Tom Colicchio

Laurine's dismissal was a simple math problem.

on Oct 21, 20090

The top of this week’s episode saw eight cheftestants still standing, and I think they suddenly realized that it has become Do or Die. And as we saw, this seemed to have rattled a fair number of them.

… but I’m getting ahead of myself. First, the Quickfire Challenge. It’s interesting that both Kevin and Michael asserted that it was a ridiculous challenge. I think it was a fun play on a process that does happen in more creative kitchens … theirs surely included. One person says, “How about doing ‘X’?” and another says, “Oh, yeah – I have some heirloom tomatoes that would go well with that…” and another says, “…which makes me think we could then do ‘Y.’” In my kitchens, a chef will say, “I want to do ‘X,’” and I’ll say, “Cool, but let’s take that and go in this direction…” And so we do collaborate and co-create dishes. Just minus the blindfolds, i.e., during the planning stage, not, as here, during the execution stage. I thought it was a very interesting exercise, one that called into play a great many of the chefs’ skills, as they had to be able to assess the state of a dish-in-process, and move it towards completion in a way that set up the next teammate. Eli’s approach was very smart: he put the most general mise en place together and prepped without committing to any one thing. Jennifer, on the other hand, made some big decisions, putting sauce down and saying, “This is going to be the flavor of the dish,” a good choice for her given her skill with sauces. Everyone did well with the challenge, Kevin and Michael included, despite their initial skepticism. 

It’s at Restaurant Wars that it all began to go south for some….

I think we can all agree that in REVolt, we’ve never had a better restaurant with a worse name.  We’re glad it didn’t deliver on its name’s connotations. As for Mission, however, unfortunately it didn’t either.

For the second time in this one episode, Kevin said something that I have to challenge: He said that it was ridiculous to have three hours in which to open a restaurant. Well, yeah, that would be ridiculous, if that were what was being asked of the chefs  -- I’m not challenging that assertion – but is it ridiculous to do a three-course menu for fifty people and have it prepped in three-and-a-half hours? No. It’s a lot of work, but it’s not that crazy, as Kevin was suggesting.  As I wrote above, I think being at this slightly-more-than-half-way point in the competition had folks a bit fazed.

One thing the episode showed us was that the leadership of the two teams was very different.  Michael V. was very assertive: taking his leadership role very seriously, he had his hand in everything. He wasn’t being obnoxious when he asked Bryan whether his chocolate dish would be too grainy; rather, Mike wanted to be sure it would be done well for the sake of their restaurant. And when he felt that Robin was deviating from the plan they’d already devised and that he’d signed off on, he stepped in to fix the situation. He was firm, albeit respectful, and he expected respectful behavior from everyone else, so he wasn’t going to permit what she was dishing out, literally and behaviorally. And he led by example, working very hard and expecting the same from his team in that regard as well.

150 comments
nkadzi
nkadzi

the best season ever, the skill, the competitiveness and the high level of professionalism always left me in awe!!

ThE KaT
ThE KaT

I’m sorry to disagree with Tom but Michael was not professional at all times. His attitude towards his brother was not professional at all. Even if he's your "bro," in the restaurant wars he was his "employee" and that is so not the way to treat someone under your command. I would really hate to work in his kitchen

Lisa Mooe
Lisa Mooe

I am adding this a bit late, but I have to say that I think all of the comments about this being the best Top Chef Restaurant Wars is at least a little insulting to the previous 5 seasons. With that said, I am glad that the cheftestants did not have to split up and decorate - or paint - I always felt this took away from a cooking competion. But the other seasons did, and I think it took away from some of the cooking. As much as I love this season's participants, I don't think you can dismiss how difficult the other seasons had it in regards to this particular challange.

bayla
bayla

I watch alot of food shows, and I have yet to see one dealing with Kosher cooking. Top Chef usually has a limitation placed on how the chefs must cook. Talk about restrictions ! However, kosher cooking also allows for substitutions in our cooking. The food markets today have plenty of kosher products. The biggest challenge of course would be the lack of pork products, and no mixing of meat and dairy products. Give it a try!

Derek B
Derek B

The caliber of contestants this season is phenomenal. The dishes coming out of the kitchens are blowing my culinary mind. I can't commend the staff and judges enough for this show. I see it just as a televised competition, not a Reality Show, though the production is amazing in its own right. There are no gimmicks to this show. It's all about the food and the judging is on point every time. I'm an architecture student and sitting through critiques in a good design school is exactly like this. Taking an idea and turning it into a cohesive, well executed, presentation is very similar to what we do. Chef Colicchio can sit in on my critiques any day!

Patty T
Patty T

Bravo to Top Chef!

First, let me say I watch just about every cooking show on television. However, Top Chef gets top marks for its production. Top Chef has the highest caliber of contestants, integrity, competence, judges, and location.

After watching other cooking contest shows, such as “The Food Network,” they pale in comparison to the class of, "Top Chef.” I know it seems like I am gushing but really, look at what else is out there. The only other show that gets good marks is, "Iron Chef.” "The Next Iron Chef,” is sloppy, the judging appears unprofessional, and the set is too stark and cold. How could any food taste good on that judging table? In addition to the chefs being more seasoned, they do not bring new technology and exciting recipes to the show. I am a good cook and think I could produce many of the dishes that appear on Top Chef. This is not so on other challenge shows whose contestants are so frantic that you can't really tell what’s going on except they all seem to be in fear for their lives.

I hope Bravo will produce more quality cooking shows like Top Chef. I just wanted to thank you for doing it right.

Your biggest fan!

Tim Long Island
Tim Long Island

Chef Tom - how about discretly mixing it up a bit and asking the losers to appear at judge's table first. Might be a nice "giant curve ball".

Vicki L. Robertson
Vicki L. Robertson

I want to commend Top Chef and Natalie Portman for showing viewers that vegetarian food is FOOD, too. As a vegetarian it is hard to find something to eat at a steakhouse, thank you Mr. Colicchio. Something different to most, but the everyday for me. Much love!

dsgs
dsgs

In addition to being a vegan, doesn't Natalie Portman have a medical condition which presents other food challenges?

Catherine@Cameron
Catherine@Cameron

Catherine

Tom-You guys where really spot on, on this Restaurant Wars, I was really upset that Jen did not execute as well as she normally does, I am so cheering for Jen. Then I would say it's a toss up of the brothers as well as Michael, but at this point of the game, it's so hard to tell.

Again, another excellent job well done by the Top Chef Team. Keep on giving us TC true blue fans the best, as you all usually do.

Good Luck to you and all of the Top Chef Team.

Catherine@Cameron
Catherine@Cameron

Catherine

Tom-You guys where really spot on, on this Restaurant Wars, I was really upset that Jen did not execute as well as she normally does, I am so cheering for Jen. Then I would say it's a toss up of the brothers as well as Michael, but at this point of the game, it's so hard to tell.

Again, another excellent job well done by the Top Chef Team. Keep on giving us TC true blue fans the best, as you all usually do.

Good Luck to you and all of the Top Chef Team.

TracyK
TracyK

Chef, your blog completes every episode, its always gives the viewers depth and another perspective about what happened. So thank you very much for writing these. You made a comment about the leadership taken on by Michael V. It was distinctly portrayed in the epsisode that he took ownership in the kitchen and made sure that the entire team did well, which no matter what your profession is, has to happen. I would question his professionalism. There was an entire clip on Micheal V stating how he's often misunderstood, which also highlights his use of colorful words. I'm not so sure you can misunderstand someone swearing constantly at other people whatever the reason maybe. This definitely does not constitute professionalism. Just because the job gets done right, doesn't mean that you treat others badly in the process. If someone was deviating from the plan, his behavior is completely acceptable, but Michael V generally is unprofessional in all situations. Probably more towards his brother than anyone else. Do you have any criteria at the finale or anywhere in the process that judges the level of professionalism the chefs display? I understand this is a show about food, but I doubt the top chef will be running a one man kitchen.

vickyc
vickyc

THANK YOU CHEF B, I was about to assult this TOP CHEF elimination of LAURIANE. First I thought what why was Jennifer of Kevin not eliminated for serving disgusting dishes, whether Lauriane told the judges trash was coming or they discovered it makes no never mind as much as Jen and Kevin made it not Lauriane. Yes Chef B they should not have to carry chefs who are not of their caliber and Jen and Kevin and the Volts are excellent chefs compared to Lauriane. I am still a perform and be judged on such but this was hard Jen and Kevin KNOWS that Lauriane was sacrificed by the deer in the headlights spill.

MargaretR
MargaretR

I have to say I actually APPLAUD that you did NOT make the chefs create a whole eatery out of nothing this season. I think it was great to just give them a kitchen and COOK. It's about the food, and handling the front, expediting, doing the menus, oh, and yea - COOKING - the food is enough challenge for anyone. I like the insight it gives to the various leadership skills and ability to multi-task of all the chefs. It was the BEST R-Wars EVER. I know Toby disagrees, but for me it's the FOOD first, the service second, and the ambiance and "concept" third.

Georgianne
Georgianne

Sorry I am so late but I have one question. After Mike I finished his one dish, did he offer to assist anyone else on his team? Maybe he could've spent Laurine on the front of the house while she tended to her lamb. Just a thought

SEJ
SEJ

In response to this: "I fail to see how her lamb dish was her fault when the final dish was cooked and presented by Kevin"

I think the point is that the front-of-the-house person was required to make a dish. Even if Kevin cooked and presented it, it was her dish and she was (supposed to be) responsible for it. In fact, I wonder if his actually doing all the work for her on top of his own dish makes her worthy of the chopping block.

MylaBaby
MylaBaby

Thank you Zephyrweb for clarifying my mistake. I knew what I meant even if my typing fingers did not! :-)

And I have to agree with your brilliant points Gioranus & Excuse Me. From where I sat, Jennifer deserved to be sent home more than Laurine.

I've also wondered why the Voltaggio brothers would chose to compete in the same season. Was it their decision or the producers?

Chef Tom, I've never seen you smile so much. In previous seasons you've always came across as austere and serious. Its nice to see, and I hope you did get your own piece of chicken from Team REVolt!

BillTosier
BillTosier

I am rooting for Jenn and Kevin, although I like the brothers too. Michael V. is the obvious choice to take it all. Jenn is wearing down emotionally and I would not be surprised to see her go home. I hope not. Kevin looks to be one of the best cooks for sure but restaurant wars showed that even he can have a bad night. Its obvious to me that Robin and Eli are not going to make. So the final three should be the brothers and Kevin.

cj
cj

I also think Robin has a great deal to offer. In my opion, I think it would be fitting if Robin were to WIN TOP CHEF.

Her win would pull a few of these "CHILDREN" back into reality. It is obvious a number of them were raised by wolves and did not learn a darn thing about civility and respect.

Gioranus
Gioranus

Nice blog.

I think that Jen should have gone home in this episode. Obviously she's a much-much better chef than Laurine and I'm guessing that's why you kept her. But based on the rules of the show, Tom's rationale and what we actually saw in the episode, Jen made mistakes in both her dishes (you liked the halibut but you disliked the dish as a whole) whereas Laurine messed up the front of the house, but her lamb was fine. As far as I could tell from the episode, the only issue you had was the cooking (too rare) and that was Kevin's fault, not Laurine's.

excuse me
excuse me

I fail to understand why Laurine was sent home . I realize she was by far not one of the strongest chefs remaining in the pack , but her performance was not the worst of the chefs in the Mission restaurant . Tom you continually state the competition is not accumulative....but only your last dish is what counts at judges table . Fair enough ,only if the judges stay the course with that philosophy . I fail to see how her lamb dish was her fault when the final dish was cooked and presented by Kevin ,the complaints aired on the show were of rare lamb...not tasteless...not her fault .The judges deemed the front of the house was out of control due to lack of table side presence ,I truly feel this was an end result of the chaos in the kitchen .Jen cooking each plate to order ?????????? Kevin's lamb very under cooked...STRIKE 1 for Kevin ,Jen's trout flavorless(according to judges)STRIKE 1 ,Jen's sauce served with the trout broken STRIKE 2...Jen's mussels and clams undercooked STRIKE 3...Jen being in charge of restaurant Mission's failure STRIKE 4 . Jen should have been sent home...Laurine was not hiding or ducking the judges she was running about apologizing to customers trying to hide the horrific lack of performance by the kitchen staff that evening ...end of story .

zephyrweb
zephyrweb

mylababy--

no robin DID NOT win an elim challenge...she won the quickfire

Lynda S
Lynda S

Hello Tom,

Thanks for your in depth explanation of this roller coaster ride through Restaurant Wars. I truly believed that Jen's team would win because they all got along so well during the QF. However, getting along doesn't always get the prize if there is no leader. This season has been the best because the best have risen to the top and the less qualified cooks have been sent packing when in due course. That said, Jen made 2 poor dishes and didn't lead her kitchen at all. That puts her errors on par with loser Laurine. Please fess up to the fact that a chef's game history IS weighed when deciding who should go. We, the audience know it, and know YOU judges know it!

As for the name REVolt: it was a combination of the team's names. It never conjured up revolting to me. Your wrong conclusion doesn't bode well for you judges being insightful. I felt that Michael V did a wonderful leading his team, even by force. He wanted to win more than perhaps anyone else. I also find the bickering brothers funny to watch. They are both accomplished chefs on their own. Therefore, the sibling rivalry is inevitable. I'm truly curious why they were cast in a single season, btw.. Certainly, having partners, friends, or relatives can alter a contestant's experience.

JLConCapeCod
JLConCapeCod

My impressions of the brothers. First - it was clear from the recap of the day between commercial breaks that Michael V. used liberal profanity in his aggressive management of his team during the day. I don't believe Robin's mid-service comments were novel for that kitchen - and I thought Bryan's agreement with his brother's comments on inapproriate kitchen behavior was a bit sarcatic. I'm also unclear how Michael ended up as team leader - simply for the knife pull? His teammates deferred - and his brother wisely deferred in the interests of team success. I actually thought Michael seemed a bit sheepish at judging (proud but sheepish) because he was well aware that his own management wasn't perfect. I thought his sharing of the money was a gesture to assuage a guilty conscience - and that Bryan's "you keep the money - you earned it" was calling him on his imperfect management - sacrificing team professionalism/respect for the win. The team was impressive - but I'm even more impressed by Bryan V.'s judgement - he knows his younger brother is brilliant - but volatile.

Ecstatic viewer
Ecstatic viewer

I'm so thrilled about the upcoming vegan episode!! There is an infinite wealth of delicious options that can be made without animal products, and I'm looking forward to seeing the chefs use those in fun, creative ways. Talk about sustainable eating! I hope, like with the pro-sustainable-fish bits this week, we get a little background on why vegan options are planet-friendly. We didn't get to see that context in the Top Chef Masters vegan ep, and it would have been nice to see the chefs understand and appreciate the issues involved.

Also? I'm so relieved Jen and Kevin stayed on, though it was sad to see Laurine go.

terry
terry

Loved the new quickfire! Don't like the "drama" from past few episodes between Robin and others, it felt cheap. Service at a restaurant always accounts for more than the food-Laurine was an easy choice. (an old restaurant saying is, "If the food is great but the service sucks, people won't come back, but if the food is okay and the service is great, they'll come back.") I think the "front of house" person should be matching wines/beer also. So sorry to see Jenn screw up this week~Go Philly!

littlerockfaithful
littlerockfaithful

First off I think the Judges made a good decision to send Lorrine home she was uninspired had the worst attitude about the front of house it was awful that she didn't describe each dish did she temporarially have a brain freeze. That episode where she stated she forgot it was a competition she shouldve been gone then.

The name of the restaurant revolt I loved I thought it was a good combination of their names. I also thought of revolution not revolting they deserved the win and I was also gunning for them to win.

Go Micheal V I think he is the more talented between the brothers and siblings do argue and love all at once get over it people

I don't think its favortizm on the show at all Keep up the great work on the show Tom I absolutely love it me and my friends call each other every commercial and discuss the show

I also asumed the next show was a vegan one thanks everyone for the confirmation

I hope the top three is the brothers and Jennifer

Erica
Erica

Robin is really starting to grow on me and I think she is the dark horse in this race. What she puts out usually makes me wish I had some at home - especially during restaurant wars her dessert looked amazing. I like that she doesn't have formal training and uses her artistic background to create dishes that look fresh and aren't all full of big oversized chunks of meat trios - yuck!

Justin G
Justin G

Tom, You rock man, you are the heartbeat of TC. I personally have been driven to chase the dream of being a chef directly due to you and seeing how want, ambition and love for food can be a blessing in someone's life. Any tips at all on the path to take for this dream? It would be amazing to get advice from someone as awesome as you. Keep on rocking Tom and we'll keep watching!

SteveG
SteveG

What about Jen's trout? Tom doesn't even mention it in his blog. Oh the show he said "This is an absolute disaster". The halibut he refers to was in the clams and mussels dish. Omitting it allowed him to only count 1 strike against her.

Hardcore Fan
Hardcore Fan

Nice to see TC promoting sustainability with Rick Moonen. TC could be a great outlet to teach people a little more on that topic.

This reminds me that in a past season, monkfish was used in a quickfire challenge, and I felt outraged about it. Two whole monkfish used just two get two filets out of them, what a waste...

To the Top Chef show: you have such a huge audience, so please, take a greater part in educating and promoting us to use sustainable produce, and eat healthy.

Melissa T.
Melissa T.

I loved that they took out the decor issue. It allows the CHEFS to focus in the FOOD, not the decor. Even if, as Toby suggested in his blog, ambience is as important as the food (to which I disagree- "Well the food was ok, but they had awesome chandeliers so I will be going back!"), most chefs, while they have a concept, will often bring in a decorator to do take care of the DECOR.

@DC When the judges mentioned the sauce was broken, they meant that the sauce was literally coming apart- that the various ingredients like oils and herbs were no longer blended well together and, stead, were seperating on the plate.

karenology
karenology

I think Mike Isabella was actually joking about "going home," as in "packing his knives and going home." At least that's how I interpreted it!

KatS
KatS

I see that several of the young chefs may be able to cook but are not Top Chef material. Part of being a top chef is also being able to delegate, respect other chefs and lead. I would say that Michael, Brian, Mike and Eli fall well below this level, exspecially in the Respect Department.

joetrumps
joetrumps

I agree that making the chefs decorate the restaurant didn't quite fit and I'm glad they got rid of it. A few seasons ago two excellent chefs had to take crap from the judges for putting scented candles on the tables. What the heck does that have to do with being being a good chef?

And tom defends the idea behind the quickfire challenge. I agree the idea isn't bad, however only giving each person 10 minutes to cook seemed a bit harsh. It would be like giving 4 artists one hour each to complete a beautiful painting or 4 writers one hour to complete a great script. Is the final product a true reflection of their talents? no way.

I'm really enjoying the V. brothers. The older one always has a look on his face like the look a karate guy has just before he drives his head through a piece of wood.

TWebst
TWebst

Tom: Great season so far with most of the twists being wonderful additions. I do see one "opportunity" to present a community service, ala "Chopped". I think that food safety issues need to be called out. Like the lamb in this episode. there is a standard for lamb doneness, 140 for medium rare. I don't see many thermoeters on the show. I think an unsafe food should be disqualified from judging. I know that I have had a few wonderful meals that were followed by many of hours of regret in the bathroom.

What's Cookin'?
What's Cookin'?

Tom, Thanks for the blog. It adds depth and complexity to the flavor of the episodes ;-)

Question: did I miss something in the 10/28 episode? Your comments implied that Jen and Mike V. were supposed to act as executive chefs of their respective resturants. I didn't see that (might have missed it). I know they got "first pick" on the quick fire and, going on schoolyard experience, that implies they were "team captains" of that challenge; but was that also included as in expectation of the Main Challenge?

ohio
ohio

I am glad to see Robin standing up for herself. I though Michael V. was very rude. I am done with the brothers. they do not make me want to root for them. Maybe the stress is just getting to them all, though. Kevin and Jen for the finals, imo. Thanks for the insight, Tom. Bravo, why won't your website let me use my registered name?

tbk
tbk

As the mom of four sons I love watching the brothers V. Haven't had the chance to read anything about them yet but B. seems like the typical people-pleasing, in charge first born and M. the typical "you worry about you, I"ll worry about me" second son. I find their bickering, again, "typical" and it cracks me up. Why do I keep hoping to see Jen and M.V. open a restaurant together when this is all over? Great season.

TonyVA
TonyVA

Chef Colicchio,

Love the show. Question: since you were provided menus, did you really need an explanation of the dishes when they were served? This isn't something that normally happens in a restaurant.

PeterP
PeterP

I am a big TC Fan since Season 1 but I disagree about your comment you made on the show that this years Restaurant WArs was more of the difficult ones ever performed in all 6 seasons, this was the easiest by far because we didnt have to watch the chefs actually setup a restaurant (construction process) which somehow takes away from the chefs talents even though your argument to me would be that the knowing how to setup an actual restaurant (outside the kitchen-front of the house) is just as important as could knowing what to do in the kitchen. That is I would agree with you about totlally. Overall, I like the way the season is going as the previous but to me it is a toss up as to who is my choice to win.....

Lynda S
Lynda S

Helo Tom,

This was a more polished RW. I thought the name REVolt was not a bad name. R for Robin, E for Eli, Volt for the brothers. The meaning for me, was that it was against the grain... I actually like when we can see the workings in the kitchen between the head chef and the supporting cooks. In Michael's kitchen, it was clear that he stepped up and took charge through completion. I wasn't sure why he admonished Robin so much. However, she had only 1 plate in all those courses. Therefore, she was very lucky to have been placed on that team. For FOH, I thought that Eli looked like a stuffed pig. He seemed too casual toward the judges. It is interesting to hear from your comments that he actually did a good job. As for Jen's team, I was so shocked that she did not take charge as she did at the military base. It was so unlike her usual professionalism. I was so sure that Jen's team would win, until I saw Mike I's first course. Ewwwww. Not appetizing to look at. From then on, it was all downhill. Thanks so much for your in depth explanation. Looking forward to next week.

Mike Z.
Mike Z.

Tom,

I think this did a great job of rationalizing the decision to oust Laurine rather than Jen. Simple arithmetic really depends on which factors you're counting. Time obviously wasn't one of them.

If it were, Jen's halibut, no matter how good, would've been a minus. Its prep miscalculation was edited as having stalled the restaurant and no matter how good once it finally emerged would be considered a minus. That with the other dish. Jen's tally = minus two.

Laurine. Minus one for front of house responsibility. Now the inspiration behind her lamb might not garner any positives, but much of the complaint we saw regarding it was on Kevin's execution. Seems a solid negative 1.5.

Jen clearly has the future which you want while Laurine doesn't. Be comfortable with that. Don't hide behind the faux objectivity of arithmetic, when the criteria aren't predetermined, and when *what* you choose to count is inherently subjective.

Thanks, -- Mike

PS. Regarding that lamb. I moved to Atlanta from Chicago a few years back and when dining out one of the most salient concerns I needed to encode was the difference between execution of Medium Rare. In the South, that is rarer than Chicago "rare" -- and "rare" here is inedible -- both of which explains why so many were unhappy with Kevin's lamb execution.

Why there would be a difference in the first place, though, was lost on me until watching this episode and dining at both Craft and Kevin's restaurant recently. Customers' default preference here is Medium Well. Of course you guys don't want to do that to meat, so what you deliver is Chicago Medium/Medium Rare. This means that when you walk into Woodfire and Kevin is cooking, the entire scale is linearly ratcheted down, and a Medium Rare ends up raw. Things are only slightly better at Craft...the scale readjust still exists.

Rosemary
Rosemary

Love Restaurant Wars, but agree with the bloggers who called for some attention to the diners' comments- we were left hanging as to whether they were of the same opinion as the Judges. More Judges' Table and less "drama" filler, ala Top Chef Masters would be welcome since we can only experience the cooking vicariously. @Lizabeth Regina- I believe Anthony Bourdain and Padma had some issues- he then made some comments that she and the producers probably took umbrage with, and so we are left without His Royal Snarkiness. A definite loss!

DC
DC

Tom explained in an earlier blog why blind tasting would not make much difference. The regular judges can identify who made what dish blindfolded by the style and flavor profile and presentation. And guest judges don't know who the contestants are anyway, so there is no history bias there. Actually guest judge keeps the history bias from straying too far, they call out fail dish or praise successful without preconceived notion of the chef priors. Like Robin QF win may never of happened without guest judge chef Bernstein.

I don't think broken sauce means greasy taste, it means looks sloppy. Still same ingredients after all. Deconstructed bearnaise for French challenge sounds broken sauce too. Notice, they never criticize the FLAVOR of Jen's dishes. It means judges liked the flavor but had nitpicks with final finishes as areas for improvement. Of course I'm a Jen fan as clearly some are not.

Carlotta
Carlotta

I agree that this is an awesome season. I'll take the incredibly talented chefs over "drama" (can I just say S2..) anytime. The food creates enough drama by itself, which is the beauty of this show.

That said, I think editing failed a bit this week because I got the impression that judges were dissatisfied with both of Jennifer's dishes so I was expecting her to go home. Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad she's still there and I'd rather have cumulative judging but since the rules are what they are the ending felt uncomfortable to me. Glad your blog clarified it though and now I feel I can be genuinely relieved Jen (who's my favourite along with Kevin) didn't go!

Mike I. Supporter
Mike I. Supporter

I think everyone misinterprets Mike I. and what he says a lot. Everyone in the house seems to like him enough, even the ones that have been sent packing. They spend everyday with him and their opinion of him should be taken into consideration. I mean, he obviously does not make an effort to be politically correct and is chauvinistic to an extent. But, I cannot see how his comment about it being time to go home could be taken as more than a joke.

RadishHead
RadishHead

The Host/ess needs to be removed from "Restaurant Wars." Typically the host is what the team believes to be a lesser chef, and typically the judges use whatever excuse possible to send the host home.

Obviously, Jennifer should have went home for serving a fish dish that tasted like "grease." And as for Kevin, Tom is usually a stickler for mis-cooked meat, but not when it is from one of the top contenders.

Enough already with the "you are only judged by each dish." In 6 seasons, we are all wise to the fact that the chef's body of work also comes into play. Whenever a top dog is on the bottom, someone else goes home. I actually think this is a better system anyway, so why not just be upfront and honest about it? Even if the judges think they are objective, they are being subconsciously subjective.

It would be really nice if the judging was "blind", i.e. the judges taste the dishes, score them, then the identities of the top 3 and bottom 3 are revealed to the judges.

lesmana
lesmana

@VeganViewer: Top Chef Masters had a vegan elimination challenge late in the run this summer, probably either the 7th or 8th episode.

Jim in NYC aka SecondTry
Jim in NYC aka SecondTry

I also use a point system to score the show--if you go to the Bravo boards, you'll see the standings after 9 rounds. Basically, chefs get:

4 points per elimination win 3 points per elimination honorable mention 2 points per quickfire win 1 point per quickfire honorable mention -1 point per quickfire dishonorable mention -2 points if they're eliminated in a quickfire (Lauren, Jesse) -3 points per time on the chopping block -4 points when finally eliminated

The top three of all time are Stephanie and Richard Blais (28 points each) and Stefan (25 1/3 points--since no individual winner was named in the farm challenge, he, Jamie, and Carla each received 3 1/3 points).

Tom, can you settle something that's being hashed out on the boards? Was Michael the OFFICIAL leader for his team, or just the de facto leader?