Team Top Chef

Find out why some of Lynne's comments rubbed Bravotv.com's Senior Editor the wrong way.

Jul 8, 20100

Well, hello again my little licorice sticks (obviously inspired by Tamesha's innovative Quickfire dish!) I'm in an exceptional mood this morning as we just found out that not only were Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, and Kathy Griffin nominated for Emmys in various categories, but this here very website has been nominated for an Interactive Emmy for the third year in a row! I just want to thank all our fabulous viewers and site users for, well, interacting with us!

OK enough of the self congratulations, onto this week's episode! I was waiting to see when we'd make the chefs make baby food for Tom and Padma! I thought this challenge was a hard one in that you need to have flavor, but it's a fine balance between providing enough flavor for a baby and not going overboard. As Eric Ripert mentions in his weekly video blog, I too was surprised by the amount of curry and strong flavors, but then again my oldest niece almost exclusively eats only white foods (white rice, plain pasta, etc.), sooo my frame of reference is less than ideal. It's probably safe to assume that Tom and maybe especially Padma are a little more adventurous in what they might feed little Luka and Krishna than the average parents. The chefs not only had to create baby food but an adult dish to complement it. While Tom seemed especially floored by Tamesha's licorice oil inclusion, it was Kenny's dish that won Padma over.

For the Elimiation Challenge, we were rejoined by some TC alums that work in D.C. and its surrounding areas: Bryan Voltaggio, Spike Mendelsohn, and Mike Isabella. I obviously adore them all, but anyone who read this blog last season knows I have a special place in my heart for Bryan, so I was really happy to see him back and hear his comments. Did anyone notice how Tom would lean over the entire table to hear what Bryan had to say also? Sigh.

The chefs were broken up into teams of two to create breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes suitable for Hilton Hotels and Resorts travelers. The format was sort of a backwards round robin elimination where the winners of each round actually got to sit out the next round. I almost felt bad for the judges becuas we were essentially making them eat more food from the bottom chefs in each round! Thankfully it looks like the dinner dishes were successful overall. In the end it came down to two short rib dishes. I didn't even understand how the dish with all that horseradish could not taste like horseradish, but Chef Ripert explained to me while we shot his blog this week that once you manipulate it, specifically boilling it, it loses its intensity. It seemed like it came down to a ltitle extra jus on the winning team's plate. The second place dish was only a little jus-ish. (Say it out loud phonetically.) Even though you didn't ask, the best short rib I've ever had was at Market Table. It was a short rib/gnocchi appetizer I had a couple years ago. Damn, it was good.

24 comments
Mariah.
Mariah.

Love the show, but why, oh why is Alex still there? Every time he talks about women, I want to explode. And seriously, what woman would be interested? Please Alex, I beg you: Burn something so you can go home. P.S. I know you stole the pea purée.

Esther P
Esther P

I absolutely love this show!!!!!!!! I just started watching it after seeing the reruns aired while I was at the gym and I am hooked. I think that some of the viewer's comments are kind of harsh though. Its a show about chefs- I am not a cook by any means so I find the show to be of a good pace for me. I think all of the chefs are very talented and some of the younger ones impress me with their creativeness. Its a contest, people are under pressure, for viewers to expect perfection is absurd. I love Angelo, Kenny, Kevin and Tiffany- can they ALL win? I wouldn 't be able to judge this show!

cocopuff
cocopuff

I haven't been as excited by this group of chefs or the show this season as I was last season. I don't know if it is the level of talent as some have suggested or the unattractive gamesmanship or maybe the series is just a little tired. But I do know that I miss the presence of a regular cadre of bloggers like Gail, guest chef bloggers, Lee Anne in particular, and of course you. As you probably know, the behind the scenes aspect of some of the blogs greatly enhances the Top Chef experience for many of the show's loyal fans. Credit to Tom for a prompt posting and explaination, but in all other ways this part of your brand is suffering.

BJF
BJF

Hi Monica!

If I have a chef that I would like to nominate to be on Top Chef, how do I submit the information? I have dined in some of the finest restaurants on four different continents, and just had one of my best meals ever in a little restaurant in Orlando, Florida. Truly a "top chef." How do I let y'all know more about him?

Love your show even thought I don't cook!

Kathybe
Kathybe

I was wondering why some of the chefs when they win a challange have received trips yet others (like Kenny) didn't get anything for his win. Winning a challange isn't easy and everyone that wins should be rewarded equally- don't you think?

sandasavi
sandasavi

I know I am responding late, but I loved that the Baby food created was not boring. Beyond the first few months of babyfood being bland and boring while slowly introducing foods to childen, I think giving them flavors and introducing them to spices and herbs early is great. My Son did not like plain foods and once we starting giving him my husbands Curries (he is from Sri Lanka) my son was so happy to eat. He is now four and will not eat boring food, plain pasta, macc and cheese are not interesting to him. He wants flavorful foods and will eat almost anything we will including chili's and spicy food. I am so happy to have a child who likes good food and not bland boring plain foods. Nice choice for a quick fire.

FanFare56
FanFare56

Why oh why put gorgeous, accomplished Bryan in the same company as obnoxious Mike I and the erstwhile loser Meddlesome? Spike was in the bottom 8 times during his season. Guest judges from past seasons should be those individuals who actually rose to the top. Otherwise, you might as well ask people off the street to make the judgement calls. If that's the case, I'm happy to oblige!

Cat in the Hat
Cat in the Hat

I didn't like this episode. The way the elimination challenge was structured wasn't fair. Also, Arnold is one of the most talented chefs this season and to see him go so early is criminal. His team lost because the pasta wasn't cooked. Arnold asked Lynn to start it sooner and all she did was mock him behind his back. She was arrogant since the first episode and isn't very creative. I was glad to see her go, but I had Arnold pegged for final 6, maybe even final 3. Bring Arnold back!!!

Linda Garrett
Linda Garrett

Some observations:

I dislike team challenges that result in sending home the weakest chef (or both chefs as in the BLD challenge). There have been many examples in the past where the weakest chefs on the show get carried to a win by their teammates while a stronger chef on the losing team suffers the consequences. I understand the importance of working in teams, but I would still like to see a system that rates the chefs individually to pick out the weakest links. Even a simple point system of contributions within each team would allow for some leeway at elimination.

I hope next season we no longer have to watch smoking on the show. Such visibility glamorizes a habit (addiction) that encourages young people to start on a path of dangerously unhealthy behavior. And it compromises the palette of the chef.

Why can't these chefs figure out the ovens? If you have only eight ovens for 16 chefs agree that the ovens will be set in varying degrees of heat (from left to right, lowest to highest) and chefs who need the same temp can share ovens. Of course you probably need only one oven set to "warm" and one to 400F and the more than one set to the most common temp of 350F.

Love the show.

Philly Kat
Philly Kat

I liked the breakfast, lunch, dinner team thing, but the outcome was pretty sad. I wish we had judges table for all sections because judging from what we saw, I was surprised to find Kenny and Kevin at the bottom. I was equally surprised to hear Padma admit that the K&K's and Lynn & Arnold's dishes were 2 of the best dishes all day. Doesn't that mean that since the ladies dish was "better" than the 2 other teams, all 3 of the bottom dishes were some of the best all day? So in actuality one of the bottom teams won the challenge over all that were excused and 2 of the best chefs of the day went home. Like I said it was a good idea in theory, but if you're looking for the Top Chef you can't send home your best chefs. How do you explain that? Your really good plate of food wasn't as good as this other really good plate of food, but take note it was better than some of the other plates of food done by chef's that are safe?

I see the Kelly & Andrea's dish is up to learn as taught by Chef V. but I have not interest in it. It seemed plain and boring. I'd rather learn how to make K&K's dish or Arnold's sauce.

Oh and Lynn's comments angered a few people I know. Not so much about the age but because it was her part of the dish that failed not Arnold's. His creativity and sauce is what made it a hard decision. She's an embarrassment to the not so young anymore, but don't tell me set, haha.

mamaof2boys
mamaof2boys

Still can't get over how this was aired without some reference to the fact that honey and seafood are serious health risks to babies.

Viewer DC
Viewer DC

Does anyone besides me think the editing this season is uneven? Especially in the early stages with so many dishes and new chefs flying by us, it would be helpful to have a quick visual of the dish as the judges critique the contestants, because sometimes with the editing of the comments the dish being discussed isn't obvious. Didn't this used to be the case? Not so much in the last elimination on the Hilton challenge, but earlier I found myself trying to memorize who did what, or watching the show second time to be clear. And a few times in earlier episodes we didn't learn how much time or money the contestants had to prep - that sort of omission seems more common this season.

But overall love the show and love the judges and just getting to know the chefs. And love that it's in DC!!

Offended
Offended

Dear Bravo, Have been a huge fan of Top Chef from the get go. Having been "in the biz" for over 20 yrs, a total foodie, and have a passion for cooking, would love the challenge to cook for any of you anytime, this show hits the mark. We all know that there some, shall we say, less than becoming behaviors that have taken place in our "off the clock" time. I was and still am both diguisted and offended by the comment made by a certain someone as to what they would be doing with their high stakes winnings,"a hooker and an eightball". Really? This is one of YOUR peers. This is someone who has been given an amazing opportunity, a true gift, and basically shows a blatant lack of respect, integrity, any moral fiber...need I say more? Wondering how Dial feels about giving money to a junkie whore and how Tom feels about this being a representation of a fellow chef. I personally wouldn't be flattered. Thanks for your time, Curious of the lack of editting

Sherri Lee
Sherri Lee

I love the new time slot! I DVR and watch twice but I love watching it Wed night instead of Thursday morning before work. I do wish it was on for 2 hours! Especially in the beginning with the number of chefs. I can't get enough of this show.

Though I did feel Kenny and Kelly were safe. Along with Angelo they seem like the top 3 and I knew they wouldn't(couldn't) be sent home. Bad short ribs or not. Sounded like the mussel dish was actually better.

love the show
love the show

It doesn't seem fair that the ovens are such an issue. Why can't the ovens be labeled by person or team? I want to see the contestants do their best, not have their food be removed by another person/team or have the temperature on a preheating oven be changed. Timing is so crucial for some uses of an oven. When the stakes are so high, it seems that oven issues should not remain such an issue for future seasons.

Barb57
Barb57

Watching this episode with the guest judges just reminded us even more of the difference in this season's cheftestants from previous seasons. It was great to see the guys, especially Bryan, he was my favorite. I've always loved this show, but this season doesn't seem to be able to live up to the talent from the past seasons and they aren't very likeable either. So much snarkniness, nasty comments, etc. The quality of food they are serving, at least by the comments we are hearing from the judges seems sub-par as well. Not sure if it is the way the show is being edited or what, but Top Chef was always a step above other reality shows, but this season is different and not in a good way. Enough of the group challenges for now, this one just didn't make sense.

emaye
emaye

Loved the concept for the challenge. As the "mimi" of the most wonderful grand-baby ever born, I would never subject my angel to most of the resulting baby foods. Seasonings and flavors should be introduced gradually, culturally and with care. Baby food should be measured by its nutrition, freshness and restraint. Love that the DC season is in my backyard, though!

Lapsed Viewer
Lapsed Viewer

Not that anyone asked for my opinion, but the new time for the show has almost killed it for me (think about it -- summertime -- it's not even dark yet!). I have been a loyal viewer from Season 1, never missing an episode or a blog. I think I have yet to see a full episode, and often don't watch until I stumble across it on a weekday airing. I know very few of the cheftestant's names, and thereby don't feel very engaged in the show or its outcome. I can only assume that SJP's pull as a producer of The Next Great Artist (I think that's what it called) is what landed it the prime 9 pm timeslot? Anyway, if anyone out there is processing viewer feedback, please consider rescheduling!

Striped Spinach
Striped Spinach

Dear Bravo,

More Bryan please.

Thank you Bryan's Best Supporter After Monica

Viewer in NEPA
Viewer in NEPA

First, Congrats Bravo on all the Emmy nods! I liked the format of the elimination challenge, but it did seem that the prize went to the wrong team. They were only at the end because their previous dishes weren't the best. HUH! And I felt bad for Arnold because he was finally growing on me. I also couldn't beleive that Lynn wouldn't own up to failing on the pasta and kudos to Arnold for sticking up for her in front of the judges!!! PS sorry for all the spelling errors last time. I am at work so it is rushed and on the low down and I have new keyboard!!!!!i know i know not a good excuse!!! (NOTE to ForRealsies I was pointing out an grammatical error not spelling, as it is way to easy to hit a wrong key!)

jannaks
jannaks

Haven't been able to watch the episode yet because I was out of town, but in reading that Arnold was eliminated, I have to say it doesn't bother me at all. His comments about the other competitors irked me in previous episodes, especially that one where Kelly won with her pork carnitas (the school lunch episode, I think). I agree with the Senior Editor that the snarkiness is not fun to watch this season. Oh, and I also love Bryan V.!!

mymerry
mymerry

The show has some interesting twists, but the most glaring error, and this could be addressed in a subsequent show, is the overseasoned baby food. I think a disclaimer should have been made that theses were creative ideas and not recommendations. The problems with licorice, honey, and seafood have been mentioned. Also, The tasteless remarks by Alex. It was mean spirited and sexist and in just plain bad taste. Shame on bravo. The previous season set such high standards. I am not seeing those standards...in cooking as well as the quality of the cheftestants and editing...this season. I still watch, but I learned so much more last season. I hope we have more inspirational dishes. I do like your blogs and love your names for us....Being called a little licorice stick....very cute.

asherlev
asherlev

Haha, only just came around to your blog this season. Which is not say that I hadn't been feeling it previously, but that I had not checked it out. I kind of fell in and out of love with Top Chef - and now, I think, back "in" again.

I think your love for Bryan is adorable. I myself preferred him over Michael (Who doesn't love a good brother showdown?)

I have to say, I did feel bad for Arnold. It sucks to go home after having just won a challenge, and I did appreciate his comments of trying to be avant-garde and staying true to himself. I guess ulimately the team-elimination format screwed him over...that, and the fact that this isn't Project Runway. Maybe Heidi might have appreciated him remaining faithful to his core, but the Hilton Hotel people, who were just looking for a manageable dish, sure didn't.