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Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #10 - 01/09/13 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit Jan 9, 2013 07:59 PM

It's a new spin on Restaurant Wars starting this week! But first, we've got to get through the Quickfire.

The ep starts back at the suite. Josh talks about not having John in the competition. Stefan is shown sitting outside without his "morning friend, John." Brooke said she's good with those left in the competition. Josie says to those in the kitchen "Asians represent, Asians represent!" Stefan sort of wrinkles his nose. Josie says in the camera aside that everyone left is impressive, and that to underestimate anyone is stupid. "I didn't come back as a stupid chef!" Ummm......

They arrive back at the TC Kitchen, and Wolfgang Puck is there with Padma. The challenge is to work with ginger (YAY! I love ginger!). Turns out it's sponsored by Canada Dry ginger ale and it seems to require the use of ginger ale, although I'm not sure if everyone uses it. They only get 15 minutes. The winner will receive immunity in the next Elimination challenge.

The cheftestants are going crazy running around trying to finish their dishes in 15 minutes. Josie and Josh collide in a full-on run but both remain standing.

Josh - White Chocolate & Ginger Soup with Peaches & Tarragon - Wolfgang Puck said very restrained on the ginger.

Josie - Seared Scallop with Ginger-Honey Yogurt & Miso-Ginger Sauce - Puck said the scallops were nicely cooked.

Brooke - Ginger-Caramel Squid with Fresh Lime & Chili Powder - Puck says it sounds inventive and it works well together.

Lizzie - Watermelon & Ginger Soup with Fresh Mint - Puck says it would be a nice cold soup to serve on a warm day.

Micah - Ginger Shrimp Salad with Radish, Plum, Ponzu Vinaigrette & Fried Crispy Ginger - Padma likes the plum - it's refreshing.

Kristen - Fennel-Ginger Salad with Brie & Tomatoes - Puck said infusing the ginger flavor via the CO2 cartridge was a new idea. (I think that's what he said.)

Sheldon - Wok-Fried Ginger Skirt Steak with Ginger & Oranges - Puck said it could use a bit more sweetness but it was good.

Stefan - Ahi Tuna with Lemongrass & Ginger Vinaigrette - Puck said nice and delicate. Stefan adds some charm by speaking to Wolfgang in German.

The bottom group - Sheldon and Josh
The top group - Brooke, Stefan, and Lizzie

And the winner is Brooke!

For the Elimination Challenge, Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, arrives in the TC Kitchen. And Padma announces it's time for Restaurant Wars! But a new twist - each cheftestant must come up with a complete restaurant concept along with a dish that represents the concept - all to be presented at The Bite of Seattle. They will need to prepare 200 portions, and they will have 4 sous chefs to help them. There will be 2 winners chosen at the Bite of Seattle, and those winners will serve as Executive Chefs and create their restaurant from the ground up in the second part of Restaurant Wars. The 2 winners will receive $10,000 for this part of the challenge.

They head out to get ingredients - Josie, Micah and Sheldon head to Uwajimaya Asian Food Market and the others head over to Central Market.

They arrive back in the TC Kitchen and Kuniko, Carla, Chrissy, and Eliza are there as sous chefs. Micah and Josie share Kuniko, and Sheldon asks Chrissy to help him. Stefan gets Carla to help him, and Eliza is helping Lizzie. Tom comes into the kitchen to see what everyone is working on.

There is a *lot* of camera time for Josie....so - do we speculate? Is it her time to go? PaLEEZ?

Back at the suite, they show Stefan sticking a frozen Healthy Choice into the microwave. (REALLY? Does anyone think that chefs are actually eating these things?) It's also Sheldon's 30th birthday. The other chefs bring out a cake for him.

The next day, they rush to their stations at Bite of Seattle. The sous chefs show up and start helping where needed. An element of Josie's dish isn't done, and she begins to freak out - which means an incessant amount of talking and honking laughter. The judges show up, and Danny notes when he first met Tom C. was at another food festival such as Bite of Seattle. Tom said "I had hair then!" and they show a picture of Tom with a full head of hair. He just doesn't look right with hair! LOL Danny said Tom made a sea urchin and crabmeat mashed potatoes dish that stood out, and made him want to work with Tom. Tom said he *still* makes that dish. Meanwhile, Brian Canlis is at Stefan's station, and when Stefan starts up a blender, the top isn't on and he sprays Canlis, who starts laughing.

JOSH - "Bistro George" - Seared Eye of Rib Eye with Cauliflower Puree & Mushroom Red Wine Sauce. Gail likes his dish, Danny thinks the mushrooms are seasoned, but the steak isn't.

LIZZIE - "Mia Filino" - Mustard Green Canederli with Fonduta & Crispy Speck. Danny says her dish is classic northeastern Italian near Austria. Tom says the flavor is great, but it's a bit heavy.

SHELDON - "Urbano" - Sour Tamarind Soup with Pork Belly, Shrimp & Snapper. Danny said the flavor makes you sit up straight - in a good way, and it's clear he's cooking from his heart. Padma notes that traditionally, this soup is not a pretty dish to look at, but he managed to keep it authentic.

STEFAN - "Bangkok via Munich" - Thai Lobster Bisque with Shrimp Dumplings, Potatoes & Radishes *and* another dish - Bavarian Cream Mango Lollipop. Gail likes the coconut milk and the broth in the soup, but wants some herbs in the dish. Danny Meyer said the lollipop doesn't hold up to the soup, and the last bite makes him forget the soup.

MICAH - "Raw" - Salmon, Snapper, Himachi, Squid, Scallop & Mackerel with Raw Vegetables. While he's describing the dish to the judges, Gail asks if he's thought of this concept for a long time, and he says yes. If you're in a chef in Beverly Hills, you have to please a lot of ladies who watch their figure. Tom and Gail both look at each other with puzzled faces. After trying the dish, Tom didn't like the presentation - he didn't like that the seafood wasn't cut to order. Gail liked the egg yolk vinaigrette. Danny said everyone there has a good context for raw fish - it's called really good sushi. And if this isn't adding something to the dialogue on really good sushi, who needs it?

KRISTEN - "Atelier Kwan" - Onsen Egg with Camembert-Mustard Sauce & Buttered Radishes. Danny Meyer liked the butter-poached radishes and said they were wonderful. Gail loves the egg. Tom said there's always a risk cooking an egg like this, as some don't set, but her eggs are perfect.

BROOKE - "Unkosher" - Matzo Ball Soup with Duck Confit & Toasted Black Rye Bread. Gail liked the duck broth, but she doesn't like the matzoh ball - "It's offensive to my people!" But she loves the Black Rye Bread. Tom said it would have been better if she had made the matzoh ball out of the rye bread.

JOSIE - "Home 305" - Puerco Asado, Black Bean Chorizo Croquette, Pickles & Mojo Sauce. Prior to the judges coming up to her station, guests are shown standing at Josie's table waiting for food to be served, and she's still cooking it and trying to plate it, all the while talking and doing her song-and-dance Josie Show. Sure enough, she does the same with the judges, and she says "You can't get any closer to my heart with the dishes I'm cooking!" Tom says "hopefully you can get it closer to the plate." Gail said the pork is dried out and flavorless. Tom agrees.

The judges discuss who could go home. Stefan and Micah both didn't do well, as well as Josie.

Back at the Stew Room, Padma comes in and asks to see Kristen, Sheldon, and Josh. They're obviously in the top group! From concept to execution, Tom said the one dish showed what the concept could be for each cheftestant. The two winners? Kristen and Sheldon! What a great birthday present for Sheldon - $10,000! :-) And Kristen is now up to $45,000 for her monetary total so far. Josh is disappointed.

But Kristen and Sheldon will face off in less than 48 hours. They are given dossiers as to the details they'll need to know. They will each receive completely empty spaces to be built up from scratch. They can staff the restaurants now when they go back to meet the other chefs, but Padma tells them to choose wisely, as someone will *still* be eliminated tonight. Danny urges them to make sure to staff their restaurants with those they feel they can teach and who can execute their food as well as they would. The winner of Restaurant Wars will get a new Toyota Avalon.

They head back to Stew Room and they choose their staff members.

Kristen chooses Brooke, Lizzie, Josie.
Sheldon chooses Josh, Stefan, Micah.

Padma comes in asking to see Micah, Lizzie, and Josie. Kristen realizes her odds are *not* good with two women in the bottom group.

Gail tells Micah there were so many pieces of fish that you couldn't differentiate between them. Tom said he'd rather have 1 piece of fish sliced in front of them vs. the Pu-Pu platter of fish.

Lizzie is asked how she came up with the concept. Lizzie said she was aiming for northeastern Italian, but perhaps she wasn't gracious enough to explain it to them when they were at the table. Tom tells her the dumpling wasn't cooked enough. Gail said if you're going to get that specific, "God is in the details."

Padma asks Josie how she thinks she did. She said she got good feedback and gave everyone the option of crispy pork or fattier pork. Danny said when he tried to put his fork in the pork and the pork fought back, he knew it was going to be a problem. Gail said the pork was so bland, all she tasted was grease. Tom said "The Josie Show, time and time again - it seems that in an effort to put that show on, you're forgetting some basic things."

And after commercial break, Padma tells Micah to PYKAG! Wow. I really really REALLY thought it was going to be Josie, dammit! But if anyone can beat CJ in LCK, it might be Micah.

They show previews for Restaurant Wars - it's Girls vs. Guys. It'll be interesting!

  1. ennuisans Jan 9, 2013 08:53 PM

    Linda I can't imagine how you do such thorough recaps in such short time. Blows my mind.

    As far as Micah going and not Josie: WHAT THE WHAT? All I can figure is that if you are going to serve raw food on a cooking show, it had better be exactly right. I think that's a rule. Like with salad.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ennuisans
      LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 05:48 AM

      Fast typist and pause/rewind on the DVR. :-D

      1. re: LindaWhit
        trolley Jan 12, 2013 10:30 PM

        you are awesome!

    2. b
      bobbert Jan 9, 2013 09:09 PM

      Kristen has to be the odds on favorite by now. She is cooking at a different level than everyone else. Right now, it's hers to lose.
      Even Josie thought Josie would be sent home. Please put her (and us) out of her misery and send her home.
      Micah's dish did look like a mess and I didn't really get it either.
      German Thai food from Stefan? I don't know about that either.
      Josh was pretty sour when not winning but he had really no chance.
      Next week looks pretty interesting though it will be interesting for the guys with just 3 of them working. That will be hard to pull off. Also lloks as though Kristen may clash with... drum roll... Josie! There's a shocker. Someone clashing with Josie.

      Oh yeah, it's always interesting to see who the chefs pick for restaurant wars. We learn who they think are the best and worst of those remaining. 1st pick: Brooke. Last pick: Josie. 2nd: Josh - that through me off a bit.

      14 Replies
      1. re: bobbert
        John E. Jan 9, 2013 09:44 PM

        Did anyone know that Josie was a football player?

        1. re: John E.
          C. Hamster Jan 9, 2013 10:01 PM

          She mentions it often and they have shown pix of her in uniform

          1. re: C. Hamster
            ChefJune Jan 10, 2013 07:48 AM

            Maybe that's what affected her brain? ;)

          2. re: John E.
            j
            jcattles Jan 10, 2013 07:34 AM

            Lol. She played professional football don't ya know. ;)

            Can't she go home already?

            1. re: John E.
              Withnail42 Jan 12, 2013 05:39 AM

              Didn't know.

              But certainly wasn't surprised.

              1. re: John E.
                s
                StewieBoy Jan 13, 2013 03:01 AM

                I remember it from her first season. I DON'T remember her being so loudly obnoxious though!

              2. re: bobbert
                C. Hamster Jan 9, 2013 10:02 PM

                The drama when Kristin did *Not* pick Stefan....

                Will she still be his wifey?

                1. re: bobbert
                  r
                  reiney Jan 10, 2013 12:08 AM

                  I suspect they were picking based on who they thought had the best chance of staying on, since at that point they didn't know the bottom 3. Josh was in the top so he was a sure thing for Sheldon's team.

                  1. re: bobbert
                    gaffk Jan 10, 2013 11:21 AM

                    I'm still scratching my head over the fact that Kristen didn't pick Stefan and did pick Josie.

                    And I think that selection of Josie may actually level the playing field regarding 4 members vs 3. The preview comment about babysitting Josie flashed me back to a situation at work years ago. There was one team member on a software development project who was just godawful (really, he was in the wrong field). As soon as he was removed, the project ran smoothly and completed on time. We referred to the situation as "addition by subtraction." I'm thinking the situation may be that the other 3 ladies will have to spend so much time babysitting and correcting Josie's mistakes, the guys won't be at such a disadvantage (assuming, of course, they work well together).

                    1. re: gaffk
                      moto Jan 10, 2013 12:03 PM

                      we're all beyond irritated by josie's shtick and amateurish execution, but landing on kristen's squad, combined with the guys only having three (someone does the front of the house, so we should expect chaos), gives her a better chance of surviving another week than the men. sheldon will be particularly vulnerable as the team leader.

                      1. re: moto
                        John E. Jan 10, 2013 12:52 PM

                        it could be trickery on the elves part, but the previews make it seem both teams are close in a disappointing Restaurant Wars. Years ago, (TC 3) the results were so bad they made them do it over.

                        1. re: John E.
                          gaffk Jan 10, 2013 01:02 PM

                          Yep, those elves are a tricky bunch. But I'm pinning my hopes on the preview of Josie whining that it wasn't her concept. Of course, since that seems to indicate Josie's on the hook next week, she will probably win ;)

                          1. re: John E.
                            Shrinkrap Jan 10, 2013 04:30 PM

                            Yes, and I wasn't sure it wasn't their trickery leading us to believe Josie was the subject of the babysitting comment.

                      2. re: bobbert
                        susancinsf Jan 10, 2013 07:19 PM

                        I thought Sheldon was (smartly) playing the odds by picking Josh. Since Josh was in the top three, he was the only remaining participant (since Brooke, who had immunity, had already been picked) who couldn't be going home.

                      3. Xericx Jan 9, 2013 09:35 PM

                        So glad that sinigang won tonight. Filipino fusion should be interesting next week as a restaurant theme....will josh the master of pork make some sisig?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Xericx
                          k
                          KailuaGirl Jan 10, 2013 03:18 PM

                          I'm really looking forward to the Filipino fusion, too. It'll be interesting to see what the guests have to say about it. Seattle's a pretty cosmopolitan city, but I don't think I've ever seen a Filipino restaurant there. Lots of Japanese and dim sum restaurants, not to mention Italian and even Hawaiian plate lunch places.

                          1. re: KailuaGirl
                            dagoose Jan 10, 2013 03:30 PM

                            There are tons of Filipino restaurants here. There's even one right in Pike Place Market. There's a couple on Beacon Hill, another few in the Rainier Valley, and a few up by Northgate. That's just off the top of my head.

                            On top of that, there are even more Filipinos in town, and I feel like almost everyone I know has stories about the amazing Filipino food that a co-worker brings in at work potlucks. I'd say most Seattle folk who do a decent amount of eating will be at least lightly familiar with it.

                            1. re: dagoose
                              k
                              KailuaGirl Jan 10, 2013 05:35 PM

                              Clearly I haven't been to Seattle recently enough. Time for another trip! I love eating in Seattle - great food, and always a great climate whenever I've been there (which is often). Health issues and family obligations have kept me from any travel for a few years now. Having said that, I still look forward to Filipino fusion food.

                        2. Shrinkrap Jan 9, 2013 11:49 PM

                          Just popped by to say thanks Linda and good night! Watching it a second time, and noticed Micah says he lot 25 pounds eating raw food.

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                            chicgail Jan 10, 2013 05:24 AM

                            I thought the concept of raw food was that it was vegan. I was surprised that he was considering meat or fish at all. I suspect that he lost rather than Josie because not only was his execution was not good, but the judges were not wowed by the concept. They have often judged someone poorly when they didn't actually cook anything.

                            1. re: chicgail
                              LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 05:50 AM

                              That's exactly what I was thinking last night while recapping. He didn't COOK anything. He had Kuniko slice his fish. He made some type of vinaigrette to go on top, but that seemed to be it.

                              I still wish Josie had gone, however.

                              1. re: chicgail
                                r
                                reiney Jan 10, 2013 08:47 AM

                                Raw food can be vegetarian/vegan but the idea behind it is that something happens to proteins when they're cooked that is (blah blah pseudo science bad juju) and that's what you avoid. By eating uncooked foods you're supposed to be getting the maximum nutrients out of the food.

                                Which is obviously what Tom and Padma and Gail are most concerned about when they're judging. God, what an idiot. To paraphrase Fabien, this is Top Chef not Top Sanctimonious Health Nut. Not saying the concept could never work (hello beef tartare!) but you're really making it hard on yourself, and not in an edgy taking a risk and see if it pays off kind of way.

                                1. re: reiney
                                  chicgail Jan 10, 2013 10:07 AM

                                  Sanctimonious Health Nut never goes well on TC.

                                  And didn't he say something about how LA women want to eat healthy? Does that mean they have to eat raw? I am so not down with notion that raw=better, whether it's allegedly healthier or less fattening or certainly better tasting. In some cases, not cooking food is not only better for you, it's downright dangerous.

                                  1. re: chicgail
                                    chowser Jan 10, 2013 01:38 PM

                                    The look on Tom's face when Micah said that about the LA women was priceless. Really, if your cooking standard is for women who don't like to eat and do it out of necessity, you're not going to win.

                                    At the same time, didn't Kuniko say, "Good idea" to Micah when he told her he was going to precut all the fish?

                                    1. re: chowser
                                      b
                                      bobbert Jan 10, 2013 02:11 PM

                                      I thought the same thing about Tom's look at first but then watched it 2 more times (I work overnight with a tv in front of me) and I'm more convinced that the look was more geared towards a "omg, what a mess" than in response to the dieting women.

                                      1. re: chowser
                                        juliejulez Jan 10, 2013 02:57 PM

                                        Gail had a similar look on her face... almost more like she was insulted.

                                        1. re: chowser
                                          r
                                          ratgirlagogo Jan 12, 2013 10:05 AM

                                          "The look on Tom's face when Micah said that about the LA women was priceless. Really, if your cooking standard is for women who don't like to eat and do it out of necessity, you're not going to win."

                                          Exactly! Oh, that just killed me. In fact my first thought when Micah said he lost 25 pounds eating raw food was that eating food that either tastes bad or doesn't provide a lot of nourishment is also a good way to lose a lot of weight in a hurry. I know that's not at all what he meant but he didn't present a very convincing example of what he did mean.

                                        2. re: chicgail
                                          Shrinkrap Jan 10, 2013 04:33 PM

                                          I thought he said something about LA woman being concerned about their WEIGHT which is not nearly as politically correct. I thought THAT was why Tom and Padma exchanged looks.

                                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                                            chicgail Jan 10, 2013 04:47 PM

                                            I think you are correct.

                                            1. re: Shrinkrap
                                              LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 05:22 PM

                                              That's what I noted in the OP: "If you're in a chef in Beverly Hills, you have to please a lot of ladies who watch their figure. Tom and Gail both look at each other with puzzled faces."

                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                b
                                                bobbert Jan 10, 2013 06:57 PM

                                                I think it's subtle and editing is in play but I'm sticking by my view that, as Micah is saying that, Tom and Gail are looking at his plates and then looking at each other thinking "omg, this is a mess". Of all the politically incorrect statements made during a season, Micah's was so tame by comparison that there's no way the statement alone would elicit that look. Watch it a few more times and you'll see what I'm talking about.

                                                1. re: bobbert
                                                  Shrinkrap Jan 10, 2013 07:09 PM

                                                  Just a FEW more times? When I have five days, 2 hours and 45 minutes left to dissect it?

                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                    b
                                                    bobbert Jan 10, 2013 07:43 PM

                                                    I got stuck in front of a tv all night. My choice was repeated top chefs or Jersey shore.

                                        3. re: chicgail
                                          p
                                          piccola Jan 10, 2013 07:03 PM

                                          Raw food isn't necessarily vegan, but it often is because people are generally more open to eating vegetables raw than meat.

                                          I was surprised he didn't prepare something more vegetable-centric -- he could have gotten really creative instead of making the same old raw fish plate that someone always makes when they run out of other ideas.

                                      2. t
                                        tjinsf Jan 10, 2013 12:10 AM

                                        Loved the quickfire challenge even with the product placement and than goodness they got to use real ginger and not the ginger ale. Fennel and ginger is such a good a good combo. The squid looked so good. I think Brooke got points for both using the ginger ale and fresh ginger. Having flavor in a dish is a real basic, how can a chef not have that?

                                        I'm thinking Brooke is the stealth contestant. She just seems to be getting better and better with each episode. I would love a final three of Brooke, Sheldon and Kristen but I'm sure they will have one drama filled chef in the final three.

                                        Having been to the area Lizzie was referring to in North-East Italy I'm sad her concept didn't come together because the food is great and there need to be more places serving it.

                                        Love seeing Filipino food featured and that's a heck of lot prettier than other version of the dish I've seen.

                                        Crudo can be so good, as good as sushi but Micah seems to really not do it well. Still I was surprised boring but edible won out over hard to eat pork.Usually if the food is inedible it's PYKAG .

                                        I can understand Kristen not picking Josh or Stefan because they are essentially going to be her line chefs and neither of them seem very good at taking direction and doing what other people want. Neither does Josie for that matter.

                                        14 Replies
                                        1. re: tjinsf
                                          chicgail Jan 10, 2013 05:31 AM

                                          Did anyone notice the beauty shot for Stevia in the middle of this? It seemed to serve no purpose at all for the furthering of the telling of tonight's episode. All I could think was that it was to fulfill some contractual product placement promise.

                                          1. re: chicgail
                                            mcf Jan 10, 2013 12:48 PM

                                            Stevia or erythritol? :-) It did seem totally out of place.

                                            1. re: chicgail
                                              chowser Jan 10, 2013 01:39 PM

                                              LOL, yes, the close up of the Truvia package w/ the contestants in the background.

                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                t
                                                tjinsf Jan 10, 2013 02:32 PM

                                                I think I'm getting better at just ignoring all the product placement since it happens every five minutes.

                                              2. re: tjinsf
                                                LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 05:52 AM

                                                tjinsf, thanks for chiming in on the "prettier version" of Sheldon's dish, which Padma also noted. So is the usual dish just a jumble of ingredients, or an off color?

                                                Re: Kristen not choosing Stefan - she chose Brooke first, as I think she knows she's a good bit better than Stefan. But she and Stefan have a good relationship - I think if she *had* gotten a chance to pick him before Sheldon did, Stefan would have done what she asked.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  f
                                                  FoodPopulist Jan 10, 2013 08:52 AM

                                                  In my experience, sinigang is often brown meat and dull green vegetables that have been boiled a long time. A lot of home-cooked Filipino food is mostly brown and dull green (think vegetables that have been stewed a long time rather than blanched).

                                                  1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                    LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                    Got it. I know the "look". :-)

                                                    1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                      ChefJune Jan 10, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                      <A lot of home-cooked Filipino food is mostly brown and dull green (think vegetables that have been stewed a long time rather than blanched).>

                                                      I think that depends upon who the home cook is. I'm not Filipino, but I have a number of friends whose food I have enjoyed often, and nothing any of them have ever served me could be described as above.

                                                      OTOH, in Filipino restaurants I have tried, I have definitely seen that kind of unappetizing, overcooked food, and not just stewed, but also "over-fried" as well. (That is until Maharlika!)

                                                      1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                        t
                                                        tjinsf Jan 10, 2013 02:19 PM

                                                        yeah that's been my experience too of eating it too both in Filipino homes and restaurants. It's not unappealing, it's just the look isn't important.

                                                      2. re: LindaWhit
                                                        ennuisans Jan 10, 2013 04:29 PM

                                                        There was a clip after the challenge of Stefan telling Kristen not to talk to other men--tightly edited, maybe a second of screen time--which preceded the choices of chefs. I think the producers are just trying to cram some drama in where it will fit.

                                                        1. re: ennuisans
                                                          chowser Jan 10, 2013 04:33 PM

                                                          I caught that but I thought it was all joking.

                                                      3. re: tjinsf
                                                        LurkerDan Jan 10, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                        Kristen, Brooke and Sheldon clearly would be the final 3 favorites, as nobody else remaining has won an elimination challenge (John, Carla, and Kuniko were the other winners). Kristen has 4 wins, Brooke 2, and Sheldon 1.

                                                        And Josie is the only other chef with a win, she won a QF (Sheldon has won 2, Brooke 2, and Kristen 1).

                                                        Brooke, Lizzie, Sheldon and Stefan have 2 "lows", while Josh has 4 (but 3 "Highs") and Josie 5 (no "Highs", and would have been eliminated in the 3rd episode had she not won that week's QF). Get rid of Josie!

                                                        1. re: tjinsf
                                                          JonParker Jan 11, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                          Here's my issue with the product placement: Canada Dry is all "yay we use real ginger" while glossing over the fact that they use high fructose corn syrup. I'm no top chef, just a home cook, and i wouldn't use HFCS in anything I made. It's like cornstarch -- someone at that level should just know better.

                                                          1. re: JonParker
                                                            Berheenia Jan 12, 2013 09:51 AM

                                                            Sorry to hear that. I'll stop contaminating my bourbon with it now I know.

                                                        2. r
                                                          reiney Jan 10, 2013 12:12 AM

                                                          The writing stylist in me would like to see a quick fire challenge where the chef's aren't allowed to describe their dishes using the phrase "a little bit of."

                                                          Micah's dish was a mess so, as much as Josie irritates me, he deserved to go for that one. Putting philosophy in front of execution was foolish (he sounded like a recently baptized raw foodist), and smashing together several different types of fish on a single plate?? What on earth was he thinking?

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: reiney
                                                            Shrinkrap Jan 10, 2013 12:27 AM

                                                            Yes! We joke a lot about "a little bit of..." in my house.

                                                            Also wanted to say how impressed I was that Kirsten....Kristen......whatever...didn't go with Stephan for two picks. She seemed ( to want us to think she was ) unhappy that she lost him before the third pick, but I'd love to hear her thought process, including why she chose Josie. I don't believe was a "girl" thing. Sorry.

                                                            Stephan quickly took Carla as his new...something......I didn't understand what he said. I think she interrupted him. I would believe it was a "guy" thing. What was he going to say?

                                                            The hug between Micah and Josie seemed as genuine as anything we attribute to the "elves", but even my son interrupted his x box live online uzi assault to see if we could do something about Josie's laugh.

                                                            I often share what "we" think on chowound. Are we "The Borg"?

                                                            I really need to go to sleep

                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                              roxlet Jan 10, 2013 04:51 AM

                                                              We have the "little bit" joke too! I bet we're not alone.

                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 05:55 AM

                                                                LOL re: your son even noticing Josie's laugh over the audial assault of Uzis. :-)

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  chowser Jan 10, 2013 01:41 PM

                                                                  Come to think of it. how much of a difference is there between her laugh and audial Uzi assault?

                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                    roxlet Jan 10, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                                    Talk about noise pollution!

                                                                2. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                  f
                                                                  FoodPopulist Jan 10, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                                  Kristen's thought process seemed to be based on who she thought was least likely to go home.

                                                                3. re: reiney
                                                                  fame da lupo Jan 10, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                                  The "little bit of" has driven me crazy for years now!

                                                                  1. re: reiney
                                                                    Shrinkrap Jan 10, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                    Duplicate

                                                                  2. t
                                                                    tjinsf Jan 10, 2013 12:22 AM

                                                                    wait, does this mean that one team with only have three chefs on it and one will have will have four chefs for the restaurant wars? That seems rather unfair.

                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                    1. re: tjinsf
                                                                      r
                                                                      reiney Jan 10, 2013 12:43 AM

                                                                      That's how I understood it,and thought that's why Kristin was so worried about 2 of her team being in the bottom 3? But I wasn't paying 100% attention when they explained the format either.

                                                                      1. re: tjinsf
                                                                        Joanie Jan 10, 2013 04:02 AM

                                                                        Yeah I'm not down with this twist for Rest Wars, 4 vs 3. It's so crazy as it is and having 3 chefs (one of whom has to be front of house) is just wrong. Don't like it.

                                                                        Did some people not use the sous chefs? It looked almost like Carla was on Stefan's team and Chrissy was with Sheldon the whole time. Did Josh not care about having a helper? Did anyone help Kristin?

                                                                        I was surprised at who the bottom three were. If they tried to throw me off by complaining about Stefan's 2nd dish and odd flavor combo and Brooke's twist on kosher, they did. I didn't realize Lizzie's dish went over so poorly. Someone said it was heavy but it didn't seem to be that big a deal. And why would Tom think that Michah is going to slice fish for each person? That seems next to impossible when you've got 200 people. He knows how impatient he was with Josie.

                                                                        1. re: Joanie
                                                                          d
                                                                          DGresh Jan 11, 2013 03:42 AM

                                                                          I also didn't understand the sous chef thing. It looked like there were four, and it seemed that they showed them just with 4 of the remaining chefs.

                                                                          1. re: Joanie
                                                                            d
                                                                            DGresh Jan 11, 2013 03:47 AM

                                                                            > Danny urges them to make sure to staff their restaurants with those they feel they can teach and who can execute their food as well as they would.

                                                                            I wonder whether that was a really big foreshadow. Like, the leaders are going to be forced to be FOH. Or they are going to have to be a guest and have one of the eliminated chefs take their place in the kitchen.

                                                                            1. re: DGresh
                                                                              c
                                                                              cwdonald Jan 11, 2013 04:40 AM

                                                                              I think the biggest foreshadow was Stefan doing front of the house and Tom commenting have we just been dissed.

                                                                              My biggest fear is that the ladies screw up and they hold Kristen accountable. There is a curse in winning and running restaurant wars. More than 1 good chef has lost out over the years more for lack of leadership than bad cooking. I still think the lads will be at more of a disadvantage working with 1 fewer person as compared to the lasses.

                                                                              1. re: cwdonald
                                                                                LurkerDan Jan 11, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                                It's possible, for sure, being the leader has its dangers. But I have a hard time imagining Lizzie and Brooke throwing Kristen under the bus unless she really effs up. In which case she might deserve to be sent home, even as good as she is. But it seems more likely that if they crumble, they'll be more likely to blame it on Josie.

                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                  roxlet Jan 11, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                                                  But the judges aren't really aware of the dramatics in the kitchen (or so they say), so whom they blame is pretty much dependent on the food. I can't imagine Kristin's food being bad unless Josie sabotages her, which I wouldn't put past her.

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                                                    r
                                                                                    reiney Jan 11, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                                                    I don't know, I think Josie's incredibly annoying, but in that self-conscious overacting kind of way. I don't think she's malicious.

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                      LurkerDan Jan 11, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                                      they aren't aware of what goes in the kitchen, but they do take what the people say at Judges Table into account, at least during Restaurant Wars. It's not so simple as "which dish on the losing team was the worst and whose dish was that". So if Josie has a hand in bad dishes and everyone throws her under the bus...

                                                                            2. re: tjinsf
                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 05:56 AM

                                                                              Yes. Preview noted that Stefan wasn't thrilled with only having 3 chefs, and that the entire buildup of the restaurant "with only 3 people can't be done."

                                                                              1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                JuniorBalloon Jan 10, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                                                Except that Josie will be one of the 4, so really it gives the guys a leg up. :)

                                                                                jb

                                                                                1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                  fame da lupo Jan 10, 2013 05:42 PM

                                                                                  Basically. I wouldn't trust her to do anything. Especially where you might otherwise hide a contestant, at the front of the house. But I bet she ends up there anyway!

                                                                                  1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                    k
                                                                                    KailuaGirl Jan 11, 2013 03:11 AM

                                                                                    Egads! I if heard her braying laughter all over the place I'd call for my check and get out! She isn't conducive to a restful and enjoyable dining experience, even at a fast food joint, much less at a fine dining establishment. If they can keep her tucked away in the back (as far back as possible) they might be able to reduce her obtrusiveness. Maybe she can poach radishes then be put to work cleaning pots and pans? I sure wouldn't trust her with the onsen eggs! They'd all be either raw or hard boiled. That still leaves the question of who has to take over front of house duty, though...

                                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                      JAB Jan 11, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                                                      I can't imagine the "Josie Show" headband and all in the FOH.

                                                                                      1. re: JAB
                                                                                        b
                                                                                        bobbert Jan 11, 2013 07:43 AM

                                                                                        Regardless of how good her cooking is, if Kristen put Josie in the front of the house she should be sent home as a matter of principle. I could visualize judges table...
                                                                                        Tom: Kristen. That concept was terrific. Everything was well seasoned and perfectly cooked.
                                                                                        Gail: that egg was to die for...
                                                                                        Padma: Josie in the front of the house? What were you thinking? Kristen, please pack your knives and go.

                                                                                        1. re: bobbert
                                                                                          Phaedrus Jan 11, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                                                          screwed up sorry

                                                                                          1. re: bobbert
                                                                                            Phaedrus Jan 11, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                                                            screwed up again.

                                                                                            1. re: bobbert
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              chrisonli Jan 11, 2013 05:07 PM

                                                                                              I'm glad that someone else picked up on Gail and the egg-love. I had to smile when she was tasting Kristen's egg...wondering if it would pass the Simmons egg test!

                                                                                              1. re: chrisonli
                                                                                                k
                                                                                                kmcarr Jan 12, 2013 06:08 AM

                                                                                                YES on the egg. When Kristen described it as an egg with a barely cooked white I immediately thought "Oh no, you can't give that to Gail!"

                                                                                    2. moto Jan 10, 2013 02:31 AM

                                                                                      it's a measure of how many mediocre and inconsistent cooks gained a spot on this season's contest, that someone every week has been worse than Josie, with more than half of the contestants eliminated now.

                                                                                      1. TraderJoe Jan 10, 2013 04:45 AM

                                                                                        "Where's my buddy John? Oh, he left.
                                                                                        Bye Bye!"

                                                                                        LOL Funniest thing Stephan has said.

                                                                                        1. roxlet Jan 10, 2013 04:58 AM

                                                                                          Another great recap, LW!

                                                                                          Josie? Really? Josie? You can choose any cook to work with you, and you choose Josie. To my way of thinking, this is the first time Kristen has really put a foot wrong. How could she have chosen Josie? Josie's consistently in the bottom, she has real problems getting food out, and she does not play and work well with others. From one thing I heard Josie say in the preview ("It wasn't my menu and it wasn't my concept), plus Kristen giving her some instructions and Josie giving Kristen some lip, this won't be ending well.

                                                                                          As far as Micah's raw food, my opinion is that it is outside the mainstream of the culinary world -- not in a good way -- and was doomed to fail. That being said, the fact that Josie's pork was so dry and overcooked as to have been inedible seemed to point to Josie going home. I was so sure this was going to happen, that I was mentally picturing the LCK cook-off. Oh, well. Josie lives to annoy another day.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            jujuthomas Jan 10, 2013 06:24 AM

                                                                                            great episode, great recap.
                                                                                            I totally thought Josie was done! and was so ready for her to go. I had the same thoughts, Roxlet, about Kristin picking Josie... like "REALLY"???? wth. the preview shows them having issues next week.

                                                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                                                              mcf Jan 10, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                                              I can't believe they sent Micah home instead of Josie. Not only was her pork unstabbable, but her "crispy" bean cake was mush and she couldn't feed anyone in the time allotted. Micah's food was badly conceived and executed, but the judges were able to eat it.

                                                                                              Much as they might not have wanted to.

                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                chowser Jan 10, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                                                                I wonder if Micah's dish was much worst than Josie's (elves edit) and it was obvious to Kristen which is why she chose Josie?

                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                  dagoose Jan 10, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                                                                  Having tasted both of them (see below), I'm torn.

                                                                                                  Josie's dish was an interesting concept and she had a cohesive idea of what the restaurant would be, but the entire dish was poorly executed.

                                                                                                  Meanwhile, Micah's was boring. One of the people there with me didn't even bother to get it because it was SO. Boring. Also, when you saw the concept it was just like...what? why? The dish did nothing, but it was also inoffensive.

                                                                                                  In conclusion? I don't think they taste each others dishes every time, and not having tasted them, you'd definitely assume that Micah's going home. Having tasted them and knowing the challenge was to have a 'concept' you're still assuming Micah's going home. Only way Josie goes home is on straight execution of dish.

                                                                                              2. C. Hamster Jan 10, 2013 07:20 AM

                                                                                                Kristin's last pick was either Josie or Micah ...

                                                                                                My guess is that she suspected that Micah's *uncooked* food with fish slicedthe night before might send him packing his knives and she figured that 3 people helping her were better than two, even if one of those helpers was Josie.

                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                  momjamin Jan 10, 2013 08:47 AM

                                                                                                  Interesting twist on RW. Offering $10K to each team leader might have kept people from thinking, "I'm going to sit back and do my part, but let someone else be executive chef and take the fall if we lose."

                                                                                                  1. dagoose Jan 10, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                                                                    So this was a fun one for me because I actually was at the filming, so it was interesting to see how the judges opinions differed from mine. A few things in keeping with our themes on this board:

                                                                                                    -Josie was SO annoying while we waited for her food (which was late). You can actually see my friend rolling her eyes on the show.

                                                                                                    -Of the bottom three, Lizzie's was the only dish I thought was not good enough to finish eating, BUT her concept was good, and I WOULD want to eat at that restaurant far more than at Micah's, whose dish was edible, but SO. BORING. Josie's was ok, but really poorly executed. Greasy and dry at the same time, that's gotta be hard to pull off.

                                                                                                    -Of the top three, Again, we completely agreed with the judges but what you don't see is just how much better Kristen's was than everyone else's. They need to keep some competition in, so they can't say it but seriously, that girl is SO much better than anyone else. Head and shoulders, her dish was amazing, I wanted to swim in it. Josh and Sheldon's were both very good, but not OMGWOWWTF like Kristen's. Of the middle, Brooke and Stefan's were both just sort of confusing to eat, though I wouldn't have been surprised if Brooke had been in the top or if Stefan in the bottom.

                                                                                                    I thought the 3 v 4 restaurant wars twist is cool. I do think in something like this, where you have strong personalities, it's not always bad to have fewer people....If you can get 3 efficient people, that's better than 4 fighting ones...

                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: dagoose
                                                                                                      LurkerDan Jan 10, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                                                                      Thanks for that perspective! Very cool to hear. Lizzie's concept is well known to me because one of the best restaurants in my town is focused on the cuisine of Friuli. But alas, I've only eaten there once, too expensive for me.

                                                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                        roxlet Jan 10, 2013 10:50 AM

                                                                                                        If I'm not mistaken, Lidia Bastianich's long-time restaurant, Felidia, is based on that region.

                                                                                                      2. re: dagoose
                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 09:18 AM

                                                                                                        VERY cool to have first-hand knowledge of the episode and event, dagoose! Not surprised at eye-rolling from those who waited. Question - were you *required* to try every cheftestant's dish?

                                                                                                        Love your description of Kristen's dish. She's been practically stellar throughout, so it's good to know that her dishes really *are* that good.

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                          dagoose Jan 10, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                                                                          We were not required to try each dish, and in fact, most people didn't. We were some of the first people in, which meant we did have to wait a bit for Josie's, but it also meant we didn't have too bad of lines, so we got to each station.

                                                                                                          The last dish we tried was Sheldon's, but he was making a new batch, and so we had to wait a few minutes. He was the incredibly cool, telling his story, who he is, where he's from, etc. He asked us which dish was our favorite so far, and we all chimed in with Kristen's, and he laughed, and very nicely said something to the effect of 'she's something, huh'--like they all knew just how good she is.

                                                                                                          You can see me in the crowd at the end of this, when he's starting to get food out, and he says 'I'm going as fast as I can!'

                                                                                                          1. re: dagoose
                                                                                                            LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                                                            I'll have to rewatch the episode. Thanks for the inside scoop!

                                                                                                        2. re: dagoose
                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                          bobbert Jan 10, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                                                                          "If you can get 3 efficient people, that's better than 4 fighting ones."
                                                                                                          When we're talking about Josie, it's addition through subtraction. Advantage boys.

                                                                                                          1. re: dagoose
                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                            jujuthomas Jan 10, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                                                            Seriously cool! Did you know TC was going to be at Bite of Seattle?

                                                                                                            1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                                                              dagoose Jan 10, 2013 09:52 AM

                                                                                                              To be clear, this was not the 'real' bite of Seattle. This was a private special event in a private closed off room, by invite only. The real bite of Seattle is a sea of greasy food stands serving up poorly-fried crapdoodles that no self-respecting food lover would eat. Also, that particular day was all but a monsoon--crazy summer storm--in which I never would have volunteered to be outside.

                                                                                                              So we were there knowing that it was for the filming, we did not know going in that it was meant to be a 'bite of seattle' thing, until we got in and saw the fake signage.

                                                                                                              1. re: dagoose
                                                                                                                chicgail Jan 10, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                How'd you get the invite? Who did you have to know? I'm so jealous.

                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                  dagoose Jan 10, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                  I got invited to this one because I was invited to the Pike Place Breakfast quickfire (which was a terrible experience--they told us to 'come hungry' we waited in the cold for 2.5 hours, then when we got in, they were out of food. There are many shots of me hangrily shooting dagger eyes at Padma that aired on that episode). We were invited to that because a friend of a gal in my cookbook club works at Beecher's in the market, and they were supposed to be 'people who work in the market' but they didn't have enough, so people got to bring friends. Hope that all makes sense.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dagoose
                                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                                    reiney Jan 10, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                    That's interesting that they were looking for filler market people - because the Sur La Table employees who showed up in the wee hours of the morning for the contestants to run through the store *didn't* get an invite to the breakfast at all.

                                                                                                                    (I was horrified to find that out - not sure if the fault lies with their employer or Top Chef, but incredibly rude nonetheless.)

                                                                                                                    1. re: dagoose
                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                                                                                      "hangrily shooting dagger eyes" - *LOVE* that phrase!

                                                                                                                  2. re: dagoose
                                                                                                                    babette feasts Jan 10, 2013 07:20 PM

                                                                                                                    The Bite of Seattle USED to be great. When it first started, it was good restaurants setting up booths and it was a great chance to try something new. It was actual chefs and restaurateurs and their signature dishes, not everyone on the traveling food booth circuit. I haven't been in many many years, since it turned into fair food, hot dogs and fried stuff and things on a stick.

                                                                                                                    1. re: babette feasts
                                                                                                                      John E. Jan 10, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                      About twently years ago there was a foof festival on the state capitol grounds in St. Paul, Minnesota that was an annual event over the Independence Day holiday. At first it featured many local restaurants and featured their food. The food was quite expensive, but there were about ten bands playing the stage and there was no admission fee. They kept it going much too long. Ended up moving it, charging admission, and ended up with fair food. The guys that last owned the festival went belly up and owed hundreds of thousands of dollars that never got paid.

                                                                                                                2. re: dagoose
                                                                                                                  chowser Jan 10, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                  It's really good hearing from someone who's been there because we can really know how much editing is done. It looked like Kristen's dish was far better. LOL, best description yet--OMGWOWWTF.

                                                                                                                3. chefhound Jan 10, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                  Hugh's blog is particularly amusing this week. Some highlights:

                                                                                                                  "Meanwhile Josie and Josh are trying to procreate by bumping into each other. In nine months there will be an awkward celebration with everyone in headbands that say Chef Daddy, Chef Mommy, Chef Baby."

                                                                                                                  "If I had jobs to dole out I would not let Carla handle the liquid nitrogen. She’s disposed of bodies this way back in the day. You freeze them solid and then they just shatter. I have just written an episode of Dexter in my head."

                                                                                                                  1. JuniorBalloon Jan 10, 2013 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                    This was a good episode. I really liked the format and as someone else noted, I do think they set it up this way, 10k to each winner, to discourage skating through restaurant wars. Next week is going to be good.

                                                                                                                    What is up with Stefan this season? Wasn't he an ass kicking machine in his first season? He seems to be the one skating this time. What up with that?

                                                                                                                    jb

                                                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                      John E. Jan 10, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                      Stefan's old-school European food isn't cutting it in this competition anymore. I go back and think how many times he has cooked red cabbage on Top Chef. It might work at his restaurants but the TC judges have seen it from him several times. I ao think it might be that he is not as hungry for the win as he once was. He has several restaurants now and while I'm sure he wants the money, he gets his ego boosted every night he's in one of his restaurants. (I'm not a psychologist and I don't claim any real insight, just my own amateur musings).

                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                        LurkerDan Jan 10, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                        I also think the competition is simply deeper and stiffer this time around.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                          mcf Jan 10, 2013 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                          Are we still talking about cooking?? ;-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                            JuniorBalloon Jan 10, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                            Not so sure, but clearly Stefan is having trouble conscentrating in light of all the,...uh stiffness..uh, of the competition. Yeah that's what it is.

                                                                                                                            jb

                                                                                                                          2. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                            Phaedrus Jan 10, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                            Stephan is hungry for Kristen. I'll leave the "stiffer" concept alone.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                              FoodPopulist Jan 10, 2013 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                              I've seen people claim that the competition is stronger since Stefan isn't doing as well as before, but then other people claim the competition is weaker because of how far Josie has come.

                                                                                                                            2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                              TraderJoe Jan 10, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                              Stephan probably isn't as hungry as he used to be for each win but he has the advantage of experience. There's nothing wrong with playing it safe as the herd gets culled.
                                                                                                                              I think your pretty much right on the $$ though and he's pretty darn comfortable with what he does. Each episode he stays on probably rings the till nicely back at the ole Ponderosa.

                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                                bobbert Jan 10, 2013 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                Stefan is also at a different level than the others in the cooking world. As a multi restaurant owner he probably rarely slices and dices anymore. He definitely does not work on the line. He's probably pretty rusty and has lost his edge a bit while the others are near the top of their game at least when it comes to the execution - not necessarily conception but certainly prep (speed), and cooking.

                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                  fame da lupo Jan 10, 2013 07:14 PM

                                                                                                                                  He was second place in the weakest season of Top Chef. Which puts him in the top third of an average season (like this one). He's just skating by, neither being in the bottom nor top often. Kinda like Mike Isabella did in his season. So he'll make it probably to the top 5 and then lose to someone like Lizzie. To my mind, it's Kristin / Brooke / Sheldon / Lizzie / Stephan.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                                                    piccola Jan 10, 2013 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                    Padma pointed out that he was repeating some of his tricks from Season 5, so it does seem like he's not pushing himself as much this time around.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                    tjinsf Jan 10, 2013 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                    I think Stefan is on it as much for the publicity as he is to try to win. He's pretty successful now with his restaurants but if he wants to further his media career a la Carla or Fabio being on here helps with that.

                                                                                                                                    Just my thoughts.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                      Shrinkrap Jan 10, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                                      BTW, I totally enjoyed Carla, and Marlon ( I think) on "Watch What Happens Next", although that show usually makes me cringe.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                        tjinsf Jan 10, 2013 10:10 PM

                                                                                                                                        how the heck did I miss that? I'm not afraid to admit I love Carla.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                          Shrinkrap Jan 10, 2013 10:51 PM

                                                                                                                                          I can only hope it is online and you can find it somewhere.

                                                                                                                                  3. fame da lupo Jan 10, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                    Had to look up the "Onsen egg" (Japanese word for "hot spring" it turns out). Cooking eggs in a hot spring for 45 minutes sounds like my kind of egg (and hot spring experience). Wonder if I can pull this off on my stove with a Dutch oven...

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                      chowser Jan 11, 2013 02:10 PM

                                                                                                                                      It's been tried here, over the years, in a slow cooker, and on the stove, on a plate over a mug over steaming water but I can't remember the details. I do remember trying it and getting incredibly soft creamy eggs. The slow cooker was one thing but the other method required constant temperature, plus took half an hour or so. If I can find the threads, I'll post them.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                        John E. Jan 12, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                        Michael Voltaggio used an immersion cooker to make eggs in this manner. I have done them on the stove, but a slow cooker would work if it has a thermostat. The way I learned to make tbese eggs is to cook them in 145° water for 45 minutes. I start with near-boiling water, put in the cold eggs, and then get the water temperature to 145° and hold it tbere for the 45 minutes. After cooming, thoroughly chill the eggs in an ice bath. Reheating is easy. Put the cold egg right out of the refrigerator in a coffee mug and pour boiling water over it and leave it sit for 2 minutes. Sometimes the egg white is a little 'watery' so I crack the egg into a slotted spoon sitting on a paper towel.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                          bobbert Jan 12, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                                          John,
                                                                                                                                          I think you have a little too much free time on your hands...:)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                            John E. Jan 12, 2013 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                            It helps if you have a kid who is interested in cooking...

                                                                                                                                      2. a
                                                                                                                                        andytseng Jan 10, 2013 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                                        Regarding Josie's longevity on the show, I was thinking...

                                                                                                                                        Is it possible this is like the Celebrity Apprentice situation, where Donald Trump campaigned to get Dayana Mendoza on the show and then refused to give her the boot, to attempt to validate her belonging there?

                                                                                                                                        If 2 of the returning cheftestants got eliminated early, people might say, "Hey, why did you even waste 2 spots by giving them to sh****y returning chefs"

                                                                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                                                                          cwdonald Jan 11, 2013 04:43 AM

                                                                                                                                          Super write up LindaW. I think the judges made a qualitative judgement that concept is more important than execution. Micah's concept was muddy from the beginning.. I am doing raw surf and tur but couldn't find and beef tenderloin, so i went all fish. Raw didn't mean anything... (Meyer's stinging comment good raw fish = good sushi, you dont have anything new to say here.. ). And then on top of it his execution was poor. Josie's concept was good, she just couldn't execute... Oh well we can only wait. Josie really appears to be a lightweight in the kitchen and is running out of places to hide. She has to be gone soon.. RIGHT?

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                                                            LurkerDan Jan 11, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                            RIGHT!

                                                                                                                                            I hope.

                                                                                                                                          2. JuniorBalloon Jan 11, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                            This is my worst fear about this season. If this happens it could end TopChef. What if Josie wins? Somehow she stumbles just less than someone else to get to the final and who ever she's competing against has a terrible disaster they can't overcome and she wins by default?

                                                                                                                                            Then she opens a chain of Home 315, Home 206 restautrants, they become successful, go national and as the face of the chain she starts making commercials. We could be stuck with that laugh for years to come. I shudder to think.

                                                                                                                                            jb

                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                              C. Hamster Jan 11, 2013 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                              She could give Guy Ferry a run for his money!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                                trolley Jan 12, 2013 10:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                she is like the second coming of guy fieri! female version.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                LurkerDan Jan 11, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                There's simply no way she wins, unless she starts putting out much better food. There have been cases where it took someone near the bottom a while to catch their stride and start producing good food; Carla in Season 5 comes to mind. But while the best chef doesn't always win (again, Season 5 is a good example), I don't think there's ever been a season where an obviously weak chef keeps skating by and eventually wins. Hosea and Ilan are widely regarded as the weakest winners, and they were both clearly in the top half of their seasons as far as talent.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                  fame da lupo Jan 11, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                  You mean Hosea?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                    LurkerDan Jan 11, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                    No, I didn't. I know Carla didn't win, but halfway through the season she didn't seem like she could possibly win, then she started getting her sh*t together and cooking well and managed to come close (and had she not listened to Casey, she might have won). If Josie pulls a Season 5 Carla, maybe she could win. But there's no way she continues to skate by near the bottom and wins.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                    TraderJoe Jan 11, 2013 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                    "What if Josie wins? "

                                                                                                                                                    Then next year she can compete with Bobby Flay, RR and Guy Fieri for the best microwave meal.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TraderJoe
                                                                                                                                                      Phaedrus Jan 11, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                      She will get her own show: "A cacklin' and a burnin'"

                                                                                                                                                      Or she can be Paula Deen's sous Chef on any one of Paula's shows.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 11, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                        There would TVs exploding all around the country, just as the windows did when Madison speaks in her own mermaid language in "Splash".

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 11, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                      "What if Josie wins?"
                                                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                      AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! I just had a daymare!!!

                                                                                                                                                      And I agree with LurkerDan - there's no way she can win. I just can't believe that Kristen, Brooke, Josh or Sheldon could ever be *that* bad so as to lose in a Finale of 3 against her.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                        Withnail42 Jan 12, 2013 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                        We know it has happened be before, a mediocre chef slips by because of a fluke of some sort. Heather somehow made it to is finals with food that was frozen solid too cold to cut let alone eat.

                                                                                                                                                        Hosea and Ilan both won by cooking safe food while others got eliminated by taking chances and putting themselves out there.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                                                          John E. Jan 12, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I think you must have meant Sarah rather than Heather, but could you refresh my memory about the "food that was frozen solid too cold to cut let alone eat."?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                            chicgail Jan 14, 2013 03:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                            In that episode they had to chip the food out of frozen blocks of ice. But it was Sarah and I've eaten at her restaurant (Spiaggia) where the food is very, very good.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                              LurkerDan Jan 14, 2013 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I've never eaten at her restaurant, but it's hard for me to imagine that someone watched last season and came away with the impression that she was a "mediocre chef".

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                cwdonald Jan 14, 2013 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                To call Spaggia Sarah's restaurant is really a misnomer. Its Tony Montuano's restaurant where Sarah works. The restaurant received most of its awards between 05 and 09. Sarah has been Executive Chef since 2010. For me that is caretaker of what is truly a great property... but what impact she has had on the restaurant may be debatable.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                                                                                  chicgail Jan 14, 2013 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with you. I even debated with myself about whether to call it Sarah's restaurant when I know that Spiaggia is Tony Montuano's restaurant. Sarah is Executive Chef which is not inconsiderable.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                John E. Jan 14, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Of course I renember them cutting the ingredients from the blocks of ice. I do not recall the resulting dishes being 'too cold to eat'.

                                                                                                                                                              3. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                Withnail42 Jan 14, 2013 05:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                You're right it was Sara.

                                                                                                                                                                They had to do a take on a cool hot theme (possibly pair it with a drink they created as well) She over froze hers and it could not be eaten.

                                                                                                                                                        2. MsMaryMc Jan 11, 2013 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Seattle Weekly notes another local grocery store dissed...

                                                                                                                                                          http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/voraci...

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                                                                                            Shrinkrap Jan 11, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Interesting.

                                                                                                                                                          2. c
                                                                                                                                                            cresyd Jan 12, 2013 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Excellent recap - and overall I enjoyed the episode. It was good to create the financial incentive to be the leader, and hopefully not let every restaurant muddle into generic 'rustic', pan-Mediterranean or pan-Asian.

                                                                                                                                                            However, I couldn't watch and not think that Brooke should have named her restaurant Treif (Yiddish for unkosher) as opposed to Unkosher. And made me wonder if she actually had any ideas for Jewish food beyond matzah ball soup.

                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                              bobbert Jan 12, 2013 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                              There's already a Treif restaurant in, of all places, the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn NY, home to a large orthodox Jewish population. Same owner as Le Bernadine so must be good.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                d
                                                                                                                                                                donovt Jan 12, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Traif is a great restaurant, they do a lot of pork and shellfish. Had no idea that anyone from le Bernardin was involved in it.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                                                                  bobbert Jan 12, 2013 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I thought I had read that somewhere but I guess what I had read was that the chef/owner had worked at le Bernadine. I stand corrected.
                                                                                                                                                                  Back to Brooke, instead of a matzo ball she should have gone with kreplach which is a jewish dumpling filled with meat -kinda like a wonton. She could have gone crazy creative with the filling. A matzo ball, though not all that difficult to make either comes out good or bad - no in between.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                                                  cresyd Jan 12, 2013 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Well, excellent idea for a restaurant name :) Either way, I stick with the thought that the name "Unkosher" didn't sound like something that Brooke had thought about very much as an idea beyond the soup.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                    mcf Jan 12, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    This is about the owners of Traif, but not Eric Ripert:

                                                                                                                                                                    "Unnamed Traif Spinoff , Williamsburg Brooklyn
                                                                                                                                                                    Eater Projected Opening: Late September

                                                                                                                                                                    Jason Marcus and Heather Heuser are keeping hush about most of the details on their new project, expected to open this fall. But like Traif, the new spot will serve shareable plates that are heavily influenced by Asian, French, and Spanish cuisines. However, the duo tells Eater that some major differences will be present at the new restaurant, and guests can also expect an extensive wine list. More details are expected to surface in the coming weeks. "

                                                                                                                                                                    From: http://ny.eater.com/places/traif

                                                                                                                                                                3. n
                                                                                                                                                                  nosh Jan 13, 2013 08:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Does anyone remember if there were any other episodes this year where two chefs have both won the elimination?

                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nosh
                                                                                                                                                                    John E. Jan 13, 2013 09:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Brooke and John were co-winners for Thai Beef they made for the roller derby challenge but they did not win any money. Sheldon and Kristen each got $10,000 for this win. Kristen is up to $45,000 and departed Micah won a $5,000 QF (fried oyster) and the $4,000 Bob Kramer knife.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                      n
                                                                                                                                                                      nosh Jan 13, 2013 10:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      We have a Top Chef challenge going between me, my brother, and my niece. I record the points. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nosh
                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 14, 2013 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Use Wikipedia for a Contestant Progress:

                                                                                                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                        LurkerDan Jan 14, 2013 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        And Brooke won a Prius.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. LindaWhit Jan 16, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      HEADS UP for those who are going to watch tonight's episode - it's 75 minutes long for the 2nd half of Restaurant Wars....

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