Harold Dieterle

Harold Dieterle gives his take on Season 3's Restaurant Wars.

on Aug 22, 2007

Let's talk about a couple things though: I don't have a problem if they wanted to call the first go-round a draw, but the way it was perceived, the way we saw it, it wasn't a draw. I thought it was absolute bullshit. I thought April won. I thought April absolutely won. So they say the table service sucked, but the food at The Garage was like they killed it -- they totally destroyed it. Yeah, it's Restaurant Wars, and it's about the whole experience -- points for service, the food, just totally creating this thing out of nothing in 24 hours. But at the end of the day they say this isn't Top Sous-chef, Top Sommelier, Top this, Top that -- this is Top Chef. It's about the food. And the food on April's team was clearly better than the food at The Garage. So there shouldn't have been a draw, unless there's something we're not seeing. So that being said, when I first saw the episode I thought it was kind of cool, but then when I saw who got eliminated in the second parter, I thought it was bullshit. I'm not gonna lie -- I had my arms up in the air.

The scented candles? You have to be kidding me. You're a chef -- where do your taste buds come from? If there's someone who walks by my kitchen, such as a guest, with an obscene amount of perfume on, I smell it, and it can totally ruin my taste buds. Why would you have scented candles? I don't get it. Howie's risotto? That was totally unacceptable. I'm Sicilian -- risotto's very sacred. That is not risotto. Tom's Italian too! What are you kidding me? That's not risotto. You don't put cream in risotto. You get your creaminess from activating the starch by beating the shit out of it with your spoon in the pot. That's how you make risotto. It's not by adding more dairy. He can say he makes his risotto different, but don't call it risotto. Want to call it creamy rice? By all means, go ahead.
I really thought making Sara M. head chef was brilliant. I really liked seeing it and I really enjoyed watching her put Howie in his place. It was highly entertaining. I hadn't been a Sara fan up to this point, but that kind of did it for me. The Quickfire was fun to watch too. That was painful watching Casey trying to cut onions. This is a Quickfire -- that's what it's called. It's not called "Let's perfectly dice onions." Let's get it done. Let's knock it out. I would have really enjoyed seeing it head-to-head, watching Hung and Tre knock down chickens, because I bet you Tre could've given Hung a run for his money. I thought that would have been pretty interesting.

I thought the designer guy [Christopher Ciccone] was kind of a prick. I wasn't really impressed. Basically creating a restaurant in 24 hours would be like going to him and telling him to go design a house in 24 hours and go have at it. I wasn't really that impressed with the improvements. It was kind of an afterthought. I'm not a bells-and-whistle type of guy. I'm not into design elements and yadda, yadda, yadda. I like understated designs. I thought April was really nice to begin with. I thought they did a really nice job. And Team Quatre did have an advantage with Stephen as sommelier. Stephen's brilliant. I thought it was a huge advantage. He likes to hear himself talk a little bit. He definitely enjoys the sound of his own tune. So, that was fun watching Dale tell him to calm down. I thought based on watching the food go out, Quatre did a great job. I thought the food looked really nice.