Maybe it's because I have always been a fan of bulldogs? They happen to be my favorite canines. While they may be grumpy, and not so pretty, there is something about their gruff disposition that I am certain masks a softer, fuzzier side.
Since the first day on set, when we taped the Season One vs. Season Two Episode ("4 Star All Stars"), and he was seated at my table, I knew he would be a controversial, entertaining personality in the kitchen. From my experience on Top Chef, controversy makes for great television. What I especially like about him is his ability to not only speak his mind about anyone and anything (including his own failings), but also how eloquently he is able to do so -- a rare talent these days. In fact, I think if Howie could put down on paper all the fabulous opinions he articulates, he could probably make a pretty decent career as a food writer.
Sadly, he will not be making his career as Top Chef, at least in the foreseeable future. The decision to send him home tonight, from what I could tell when viewing the episode, was almost inevitable. Regardless of his appeal to the judges and his efforts to leave the competition with his pride intact, his hors d'oeuvres were clearly the most unoriginal and uninspired of the lot.