Jamie Lauren

Jamie Lauren catches up on the first and second challenges.

on Jun 25, 20100

Onto the Quickfire in Episode 2, which was basically a loose interpretation of cooking with your hand behind your back, but I found it very amusing. There were a few times I literally laughed out loud, especially watching Amanda with the food tucked under her chin shuffling like a penguin every time she walked ... funny stuff. I definitely agree with the judges that team Tracy/Angelo and team Kenny/non-descript-guy's-name-I-can't-remember had the best-looking sandwiches, but all in all I was unimpressed with the creativity on the challenge: a couple of chicken sandwiches, and a prosciutto sandwich? I really think they could have done better than that, and then the Elimination Challenge is announced ... school lunch, again? I'm detecting a pattern here Bravo....
 
The biggest part of the Elimination Challenge was clearly the budget. Even when shopping at Restaurant Depot, which is relatively inexpensive, it must have been hard to create four items on a plate for $130, and with the shopping time constraint thrown in, it really trips them up because they're forced to make hasty decisions that can potentially ruin a dish. I think that's what may have happened to some of the contestants. I already felt that blond girl was in trouble when she decided to add extra sugar to her healthy dessert, but it's too bad her and little Leah couldn't have made a compromise between the chocolate and the booze. And speaking of booze ... sherry? For kids? Hmmm ... maybe we will see Amanda snockered at some point this season, that is, if she makes it to the next episode. I loved Team Taco's ideas and was a fan of the chicken burger team as well. I think those two teams really tapped into what kids would enjoy eating, and they were smart about their choices. And, as readers of my blog know, I have no idea who won or went home so this is all speculation, but I'm thinking blond girl might be making her departure, and it's too bad that I never really got to know her name, but I guess it doesn't matter much unless she lives to see another Top Chef challenge.
 
Oh, and P.S.: Padma calling Gail luscious? That was an amazing moment on television.

41 comments
gichie
gichie

i just came home to eat lunch. i turn on the tube, and what is on bravo? top chef season 5: restaurant wars!!! i seriously got choked up - for whatever reason, season 5 was the most endearing season, by far, to me; it is the only season (i've been watching since the middle of season 3) that i would catch every repeat episode that i could, and it is the only one that compelled me to search for bravo and find out more about the chefs (and it's where i found the elimination house episodes, which was really fulfilling for me as a viewer).

i just had to blog something about how much top chef season 5 meant for me. it seemed like it was the longest running season, which was great, because that group, and that season, was such good television.

let me put it this way; if there are top chef seasonal dvd's, the only one i would by, is season 5. i can't explain it, it's just how it is - and i love it.

LuvJamie
LuvJamie

She's been hiding out! She was probably under a gag order or in seclusion for the super secret Top Chef All-Stars! Yay Jamie :D

Louisa Abernathy
Louisa Abernathy

Blog on! Thanks for your comments. We get the real inside scoop.

Louisa Abernathy
Louisa Abernathy

Thanks for your insight. Enjoyed reading your blog. Much success to you!

fan7310
fan7310

What was the point of being a blogger if you don't even keep up? I was excited to read yours, but now I think it was just a waste to ask you. Someone else could have been asked that may have kept up each week!

PeachPie
PeachPie

Where are you? It's September now and we haven't heard from you since June!

John London
John London

Jamie, please come back to blog! I miss you!

tpward96
tpward96

Jamie, what gives?

You are my favorite blog to read on here! Please write soon!

Ex Viewer
Ex Viewer

Jaime - it is so refreshing to see such an honest, straightforward blog. Here's hoping that you find time to chime in more often, maybe it would bring our family back to viewing.

Not sure what is up with the direction of the show this season but it's not what it used to be which was about the creativeness of the chefs, the risks and rewards and falls of trying new techniques and elements and the overall make the viewer want to jump up and get in the kitchen.

This season is not even close to the caliber of talent your season had but oh well.

And as far as your comments about Amanda reminding you of Leah, that blew me away. My husband and I said the same exact thing the first night. Her mannerisms, her looks, her sneakiness are amazingly mirrored to Leah.

We just don't like Bravo turning this from what we used to think was a pretty upfront cooking show to now a chef's version of one of their housewives shows.

Thanks for having the spine to write what you feel.

sushiroll
sushiroll

and this criticism is coming from you? It took you four challenges to cook scallop properly...

#1 fan
#1 fan

Come back and blog!! Missing your input on the season. P.S. Currently re-watching Season 5 and despite the bad rap you got from some I am just remembering what my stemmed from. You are who you are and make no apologies for it, what's not to love?!

gloria Reyes-Moore
gloria Reyes-Moore

PEASE DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! ED COULD HAVE WON INSTEAD OF ALEX! ALEX STOLE THE PEAS! I think this should be called up to the table! I don't think he should get by with it, I for one am upset about it! this is my fav show & now I am so diappointed in tom for not making more of th is issue. what the hell? so okay you can cheat lie steal now?> according to Tom let it go....... then he is condoning i t! this is NOT MY FAV SHOW ANYMORE. don't ev en know if I'll even watch anymore either.

gloria Reyes-Moore
gloria Reyes-Moore

PEASE DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! ED COULD HAVE WON INSTEAD OF ALEX! ALEX STOLE THE PEAS! I think this should be called up to the table! I don't think he should get by with it, I for one am upset about it! this is my fav show & now I am so diappointed in tom for not making more of th is issue. what the hell? so okay you can cheat lie steal now?> according to Tom let it go....... then he is condoning i t! this is NOT MY FAV SHOW ANYMORE. don't ev en know if I'll even watch anymore either.

Viewer1023
Viewer1023

Jamie! Come Back!! I miss reading your blog every Thursday morning... this season just is not the same without your wit to spice it up.

PeachPie
PeachPie

JAMIE!!! I haven't been on the Bravo site yet this season and had no idea you were back to blog or I would have been on here reading sooner!

Yea, Bravo for bringing back my favorite!

Foodgeeque
Foodgeeque

Soooo happy to see you're blogging for this season, too! I have to say, I love reading your blog, because all those snarky things I want to say out loud almost always end up in your writing. Keep up the razor-sharp wit and honesty!

Mrs. C.
Mrs. C.

"Little Leah" should have been sent home for the simple reason that you do NOT feed children alcohol of any type, even cooking alcohol. Her decision on that was simply selfish. The idea is to get kids to eat healthy, not teach them to be alcoholics. "Start them early," I guess would be their motto.

Love your blogs - can't wait to read more.

crown foodie
crown foodie

"Recycle with a twist" has been the name of the game for Bravo since I became an avid fan during season 2. At least in a partial sence. I understand why they do it, because much of it never gets old. If you see Tom in the kitchen for a quickfire, you know they are going to be breaking something down. I loved Casey from season 3, but who can forget the "forever and a day" onion exercise, or season 4 when Dale explodes on a locker during his teams loss? Classic scenes in the memories of TC fans everywhere. At least in your season, their was the knowing that someone was going to go home before ever seeing the kitchen. First ever for T/C, kept you wondering about the rest of the season. Sucks on the chef end, but as a viewer...exciting. Ditto on the "hair", lol! He could not get past the dish tank in most kitchens. I think he was looking for Woodstock...a little late.

NY GAL
NY GAL

Thank you Jamie!!!I laughed so much - talk about nail on the head. Wash DC is all politics24/7 no matter what. The food scene is getting better but OMG. Please keep bloging every else is so seriuos.

Fatass Top Chef Fan
Fatass Top Chef Fan

Jamie, I so agree with your comment about that twig of rosemary just being placed on the plate being your pet peeve.

Do you care if I share mine?

I find it annoying when people are given the opportunity to criticize other chefs in a public forum and the critic doesnt even take the time to find out the name of the chef being criticized.

I means, dont you have a DVR? Posting a public blog about Top Chef and making obervations that can impact the chef's professional reputation and NOT take the time to re-watch the episode to get the chef's name is even more lazy and trifling than using a big twig of rosemary as a garnish.

If you are going to blog about the season show all of us, especially the chefs, enough respect to prepare adequately for your posting.

COMom
COMom

YEAH! You are back, ms scallop queen! Scallop sandwich, anyone? Thanks for blogging. It is nice to get the perspective of one that has been there. And I don't mind the repeat challenges... its not like the contestants breeze through them.

Monica
Monica

Thank God you are back! I agree with you about dread dude, love the name, I couldn't watch him through another episode what with the teeth too. Dreads can be beautiful, but not his, sorry dread dude. I look forward to your blog and your take on this seasons chefs.

What would you have picked for a school lunch menu for $2.60 per child?

Sarah9876
Sarah9876

Thanks for your fun and interesting take on the first two episodes. Although, I have to say that I don't think it is a real problem for challenges to be repeated, hello restaurant wars! I think knife skills quickfire is cool and a quick way to assess some basic skills. And the reason the school challenge is repeated is because kids reacting to the food could provide some humor and the challenge has provided excellent chef drama in the past. Anyway, my point is I'd rather you don't waste your review complaining about something that really doesn't matter, you're too interesting for that!

Lee45
Lee45

Yeah! Jaime I am glad your back...You write well and give a great prospective! Again I am glad you are blogging this season...Blond Chick JACK LEEN .. needed to go! Lee

Burninmylight78
Burninmylight78

So "in terms of personality alone", you're glad to see John go home, after having watched him on screen for a total of what, ten minutes maybe? He seemed like a very likable guy to me, and I don't see how dreads - or tattoo sleeves, for that matter - affect his cooking skills. At least he won't be getting a 'look how much I whine about everything' montage at the end of the season.

So yeah, it might have been phrased a bit harshly, but I think Acidopholis hit the nail on the head on this one.

ScottsJen
ScottsJen

Forget the why the guy looked. His food was horrible. I knew the moment he pulled frozen pastries out of that freezer that he would be going home. Actually I was surprised there wasn't a bigger deal made about it. This is Top Chef. His dish was already half made, which left him with little left to do yet he still screwed that up...

Btw Jamie, I think you're great! You were one of my favorites! Ever hear from lover-boy Stephan?

Quincy
Quincy

YAY! So glad you're doing another season of guest blogging!! Welcome back!! It's funny, last week in one of the blogs I commented the same thing about Amanda/Leah. I can't believe how similar they look. And how would fun would it be to see one of John's hairs on the plate of food he serves you? The thing would probably go from the plate all the way to the kitchen.

Acidopholis
Acidopholis

Your quick dismissal of John "dread dude" makes me feel a little less guilty about judging your cooking ability by your tattoos, slouch and the negative attitude you exuded on the show. He really messed up with the maple dessert and deserved to go home for it, but he is a good chef who has earned a far more impressive culinary reputation than you will probably ever achieve.

Tilted Sideways
Tilted Sideways

Welcome back, Jaime. Btw, I think the dread dude is personable, but deserved to be first to pack his knives and go. I'm digging him on the bravotv.com webseries "after the knife" (aka around my house as "Bottom Chef") where he greets each eliminated chef as he welcomes them to the limbo hotel suite (where they are ensconced during filming to prevent spoilers leaking.) Filming this was a great idea, and something to tide us fans over until the next episode on Wednesday night. Maybe they could make cocktails or something - pairing beverages to the week's challenge.

TC Fan
TC Fan

Amazing. I am a lousy cook but except your opinion of Angelo, I'm amazed that I agree so strongly with someone with such skill in the kitchen! Looking forward to your blogs during this season!

Bee
Bee

Phew. As much as I love reading Gail and Tom's blogs, last week I was very disappointed to see no guest bloggers (from previous seasons, because it's nice to see someone who's been through it write about it...and all right, I miss Richard's funny insights, and I was hoping to see some of last years awesome competitors (like Jen and Kevin and the Vs) here too). So, phew, at least there's you!

Luchi
Luchi

You crack me up. When you started talking about the dread dude, I was so with you. Your thoughts echoed mine almost word for word. I'm sure he is a really nice guy and must have cooking chops (no pun intended) but seriously the hair was such a turnoff, it literally made me a little queasy to watch him. Sorry, but a tiedye scarf isn't going to cut it. You need a major rasta beanie to contain that tangle. Looking forward to your blog.

Viewer234
Viewer234

Love your blog! I couldnt believe that she did sherry for a school lunch either...I know that I would have put my foot down for the chocolate instead of booze.

ScottsJenn
ScottsJenn

"..but it's too bad her and little Leah couldn't have made a compromis..."

lol little Leah. I didn't notice her last week but every time I saw her this week I was "No fair! This person has already been on Top Chef!"