Heather could be one quarter that crazy and nasty and still be a nightmare. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            juliejulez Dec 2, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh yes, my friend didn't deny that she isn't... difficult. She just isn't as bad as she looked on the show :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mcf Dec 2, 2012 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yannow, character is revealed under challenging circumstances more than in every day life. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          John E. Nov 29, 2012 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I remember a few years ago when Charles Barkley claimed he was misquoted in his autobiography.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pylon Nov 29, 2012 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think that changes more than a little when there's no video. The way they create sentences from fragments makes it possible to put anything together. Unless I get to see the conversation with both sides in one camera shot with no cuts, I always assume there some editing at play.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Nov 30, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What I've read from people in reality shows is that the alcohol is free flowing and they're exhausted. They're repeatedly asked questions until they get something close to the response they want. I can't remember what contestant said this but he was quoted as calling another contestant an asshole but then followed it up w/ "but, we're all assholes." They edited out the second part. He said when he heard it, he immediately called up that contestant to explain and that they had a good laugh about it. So, while poor actions can come across, I take things w/ a grain of salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cowboyardee Nov 30, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That was Tre talking about Marcel on All Stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowser Nov 30, 2012 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good memory. I was sure someone would remember it.

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