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Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #12 - 01/23/13 (Spoilers)

OK, let's get the show on the road. They're back in the suite the next day. Stefan said "The Ex-Wife is gone but she'll be back with Last Chance Kitchen." Brooke said if she ever knew it would go that way, she would have stood up for Kristen. Meanwhile, Josie says to Lizzie that she feels heavy this morning, but she can't sit at the Judges Table and just go home without everyone hearing what's going on. She said this is the only elimination where she feels guilty. Like DUH!

They head back to TC Kitchen, and Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi is there with Padma. The Quickfire Challenge requires them to create their own sushi. Padma notes there is no immunity from here on out, but the winner will receive $5,000. They have 30 minutes.

Brooke has sushi at least 3 times a week, so she's hoping to do well for Chef Uechi. Josh is using bacon in his sushi - Stefan calls it a breakfast sandwich with bacon and eggs. Meanwhile, Stefan doesn't know what he wants to do. Josie is talking to Stefan as to what she's going to make, and Stefan looks up and says "What?" with an "I'm not listening to you" look on his face. Stefan is going to make 2 items - both without rice.

Stefan - Yellowtail with Grilled Shiitake & Raw Lobster with Seaweed & Unagi - Uechi asks if he seared the lobster; Stefan replies no; Uechi likes it.

Josie - Halibut with Yuzu & Bacon Aioli - Padma asks Uechi if he has ever used bacon in sushi; he replies no, but the idea was good, although it could use a little more punch.

Lizzie - Lobster, Micro Greens & Pickled Ginger with Yuzu-Sake Broth - Uechi said if a bit of rice was put underneath, it would be good.

Brooke - Octopus with Yuzu & Grated Wasabi - the yuzu gave it a clean taste; Uechi said it was good.

Josh - Tempura Bacon, Omelette, Salmon Belly & Yuzu Kosho Aioli - Uechi said the bacon was too greasy, and then said Hmmmm.

Sheldon - Hamachi Sashimi with Fresh Ponzu, Mitsuba & Lemon Charcoal - Uechi noticed the lemon charcoal and said it was interesting.

Uechi said the least favorites were: Lizzie and Josh
The favorites were: Brooke and Stefan

The winner is Stefan. He finally wins after 27 challenges in both his appearances on Top Chef! LOL

Padma welcomes Tom C. and David Chang, chef/owner of Momofuku Noodle Bar and Ma Peche. What's the Elimination Challenge? Tom tells them that there are several visiting chefs in town, including David Chang. He's rented a house while in town, and the cheftestants are cooking for a dinner that night. Tom said he's in the mood for fried chicken. Josh said it's right up his alley. Tom notes who will be the judges - Wolfgang, Emeril, Jonny & Vinny from Son of a Gun, and Michelle Bernstein.

The winner will get a year's supply of Terlato wine. Stefan said "365 bottles of wine? That'll last me 3 months." LOL

They have 30 minutes to prep. And Stefan says another funny in the confessional: "I like breasts a lot. You can hold onto thighs much better, but I like both. Depending on the size.......of the chicken." And then he says "Oops!" with a funny little boy grin.

Josh has been having fried chicken since he was young made by his grandfather. He's brining from the inside. Josie said "I've got this one in the bag! It's in my blood!" Brooke tells Josh she's going to hate her chicken. After seeing what she's doing, he said he's going to break up with her after this chicken challenge.

They pack the Toyota Highlanders and head off to Tom's house. Josie said she has a secret blend of flours she uses. Stefan asks, she won't tell him what it is. He said "I'm not going to steal your dish!" Josie asks "How do you say 'Kiss my ass?' in German?" Stefan says something to her in German as if he's tell her how to say it, which she repeats. Stefan then says "Do you know what that means? It means 'I'm going home next.'" Josie laughs - but I'm hoping it's from Stefan's mouth to the judge's votes!

They have 1 hour to cook. Josie said she's going to be able to serve 2 dishes - and says if she can execute, she'll seal the deal. (OK, notice how MUCH camera time Josie's getting about saying she's going to win? Please, please, please, please?????)

Stefan's making a Chicken Cordon Bleu fried chicken? Ummm... Josh is smoking his chicken before frying it using the brown paper bag dredging method.

The judges arrive: Tom C., Wolfgang, Emeril, Padma, Vinny Dotolo, chef/owner of Animal and Son of a Gun, Michelle Bernstein, chef/owner of Michy's, Jon Shook, chef/owner of Animal and Son of a Gun. Tom has a great idea for Wolfgang - he creates a chain of fried chicken restaurants and calls them Wolfgang Cluck. :-D

Meanwhile, Brooke doesn't have enough oil, and doesn't have enough time to cook the chicken skin that she's removed from her chicken breasts. She now has a boring boneless chicken breast. Rut-roh!

One of Josie's fryers isn't work; Lizzie said as soon as she's done, she can use hers. Meanwhile, Sheldon's oil is too hot and burns the first batch. Josie said time is running out, so she's going to have to forget the chicken wings. She notes "Time management seems to be my Achilles heel, but I'm not too worried. I know how to make the most delicious fried chicken you've ever damn tasted!"

First to serve are Sheldon, Josie, and Lizzie. Josie says to the confessional camera that the last time she was on TC, Michelle Bernstein was one of the judges who sent her home, so she doesn't like Michelle at her dinner table.

LIZZIE - Chicken with Coriander, Black Pepper & Brown Sugar Rub with Peach-Cabbage Slaw - Vinny and David likes it, but Tom said Lizzie doesn't really understand fried chicken. The last thing that anyone should do is bone the breast and fry it when you're given a whole chicken. But Tom *does* like the salad.

JOSIE - Chicken with Black Garlic, Cayenne, Thyme & Hot Sauce with Daikon Salad - Jon Shook said that Josie tried to pitch them on the "Southern style" by serving on a banana leaf, but he and Emeril agree that they would run her right out of the South. Wolfgang said it was too greasy - Emeril passes over the banana-leafed plate and it shows the leftover grease. Vinny said it wasn't hot; there was no spice. Michelle said she had to put it down - she couldn't eat more of it.

SHELDON - Umami Drumsticks & Thighs, Wings with Usukuchi & Grapeseed Oil - Both Emeril and Tom C. liked his chicken a lot, and Tom gives him extra credit for thinking outside the box. Wolfgang notes he didn't get any extra wings because Tom ate them all (which he didn't - he only shared with Michelle *one* wing). David notes that when you serve, make sure there's enough for everyone. But Wolfgang holds up the bone from his chicken and it was clean as a whistle!

Back in the kitchen, Brooke realizes there is 15 minutes to plate and she's done cooking. She keeps them warm in the oven and then puts them back in the fryer to get the crust crispy again.

Next up - Brooke, Josh and Stefan. Interestingly, before the judges try the dishes, Padma asks Jon and Vinny if they recognize Brooke. It seems they interviewed through her years ago for line cook positions, and she didn't hire them. Oops! LOL Padma says they won't hold it against her.

STEFAN - Chicken Cordon Bleu with Garlic Aioli & Lemon - Emeril said he has the Chicken Cordon Blues right now. Vinny said "Wasn't he already on Top Chef? Do you get another chance when you're doing Cordon F*ckin' Bleu - it's really weird. You're going for $125,000 - I'd put your ass on the line a bit more."

JOSH - Smoked Fried Chicken with Hot Sauce & Blue Cheese - Michelle loves the combination; Tom loves the idea of smoked fried chicken.

BROOKE - Dukkah-crusted Chicken Breast with Wilted Escarole & Tomato Salad - Wolfgang asks "Why the f*ck they have no bones? There are no bones!" He asks "What is this show called here?" Padma responds "Top Chef." Wolfgang said "I wouldn't even call it The Apprentice - and I know that name's taken already." Tom said it's dried out, Michelle says she doesn't know why she took a chicken breast and overcooked it. Vinny says "I'm glad I didn't get the job!" Ouch!

Jon Shook said "I feel almost embarrassed that the L.A. chefs rolled out here with just breasts." Wolfgang replies "It's L.A.! There's plastic surgery everywhere!"

The cheftestants head back to the suite, as Judges Table will be the next morning. (Probably a good idea as the judges were well on their way to being schnockered!) Brooke and Stefan dissect their dishes; Sheldon plays the ukelele for Josh, who falls asleep. The next morning, Stefan is show speaking to his Mom in Finland, who has had Parkinson's Disease for the past 18 years.

They head back to the Stew Room. Padma comes in to ask to see Josh, Sheldon and Lizzie. And they are the top group! Lizzie's chicken was fried perfectly, not greasy, but Wolfgang said it wasn't fried chicken the way *he* would think of it, but Lizzie says she isn't familiar with the dish. Tom said her salad was great. Josh's smoked chicken was a clever take on a traditional dish, per David Chang. Emeril said it was darn good. Padma notes the two different types of chicken on Sheldon's dish - he said he wanted one savory, one sweet. Tom said the only thing wrong with it was that everyone wanted more! Tom said "I ordered a 16 piece bucket - I think we only got 10." Sheldon said it was the short amount of time.

David Chang announces the winner, and it's Josh! he wins 365 bottles of Terlato wines. They are asked to send back the rest of the chefs. Out to JT heads Stefan, Josie and Brooke. :::Whooshing camera shots:::

Brooke notes it was one of the most difficult challenges for her, probably because of its simplicity. Removing the meat from the bone removed the vehicle that helps with flavor, per Tom. Wolfgang said she overthought the entire process, and it did the exact opposite of impressing them.

Josie is asked what her intent was with her dish, and she replies she wanted to use every piece of the chicken, but a fryer was down, so she went with the boneless pieces of chicken. David Chang said there was a pool of grease on the banana leaf, so it was a gut-bomb of chicken, and not in a good way. Josie starts in with more excuses about time constraints (Tom looks *very* frustrated with her comment) and she had to go from the fryer to the plate. Tom notes that it seems to be happening a lot - last week with the bouillabaisse and this week with the chicken. She said she was "wasting time..." and Tom cuts her off and says "Exactly. You're wasting time." She said everyone who tasted it thought it was delicious. Tom said "I guess everyone (and he looks around and lists all the judges and guests) don't know what we're talking about." Josie said "That's not what I meant."

Padma asks Stefan why chicken cordon bleu. He said "I grew up in Europe; we don't have fried chicken like you guys do in America." Tom asks Wolfgang where he grew up, and Wolfgang said in Austria - and one of their most famous Viennese dishes is fried chicken. Stefan said this was his twist on fried chicken, but Tom refutes that this is a "twist". Tom said it's what you get in bad banquets and that Stefan is not looking to give them what was asked for, but make something that will be good enough to get him through and Stefan says "No!" Emeril notes that it wasn't even good Cordon Bleu. As they walk out, Padma notes to Tom "Such a bullshitter. SUCH a bullshitter!"

The judges deliberate. David said the lack of flavor alone of Brooke's dish should send her home. Tom said he'd rather eat her dish rather than Josie's greasy fried chicken. Padma said that Josie at least gave them fried chicken, and Tom says "Greasy, nasty fried chicken!" David notes that her reasoning of "I ran out of time" doesn't help her - timing is everything in the kitchen. Tom said "It's the Josie Show!" David is perplexed at Stefan's Chicken Cordon Bleu. Padma said she doesn't even know the last time she saw it on a menu. Emeril said he got it 2 flights ago. Padma said she could send Stefan home for his outright lying to the judges.

An they're back - Tom does his review, and Padma asks JOSIE TO LEAVE!!!!!!!! WOOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm doing the Happy Dance right now!

Josh notes in the confessional "Thank God the Josie Show has been cancelled! It's getting rid of Josie in the kitchen, but it also gets rid of her laugh."

I'm SO going to watch LCK tonight as well! Kristen - time to get revenge! Ahh shoot! They don't have the video up yet. Dammit - I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

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  1. <cue choirs of angels>

    And it's up now, if you're still awake, Ldubs. ;)

    I really do want to try both Josh and Sheldon's chickens. Josh had me with the smoke, but I was afraid he might end up overcooking it. Glad to see that it was apparently as amazing as it sounded. But I still need more details on Sheldon's "umami" chicken, because I'm an umami junkie. I mean, was this just judicious use of MSG (doubt it), or were there delicious fermenty things involved??? I require more info!

    All I know is, this particular dinner party is very high on my "Most Want to Be Invited" list. By all appearances, all of the judges and guest judges were having a great time.

    42 Replies
    1. re: Wahooty

      Hugh's blog is also already up. Some choice quips in there that I won't spoil for those who have yet to read:

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

      Except...okay...I'll spoil this one:
      "Tom really goes after Josie. It’s a little like a tiger attacking a defenseless lawn gnome wearing a headband."

        1. re: Wahooty

          Hugh is hilarious, as always. I just wanted to give you a "heads up" that there's a LCK spoiler in Tom's blog, which is also up already.

          1. re: Wahooty

            The judges were visibly annoyed at Josie's shenanigans up to that point: her inability to deal with time, her play with Kristin's integrity at Judge's Table (maybe that was my annoyance), her food that just wasn't <that> good. She would have had to totally transformed herself to survive. And she didn't.

            1. re: Wahooty

              My favorite Hugh zinger was: "The judges' panel looks like they have been watching reruns of Scooby Doo all day and eating Cheetos." Didn't they though.

              1. re: ratgirlagogo

                LOL! And I forgot to read the blogs this morning before work! Off to do that.

              2. re: Wahooty

                OK, now he outdid himself this time! My two favorites (the first speaking of Josie serving sushi on naked women at her parties):

                "There is nothing that can compare with eating seaweed salad out of a belly button. Yup, there I’ve gone and made myself shiver with disgust again. Must stop doing that. "

                and

                "They prep and butcher chickens. Stefan sexualizes the experience. He can so this with anything. I wear gloves around him, and you should too. Can’t take any chances. "

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  He's on fire this week. Also:

                  "Josie has made Helluva Halibut with Blistering Bacon and Jammin’ Yuzu. Trademark has been applied for."

                  "Josh, what are you doing? “Basically, I know breakfast.” Huh? They say sushi and you say breakfast? I am confounded. He has made a salmon belly rice sandwich with bacon and an omelette, pleasing all the non-kosher Jewish-Japanese people who are looking for a new rice sandwich."

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Yeah, eating sushi off a naked woman is not up there on my bucket list.

                    Those folks sitting around the table overlooking that lovely view must have been drinking a mess of wine. They were having a good time.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I had that thought too. She looks about 22 (but then again I'm an old you-know-what, so everyone starts to look 22 to me)

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        I really wondered about Stephan's dish. Sure, chicken cordon bleu is old-school, but I kind of like it as a comfort food. And when they ate it, they kept saying it was a bad version, but they didn't say *why* it was a bad version. How can you mess that up? I didn't think it was BSing either. He was saying he did what was his interpretation. Isn't that what they are *supposed* to do?

                        1. re: DGresh

                          Well, Tom C. did say he wanted classic fried chicken.

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Linda, Tom said he said he wanted classic fried chicken. But as I recall, there was nothing explicit about southern fried chicken or American fried chicken and they even said something about fried chicken being made around the world.

                            (If Stefan's chicken sucked, that should be enough, but that is a different issue.)

                            1. re: hambone

                              I downloaded it from BravoOnDemand and checked. (I'm kind of OCD that way.) He never gives any kind of indication that it has to be southern/American style fried chicken.

                              1. re: hambone

                                No, he didn't. But I think for many people, "classic fried chicken" means southern fried chicken in a cast iron pan, the way Minny made fried chicken in "The Help".

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Which is strange because it wasnt clear the chefs had use of the stove for frying... they all had fryers set up outdoors. Guess that was the only way they could accomodate that many people all at once.

                                  1. re: cwdonald

                                    Yes, but it's also possible to have a burner set-up outdoors as well.

                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                Yes, but - ah I am having a Brain fart - I can't remember her name, but the accented woman - she was in the top 3 and she didnt make a classic friend chicken...so ...

                          2. re: Wahooty

                            Tom's blog confused me a bit: he gave his basic-no-frills-this-is-how-you-do-it fried chicken recipe, and, like, step one was remove the skin. Is this a thing? I've never had fried chicken without skin, except once at a German restaurant. Is it a Yankee thing?

                            I've gone ahead and made Yukon Cornelius my avatar. I'll change it once Josh is voted off, but it's too much fun right now.

                            1. re: NonnieMuss

                              ::::Giggling at Nonnie's avatar::::

                              And I was wondering about the no-skin on fried chicken as well. A quick Google for "Best ever fried chicken" comes up with these - all with skin on:

                              From a protegé of Edna Lewis:

                              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                              Bon Appetit: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

                              And, as much as hate to link something from Paula Deen: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe/paul...

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I read that "remove skin" instruction and thought, "over my dead body". And I have to say I've had lots of fried chicken, with the skin on, that wasn't soggy with grease.

                                jb

                                1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                  It's like when you roast chicken in the oven- THE SKIN IS THE BEST PART!!!

                              2. re: NonnieMuss

                                Obviously Josh stole Sheldon's hat. That's where the picture came from.

                                1. re: NonnieMuss

                                  Yeah, definitely odd. The only thing I can think of is that he removes the skin because he's talking about deep-fried chicken, where the skin often becomes a greasy shell that pulls off with the first bite. But I'm on board with those that found it odd that nobody pan-fried their chicken, and pan-fried chicken without skin would end up horribly dry.

                                  Regardless, I think Tom's crazy. Even when greasy, the skin is definitely the best part.

                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                    Yes, I thought the comment about taking the skin off fried chicken was off the wall. Next he'll probably say that the best fried chicken is deep fried. Hey, he's from an Italian family, like me. What did I know about fried chicken until my husband made it for me. Maybe it is a Yankee thing!

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      I read some of the comments on Tom's blog asking the same thing...is it a Yankee thing?...but there was one comment backing up the same method by someone from Alabama.

                                      <shrug> I don't get it.

                                      1. re: Wahooty

                                        I'm a Yankee and I never heard of making skin-off fried chicken.

                                        1. re: chicgail

                                          I'm a former Yankee and would rather have fried chicken skin than fried skinless chicken.

                                          1. re: chicgail

                                            To be clear, the commenters were asking if it was a Yankee thing, not me. Technically, I come from a Yankee-ish family, and we always had our chicken skin-ON. I don't know anybody, Yankee or otherwise, that doesn't. Which is why the comments were illuminating - Tom may be odd, but he's certainly not alone, regardless of what side of the Mason-Dixon line he's on.

                                            ETA: Twitter can be used for good instead of evil! For the record, Hugh fries the same way I do - cast iron, skin-on. I knew there was a reason I loved that man.

                                            1. re: Wahooty

                                              Hugh is in the south, isn't he? If he cooked chicken any other way, they'd probably give him a ticket north!

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                He is in the South of the US, but originally from Montreal I think. This explains his twitter avatar nicely....

                                                1. re: dbrodbeck

                                                  Ottawa, actually, but yep, he does appear to be a Habs fan. His restaurants are in Athens and Atlanta.

                                                  1. re: Wahooty

                                                    He should go to Greenewoods in Roswell. Best fried chicken in the world.

                                                    1. re: Wahooty

                                                      Hey, he's from my hometown! Somehow that makes me like him more. (Also, two Canadian judges, hooray!)

                                    2. re: Wahooty

                                      Yup - I just watched LCK, Wahooty. And I LOVE your choir of angels! LOL And hopefully Sheldon's Umami Fried Chicken recipe will be up on the Bravo Recipe Finder by tomorrow.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        Is that a spoiler? I HOPE?

                                        Thanks for the excellent recap!!

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Here we go! Sheldon's brine is definitely something I'll try at some point:

                                          http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                          And Josh's, which aside from the smoking (which isn't mentioned in the recipe) does seem to be a pretty traditional take:
                                          http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipe...

                                      2. You can tell Tom was totally sick of the Josie show. Padma aside, I think Stefan was safe. Brooke almost saved Josie - she really blew it. Imagine not having hired the Animal guys as line cooks? Wow.
                                        My feeling was that Josh had Sheldon to thank for the win. I'm pretty sure they liked Sheldon's the best but having had to throw some out left Sheldon short and that's what kept him from the win.
                                        Now, if there truly is a god, Kristan will finally put Josie out of her (and our) misery and knock her out of LCK.

                                        1. I think it must be easy to over think these challenges on Top Chef. Brooke nearly over thought herself out of the competition like CJ did. Tom did say they wanted good fried chicken. Only Josie and Josh actually made American Fried Chicken. Sheldon's chicken was good and Lizzie's Shake 'n Bake was good too.

                                          I like smoked chicken. I like fried chicken. I don't think I want my fried chicken smoked (and I don't want my ribs fried).

                                          Hey Josh, almost every home cook of a certain era used a brown paper bag to flour the chicken, I know my mother did, but she used a smaller sack, (like the kind you get at the liquor store).

                                          I bet if Josie had her oil at the correct temperature she would still be in the competition. (I know, I know, if the dog wouldn't have stopped to take a crap, he would have caught the rabbit too).

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: John E.

                                            Well, thank God the dog stopped to crap. The bunny lives to see another day. :-)

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              The 'bunny' must have been interviewing and hiring line cooks while she was quite young.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                ::::snort:::: Yeah, either she was REALLY young, or she looks damn good for her age! Her bio doesn't give her age, but she started her culinary career @ age 15, and at 18, was a pastry assistant. Also the youngest chef to ever cook at the James Beard House.

                                                http://www.bravotv.com/people/brooke-...

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  She is 34 according to the top chef wiki.

                                            2. re: John E.

                                              >>I like smoked chicken. I like fried chicken. I don't think I want my fried chicken smoked (and I don't want my ribs fried).

                                              To each their own...my major moral dilemma with smoking chicken is the lack of crispiness. Yeah, you can crisp it on the grill after the slow-smoking, but it's never quite as satisfying as a crispy roast chicken or fried chicken. I will be experimenting with this concept as soon as we have temperatures safely out of the single digits where I am right now. It will be mine.

                                              Agreed about Josie. As horrifying as her chicken seemed, I think had it been less greasy, she would have beat out Brooke. But I kept hoping that Brooke's sides/garnishes would have saved her, because Josie's plate actually frightened me. Stefan was just a disaster, so I would have tolerated him going home.

                                              1. re: Wahooty

                                                A Baltimore restaurant that I used to frequent (Bluegrass) had a smoked fried chicken thigh on the menu sometimes. It was delicious.

                                                1. re: Wahooty

                                                  I think the idea of smoked fried chicken was brilliant. It (almost) altered my opinion of Josh's abilities (and sensibilities) as a chef.

                                                  1. re: Wahooty

                                                    I smoke birds fairly often. That skin comes out crispy and IMHO, very satisfying. (Heck, think about Peking duck.)

                                                    Granted a cold smoke would not do this but unless you have the Top Chef constraint of time, that is not an issue.

                                                    1. re: hambone

                                                      I don't think his smoking process actually did any of the cooking. He just got some smoke flavor into his uncooked chicken before he battered and fried them up.

                                                      jb

                                                      1. re: hambone

                                                        I'm not articulating well...it's just not the same. When I crack open a chicken, if I'm craving crispy skin, it's just not the same *kind* of skin I get when I cook it on the grill under smoke. I love the idea of a crispy, crunchy fried chicken-style skin over tender smoked bird. I intend to try something like Josh did very soon. :)

                                                    2. re: John E.

                                                      "Hey Josh, almost every home cook of a certain era used a brown paper bag to flour the chicken..."

                                                      I know! So was it just the editing, or did Josh really feel the need to repeat 6 or 7 times that he was using a brown paper bag? Wonder why he didn't go on and on about using a cast iron pan.
                                                      "...I know my mother did, but she used a smaller sack, (like the kind you get at the liquor store). "
                                                      Liquor store? Clearly your mom knew how to have fun in the kitchen. :)

                                                    3. When the chefs were going into the stew room just before judging Josh said "this part always make me nauseous". Yes, Josh, you do have that effect on people.

                                                      In case anybody else is curious, I found Wolfgang Puck's recipe for the famous Viennese Fried Chicken.

                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/wo...

                                                      65 Replies
                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        he doesn't have that effect on me.

                                                        correcting a chef for their english is like correcting a college professor for their fried chicken.

                                                        1. re: linus

                                                          You might have a point if I were actually correcting anyone. I was just making a wiseass comment on an internet message board. I've never met Josh, have never eaten at his restaurant that he closed in OK. I don't plan on eating his desserts in Texas either.

                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                          I was really surprised based on Wolfgang's comments during the show that his recipe is for boneless, skinless chicken cut into chunks. Wasn't he all about the bones in most of his comments . . . .

                                                          1. re: thimes

                                                            He most certainly was all about the bones. Interesting.

                                                            1. re: thimes

                                                              Wolfgang sounded drunk throughout most of the dinner, to be honest. He seemed one step away from dancing on the table.

                                                              1. re: piccola

                                                                he did. he has a such a silly, old man's sense of humor. i forget some joke he met when he was sitting down, standing behind one of the other judges, but it was a bit of cringe-y moment.

                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                              Hmmm. Sounds a bit more like fried chicken tenders than fried chicken! All the pieces are boneless and skinless, and cut into chunks. Hardly the "fried chicken" he led us to believe is served in Vienna!

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                I agree with linus: I wanted to dislike Josh, and I still find that he makes an occasional comment that gets my eyes rolling, but he's one of the few chefs in the competition that I can stand at this point.

                                                                This is one of the worst seasons of Top Chef yet. Product placement saturation, overall poor cooking, and badly designed challenges (think the "Reynolds Wrap" challenge, which encompasses all three). Also, I hate the modified intro that features the chefs less prominently and doesn't mention their names: it took me much longer to feel any connection to any of them and know who they are.

                                                                Don't even get me started on bringing back previous cheftestants. I feel like this season has been the Josie and Stefan show, as the confessionals and drama seem to have largely surrounded them. They had their chance already: bringing them back was clearly a mistake, especially given the poor quality of their cooking.

                                                                I think this season will be my last season watching Top Chef.

                                                                    1. re: vorpal

                                                                      I'll say it: I *do* hate Padma. She seems to get more bitchy and querelous with each episode. She has never seemed like much of anything to me but a spoiled, pretentious, impatient, and even occasionally cruel person. I actually thought she seemed to have mellowed a bit earlier in this season but she's just as obnoxious as ever now. That horrible diction of hers doesn't help, either.

                                                                      1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                        i never have any trouble understanding what padma says, and have trouble recalling any pretentious, spoiled or cruel thing she's said on 'top chef.'

                                                                        frankly, i think "spoiled, pretentious, impatient and cruel" could just as easily fit any of the judges who have been on the show.

                                                                        1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                          Agreed - she's been rather obnoxious the last two episodes.

                                                                          1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                            Padma is an empty vessel. No credentials...how's she a judge? For that matter, I think Tommy's act is getting old. He is arbitrary and cocky. Have Emeril run the thing next year.

                                                                          2. re: vorpal

                                                                            I don't know. Although it would be hard to get a season better than 6, I think this season is drastically better than Season 9. Yes, there have been some annoying chefs and drama, but at least they're cooking. It's not like last season's stand-over-a-fire-pit-for-24-hours-in-110-heat-and-all-cook-the-same-dish. Or ride-a-bike-around-the-city-"looking"-for-a-kitchen-to-cook-in. Seems last season, they only got to cook BBQ, beans or chili. And then there was the ridiculous finale of chopping ingredients out of ice, cooking in gondolas, and cross country skiing. After that, I almost didn't tune in to this season, but I think it's an improvement.

                                                                            Agreed though . . . bringing back CJ, Josie and Stefan was just wrong.

                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                              That is a good point. People bitched an awful lot about the challenges last season and it appears that the producers listened. Much more straightforward this season.

                                                                              Yet, remarkably, it seems like there still are people complaining about how this season stinks, the chefs stink, the challenges stink, and they're not watching anymore. ;-)

                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                'twas ever thus.
                                                                                i think the complaints started about 20 minutes into episode one, season one.

                                                                              2. re: gaffk

                                                                                i totally agree. i like that there are less ridiculous challenges

                                                                                i'm enjoying Stefan, though i do think it's unfair - new contestants shouldn't have to compete against old contestants. then again.... all's fair...

                                                                              3. re: vorpal

                                                                                I don't dislike Snidely. I don't dislike any of the contestants, even Josie. It's a television reality show. Nothing that happens on the show has any real impact on me. I guess that is why I didn't get outraged when Kristen was told PPYKAG last week.

                                                                                The product placement doesn't bother me. So far, they haven't forced the contestants do something really wierd like incorporating dogfood into their recipes. 

                                                                                I think some of the earlier seasons had contestants who were less skilled, experienced, and accomplished than even the chefs on TC 10. Some of the group ECs last season seemed to be less successful television programming than what has been put out this year, although that Pike Place EC was quite abysmal.

                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                  "I think some of the earlier seasons had contestants who were less skilled, experienced, and accomplished than even the chefs on TC 10."
                                                                                  Agreed, season one especially for obvious reasons - the first season of a reality show will always get the most mixed bag of applicants.

                                                                                  1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                    yep, the earlier seasons didn't have nearly the depth. Harold and Tiffani from season 1 are obviously very good, and I think you can say that about every season, that the very best of the season were quite good. But the 10th best chef, for ex, in the early seasons wasn't all that, whereas the 10th best on the later seasons was more likely to still be an accomplished chef.

                                                                                    For ex, Bart this season. or Heather (ugh) last season.

                                                                                2. re: vorpal

                                                                                  I still think it's way better than last season, both in terms of cooking ability and challenges. At least this time, they didn't have to bike from restaurant to restaurant and impress Pee Wee Herman.

                                                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                                                    I keep getting reminded how absolutely ridiculous last season was. This one has been so much better in that department.

                                                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                                                      I agree. It seemed like last season hit the lows and now they're back to cooking. Product placement, sure, but no cross country skiing and potentially dangerous falls. No shooting blocks of ice, no chipping away at blocks of ice to get your ingredients. Even the aluminum wrap challenge had cooking creativity.

                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                        Fingers crossed it remains so, chowser!

                                                                                        This week's episode has them sailing to Alaska on a cruise ship, and they have to "transform iceberg lettuce into tasty appetizers." Get it? Alaska....iceberg. ::::groan::: OK, at least they don't have to chip the iceberg lettuce out of ice.

                                                                                        And it's another 75 minute episode. Which means I'll be getting to bed rather late. :-/

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          It would be worst if they were on a Titanic cruise, sorry couldn't resist. I think iceberg would be a good challenge. I think there is so much that can be done w/ iceberg and the wedge salad is just the tip of the...never mind. Thanks for staying up late to recap--very appreciated. I DVR it and watch it when I have time.

                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                              Haha, I need that to follow me around irl.

                                                                                        2. re: chowser

                                                                                          "No shooting blocks of ice..." You'll have to refresh my memory. When did they shoot blocks of ice?

                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                            The chopped at ice with knives, they shot in the biathalon competition for ingredients. Close enough for me!

                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                              At his restaurant in Harlem (Red Rooster) I believe that some sort of chicken is a signature dish. Ok I looked it up:

                                                                                              Fried Yard Bird

                                                                                              http://redroosterharlem.com/menus/

                                                                                          2. re: DGresh

                                                                                            I think I must have psychologically blotted out just how incredibly bad last season was, because now that everyone's reminding me, it's flooding back and I actually am relieved that this season is a step up.

                                                                                            1. re: vorpal

                                                                                              remember heather...she sure was a fun one.

                                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                                I still posit that Season 5 was way WAY worse than Season 9. Paul Qui - 8 EC wins prior to the finale win. I'd take him, Edward, Beverly, and Grayson over TC5's Hosea (winner), Leah, Jeff, and Jamie any day of the week.

                                                                                                I grew to like Carla in that season, but Fabio ended up rubbing me the wrong way by the end of that season. And in All-Stars, he was more irritating than ever.

                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  oh geez, did you have to bring up Hosea? and his lover Leah? eww! Yeah, very true. At least Paul seemed like he won rightfully where as Hosea seemed to just sort of squeak by and win by default.

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    I guess it's a different kind of worse. The talent on season 5 seemed weaker, but the challenges weren't cringeworthy (although the only one I really recall was the Dan Barber/Blue Hill Farm one).

                                                                                                    Last season, the talent seemed deeper, but the challenges were awful. To me, this was worse--you could imagine those chefs making wonderful food, but they were not allowed to.

                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                      OK, on that I will absolutely agree with you, gaffk - the challenges sucked wind in TC9 to the nth degree.

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Yes, the seasons were just two different versions of suckiness.

                                                                                                        And the mention of Hosea made me curious. He apparently has a catering company now with absolutely no events scheduled for 2013 http://chefhosea.com/

                                                                                                        I think his publicist may want to revisit having a calendar tab.

                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                          I think he's had that catering company since his season. ;-)

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                            ROFL. I guess winning TC doesn't portend success in and of itself.

                                                                                                      2. re: gaffk

                                                                                                        agree. Last season the skill level of the chefs was pretty high but the challenges were very lowbrow and tested everything but cooking skills. Season five's chefs were just far less experienced and certainly had issues with consistant performances.

                                                                                                      3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Am I the only one who actually liked season 5?
                                                                                                        In fact it might be my favorite season

                                                                                                        I loved Stefan, and Carla....and at the time, I liked Fabio allot as well..They made it fun to watch because they were enjoyable personalities
                                                                                                        If I like the people, I find it more enjoyable to watch.
                                                                                                        Now season 9 is a whole different thing... I didn't really like anyone, and the whole Texas schtict (sp??) made me sick. I hated everything about season 9... I don't care how talented any of the chefs were, it was not enjoyable to watch. Bleh!

                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                          I'm with you all the way although I did like Paul a lot last season.

                                                                                                          1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                            Yeah, the challenges were crap but I though Paul could hold his own with any of the Top Chef superstars like the Voltaggios, Blais, Hung, Jen C, Stephanie I, Kevin G etc.

                                                                                                          2. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                            TC 5 was the first season of Top Chef that I watched. I enjoyed it. TC 6 was good as well. I think they have gone downhill since TC 6 with TC 8 coming the closest to being as good as it was at the peak.

                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                              I am kind of enjoying this season as well...except for the fried chicken episode!! UGH.
                                                                                                              I didnt mind the return of the 3 chefs at all... in fact being a huge Stefan fan - I was super pleased!
                                                                                                              I like almost all of the chefs, and have enjoyed the challenges.
                                                                                                              Unfortunately, now that Stefan is gone, it won't be nearly as fun for me, but I am looking forward to seeing who will come back from LCK, and see who will win.. its anyones game, IMO

                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                I don't know why, but I'm almost totally uninterested in this season at this point. I'm from Seattle, too, so I thought I'd be really into this one. Most of the people I found compelling are gone. I'm not a Kristen fan, but I expect that she'll probably return (not following LCC though so that's just a guess) which doesn't excite me in the least. I don't know. I was so into this season for the first bit but now I am just bored with the remaining competitors. I honestly don't know why, either.

                                                                                                                1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                                                  I am a Kristen fan, and I hope she returns. To me, Kristen is exactly what the show should be about: finding a hidden gem and giving him or her a chance to shine.

                                                                                                                  Too many of the chefs in the recent seasons have already been quite successful, having already served as executive chefs or running their own restaurants.

                                                                                                                  Of course, that's just my opinion of what I think the show should be!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                    I agree, and there isn't any rational reason that I don't like Kristen. I think she's a solid competitor, she's not irritating or obnoxious, she seems mature and respectful. There is just a robotic and almost impersonal quality to her that I find unlikable. My wife thinks she's great. I was trying to figure it out and said to her, "Jeez, maybe I DO like a little drama in this show!". I don't really think that's the case, but who knows. I thought Stefan was a lot of fun, I didn't like....how do you like that, I forgot his name - the jerk with the glasses. Obviously Josie was irritating beyond endurance. Anyway, it's not like I'm attracted to big personalities. I just like 'some' personality and Kristen seems like a great big void to me.

                                                                                                                    1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                                                      I think when it comes down to the challenges, Kristen is all business. She concentrates on what she has to do, and doesn't get involved in the back-and-forth that can happen.

                                                                                                                      She's shown a bit of a fun/flirty side with Stefan when out of the TC Kitchen, and that works for my viewing preference.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        Hmm, yeah, that's true....I remember, I think after she picked her team for RW, she was stressed and said "I need a cigarette" and I said out loud, "Wow, she's actually human".
                                                                                                                        But seriously, thinking over the seasons I've watched, she's as classy and competant a competitor as they come. It's just no fun watching her, for me.

                                                                                                                      2. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                                                        I think that her personality started to show in LCK. Have you caught those?

                                                                                                                        1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                          Ah, no - I haven't seen those. Might make a difference!

                                                                                                                          1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                                                            She might come off as more serious but it seems evident, at least to me, that the other contestants really like her. It's not just a respect for how well she has done. Hey, she has Stephan massaging her feet!

                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                              I've been thinking about it, and I think I figured what it is with me. At some point, I got sick of seeing her win pretty much every challenge. I tend to root for the underdog and watching someone just waltz through like she was doing (before getting eliminated) was kind of frustrating. Totally unfair for me to judge her for being so clearly superior to her competitors, of course. But please note that I never said I didn't *like* her, just that I'm not a fan. Not sure if there's a real distinction there.

                                                                                                                              Anyhow, thinking back, there became a point where I started kind of rooting against her, just for the sake of seeing someone else win. That's probably a little nuttty but like I said - I tend to root for the underdog!

                                                                                                                        2. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                                                          that's actually what I like about Kristen. Rather than trying to play up the cameras or be a personality, she seems to take the cooking seriously, maybe too seriously but I prefer that to someone who is just mugging for the cameras. It would be fun to hang with some of the drama queens but I want to eat the food of the chefs that focus on the food.

                                                                                                                        3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                          I agree Ruth. I think that's what sucked me in right at Season 1, episode 1. All the competitors were line cooks or sous chefs looking to make a name for themselves. Of course that was before prize money spiked, cars and trips were handed out and chefs were unaware of the huge business impact appearing on the show could make.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                            That's a good point. I like Kristen, as I liked Paul, and I think it's for that reason. There are unknown chefs out there who are good, and they're not favorites for the drama. Get rid of the drama and you have a good show.

                                                                                                                              1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                I am not ashamed to say, I quite like a small bit of drama. There is drama in every day - it's a part of life. It helps me get to know the what the chefs are about, and helps me root for one person over the other. I don't want the entire show to be about the fuss, but it does make watching slightly more interesting. I even enjoyed the Hosea -Leah thing..even if it was gag inducing - but it gave us all quite a bit to talk about. There are lots of complaints about the drama, but allot of our conversations here do revolve around it. Thats life, and I think it's what makes TC so interesting to watch. I really think if it *only* showed the cooking - it would end up being boring.

                                                                                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                  Kind of agree. A little bit of drama got us the "I'm not your bitch, bitch" line, and that is TC gold!

                                                                                                                                  I want it mostly to be about the food, but drama is part of the overall program.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                    I like it, but it bothers me that I like it.

                                                                                                                                    Reality shows are so very manipulative and stage-managed. The creators decide on a persona for each participant, and guide and edit accordingly to create their version of a compelling storyline. The episodes you see show you those pre-determined characters, which may be more or less like the real humans behind them. I have no illusions that I really know what these people are like or what they're doing. If one contestant says another did X, just because we didn't see it doesn't mean it wasn't happening all the time!

                                                                                                                                    After I while I start to feel a little disgusted with myself for being led around like this, producing the required emotions on cue. This was my first season watching Top Chef, and it will probably be my last. I live in Seattle, and there was so much hype about the filming here last summer. I wanted to finally see what all the fuss was about. It's been entertaining, and I admit I'm hooked--I'll watch it to the end of the season to see what happens. But after that, the world has enough real drama for me without consuming large portions ginned-up drama every week!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                      Me too, for sure. I hate having my buttons pushed, but that is part & parcel of watching these programs most of the time. It bothers me a lot that I form these strong opinions, alliances, antipathies, and emotions on people who I don't know and actually, may not even exist in the way they're served to us by the program. I felt really cheap watching Hell's Kitchen, for instance. I became sufficiently put-off by that awful show that I actually did 'pull the plug' on that one and will never spend another moment on it.

                                                                                                            2. re: piccola

                                                                                                              hard to imagine a season being worse than last season.

                                                                                                        2. great writeup, Linda- and so fast!

                                                                                                          When Josie is asked to PYKAG (yay!), her attitude about it is just awful when she rebuff's Stefan's hug, then back in the stew room- poor victimized Josie.

                                                                                                          I'm also waiting for LCK to be up!

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                            Yeah, that was a little weird. Stefan was trying to be a good sport and Josie was jerky about it. It was really a contrast to her gracious goodbye speech to the judges. I supose I shouldn't be surprised, but I was.

                                                                                                            1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                              Josie's facial expression reminded me of that woman (Lisa?) in Stephanie Izard's season who would stand at Judges' Table with her arms defiantly crossed on her chest. I think Josie knew she was done-for.

                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                BinGO. She acted very much like Lisa Fernandez.

                                                                                                            2. I felt for poor Lizzy at the beginning when she was stuck listening to Josie moan about feeling guilty about having survived the last challenge. Lizzy should have been given immunity for not bursting out and saying, "If you think I'm going to tell you not to feel bad and that you belong here, you're going to be waiting a very, very long time." (and you'll probably mismanage that time)

                                                                                                              1. OMG. Son called from college, JUST after it started.

                                                                                                                He NEVER calls.

                                                                                                                Missed the whole thing.

                                                                                                                Gahhh!

                                                                                                                Well, almost. Tuned in for the last five. Not sure if I should watch.....Padma is saying "who made the worst fried chicken?"

                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                    Nah. I just had to wait 30 minutes and watch it at 11:30.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                    I hope you recorded it as well. Or can watch it today online. Or find it OnDemand. You NEED to watch it. :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      Thanks for the recap Linda! I didn't peek until after I watched it.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                      I was in college back in the day when it actually cost money to make 'long-distance' telephone calls. I too called home infrequently. I remember one time I called home and when my mother answered, I said, "Hi Mom, it's John". She said, "John who"? Although she recognized my voice, my mother had a great sense of humor

                                                                                                                      My father also had (has) a great sense of humor. He frequently called me from work at 6:30 in the morning.

                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                        That' s funny!

                                                                                                                        No one calls us on the landline anymore. I didn't recognize his voice for a moment, and he told me who he was!

                                                                                                                    3. Both the quick fire and elimination challenges seemed hard to me because there are such strong ideas already as to what the correct fried chicken and sushi should be like and there wasn't a lot of room for creativity. So kudos for Josh for bringing the smoke.

                                                                                                                      So glad Josie is finally gone if only to not have to hear the excuses. Not surprised Snidely won this week, he's spent weeks telling us about all the things that aren't in Oklahoma, he finally got to cook something that he says they have in Oklahoma. (I dislike how he makes it seem like there is no culinary scene in Little Rock or Tulsa).

                                                                                                                      I liked all the judges talking about what makes a good fried chicken to them.

                                                                                                                      The reward for the elimination was a let down for sure. this week bottles of cheap wine, last week it was a freaking car. But I really wanted to hear Josh say "we don't have wine in Oklahoma" when he won.

                                                                                                                      It also seemed like Josie didn't really care that she got eliminated. It was clear she wanted to go father in the contest but it was pretty clear that she didn't care if they thought her food was good or not. I like it better when chefs are trying to make the best dishes every week rather than just trying to stay for one more week.

                                                                                                                      17 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                        I'm always amazed at Josie's lack of self-awareness regarding her food. She said something to the effect that her chicken was not greasy and the judges were wrong. The other (better) chefs are able to assess their own dishes with a critical eye. Brooke knew her chicken wasn't good and on LCK Kristen said her dish didn't live up to her own high standards.

                                                                                                                        1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                                          Yeah, the "Whatever" comment as she was packing her knives pissed me off. Tom's comment where he told her at JT "So all of us don't know what we're talking about" really told her what they all thought of her food....and she *still* wouldn't accept that it was inferior.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            Josie was in a bit of denial. When her fryer was not getting up to temperature, she made a comment about how flabby and greasy the chicken would be if she cooked it at too low of a temperature (or words to that effect). Then Lizzie offered the use of her fryers.

                                                                                                                            Although Lizzie's personality does not light up the room, and her food is somewhat boring, it must still taste pretty good.

                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                              And then she tried to use the fact that one of her fryers wasn't working as an excuse. Hello, Lizzie gave you BOTH of her fryers as soon as she was done.

                                                                                                                          2. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                                            She said that everyone tasted her chicken and they all told her it was "tasty" - steering the conversation away from the fact that it was greasy. That seems to have been her M.O. at every judges' table - deflect attention away from the negative. It's just not going to work with chefs like Tom Colicchio sitting in judgment of your food.

                                                                                                                            1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                              Not to mention I bet they're all supportive when tasting each other's foods. Inside, they may be saying "what a greasy gut bomb" but they'll say to her "ooh, that's tasty".

                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                And did everyone catch Josh and --was it Sheldon -- embracing? Ding dong, the witch is dead kind of thing it seemed to me. They're better than I in how they could be blandly pleasant to her. I would have such a hard time even looking at her if I had been in that situation.

                                                                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                  It just shows her complete lack of self-awareness, as mentioned by others here. She asked their opinion but they're not her close friends, not her family. Of course she'll get a positive answer. It's like the "Do I look fat in these jeans?" question. A group of (mostly) polite professionals you've spent two weeks with will never say yes. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks without the Josie distraction.

                                                                                                                                2. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                  At that point, was she expecting Tom and the others to say, "Oh, yeah, you're right. It was great chicken and we were wrong." I loved Brooke's eye roll when she said that. Tom was so clearly fed up with her. For anyone else, I would have thought it was too much but for Josie? Schedenfreude.

                                                                                                                              2. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                "The reward for the elimination was a let down for sure. this week bottles of cheap wine, last week it was a freaking car. But I really wanted to hear Josh say "we don't have wine in Oklahoma" when he won."

                                                                                                                                I felt bad for him - the wine is a pretty beat prize, especially since unlike money or the car it's not something he can easily share with his kids.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                  They have wine in Josh's world. It may just comes in boxes, however.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                    Although 365 bottles of even $10 retail bottles (I assume these are at least that good) is still a prize worth over $3500. And not evey elimination has a prize. But still, yeah, not as good as a car or 10 grand.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                      Let's just put it this way: he has something to bring to every party he'll attend in the next year.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                        Or as Stephan put it, enough wine to last maybe three months. Depending on the income level, though, the taxes on those bottles of wine could be well over $1000.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                          Except that would mean drinking four bottles of wine a day, which is a crazy amount for a single person. Unless he throws a lot of dinner parties?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                            This was one reason he really appealed to me this episode--his deadpan quips.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                              chowser, I'm with you. I think he both suffers from and benefits by the editing staff this season.

                                                                                                                                2. So many things I didn't understand in this ep:

                                                                                                                                  Brooke didn't have time to fry her skin properly but was done fifteen minutes early. Things were just going too quickly for me to put that all together.

                                                                                                                                  Brooke and Lizzy both served deboned breasts, and while I get that Lizzy's tasted good and Brooke's didn't, the judges spent a lot more time (it seemed to me) talking about missing bones than missing flavor.

                                                                                                                                  Sheldon served David Chang "Momofuku-style wings", and while there was an issue with not enough wings to go around, I never saw Chang say he got one, or didn't, or liked it, or didn't. Just a weirdly dropped element.

                                                                                                                                  I was half-positive Stefan was going home as much airtime as he got. At this point my fantasy finale is Brooke vs Sheldon.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                    And another random beauty shot of Truvia that had nothing to do with anything in this episode.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                      That shot of the Truvia. I assumed it would be followed with some kind of twist where you have to use Truvia. It did get me thinking. .. how much would it cost me to have a random shot of a family portrait during an elimination challenge? I now have to wonder about those shots of the different chefs kids. Are they really their kids or is there a link somewhere where I can pay to get my kids on tv? Picture it. Brooke; "I really miss my kids" and she's holding a shot of the Bobbert clan. I have to write the producers. This can be a huge moneymaker.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                        Bobbert, that is awesome. Please follow through on this and report back.

                                                                                                                                  2. AT LONG LAST! Josie is finally gone, and not too soon! Tom looked like he'd really had enough of her excuses and time mismanagement. When Michelle basically pronounced Josie's chicken as inedible, I was really hopeful. Strangely, Padma did seem to be trying to keep Josie. What's with that?
                                                                                                                                    I was interested in what Sheldon was going to do. I thought maybe mochiko chicken or karaage, but I guess there wasn't enough time to marinate (or they didn't have mochiko or potato starch available).
                                                                                                                                    I have a minor correction to your otherwise wonderful, as always, recap, Linda. It was Stephan, not Sheldon, talking to his Mom with Parkinson's.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                      Ahh, shoot. I'll ask the Mods to fix that. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                        I think Padma, as the host, is playing Devil's Advocate, in both this week's and last week's JT. Last week, they needed to stick to the unwritten rule that the executive chef of each team at RW is ultimately responsible for their team's output.

                                                                                                                                        What I noticed is Tom's reference to the past challenges when talking to Josie. Tom has frequently told us that they don't care what happens in the kitchen, they only care about the food. Of course Josie has put out some bad food. She has just been lucky each time that somebody else's food was worse, (or what happened in RW).

                                                                                                                                        All of these decisions are made prior to the editing of the video. So Tom made this decision based on what he saw during the recording of the show. Can you imagine the shitstorm there would be if they had sent Brooke home last night?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                          I have also been thinking that Padma's playing Devil's Advocate -- trying to get a good mix of sound bites that the editors will be able to play us with -- positives and negatives about each dish.

                                                                                                                                          Tom's blog (and others at various times) have made it sound like the dishes were not always as close as they seem in the final show, but they aren't going to show us a 30-second JT -- "OK, we're all agreed?" They've got to discuss all the details to make it interesting for us who can't taste the food. Then the editors have something to work with, for better or worse. Last week, of course, as with most team challenges and RW in particular, they aren't comparing apples to apples -- there are a host of sins that can possibly send someone home, not just "rank the fried chicken on the inedible to angelic choir range."

                                                                                                                                      2. My dislike for Padma has reached new heights and I'm nearly ready to say I hate her. I thought she was way over the top and over the line with her "such a bullshitter" comment about Stephan. To me, he just made something he was familiar with but didn't meet the judges expectations. How is that bullshitting??

                                                                                                                                        I also thought most of the judges came off as condesending, arrogant, jerks at the chicken dinner, espcecially those two hipster guest judges. I realize that they were drinking a lot and probably a little buzzed and looser than normal, but to me, it really reflected badly on all of them. But mostly those two hipsters who have been famous for what, 20 minutes?

                                                                                                                                        I thought Tom was brutally awesome when he destroyed Josie and then Stephan at the end. I would never want to get into a arguement with Tom! Pandma, no problem, she's a lightweight, but Tom? I'll steer clear!

                                                                                                                                        33 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bart Hound

                                                                                                                                          I also thought the judges were disrespectful around the table. These contestants work hard and have a lot at stake. I wouldn't want to cook for people who are having fun making fun of it.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                            In their defense there were a lot of bad dishes this week. But pucks comment about "apprentice chef" and the animal guys "gald I didn't get hired" were a couple I thought were particularly sharp.

                                                                                                                                            And what's with Padma at JT? She is getting downright agressive. Perhaps they need to adjust her meds. Damn, there I go making sharp comments.

                                                                                                                                            jb

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                              Maybe she was hung over from the dinner the night before?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                Ha. That is what I was going to say. It looked they had one good time at that dinner. Good for them

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  :) Then I will assume that on RW she not only ate two dinners, but drank enugh for two. :)

                                                                                                                                                  jb

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                                                    From what I've heard about her, I don't think that would be a big stretch.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      from what I've experienced in person, that's could be the case.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                          Don't leave us wondering. Please say more.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                            not much to say. I've met her at F&W and some other media events. She was pleasant to me but less pleasant to women and quite stand-offish with fans which I find odd if you are doing a public appearance or at a press event.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                              Falls into line w/ what I was thinking about her and Kristen, who is younger and prettier and an amazing chef. And why she tends to favor Josie. No threat.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                                Not surprised about her being less pleasant to women. Competition.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  And my wife despises her. (insert cat sound here)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                    I still maintain that Padma is light years ahead of Katie whatsherface Joel.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                        You're welcome. If I'm remembering how wooden she was, I'm going to drag you all down with me, JAB. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yeah, I remember her. Even Billy Joel got tired of her.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                          Not much good in watching a table full of stars gloating over their expertise.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                            I just watched this last night, and am so happy to see that there are others who thought the judges were completely obnoxious!
                                                                                                                                                            I

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Bart Hound

                                                                                                                                                            My dislike for her has only been growing over the years and in the past couple of season she really has gotten a huge ego. I preferred Gail's hosting to Padma and Gail certainly knows more about food than Padma. I don't know whether the other producers are feeding her lines or whether she really thinks she is that brilliant.

                                                                                                                                                            Yeah I thought the Animal guys were being arrogant. The reason they probably weren't hired as line cooks is they just weren't that experienced. I've had some good meals at Animal and some not so good meal. They are smart business people that rode the wave of bacon love and hipster fancies.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                              i like padma and think she does a fine job hosting the show. i've seen nothing broadcast during 'top chef' that indicates an ego any bigger than any of the other judges or hosts.

                                                                                                                                                              actually, her ego seems a lot smaller than many of the judges on the show.

                                                                                                                                                              gail's o.k., if a little bland. i'd have a beer with her.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                Maybe it was the editing but Padma was pretty quiet during dinner. She seemed to know her place at that table and kept quiet. I don't think I would have had the nerve to speak in front of that group either. At JT, she definitely appears more relaxed (maybe it's the meds).

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Bart Hound

                                                                                                                                                              totally agree that the judges were acting like school kids. silly yet not very funny and condescending. the two hipster judges are big in LA. their restaurants are packed to the gills and their restaurants have been around for a few very successful yrs and get rave reviews.

                                                                                                                                                              from what i understand and have been told by people that have worked on the show that padma is not the sharpest knife in the tool shed. she's no Jeff Probst to put it mildly. she's no dummy but just not very articulate.

                                                                                                                                                              oh and yay for josie's departure! i'm in the minority but i feel a bit sad for her. she seems to be really out of touch with her feelings and totally self unaware. the way she sort of shrugged and giggled her way out of TC reminds me of someone i know who had a painful past. anyway, the armchair psychologist in me feels she's got something painful behind it all. unlike heather from the season when she bullied that meek Beverly. Now thats a person i didn't feel sorry for!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                I'd feel bad/sad for Josie if she weren't so quick to throw someone under the bus and lie as she did with Kristen, in order to stay in the competition.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                  I've got to agree with your comments about Josie. While I didn't care for her on the show (and probably wouldn't in real life, either) there is something that tells me there is more to the story about her. I also took a quick glace at the Twitter feed that was linked on one of these threads and her frenzied attempts there are just strange to me.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                    using professional mannequin jeff probst as a point of comparison scuppers the entire argument.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                      Come on, she played football don't you know? ;>)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                        Well, there is this: http://www.lgbthatecrimes.org/doku.ph...

                                                                                                                                                                        I dislike her as a cheftestant as much as anybody, but it turns out you are right about a painful past.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: yellowstone

                                                                                                                                                                          i was thinking further, like back when she was a baby/child but sure, this could qualify. i do know that many of my gay friends have endured bullying and getting beaten up etc. and they're well adjusted people. i know someone (not gay) but had a constant smile on her face. laughed everything off to the point where it wasn't normal. it was sort of a big show to cover up a painful childhood. anyway, enough armchair psychology. glad josie is gone. she was painful to watch. more than the guy with his glasses half on.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                            "She was painful to watch."
                                                                                                                                                                            I think that sums it up a lot from all perspectives. It was painful for those who didn't care for her personality. It was painful for those who had to watch her lackluster cooking. It was painful to watch other more talented chefs get sent home while she stayed. It was even painful for those who had sympathy for Josie but just wanted to see her put out of her misery as it had started to become obvious to even her that she no longer belonged in that position. Ever seen someone in a job who obviously can't handle the position? It's painful for all involved. Usually they are let go or quit. As Josie couldn't quit we all, her included, had to wait for her to be let go. Thank goodness.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Bart Hound

                                                                                                                                                                        Tom's in a position of authority, but that doesn't make him right all the time. Nobody can talk back to him and tell him he's full of it at times.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. I will echo most of the comments here and say how happy I am that Josie is gone! No more having to listen to that braying laugh and her commentaries. Even though she's a "tree" (as she told someone in a past episode), was there ever a less self-aware person than Josie? I was also glad she felt guilty for having thrown Kristin under the bus.

                                                                                                                                                                        My husband, who is from Atlanta and who happens to make the best fried chicken I have ever eaten, was surprised (as was I) that no one made proper fried chicken. By that, I mean skillet fried chicken. Deep fried chicken is a horse of a different color, andt the best fried that I have had, is made in a cast iron skillet, though any deep, heavy pan could do in a pinch.

                                                                                                                                                                        24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                          I'd hazard a guess that Josie's guilt was extremely short-lived, roxlet.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                            I'll certainly agree with you on that. They were probably crocodile tears.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                            I was thinking the same as you Rox. My mother made great fried chicken. Although, the horror, she used a big electric skillet because even a 12" cast iron pan (she had one) was not big enough. She figured if she was going to mess up her kitchen, she was going to fry at least 3 chickens.

                                                                                                                                                                            I wonder what the judges would have done if someone made pan-fried chicken with country gravy and baking-powdered biscuits. My mother always made mashed potatoes to go with the fried chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                            The contestants all want to 'chefify' their food and are afraid of making food that is too 'homey'. In this case, I think it would have won this EC if executed properly.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                              I agree with you. I kept on waiting for someone to do that. And isn't homey food what Tom asked them for?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                Pan fried chicken with country gravy is a must in our house. That's the only way I'll do fried chicken. It's usually done with mashed potatoes and corn. There is just no other choice :)

                                                                                                                                                                                And I'm soooooo glad Josie is gone as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                And thanks, Linda. You did an excellent job as usual. My hat's off to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, put that hat back on, boyzoma! Your head will freeze in this cold snap! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                    We did rice with fried chicken and country chicken gravy. Yum. I wish I had some of my mom's chicken right now!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought that Josie's tears were for herself, not out of guilt for undermining Kristen, rather they were "nobody likes MEEEE" tears.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                    Right, there's "sorry I did that, I'll never do it again," and there's "sorry I have to suffer these consequences, poor me." (Yeah, I have kids ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                      That's what I thought, too. She was way too proud of herself for making the top 6. It's not like she cooked her way there; she did it by undermining team mates.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                        In all episodes of the Josie Show, that's called winning!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          Are you sure it was winning and not whining, Linda?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                            Undermining other teammates = winning for her. But yes, the whining comes right after when she's not universally liked by everyone. A Nancy Kerrigan-like "Whyyy? WHYYYYY?"

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            LOL, followed by whining that others don't think she belongs there.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. When I was a kid, my parents thought I would cry out of guilt for doing something wrong, when I was actually crying because I got caught:) I think Josie's tears were because she knew (as she said somewhere, I think) that everyone wanted her to go home instead of Kristen.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                          Is it possible to make 10 servings of skillets fried chicken and have 'em all come out at the exact correct time? (I have no clue, having never made it -- but it seems like it would be a lot trickier and more time consuming than simply dropping the chicken in a deep fryer.)

                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, did they have equipment for that? i.e. were a bunch of cast iron skillets hanging around somewhere? It seems, given the presence of the deep friers, that that was the expected cooking method.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, yes! We have have an annual chicken dinner every Feb-March with the same group of friends, and we've had up to 12 people at the table in total. What my husband does is to put the chicken on a rack that's on a sheet pan, and keep it in a 200 degree oven while he continues frying. He will even hold the chicken while he makes gravy and while we get everything on the table. I'm not saying it's easy, but it is the classic way. In fact, one of our guests is a famous chef who once got 4 stars for his restaurant from the NY Times. His son had joined us for dinner, and was really upset that his father couldn't replicate my husband's chicken, so my husband invited him to sous the next year!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                              Umm....I could be convinced to make a return visit to the town of my birth in the summer of 2013. Just sayin'. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                            I thought the same thing about pan fried chicken because the best I've had is a friend's grandmother's who also used a cast iron skillet. When it's heated on the bottom, there's that nice maillard reaction, in addition to frying--the best of both worlds. I wonder if the limitation is that it was at Tom's house. They could give them all decent fryers but not stove tops.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, but the there was a range in the kitchen, and unless they were told they couldn't use it, I was surprised that someone didn't stake it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                I was thinking it would be hard to want to use them, and have someone else grab them, too, when there were definitely enough fryers.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                chowser,

                                                                                                                                                                                                Going back as many seasons as I can remember, there have been numerous challenges where tabletop butane burners have been used. Along with 12" skillets, this would have been better as well as cheaper than the tabletop deep fryers that were provided.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Evil Ronnie

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, I know it can be done. I was wondering if maybe the chefs were told they'd be given fryers and didn't know what else was available. They could have given everyone burners for either.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Oh Phooey! I fell asleep and missed the whole thing!!! So glad to finally be rid of Josie. Linda Whit, you just made my day! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY, me! LOL It'll be repeated, I'm sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I really liked Stephan in this episode. I love his deadpan comments. I agree about Padma being rude about calling him a bulshitter. First, Europe is a big place and maybe Puck knew Austrian fried chicken but that doesn't mean Finnish/German Stephan did. And, if the case was that you HAD to do a traditional American fried chicken, how was Lizzie at the top? If Stephan had made a good chicken cordon bleu, how would that have gone over? I don't think the problem is that he didn't do traditional; it's that he did what was overdone in the 80's poorly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, on the QF challenge--bacon and mayo are two things that just don't to work with raw fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But look at that recipe for the Viennese fried chicken that's linked above. If that's what Puck calls fried chicken, it doesn't seem like Stefan was THAT far off, lol!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I liked Stephan better in this episode than I ever have before. I was even considering what it would be like hanging out with him over a couple of beers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                        From what I gathered last night, drinking with Stefan would involve considerably more than a couple of beers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That would be ok, too. As long as I take Hugh's advice from his blog and wear rubber gloves around Stephan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stephan has always struck me as a pretty funny, ironic fellow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have to say I am really glad to see *this* Stefan. Somehow, on his season he came across as a bald Snidely Whiplash, always plotting, without a kind word or deed to or about anyone (with the exception of Fabio (because really, how could you rag on that goofball?)). Even so, at the end, after Carla crashed and burned during the finale I was rooting for Stefan, in an "Oh, jeez - anyone but Hosea!" kind of way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This season Stefan is more relaxed and open. I now understand his humor, whereas before it just came off as douche-y.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Well Josie is gone. Great. Anyone else check out Twitter? Some scary stuff on there. Think twice before you go on reality TV... (Check out @dollofcooty for some extra special psycho content.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                          As much as I am glad she was sent home, and I have poked fun at her on these threads, it is disturbing to see the level of hate directed at her on twitter. She may come off as unaware and annoying at times, things I can also say about myself,but she's still a human being. People can be very cruel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          jb

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow - really that bad? I disliked her, and I groaned when she continue to remain and cheered when she was gone, but I wouldn't be vicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JonDough

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interestingly, I can read it although I'm not on Twitter. Maybe I'm missing the really bad stuff, as it's really hard to read with the headband "Chef Josie" background.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, that's just her own feed. Start here... but only if you're REALLY bored:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  https://twitter.com/search/realtime?q...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, that link just reinforced the reason I don't want to join Twitter. How confusing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I can't follow that, either. I'm no fan of Josie's but there are some crazy posts there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The person I mentioned berated Josie in a series of maybe 15 tweets, culminating in writing to Josie's father, asking if he's proud of her. Another person I saw called her a c*** and said something about how she deserves to have her throat slit. I just can't imagine harboring that kind of rage over a show that airs on Bravo and has its cast members say stupid things like "... so we got into the Toyota Tundras and ..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ahh - I saw the one about her father and Josie's response. Did *NOT* see the other one - Jaysus H!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    what I don't understand is why she just doesn't block them. you block someone on twitter and you never see the tweets again. Also Josie was retweeting the hate tweets. Who does that? I don't know if she think Top Chef is like Survivor with the meanest players becoming the most popular. It's pretty clear she either likes the attention or thinks all this negative stuff will increase the visibility of her brand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      perhaps she doesn't block them because she thinks "tweets" demonstrating such ire about a person they've never met, whose food they've never tasted, say more about the person "tweeting" than the person being "tweeted" about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If she really thought that, she would put more thought into her own tweets and comments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          true enough. on the other hand, we're both just speculating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              you're a better person than i if you think you'll get a straight answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                naw, it just seems weird to wonder about it and not ask a person if you get a chance to actually talk to them in person not to mention if we are going to talk smack, we should see if reality matches the "reality TV".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've gotten to meet some of top chef contestants and most of them have been the first to admit that they were playing up for the camera or they were just so tired and stressed that they acted like dicks. The viewer sees so little of what goes into making these shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I saw that she was retweeting the hate tweets, tjinsf. Very odd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          She's not the first "public figure" I've seen do that sort of thing. I think sometimes people just want their followers to know how they are perceived/treated by non-fans. And re-tweeting the bad as well as the good does increase one's "impact factor" and gain you more followers in the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Reading twitter makes me feel better about my student evaluations. It's shocking how personal and cruel the insults can get when people are given anonymity. And just one of those will stick with you, even if you have 200 positive comments to go with it. I definitely don't have a thick enough skin to weather any kind of reality show contestant-dom. There's a big difference between thinking Josie should have gone home a while ago...and believing she's a waste of space as a human being.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And that, friends, is why I discuss Top Chef here, and not on Twitter or in the comment section of any number of blogs. Civility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yikes. What people say from the anonymity of the their computers is really scary. It sometimes (but not often) happens here too. Thanks you, mods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And they say all publicity is good publicity...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. This was what people in sports call a make-up call. Tom knows he messed up and is now making it up, even though the damage is done and Kristen is gone, for now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    By the way, Steve Goodman already wrote a song called Chicken Cordon Blues.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY_bQt...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No love for the Cubs here (!) but I love both Steve Goodman and that song. "This stuff is so weird the cockroaches moved next door." Thanks very much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's how I saw it too. While I was really disappointed about Kristen's ouster last week, 'twas her own petard got her the boot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As soon as Josie started crowing about her fried chicken and saying it was "in the bag," I knew it was she who would "pack her knives and go." The elves seem to foreshadow using heaping helpings of a contestant's braggadocio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I noticed that on the season premiere of Project Runway last night. While I know it's no longer a Magical Elves production, they seem to be following the same format - lots of bragging from the young one who eventually was told Auf Wiedersehen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I also would be most happy with a Sheldon/Kristen/Brooke final three but I'll take two because that is probably what is going to happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder if Sheldon would have won if he had enough chicken to go around?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Josh has become more likable to me. His joking with Brooke with a bit of honesty I found funny. He told her they may have to break up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Speaking of Brooke I've been watching her cooking all season and it doesn't surprise me that she doesn't know how to make fried chicken. It's not in her wheelhouse. Damn I hate the world wheelhouse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried Chicken is in Josh's wheelhouse, but loved the smoked technique, so I'm okay with his win. He knew to Keep it Simple Stupid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have to go back to Sheldon. I have loved him since the beginning and I had said that he's a quiet but strong chef. He didn't get much air time in the beginning but I am so glad he's finally getting some attention. and Lemon charcoal, What what?!!! Very cool. He also didn't didn't shy away from this challenge. I thought it was ballsy to make momofuku inspired wings with David Chang on the panel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stephan might be psychic - He predicted that Josie would go home and he also predicted that the final LCK winner would be Kristen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with Stephan when he says 365 bottles of wine would last him 3 months, me too! LOL My guess is that they will only do 1 bottle a week which would be 52 bottles. Wah Wah Wah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wine Dine JT every time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I couldn't tell if the two Animal, Son of a gun chefs were being assholes or trying to be funny. I think my problem with them seemed to be that they would be people that would be on top chef, like peers and not masters like Michelle, Tom, Wolfgang.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Funny enough I have this old old old, yes it's old (1960' or 70's) German American cookbook my mom gave me and in it is a recipe for fried chicken cordon bleu. So I understood where Stephan was going with this and when I looked it up on Wikipedia is when I realized the roots came from schnitzel filled with cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wolfgang is Austrian so I was wondering why he didn't know that. Although I know in Austria Wiener Schnitzel is king and veal is the choice with pork being excepted as only Schnitzel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think they actually said he'd get 365 bottles!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Josie is apparently taking her elimination well:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          " I’m not going to hold it against her; there are no hard feelings. The same goes for Brooke: there are no hard feelings. They showed this season that they were catty. They acted like little mean girls and that’s fine, that’s their personality. I happen to know that Brooke is a really nice girl when she’s not insulting me. And the same thing goes for Kristen and they’re both very super talented and it was an honor to be in the same room with all of these chefs."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Read the rest (if you can stomach it) at http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/01/24/jos...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Was Josie on an alternate reality of the show. I love that she found Brooke and Kristin to be "catty" and says this "At the end of the day, when I heard her say a few things, she’s young — she probably could have been a little more tactful with what she was saying on-camera. " about Kristin who was so mature that she didn't through Josie under the bus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So Josie is a model of tact. Can't wait to try her fried chicken now though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wait. She's calling Kristen and Brooke catty???? Baa haa haa haaa ahhhhh! Pot. Meet kettle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She really is clueless about herself. Totally in denial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And gah. I just read the entire interview. I can hear her voice speaking her responses. She just tries too hard to be too cool for school. :::nails on a chalkboard:::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow! Like some other posters, I sort of felt bad for Josie when she was leaving. She seemed to take it well, and was gracious and thankful to the judges and aside from her rebuffing Stephan's hug, she seemed nice to the other chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But that quote above shows me that she's as crazy and wacky and out of touch as ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The nutty, bitchy, delusional Josie is the real one and the thankful, gracious Josie is the fake one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, that's amazing. Brooke and Kristen showed themselves to be models of professionalism and she's calling them catty and lecturing them on maturity? Wow, just wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I guess it's all in your perspective. From where she sits, they were mean to her. From their seat - or our seat - it looks very different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Especially when we're not living with them every day. The dynamics could be different when there are no cameras around. The observer effect works its demon magic everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plus the elves decide what actually runs on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In the interview, it sounded like she was complaining about what they said to the camera, not day to day interaction. We also saw those conversations, then. Her attitude in the interview and in the show can be summed up, as she said, "Whatever." She doesn't care to improve, either as a chef or as a person. No feedback needed unless it's positive. think she's probably putting up a wall. But to call Kristen immature, given her own actions? Delusional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Other than Josie finally packing up her knives, I was kind of bored by this episode. And really, Josie was bound to go some time. It wouldn't have mattered if Brooke left this week and Josie left next week. As a matter of fact, it seems like the judges DID take past performance into account. Brooke's really did sound like the worst dish. I'd rather eat greasy southern fried chicken than dry overcooked chicken breast. The side dishes and accoutrement didn't seem to come into play this week. It was all about the chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So what I got this week was minimal cooking during the Quickfire and the minimal excitement of seeing chicken being fried poorly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The most entertaining was trying to count how many bottles of wine the judges went through. And it's always more fun being the one drinking than being the one watching others drink. Wolfgang, your drunken charm was mean-spirited.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry, rant over. I'll leave on a positive note:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay! No more countless team challenges like Top Chef Texas! Do you think they listened to our feedback?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    EDIT: OK, I just read Tom's blog. It seems that Josie's really was the worst chicken by a large margin. I guess she DID deserve to go home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. All I can say is finally!!!! Don't know how she stayed so long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Remember that game in gym class where everyone whipped a giant rainbow parachute into the air and then sat under it and took turns running around? I think it was supposed to teach you about colors, balloons, and air bubbles. Anyway, Padma is wearing one of those as a dress...."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          watching that Stefan gif too long is disturbing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          also, Silvestri seems to think Padma was calling all the losers "bullshitters"... not the impression i got.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          another good one: "Weakly and awkwardly, she cites how everyone else thought it was good, which is the Top Chef equivalent of citing how you have a black friend."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Holy mother of God, that final gif in his recap is PURE GOLD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And it was definitely that awkward looking in real time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. how in HELL did i forget about the last THREE LW TC recaps??? being sick can't excuse it - i still managed to watch the shows!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            well i'm back now. thanks Linda, for still being here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              :::::sniff, sniff:::: I was quite bereft without you here, mc. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I am starting to wonder if Padma had a crush on Josie because of the way she viciously attacked other chefs when Josie was clearly the worst.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I had the same thought when I watched this episode: Where's Ezell??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Soul Food Scholar Faults Top Chef For Chicken Showdown Without African-American Judge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/voraci...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would be all for judges who are experts in fried chicken but can you imagine the producers sitting around and saying, "Hey, it's a fried chicken challenge. We HAVE to have an African American judge." That would be fraught with racism as acknowledged in the article. It does bring up the question on why there aren't more African American judges on the show at all, regardless of challenge. I can't think of any, though I'm sure if there were, someone here would recall. Anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Marcus Samuelsson has been on as a judge, I believe, in a previous season. Daisley Gordon was on earlier this season. I can't recall if B. Smith has been on TC as a judge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love Marcus Samuelsson. How could I forget him? At the same time, I wouldn't think of him as a fried chicken expert which is one reason the whole idea of needing an African American judge for this challenge is fraught with racism. Get a soul food expert? Sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, I wouldn't either. And agree with your comment (and the writer of the Seattle blog) that requiring a black chef to be a judge for a fried chicken competition does have a racist bent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i love him too, but he's not actually African American, is he? Born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I considered whether he was or not but since he's from Ethiopia, lives in America, decided he was. It's debatable and not one I want to get into.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            While Marcus is certainly of african american origin would you really consider a person raised in Sweden to be representative of african american culture?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Which is why I said, "At the same time, I wouldn't think of him as a fried chicken expert which is one reason the whole idea of needing an African American judge for this challenge is fraught with racism."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have any of you read "Yes, Chef!". He certainly seems to identify as African American, although as Ethiopian and Swedish too. He had a great name for him and his soccer team in the book, but I can't recall it right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And of course there was Patti LaBelle. But then again, that was last season - the one we most want to forget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              govind armstrong appeared as a judge, i believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                for that matter why has the judging been such a sausage fest this year. Sorry but having Padma there doesn't count as have an experienced female chef or critic. I could so do without creepy wolfgang or emril who is nice but never says much that is interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. For those of you in the Boston area, Kristin is on the cover of the Improper Bostonian that came out today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really thought Josie was gonna stick around another week since the other two weren't liked at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As someone mentioned, I would have liked to have heard what exactly was wrong with Stefan's chicken cordon bleu, other than the fact that it was CCB and such a "dated" dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And as another said, Brooke saying she didn't have time to fry chicken skin? What does that take, 40 seconds? She could have done it in the 15 min her chicken was drying out in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here's the Improper Q&A:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.improper.com/features/kris...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Found this an interesting comment:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                HOW DID THE PRODUCERS TRY TO PORTRAY YOU?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was myself, and I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s personalities are pretty accurately represented.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And the one I laughed at?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                PAULA DEEN OR RACHAEL RAY?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No comment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I thought that Kristin was pretty gorgeous, so it doesn't surprise me that she also models.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I got such a kick out of the Judge's behaviour at the dinner table. and soooo many of those dishes looked fantastic. I am totally craving fried chicken (thank goodness we're going to a southern food restaurant later this week!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thank GOODNESS Josie is gone! huge sigh of relief. :) Her behaviour was getting on my last nerve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am late to the party - I just caught this episode last night on my dvr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I couldnt wait to read the comments, because JuJU, I could not disagree more!, and was wondering if anyone felt as I did.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought the judges were incredibly annoying and obnoxious.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They were virtually making fun of some of the food. Very uncool.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I havent read all of the comments, but am anxious to see if anyone else agrees with me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I assume the judges were filling their beliies with plenty of wine, which is what led to their behaviour, and I personally hope that that sort of childishness does not continue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, definitely. I was also surprised (really surprised, actually) that there weren't more comments on how obviously tossed the judges were. It was a pretty rare display of a lack of composure on their part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree, they looked wasted. I was put off by how mean they were, particularly Wolfgang Puck and even the guest judges. There's a big difference between constructive criticism and making fun of someone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Linda, I just noticed this in your recap:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The winner is Stefan. He finally wins after 27 challenges in both his appearances on Top Chef!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I knew he won on TC 5 so I looked it up. He won 4 QFs and 4 ECs. I did not go to the effort of seeing how many contests he was in after his last win in TC 5 until this win. Maybe there were 27 where he didn't win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dammit. I must have just gone with whatever he said on screen. DAMN YOU, STEFAN!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No, there weren't that many, John E. Grrr...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        he did say 27, he was just joking about how he hadn't won anything this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I've been wondering, with the three returning chefs, what distinguishes them from the contestants who competed on Top Chef All Stars? It seems wrong that some contestants were deemed All Stars and other were deemed spoilers for this season, especially someone like Stefan who almost won his season. TCAL seemed to be held in higher esteem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought about that myself. I bet Stefan and CJ were either asked or considered for TC 8. It's possible their schedule would not allow them to compete. What I wonder is who did the elves NOT ask, or decided to not invite on TC 10, and brought back Josie instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I can only imagine that Josie is either BBFs with someone in production or hung around nagging someone until they said yes. I personally think this was a bad move on her part, since she revealed herself to be both not terribly talented and not terribly nice. I've said over and over that while there can only be one winner, there are ways to advance your career on Top Chef by being attractive in some way (easy to work with, good personality, cook delicious looking and sounding food without being quite the cutting edge they're looking for, etc.) Josie was none of those things. She was trying to grab a second 15 minutes of fame and she blew it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For her, I don't think it matters what type of attention she gets. As long as she gets attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It might matter when she needs to find a job. IIRC it took Tiffani Faison a long time to get her career back on track, and Josie is nowhere near as talented as Tiffani.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But she doesn't need to find a job . . . she's Chef Josie! And she rocks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.chefjosie.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL. "No shows booked at the moment" -- looks like she does indeed need a job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't know if she needs attention as much as she's clueless as to how poorly she's acting. With that interview, she clearly saw Kristen and Brooke (after she watched the episode of Kristen's elimination) as being immature and catty. There was nothing shown in their behavior that I thought was immature or catty. OTOH, she didn't watch herself and cringe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yup. Her self-awareness quotient is zero.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whenever I see comments from contestants commenting about the behavior of other contestants on TC I wonder what has been happening in the kitchen or in the 'house' that does not make it to television. I'm not defending Josie, I'm just curious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It would be one thing if there was cattiness, etc. behind the scenes and Josie was commenting on it, as a first hand witness. However, she wasn't. She was commenting, in the interview, that AFTER she had seen the episode, she thought they were being catty, immature and mean. She was watching what we all saw and came to her conclusion. I didn't see Brooke or Kristen as being any of those. OTOH, most of us saw the episode and disliked her behavior and yet she didn't seem to realize how poorly she's come off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Didn't she send out a bunch of tweets attempting to defend herself after these episodes have been telecast? On TC 1, Tiffani didn't like the way she saw herself and attempted to make changes. Dale Talde did the same after TC 4. I wonder if Josie will ever do the same?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't follow her tweets, no interest, but this is her second time around. The others, even Stephan, I think redeemed themselves second time around. I liked Marcel much better this time on Next Iron Chef. I think everyone HAS the ability to mature but do they? Josie has a shield around her, my arm chair psychology, that attacks instead of thinking whether criticism has merit. That was her response to any food people didn't like. Remember her response to her fried chicken being bad? Even if she did attempt to redeem herself in her tweets, did she ever accept and apologize for her horrendous behavior? Or was she attempting, again, to make excuses?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm in the "Marcel got a bad rap" camp. He was young, quirky and a bit cocky and annoying, but I don't think he did anything overtly mean (unlike, for example, Spike deliberately trying to screw his competitors). It was a really ugly example of group dynamics where the "cool kids" ganged up to bully him (which started long before the infamous attempted head shaving). After his season he seemed to deliberately (with humor and self-awareness) play up his "villain" persona.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I didn't watch Marcel's season, actually. I've caught it here and there in reruns. I was surprised he wasn't as bad as others have made him out to be, when he was on The Next Iron Chef. Even the judges commented about how much he's grown as a chef. Regardless of how people viewed him in his season, either as young, receiving a bad-edit, or as overly cocky and full of himself, it seems like he's grown. If possible, Spike seems to have gotten cockier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nah, Marcel was truly an asshole. He was an asshole during the second season. That's a given. (He took Frank's $100+ sunglasses and broke them because he was "cleaning up" the area in which he was going to cook for the Thanksgiving EC just because he was pissed he had to cook and Frank and others were exempt from the challenge. Also, he was an ass to Fabio and others on a reunion show.) Marcel was only mildly better on TC 8 but he must not have been much better, because I cannot recall any moments where he impressed me with his maturity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't forget, he had a massive hissy fit in Top Chef All-Stars out on the deck and went all ghetto-angry on several people. Just tried to check my All-Stars recaps, and couldn't find it. But I do vividly recall it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember. He was angry with Dale Talde and Dale said Top Chef 4 Dale would have beaten the crap out of Marcel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Even more so than Tiffani from TC 1 was Stephen, who came on the reunion show and said how appalled he was at his behavior on the show, and apologized to everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stephen and Dale would be the two who made the biggest change, IMO. But of course, to make such a big change you have to start out as a rage-beast (Dale) or complete d-bag (Stephen).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, Josie has the first part covered.;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yup. He really did. He was so profuse in his apologies people were skeptical at first that he was sincere!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That was also the show where Tiffani walked off the set in tears. I think that was actually the moment when she started to re-examine her behavior, when she saw how people felt about her long after the hot-house environment of the show had dissipated. They don't make reunion shows like that any more!