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Jan 16, 2013 07:30 PM

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

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 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster

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

    2. 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. 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

            The same way cockroaches do! BLEAH.

          2. 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

              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

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: rccola

                      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

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

                        We all did!

                        1. re: chowser

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

                  2. re: LurkerDan

                    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

                      "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".

                    2. re: LurkerDan

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                              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.

                                Thank you, John. :-) Much appreciated.

                            3. re: dmjordan

                              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

                                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

                              "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

                                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

                                  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

                                    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

                                        "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

                                          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

                                            "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

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

                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                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

                                                  "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

                                                    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.

                                              3. re: TraderJoe

                                                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

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

                                                  1. re: LurkerDan

                                                    "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

                                                    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

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



                                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                        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

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


                                                          1. re: tjinsf

                                                            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

                                                              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

                                                                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

                                                                <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

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

                                                              3. re: tjinsf

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

                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

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

                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                    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.

                                                            2. re: TraderJoe

                                                              <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

                                                              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

                                                              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

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