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Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #11 - 01/16/13 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit Jan 16, 2013 07:30 PM

We're in the back stretch of Restaurant Wars. Seventy-five minutes long tonight!

They're back at the suite talking out on the deck about making it to Restaurant Wars. Josie asked Kristen if she's going to throw in any Korean influence into her turned-around classic French concept - and she isn't. Sheldon is going with modern Filipino. Stefan and Josh both aren't familiar with Filipino food, but Sheldon is confident in having Stefan as the FOH.

They head over the next morning to Georgetown Ballroom to check out the space. (A bit of product placement with the Toyota Avalons that they drive over in) They walk around looking for the kitchen, and Stefan realizes that there's no kitchen - they'll have to build them from scratch outside in the courtyard.

Kristen send Brooke and Josie off to get rental equipment. Josie tries a burnt orange napkin, but Brooke says she thinks it needs to be very simple and was leaning towards a muted forest green. She realizes that the dishes needs to be super elegant.

Meanwhile, Stefan heads off to a flower shop to pick out vases, flowers, pebbles. "Everyone thinks Europeans are gay, but we just like flowers. So what?" Sheldon and Josh are off to Uwajimaya for ingredients. Kristen and Lizzie are at Central Market getting their ingredients.

Back with Sheldon and Stefan getting equipment, Sheldon wants farmers tables, but Stefan says "Screw the farmers' tables; I want the 2-tops!" Sheldon realizes he'll need to keep a tight rein on Stefan. Stefan is taking over and admits he's doing so.

Sheldon starts some food prep, and Josie tells Kristen she's off to begin roasting bones. A bit later, Kristen asks if she's started roasting, and she said "I'm going to do it now." Later, Kristen asks if anyone is using the oven; Josie says no. She said she's going to mise everything and do it tomorrow. Kristen is frustrated. Josie says "Ideally, I would have gotten it done today, but there just isn't time. It doesn't really matter; I feel confident I can get it done tomorrow. That's just how I cook - I don't rush things!" OY FREAKING VEY!!!! They finish up and head out for the day.

Back at the suite, Brooke gets a letter and drawing from her 4yo son and gets emotional. The women get together and discuss how they're going to handle the initial rush of people at the door the next day. Josie suggests pre-plating, but Kristen wants to cook to order. Josie said in the confessional that Kristen does tasting menus for 10 people at her Boston restaurant, not 100 people. Josie is then back sitting with the guys on the deck and is telling them that Kristen wants to cook a la minute. Umm, Josie? Shut your mouth?

The next day, they have 6 hours until opening. Lots of frantic preparation, and confessionals of what each restaurant's courses will be.

Brooke will be taking over the FOH for Kristen's restaurant. Kristen notes that she's watching every single thing; she wants to be in control, and if something goes wrong, she'll take responsibility for it. But she also doesn't want anyone else screwing it up for her. She asks Josie when the bouillabaisse stock will be done - Josie replies one hour. Kristen said that she had been promised it would be done in Hour 2 of the prep. She's not happy. Josie says "patience."

Stefan meets with his waitstaff and gives them tasks. He sends back the dishwasher to help with prep. Meanwhile, Josie asks where the gelatin is - Kristen thought it was done. She has to throw that idea out the window for the stock, as there are only 30 minutes to go, bones are still in the stock; so she tells Josie to use cream. She's pissed off.

The doors open; some people are seated and served, but the judges show up in Atelier Kwan. Emeril, Gail, Tom, and Danny Meyer are the judges.

1ST COURSE (Lizzie) - Charcutierie: Rabbit, Pickled Turnips & YellowBeets in Chicken & Rabbit Broth. Emeril likes the broth; the mustard isn't overpowering, and Tom likes it as well.

Kristen begins to plate the 2nd course, but it's not working. The sauce hadn't been tested by Josie, and it's falling flat. She says "I'd rather have the dishwasher in place of Josie." She's angry. Josie says in the confessional "I'm sensing a bit of attitude; the rolling eyes; I'm not blind!" Kristen asks Lizzie to help her plate, as Josie's not doing it the way she wants. The judges are noticing that the next dish is late. Josie notes in the confessional that if they had been pre-plated, it would have helped.

2ND COURSE (Josie) - Bouillabaisse: Halibut, Dungeness Crab, Bay Scallops with Shellfish Broth. Danny and Padma note that crab was perfectly cooked, but Emeril's halibut is overcooked, and his scallop is almost raw. Gail sees that Tom has a "foamy substance" on his fish, but she didn't get any - or it's already dissipated. Tom notes there's not enough broth, and it should have been served in a smaller bowl.

(Meanwhile, back at Urbano, Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau are there waiting. Jason Franey and Ethan Stowell are also there. Stefan is trying to rush people out so he can seat 25 people waiting.)

3RD COURSE (Kristen) - Beef Bourguignon: Braised Short Rib, Garlic Puree, Mushrooms & Carots. Padma loves the beef, Tom notes no sauce/garlic puree. Gail is missing the red wine flavor, but Tom is still enjoying the dish.

4TH COURSE (Brooke) - Baked Gougere, St. Agur Blue Cheese, Roasted Radish & Stone Fruit Compote and Sticky-Sweet Pine Nuts. Emeril loves the cheese, but isn't getting the sticky-sweet. Danny said someone's going to lose a molar filling. Gail and Tom both like the dish.

DESSERT (Kristen) - Deconstructed Macaron: Almond Cake Macaron with Coconut Custard & Caramel Buttercream. Danny likes the flavor, but Gail said it wasn't a macaron. She feels she was set up.

The judges head over to Urbano. Stefan is still having problems getting people moved, but guests are saying they haven't yet had dessert. Stefan says to the camera "Really bitch? Get out! I'm getting my ass kicked as we speak!" Then he sees the judges walk in. He's stressing.

In the in-between, guests ask to "see the kitchen" at Atelier Kwan. So Brooke brings several groups of them out back and it's driving Kristen insane.

Back at Urbano, Stefan is still trying to seat people, and Stefan is saying people have to get out so they can seat the judges. They finally get seated, but Gail notices that the entrance is very crowded. Danny notes that Stefan should be putting drinks in their hand.

1ST COURSE (Stefan) - Kilawen: Yellowtail with Cilantro, Spicy Chili & White Soy Sauces. Emeril and Danny really liked the interchange of the flavors.

2ND COURSE (Josh) - Balut: Poached Egg, Duck Confit & Foie Gras Mousse. Stefan is rather brief in how he describes the "Balut" and walks away with a "nothing more to say." Gail said Stefan is assuming that they all know the "infamous egg from the Philippines." But with that said, Gail said she sort of loved the dish. Padma said it was executed perfectly, but Tom said there was nothing remotely Filipino-tasting about the dish.

3RD COURSE (Sheldon) - Miki: Prawns, Tapioca Roll with Achiote. Problem is? Stefan never shows up at the judges table to describe the dish and, in fact, walks past them several times without stopping. Padma said the plate looks pretty; Tom loves the tapioca pasta, and Gail loved it. Finally, Stefan stops by and asks how things are going. Padma notes that they don't know anything about the last dish they had. Stefan says "Miki? Miki is tapioca noodle with Filipino paprika." And he walks away. Tom said "Why do I think we were just scolded?" And Gail said "We were. We were just made to feel like idiots. Which is the worst thing to do to a customer." Danny said "I'd bet we'd have a complete different answer at Kristen's restaurant." Emeril said the way he made them feel was worst than the bouillabaisse. Sheldon asks Stefan if he knew what the judges think, and Stefan said "no."

4TH COURSE (Sheldon) - Adobo: Pork Belly with Mung Bean Puree and Pea Shoots Salad. Tom said it was the best dish of the day - the sweet and sour, the pork belly was perfectly cooked. Danny said he wanted to go back and continue eating it.

DESSERT - there are two desserts

(Josh) - Halo-Halo: Coconut Sorbet, Avocado Mousse, Banana & Shredded Coconut. Gail likes the dish - pure flavors, clean, strong. Emeril liked it as well, not too sweet.

(Stefan) - Dark Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts, Ginger, & Peppermint Oil, as well as some ginger tea. Gail notes that the tea was good timing to have at the end of both restaurants' meals. Tom said "To wash the taste of bad service out of your mouth?" He notes you go to restaurants for food and you return for hospitality. Then he said "I don't know if I'd return to this restaurant."

And they're all done! Sheldon is tired, he can't even feel his legs. But he's proud of what he accomplished. And back at Atelier Khan, Kristen notes the flow of service was off because of Josie's time management, but she's confident in the flavors of her dishes.

Danny liked the food at Urbano - all dishes. But he had issues with service and hospitality. Gail said it was inconsistent in its concept. Padma said Stefan should go home for the service he gave today, but Tom says that Josie should go home for the bouillabaisse. Emeril notes that both the bouillabaisse and service were awful. Padma says it comes down to which restaurant gave them a better dining experience.

They all file into Judges Table. :::STUPID whooshing camera shots::: The judges start with Atelier Kwan. Padma notes that Kristen was responsible for the dessert and the beef. Gail said she was waiting for the red wine flavor of the dish. Tom said they felt let down. The macaron was too heavy handed for Gail, and Emeril thought the cake was a bit dry. Brooke, however, as FOH, Emeril had kudos as a leader in the dining room. Lizzie's charcuterie was praised as well, and Lizzie said it was a joint effort with Kristen.

Josie's bouillabaisse had lots of flavor, but Gail didn't get a lot of it. Josie said it wasn't her concept and Kristen helped her plate the dish, and *she* would have served it with more sauce. Tom asked Josie if she ever told Kristen that there should be more sauce. Josie said no. When Tom asked why, Josie said Kristen showed her how it was to be plated. The issue of gelatin came up and Kristen said there was no gelatin but she does *not* throw Josie under the bus. Josie said she would have stuck with the original concept of bouillabaisse, but "that's not what today is all about." Gail notes to Josie that yes it was - that there has to be some level of collaboration because it's just not chef-to-chef that could be eliminated. Josie's on the line with her dish.

They move on to Urbano. They immediately discuss service. Emeril notes he was blown away with disappointment as to how Stefan handled the room, and Stefan looks shocked. Tom asks Stefan how important it is for the dish to be described when it is delivered, and Stefan said it's very important. Stefan agrees that it was poor service, but he said it's because he's a chef and not a server. Tom looks pissed off at that reply. Tom tells Sheldon that the dishes he was responsible for hit the sweet spot they were looking for between being modern and having the Filipino flavor. Josh's balut didn't read Filipino, but the dish was good, according to Tom.

The winning restaurant is Urbano! Wow. I didn't see that coming. Sheldon wins Restaurant Wars and he gets a new Toyota Avalon. But Padma notes that Stefan is *very* lucky, and Stefan absolutely knows it.

Tom tells Lizzie and Brooke that they are safe. Tom asks about the bouillabaisse sauce and why the gelatin wasn't in the dish. Kristen notes she told her not to put it in because they were running out of time and she wanted it already in the canisters so she could see it before service started. Josie does her standard bus-throwing-under-routine and said "she said to just leave it out and told me to use cream." Gail asked Josie that she knew the intention was to add the gelatin, and Josie said yes, she was aware of it. Josie said "Yes, I was asking for the gelatin - I didn't know where anything was." Kristen is shown saying under her breath "Bite my tongue. Bite my tongue." because she's SO pissed off at Josie. Gail said to Josie that while she's taking direction from her chef, Josie still needs to be her own person, to some extent. Josie makes yet MORE excuses and said everything was cooked well, and puts it all back on Kristen for saucing the plate. Kristen interjects and said at the end of the day it was her responsibility; Josie said "no, she's saying it was *my* responsibility." Kristen still took FULL responsibility and takes blame. Gail said if you take responsibility, you're falling on your sword. Kristen said she made some executional errors, but so did some other people.

Damn. So help me God - if Josie stays and Kristen goes, I will be SO PISSED OFF. Josie makes yet more excuses in the Stew Room, while Kristen sits quietly.

The judges argue as to whose responsibility it was. Meanwhile, they have *no* idea about executional errors made by Josie during prep (i.e., not roasting bones, not preparing things appropriately and in a timely manner). Gail makes a very good point and says they've been down this road with Josie before many times. Everyone else takes responsibility because SHE'S not stepping up, so Josie continues to skate by. Padma is still insisting that it falls on Kristen. Emeril and Tom are both torn as to who should go home.

We're back. Tom notes it was a tough decision to make, and Padma tells JOSIE that she is safe. Kristen is told to PYKAG.

Crap. Crap, Crap, Crap. I detest Josie right now! I REALLY HATE it that the best chef in the contest is going home and she gets to stay. But Kristen said at least she knows she's leaving with her integrity intact and without backstabbing anyone. After Kristen leaves, Josie notes to the confessional that she's sure the other chefs think she took the low road to save her own ass. (YES, YOU DID!) She claims in the Stew Room that she thinks she didn't point any fingers. Brooke says in the confessional that Kristen should have said something and put the blame where the blame belonged - on Josie.

I HATED this ending. I can only hope that Kristen wins LCK.

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  1. C. Hamster Jan 16, 2013 08:14 PM



    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster
      KrumTx Jan 17, 2013 03:18 PM

      The same words were looping through my head as I tried to go to sleep right after the show ended.

    2. Xericx Jan 16, 2013 08:15 PM

      Horrible ending to shadow a great win by Sheldon. Kristen only helped because Josie was totally incompetent.

      The dish overall seemed like a flop.

      1. LurkerDan Jan 16, 2013 08:16 PM

        awful, just awful.

        1. j
          jcattles Jan 16, 2013 08:18 PM

          OMFG!!! I am so pissed right now! I'm not even sure I'll watch the rest of the season. If I do it'll only be for Sheldon. How does she keep surviving week after week?

          1 Reply
          1. re: jcattles
            mcf Jan 18, 2013 06:09 AM

            The same way cockroaches do! BLEAH.

          2. a
            annaflixion Jan 16, 2013 08:23 PM

            Aaaaaaand I'm done with this show. I don't even give a crap if they bring her back via Last Chance Kitchen. If they do it was obviously for ratings, if they don't it's a travesty of cooking justice. This show just lost every ounce of integrity it ever had--like a souffle falling to a loud noise.

            57 Replies
            1. re: annaflixion
              LurkerDan Jan 16, 2013 08:36 PM

              I'm as bummed as you are, but IMO they didn't lose integrity with this episode, they demonstrated integrity. They all know that Kristen is light years better than Josie, but anyone who has watched this show knows that taking responsibility for a team puts you at great risk. Kristen's elimination -- while it pissed me off -- was entirely consistent with that and consistent with the fact that they do not consider overall skill or past performance. I think it killed them to eliminate her, and Padma's statements on WWHL reinforced that.

              1. re: LurkerDan
                LindaWhit Jan 16, 2013 08:49 PM

                I agree - EVERYONE in that Stew Room knows Kristen is heads-and-tails above Josie. I didn't watch WWHL as I was finishing the recap - what did Padma say? (Hell, SHE was the one who seemed to be saying it was all Kristen's and nothing on Josie!)

                1. re: LindaWhit
                  2roadsdiverge Jan 17, 2013 01:23 PM

                  Padma said that the judges realized that Josie screwed up but that Kristin went home because it was her responsibility to manage Josie.

                  Meanwhile, Tom said on his blog that they had no idea what went on in the kitchen and that Kristin went home because the sauce (Josie) was good but the execution (Kristin) was bad.

                  1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                    rccola Jan 18, 2013 02:13 PM

                    There is no "managing" Josie. Josie couldn't manage herself in any challenge and should have gone home long ago.

                    1. re: rccola
                      chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:15 PM

                      Kristen's mistake was in picking Josie instead of Micah. It would be better to have no one than Josie, even if she thought Micah would be the one to leave. When she picked her, I said, "Ohhh noooo..."

                      1. re: chowser
                        LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 02:21 PM

                        "When she picked her, I said, "Ohhh noooo...""

                        We all did!

                        1. re: chowser
                          JAB Jan 19, 2013 03:29 PM

                          And as I stated previously, right on the heels of Danny's warning.

                  2. re: LurkerDan
                    bobbert Jan 16, 2013 08:54 PM

                    Agree 100% but... as much as I think Kristen did the stand up thing, once Josie started pointing fingers, all bets are off. Kristen should have pointed out why the gelatin wasn't in the bouillabaisse. Other than that, Kristen decided to "take over" the plating of the dish and basically put her own head on the chopping block. It still sucks. Sheldon did a great job and I'm now rooting for him. LCK ought to be interesting.

                    1. re: bobbert
                      Shrinkrap Jan 16, 2013 11:48 PM

                      "The stand up thing"? In my opinion that was the "fall on the sword" thing, and I hope it says more about the show and/or the industry than it does about Kirsten.

                      But yeah; "go, Sheldon".

                      I think he's great, and would absolutely eat his food, but not sure he's a "winner".

                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                        Shrinkrap Jan 17, 2013 07:05 PM

                        I mean Kristen.

                    2. re: LurkerDan
                      dmjordan Jan 16, 2013 08:56 PM

                      Those we're exactly my thoughts too, LurkerDan. I thought this is the proof to every person that says it's fixed or the producers have a say in the elimination. As soon as I saw how conflicted they looked, I knew it was Kristen. They wanted to dump Josie but knew based on their criterion for judging that it had to be Kristen : (

                      1. re: dmjordan
                        hambone Jan 17, 2013 08:19 AM

                        Does it come as news to anyone that the producers have a lot of pull in elimination choices? (Also in how they edit after the fact to make the story lines play out how they want.)

                        1. re: hambone
                          LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 08:31 AM

                          Reread what dmjordan and LurkerDan wrote - Kristen's ouster shows it is NOT fixed nor do the producers have a say. The judges *wanted* to dump Josie, but based on the criteria they themselves use, their only choice was Kristen.

                          1. re: LindaWhit
                            seamunky Jan 17, 2013 09:20 PM

                            Before the credits roll, this blurb comes on screen:

                            "Winning and elimination decisions were made by the Judges in consultation with the producers. Some elimination decisions were discussed with Bravo."

                            Their capitalization on "Judges".

                            1. re: LindaWhit
                              mcf Jan 18, 2013 06:11 AM

                              Which is pretty much what Kristen said flat out on WWHL... and Padma told her she'd much rather eat her food than Josie's, basically.

                            2. re: hambone
                              John E. Jan 17, 2013 12:23 PM

                              I'll let Linda handle the judging and producers' influence, she doesn't need my help with that. As to the editing, of course the producers 'have a lot of pull' into how the show is edited, that's what they do, is to produce the show and that involves editing the video.

                              (Another stellar recap Linda. These threads would be mediocre without your efforts).

                              1. re: John E.
                                LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 12:55 PM

                                Thank you, John. :-) Much appreciated.

                            3. re: dmjordan
                              2roadsdiverge Jan 17, 2013 01:24 PM

                              Why would the producers "fix" it so that a fan favorite left early while someone universally hated stays on? For the drama? Look at how many people have said they will stop watching now. that's a big risk to take.

                              1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                davis_sq_pro Jan 17, 2013 01:43 PM

                                First of all, the kind of people who would come on a thread like this and scream about it are a fraction of a fraction of the total audience for the show. Most people don't care that much.

                                And no one who said they're going to stop watching is actually going to stop watching. If you have enough invested in the thing to whine and say you're going to stop watching, you're not going to be able to stop watching.

                            4. re: LurkerDan
                              TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 06:33 AM

                              "IMO they didn't lose integrity with this episode, they demonstrated integrity"

                              I respect your view but totally disagree. Padma had a major bone to pick with this young lady for what ever reason. Tom saw through Josie as she clearly trashed her dish hoping to throw Kristen under the bus. He even commented saying that Josie clearly had hoped only Kristen and Sheldon were at risk of elimination.
                              Padma appears to have convinced all the other judges that Josie should stay. That just makes Padma look vindictive and bitter IMO.

                              Kristen however is not with out fault and Sheldon still won. Kristen was overly ambitious. She should have thrown Josie right out of the kitchen instead of complaining about her. The stock not getting done the first day would have been the end for Josie in my kitchen. Go fold napkins or look for a left handed smoke shifter but your done in the kitchen.
                              She also didn't do very well on the bourguignon with out sauce and her dessert was a bit lame.
                              Still she NEVER ever should have went home. I've watched every episode since season 1 episode one but this no longer seems about finding the best Chef.
                              Ratings, drama and product placement seem far more important.
                              I'm really disappointed with Tom. He should have stood up for Kristen. If Chef's point fingers the judges pounce all over that. Kristen was due some credit for her integrity.

                              1. re: TraderJoe
                                LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 07:04 AM

                                Read both Tom's and Gail's blogs. They discussed for hours. Tom sets out the reasons for sending Kristen home. Vindictiveness and bitterness had nothing to do with it - that's the Editing Elves putting only that out and us not seeing much more.

                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                  TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 08:48 AM

                                  If you read it on the Internet it must be true? I read the blogs and just saw all the normal blah blah I'd expect to see. If they did do this kind of stuff for ratings do you really think they would tell us?
                                  The bottom line for me is the show has lost it's appeal when some one like Josie can knock out such a talented Chef.
                                  Of course that's just my view and I'm sure others will see it differently. I'm sick of Padma. Being a bobblehead only takes you so far.

                                  1. re: TraderJoe
                                    LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 08:57 AM

                                    Yet again, I'm going to say that Tom C. and other chefs who appear as judges on this show are *NOT* going to take a chance on screwing up their reputations in the restaurant industry for a television show's ratings sake.

                                    You can choose to not believe that. But there are WAY WAY too many people working on the show. You don't think after 10 seasons if they were doing this just for ratings, some disgruntled cheftestant or production crew member wouldn't have leaked something already?

                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                      LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 09:13 AM

                                      Exactly, Linda, well put.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 10:14 AM

                                        "judges on this show are *NOT* going to take a chance on screwing up their reputations in the restaurant industry for a television show's ratings sake"

                                        That's a nice thought but nice thoughts don't pay the bills. Many of their peers would indeed say that each one of them compromised their position to some degree the moment they went on TV. Any idea how hard of a hit Emeril's reputation took in the industry with his show and the whole "bam" bit?
                                        People can believe what they like but I seriously doubt the judges have a final say about any thing. The editors and producers get that privilege and you can be sure every one that's getting paid has signed a contract about what they can disclose and exactly how many "Blog" pieces they will write per season.
                                        We need to remember it's reality TV....Not reality.
                                        In ten seasons I can't say I've ever seen an elimintion like this. Of course we will know in the end if Kristen comes back, not that there won't be those that try to deny the obvious.
                                        I did find one very interesting comment in Tom's Blog that should be a glaring "tell" about the accuracy of his Blog. IIR he flatly stated that when he walks through the kitchens and talks to the Chef's he never picks up any "insider information". If that were true Tom would have to be the most unobservant Chef ever and we know that's not true because on numerous shows he's commented at the Judges table about what he saw taking place in the kitchen. He also mentioned that the competition is not cumulative yet on many occasions we've heard him talk about past performance.
                                        As far as other comparisons I'm also sure the editors and producers are selective about using their executive privilege to over ride the judges. Here it was an opportune time for drama with the most favored Chef in many seasons Vs one of the most hated.
                                        But again lets see if Kristen comes back...any wagers?

                                        1. re: TraderJoe
                                          LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 10:24 AM

                                          I seriously doubt the judges have a final say about any thing. The editors and producers get that privilege

                                          I'm also sure the editors and producers are selective about using their executive privilege to over ride the judges.

                                          If you're so *sure* - please find the proof. It is your belief, that's all. Many others, myself included, choose to believe a chef with an excellent reputation in the industry.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                            TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 10:30 AM

                                            "If you're so *sure* - please find the proof"

                                            This is a business that makes more $$ off higher ratings and product placement. That requires drama as is the case with most reality TV. The responses in this thread alone give us a clue as to whether or not the producers hit the nail on the head with this episode.
                                            No doubt when Kristen comes back the excuses will fly like fur in a catfight.....but of course that's just my view. I doubt either one of us will be offering empirical evidence of any sort any time soon. Either way, we will see soon enough. Who won the last episode of LCK? LOL

                                            1. re: TraderJoe
                                              chicgail Jan 17, 2013 12:21 PM

                                              This is rapidly becoming a case of "It is my opinion and I don't care what the facts are."

                                            2. re: LindaWhit
                                              tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 11:18 AM

                                              just a point, the judges are the producers. It would be stupid for them not think about story lines with a reality show. Do they do it? Who knows?

                                              1. re: tjinsf
                                                wyogal Jan 17, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                That was my point. I saw Tom C's name as "co-executive producer" for at least 3 years, not sure about the current season, though. If they aren't actually producers, I think the line between them is very faint, if there at all!

                                                1. re: tjinsf
                                                  LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                  I honestly think that all of the footage they have, and all of the drama that naturally occurs when these people are cooped up together in the pressure cooker (pun intended), gives them more than enough in the way of storylines, that there's little to be gained and much to be lost by manipulating the judging results. I mean, they can manipulate so much already, what is shown, what the challenges are, etc, I just don't see a reason to manipulate who wins and loses.

                                                  And having watched this show since Season 1, I have seen way too many winners and eliminations that don't match up with the theory that the results are rigged.

                                              2. re: TraderJoe
                                                LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                There's obviously no convincing you. But just for the sake of accuracy, Tom didn't use the word "never", he said the "walk-through doesn’t afford me insider knowledge." Using the word "never" changes the meaning of that sentence. If he generally doesn't get insider knowledge (but occasionally does pick up on something), his statement would be true as written. Adding never in to it changes the meaning.

                                                And let's not over-dramatize Josie. She's this season's villain, sure, but she's not truly "one of the most hated", at least she wasn't before this event. Even if you're right, that the editors do get final say, I just can't see any reason why they would eliminate the beautiful and talented chef in favor of the not so beautiful not so talented one.

                                                As for your wager whether Kristen comes back, she might, because she's a damn good chef. But where will you be if she doesn't make it? Will you concoct some new conspiracy theory to explain it? I recall during the Next Food Network Star how many people insisted that they wanted a female iron chef, that it was preordained, then Zakarian won. Those people didn't say "gee, I guess I was wrong and there was no conspiracy". They just came back the next season insisting the fix was in again, and then guarnaschelli won and they wagged their I told you so fingers. There's a phrase for it: confirmation bias.

                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                  TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 10:49 AM

                                                  "Tom didn't use the word "never", he said the "walk-through doesn’t afford me insider knowledge."

                                                  Irrelevant in the context of this conversation. Tom was clearly trying to spin it as though he never gets any insight to what's happening in the kitchen with his walk through. That's some funny stuff (and totally false) no matter how you try to spin it.

                                                  "But where will you be if she doesn't make it?

                                                  I'll be exactly where I am now! LOL In short it won't matter to me,or any one else If I'm wrong. It's entertainment...nothing more.

                                                  1. re: TraderJoe
                                                    LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                    Irrelevant in the context of this conversation.

                                                    Wow. Talk about spin. :-/

                                                    As LurkerDan said earlier, there's no convincing you. I don't see why John or Kristen (drama and beautiful, respectively, and both damn good chefs) would have been eliminated.

                                                    But you continue believing what you believe. I'll trust in the integrity of nationally and internationally reknowned chefs.

                                                  2. re: LurkerDan
                                                    JAB Jan 17, 2013 12:12 PM

                                                    Re Josie, really?

                                              3. re: TraderJoe
                                                LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                No, I don't think they would tell us, and you may call me naive. But I firmly believe that while the editors get the final say on how the show is put together, they don't get the final say in judging. I have faith in the integrity of the judges on the show, and do not believe they would sacrifice their own integrity -- on the very thing that they have made their career -- just for the sake of more drama.

                                                Plus, I don't know how all of you conspiracy theorists handle the cognitive dissonance. Every time there is an elimination that seems to favor drama over cooking talent, people shout and scream "it's all fixed" and whenever there is an elimination that favors food over drama, there's silence. Or do you somehow rationalize that one as still a "fix" because the editors have determined at that time that the viewers want food quality over drama? I mean, criminy, we don't have to go back any further than John's elimination. He was a guy who brought cooking talent AND drama, why would they eliminate him in favor of, say, milquetoast Josh?

                                                Anyone who has watched this show over the 10 seasons, and paid attention, should have seen enough examples of both to have confidence that the blogs aren't faked, and the judges judge on the food.

                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                  davis_sq_pro Jan 17, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                  Congrats, LurkerDan. Your argument just converted this conspiracy theorist. (Specifically, the point about John.)

                                                  1. re: LurkerDan
                                                    LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 09:35 AM

                                                    "I mean, criminy, we don't have to go back any further than John's elimination. He was a guy who brought cooking talent AND drama, why would they eliminate him in favor of, say, milquetoast Josh?"


                                                    Ding, ding, ding!!!

                                                  2. re: TraderJoe
                                                    tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                    I'm really confused why Padma even gets a vote. She is not a chef nor a journalist about food. She is the host and an increasely snotty one at that. She has no culinary background either formally or informally.

                                                    1. re: tjinsf
                                                      JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 11:22 AM

                                                      She wrote a cookbook. Besdies she's hot and only gets snotty when she's had a few too many. :)



                                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                        tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 03:14 PM

                                                        Anyone famous can write a cookbook. seriously. anyone. especially reality TV folks and any actor can host a food show.
                                                        Hosting isn't the same as cooking or critiquing food to me.

                                                        1. re: tjinsf
                                                          JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                          I wasn't trying to establish her credentials, just saying.


                                                          1. re: tjinsf
                                                            Phaedrus Jan 17, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                            Actually, she wasn't famous when she wrote the book. Not as famous as she is now. The cookbook came as a result of the TV programs. I saw the programs and if I remember correctly, it was pretty good. Keep in mind that this was for the Travel Channel and before FoodTV bought the Travel Channel.

                                                            1. re: tjinsf
                                                              seamunky Jan 17, 2013 09:32 PM

                                                              Her first cookbook was written in 1999, 7 years before Top Chef. At this point, she only had a few acting roles in Italy. Her book Easy Exotic "was awarded Best First Book at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards at Versailles."


                                                              1. re: seamunky
                                                                reiney Jan 17, 2013 09:57 PM

                                                                Yeah, don't agree with the decision at all, but I think Padma's proven her credibility as someone who knows a lot about food and has a pretty discerning palate.

                                                                I was overseas during the first several seasons of Top Chef and came into it late - and was *very* skeptical of her being Another Dumb But Attractive Host. She quickly won me over, and I like that Top Chef has (knowledgable) judges from a variety of backgrounds.

                                                              2. re: tjinsf
                                                                ChefJune Jan 18, 2013 10:37 AM

                                                                <Anyone famous can write a cookbook. seriously. anyone.> ??

                                                                "Seriously," it's much more about "anyone famous" can hire a writer to write their cookbook. But you already know that, didn't you? ;)

                                                                1. re: ChefJune
                                                                  tjinsf Jan 18, 2013 02:21 PM


                                                                  1. re: ChefJune
                                                                    hambone Jan 19, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                    But, again, the point is she wasn't someone famous then.

                                                              3. re: tjinsf
                                                                Phaedrus Jan 17, 2013 11:32 AM

                                                                She also hosted a couple of shows about Indian and Spanish foods about a decade ago on the Travel Channel.

                                                                1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                  JAB Jan 17, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                                  Yes, that's where she first came to my attention.

                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                    breadchick Jan 19, 2013 08:03 AM

                                                                    She was also on the FoodNetwork doing Indian food - I'm trying to remember the name of the show. It rotated through several themes: Mexican (Aaron Sanchez was one host along with another fellow) Eastern European, Mediterranean (with Cat Cora) etc.

                                                                    1. re: breadchick
                                                                      ennuisans Jan 19, 2013 08:31 AM

                                                                      Melting Pot iirc

                                                                      1. re: ennuisans
                                                                        breadchick Jan 19, 2013 09:48 AM

                                                                        Aha! Thank you! :-)

                                                            2. re: TraderJoe
                                                              latindancer Jan 19, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                              <ratings, drama and product placement seem far more important>

                                                              That's what I think, also.
                                                              When i see the same thing played out with a certain famous peddler and then, with what is to have been assumed genuine cooking competition on primetime TV, with egomaniacal greed, I'm finished with this stuff.

                                                            3. re: LurkerDan
                                                              TheCarrieWatson Jan 18, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                              I agree totally. You could almost these pleading expressions on the judges' faces: "PLEASE say something!" re. Kristen's defense. And when she didn't, I knew that they didn't have much of a choice. Like you said, their decision seemed completely consistent with the TS principle of judging everyone on that challenge's performance alone with no consideration to their past successes or failures. It was excruciating to watch, but in my view totally credible. Really sucks though.

                                                            4. re: annaflixion
                                                              chicgail Jan 17, 2013 04:51 AM

                                                              It was a travesty but not a lack of integrity. I don't think for an instant that it was done for ratings.

                                                              The minute I heard Kristen mutter "bite my tongue. bite my tongue," it was clear that she was not going to defend herself. I think there is a big difference between "throwing someone under a bus" and defending oneself honorably. Kristen, IMO, went too far in the other direction. All the cheftestants knew it including Josie.

                                                              I think Kristen showed an inappropriate level of being noble here. Now CJ finally has a most worthy opponent.

                                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                                Shrinkrap Jan 17, 2013 07:48 PM

                                                                Likes. What's up with that? I have not excluded the possibility that losing is sometimes better than winning. Think "American Idol"

                                                            5. LurkerDan Jan 16, 2013 08:24 PM

                                                              On watch what happens live, Padma just said, to Kristen (on the phone), "I'd eat your food over Josie's any day of the week".

                                                              17 Replies
                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                jcattles Jan 16, 2013 08:31 PM

                                                                As soon as they announced Josie was safe, I turned the tv off; just like my husband did on Saturday after the Bronco game. The second time since Saturday the remote was nearly broken.

                                                                1. re: jcattles
                                                                  Wahooty Jan 16, 2013 08:45 PM

                                                                  This is the only time I have ever yelled at the TV the way I yell at football. And the fastest I have EVER clicked over to LCK to see what happens.

                                                                  No spoilers! But I really feel like this is the reason LCK was invented. If you're really that good...go %*&$ing prove it.

                                                                  I will say though...sauce or no sauce...the fish was overcooked and the scallop under. I really thought such a basic execution error might FINALLY do Josie in. And I want to slap that damn headband right off of her head. <sigh>

                                                                  1. re: jcattles
                                                                    KailuaGirl Jan 17, 2013 04:28 AM

                                                                    When I heard Padma say, "Josie..." I was sure that finally she was going. When she was told she was safe and Kristen was given the boot I almost threw the remote at the TV. What the hell?!?!?! Josie is SO terrible. Maybe Stefan will get the others united with him against her. All the other chefs looked simply stunned when Kristen announced her departure. I am now officially in the "I hate Josie" club. I was thrilled for Sheldon, though! He was so clearly stoked about his win! Small town local boy makes good. I likeee!

                                                                    1. re: jcattles
                                                                      NellyNel Jan 18, 2013 12:41 PM


                                                                    2. re: LurkerDan
                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 16, 2013 08:49 PM

                                                                      Small consolation.

                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                        calumin Jan 17, 2013 01:21 AM

                                                                        If she was a better judge then she wouldn't have voted her off. They need to ask better questions or change their criteria.

                                                                        In Tom Colicchio's blog post, he said after watching the episode he realized the judges got it completely wrong.

                                                                        1. re: calumin
                                                                          FoodPopulist Jan 17, 2013 02:27 AM

                                                                          But he also noted that Kristen was intent on concealing from the judges how badly Josie did. She was given plenty of opportunity to provide an opening for a more critical look at Josie and didn't.

                                                                          1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                            calumin Jan 17, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                            My point is that the contestants' job is to cook, and the judges' job is to judge.

                                                                            Kristen did a better job at her task than Padma did at hers.

                                                                            You can tell by the end result, which Tom admitted in his blog was the wrong decision.

                                                                            The only way I think Kristen should be blamed is that she chose Josie so she kind of got what she deserved.

                                                                            1. re: calumin
                                                                              TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 10:53 AM

                                                                              "Kristen did a better job at her task than Padma did at hers.
                                                                              You can tell by the end result, which Tom admitted in his blog was the wrong decision."

                                                                              Solid point! I'm not sure Kristen should be blamed for choosing Josie but she has to accept responsibility for not tossing Josie out of the kitchen for failure to perform (assuming that's not against the rules).

                                                                              1. re: calumin
                                                                                2roadsdiverge Jan 17, 2013 01:38 PM

                                                                                Here's what the judges knew:

                                                                                1) Kristin cooked the seafood poorly
                                                                                2) Kristin plated the dish and didn't provide enough sauce
                                                                                3) Kristin's beef Bourguignon was disappointing
                                                                                4) Kristin's macaroon was disappointing
                                                                                5) Josie made good stock for the bouillabaisse.

                                                                                1) Josie has shown poor time management skills in the past -- supposedly irrelevant
                                                                                2) Josie appeared to only have been responsible for one part of the meal

                                                                                On paper it is clear that Kristin should have gone home. She screwed up her dishes. She didn't manage her personnel well. She didn't manage her plating well.

                                                                                It is only with the omniscience afforded the viewers that Josie is shown to be at fault.

                                                                                1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                  JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 01:41 PM

                                                                                  Kristin cooked the seafood? I think that was Josie.


                                                                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                    2roadsdiverge Jan 23, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                    Hmm, I could have sworn that they said Kristin botched the seafood. OK, so Josie was more responsible than I indicated. Still, the biggest failure was in the plating. The sauce was good and only some of the seafood was poorly cooked.

                                                                                    I stand by my argument that from the judges' point of view, at the time, Kristin was the logical one to go.

                                                                                  2. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                    tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 03:15 PM

                                                                                    Kristin didn't cook the seafood.

                                                                                    1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                      calumin Jan 20, 2013 04:45 PM

                                                                                      What the judges knew was based on the questions they asked and the level to which they tried to understand what happened.

                                                                                      That's where they failed, as Tom later admitted in his blog.

                                                                                      I don't think you should blame a judging failure on the chef.

                                                                                      1. re: calumin
                                                                                        roxlet Jan 20, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                                        However, the judges have seen Josie operate in a very loose way all season particularly when it came to events where she had to plate her dishes in front of them. It would seem that extrapolating from those observations to the fact that this dish was so half-assed, they should have thought about Josie's inability to get things done, and asked questions relating to that.

                                                                              2. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                Kalivs Jan 17, 2013 03:18 AM

                                                                                That was the worst part!

                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                  TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 06:36 AM

                                                                                  "Padma just said, to Kristen (on the phone), "I'd eat your food over Josie's any day of the week".

                                                                                  Kinda late for Padma to cleani it up. Padma....Pack your makeup and go...LOL

                                                                                2. l
                                                                                  lbs Jan 16, 2013 08:33 PM

                                                                                  Angry fist! Padma seemed out to get her. I never think about the elves and whatnot but this elimination seemed so contrived.

                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: lbs
                                                                                    Bart Hound Jan 17, 2013 06:05 AM

                                                                                    I'm convinced that Padma was out to get her because of all the "Kristen is hot/striking/beautiful" talk.

                                                                                    Actually, I'm not sure I really believe that, but it's the first thing I thought when she made the announcement

                                                                                    1. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                      rccola Jan 22, 2013 09:23 AM

                                                                                      My gut impression of Padma is: NARCISSISTIC. And smug.

                                                                                      1. re: rccola
                                                                                        Joanie Jan 22, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                        Did anyone see "Top Dog Chef" on SNL last Sat.? It was ridiculous but kind of funny. The Padma dog seemed a little smug.

                                                                                        1. re: Joanie
                                                                                          rccola Jan 22, 2013 12:18 PM

                                                                                          No but should be on youtube soon. "Top Dog" is an iconic brand around U.C. Berkeley!

                                                                                          1. re: Joanie
                                                                                            rccola Jan 22, 2013 12:20 PM

                                                                                            And it's up already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om0GAw...

                                                                                            Quick before they take it down.

                                                                                            1. re: rccola
                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 22, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                              Shoot - I'll have to wait until tonight to watch it at home.

                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                DarthEater Jan 22, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                                                                SNL is on demand on Time Warner. Just caught up with it.

                                                                                              2. re: rccola
                                                                                                dmjordan Jan 22, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                Just go to nbc.com.

                                                                                        2. re: lbs
                                                                                          Withnail42 Jan 22, 2013 12:57 PM

                                                                                          Certainly the way it played out it looked like Padma had her mind made up, everyone else was torn about how to vote . But she seemed intent that is was solely Kristen fault. No matter what anyone said it was Kristen who should go.

                                                                                          And certainly never seen an elimination like that where she first told Josie she was safe. Then tells Kristen PYKAG. It was like she was turning the screw that much more and dragging things out for Kristen.

                                                                                          1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                            LurkerDan Jan 22, 2013 03:04 PM

                                                                                            They have definitely done that before in eliminations. Plus, I'd have to watch it again to see, but they sometimes dub in stuff after the fact. So they may have told Kristen to PYKAG, then later did the filming and/or voiceover stuff re Josie.

                                                                                        3. c
                                                                                          cwdonald Jan 16, 2013 08:54 PM

                                                                                          Fabulous summary LindaWhit. My favorite line from the whole show was the cut away to Kristen saying she would rather have a dishwasher rather than Josie in the kitchen.

                                                                                          Hate to say it but I predicted this might happen. You do not want to be exec chef because you are ultimately going to take the blame. Kristen was totally graceful (and she called into the show that was live right after TC and continued to be graceful... ). She definitely has class even though she clearly showed her immaturity and inexperience tonight by reaching too much, and not speaking up enough in the kitchen.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: cwdonald
                                                                                            JAB Jan 17, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                            Let's not forget that Kristen chose Josie when I believe Micah was still available to choose.

                                                                                            1. re: cwdonald
                                                                                              Shrinkrap Jan 17, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                                              And let's point out or ask....isn't "what happened next" months after the actual contest? What's THAT about?

                                                                                            2. Xericx Jan 16, 2013 08:59 PM

                                                                                              I'd lol if Josie beats Kristen in the final last chance kitchen and gets into the finale.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Xericx
                                                                                                dmjordan Jan 16, 2013 09:15 PM

                                                                                                The final LCK?? I hope Josie ends up there next week.

                                                                                              2. John E. Jan 16, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                                                                All during the food prep and plating where they showed Kristen had her hands in EVERYTHING, I was sure that if something went wrong, as the executive chef, she would be gone. She was too ambitious with her food. She was not tough enough on Josie.

                                                                                                It seems the attitude abkut Josie is reminiscent of TC All Stars when Jamie was skating by. The difference is that on her season, Jamie appeared to be able to cook.

                                                                                                If Kristen had been willing to 'throw Josie under the bus' she would not have been sent PPYKAG tonight. She did not want to be seen as a whiner at JT, so she took responsibility.

                                                                                                I thought Padma really nailed it when she told Stefan he was lucky.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                  chicgail Jan 18, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                                                  BTW, since when does bouillabaisse include gelatin? JUst wondering.

                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                                    I think that was the "twist" that Kristen was adding. Here's the recipe:


                                                                                                    At the bottom of the instructions:

                                                                                                    Place is sauce pot, add 1 tablespoon of agar agar flakes to each pint of liquid, and allow to dissolve over low heat.

                                                                                                    5.) Cool to handle, and transfer some of your broth into a ISI cream whipper and charge two times. Shake vigorously after each charge and allow to set. Test on a plate.

6.) Leave in a warm place until ready to serve.

 Shingle fish, crab and scallops, two pieces each, in the center of a large shallow bowl. Garnish with 2 or 3 potatoes. Swoosh the Rouille along inside rim of the plate and dust with toasted breadcrumbs. Shake charger, test, and apply whimsically along center, over fish, creating a cloud. Garnish with a few sprigs of chervil.

                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                      bobbert Jan 18, 2013 11:59 AM

                                                                                                      I was wondering the same thing but it appeared to everyone on the show to be such an obvious ingredient I felt I would have embarrassed myself by asking.

                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                        davis_sq_pro Jan 18, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                                                                        It was just there to stabilize the foam. The stock was still at a rolling boil, so I theorize that her idea with the cream is that cream itself can be made into a foam, and unlike gelatin it won't break down as easily at high temperature.

                                                                                                        Not a bad very quick save the day kind of idea, but unfortunately cream only creates a stable foam if it has a high enough concentration of fat, and the stock probably made it way too diluted to do its job...

                                                                                                    2. susancinsf Jan 16, 2013 09:04 PM

                                                                                                      thanks, Linda...a very small point given the unbelievable outcome, but it was Brooke who did FOH, not Lizzie...I think you corrected later in the recap.

                                                                                                      As for my reaction to the outcome: yes, I was pissed off also, though I admire Kristen's integrity in taking responsibility. Not that I agree with it. Brooke was definitely looking at Kristen during JT as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing (when Kristen said the mistakes were her fault and responsibility).

                                                                                                      However, unlike some of you, I won't stop watching the season, regardless of what happens in LCK. The reason is simple: I guess I don't get out that much, but of all the seasons I've watched the show, this is the first season that one of the Chefs is someone whose cooking I know: I had the pleasure of dining twice at Star Noodle on my last trip to Maui, and I loved it. Heck, even hubby the notorious restaurant hater loved it. I still remember the banh xeo we had there as being the best I've ever had anywhere.

                                                                                                      Enough reminiscing; this is still an really bad outcome. but I can't help myself; I am very happy for Sheldon.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 16, 2013 09:16 PM

                                                                                                        Thanks, susan! Just went back and made the correction to Brooke being FOH for Kristen.

                                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                                        bobbert Jan 16, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                                                                        I think we're also missing that Kristen did not "wow" with either of her two dishes. They were just OK, maybe pretty good. Had either one of those been a home run, I think it could have offset the mistakes made with trying to handle Josie.

                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 16, 2013 09:17 PM

                                                                                                          Excellent point, bobbert. I think if at least one of Kristen's dishes was heads and tails above others, Josie would be gone.

                                                                                                          And on that note, I'm off to bed. It's way way way way WAY past my bedtime!

                                                                                                          1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                            JonParker Jan 16, 2013 09:22 PM

                                                                                                            That's a really good point. That said, if Kristen had put Josie to work as dishwasher the two teams would have still been evenly matched. Josie should have been fired after failing to roast the bones.

                                                                                                            1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                              hambone Jan 17, 2013 08:27 AM

                                                                                                              People keep saying something like "fire" Josie. I agree I'd love to see her go but I doubt the producers would allow one contestant to sit another like that.

                                                                                                              1. re: hambone
                                                                                                                piccola Jan 18, 2013 05:29 AM

                                                                                                                Yeah I doubt that would be allowed because it would mean one of the contestants couldn't be judged. Plus people could misuse that to deliberately screw over chefs they don't like, regardless of actual ability.

                                                                                                            2. re: bobbert
                                                                                                              John E. Jan 16, 2013 09:34 PM

                                                                                                              If she had included the expected sauce with her boeuf bourguignon she might have stayed despife being the executive chef. I have not often heard one of the judges refer to a contestant's underwhelming (to steal a term from Wolfgang Puck) past cooking. Gail did refer to Josie's past cooking and it was a factor to her (even if it wasn't supposed to be).

                                                                                                              Has there been a problem with lingering diners in past RW competitions? It seemed to be a problem that Stefan was having difficulty in overcoming.

                                                                                                              I think what we learned from this episode is a reinforcement of the concept that if a contestant puts out good food, they won't likely be going home.

                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                Joanie Jan 18, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                I hope I don't repeat any people below cuz I want to comment on this before reading all 200+ replies. (Couldn't watch until Thurs. and wondered if something "bad" had happend when I noticed there were 40 comments early Thurs. and 140 4 hrs later.) I agree about the lingering diner problem. As people have said before, the whole rest wars is so unrealistic anyway, running to get the supplies and decorations, shopping, creating a menu, plus setting up the kitchen outside? Like that wasn't enough, people weren't leaving. I didn't get that at all and obviously it would throw things off.

                                                                                                                That said, I was shocked Stefan didn't go home. I couldn't tell from the judges' comments that they liked Urbano enough to make it the winner, so he couldn't get tossed at that point, but they were so disgusted with him I thought it'd be bye-bye. But as people have noted, while it was nice of Kristin to take responsibility for the team, I think she could have mentioned what went wrong and not looked like an ass doing it. In fact, I'm surprised that Brooke or Lizzie didn't make a comment about how slow Josie was. And as mentioned, Kristin didn't have a great dish of her own so while sending her home makes no sense in the long run, it *kind of* did this episode.

                                                                                                                I can't wait to read the Eater wrap up.

                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                  Joanie Jan 18, 2013 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                  "She also didn't help her own cause by taking responsibility for the dish without even attempting to explain why it failed. The judges gave her plenty of opportunity to provide them with the details that Josie screwed up. Again, based on previous episodes, if someone is so adamant that they are responsible when something fails, it seems that Tom and Co. have always allowed them to 'fall on the sword'."


                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                    Joanie Jan 18, 2013 06:38 AM

                                                                                                                    Marcel as most hated TC ever? I think there are a lot of people above him in that contest.

                                                                                                                2. WWFeldman Jan 16, 2013 09:30 PM

                                                                                                                  This is a vintage year Top Chef. I didn't like this week's result but it beat the hell out of last year's perpetual catfight.

                                                                                                                  Loved the dignity that Kristen showed. She will be my bet on last chance. Even if she doesn't win there she'll do well in life.

                                                                                                                  1. DarthEater Jan 16, 2013 09:59 PM

                                                                                                                    wtf? I was rooting for Kristen all the way. I despised Josie but now I simply just hate her. This episode sucks.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: DarthEater
                                                                                                                      Shrinkrap Jan 16, 2013 11:58 PM

                                                                                                                      I can't help but wonder if that's the idea. Josie is Judas and Kirsten is Jesus. You've got to admit ; it sells.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                        ennuisans Jan 17, 2013 01:48 AM

                                                                                                                        I've taken to thinking of Josie as the Newt Gingrich, throwing bombs left and right but untouchable herself.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                          momjamin Jan 17, 2013 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                          Given Shrinkrap's analogy, we're primed for a resurrection.

                                                                                                                      2. juliejulez Jan 16, 2013 10:00 PM

                                                                                                                        I'm so irritated at Kristen for not saying something more... like she said they didn't have time for the gelatin, but she didn't say the reason why they didn't was because Josie was too busy fucking around doing god knows what, instead of starting the broth.

                                                                                                                        I thought Brooke was going to say something too, I wish she had.

                                                                                                                        SO FRUSTRATING!

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                          That was exactly the issue. Kristen *could* have said something about Josie not doing the prep work in a timely manner, preventing her from finishing the broth so she could concentrate on the gelatin for the sauce.

                                                                                                                          Kristen chose to say nothing. And I'm a bit disappointed in both Lizzie and Brooke for not saying anything in Kristen's defense. At least not that we were allowed to see.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                            Bart Hound Jan 17, 2013 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                            To me, that was Kristen's biggest mistake. Josie didn't do what she said she would on day one which put her behind and seemed to be a hour or two behind sechedule on day two which just made things worse.

                                                                                                                            For Kristen to take the blame for that wasn't noble, it was stupid.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                              Except as Tom noted in his blog - it shows she has - in a NORMAL restaurant situation - character.

                                                                                                                              Hugh's blog has a comment that I *wish* Kristen had done:

                                                                                                                              "It would be the best TC ever if, while playing the role of Exec Chef, someone fired the other chefs. "

                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                Bart Hound Jan 17, 2013 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                                I haven't read the blogs yet. Thanks for the reminder!

                                                                                                                                That's one of those things that infuriates me about the show. There seems to be a bit of a double standard often at work. They put them in these completely unrealistic situations, give them crap about their perfomance, and then after the fact, issue some sort of disclaimer.

                                                                                                                                Like Lizzy getting major props for her charcuterie that wasn't charcuterie, it was really a soup. But Kristen took a load of crap because her boeuf bourguignon didn't have enough soup.

                                                                                                                                Sort of like on American Idol (which thankfully I haven't seen in years) when a singer does "Imagine" just like John Lennon, they say "you just copied the original, you should have made this your own", but if they reinterpret "Imagine" in some new way, the judges say, "the orignal arrangement was perfect, why did you change it?"

                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                              momjamin Jan 17, 2013 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                              I suspect Lizzie and Brooke were stunned by the way the conversation was playing out, and couldn't come up with anything cogent. I know I was feeling blindsided.

                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                Miss Needle Jan 17, 2013 09:43 AM

                                                                                                                                Lizzie and Brooke seem like gals who just want to stay out of the drama. It was probably in their best interest to stay quiet as Kristen was one of the strongest contestants there.

                                                                                                                          2. b
                                                                                                                            bobbert Jan 16, 2013 10:06 PM

                                                                                                                            Really good blogs this week (all are posted). They explain a lot. Tom basically says that had they known about what was happening in the kitchen the outcome would have been different. Gail wanted to send Josie packing but was out voted.

                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                              pollymerase Jan 17, 2013 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                              I was really impressed/amused/taken by how much Gail was trying to get either Josie or Kristen to admit that Josie was ultimately at fault. She seemed to repeatedly try to reason that it was Josie's fault, but every time Kristen kept taking responsibility and saying it was her fault. To my memory, that is the most obvious I have seen a judge try to lobby for someone to go home in the actual questioning part of JT (however, perhaps that is my bias towards wanting Josie to leave and my love of Gail).

                                                                                                                              1. re: pollymerase
                                                                                                                                cresyd Jan 17, 2013 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                While I don't think that Top Chef takes itself too seriously, I do think the judges try to operate in an evironment of fairness and sticking to their standards. And if you read both Gail's and Tom's blog, the break down for why they sent Kristin home definitely followed a logic in how they apply the rules.

                                                                                                                                And I think Gail's trying to get Kristin to say it was Josie's fault was that she knew that based on the criteria they follow that Kristin was on far thinner ice than it may have appeared to Kristin. While I'm not in love with the decision, I do see how it follows the logic of how they judge on this show.

                                                                                                                                1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                  pollymerase Jan 17, 2013 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                                  I totally agree that it falls in line with how they have judged/approached the show. That is why I was so amazed by how it seemed Gail was trying to get any reason to sway the other judges to get Josie sent home. Typically the judges don't seem as biased. I personally don't have a problem with it, but I love Gail.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pollymerase
                                                                                                                                    LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                    Well, to be fair to Gail, it's not often (ever?) that it is the head-and-shoulders best chef up against the obvious worst chef remaining.

                                                                                                                                2. re: pollymerase
                                                                                                                                  ChefJune Jan 17, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                  <To my memory, that is the most obvious I have seen a judge try to lobby for someone to go home in the actual questioning part of JT (however, perhaps that is my bias towards wanting Josie to leave and my love of Gail).>

                                                                                                                                  I don't think so, because I thought the same thing.

                                                                                                                                  Imho, in the end Kristen threw herself under the bus. She had every opportunity to gracefully say "Josie didn't get the stock made in time, so the gelatin never got made." One sentence, and I don't think that would have "thrown Josie under the bus," because it was totally and simply the fact.

                                                                                                                                  Kristen should have defended herself, finally.

                                                                                                                              2. roxlet Jan 16, 2013 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                                One word: travesty.

                                                                                                                                That's all. Goodnight.

                                                                                                                                1. t
                                                                                                                                  tjinsf Jan 16, 2013 10:19 PM

                                                                                                                                  That was such incredible bullshit. I think Padma just wanted her gone because Kristen was hotter and nicer than Padma has ever been on this show-joking.

                                                                                                                                  But seriously there is no way that Josie should have been kept. She failed at every level of the challenge. I almost think she purposefully is screwing up because she doesn't care when she goes home so her goal is just to keep throwing other people off. It seems like she was pissed with Kristen's decisions and decided to backdoor Kristen's exit knowing that since she was in charge, she would be blamed. And it worked.

                                                                                                                                  It's really hard not to strongly dislike Josie right now.

                                                                                                                                  Ok on to the good. I thought both chefs were way too ambitious for restaurant wars and it's one challenge where you have to be realistic with delivering a consistent and perfect product for that many people in such a short time. I think Sheldon was really smart doing elevated Filipino food that he both had a personal investment in and as well as a lot of experience cooking and eating. I think Kristen failed because she wasn't as grounded in her cooking and she didn't do enough quality control with the dishes especially Josie. I would assume any chef left would know that you can't expect Josie to do anything right and certainly wouldn't follow any directions.

                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                    roxlet Jan 17, 2013 06:01 AM

                                                                                                                                    I think Josie does care. She managed to shed a few tears at JT.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                                      Oh. Those were crocodile tears from Josie. She was crying for herself only.

                                                                                                                                      Her comment (yet again) in the confessional was key: "We are, after here, in a competition." She will do anything to stay. She didn't care - she didn't roast the bones; she didn't finish the broth in Hour 2, she chose to essentially do what SHE wanted, without any regard for the restaurant or Kristen.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                        roxlet Jan 17, 2013 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                                        Oh, absolutely! I was referring to tjinsf's comment that Josie doesn't care if she goes home.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                          Ahh. Sorry. I'm in a bit of a fog this morning. Late night. :-/

                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                            tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                            I agree she does care. What I meant is Josie is playing a game of trying to stay till the end rather than many of the other chefs who are trying to present the best dishes. I felt as LindaWhit said Josie didn't care if the food was good so long as she stays in the game.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                            Indy 67 Jan 17, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                            "Her comment (yet again) in the confessional was key: "We are, after here, in a competition."

                                                                                                                                            I think it's very telling that Josie sees the Top Chef experience as a game to be played in order to win. In contrast past winners -- including the runner-up finalists -- tend to see the experience as an opportunity to cook seriously amazing food in order to win.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Indy 67
                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                                              Exactly. While I know others are, in a sense, doing the same thing, Josie is it it *strictly* for the publicity for her various business ventures. See her current bio on the Bravo blog. I don't want to give her any more credit than she deserves - which is nothing.

                                                                                                                                              The thing is? You can garner all this bad publicity - but if the food sucks (or service sucks, as it seems to happen with Josie), people aren't going to come back.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                          jcattles Jan 17, 2013 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                          I agree with every word you said right here.

                                                                                                                                          "But seriously there is no way that Josie should have been kept. She failed at every level of the challenge. I almost think she purposefully is screwing up because she doesn't care when she goes home so her goal is just to keep throwing other people off. It seems like she was pissed with Kristen's decisions and decided to backdoor Kristen's exit knowing that since she was in charge, she would be blamed. And it worked."

                                                                                                                                          I definitely see Josie as someone who is purposely sabotaging others just so she can make it to the end.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jcattles
                                                                                                                                            JAB Jan 17, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                            Wouldn't she realize that doing this would damage whatever reputation she may have in real life?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                              The definitive words are "whatever reputation she may have". I'm thinking it's sorely lacking already (except in her own mind).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                                tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                100,000 dollars is a lot of reason to not think about that but it's pretty clear that she sees this as a game show (which it is) and not a reflection of her daily life. Who do you remember on a reality show? The heros and the villians.

                                                                                                                                          2. moto Jan 17, 2013 12:46 AM

                                                                                                                                            hope this is fun for you to do, not a job under time pressure [assuming of course there's no compensation other than the addicts thanking you for the fix].

                                                                                                                                            the reason Sheldon had confidence in Stephan taking the front was stated simply, that he and Josh have never done it, and he'd earlier expressed optimism that Stephan's previous 'resto wars' experience would be an advantage.

                                                                                                                                            if you have time to review the tape, you might hear Emeril's actual words about the bouillabaise and Stephan's service were more along the lines, the service was awful, but the soup was not (as opposed to simply not good, implied).

                                                                                                                                            wondering if Padma's performance at the judges' table opened anyone's eyes about her ; as far as food knowledge, or sincerity/integrity she seems to me to be the lightweight of the three regular judges and her work outside of bravo has struck me as superficial, exploitative, mercenary. apparently she conceded to Kristen's popularity in the 'post mortem' chat show, but from what we saw she was instrumental in keeping Josie.

                                                                                                                                            the wrong cook getting canned has happened before, and surely will come again ; as much as anything, Kristin was punished for her hubris, that she believed she could successfully impose her vision over a collective effort and control everything successfully. the judges got the main part right -- whose food was better, more consistent, and deserved the prize.

                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: moto
                                                                                                                                              pollymerase Jan 17, 2013 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                              I guess I don't really see the problem with Padma taking the side that Kristen should go home. It has more or less been the rule for RW that the head chef goes home if the team fails. There have been a few exceptions recently, but Kristen isn't the first, nor will she likely be the last. She also didn't help her own cause by taking responsibility for the dish without even attempting to explain why it failed. The judges gave her plenty of opportunity to provide them with the details that Josie screwed up. Again, based on previous episodes, if someone is so adamant that they are responsible when something fails, it seems that Tom and Co. have always allowed them to 'fall on the sword'.

                                                                                                                                              I think the judges wanted to send Josie home and were looking for an out to do so, but Kristen wouldn't give it to them. I think the judges felt compelled to stick to the criteria they have preached for the last 10 seasons--that it is only about the food on the plate that they ate and Kristen said it was her fault. The most telling sign for me was when Gail pointed out that it seemed Josie had been skating by for a weeks. The conflict on Tom's face was so telling when he agreed, yet knew he really couldn't use that as a factor (nor Kristen's exceptionally good previous performances) because they have preached from day one that they don't take previous weeks into account.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: moto
                                                                                                                                                roxlet Jan 17, 2013 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                Hubris may have been part of it, but the bigger part was Kristin's integrity -- she refused to throw Josie under the bus, although Josie had no problem saying, "Not my food, not my concept," which doesn't excuse poorly cooked fish. Once I heard that there were nearly raw scallops, which equals inedible in my book, I thought Josie would be going home...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: moto
                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                  moto, it's right around Restaurant Wars time that I begin to tire. The 75 minute shows means I'm up a good bit longer than usual on Wednesday nights.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                    John E. Jan 17, 2013 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I don't know if I could concentrate on the show to get the details right like you do Linda. I am sure it would wind me up so much that I would have difficulty in getting relaxed enough to sleep well. I hope you know that you have taken on a task that is far from thankless. We really appreciate all of your hard work.

                                                                                                                                                    I have a question, do the people you work with or others in your 'off-line life' know about your leadership here?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Coworkers and friends know of my obsession with Top Chef, John, and know I recap here on CH. None come anywhere near my obsession. My mom and sister know; they don't understand it, as neither really like to cook.

                                                                                                                                                      And I had to watch LCK last night after the TC elimination, as there was no way I could attempt to sleep without knowing what happened. :-) But yes, it does take a bit for my brain to wind down (although I was beyond tired last night, so it wasn't as difficult...but that alarm at 6:10 a.m. came too early, that's for sure!)

                                                                                                                                                      And my concentration is due to moving into my condo almost 2 years ago and finally getting a DVR. That has helped immensely with details. For instance, Stefan's virtually unintelligible description of the Miki: ""Miki? Miki is tapioca noodle with Filipino paprika." required about 4 mini-rewinds to figure out he was saying "Filipino paprika." I was about to type "...[unintellible word] paprika" when I remembered him asking Sheldon for a brief description, and I remembered Sheldon said "call it Filipino paprika."

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                        John E. Jan 17, 2013 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                        There are people who no longer wish to watch movies on DVD with me, or at least they take away the remote, because I insist on going back and attempt to get words that I missed ; )

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                          MsMaryMc Jan 17, 2013 10:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Rewind and turn on closed captions. That will do it 80% of the time (I know because I have the same obsession).

                                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                                  cresyd Jan 17, 2013 01:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Kristen had the choice of Micah or Josie - which essentially turned into a choice of Josie or nothing. But I'm curious why Kristen chose Josie at all.

                                                                                                                                                  Personality issues aside, Josie has always presented her food as "home style" while Kristen clearly had a strong fine dining vision for the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                  While I think it's a shame that Kristen went over Josie, Restaurant Wars really has often done this. Because had the decision strictly been a case of "you were the leader, and overall your food just wasn't as good as the other team's" - she still would have gone home.

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                                    FoodPopulist Jan 17, 2013 02:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                    From last episode, it seems clear that Kristen prioritized not being short-handed and chose Josie over Micah based on who she thought was more likely to be sent home.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodPopulist
                                                                                                                                                      cresyd Jan 17, 2013 02:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I guess ultimately a lot of this goes to indicating where the veterans have had advantages. When CJ was up for elimination, he had no problem trying to fault someone other than himself - and Josie also has no problem aggressively defending herself. (Not that it helped CJ, but he was happy to go there)

                                                                                                                                                      In Tom's blog it sounded like he respected Kristen's attitude for taking responsibility as the Executive chef - but then repeatedly mentions that had he known what was going on in the kitchen, Josie would have been sent home. So if anything, I think episodes like this serve to painfully demonstrate how qualities respected in the restaurant or professional world don't do you any favors in a reality competition.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                                        cwdonald Jan 17, 2013 03:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Right now I feel used and played. The ending, (which I predicted) feels contrived. When you have Padma saysing Jose... you are safe, it almost feels as if that was spliced in there. And it feels like the did it on purpose to make LCK even more compelling. Of the remaining cooks, I would only fear Brook, Lizie and Kristen could beat CJ given how well he has been cooking...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                                                                          cresyd Jan 17, 2013 04:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                          If anything, I do think that ultimately restaurant wars is one of the most interesting challenges to the watch - but the most impossible to judge based on Top Chef criteria.

                                                                                                                                                          Clearly the executive chef holds significant responsibility for the ultimate success and failure of a restaurant in the real world. But in the real restaurant world, Kristin also would have received 100% credit for every dish that went right (as well as wrong).

                                                                                                                                                          But that's not how Top Chef judging is designed and rather there's a very unnatural process of trying to disect if someone was performing poorly or being led poorly.

                                                                                                                                                          I love watching Restaurant Wars, but I think it would be better served to take a page from MasterChef. Winning team gets reward x, leader gets reward x+, and losing team goes into an elimination challenge.

                                                                                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                                                                                    Bart Hound Jan 17, 2013 06:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I've only been watching Top Chef for the last few seasons so I don't the long term history that a lot of you do. So based on that, my question is, is this the "biggest judging blunder/wrong person sent home" ever in the history of the show or did they keep an even less worthy chef in some past season?

                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                                                                                      momjamin Jan 17, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Arguably: season 4, Dale Talde went home as Exec Chef of the losing team in Restaurant Wars, and Lisa Fernandes survived to the finals, despite a stunning record of "low" JT appearances. Lisa had a sour, prickly demeanor -- not nearly as loud and annoying as Josie, but similarly never in the running for Fan Fave.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                                                                                        jcattles Jan 17, 2013 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                        One word...Hosea

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jcattles
                                                                                                                                                          LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                          No, not even close. Hosea wasn't the best chef on his season, sure, but he didn't skate by all season, and he deserved to win for the meal he cooked as compared to the other 2 meals.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                                                                                          tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 11:30 AM


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                                                                                            LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Certainly, sending home Nyesha was a "Wrong person sent home" situation. She had shown a lot of talent, and her components of the joint dish were roundly praised. But her co-chef undercooked the protein by a lot, and both were sent home. Lots of people howled about that one too.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                              jcattles Jan 17, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                              That's true, her departure set us off pretty good. There's been a few through the years that we felt didn't deserve to go.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                Bart Hound Jan 18, 2013 06:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I forgot about Nyesah. That was way worse than what happened to Kristen. Nyesha's crime was basically standing next to the person that made the worst dish of the week.

                                                                                                                                                                They should bring her back on another seaon (if she's game)

                                                                                                                                                            2. LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Interesting comment from Tom's blog:

                                                                                                                                                              I wish I’d asked one more question: “If this were truly your restaurant and Josie were one of your chefs, would you have fired her?” I believe that Kristen would’ve had to have said “yes.”

                                                                                                                                                              If he had asked this, he would have voted to send Josie home.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                susancinsf Jan 17, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, that is an interesting comment, and I wish he had asked that question (as does he). have to say, though, I am actually not convinced that Kristen would have answered 'yes'. She seemed bound and determined to take responsibility and it wouldn't have surprised me to hear her deflect the question.

                                                                                                                                                              2. w
                                                                                                                                                                wyogal Jan 17, 2013 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                It seems to me that maybe there are other reasons (other than being the executive chef, and not making executive decisions regarding Josie's poor work; and the reason of making "good TV"), that Kristen left. It just seemed too neat, especially while watching WWHL. I'm wondering if she has a better offer somewhere else...or even within the show set-up, like LCK? Maybe I'm just a cynic, but, reality TV is far from real.
                                                                                                                                                                The blogs, etc, are all a part of the spin that surrounds the show, creating drama where there is none, creating hype. Of course, the fad right now is battle of the judges on these type of shows. Idol can't keep the spotlight....

                                                                                                                                                                1. Berheenia Jan 17, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  It isn't in Comcast Infinity yet. What is their problem! Now I'm back to the dvr. idiots.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. davis_sq_pro Jan 17, 2013 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I've been rooting for Kristen for several episodes, and figured her as a shoo in for the finals (and given the competition, for the win). So I am seriously annoyed by the outcome...

                                                                                                                                                                    ... BUT ...

                                                                                                                                                                    I think she screwed herself, and I don't think she made a good decision in doing so. Yes, she took the high and honorable path, and yes, some people will remember that. But in five years, when she wants to market herself and create her own restaurant, no one is going to remember this. Marketing herself as "Top Chef Winner" will help a lot more.

                                                                                                                                                                    At the end of the day, it's a game, and she needs to toughen up and play to win. Josie gave Kristen plenty of reasons to violate the honor code, and I think Kristen should have taken the opportunity to get a bit of payback.

                                                                                                                                                                    Really, really hoping she makes it through LCK and we see her back on the show. When do they put the LCK people back in the game? Two more episodes?

                                                                                                                                                                    23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I think so. I think it's at the 5 mark, but there is also fan favorite (for which Kuniko was WAY ahead of Micah last week - I won't say who she's up against this week. That's for the LCK thread, when it's started.) So I'm not sure if two chefs come back, or if the last LCK winner battles one final LCK against the Fan Favorite, or if they both come back tot the TC kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                        John E. Jan 17, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        As I understand it, there will be an LCK 'fan favorite' who will be put back into the LCK competition just before the LCK chef will re-enter the main competition.

                                                                                                                                                                        I have no doubt that Kristen will win the regular TC Fan Favorite and the $10,000 that goes with it.

                                                                                                                                                                        Of the chefs left in the competition without regard to who will win LCK, I will be rooting for Brooke and Sheldon to be in the finals.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          That's it - LCK Fan Favorite to go at it one more time with the current LCK winner in a final LCK showdown.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                            davis_sq_pro Jan 17, 2013 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            So you're saying that it will be Kristen* vs. Kuniko**, and the winner from there will be the one who goes back on the show? That's unfortunate... I would like to see BOTH contestants back on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                            * Assuming that Kristen makes it through one more battle?

                                                                                                                                                                            ** This assumes that Kuniko continues to dominate the "Save a Chef" thing. I am one of those who thinks she got eliminated WAY too early in the competition and I've been faithfully voting for her, as have lots and lots of others. Since I'm heavily rooting for Kristen as well, if it comes down to the two of them to get back on the show I'll be quite disappointed. Probably would have to side with Kristen in that case.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Based on John E's recollection of how LCK and LCK Favorite is supposed to work, that scenario is a possibility, d-sq_pro. I agree - I'd like to see both.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                                                                                                                dmjordan Jan 17, 2013 02:38 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                Don't reveal who won LCK! There is a separate thread for that. Maybe you still have time to edit your post and remove that reference.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                                                                                                                  bobbert Jan 17, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Edited so as to not spoil LCK thread - thought someone else had already done it so did not think i was the spoiler .

                                                                                                                                                                                  If Kristen beats CJ... He would now be in a vote-off with Koniko. I think CJ would win that. If CJ beats Kristen I think Kristen gets more votes than Koniko. Either way, whoever ends up being the save a chef winner cooks off against the LCK reigning champ to see who returns to the competition.
                                                                                                                                                                                  So... even if someone beats Kristen, imo she would win that weeks save a chef vote for another shot to get back in. It could be her against Koniko or CJ or anyone. The only thing I'm pretty sure of is that at the very least she'll be cooking in the LCK finals either as reigning champ or save a chef fan favorite.
                                                                                                                                                                                  I just had an anurism.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                    dmjordan Jan 17, 2013 02:54 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                    It hasn't even been 24 hours, so I imagine that there are people that haven't watched it yet. If it were three days later, sure, people probably have had a chance to watch it. Besides there is a LCK spoiler thread to discuss what happened on LCK.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                                                                                                                      bobbert Jan 17, 2013 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Stop yelling at me. Only kidding. I edited my post. Thought I was piggybacking on someone who had already blown it. Sorry bout that...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                                                                                                                        Leepa Jan 21, 2013 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Five days later and I haven''t watched it yet. Usually I wait til I've read this thread first. I'm super late this week.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                                                                                                              moto Jan 17, 2013 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Kristen seemed self aware in the crucible before the judges' table that she faced a fundamental choice, between the old lombardi cliche, 'winning is the most important thing', and what she defines as being true to herself, her core beliefs. she's still young, and might face some re-defining of who she is, and this incident may or may not change her.

                                                                                                                                                                              in amerika, pimper's paradise, there seems to be more than a few chefs who did not win TC but still converted their appearance there into pretty serious simoleons and media buzz. Kristen does not wish nor need her fans to feel bad for her.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: moto
                                                                                                                                                                                Bart Hound Jan 18, 2013 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                The more I think about it the more I get mad/upset/disappointed with Kristen being true to herself. She could have easily taken the high road and still told the story of Josie letting her down and ruining the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                Josie blew the timeline both days. Kristen could have easily explained it in a "just the facts ma'am" kind of way and saved herself and maintain her dignity.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                                                                                                                  JAB Jan 18, 2013 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Let's not forget Danny Meyer's warning to both Kristen & Sheldon before everyone went back to stew to choose teams and Kristen then repeating several times that she'd rather have the dishwasher than Josie.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                                                                    donovt Jan 18, 2013 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking of dishwashers, the one on Sheldon's team seemed to be incredibly helpful. There were multiple shots of him helping with playing as well as a few where he had tongs in his hand. If he didn't have a steady job in a kitchen before this, I hope he does now.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                      gaffk Jan 18, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I noticed how involved the dishwasher was as well. It made me wonder if he was actually a line cook planted by the Elves to eliminate the 4 vs 3 disparity.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                        bobbert Jan 18, 2013 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pretty standard to use the dishwasher to do prep work especially while there are no dishes to wash. Most cooks were once the dishwasher.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                          donovt Jan 18, 2013 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          While completely standard in a real kitchen, it's certainly nothing I've seen on this show before.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                            Chatsworth Jan 18, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I just like the idea of him helping with "playing".

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                              bobbert Jan 18, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't recall seeing it either. In fact, I don't recall ever even seeing a dishwasher before although I do recall teams giving foh staff quite a bit of responsibility.
                                                                                                                                                                                              As far as the dishwasher was concerned, maybe I missed it but I didn't see him doing anything more than very basic prep which anyone of us on this board could do. Helpful for sure but doesn't quite equal another line cook - unless that line cooks name starts with the letter J.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                                fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Which is why I hoped Kristen would do another "real kitchen" maneuver and fire Josie or delegate her to some menial task. I think either a) she didn't feel she had the authority to do so (confidence issues, lack of experience) or b) the producer's told her she couldn't -- that Josie had to cook something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 01:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  EXCEPT....we've had seasons where someone cuts themselves and has to go to the emergency room and doesn't help with anything (Jaime during All Stars or her regular season, can't recall which). But I guess that would be classified as out of the producers' control and, therefore, allowable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                    fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I highly doubt they'd allow anyone to specifically impede the ability of another contestant to make a dish. Even if they are the "executive chef." Which is a major problem for the "executive chef" when they are responsible for the dishes these craptastic "chefs" end up producing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Which is why Kristen wanted her hands in everything, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Deffinitely a frustrating and surprising and ultimately confusing episode. While reading the blogs explains quite a bit I'm not sure I get why they sent Kristen home. The bouillabaisse was the worst dish. Kristen, in putting the dish together, chose not to include much of the broth Josie made, but that doesn't change the fact the halibut was overcooked, the scallops undercooked. Blame Kristen for the assembly, but Josie should get the lion's share for the poorly cooked food. As Tom always says "it's a cooking competition". Yes this is restaurant wars and so more than cooking is going on, but the failure of that dish was not how it was plated it's how it was cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                    PPYKAGTFO Josie.


                                                                                                                                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                      TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      "PPYKAGTFO Josie"

                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL +1

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                        LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 09:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Except the broth was roundly praised as delicious, and it's a broth that Josie made. It was the best part of that dish, according to the judges. And Kristen made the choice to put very little of it on the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                          JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I wondered about that as well. So if she adds more broth it would be a dish with poorly cooked seafood and some nice broth. It still doesn't make sense to me that they blamed that on Kristen. They tasted the dish and it's major flaws were Josie's responsibility.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't subscribe to the idea they keep or kick off people for ratings. In this case I think, with information at hand, they just made the wrong decision. They didn't need to know any of the back of house shenanigans. Poorly cooked food usually goes home. Why not this time?


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                            LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            That's a good question, and I kind of agree. However, I must assume that the sound bite of "raw scallop and overcooked fish" overstated the issue. It was only Emeril who said it, IIRC, and I am guessing that either he was being overdramatic or the same couldn't be said of the other judges' food.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                              2roadsdiverge Jan 17, 2013 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Except they listed the poorly cooked seafood when they were tallying up the faults of each chef before the PYKAG moment.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                " I must assume that the sound bite of "raw scallop and overcooked fish" overstated the issue. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                Emeril does not seem prone to the overly dramatic. Josie cooked the fish and there was more than a comment from just Emeril about how poorly executed it was. Kristen put so little sauce on because she was forced to switch tactics after Josie took both days to make stock. This also forced Kristen to skip the gelatin.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                2roadsdiverge Jan 17, 2013 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wait, I thought that Kristin cooked the seafood for the bouillabaisse and Josie just did the broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                                                                                                                                  JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought Josie did the entire dish and Kristin was only involved in conception and expediting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  LINDA? :0)


                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ya got me, JB. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm at work, and I'd have to fast-forward through the DVR'd show when I get home. But I'm not sure I have brain power to do so tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But I also thought Josie did the entire dish. Either that, or they never showed who cooked the fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                      bobbert Jan 17, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm quite sure Josie cooked the fish. I think that was implied. She was plating the fish. The fatal thing Kristen did was the sauce - too little and not using the gelatin. The part the judges didn't know and Kristen (as well as Brooke and lizzy) didn't offer up was WHY and that would have made all the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                        momjamin Jan 18, 2013 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seems to me there are a couple tactics Kristen could have taken as EC of RW. One is to conceptualize all the dishes to fit in with her own restaurant theme. (As she did.) Another is to offer guidance to the team and let each one own her dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kristen was trying to make Josie fit in a Kristen box, and in the process, spread herself too thin micromanaging everything, and gave Josie a set of tasks that she couldn't pull off. Josie was unable/unwilling to bend to Kristen's vision. "This is how *I* cook. *I* thought there should be more broth." If I were in Josie's shoes, but wanted to support Kristen's vision, I'd have that broth made early to be able to test that technique if I'd never done it before. Or I would have said, "That's not in my comfort zone. Would you be OK if I did ___?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Although it's been said, many times, many ways, Kristen's stubbornness and micromanagement was a big part of ending up under the bus, although Josie certainly helped her throw herself there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Except, if each made their own dish, Kristen *still* could have gone home because there was no cohesiveness to the entire collection of dishes as befitted the concept of the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                            momjamin Jan 18, 2013 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            With guidance...Josh's didn't taste Filipino, but it was good and based on the restaurant concept, and Sheldon didn't get dinged.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              True. But Josh at least seemed to *want* to help Sheldon's restaurant win RW. On the other hand, it was obvious that Josie was going to do things her way (at least when it came to not doing prep the day before), and I just don't think she cared very much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                momjamin Jan 18, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Totally agree. If Kristen, though, had let Josie own the dish as she (Josie) was derailing it, instead of trying to course-correct at the end, she (Kristen) wouldn't have been stuck feeling like she was quite so responsible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JAB Jan 18, 2013 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have to wonder what exactly she was doing when she was suppossed to be prepping and wasn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think she *was* prepping - didn't they show her chopping something? Although they also just showed her wandering around when Kristen asked her if she was going to roast the bones, and she replied "I'm going to do that now."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    She might be a one-task-at-a-time person. Although sticking a bunch of bones in the oven is a pretty simple task, and THEN you get back to doing something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                        roxlet Jan 17, 2013 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also thought that Josie cooked the fish. Whatever fault Kristin might have had, cooking things to their proper doneness doesn't seem to ever have been one of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Miss Needle Jan 17, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Unfortunately as Kristin was handling every plate at the end before it went out, she should have seen that the seafood wasn't properly cooked and send it back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This was a heartbreaking episode. Josie skates by again while one of the best chefs left in the competition has to leave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                                                                                                                    JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's a good point.


                                                                                                                                                                                                3. JAB Jan 17, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Quick, Heather or Josie?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                                                                                    LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would rather eat Heather's food. Personality wise, it's a tougher call.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ditto ^ that ^.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                                                                                      tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      starve, though having eaten Josie's food when she was sous and heather's food at the place in Chicago, Josie's food was better but she was cooking someone else's dish. I think she must be a decent line cook, she's had some good training. Heather's food is just boring and bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                        chicgail Jan 17, 2013 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Josie cooked for Heather? At Sable?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Phaedrus Jan 17, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You know, this may explain why Heather is such a bee-yatch: she had to put up with Josie all that time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                            tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 11:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            No Josie didn't cook for Heather. What I was saying I have separately eaten their cooking, for Josie when she was a sous chef and for Heather when she at Sable. I have no idea if they know each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. juliejulez Jan 17, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was just commenting to my BF: "You know how upset you got when the Broncos lost on Saturday? That's how it is for food people when their favorite chef gets eliminated on Top Chef" LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          As evidenced by almost 100 replies on the thread in just over 12 hours. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                            juliejulez Jan 17, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha, yes. Also if you go back through and just read the "teaser" one liners from the posts you already read, especially the ones posted right after the show, it's pretty funny, and I heard many of the same exact exclamations at the bar after the Broncos game on Saturday! My favorite is C. Hamsters :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Jan 17, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sadly, without seeing the episode but the numbers on this thread, I knew who was sent home and who the bottom two would be. This is far worst than Nyesha, imo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                            momjamin Jan 17, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In other analysis...what the heck was up with those diners who wouldn't leave? Were they waiting for something in particular? Didn't they realize they were on a show and other people needed to sit, that there were other considerations besides having a night out for themselves? Not to mention parading through the kitchen/patio?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Personally, I *do* believe the producers had something to do with the diners asking to see the kitchen. We know the producers ask questions of the cheftestants in the confessionals to get them to give them a particular soundbite. It is quite possible a producer planted a seed with one or two diners, and then it became a "monkey-see, monkey-do" with other diners: "If they got to see the kitchen, *I* want to see the kitchen!".

                                                                                                                                                                                                              After all - those people who went back there can at least tell their friends during the first few shows "I know who DIDN'T make it to Restaurant Wars!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                John E. Jan 17, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would not be surprised if the producers asked the diners to ask to see the kitchen on the womens' side and then the producers asked some of the diners to linger at their tables on the mens' side. Or, it just happened spontaneously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dagoose Jan 18, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Didn't the diners who wouldn't leave say they hadn't had dessert yet? Seems like a pretty good reason not to leave. Also, re: seeing the kitchen, from my experience at a filming, it was easy to ask questions, and certainly it could have been something we would ask, and definitely if one group asks, other people would have wanted to follow. I'm not sure that was something they'd even need to set up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dagoose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There were several groups. The ones Stefan spoke to at a table responded that they hadn't had dessert. But there were others who sat in a banquette seating area, and they wanted more drinks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of the blogs mentioned that URBANo was serving cocktails. Perhaps they thought serving cocktails would make the guests like their restaurant more (in the past, haven't they let diners decide the winner of RW?), but I think it backfired, you give me cocktails before and during dinner, I'm going to want one after dinner too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "what the heck was up with those diners who wouldn't leave? "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just more manipulated drama. Kinda like planting frozen scallops (remember Spike), leaving plenty of alcohol in the stew room, manipulating interviews etc etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TraderJoe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John E. Jan 17, 2013 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You have just described the sort of things that happen on almost every 'reality' TV shows ever produced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 02:43 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hambone Jan 17, 2013 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "leaving plenty of alcohol in the stew room"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For me that is the only part of these shows which is close to "reality."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: momjamin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      they knew they were on a TV show and being filmed so maybe they wanted to get some air time or maybe they are fans who wanted to see chefs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's not that odd to have tables that want to stay and party when there is free booze but it is odd that the producers didn't tell the diners that they need to vacate at a certain time. Very little happens in reality shows that isn't planned out at least as far as timing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        dondcook Jan 18, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought i heard one patron say they were waiting for their dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wyogal Jan 17, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tom C. is listed as a "co-executive producer" in the Emmy nominations for 2012, 2011, and 2010.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JonDough Jan 17, 2013 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think Kristen getting sent home over Josie is overshadowing how well Sheldon did. I would love to eat every dish they put out. I find myself becoming a bigger and bigger Sheldon fan each week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JonDough
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. A few weeks ago I said that it seemed like Kristen, Sheldon, and then everyone else. Nothing has swayed me from that. Without Kristen (unless she wins LCK) he has to be the clear favorite now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            juliejulez Jan 17, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What about Brooke? She has been turning it out lately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I definitely would put Brooke next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed. I would also include Brooke in there as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                JonDough Jan 17, 2013 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think Brooke has a really good chance as well. Sheldon has some gaps or weaknesses as a chef which makes it fun to root for him but it also makes it anyone's game.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. ChefJune Jan 17, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Finding it interesting that so many are pointing at Josie as having "bad time management skills." In general, I think she's exhibited those this season, but last night I thought it wasn't about that at all. I think she purposely sabotaged Kristen because she knew Kristen wouldn't throw her under the bus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just wish Brooke or Lizzy would have called her out. They both saw what was going on both days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As the old saying goes, she'll get hers.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LurkerDan Jan 17, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps she did, but I don't think so, because I think the best course of action would be to help your team win, then nobody is up for elimination. I truly believe that Josie was trying to make a delicious stew. However, I do think that when Kristen micromanaged her (in her eyes) she may very well have thought that allowing the micromanagement was the better course of action, that standing up to Kristen would only sink her ship if the dish failed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "I think she purposely sabotaged Kristen"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Absolutely! I think Tom said to Josie at the Judges table that she obviously felt that Sheldon and Kristen were the only ones on the chopping block. He then commented with something to the effect of ...or at least that's that you were hoping!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tom clearly saw that Josie tried to set up Kristen so it didn't make any difference about the questions he didn't ask as he suggested in his blog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cresyd Jan 18, 2013 04:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I disagree that Josie was looking to sabotage Kristin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let's say everything remained the same - except that every other dish from Kristin's restaurant was better than Sheldon's. Stefan would have obviously gone home - but I don't think that anything he did front of the house was with the intention to sabotage Sheldon. He could have blamed Sheldon for not giving him enough instruction or oversight in the front of the house - but with the obvious difference of the judges seeing Stefan in the front of the house but not Josie in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think that Kristin tried to control way too much. One of the weak critiques of Sheldon's food was that Josh's course wasn't Filipino enough. Now perhaps better front of the house would have tied it in better - or perhaps Sheldon knew to give Josh something he was familiar with and to let him made it his own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Josie aside, Kristen's place only had one dish that received strong compliments, the rabbit. Everything else had a distinct flaw. Had Josie gone home instead of Micah - and Josie's course wasn't there - I still think that Kristin's team would have lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think that Kristen should have spoken up, but I think that her stranglehold on everything that came out of the kitchen doomed her restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Leepa Jan 21, 2013 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think it's telling that the three people who have been mentioned as being "gamers" or throwing other people under the bus are the three chefs that returned from previous seasons. To me at least, it's as if they learned how to play the game during prior seasons and are now playing against the more newbie chefs. JMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cresyd Jan 21, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree - but as much as CJ was willing to take a stab in the dark about the chocolate mousse as a worse dish - it's not like it helped him out. Where I think the difference is, is that the returning chefs get that there's minimal reward for being overly deferential or nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Josie was sent home because the judges couldn't figure out who was responsible for what and sent home both her and her teammate. I really don't blame Josie that this season she decided that she'd go home for what she did or didn't do. I don't think she's a better chef, I think she could have gone home - but not based on what was said at judges table. Based on what was said there, I get why Kristen went home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think that Josie or Stefan (or CJ) have a better chance of winning because they've been there before - but I definitely think that they have a better chance of being there in the end because of experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 21, 2013 09:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          cresyd, might want to edit that 2nd paragraph's first word. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shrinkrap Jan 21, 2013 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe in Josie's first season?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 21, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ahh. DUH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leepa Jan 21, 2013 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't mean it gives them an advantage only that it colors they way they play the game. I don't think any of them will win, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sparky403 Jan 17, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kristen totally fell on her sword. I understand the logic of their deciscion (and I hate to say I even agree with it) - she didn't defend herself at all. It was her decision not to add the gelatin and leave the plate virtually un-sauced. Both, as it turned out, crappy decisions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't had the chance to watch last chance kitchen... I would love to see her take down CJ. she's a formiable talent for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will say, having watch the episode that she's a control freak but not in a good way. She has cooking chops she needs to work on the leader chops..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eh... I hate *even* watching Josie her laugh and Ghetto attitude get to me - can't imagine what it's like to spend 24x7 with her...I wish they would quit casting people just becuase they're good for the ratings... she should have been gone like 3 episodes ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sparky403
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JAB Jan 17, 2013 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since this is season 10, I'd bet that Kristen and most of the other contestants had a "talk with themselves" before the season started and made a decision as to how far they were willing to go to win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sparky403
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TraderJoe Jan 17, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "...I wish they would quit casting people just becuase they're good for the ratings... "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Naaaaaah they'd never do that! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sparky403
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            jcattles Jan 17, 2013 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Kristen totally fell on her sword" I agree!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If Josie had started the bones & broth when she should have, Kristen wouldn't have to made the bad decision about the gelatin & lack of sauce.I wish she could have been more assertive with Josie, but I have a feeling Josie would've reacted like a defiant child.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also feel like there is a difference between throwing someone under the bus & defending yourself. Kristen could've explained how Josie decided to take her sweet ass time starting the bouillabaisse so she was forced to go a different route.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do admire her for standing up & taking responsibility but I think she took it a little too far in not even trying to save herself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As far as Josie is concerned, she is clearly there to play the game, not cook the best food. Her lack of integrity will catch up with her. She might have just surpassed Marcel as the most hated Top Chef contestant ever!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jcattles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hey Marcel may have been a childish douche but he always tried to make good food (he didn't always succeed) but that boy sure did try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And having eaten his food in LA, it's so much better than anything he did on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sparky403
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ChefJune Jan 17, 2013 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <she should have been gone like 3 episodes ago>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Imho, they should have never brought her back in the first place. She was eliminated first (I think) in her season, and she was already annoying at that point!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Josie actually made it to the 5th episode in TC2 before she was booted, along with her team member. From Wikipedia: "During deliberation, the judges could not determine whether Marisa or Josie was more responsible for the outcome of their dish. Because both claimed equal responsibility, the judges sent both of them home."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I think we've discovered why Josie isn't taking responsibility for ANYTHING this season!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. John E. Jan 17, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here is something that I've thought about since I've started to post on these Top Chef threads, I wonder what the contestants think about what we're writing here? I read somewhere that past reality TV show participants have given advice that people on these shows should avoid reading the internet blogs and posts. I certainly hope Josie isn't reading any of this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                juliejulez Jan 17, 2013 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope she is reading it, so she can see how other people perceive her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  KailuaGirl Jan 20, 2013 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I couldn't agree more! Her behavior will follow her in the restaurant industry if there's any justice! Karma's gonna gitcha!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I certainly hope Josie IS reading this thread. I have no problem telling her that I think she lost a great chance to redeem herself for past throwing-under-the-bus transgressions, but chose to take the same well-worn path she's traveled before and did it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    She's getting more than an earfull on her twitter feed. There is one interesting thread where TomC responds in twitter "How would it be possible to pre-plate all the fish?" And Josie answers (and I paraphrase) " I was saying we should preplate the cheese plates, not the fish." Her thinking was that would have freed up more hands for the bouillabaisse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    She may be getting a raw deal in the edit.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 17, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But why the need to "free up more hands for the bouillabaisse"? It was HER dish - HER responsibility to make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If she had roasted the bones the day before, as she said *twice* she was going to do but didn't, the issue with the gelatin wouldn't have happened.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      She's doing the Josie Song & Dance Show yet again. I'm glad Tom C. called her out on Twitter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JuniorBalloon Jan 17, 2013 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I should have added "She may be getting a raw deal in the edit, but I don't think so." Based on what the elves showed us she had plenty of opportunity to get the bouillabaisse done on time. She only needed extra hands because she was late.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tjinsf Jan 17, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      why shouldn't she read them? I know other past contestants have read the threads here and other sites. Some of them find it funny, some don't. Yes we are harsh in critiquing her behavior as it is shown by the elves but at the same time that is what we have to go on. In the end even the folks that got the bad edits look at it as a business chance to get exposure and build thier brands or to get some cash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Withnail42 Jan 17, 2013 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Josie is essentially a bully. If you don't like what she does she'll be confrontational and loud. Making people not want to deal with her. Her ham-handed bull in a china shop way of doing things clearly wasn't what Kristen wanted or needed. But she was afraid to put Josie in her place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        moto Jan 17, 2013 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the way she likes to grin to show all her teeth, and her loud, vocal, demonstrative manner, Josie resembles a hyena more than a bull. hyena societies are run by alpha females, and much of her repartee is her attempt to assert her place in the social hierarchy, compensating for where her food places her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. roxlet Jan 17, 2013 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The recap at Grub Street is up:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          moto Jan 17, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thank you for the link. if Kristen in fact smokes menthol light ciggies, we truly need not feel sorry for her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. chris2269 Jan 17, 2013 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is when the show jumped the shark for me. In my opinion complete BS . It's not about the best chef ..it's about ratings . I'm sure Padma and Tom who I love but dude ...really. Complete BS. Like anyone would dive 5 miles to taste Josies food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chris2269
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hambone Jan 19, 2013 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I felt like that till I read Tom's blog (not a normal thing for me.) He pretty well explains what was behind what we all thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. MsMaryMc Jan 17, 2013 11:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For most of this season, I’ve had a lot more sympathy for Josie than 99% of the folks here. She’s fat, loud, and not at all traditionally feminine, and because of that I think she’s been cut a lot less slack for her other sins (the ones that actually matter) than someone who didn’t break all those rules.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But this week…OH. MY. GOD. Any sympathy I had for her started to go as soon as they all got in the kitchen. I didn’t think Kristen was a bit over-the-top when she said she’d rather swap out a dishwasher for Josie. Josie’s performance in Judges Table was a travesty. It’s true, Kristen got to leave with her integrity…but it doesn’t change the fact that there is NO justice. It should have been Josie…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            …except that it REALLY should have been Stefan. X 10. I have always found Stefan as obnoxious as most people here have found Josie. I started grinding my teeth every time he opened his mouth, because something loathsome was usually going to come out. From the start, he’s been a sexist, rude, arrogant prick…but tonight, he outdid himself. When he started trying to un-subtly hustle customers—WHO WEREN’T EVEN DONE WITH THEIR MEALS—out of their table so he could seat someone more important, I had to rewind and watch it again, just to see if I’d heard that right. Start to finish, he was an abrasive jerk to everybody—diners, chefs, even judges—and he didn’t apologize for any of it. Hell, he didn’t seem to realize there was any *need* to apologize. A little bit of ego is one thing, but no amount of talent in the kitchen should outweigh the abominable way he treats people. Even if Urbano’s food was the best, Stefan’s behavior should have been enough to drag the total package down to second place—if for no other reason, then just so they could have sent Stefan home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There is NO justice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              JonDough Jan 18, 2013 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We saw the dishwasher on Sheldon's team do more work than Josie, which is funny because it gives credence to Kirsten's statement about taking the dishwasher over her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We never know because of editing but what did she really do the first day (or second)? Whats wrong with making your stock on day 1? Lizzy did and it was their team's best dish. I don't think it is an issue of one-task-at-a-time but time management. Also, I don't think she is there to win, she is there only to promote herself - which she is doing poorly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NellyNel Jan 18, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wow Ms. Mary! I always find it amazing how different people can watch the same exact thing and perceive it so differently. I completely disagree.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And BTW, it's Top Chef, not Top Host.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Except hosting during Restaurant Wars has ALWAYS been an important part of this show. And Stefan would have rightly gone home if URBANo had lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't like that reasoning - this show ultimately comes down to the food you produce, not how nice you are or what a team player you are or any other criteria. Stefan's dish was delicious, enough said right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Front of the house" should be eliminated from this competition, delegated to some professional maitre d'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree--they got rid of the ludicrous "decorate" your restaurant from PierOne, they can get rid of the front of house prerequisite. Being a great chef doesn't mean you're a great schmoozer. And, the FOH also has dishes to prepare and trust others to assemble. It's a lose-lose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I actually agree. But the reality is that it IS a part of the competition and has been for a long time. Stefan's disdain for the job, a job he surely knew or should have known was important to the judging, would rightly have sent him packing. Even if you and I wish that they changed the way they do restaurant wars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In any case, they have always made it clear it is not 100% about the food, it is partly about being a "chef", which includes being a leader of others. Front of the house is an important part of a successful restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          reiney Jan 18, 2013 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Decorating isn't that important, true - in a real-life situation you're going to get a designer to implement that concept. Over the years the TC competitions have put less and less emphasis on that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But at that level, the schmoozing is important - how many times have you experienced or seen a chef attend to a table of VIPs with a quick greet? They need to be comfortable presenting yourself in front of customers. And if you're going to have your own restaurant, you need to have an appreciation for how FOH makes things run smoothly, or not. In this case, Brooke's experience helped her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it also increases the stress & pressure of this part of the competition: without the decorating/FOH component, they're just showing up and cooking. This steps the pressure up just that bit more. Same reason the people got the "impromptu" tours of the kitchen. Distraction and pressure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: reiney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can have an appreciation for FOH without being good at it. It's one thing to do a quick greet, another to be a host/hostess for the whole night. I know a few restaurant owners/chefs who sold their business because it involved too much FOH/business and not enough cooking. They wanted to be BOH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They're not just showing up and cooking w/out the meaningless FOH job--they're setting up a restaurant, concept, shopping, cooking in 24 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              IIRC, there have been seasons where they didn't have to set up the space, just had to do FoH and cook. That would be a better compromise, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cheesemonger Jan 17, 2013 11:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Two takeaways from this episode, and I've just read the 215+ replies:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1) I would go to any restaurant where Kristen is. She's awesome as a creative chef, and as a person who means it when the buck stops with her. It was painful to watch her not lash out at Josie, but her reasoning I can respect. As a bonus, she made wonderful dishes that incorporated cheeses in unique, and successful ways. She was the only one that did so. I like the cheeses, what can I say?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2) I would never, ever, support any endeavor that Josie is affiliated with. She plays the weaselly short game- trying to win this competition isn't going to win her fans. What about good food? What about good cooking, working for success? What other shortcuts does she take in order to "succeed"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cheesemonger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cresyd Jan 18, 2013 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I remember reading a lot of stuff about Heather when she was on Top Chef about never supporting her based on how she behaved on the show. She still has a job at a restaurant that gets positive comments on CH (let alone is still open so one can assume it's doing alright financially).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Josie did nothing devious or underhanded at judges table - she explained the course of events that showed her in a more blameless light - but she didn't change facts. Kristen didn't do the same (talk about Josie's delays in getting the stock done earlier). That's all she needed to say, and she chose not to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. roxlet Jan 18, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And here's the Eater.com recap:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And there's a LCK spoiler in it, and it's not so funny since Max Silvestri joins us in being very upset about the elimination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 06:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow. Max is really heartfelt at the beginning of his first paragraph - he sounds like most of us about Kristen leaving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And bonus points to him for inserting a reference to "The Princess Bride." :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And he hits the nail on the head with this comment: "Tom says, "Something happened back there." That "something" has a headband with its name on it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Joanie Jan 18, 2013 06:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can't believe how serious he was in that recap. This was one of the only funny comments:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In the final few minutes of last night's Top Chef I yelled at my TV, I swore, I got angry, and I did some things I'm not proud of, like watch my first ever Last Chance Kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know. He even ends it on a down note: "I'm heart-broken. I'm sorry this recap wasn't funnier. I just have a lot of emotions right now."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Joanie Jan 18, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do want to mention that there's an LCK spoiler at the very end if people care. At that point, I just went ahead and read it cuz it's not *that* big a deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              roxlet Jan 18, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I mentioned that in my post, btw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Joanie Jan 18, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oops, too busy clicking on the site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Berheenia Jan 18, 2013 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Finally got to see it on On Demand. I hate Padma! I hate this show! I am done with it. Let fecking Josie win. I don't care anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ::::Pat, pat, pat::::: Now, now, Berheenia. It's OK. Kristen might still come back to the TC kitchen! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BTW, have you eaten at Stir, the Barbara Lynch restaurant where Kristen works? The concept of a "cooking demonstration/class restaurant" is very interesting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Berheenia Jan 18, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm still hyperventilating here .. pant pant...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No, I haven't eaten at Stir YET but I definitely will now! Hope to get over to the South End soon to pick up a copy of Bistro Cooking from Hamersley's. It should win COTM and it's an out of print book but the restaurant sells copies autographed by Gordon himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Joanie Jan 18, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just went back to Hamersley's last nite for the first time in years. It was great. Marred only slightly by a table of about 8 with 6 men dressed in nice shirts and two women in Ravens jerseys. WTF? Wear that to Champions (if you must), not HB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            roxlet Jan 18, 2013 08:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, for some reason I missed that about Kristen and Stir. I have that cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ennuisans Jan 18, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the reminder! It didn't tape for me at all, so now I can (for whatever reason, since I already know everything) watch it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bart Hound Jan 18, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So is this the longest Top Chef ever? If not, I bet it will be before too long. For whatever that's worth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bart Hound
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm assuming you mean the number of replies on a recap? No, there have been longer:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Top Chef Texas Ep. #15 had 519 replies:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh wait - this might the be the top commented upon: Top Chef Texas Ep. #7 - 644 replies. :-)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bart Hound Jan 18, 2013 03:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, Linda. That's what I meant. Thanks for figuring it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I left out the word "THREAD" somehow. D'oh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              seamunky Jan 18, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Outside of the drama and unsettling elimination, what did everyone think of the food?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought the dishes were kind of boring and the judges' comments reflected that. Nothing really stood out. Nothing was super creative. I thought the balut idea was neat but we didn't get to hear any comments about the dish but rather Stephan's injustice to the dish and to the chef by dismissing it as an egg with duck in it. fois gras. nothing else to be said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How did it taste? The judges' comments and critiques were also lackluster this episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: seamunky
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                From a viewer's standpoint, I think Sheldon's probably looked better than Kristen's. But I thought the balut dish of Sheldon's looked rather pukey.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW, Bravo.com has FINALLY grouped each cheftestants' dishes in their own "portfolios" - way easier than searching on their name:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. chowser Jan 18, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Erase anything I've ever said about Marcel, Heather, Lisa, Spike, etc. Josie just jumped into first place as the worst contestant on Top Chef. She already had her season to mess up--most come back to show they've matured. She has learned nothing. I wonder if Josie will see herself in this episode and realize what kind of person she is. Probably doesn't have the self-awareness. Or, maybe she did it all on purpose to get rid of Kristen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And, Tom's blog? Knowing how Josie has been performing, why didn't he ask the right questions to find out what happened. Don't ask those who were involved, ask Brooke and Lizzie. How hard would that have been??? So frustrated that they screwed up. I'm surprised Brooke and Lizzie didn't speak up, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 10:05 AM



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spot on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And any other phrasing that means "You got that right!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jcattles Jan 18, 2013 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agree 100%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      KailuaGirl Jan 21, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes! You've got it right on the money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TraderJoe Jan 22, 2013 03:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "I'm surprised Brooke and Lizzie didn't speak up, too."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe a bit of creative editing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TraderJoe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bart Hound Jan 22, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Based on what Tom said in his blog, I'd like to think there was no creative editing going on, and the other two women just didn't say anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I got the impression from Tom that they didn't know anything strange was going on in the kitchen so he would have had no reason (based on this episode) to ask anyone for more details. (that comment was in response to chowser's comment above). It's probably unfair to Josie or anyone else to expect Tom to bring up something that happened a few episodes ago just in case it happened again. Time management for instance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. ennuisans Jan 18, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well I went ahead and watched, even after reading the recap and all the comments, and geez guys I dunno. Kristen took the micromanagement route, and in the end she did the right thing by taking responsibility for any problems. Josie weaseled about the broth, but at the same time Kristen didn't keep on her ass about it. She should have, and I think she understood that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And: Kristen's beef didn't have enough wine (I can't spell burgunidinononn) and the macarons were macawrong (amirite Gail?). Josie wasn't shown to be a lazy-ass, as some have accused, so much as bad at time management; there were plenty of shots of her working along with everyone else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This ep didn't work out like anyone at all (except Josie) wanted but I don't think it was a bad call by the judges, all things considered. And when it's said and done, when this is over Josie will not be the winner and Kristen will be the more employable of the two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ennuisans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DGresh Jan 18, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wondered about that whole "roasting the bones for the stock" thing. She kept saying she was about to do it. What happened? She decided to hit the ladies room, have a smoke, call home, what? How do you have an intention to do something (rather simple-- put the darn bones in the oven) and not actually do it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ennuisans Jan 18, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know, and we weren't shown. She'd say "I'm on my way to do that right now", walk away. Twice, if I remember right. Was she delayed by other people already using the oven? Did she get distracted by something shiny? We weren't shown. But when people were shown working, Josie was shown working, and I can't but think she worked as hard as anyone, even if she was working on the wrong thing. Her whole demeanor was different in this ep (confessionals notwithstanding) and deferential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ennuisans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              KrumTx Jan 18, 2013 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Okay, 'macawrong' and 'did she get distracted by something shiny?' Sorry but I can only say LOLOL. Ha!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KrumTx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I thought the same thing, Krum! This are Max Silvestri-worthy. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Help me here people:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kristen's food was better, Josie's was worse, so how can a show that is all about "responsibility for your plate" send someone off for an "executive" decision? The same thing annoyed me with how they treated Stefan. He made a great dish, he was a bad host. This isn't Top Host. This is Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The bouillabaisse was Josie's dish and she's ultimately responsible. If the judges decide that it's Kristen's dish, then logically Josie produced no dish. In that case, she's responsible. Either way, Josie should lose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If executive decisions are to play into judging, then the executive chef should have the ability of an executive chef and fire people for insubordination. Since they don't grant that ability, they should go with the plate of food the chef produces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          67 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cwdonald Jan 18, 2013 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You are missing the fact that

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The biggest flaw in the dish was there was not enough broth, and Kristen plated the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Kristen's own beef dish was flawed in concept missing the flavor of the wine/broth too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Kristen's macaron reconceptualized missed the mark in texture/feel ..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Regardless of whether she was Exec chef or not, two flawed dishes plus the fact that she plated the soup and was responsible for the lack of broth on the plate in and of itself is more than enough to send someone home. The Judges, with the information they had made the right choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              JuniorBalloon Jan 18, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought the biggest flaw in the dish was the overcooked halibut and undercooked scallop. Which, as was pointed out to me up thread, can still be attributed to Kristen as she should have noticed while plating. Though I think the extenuating circumstance of Josie failing to finish the bouillabaisse on time so that issues could be fixed should/could have been considered had the judges known that.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can't hold Kristen responsible for ensuring that every dish was prepared well and tasted good. She is one contestant who had the power to construct a concept and tell other people what to cook. She cannot, however, do the cooking for everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowser Jan 18, 2013 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is why I don't understand how being in charge of the restaurant is the reward for winning the EC. It is fraught with dangers and you're stuck babysitting to make sure everyone else's dishes are fine and making your own dishes, plus people know you're an easy target to take out if you screw up, eg. Josie. I wouldn't be surprised if that were her goal...well, except that poor performance has been her MO all along.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    JuniorBalloon Jan 18, 2013 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I mostly agree and think a strong case can be made that, even with the info the judges had, Josie should have gone home, well...to LCK and then home. But Kristen expedited every dish. You could say she would/could have seen that the halibut and scallops were over/undercooked, but she sent the food out anyways. In a real ( I realize this isn't reality) restaurant the expediter is the gate keeper and therefore has the final responsibility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Restaurant wars is an odd part of this competition because it involves non-cooking elements. Conception, instruction, scheduling,over seeing staff, serving. Other than serving these are all aspects of an executive chef. So when it comes to this part of the competition those parts are judged.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tjinsf Jan 18, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree but in real life, if the expediter sends it back, you can just fire another dish while here they had judges waiting. I do think restaurant wars is such a trap for good chefs because many chefs especially those who have never actually been exec or run a restaurant have no training or skills to be a restauranteur.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JuniorBalloon Jan 18, 2013 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed. Though it woudl ahve been interesting if Kristen has said, "Josie, these scallops are under cooked and the halibut is over cooked. Do it again." That would have been a story that she could have told, without throwing anyone under the bus, that would have put the onus on Josie.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JuniorBalloon Jan 18, 2013 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After thinking about it she should have gone all Gordon Ramsay on her. "JOSIE! These scallops are RAW and this halibut is as chewy as a sponge. Do you not know how to cook a proper piece of fish or a scallop you DONKEY!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm just saying.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bobbert Jan 18, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly. The only thing that could possibly have saved her would have been an explanation as to why the lack of sauce and gelatin but she refused to go there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NellyNel Jan 18, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I must say this is one of Top Chef's most stunning and annoying elimnations EVER...right or wrong....I see all the points...but it was really time for Josie to go already........ what a travisty. Bleh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Even the people who think it was the correct -- or at least justifiable -- decision all agree that it's time for Josie to go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I disagree...it was not the time for Josie to go. The time for Josie to go was back in episide 2, then 3, then 4,... ;-) Does she have the worst track record of any TC contestant who has gotten this far?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She may. I use wiki to keep track and her line reads

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LOW, LOW, IN, IN, IN, LOW, LOW, IN, LOW, LOW. With one of those "lows" stating "The judges cited Josie's dish as the biggest contributor to her team's loss. However, she remained safe due to her immunity won in the Quickfire challenge."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That said, she did win a QF.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Amanda in Season 7 has a poor record. Robin in Season 6.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't remember Amanda at all. Hmmm and it was a pretty recent season! Robin was annoying and went far but I didn't think she was a bad person. I'd be surprised if she pulled a Josie on another contestant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                momjamin Jan 18, 2013 07:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lisa from S4 has a comparable record, and she made it to the finals. From wiki: IN, IN, IN, HIGH, WIN, IN, LOW, LOW, IN, LOW, LOW, LOW, LOW. No QF wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also interesting, Kevin Sbraga, S7, had 5 LOWs and only 1 WIN before winning the whole shebang.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And Tiffany Derry, in all-stars S8, had 7 LOWs and no WINs and made it to the finale destination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            chicgail Jan 18, 2013 02:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kristen should not have held her tongue as she instructed herself to do. Saying what actually happened is not the same as throwing someone under a bus. She did herself a huge disservice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Jan 18, 2013 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought that, too. At the same time, though, speaking up would be talking about how much Josie screwed up so it could seem like she was throwing her under the bus. I'm wondering if, at this point, Josie has managed to dissuade any restaurant (or anyone, even out of the field) from wanting to hire her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Based on Josie's Bravo bio, she's got some ventures going on. So it looks like she's on her own -


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "The very busy Chef Josie is currently working on a music-driven cooking show, The Rock and Roll Cooking Show®; a baked potato takeout concept, Global Soul To Go ™; and a popsicle and ice cream company, Pop Queens®. Currently, Chef Josie can be found in San Francisco at Thee Parkside with her pop up Global Soul Corner™. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interestingly, I did a quick scroll through Tweets alongside her bio, and found this one:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chefjosie Thanks Kristen! “

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                @KristenLKish: Thank you again for all the support! But some of these comments toward @chefjosie are Unnecessary!”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowser Jan 18, 2013 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Baked potato take out seems to suit her cooking ability. LOL, did you catch this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Chef Josie connects with people through her genuine smile, good food, and infectious laugh. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 05:40 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And what food? She's always late in serving it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gaffk Jan 18, 2013 05:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I loved this line, obviously so good it bears repeating:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Chef Josie connects with people through her genuine smile, good food, and infectious laugh. She continues to connect with people through her genuine smile, good food and infectious laugh. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    genuine? good? infectious? Blech.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tjinsf Jan 20, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chef Josie can be found in San Francisco at Thee Parkside with her pop up Global Soul Corner™. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      that's a block from my house. guess where i will be next sunday. She certainly loves to trademark things doesn't she?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 20, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can't wait to hear if you get the Josie Song & Dance Show because she can't get the dishes out on time. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                davis_sq_pro Jan 18, 2013 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                How is "not enough broth" ever a bigger flaw than overcooked or undercooked proteins? I've been watching TC for only a few seasons, but it seems to me that failing to properly cook protein is the worst sin, and failing to season is the second worst. Not sure if not enough sauce caused the dish to fall into that second sin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree that poorly cooked proteins is probably the biggest sin, generally speaking. But aside from one (maybe 2) brief mentions, we don't hear about it, and I don't recall seeing it in the blogs. I can only assume that it wasn't as poorly cooked as that one statement made it seem. Often times the elves make you see things on the show in order to create the illusion that it's a close call. I've seen things like saying "way too salty" for one dish and "seriously overcooked meat" for another, and you think it's obvious the meat person is going home, and reading the blogs you find out that it was so salty as to be inedible, and the meat was just well done but perfectly edible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And not enough sauce for a dish like that, one that is traditionally a stew but was served almost dry to them, is akin to underseasoning I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Definition of bouillabaisse: "A stew or soup made with various kinds of fish."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And here's a picture of what Josie/Kristen served:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That ain't no soup or stew. But either way - Kristen took full responsibility for the dish. And since she wouldn't throw Josie under the bus, it became her failure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This comes up a lot and it annoys me every time. Who cares what the dish is called, typically or otherwise -- did it taste good?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I always wonder, if they're doing a riff on a dish, that they don't just come up w/ a different name. Would Kristen boeuf bourgignon have been better as braised beef? Gail said she was missing the burgundy but if it were braised beef, she wouldn't have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          reiney Jan 18, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Expectations management is where they failed - you set an idea in the customer's mind. Call something a brownie and deliver the most delicious chocolate sponge cake? They can then make allowances for whether it was exceptional, but at the end of the day it's no brownie so it's an uphill battle to win over the judge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: reiney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Exactly. Don't try to stretch a definition, especially if it adds nothing to the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: reiney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Exactly. Even Gail said that expectations were set with both the Boeuf Bourguignon and the Macarons, and those expectations weren't met. If she had called them something different, perhaps the judges wouldn't have been expecting what they were expecting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 06:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So it's different than you expected. That happens all the time in my eating experience. But ultimately I judge not on the name of the dish but its flavor. It's not like these are diners who picked off a menu and sought something specific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you call something Boeuf Bourguignon, I'd expect to get exactly that. As Gail said - there was no bourguignon - no acidy, winey flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    tjinsf Jan 20, 2013 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As a french person living in the USA I have learn that what chef's calls a dish and what they give is almost never going to line up. Gail going on about macarons when most American made macarons are too dry is funny. A good chef evokes the dish without having to replicate it at least modern chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not to mention I rarely see American home or pro chefs use lardon like in traditional Boeuf Bourguignon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cresyd Jan 20, 2013 10:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      While I don't think that the Top Chef judges are necessarily the most sophisticated, educated, and well traveled palates of the world - they have all definitely been more exposed than the average US diner. And I'd gamble that all of them have had the French classics that Kristen prepared - either in France or prepared by French chefs. So while in the US, an average diner might not know what actually makes a traditional Bourguignon or macaron - these judges definitely do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In addition to Josie, I think that one of Kristen's greatest challenges was that her entire menu involved dishes all the judges were very familiar with. Whereas Sheldon's dishes involved a set of dishes the judges had either never tasted before or only had a few times - and it appeared as though none of them had ever seen Filipino food in a refined dining context.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sheldon just needed to make the dish tasty - whereas Kristen needed to make the dish tasty and live up to the name and memory of the dish she was preparing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        momjamin Jan 21, 2013 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, IIRC, earlier in the episode, I thought Kristen was describing her dessert plan as a cross between/play on a macaron (almond) and a macaroon (chewy coconut), but I never heard anything about that during service or at JT. I wonder if she jettisoned part of her plan, and/or if it had been explained that way, Gail would have been less offended.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ennuisans Jan 18, 2013 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But Kristen got dinged more than once on this on the same menu, and this has come up on other cooking contests: if you call it by a name, there are expectations that have to be satisfied. The bouillabaisse was not bouilly enough. The bourguignon was not bourgy enough. The macaroons weren't roony enough. And of those three dishes, two went out exactly as Kristen intended, and they all went out with her approval.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kristen's mistake was that of those cooks that use a secret ingredient three ways: you get judged three ways. The thing is that everyone loves Kristen and bristles at Josie, and it's hard to admit that Kristen put too many balls in the air. But she did, she took on too much, she didn't delegate enough, and that's what sent her PYKing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ennuisans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  According to Tom's blog, had they known what happened behind the scenes, Josie would have gone home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ennuisans Jan 18, 2013 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Right but they didn't. I'm addressing what the judges knew. In fact, I think I'm agreeing with you: don't try to stretch a definition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                davis_sq_pro Jan 18, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And the definition of "twisted bouillabaisse" is..? Clearly Kristen was attempting a modernist take, and in that world deconstruction is entirely the point. While the dish was not well executed, the presence of a lot of broth seems to have hardly been the intention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tjinsf Jan 18, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  clearly she was not going for a traditional bouillabaisse especially since the gelatin was only used to stabilize the foam. She did make the mistake of trusting her sous to be able to make the dish as she had asked and that was poor judgement on her part but not enough for an elimination to my thinking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Compare apples to apples: Kristen produced better plates of food than Josie. When the judges were discussing the bottom performers of each team, it was Stefan vs. the bouillabassie. Ultimately, Josie is responsible for her dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think your answer highlights the problem in this challenge: Kristen is judged on more criteria than her team mates. They simply have to do their delegated task well. She has to make her own food taste good, as well as supervise the others. It's a shame that her success meant she was put in a greater position to fail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In past seasons, I recall the judge's mantra being something like "personal responsibility for your dish." This is a rewriting of the rules, expecting the "executive chef" to be responsible for each plate that enters the dining room while not giving the accompanying privileges that a chef has in the industry: firing people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Restaurant Wars has always had that issue. A disproportionate number of eliminated chefs on that episode were the leader of their team. That said, the winner is also very likely to be the team leader. Not to mention that the opportunity to have your food showcased is a big one; remember, these are chefs first and foremost, not contestants. And she and Sheldon both won $10k last week, and Sheldon won a car this week. So I think they make up for the "danger" of being EC with big prizes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ETA: I looked at wiki, and many seasons it isn't clear if or who was the "executive chef" (some seasons definitely didn't have one), but for almost every season where the executive chef was noted (3, 4, 5, 8) the losing EC went home. And in some cases, the chef was clearly one of the better ones left (Tre -- 3, Dale -- 4).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is the first time that (I remember, anyway) the executive chef did not serve the worst dish but went home anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mcf Jan 18, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On WWHL, Kristen was really clear that her going home based upon what the judges knew (and I was going nuts that she kept biting her tongue) was completely the right call and she had no hard feelings toward Padma, either because it was the right outcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I bet she comes back via LCK and wins it all any way, which will be an even bigger triumph.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        chowser Jan 18, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        She's mature beyond her years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mcf Jan 18, 2013 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think she is and she's also supremely confident. She had complete comfort with her decision, with taking responsibility for her team (how refreshing is it to see someone be accountable, even if the outcome sucks??) and the results on the plates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          She sure had some swagger in LCK, too. I'm rooting for her to take it all home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TheCarrieWatson Jan 19, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Isn't she 29? I don't think she showed any maturity beyond her years really. Watching this the second time, I felt like Kristen was kind of putting a show of being magnanimous with the expectation that there was no way *she* was going home. That, and maybe she thought she was going to actually win favor with the judges with her pandering. The thing that makes me wonder about that is the cutaway where she's saying, audibly and very obviously, "bite your tongue, bite your tongue". Now why would one do that? That's the behavior of someone who wants to call attention to their "restraint", while making a big show if her integrity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyway, that's is a musing based upon subsequent viewings - certainly not offering that as fact or even a strong opinion. I just felt like she was grandstanding a little.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TheCarrieWatson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mcf Jan 19, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I guess not so much beyond Kristen's years as beyond the dignity we see from most folks these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't detected a whiff of grandiosity nor expectation, and she was very direct with no hint of disingenuousness when addressing her having been the one to leave on WWHL...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My inference in both cases (TC and WWHL) was that she'd fallen short of a standard she set for herself and was prepared to live with the outcome. Not a whiff of regret.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              JAB Jan 19, 2013 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, she showed more of her personality in LCK that we have seen on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fame da lupo Jan 18, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That would help explain her composure...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Jan 18, 2013 03:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So I just saw this and it was interesting because when asked why she didn't speak up, Kristen said it wouldn't go anywhere and they'd both end up looking like idiots. Padma chimed in that Kristen was right because there was nothing she could have said that they didn't know. Which is in direct contrast to what Tom said about not knowing what's going on BAH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think Padma blaming Kristen for not babysitting Josie enough would be like blaming Sheldon for not babysitting Stephan. If they had lost, would Sheldon have been sent home for not controlling Stephan? No.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The problem was, really, that she babysat Josie too much, not too little. It was the babysitting that got her sent home, essentially.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowser Jan 18, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Padma said Kristen knew Josie was a problem and she should have set stricter times for her, told her what time to have the stock finished, etc. She told her she should have been on top of her, ie babysitting too little.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You're right, I forgot about that. I think, then, that she could have either babysat her less, and let Josie take more ownership of the dish and go down for it if it sucked (this was also said by the judges), or babysit her more if she had a very specific vision and wanted Josie to execute it (as Padma said). As it was, she didn't babysit, but then micromanaged at the end when it was too late.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    tjinsf Jan 18, 2013 04:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    or maybe the problem is you should never have to babysit a peer that's acting as your sous chef. In the real world Josie would have been out of the kitchen for not prepping her station and overcooking the food. They can't judge Kristin with the same exec standard when she wasn't able to have the same control over her kitchen staff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tjinsf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LurkerDan Jan 18, 2013 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's a show, not the real world; it has its own special parameters that everyone must live with. They can judge her any way they choose; the best one can ask for is consistency. So don't mistake me explaining why I think things happened a certain way, or why I think the decision was explainable given the parameters of the show and what they knew, for me thinking they sent the correct person home or that I like Josie or whatever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The bottom line is Kristen fell on her sword, she took responsibility for the failures before the judges. And given what they knew and what she said, they eliminated her, and justifiably so (given those things). Had she spoken up, had Brooke or Lizzie spoken up, had they known more, or had she done things differently, judging might have gone differently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TraderJoe Jan 21, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "I bet she comes back via LCK and wins it all any way, which will be an even bigger triumph"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just imagine what that would do for the ratings game and product placement.....CHA_CHING! $$$$$

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cresyd Jan 19, 2013 02:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As much as I would have rather Kristen not have left - she got too involved with treating this as a real restaurant as opposed to being a contestant in a competition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Had Kristen given Josie the discretion to plate the dish how she saw fit then the scallops still would have been undercooked, the halibut still over cooked, but the best part of the dish would have been there. By the time it came to plating Kristen should have accepted that Josie wasn't going to make the dish that Kristen had envisioned. So instead of trying to micromanage Josie until the bitter end, she should have just let Josie go have complete control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ultimately Top Chef is cooking competition, not a contest in opening a restaurant. At judges table, each contestant needs to say I did this, I didn't do that. Kristen won a challenge because she could say "I made awesome fried onion rings and roasted mushrooms".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wish Kristen had chosen to give details about what happened in the kitchen. I also wish that Kristen had taken the overall attitude she did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              piccola Jan 19, 2013 03:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Except then the judges could've blamed her for not keeping closer tabs on the dishes put out in her restaurant. It's happened before. I feel like this was a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: piccola
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cresyd Jan 19, 2013 05:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree that for how restaurant wars is judged and the format of Top Chef - being the team leader is basically deciding to play a game of sudden death midway through the competition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That being said, had Kristen's Team won - then the same could have happened in regards to Stefan and Sheldon with Sheldon getting the blame for not paying enough attention to how the front of the house was managed. That's always a risk, but watching the episode, Kristen clearly appeared as though she was micromanaging in a manner that for restaurant wars wasn't going to help her out for the challenge at hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Because also, while the judges kept talking about the leader's vision/style etc - they also really wanted to see ownership of individual dishes by the various chefs. The whole "this is not Top Sous-Chef". So that alone should be a slight hint that while it's restaurant wars, they're not asking you to strictly mimic an actual restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JuniorBalloon Jan 19, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This may have been touched on in the threads about how to prepare for going on TC, but taking some time to work out a strategy for being the Exec on RW would be smart. How will you deal with the other chefs? Give them rope or rein them in? Know what your style is. Are you a micro managing control freak or easy going. Both ways can come back to bite you. Obviously some people can be trusted more than others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In this years version there was a chef on each side that posed challenges. Josie and Stefan. Josie appeared to need more oversight and a strong hand where as Stefan wanted to take over. When Sheldon wanted the farmers style table and Stefan said "forget the farmers, I want the 2 top." I would have had a hard time not back handing him. Sheldon was smart or lucky, as it seemed to be his personality, to not be confrontational and chose his battles. Kristen, at least in what we were shown, appeared to give Josie too much rope while wanting to rein her in, but didn't/couldn't. In the end, not pushing Josie a bit harder to get the dish finished, bit her at judges table.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cresyd Jan 19, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Without being overly obvious - being Executive Chef during restaurant is one of the bigger risks in Top Chef. And the chances that you'll have someone on the team you're not thrilled to work with is even higher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Therefore ultimately, I do think that it's important to figure out how you're a leader, how you lead best, and how to separate yourself from conflict on the team. Sheldon's reasoning for having Stefan in the front of the house was entirely logical - but it also meant that the strongest personality on his team was given something to completely dominate. Farmers tables vs 2 tops - in opening a real restaurant I see that as a major discussion point. But in restaurant wars - something to let slide. Stefan got to be master of a space (perhaps not the best master, but aside from that), while Sheldon was able to completely control the kitchen with Josh who he could work easily with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't think that Josie would have been great in the front of the house - but I guess based on how I see this, giving her 100% control on something deemed "less important" could have helped Kirsten. Whether it's the front of the house or a single dish - it would have relieved Kristen from being in such a disciplinarian position.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TraderJoe Jan 21, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "How will you deal with the other chefs? Give them rope or rein them in?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What I'd like to know is why no Chef on RW has ever tossed any of their cooks out of the kitchen. The real error Kristen made was not firing Josie when she didn't finish the stock the first day. It took more time and energy dealing with Josie than just getting rid of her.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In regards to the conversation about Kristens age up-thread I'm not sure of her exact age but IIR she was recenly a James Beard nominee for one of the "30 best under 30".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TraderJoe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 21, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think it was said elsewhere in the thread that that is probably one of the caveats that the cheftestants have to adhere to - no firing anyone, because the judges then have no way to judge that cheftestant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In addition, if one chef *really* didn't like another, the firing could be done to spite the other cheftestant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TraderJoe Jan 21, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "In addition, if one chef *really* didn't like another, the firing could be done to spite the other cheftestant."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's a solid point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: TraderJoe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          monavano Jan 21, 2013 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think it would have been a good move to fire Josie. Josie should have been told to make the damn stock the day before and that it wasn't a suggestion, it was an order. If Josie refused, then she should have been told to PYKAG for insubordination.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I get a sense that perhaps there may have been underlying cultural issues, or perhaps Josie's personality is bawdy and intimidating.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it cost Kristen RW but I also believe she's got the chops to fight her way back in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. chowser Jan 18, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've been thinking I hope Josie wins this whole thing by skirting by. They'd be suck with her promoting the brand, doing interviews, going on tour, hawking their wares. What could be more deserving??? Josie for the win. Buy the Top Chef cookbook on making raw turkey, bad seafood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gaffk Jan 18, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They'd be suck with her promoting the brand,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's a Freudian typo if ever I saw one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowser Jan 18, 2013 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL, couldn't have made a more fitting typo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. LindaWhit Jan 18, 2013 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After reading the posts from the last few hours, can I just say I *LOVE* the group that's been commenting on the thread this week? The detail to which you're all discussing the various issues, bringing various ideas into play, debating them, and keeping the conversation going. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet Jan 18, 2013 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, despite everyone's disappointment with the episode there is great bonhomie here this week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  madisoneats Jan 19, 2013 04:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know that this thread is (rightfully) focused on the Josie drama, but can I just say this...I loved Sheldon in this episode. I was really happy for him, and he seemed genuinely thrilled. nice car, too!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: madisoneats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 19, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. Sheldon worked very hard to put forth his vision of modern Filipino-inspired food, and overall, he did a great job. He's has two EC wins in a row (just as Kristen did before her ouster) and he's got two QF wins. He's definitely in the running.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Right now, other than Sheldon, Brooke is the *only* cheftestant left with an EC win under her belt. Lizzie and Josh both have 4 Highs, but no one else has won an EC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John E. Jan 19, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am sure Lizzie and Josh are both competent cooks (Josh went from owning his own porkcentric restaurant in OKC to being a pastry chef in Dallas, I suppose he still makes the bacon-caramel rolls). However, of the contestants left, Brooke and Sheldon seem to be the only chefs that really cook with a creative flair. The others seem to be cooking food they have already cooked before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: madisoneats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      JAB Jan 19, 2013 04:0