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Top Chef Masters 8/21 - Restaurant Wars

chefhound Aug 21, 2013 09:56 PM

I didn't want Joanie to worry, so I thought I'd start the conversation.

I knew the Artisan team was going to be in trouble when they didn't listen to Bryan. Why oh why would you not ask the one person who had experience with Restaurant Wars? Except for Bryan, all of their dishes sounded so boring. Lynn's brownie sundae sounded so pedestrian. And nobody on the team except Bryan put a twist on their dish. No one did anything unexpected. I thought it was a toss-up whether Jen or Lynn should go.

Can you imagine how amazing the food would have been if Bryan, Douglas and Sang had been on a team together?

I wonder what's going on with Douglas' sous? I hope it's not serious. So I guess Douglas no longer has a chance of immunity?

  1. Shrinkrap Aug 21, 2013 11:02 PM

    Thanks for getting this party started. Glad to see Bryan getting praise, even when his team didn't. Looking for that salad recipe. I was surprised to see that side of Sang, and had mixed feelings about his win. Sort of knew who might be going home, but I think that contestant will be alright.

    1. Joanie Aug 22, 2013 03:46 AM

      Thanks. I actually took a few notes but you hit it in a nutshell.

      The sous chefs had mystery baskets and the winning sous worked for Bryan, Lynn, Jen and Neil (who had immunity) so that team had the sous help for part of the cooking while the team of Doug, Sue, David and Sang did not. Busy Phillips gave her ideas of what makes LA a good eating town and they had to go with that.

      The winning sous team was Artisan. Besides ignoring Bryan's advice, Jen called him 90 times while shopping which he eventually ignored. She worked front of house in kind of a frenzy the whole nite. She made a salad w/ a million ingredients, tahini something, Bryan's Cobb inspired salmon w/ dried bacon, Neil's steak with kale and potato and a olive oil cake that people thought was too bland. And Lynn did the heavy large brownie sundae. Is that really all she made?

      The losing team was called "72 and Sunny" which I thought was cute. David took front of house and was friendly and laid back. He had one of the waiters expedite which people weren't sure about, Doug apologized in advance for what was about to happen while Sang was kind of a dick to all the waiters. It got a bit backed up but out come the dishes. Poached salmon w/ caviar (can't remember who made that) and Sue's quinoa salad w/ radish and arugula. Sang did a fancy beef & broccoli with black bean sauce. David made the tangerine panna cotta (I think) and Sue did a s'mores semi freddo. The quinoa got ragged on a bit but overall their food was better and they won.

      I was shocked that Lynn and not Jen went home since they didn't like Jen's salad or tahini or her handling of FOH. On the other hand, if Lynn only made that one dessert they didn't like, I guess it makes sense. Oh well, she was a good egg as they say.

      And I noticed Ruth's hair for the first time. Some people were down on her for trying to look so young which I'd never really noticed before but last nite, it really seemed like she was trying too hard.

      14 Replies
      1. re: Joanie
        LindaWhit Aug 22, 2013 09:12 AM

        I did love how Brian eventually hung up on Jen while shopping. :-D And Jen's soup did *not* sound good to me at all.

        1. re: LindaWhit
          Worldwide Diner Aug 22, 2013 09:55 AM

          Bryan's laugh is so weird (seems unnatural), which is probably why he didn't laugh at all on Top Chef.

          1. re: Worldwide Diner
            chowser Aug 22, 2013 05:46 PM

            Yeah, it's almost like he adds it on as an afterhought, "Ohh, maybe I need to chuckle here..."

            1. re: chowser
              chicgail Aug 23, 2013 01:20 AM

              I think he's a little socially uncomfortable. Shy? Awkward? Somewhere very high on the autism spectrum?

              1. re: chicgail
                dbrodbeck Aug 23, 2013 05:04 AM

                I thought the same thing as did my wife. That said, some people just have odd laughs.....

                1. re: chicgail
                  chowser Aug 23, 2013 04:23 PM

                  That's my feeling, too. I think it's w/ the cameras, though, because when he interacts w/ the other chefs, he's fine. OTOH, these aren't actors, they're people who love to cook. Some happen to be great in front of a camera, just watch Food Network Stars.

                  1. re: chicgail
                    gaffk Aug 23, 2013 05:56 PM


                    1. re: gaffk
                      chicgail Aug 24, 2013 04:32 AM

                      Shaking your head ... why?

                    2. re: chicgail
                      Sandwich_Sister Aug 24, 2013 06:24 AM

                      I watched Bryan on Top Chef and now on Masters and I just think he's just an introvert.

                      Introverts need more time to think and think deeper. This was evident on Top Chef where he had a lot of issues winning the quickfire but would pull off some brilliant wins in the elimination challenges.

                      I don't think he's shy, or autistic at all.

                      1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                        TopChefFan Aug 24, 2013 08:40 AM

                        Totally agree. Wonder if he would have been allowed to bring Michael as sous chef - he was pretty good at quick fires

                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                          chowser Aug 24, 2013 10:17 AM

                          Introvert is a good term for how he comes off.

                2. re: Joanie
                  LindaWhit Aug 22, 2013 09:13 AM

                  P.S. Your winning/losing team names need to be reversed, Joanie. (Maybe a Mod could do that?)

                  1. re: LindaWhit
                    dmjordan Aug 22, 2013 09:58 AM

                    Linda, I thought the same as you but she's right. When you first read it its confusing.
                    "The winning sous team was Artisan." IOW, the team that was made up of the chefs whose sous chefs won was Artisan.

                    But then later "The losing team was called "72 and Sunny", when I think she referred to the losing team as the team made up of the chefs with losing sous chefs.

                    1. re: dmjordan
                      LindaWhit Aug 22, 2013 10:56 AM

                      Oops - sorry, Joanie! And thanks, dmjordan!

                3. j
                  jujuthomas Aug 22, 2013 05:37 AM

                  Team Artisan made a serious error in judgement not listening to Bryan! what dopes. His salad sounded wonderful, and was really the only dish on that side that I wanted to try. Lynn's sundae looked like a gut-bomb, and Jen seemed a little forced and frantic at FOH.

                  I hope Douglas can call up another sous... too bad his guy had to leave. As Chefhound says, I hope it's nothing too serious!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jujuthomas
                    chefhound Aug 22, 2013 09:31 AM

                    Well, if you watched Battle of the Sous Chefs, Douglas was able to contact one of his other chefs to come and act as his sous. And he did well. He was in the top two of his first quickfire.

                    1. re: chefhound
                      jujuthomas Aug 22, 2013 11:07 AM

                      Ah, good to know. I didn't watch the next sous chef battle - I try to watch it just before the next TCM episode.

                      1. re: jujuthomas
                        chefhound Aug 22, 2013 11:42 AM

                        I watch it immediately after I finish the episode. I just can't wait. I'm a Top Chef addict.

                        1. re: chefhound
                          Dee S Aug 23, 2013 10:28 AM

                          I record TCM and watch on Thursday; TCMBOTSC is watched Friday but I watched it last night tsee what happened with Douglas' sous.

                          They didn't really say and I hope everything's ok with him. He was awesome!

                  2. LindaWhit Aug 22, 2013 09:11 AM

                    I knew when the judges were exclaiming all about Brian's dish that he would be safe should Artisan be the bottom group. Also agree as to the toss-up as to Jen or Lynn leaving.

                    Sang was *definitely* .... ummm... what's the word I want to use? .... Cranky? Demanding? Both? He's also winning a LOT of challenges - what is he up to - $40K?

                    I LOVED how relaxed David was as FOH. I knew that would be favorable to their team.

                    The 3 I would like to seen in the Final 3 are David, Brian, and Douglas. I hope whatever his sous is dealing with isn't serious!

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: LindaWhit
                      hambone Aug 22, 2013 11:15 AM

                      On personality I agree 100% but Sang puts out what sounds like some tasty, creative food.

                      Even his plebeian beef & broccoli was a whole new dish.

                      1. re: hambone
                        LindaWhit Aug 22, 2013 11:18 AM

                        Don't disagree with you at all re: his food. It's always looked great. But who was it - David? - that said the rest of the group was performing as a team during Restaurant Wars, and "Sang? Well, Sang is doing his own thing." Even Sang admitted that he was doing what HE wanted to do. But I guess doing that puts him in the winner's block so many times.

                        1. re: LindaWhit
                          hambone Aug 22, 2013 03:07 PM

                          Linda, who would I pick to sit around drinking beer with? Probably not Sang. (Doug and David both seem like really nice guys -- Mrs. Hambone worked with David many moons ago and said while he was intense he was really smart and nice.)

                          Or Brian. He seems like a really nice and decent guy.

                          1. re: hambone
                            linus Aug 22, 2013 03:14 PM

                            brian gives me the willies. that laugh alone would have me scooting down the group W bench.

                            i'd have a beer with sang. he knows a lot about beer, and could pick a good one.

                            1. re: hambone
                              LindaWhit Aug 22, 2013 04:36 PM

                              I dunno, hambone. When Sang isn't involved in the kitchen, he's actually quite relaxed and funny. I love his playful interaction with his "brother", Douglas. I think Sang, Douglas, and Brian would all be on my list with whom I'd like to shootg the shit. :-)

                          2. re: hambone
                            Worldwide Diner Aug 22, 2013 11:39 AM

                            For some reason ghee and black bean sauce sounds wonderfully delicious.

                          3. re: LindaWhit
                            KrumTx Aug 22, 2013 11:44 AM

                            I should just say ditto to what LindaW said and save myself some typing, but I didn't know how to feel about Sang either! Part of me wanted him to calm the heck down and part of me found it hysterical because he doesn't seem the type to be so ???? - there's no right word for it.

                            Loved David at FOH and would definitely love to see David and Bryan in final 2. Undecided on the third.

                            As for Lynn – to have Bryan V brainstorm with you and somehow choose a brownie sundae for dessert is just beyond me. When a chocolate-loving pregnant woman says 'whoa' upon first bite, you've screwed up. I agree it was pretty anti-climactic at the end ... had to be one of two.

                            I'm liking this season overall, though. The preview that had one kid saying something like 'no way you're winning this challenge' looked cute.

                            1. re: KrumTx
                              ennuisans Aug 22, 2013 12:16 PM

                              Sang is a scrapper. His exchanges with other chefs on Twitter are one big slapfight. "All in fun" of course.

                              1. re: KrumTx
                                chefhound Aug 22, 2013 12:26 PM

                                I agree that Sang was kind of a crazy control-freak monster but I don't hold that again him. Sometimes you have to be that way to get things done right. I mean, this is just a game for charity and all that but you want to win. And you want to win for your charity as well as your ego/reputation.

                                Did he go overboard? Yes. But he said from the beginning that he was a perfectionist.

                                I have to admit that I didn't know much about him before except that Father's Office was supposed to have an amazing burger. So I thought he wasn't going to make it far if he was so limited. But I have been quite impressed with his ideas and his skills.

                                I also thought that David did a wonderful job with FOH. He was charming and just delightful. But I don't know about his food. I've never been to any of his restaurants even though I've thought about it whenever I'm planning a trip to NY. But every time I look at his menus, it seems like it's too much, one step too far, and I choose another restaurant. It seems like he has that problem on the show too. Some of his dishes are great and sometimes the judges say there are too many components and too much going on. And the crazy presentation ideas from last episode...

                            2. Joanie Aug 22, 2013 01:13 PM

                              But what about Ruth's hair? Haha.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: Joanie
                                chefhound Aug 22, 2013 01:22 PM

                                It's her signature look. Kinda like Donald Trump's.

                                1. re: chefhound
                                  Joanie Aug 23, 2013 05:13 AM

                                  Oh I know but I felt the way she had it last Wed. was even more of an attempt at a younger look. People here have complained that she should lose that hair style which never bothered me but last episode, it *did* seem like it was time for her to get a new do.

                                  1. re: Joanie
                                    DGresh Aug 25, 2013 05:25 AM

                                    I think she was trying to channel Zooey Deschanel

                                    1. re: Joanie
                                      mcf Aug 26, 2013 11:12 AM

                                      I think it's more like a failure to change her style for decades. Lots of women do that.

                                      1. re: mcf
                                        DGresh Aug 26, 2013 11:55 AM

                                        Not to belabor a trivial thing :) but her hair was straighter this past week than I've seen it; so she seemed to be "tweaking" her style.

                                        1. re: DGresh
                                          mcf Aug 26, 2013 12:06 PM

                                          I suspect the show runners provide stylists and that Ruth is very inattentive to hair style and maintenance from long time appearances.

                                          Never one to avoid triviality... ;-)

                                          1. re: DGresh
                                            Joanie Aug 26, 2013 12:45 PM

                                            You're definitely right, along with a more swept over bang or something. I'd have to see it again but it had a more "hip" look to it than previous shows.

                                            1. re: Joanie
                                              ennuisans Aug 26, 2013 12:48 PM

                                              She could always go back to this look:


                                              1. re: Joanie
                                                mcf Aug 26, 2013 12:50 PM

                                                But not really different from how she's worn it, variations on the same theme, forever, it seems to me: http://tinyurl.com/la43xyy

                                                I'm guessing the bushier, less kempt look is when left to her own devices, not enough product, out the door. None of the variations are doing her any favors.

                                                1. re: mcf
                                                  C. Hamster Aug 26, 2013 11:25 PM

                                                  Maybe she should affect the get ups she wore as disguises when she was a critic? The wigs, the rubber make up, etc....

                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                    Joanie Aug 27, 2013 03:45 AM

                                                    Haha, did you see that photo of Anthony Bourdain with her hair? Amusing.

                                                    1. re: Joanie
                                                      mcf Aug 27, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                      Missed it, just more evidence it's her branding, though. ;-)

                                        2. re: Joanie
                                          LindaWhit Aug 22, 2013 01:29 PM

                                          I just think Roseanne Roseannadanna when I see Ruth's hair.

                                        3. t
                                          TopChefFan Aug 22, 2013 02:55 PM

                                          If there is another team challenge would love to see Bryan, Douglas and David as a team.

                                          1. chowser Aug 22, 2013 05:52 PM

                                            The brownie sundae was a head scratcher. It's Top Chef? She said she makes it in her restaurant--who can't make a decent brownie? Didn't she taste it? There is so much she could have done w/ that idea.

                                            I'm not liking how the teams are being formed. Even if you do get an advantage, your odds of going home are higher if you're on the losing team. Usually they try to edit it so that you don't know which team is doing better but it seemed obvious that 72 and Sunny did better--maybe they were that much better that they couldn't edit it. David Burke was made to be front of house. He was genial and friendly. There could have been a fire and he would have been calm and collected.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: chowser
                                              chefhound Aug 22, 2013 10:27 PM

                                              I've sampled Lynn Crawford's food - when she was at the Four Seasons Hotel and at her current restaurant, Ruby Watchco. She's good but not spectacular. At both restaurants the food is pretty classic. It wouldn't surprise anyone.

                                              I think nowadays diners are a bit jaded. We've all enjoyed beautifully seared scallops and perfectly cooked steak. We're now looking for a twist. An unexpected but wonderful surprise.

                                              I was intrigued by Sang's broccoli two ways, Douglas's take on sashimi, Bryan's re-interpretation of a Cobb salad. Who needs straight-up beef and broccoli, regular Cobb salad? I've had those things many times before. I'm not saying that those classic dishes wouldn't be delicious if properly prepared and I would certainly eat them if offered to me. However, you need more than that to win Top Chef. Especially since the judges have eaten some of the best food available.

                                            2. b
                                              Brsboarder Aug 23, 2013 08:13 AM

                                              Has anyone seen the black bean and ghee recipe???? I want to try it

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: Brsboarder
                                                LindaWhit Aug 23, 2013 08:49 AM

                                                Interestingly, they don't seem to have ANY recipes from Chef Sang Yoon on Bravo's website!

                                                They have recipes from: Douglas Keane, David Burke, Neal Fraser, Jennifer Jasinski, Sue Zemanick, Richard Sandoval, Jenn Louis, Herbert Wilson (1st out!), and Franklin Becker.

                                                The only other chefs they DON'T have recipes from are Lynn Crawford and Bryan Voltaggio.

                                                Lynn was just eliminated, but does that reveal anything with not having Yoon and Voltaggio TCM5 recipes up there?

                                                1. re: Brsboarder
                                                  DanielVincent Aug 26, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                  I found it here on another site: http://www.starchefs.com/recipes/quic...

                                                  Black Bean Ghee:
                                                  2 ounces garlic, microplaned
                                                  2 ounces ginger, microplaned
                                                  1 ounce doubanjiang (Chinese bean sauce
                                                  )3 ounces Chinese sweet soy sauce
                                                  1 ounce black vinegar
                                                  1 pound ghee, melted
                                                  7 ounces black beans
                                                  5 ounces Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp

                                                  1. re: DanielVincent
                                                    mcf Aug 26, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                    Fermented black beans, right?

                                                    1. re: DanielVincent
                                                      Shrinkrap Aug 26, 2013 07:53 PM

                                                      Had not heard of " Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp"; searched it and wound up back here!


                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                        h00kemh0rns Aug 26, 2013 07:57 PM


                                                        1. re: h00kemh0rns
                                                          Shrinkrap Aug 26, 2013 08:42 PM

                                                          Added to cart! ........But I'll check our local Asian grocery first. Prime vs local. A conundrum?

                                                  2. c
                                                    catroast Aug 23, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                    man no season of top chef can ever live up to season 5
                                                    it's all just boring now

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: catroast
                                                      LindaWhit Aug 23, 2013 11:07 AM

                                                      Oh, PLEASE tell me you mistyped and you mean TC6, with the Voltaggio brothers, Kevin Gillespie, and Jen Carroll.

                                                      NOT TC5 with Hosea.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                        catroast Aug 23, 2013 11:21 AM

                                                        ya that

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                          chowser Aug 23, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                          Because the only thing memorable, sadly, about that season was the make out session.

                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                            mcf Aug 26, 2013 11:13 AM

                                                            And NOT in a good way.

                                                      2. gaffk Aug 23, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                        So I just watched this episode and agree with most others.

                                                        Why would the red team pick a lame name like "Artisinal"? And then ignore Bryan's suggestions? As soon as I heard their menu (Bryan's dish excluded) I knew they were losing. Soup, salad, steak and potato and brownie sundae?

                                                        And seriously, as soon as Lynn said she was making a brownie sundae I turned and said "she's going home this week." WTF? That was one of my favorite desserts . . . when I was a kid . . . in the 70s. I loved Lynn's personality, but what was she thinking?

                                                        I was disappointed in Sang this week--he took a few steps down in my estimation. You can tell something about how a person treats his/her peers; you can tell much more by how (s)he treats employees/staff. I thought both Douglas and David were very uncomfortable with Sang's treatment of the servers.

                                                        That said, I think Sang will take it all as he not only has the cooking chops, he has the competetive will. I'd like a Bryan vs Doug final, but I'm predicting Bryan vs Sang.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: gaffk
                                                          LurkerDan Aug 23, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                          agree with pretty much this entire assessment.

                                                        2. w
                                                          wincountrygirl Aug 25, 2013 03:06 PM

                                                          I think I'm watching too much Top Chef. Last night I dreamed that I had to cook a brisket on a campfire and everyone got different times to do it - I got and hour and a half. No pantry - I had to shop!!!

                                                          13 Replies
                                                          1. re: wincountrygirl
                                                            gaffk Aug 25, 2013 04:05 PM

                                                            Well, don't leave us hanging. Did you win? Get eliminated? Or middle of the pack?

                                                            1. re: gaffk
                                                              wincountrygirl Aug 26, 2013 03:01 PM

                                                              I woke up before my time started!!!! Like when you cant' die in a dream!

                                                              1. re: wincountrygirl
                                                                gaffk Aug 26, 2013 03:05 PM

                                                                Too funny.

                                                            2. re: wincountrygirl
                                                              DGresh Aug 25, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                              I've heard it said that many adults have a recurring dream that they have signed up for a class in college, and it's the last day of the semester, and they realize that they never went to class, never bought the textbook, and now they have to take the final exam (I certainly do have this dream, and I'm 30 years out of college). I wonder if the top chef contestants have a variation on that dream like you've described!

                                                              1. re: DGresh
                                                                chowser Aug 25, 2013 04:22 PM

                                                                I didn't realize that was a common dream. I have it often enough.

                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                  Shrinkrap Aug 25, 2013 06:44 PM

                                                                  It's a thing!

                                                                  "Recurring Final Exam Dream: You Forgot You Were Taking the Course"


                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                    ratgirlagogo Aug 25, 2013 07:18 PM

                                                                    Apparently it's one of the most common nightmares, at least for people who have some college experience. I also have it and I haven't been in school in decades.

                                                                    1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                                      Wahooty Aug 25, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                      Since I teach, my subconscious has a different take on that anxiety dream...it's the day of the test and I haven't written/proofed/printed it and I'm 5 minutes late...then 10...then 30..then 45...sometimes I do actually get there before I wake up, but then my students only have 5-10 minutes to take the test.

                                                                      1. re: Wahooty
                                                                        DGresh Aug 26, 2013 03:21 AM

                                                                        Yes, as I said above, I'm 30 years out of college, but just agreed to teach a college class as an adjunct, for the first time. And I had YOUR dream a few days ago! Ack!

                                                                        1. re: DGresh
                                                                          dbrodbeck Aug 26, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                                          I've been a prof for 17 years, yup, happens every year around this time and around exam time......

                                                                2. re: DGresh
                                                                  hambone Aug 26, 2013 04:41 AM

                                                                  For some of us that isn't a dream/nightmare, it is a memory.

                                                                  1. re: hambone
                                                                    Shrinkrap Aug 26, 2013 11:03 AM


                                                                  2. re: DGresh
                                                                    C. Hamster Aug 26, 2013 05:01 AM

                                                                    My recurring dream is oversleeping through my final exam. Which I did once 30 + years ago

                                                                3. John E. Aug 27, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                  i finally got around to watching this episode and don't have much to add except to ask if anyone else noticed that Lynn Crawford said she was using 'marscapone' cheese?

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