Jamie Lauren

Jamie Lauren wishes some of the female chefs would step it up.

on Aug 27, 20090

Again, here is where my front runners knock it out of the park. Michael V., Jen, and Kevin are the top three, and I am not even remotely surprised. I loved the look of Kevin’s asparagus and celery salad with egg. This guy definitely cooks after my own heart. Michael’s gazpacho looked really interesting, though I wish i could have seen more of it, at least technique-wise. Incorporating the liquid nitrogen was a cool idea, but due to the editing of the show it made it hard to see what exactly it was he did, and then Jen, the ladies' front runner and so far most consistent rounded out the top three. In the end, another $15,000 was passed out (OK OK, maybe I WAS on the wrong season. Clearly I will be vacillating on this all season. Stay tuned, folks...) and Michael took home the top prize ... lucky dude.

Now we arrive at the Elimination Challenge ... a battle of the sexes! Ha! Now now Ashley, you and I are in the same boat and I believe in equal rights just as much as you, but there is a time and a place for it. This is a cooking show. Swallow your pride and get out there and kick some ass. Focus less on the politics of the situation and more on making great food and perhaps you and your team wouldn’t have ended up in the bottom half. That being said, can’t say I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the boys' team. No offense ladies, but the guys are clearly a step ahead of some of you, and this is where I can imagine it was incredibly frustrating at Judges' Table for Jen, Ashley (despite her overacheiving on the panna cotta ... girl, stick to one dish!) and Laurine. But, so are the pitfalls of team challenges. Sometimes it’s just the way the cards are dealt. The brothers again are doing things not yet seen on the show and as a chef that is what makes it interesting to me. Sometimes it’s nice to watch someone take risks and think outside the box, and when it works it has the potential to be amazing as it ended up being for these guys. I was less excited with the likes of Preeti, Jesse, and Eve. At this point I am starting to see a pattern with the least impressive of the chefs. Either they start to step up or one of those girls is going to drop like a fly really quickly. This all goes back to what I was saying last week" It’s not that I don’t believe a woman can win, it’s just that I think the men are outmatching them. Trust me, I don’t like to type this anymore than you like to read it. I know this is Top Chef and things can change at the drop of a hat, and yes it’s early ... I’m just hoping that these girls will start bringing it! I would love to see those boys get their asses handed to them. Again, I’m looking at you Mr. Isabella....

39 comments
Jean
Jean

Hi Jamie, nice to hear from you two questions:

Don't you believe that Top Chef picked women who all had some flaw that would allow the judges to eliminate them one at a time? I believe so, and as long as Tom is head judge and the guest judges are mostly gay men, I believe women don't stand a chance

Second, do you really believe that Hung deserved to win. He was a whinher, obnoxious, cooked mediocre (at best) food and nothing spectacular in the finale. His food was criticized in the finale and he still won.

So I no longer believe the BEST CHEF will win; rather the most PC person, or the judge's little pet

if you stand back and watch objectively it is difficult to come to any other conclusion.

One women in 5 seasons won. She was the best chef that season for sure, but there were great women chefs in at least 3 other seasons. Harold was the only true winner for his food alone.

KQ
KQ

Jamie, loved you on the show and when I drive past Absinthe on my way home from work each day, sometimes I look over and think, "she was ROBBED". :) I agree with you about Ashley's reaction to the challenge ~ seriously, as a chef you're probably going to have to deal with cooking for wedding celebrants. (How could one avoid weddings/rehearsal dinners/bachelor parties and stay in business?) The surprising thing is that she had no protest about the military challenge (ep 3) on the same grounds. (Maybe the producers told her to keep it to herself?) Love the blog, keep it up!

gloriasf
gloriasf

Hi,Jamie, i'm so happy to finally hear from you. From all of the fellow female contestants i really think that you are the only one who made us look good,i guess it must be kind of hard for a lesbian chef to cater a legal wedding, but i think the show is call top chef,so Ashley, if you are not strong enough for ANY challenge you are in the wrong place. I support same sex marriage. So Jamie, are you seeing someone? I hope not. Call me!!!lol

justine
justine

Jamie, first off, me and my girlfriend miss you on the show, we still believe that you should have won in the 5th season but alas i am not a judge. I enjoyed reading your blog and i really look forward to others from you. =]

Coco
Coco

Jamie,

I totally miss you on the show. As a fellow lesbian, I agree with you about Ashley. First of all, there isn't a law preventing gays/lesbians from having bachelor/bachelorette parties or ceremonies celebrating our unions. The law is about civil marriage. But as a lesbian in a committed relationship, I had my bachelorette party and my commitment ceremony (and am marriage Jewishly as well, just not legally). We had the fancy party with the hors d'oeuvres and whatnot. So, I see Ashley's point, but the food and party aren't what we gays can't have. It's the legal recognition and benefits and rights and that totally sucks, but chefs can still give us our parties. Plus, I agree with you. In a cooking competition, you gotta leave politics aside and cook.

I look forward to your next blog entry (as well as to the days when same-sex couples can legally marry and enjoy the same rights and privileges as same-sex couples). But mainly I look forward to your next entry. Hope you're doing well and enjoying yourself these days. Feel free to let us know what's new in your life/career, as well as your thoughts on the show. I for one would love to know what you're up to.

Annabelle
Annabelle

Jamie, I really enjoyed watching you on Season 5. it should have been you and Fabio in the finale! You made the most amazing dishes! I am enjoying your blog, and I look forward to it each week!

Mother Hubbard
Mother Hubbard

I think, as the pack thins out, we'll be seeing more from Laurine and Robin. I think we got a first glimpse in the Bachelor party challenge.

Erica
Erica

Jamie--Good for you in your statement of being entitled to your political views-however there is a time and place!!!

While I agree with Ashley's views--I found it inappropriate for her to carry on about them--this is a show about food--not political wrong and rights. She really needs to get her priorities straight and concentrate on pleasing whomever she has to feed--regardless of the occasion.

Pete Jazz
Pete Jazz

Jamie: You were one of the favorites of my daughter and I, so it's nice to have you as part of the show through your blog. It's nice to get the perspective of someone who experienced the competition, particularly an honest person with integrity like you. Thanks for doing the blog and I look forward to reading your thoughts each week.

Alison
Alison

I absolutely disagree with you about Ashley voicing her opinion! She has every right to be upset about the wedding challenge! I feel that it is kind of a slap in the face to be asked to celebrate a couple's marriage, if you are not legally able to participate in the same institution. That being said, Ashley shined in this challenge--even overachieved a bit by creating two dishes. To say that she should "swallow her pride" and choose an appropriate "time and place" to voice her concerns is absurd, because she did just that. She did not, as far as I could see, let her feelings be known during the party or during preparations for the party. And she certainly did not share her sentiments with the bride and groom. So what did she do that was so wrong? Discuss inequity with cast members in a non-work environment? Bottom line: Our inability to participate in the institution of marriage is not a gay issue, its a human rights issue. It is insensitive not to recognize how gay people are impacted by this blatant exclusion. A big HELL YEAH to Ashley for pointing that out.

Fay
Fay

All your comments are well thought out, however, please use more paragraphs in your articles. It's hard to read all that without a break now and then. This goes for all of you, including Tom.

Liz
Liz

I'm enjoying reading your blog -- I'll just echo what everyone else has said about your interesting point of view and insight! I look forward to reading more of it!

Kenn
Kenn

jaime! I enjoy your blog. Yep! I do agree with you: the cheftestant men are a step ahead of the women -- at the moment, at least (though there are a couple of very strong women chefs). I think all of the chefs are excellent cooks - they wouldn't make it to Top Chef if they weren't - but when one stacks them all together a handful of them stand apart from the rest (this stand-apart group includes a few of the women). It's going to be an interesting season. And ,, please do continue with your blogs. (In the past, a few former cheftestants started blogs then in "mid-season" dropped off.)

sherri
sherri

Jamie, You were so my favorite Top Chef contestant and I love the blog. I've been watching since season 1, but have never read the blogs or visited the website except for recipes (your's are my favs). Now I am going to make it a point to check out what you have to say each week.

Viewer
Viewer

Jamie, your first blog was a pleasant surprise - exceeding expectations. You've kept it up with your second blog. Great job. Hope it makes you feel good that you and Stefan were probably the only competitors from last season that could go the distance with this crowd. Look forward to your insights as the season progresses!

Carl
Carl

Great blog, i agree with you on everything actually which made this a real nice read lol. I'd type more but since you've already said everything i was thinking i don't have to, will read again, big fan..

later

Toni from Louisiana
Toni from Louisiana

Jamie,

I enjoyed your blog. I have a questions. Couldn't Jesse have used olive oil to have seared her scallops?

Toni A.

Coco
Coco

Aww... Jamie. I miss you.

Thanks for your insights. I am really enjoying your blogs. Keep up the writing.

KRudat
KRudat

Jamie, Love, love, love your blog. Everything I was thinking you said, and much more. You are doing a great job. Are you still at Absinthe?

Crystal
Crystal

I liked your blog. I also definitely agree with you that the ladies need to step it up. They didn't have their heart into their cooking and the guys have come to compete. They don't care about what the job is as long as it gets done. If Ashley and the other ladies don't find the same mind set, they will be going home and soon.

Wanderlust
Wanderlust

Good post, interesting insights. Agree that it is good to see the brothers bring some different technique to the show and elevate the game. With the current general trend toward comfort food, nice to see folks on tv doing something different and a little more refined. Without passing any judgment on the current season, no doubt you have been the most talented woman chef on the series to date. Keep writing.

John
John

Great write-up. Grats on the restaurant, Jamie! Doesn’t Jesse’s lip ring affect her palate?

Amy Marie
Amy Marie

Why are they giving $15,000 to quickfire winners but no money to the elimination winners?

Gabby
Gabby

Hi Jamie! I really enjoyed reading your blog this week. =] I thought the battle of the sexes challenge was great, but I though it made the women look a little weak against the guys. My dad was watching it with me and said, "Geeze, the guys are smoking the girls!" I had a feeling Eve was going to get sent home. She hadn't done anything to impress the judges, and her dishes weren't the best. I wish Ashley would've stuck to her one dish! If she hadn't made the carpaccio, there's no way she would've been in the bottom four. I thought it was refreshing to see her stand up for what she believed in, as far as marriage equality. Granted, this is a cooking show and there is a time and a place, but I don't think she was out of line for speaking her mind on the issue. I think those brothers are outstanding chefs. I think they'll both end up in the top four. I'm so excited for next week =] Let's hope the ladies step it up! Like you said, it would be nice to see the guys get their asses handed to them just once.

Jeannie
Jeannie

woo hoo so you're going to be posting after every episode?! Oh happy day!

Love your blog, it's so awesome to get to find out what one of my fav top chef contestants thinks. Besides Elia you are my favorite female Cheftestant!!!

I disagree about Ashely saying something about the bachelorette/bachelor party challenge. If she didn't I would have felt like somebody else had to say something. I'm not a chef so I am interested in the dynamics, personalities, and attitudes the chefs have in addition to their cooking. As a viewer I appreciated it and just wanted to tell you I disagree with you on that one! :)

sixes & eights
sixes & eights

FYI, craps isn't a game that's purely luck like roulette. Side bets are essential to hedge your odds.

Diana
Diana

Hey Jamie! I have to get this off my chest before I begin: you were ROBBED last season. You should've won and I am among thousands of others who are willing to bet you could smoke Stefan with one hand behind your back. That season's resolution was laughable at best.

OK, so THANK YOU for deciding to come blog about this season. I really enjoyed your wit and talent in NYC. I will look forward to enjoying your thoughts on this group of chefs. I love Kevin too and, for what it's worth, I think he, Jen and the bros will be final ones standing.

Rock on, girlfriend.

Rochelle
Rochelle

I totally agree the women are looking way overmatched by the men. Jennifer is the only one I see who could make it to the finals. I'm lovin' the ATL guys, not just because that's where I live but because they can cook. The rivalry between the brothers is great but they need to focus on winning Top Chef not just beating each other. Mike I. talked a lot of junk last week, when's he going to bring it to the table?

Mother Hubbard
Mother Hubbard

Jamie—

Your blog is the best thing to come along on the site since Lee Anne Wong stopped blogging. It's well written, witty, and informative. I'll be looking forward to your entries each week.

Kay
Kay

Jamie, I am huge fan of yours and I'm so happy that you are blogging about the current season to Top Chef. I really look forward to reading your thoughts through out the rest of the season! (:

I completely agree with you about Ashley. She should be focused on the competition! We all want to fight for equal rights, but there's a place for every fight.

I really hope the girls step up their game! They are already 2 down!

Can't wait till next week.

Go Team Rainbow! (;

scarlett
scarlett

I am so glad that you are going to be blogging this season. I loved you on last season and I was hoping for at least an appearance on TC Las Vegas... this is even better! (not that I don't have my fingers crossed for some sort of last season vs new season episode) I have to say that after watching last night, the first thing that came to my mind was your blog and what you would have to say about Ashley's comments. I agree that she could have been more focused on the challenge, but I can also see where she was coming from. I have to give props to BRAVO for even airing her opinions about the challenge. Hopefully Ashley sticks around for a while, though she could never replace that cute lesbian from last season... the one with a thing for scallops. :)

Kristen
Kristen

Well said Jamie, love your blog.

Shelly
Shelly

Great blog! I wish I could have seen you cook with this competition!

But I'd just like to say that for $15k, I'd look at all of them swimming naked, including the guys from season 4. ;P

Barbara
Barbara

Good blog, Jamie. I love reading about the show from a past cheftestant. I think most of the previous cheftestants will agree they were on the wrong season!! Who wouldn't want to be in Vegas and winning 15K for a quickfire challenge?

It seems that Jesse understands the ins and outs of creating and cooking but she doesn't execute. Personally, I think it's a case of nerves and I hope she is able to overcome.

Question: where can I get Ashley's watermelon recipe? The guest judge thought it was, arguably, the best dish of the elimination round. I can't seem to find it online. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Keep blogging. Looking forward to you perspective on this season.

B-

pdog
pdog

Really great blog. Well written and insightful! Looking forward to reading more of them.

Viewer
Viewer

I agree, most of the women are going to go quick. it almost makes you want Top Chef to get rid of two chefs at a time, in the beginning. You already know who is going to go in the next four shows. It becomes more interesting when there are the top 5 or 6 chefs left.

Terrie
Terrie

Completely agree on the political issues. I totally understand her position, but she is a chef for crying out loud. Is this the only marriage type celebration she has been faced with? Wanting equal rights doesn't mean you should begrudge someone else their rights. Time and place. . .

katherine
katherine

Thanks for your blog with your observations and insights. In the early episodes, with so many contestants, the cooking and the resulting dishes fly by so fast. It is nice to read the comment of someone who has a practiced eye. Keep blogging!

Tutti
Tutti

I actually found you a little surly as a cheftestant but am really enjoying your blog. It's always interesting to get the point of view of someone who's been through it.