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LCK 1/9 (spoilers)

Joanie Jan 10, 2013 04:17 AM

So Tom tells Micah he can't complain about not having a meat option and gives him and CJ the chance to use lamb, beef, duck and beef heart but they can't cook anything. You'll have to watch this cuz there were a lot of ingredients, and I think Micah ended up using bison something which I didn't hear mentioned. In any case, he wanted to show the contrast between a carpaccio and tartare and used the bison and duck I think with an egg and some shallots. CJ made beef heart w/ some chilis and pickled duck skin which Tom thought was weird but in the end it worked a little better than Micah's dish and CJ rolls on to another win.

  1. roxlet Jan 10, 2013 06:57 AM

    My feeling was that CJ was more inventive and interesting than Micah in creating his dish. I think CJ was right in saying that it was a huge plate of food for something like this, and CJ's seemed to have been one perfect bite.

    Some people apparently feel that the dishes should be tasted blind by Tom since Tom seems to be having a bromance with CJ. I don't feel this since I think that CJ's dishes have looked stronger each time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: roxlet
      Sandwich_Sister Jan 10, 2013 07:44 AM

      I really agree with you. This concept seems to allow C.J. to be in his creative zone.

      Even if Micahs was just as good as CJ's CJ would have won it for creativity.

      I thought Micah had some technical difficulty with the warm meat.

      Also I liked John's comments. I thought they were knowledgable about the risk CJ was taking.

      And Micah seemed to have more of a cheering section than any other chef up against CJ. He must be well liked by his peers.

      1. re: roxlet
        LurkerDan Jan 10, 2013 08:43 AM

        "Some people apparently feel that the dishes should be tasted blind by Tom since Tom seems to be having a bromance with CJ. I don't feel this since I think that CJ's dishes have looked stronger each time."

        Yeah, I think Tom has been doing this long enough that any bias towards CJ that he might have, if any, would be quite small and would only be a factor in the most razor thin of battles. And really, at least in this instance, no way would blind tasting have mattered, because Tom would have known which one was CJ's, easily. You could have described them both to me, never having tasted a single thing from either guy, and *I* could have told you which one was CJ's.

      2. LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 06:57 AM

        "Overwhelming shallots" at the end for Micah. Otherwise, he might have pulled it out.

        You know what would be funny? If Josie is booted in TC and then beats CJ in LCK. :-)

        9 Replies
        1. re: LindaWhit
          roxlet Jan 10, 2013 08:15 AM

          Funny??? That would be a travesty! Also not funny would be if she made it to the end by being consistently less terrible than someone else.

          1. re: roxlet
            LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 08:32 AM

            I know it would. And yes, she continues to skate, as Stefan said a few episodes of TC ago.

            Her Bravo bio astounds and seems as all over the map as she is on the show. She worked under Wylie and Jean-Georges???


            1. re: LindaWhit
              bobbert Jan 10, 2013 09:30 AM

              I believe there were a couple of typos in that bio.I think what they meant to say is that she worked with Wiley Coyote and Phyllis George. And then there's her "infectious laugh". Infectious like the plague.

              1. re: bobbert
                LindaWhit Jan 10, 2013 09:41 AM

                :::Spitting my water:::: Nicely done, bobbert.

                1. re: bobbert
                  roxlet Jan 10, 2013 11:03 AM

                  OK, that was brilliant, bobbert!

                2. re: LindaWhit
                  chicgail Jan 10, 2013 10:16 AM

                  I think next week in Restaurant Wars will be her undoing (fingers crossed).

                  There was a hint in LCK that the shallots were going to be too much. Which is surprising unless he just used too much. Shallots tend to be rather mild and sweet.

                  1. re: chicgail
                    Miss Needle Jan 10, 2013 11:17 AM

                    I wish Josie would leave next week, but I have a feeling that Kristin's team will win because they are overall stronger than Sheldon's. Plus 4 people on the team will most likely be an advantage. Which means that Josie will skate by at least for another week...

                    1. re: Miss Needle
                      chicgail Jan 10, 2013 11:45 AM

                      Unless she single-handedly pulls them down. I'm not hoping that happens, but it certainly could.

                      1. re: chicgail
                        Miss Needle Jan 10, 2013 11:51 AM

                        Anything can happen, I guess. Ilan won Season 2.

            2. C. Hamster Jan 10, 2013 07:23 AM

              Micah also tried to slice his meat for carpaccio when it was too warm and so he couldnt get it thin. Looked like he smashed it down to make it appear thin.

              1. lisavf Jan 10, 2013 11:51 AM

                This season might provide justification for LCK. CJ is really shining, perhaps proof that he deserves to be still in consideration for the title of "Top Chef." He said that he was getting really comfortable with the 30-minute challenges, and his creativity is really coming through. Early in the season he bragged about all of his life experiences since his last stint on TC and how he was so much better now but failed to bring that to the ECs; his performance on LCK seems to bear that out. The more I see his work on LCK, the more I want him to get back into the real game. He just seems to be exuding calm and confidence so much more than anyone else except Kristen, and his food looks beautiful (and obviously tastes great, since he keeps winning). I think if he gets back in, it will be CJ and Kristen as two of the chefs in the finale, and it will come down to the two of them for the win.

                15 Replies
                1. re: lisavf
                  Miss Needle Jan 10, 2013 11:54 AM

                  I wonder if CJ is at an advantage because he's well rested while the contestants he faces continue to be better (with the exception of Josie), but more fatigued. He does seem to be doing particularly well. Too bad he got kicked off so early (though he was kind of starting to sound a bit douchey during the competition).

                  1. re: Miss Needle
                    lisavf Jan 10, 2013 01:54 PM

                    Good point. I wonder how much time passes between judges' table and LCK?

                    1. re: Miss Needle
                      John E. Jan 10, 2013 08:03 PM

                      You have reminded me of something I have briefly considered. I would like to see what is going on with the 'sequestered' contestants. The only time I can recall seeing the ousted chefs was on the second episode of TC 7 where the guy wirh the dreadlicks welcomed the blond to the hotel suite he was in all alone.

                      1. re: John E.
                        LindaWhit Jan 11, 2013 05:44 AM

                        They used to have videos on Bravo's website when each cheftestant went to the sequester house/suite and discuss what happened, but they don't do that anymore. This was before LCK came into play.

                      2. re: Miss Needle
                        NonnieMuss Jan 11, 2013 11:05 AM

                        I would love to see LCK play out differently - like if you win a set number of rounds (3 or 4?) you can go back to the competition right then. That way if you get voted out early (Nyesha) for a group mistake (Nyesha) and should probably have won the whole season (Nyesha), then you perform brilliantly over and over again in LCK (*cough* Nyesha), then lose out over some weird twist (you guessed it), you can get back in before the finals. It's also frustrating to see someone (Yep, her again and also CJ if he loses) win LCK over and over, then get bumped out at the last minute by someone who left the show five minutes ago. It would create tons of suspense because no one would ever know if or when someone would return, whoever comes back doesn't get to coast to the finals, and would reward consistent excellence rather than punishing one mistake. While it might be more difficult for the producers to plan the season, number of episodes, etc., they could easily throw in some double eliminations to balance that. It could also stretch out the season, which means more commercials, more product placement, and more stuff that producers love and viewers hate.

                        So in my fantasy world, CJ gets to go back in next episode. Whoever has the next most LCK wins takes over as champ (Kumiko?) and takes on the newcomers. This could prevent a travesty like CJ winning 8 LCK's in a row and then Josie coming in and beating him, resulting in my screaming and throwing things at my TV. Ahem.

                        1. re: NonnieMuss
                          LindaWhit Jan 11, 2013 11:17 AM

                          I like this idea, NonnieMuss.

                          1. re: NonnieMuss
                            roxlet Jan 11, 2013 11:23 AM

                            Very good! Write the producers -- I think it's a twist they'd really love!

                            1. re: NonnieMuss
                              bobbert Jan 11, 2013 12:34 PM

                              Great idea!
                              Then there's the "save a chef" voting which kuniko has been winning week after week. The winner of that faces off against the last chance kitchen winner in the last chance kitchen finale whenever that is.
                              An added twist is that everything but the finals has already happened so someone like kuniko who got cut and lost LCK back in August now finds herself back in the running. All of a sudden she has to start planning "the very best 4 course meal, including dessert, of her life. Also CJ could win like 10 straight and then get knocked off by kuniko who's been chilling out for the last 10 episodes. On the other hand nyesha might have had another chance.
                              My head is about to explode.

                              1. re: bobbert
                                LurkerDan Jan 11, 2013 01:23 PM

                                Do we really know how the "save a chef" thing will work or are you guessing? Because that is pretty lame if CJ has to cook his way there and Kuniko gets a chance to get back in just by being popular. If that is the way it works, hopefully they stack the deck in favor of the LCK champ, ie Kuniko has to badly beat him/her to get back in. I like Kuniko and wanted to see her go much further, but no way is it right for someone to step back in like that without cooking.

                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                  bobbert Jan 11, 2013 02:29 PM

                                  "Do we really know how the "save a chef" thing will work or are you guessing?"

                                  The web site says the winner of the save a chef goes up against the LCK winner to see who returns to the competition. Kuniko is now up against Micah as he was the last eliminated in LCK. The week before she was up against John. Next week (if she gets more votes than Micah) she will be against CJ or hopefully Josie.
                                  CJ could lose a LCK and still have a second shot at it if he would then get more votes for the week.
                                  Of course there's the possibility that some crazy person (like the one who voted about a million times for Malibu Chris last season) could gak up the whole thing.

                                  1. re: bobbert
                                    LurkerDan Jan 11, 2013 03:00 PM

                                    Hmmm, well if that's the case, I sure hope they stack the odds in favor of the LCK champ, because as good as it appeared Kuniko is, the person the let back in shouldn't be let back in due to a popularity contest.

                                    1. re: LurkerDan
                                      bobbert Jan 11, 2013 08:30 PM

                                      Actually, they do get back in in a popularity contest - sort of -they then have to beat the reigning LCK champ to get back into the TC competition.

                              2. re: NonnieMuss
                                LurkerDan Jan 11, 2013 12:38 PM

                                I do like the idea. But I have to question some of the other stuff. I do like Nyesha, but no way she should have won the whole season. I think Paul proved that he was head and shoulders above *everyone*. And Nyesha didn't lose LCK because of a "twist", the whole damn competition is a twist. She lost fair and square to another great chef.

                                I also disagree with your thinking that it would be bad or wrong to have someone win LCK over and over only to get bumped at the very end by a recently eliminated chef. While going head to head in LCK is tougher in some ways because there's no skating by, ultimately staying in the competition is the more praiseworthy thing, and the harder thing. It's much easier to show up once a day to the TC kitchen and do a 30 minute LCK, all the rest of your time hanging at the eliminated chefs house, than it is to cook for 200 people in 800 degree weather using only foil hats for days on end.

                                So while I think your idea has some merit, I also don't think it's a travesty to have a chef win a number of LCKs and then lose. Remember, the only reason they have an opportunity to win so many LCKs is because they were eliminated EARLY in the competition (fully recognizing that Nyesha's elimination was crappy/unfair).

                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                  NonnieMuss Jan 11, 2013 12:56 PM

                                  Fair points. Paul was pretty great - no complaints about him winning - but it would have been a very different season if Nyesha hadn't gotten bumped out so early. And when there are 5 LCK's in a row with no twist, then all of a sudden they throw in a twist, it seems a little staged. (The producers had to want Bev in the finale for the drama. Bev was a great cook - again it may have worked out the same way no matter what, but it smelled a little fishy to me.)

                                  And fair may be fair, but as a viewer it's unsatisfying to watch, for example, CJ dominate ten head-to-heads, then lose to, say, a Josie who has been skating by as second-worst for most of the season. Sure he got bumped early for a reason, but again it goes to my point of rewarding consistent excellence opposed to punishing one mistake.

                                  There are plenty of ways it could play out - and maybe some are better than what they're up to now - but ah well. At least I'm not watching trashy rich people yell at each other, which is the rest of reality TV. :)

                                  Also I would like to point out once again that Josh looks like Yukon Cornelius, for no other reason than it delights me to do so.

                            2. re: lisavf
                              momjamin Jan 11, 2013 08:42 AM

                              It's gotta be easier to cook in a kitchen with two chefs (or 3) rather than in the chaos of the early episodes. He's definitely doing some intriguing dishes.

                            3. babette feasts Jan 10, 2013 07:25 PM

                              Go Big Ceej! I think I'm in love...

                              1. d
                                DGresh Jan 11, 2013 05:19 AM

                                I can't even *imagine* what pickled (uncooked) duck skin would taste like.Sounds awful, but kudos to CJ for apparently doing a good job with it.

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: DGresh
                                  Leepa Jan 11, 2013 07:39 AM

                                  I thought it was pickled duck fat. But I haven't seen it in a while and could be "mis-remembering"...

                                  1. re: Leepa
                                    roxlet Jan 11, 2013 08:03 AM

                                    I'm sure it was skin, which, for all intents and purposes, is practically the same thing since so much of the duck's fat is in the skin.

                                    1. re: Leepa
                                      C. Hamster Jan 11, 2013 08:08 AM

                                      I think they alternately called it both pickled fat and pickled skin.

                                      It made me throw up a little in my mouth, to be honest.

                                    2. re: DGresh
                                      momjamin Jan 11, 2013 08:44 AM

                                      Seemed like Tom couldn't decide whether to be intrigued or horrified, either. I can only guess pickling = good thing. Duck fat = good thing. Two great tastes that taste great together...?

                                      1. re: momjamin
                                        C. Hamster Jan 11, 2013 09:03 AM

                                        But it was raw fat, right? Not pickled crispy skin/fat ...

                                        1. re: C. Hamster
                                          roxlet Jan 11, 2013 09:04 AM

                                          Yes, it was raw fat. He froze it in order to chop it, but it was never cooked. It was a "raw" challenge.

                                          1. re: roxlet
                                            C. Hamster Jan 11, 2013 09:30 AM

                                            Yeah, duh it was a raw challenge. But raw pickled fat skeeves me more than a little bit.

                                            1. re: C. Hamster
                                              John E. Jan 11, 2013 10:33 AM

                                              I'm guesing that you would not particularly wish to eat 'salo'. I've never had it, but when my father went back to my grandparents'home village in the old country, they ate it all the time. It's basically cured, but still uncooked, pork fat.


                                              1. re: John E.
                                                C. Hamster Jan 11, 2013 10:37 AM

                                                Ive eated lardo many times but there was something about pickled raw duck fat that threw me.

                                                I'd try it once though...

                                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                                  roxlet Jan 11, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                  I guess if Tom likes it...

                                                  Personally, I was a bit repulsed by raw beef heart, though I adore a well-made steak tartare.

                                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                                    John E. Jan 11, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                    Maybe it's just too close to 'chicken tartare'.

                                                  2. re: John E.
                                                    Leepa Jan 11, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                    You would be right.

                                        2. JAB Jan 11, 2013 09:19 PM

                                          It appeared that Micah was making use of the knife that he has won but, alas it wasn't to be...

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