I was so sad, but not surprised, to hear that Lia was eliminated. She works at one of the top rated French restaurants in America. I know and am friendly with many of her Jean George colleagues, as I used to work for the man myself (it is a small incestuous community of cooks in New York City, we all know each other and have partied together at one time or another). Although I had never formally met her before TC3, I willing to bet we were at the same JG party at least once.
Her coworkers stand by her, and I know first hand that Jean George does, as I spoke with him about her for a good 10 minutes while we were at a chef auction together last month. She is an incredible talent, with a mature and professional attitude in the kitchen that should make her a role model for not just females, but all young cooks. I consider her one of the contestants eliminated before her time. I'm sure I'll run into her soon though, maybe at a JG party. I'm on a plane to Los Angeles right now. I am headed west to attend Project by Project's 10th Anniversary Food and Wine Benefit as it's official "toastmaster". Maybe I'll see some of you there!