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Aug 21, 2013 09:56 PM

Top Chef Masters 8/21 - Restaurant Wars

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?

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  1. 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. 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

        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

          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

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

            1. re: chowser

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

              1. re: chicgail

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

                1. re: chicgail

                  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

                      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

                        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

                          Introvert is a good term for how he comes off.

                2. re: Joanie

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

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    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

                      Oops - sorry, Joanie! And thanks, dmjordan!

                3. 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

                    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

                      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

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

                        1. re: chefhound

                          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. 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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

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

                          3. re: LindaWhit

                            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

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

                              1. re: KrumTx

                                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. But what about Ruth's hair? Haha.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: Joanie

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

                                1. re: chefhound

                                  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

                                    I think she was trying to channel Zooey Deschanel

                                    1. re: Joanie

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

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        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

                                          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

                                            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

                                                But not really different from how she's worn it, variations on the same theme, forever, it seems to me:

                                                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

                                                  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

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

                                                    1. re: Joanie

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

                                        2. re: Joanie

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