Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Jan 31, 2013 10:56 AM

Last Chance Kitchen 1/30 (spoilers)

I'm surprised no one's written this up, unless it's yet another thing I can't see. Thanks to chatsworth for giving the link. Sounds like lots of people have seen this but in a nutshell, Stefan and Kristin are very cutesy and Tom gets a kick out of the whole "wifey" thing. They have to cook with various innards and K. goes with chicken livers w/ pickled fruit and a caramelized sauce w/ mustard in there somewhere too. S. makes a German dish consisting of a bunch of dif. innards (tripe, heart, tongue, liver) and a dumpling and cream sauce. Tom likes both of them and even tho Stefan's seems to me to be a little more creative, Kristin has a better balance of flavors. Stefan doesn't seem to care that she beat him. No peanut gallery brought up to Alaska to watch them cook.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. <No peanut gallery brought up to Alaska to watch them cook.>

    That doesn't surprise me. I'm trying to remember if it will be next episode or when it's down to 3 that the LCK champ will emerge. But it's definitely soon. The season is almost over.

    18 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      I don't think it's been made clear when the LCK/SaveAChef winner will re-enter the regular show. My guess is after next week. So, one more LCK, then the cook off between the LCK winner and the SaveAChef and back into competition.

      But, as was proven in another thread, I am bad at math, perhaps I have reading comprehension problems as well.

      Prediction: CJ will be the SaveAChef and Kristen will win LCK. I have no idea how will win that cook off. But whoever the winner is they will win TC.


      1. re: JuniorBalloon

        Yep, we don't know exactly when the LCK winner will emerge, and we don't know exactly how the Save-aChef will play a role here. I hope it is more than just a cookoff between the LCK winner and the SAC winner; the LCK champ should be given a huge advantage. I recall a number of seasons ago, they gave an eliminated chef the chance to get back in (I believe his name was Jeff, a pretty boy blond). But to get back in, he had to beat everyone or something like that; the deck was stacked against him.

        As for who will win the SAC thing between CJ and Stefan, I'm not sure. I think CJ is the more innovative chef but I like Stefan, and it being a popularity contest of sorts, I think Stefan may very well take it.

        1. re: LurkerDan

          I just found this on the Save a Chef rules page.

          "The winner of the Save A Chef Competition will enter the Last Chance Kitchen finale scheduled to take place on February 13, 2013 at 11:01 PM ET. The winner of the Last Chance Kitchen finale will re-enter the Top Chef 10 competition on February 20, 2013."



          1. re: JuniorBalloon

            So if things continue as-is (Kristen remains top LCK chef, and CJ remains the SaveAChef chef), CJ has yet ONE more chance (after having already been beaten by Kristen) to take her on, beat her in the final LCK, and regain the TC chef's coat.

            I'm not sure I like that (the SaveAChef contender battling the LCK contender). CJ has already been given his second chance (and CJ held off a lot of contenders), and ended up losing to Kristen. Giving him a third chance? Hmmm....

            1. re: LindaWhit

              I agree, Linda, but that's also the argument against LCK in the first place. A chef can get eliminated then walk right back on to win the whole thing, beating a chef who was never told to PYKAG.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                It seems like last year's LCK had a situation like this, someone winning a string of challenges only to lose their spot near the end. I suppose the Save A Chef is to balance that out a bit (which it seems to be doing for CJ, now that everyone's forgotten what they liked about Kuniko).

                If LCK is to make sure the chefs are voted out for good cause (and not a lame burner or bad oil or whatever) then maybe SAC is to level things out even more. After all, if one chef outcooks a third of the field in heads-up challenges, they may deserve the title more than the eventual winner.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  If the LCK champ remains Kristen and if CJ wins SaveAChef, I don't have a problem with CJ being handed a second chance. I think CJ is yet another victim of Kristen's PYKAG. If Josie had gone, then CJ would have been up again her, and I think it's reasonable to assume he would have beaten Josie. Kristen likely would have continued her march to the finals via the Top Chef route and CJ might have done the same via the LCK route. (Clearly the competition gets tougher as the Top Chef almost-finalists enter LCK competition.)

                  To me, it feels as if CJ re-entering the competition is a back-door way of handling the fall-out from the Josie-Kristen issue. Whether he would have gone all the way to the LCK finals, at least he would have succeeded or fallen on his own merits -- not as a casualty of the Josie/Kristen mistake.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I hate the save a chef concept. I want to see good cooking chops win, not popularity. Give them the fan favorite but don't insult the rest of the contestants by putting them in the finale. Though, chances are they won't even come close to winning!

                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                      <<I hate the save a chef concept. I want to see good cooking chops win, not popularity. >>

                      This is television. It's not about fine cuisine, but selling Glad Wrap and Toyotas and GE appliances and Truvia. And if bringing back fav favorites for the finale helps them do that, then, by God, that's what they'll do.

                    2. re: LindaWhit

                      If it were just the LCK winner getting a chance to re-enter the main TC competition (meaning no Save-a-Chef 3rd chances ala the possibility of CJ rising from the dead yet again) then it would be the epitome of 'double-elimination' competition. Double eliminiation in a tournament situation does not mean two contestants are eliminated as we have been told by the Top Chef producers. Double eliminiation means a contestant has to lose twice before being eliminated from the competition. (I know I will get people disagreeing with me. But those were the rules in every double elimination sports competition I was ever involved in back in my younger days, specifically high school and college wrestling.)

                      1. re: John E.

                        That's the way double elimination has worked in the tournaments I have been in, except nothing about this follows a tournament format. Not to mention, all of the double elimination tourneys I have been a part of were designed to pick qualifiers to advance to another event. For example, regionals to nationals. But nationals would be single elim. Because if the winner of the losers bracket beats the winner of the winners bracket, they both have lost only once. You'd have to have them play a second match, which is kind of silly. So here, you could have someone who has never lost (say Sheldon or Brooke) lose the top chef title to someone who has already lost once (say Kristen) without getting another chance. They would end the competition not having lost twice, yet still be a loser.

                        1. re: LurkerDan

                          In relating to the sports competition, if the winner of the losers (consolation) bracket had not been defeated by the winner of the championship bracket, and it was a qualitfying tournament to advance to higher competition, there is sometimes what is called a 'true second' round at the end of the finals. I have been involved in tournaments where it is double elimination just so the participant has the chance to win third place. This would be for a national competition.

                          1. re: John E.

                            I'm totally confused now. LOL I'll just wait and see how it plays out.

                    3. re: JuniorBalloon

                      Nothing in that means it is an even battle, straight up winner takes all. And those dates seem odd. There are only 4 chefs left, and it's January 31st.

                      But yes, interesting.

                      1. re: LurkerDan

                        Based on those dates I'm going to guess there is no TC on the 13th. Perhaps the LCK finale will be that weeks episode with the winner entering TC Comp on the 20th for a 3 person finale.

                        Of course they will end the LCK as a cliffhanger so we won't know how has woni that until the 20th.


                      2. re: JuniorBalloon

                        Interesting.. I had thought SAC was going to go head to head versus the LCK person for a spot in the finale...

                      3. re: LurkerDan

                        Lurker, I'd forgotten about Jeff. He was cute. Yes, the rule was that he had to finish first to advance. Wonder if they'll have a similar twist this year.

                  2. I very much enjoyed this LCK. First off, Tom's enjoyment of the two of them. Second - NO OTHER booted cheftestants yammering on the sidelines. It was just Tom watching, and Stefan and Kristen cooking.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I actually like the various comments from the other contestants. They all seem to be good sports and interested in what's going on.

                      1. re: Joanie

                        But it can sometimes seem a bit forced, Joanie, at least to me. Last night's LCK allowed for more concentration on those cooking in LCK. However, it is sometimes interesting to see what the sideliners are muttering under their breaths in relation to what is being done. Captioning helps a lot with that. :-)

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I really enjoyed the inter-play between Stefan and Kristen. It was nice for me to see the quiet setting and the obvious camaraderie between the two.

                          1. re: boyzoma

                            It was very charming. And the setting was beautiful.

                            1. re: DGresh

                              It was also fun to see that Tom had no idea of their friendship. And he just kind of blinked as they chatted and flirted - and cooked like mad. And then he got it - two really great chefs who enjoyed and respected each other. It doesn't happen as often as you'd like!

                    2. Stefan's exit interview was by far the most gracious ever and I think it was genuine and not some last ditch effort to get in Kristen's pants. It's the first time I can recall a chef referring to someone other than himself as the best.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: bobbert

                        We should remember that Stefan has a restaurant empire (well, if not empire, he has multiple restaurants on two continents). His career seems pretty well settled, in a very good way.

                        The other chefs are often striving to make their career, to turn TC into a trampoline for opening their own restaurant. That must make TC much more meaningful/stressful. Stefan can come and just have a good time, he goes home to his successes.

                        1. re: bobbert

                          They made him look like such a jerk in his season and he really doesn't seem to be at all.

                          1. re: wincountrygirl

                            Well... I think he kind of WAS a jerk in his season!

                            But time has passed, he has grown, and I think he is now a much better version of himself.

                            I congratulate him on his restaurants, wish him VERY well, and wish Kristen even more : )

                            1. re: happybaker

                              TC 5 was the first season I watched Top Chef. (I subsequently saw many of the earlier TC seasons' episodes, although I wish Bravo would show every season in its entirety.) While watching TC 5 I found myself being annoyed with Stefan and Fabio and their "European connection" and was rooting for Hosea to kick their butts. (I also found Carla to be annoying back then.) As the season progressed, I got to like both Stefan and Fabio. I was less than impressed with Fabio's cooking that did not involve gnocci or ravioli however.)

                              1. re: happybaker

                                Actually, I thought so too. But several of the chefs from his season commented on the fact that he really was a nice guy. I can't remember who though, since one season has started to run into another!!

                          2. I just love watching Kristin cook. She continues to become more and more masterful week by week.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: latindancer

                              I agree I'd rather eat her dish, but I thought Stefan gave more attention to the challenge (I mean, I can cook a good chicken liver, but I can't say the same about the rest of the stuff they had to work with). I'm not sorry she won, but I think he gave her a run for the money.

                              1. re: DGresh

                                He really did.

                                The two of them seem to be so evenly matched and I'm sure it would've been difficult to pick a winner with this one.
                                Their styles are very similiar in taste and in execution.
                                Both of them are brilliant, in my opinion, in different ways.

                            2. haven't seen the episode yet, but glad to see K is kicking bootie! :)