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.
Thanks again for explaining what we saw (and didn't see) during the episode. Having just watched it I was thinking that, while Laurine had problems at the front, and her lab dish wasn't great, that at least some of that could be put on Kevin. On the other hand, from the comments we heard, it seemed like both of Jen's dishes had some major issues, not to mention her decision-making (making the food to order). But having read this it seems like the judges liked the halibut more than it seemed at first blush.
As always, liking your blogs and comments during the show, but a request: Is there any way you can get the editors to show more of Judges Table?? Please?????
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for giving the issue of sustainable fishing some needed exposure! This is an issue very close to my own heart; I carry the Monterey Seafood Watch guide everywhere I go and give copies to all friends and co-workers. I was so disappointed when, a few episodes back, Laurine chose to cook swordfish--I even wrote you guys about it. And now this episode--again, THANK YOU!!!
Also many thanks for a kick-ass episode. That was the best restaurant wars ever. More importantly, this is the best season ever and the quality of the cooking is un-freaking-believable!
I heard Mike I's comment a little differently--I'm not sure exactly what I thought he said, but I interpreted as "going home," as in PPYKAG. I thought he was making a joke. As much as a jerk as he can be, I don't think it's in his character to sluff off.
Thanks for your post. It's great to read your behind-the-scenes thoughts. I have to admit, even though I'm a fan of Jen's, I thought she should have been sent home tonight. (Assuming she's being judged solely on tonight's performance.) Laurine clearly did not do a great job at the front of the house and her lamb dish was terrible, but it seems that you ALL equally disliked Jen's dishes a lot more.
Just seems a bit inconsistent to me from previous seasons. With that said, I really love Top Chef and look forward to next week!
Tom, I really like reading your blog. You really get to the point of issues. I know Top Chef is a cooking show, but why does the behavior of the contestants not play any role in the competition. Isn't professionalism an important part of being a chef? I remember one contestant who got sent home for holding down another contestant, but other than that it seems to be acceptable to act however they wish with no consequences.
Tom, YaY...Restaurant Wars is back. I must say that it is my fave of all the episodes in a season. It takes a lot out of the chefs and thankfully the producers decided to focus the episode on cooking and not decor arrangement like last season! Team REVolt was obviously the better team and it was great to see the Voltaggio brothers back on top again.Although I feel that the producers and the editors are trying to engineer a sibling fight and make it seem more serious than it may be. All brothers hate losing against the other. I have a brother who is a year younger than me and I know that when it comes to playing him, It becomes really competitive. Michael is the more agressive of the two although I respect and admire Brian for his restraint. He has a way of diffusing messy situations...Anyone else in his place would snap back and drag a fight on. I liked how he diffused the fight between Robin (Who I hope to God goes next week...her time is just up!) and Michael... Laurine was totally not in control as the head of the restaurant and I cant believe that she didnt explain the dishes even to you guys... In hindsight I think Mike I would have been better in that role...he talks a lot and that role would have been good for him.
Overall...loved the episodes and your blog rocks....Cant wait for you to put it up each week!!!
Hello Tom, Each season and each show just keeps getting better and better. Congradulations! I'm glad the 'decor' part was jettisoned for this Restaurant War. Watching a cheftestant put tables together is a painful memory... I agree with some posters that more footage of the Judges Table would be very much appreciated and enjoyed. To create more time for that, perhaps footage of the cheftestants making breakfast, etc., could be dropped. There is far more emotion invested by the viewer in the food prepared for the competitions than the interpersonal relationships of the chefs, so it would make sense to show more footage about the food. Thanks again for great TV, Tom, and also for your blogs that explain so much.
As always, I enjoyed the blog follow-up to the episode. I think Mission's problems started with the o-mission of dessert. I can't believe cheftestants are still coming to the show without two or three good, quick desserts up their sleeves. An easy dessert or two would supplant a couple of more complicated fish/meat courses -- and, crucially, complete the meal. Everyone expects a restaurant meal to consist of an app/amuse, entree and desssert.
By the way, it was a great move eliminating the decor from the challenge.
Like the new quickfire challenge -- that was fun!
Second jraven's call for more Judges Table. You guys have such interesting observations and comments -- would always welcome more. Although a case could be made that we do get a lot of comments when you guys are tasting.
Again, gerat episode and blog!
TOM, Could we please have a "score board" as you've somewhat done in seasons past? I.E - Kevin has 2 QF wins, and 3 Eliminations, etc. Thank you!
oh come on...Laurine was thrown under every wheel of the bus by the judges...Jen and Kevin put out pure garbage which should have put them in the line of fire...not Laurine...this season is by far the worst...and episodes like tonight cement my position... and have me reaching for my remote...
Always a pleasure to read your blogs. They're usually clear, explanatory, and full of the details viewers are curious about. Thanks for taking the time out to write this.
Dear Tom, What a great episode! I thought the quickfire challenge was very intriguing. The chefs really had to think quickly on their feet. It always amazes me when Restaurant Wars happens. Sure as shooting, when they don't have a leader that team usually messes up. Jen was such a good leader earlier on. I don't know what happened to her. Michael, on the other hand, stepped up to the plate and managed well. I think his brother should have been a little more gracious when Michael wanted to split the winnings. I thought that was a good gesture on Michael's part. Laurine was not strong enough for the front. If Mike I had so much experience, he should have spoken up. All mouth and no backup. Great show. Your comments as always were right on.
As I was watching judges table, all I kept thinking was that Jen is going home, and that would really suck if she did, but it would have been warranted based on what we saw on the show. Your last past of the blog summed it up perfectly though, if someone is ready to go home, they will give you ample reason to send them home. Thank you for making the right decision and leaving our final four of Kevin, Jen and the Voltaggio brothers intact. I am looking forward to the episode where they have to compete for the final 3 spots and will be greatly disappointed if something happens to prevent that episode from occurring. Love the show and the blog. Take care
I still think Jennifer was not sent home because she had been strong competitor, based on her performance from the previous episodes, not because she only had "one" strike. Laurine on the other hand had been mediocre, staying mostly in the middle and giving mediocre performance. Also, Kevin executed the lamb dish, the end result should not be put on Laurine alone.
While I sat on eggshells awaiting the results and praying that Kevin's performance didn't send him home, I had to agree with the judges' decisions and found that this episode, in particular, showcased the show's strengths: spot-on judgements and critiques and a perfect vehicle for highlighting the weaknesses and strengths of the chefs in dealing with each other in a restaurant setting. I, too, applaud the decision to jettison the decor aspect. All that said, I think it was time for Laurine to depart, Mike should have put his money where his rather active mouth is and fronted, and *whew!* ...am SO glad Jen and Kevin are still there. My prediction for the final four? Kevin, Jen and the brothers V. GREAT SERIES, gang.
Great blog, Tom...totally on-target. Laurine has beenw weak from the beginning and last night she really seemed like she didn't want to be there. Jen and Kevin have been consistently strong and even though they had a bad night, I still think the judges made the right call.
As for judge's table: I agree...let's see more of your deliberations.
But the big question I have: where the heck has Bourdain been for the last two seasons? Seems like with the caliber of chefs we have this season, he would be a natural at judge's table. It's not the same without at least one episode where the competitors are shaking in their shoes over Chef Bourdain being there. Anyone know what gives?
I have ZERO issues with the name REVolt. My first thought ran to a peoples revolt. So, the name didn't turn me off in any way. The red team had it together from the get go. My opinion is that the blue team suffered from arrogance. The members of the blue team clearly believed themselves the superior team. It did seem the blue team had the advantage and then Robin surprised everyone - AGAIN! Michael did take charge and he made it work. Past seasons have seen the leader of the restaurant go so I don't agree with your contention of 2 mistakes vs 1. As "leader" Jennifer should have gone.
Can you explain in your next blog what Kevin was saying to you and the other judges after Padma announced Laurine was going home? It looks like Jen was pulling him away (towards the door), perhaps to get him to stop talking? Was he trying to save Laurine since he was the one who cooked the lamb?
In any case, I am glad Laurine was sent home even though it seemed Jen royally screwed up.
But here's my real issue - I don't understand why past performance isn't factored into the judging. If I go to a restaurant once and the food is fabulous and I return and the food is terrible, do I go back for a third time? Sure, because maybe the second time was a fluke. If I go to a restaurant and the food is mediocre and I return (to give it another chance) and the food is terrible, do I go back a third time? Hell no. Points should be awarded for the winnings of challenges and perhaps taken away if you're in the bottom of the challenges. Then the judges, at their discretion, may factor in point totals of the chefs on the chopping block. (Anyone remember Tre?)
I agree that more of the actual discussion at Judges' Table (and less of the standing around w/ dramatic music, and less of the in-house drama) would be very helpful.
Also, I really liked the Quickfire! It focused on cooking and teamwork, and all of the commentary from the competitors really helped illuminate how chefs think about these things. (For example, I found it interesting that everyone figured out that Jen intended for the fish to be poached, even though that's not what happened with it.)
I also liked how Laurine presented her realization about herself--that she really doesn't like to compete. That's not a bad thing (in fact, it's a useful thing to know about oneself), and I thought she showed maturity in making that realization.
I have to say that I disagree entirely with calling the Quickfire challenge an homage to teamwork. With ANY team, communication is key - leaving a bunch of pre-prepped ingredients and pots on the stove is hardly communication, especially when the chef coming to the plate (pardon the pun) couldn't even see what the person(s) ahead of them were envisioning when they were at bat. What's really ironic to me is that the winning blue team, who wasn't allowed to communicate in the Quickfire, chose also NOT to communicate at all both in the kitchen and for service when it came down to the Restaurant Wars.
Himself and I went to Volt last night (Bryan's restaurant here in Frederick) and sat with 50 other fans out on the patio to watch this episode. What fun! You should have heard the cheering for both brothers. Had 3 yummy appetizers and some lovely wine. Will have to go back next Wed night.
As to the episode itself, I find it interesting to see what lengths you go to make these chefs really stretch themselves. I think a HUGE part of cooking must be the innovation and imagination and creativity and coming up with new ways to make these people show you that must be a little difficult after so many seasons. A true expression of talent/character is when you take a person out of their comfort zone and force them to do something they haven't done before. Well done.
This episode was definitive proof that past performance does matter in the judging. And it's good that it does--there's no way that Jen (two individual Quickfire wins, one elimination challenge win, and in the top group four other times) deserved to go home before Laurine (no individual wins and in the bottom group three times before today). I just wish the show was honest about it. Anyway, this has still been a great season, so I'm not TOO upset...
Tom, so glad to see some real talent this season, rather than puffed-up chests and constant cussing. I prefer these chefs to put their talent where their mouths are and show us their stuff. The Voltaggio brothers are powerhouse chefs in their own rights. If they ever decide to lay down their weapons and join forces, imagine the impact on the culinary world...
For all those who like this Top Chef blog, you really really ought to be reading the blog that John Kessler is doing for the Atlanta Journal. It is almost more fun than watching the show.
This was an interesting show, Hosea won last year by not doing desert in the final meal, you mentioned that desert helped revolt in the wars, Laurine was out of her place, This year has been great and the finals will be great!
This was an interesting show, Hosea won last year by not doing desert in the final meal, you mentioned that desert helped revolt in the wars, Laurine was out of her place, This year has been great and the finals will be great!
Just writing to second many things: I was afraid Kevin or Jennifer was going to be sent home because of their cooking fails, but hoped they wouldn't - wondered how much past performance had played in the decision to let Laurine go - if she had been strong in the front of the house, I wonder who would have gotten the PPYKAG? She was the weakest member of the team, but it isn't fair to say they judge one day at a time and then send the weak one... I thought Michael I. was disappointed with his performance and so thought he was going home, not that he was going home to kick back... would LOVE to see a scorecard of wins (Project Runway has one, hint hint)... and what the heck is a CLAMB??
I love, love, love your blog. Last night was great to watch and I was on the edge of my seat - hoping Jen or Kevin or Michael would not go home.
Although I feel for Robin, I still think she has caught the lucky breaks and is not up to the standard of the other chefs - not that she can't cook. She doesn't cook/present, etc. to be a real chef.
Quick question, I loved seeing the elimination house last season; why wasn't it brough back this year???? Bum!
I cannot agree that three hours is enough. I think that added an unnecessary layer of stress when we really should have seen each person have the opportunity to shine here. That said, the right person went home.
Several people keep writing wanting breakdowns on wins and I've written more than once that you can find this on Wikipedia under Season 6.
So in response to Ditto (and I'm sure Georgianne is curious too), there are scoring methods out there, but mine is this:
Elim Winner=2 pts., High on Elim=1 pt, QF Win=1 pt., Low on Elim= -1 pt.
Below is my tally on points to date, which I did somewhat quickly, so don't ding me for inaccuracy (including at the time of the cheftestant's elimination from the series):
Kevin 10 Bryan 9 Michael 9 Jennifer 8 Eli 3 Mike 2 Robin 0 (or 1 if picking the gold chip in QF 1 counts as a win) Laurine 0 Ash -3 Ashley 0 Ron 0 Mattin -1 Hecto 0 Jesse -2 Pretti -1 Eve -1 Jen 0
Hope that helps!
Excellent commentary Chef Colicchio. You folks have, with season 6, really gotten down the formula of having a balanced team of competitors culinarily and personally but with intriguing differences, which make for fine drama, gastronomic and otherwise. Good/bad news is that viewers have prejudged the final 4 and perhaps even the winner so if things diverge, what will fans think.
Personally, I feel the crucial mistake was Jennifer NOT breaking up the Voltaggio bro's by picking Michael as first choice. Did we say that Mission lacked leadership? Plus this nixes "REVOLT", Blue wins & guess who's gone?
btw...fans, remember how (we hope, with no further artifice)it works; competition, judging, EDITING, viewing. Pay no attention to the person in the editing booth making it look nicey nicey. We can only hope for Top Chef Live.
GO Apple Crumb!!!
Wow, what a Restaurant War! The outcome was very surprising, given that the four strongest chefs were evenly split. I completely agree with your judgment, Tom, that there was no leader at Mission. If they had taken one small step of making a meat or fish available for 2nd course and meat or fish available for 3rd course, thereby splitting the load between Jen and Kevin, they may have fared better. I was sorry to see Laurine go, but she was TERRIBLE at the front of the house. I'm no fan of Eli's, but he was on top of it working the front. And Michael V was absolutely the leader of that kitchen. I was offended by Robin's insistence on asserting herself - what a terrible time to decide not to be a team player.
Jen and Kevin were really shaken by the outcome, but Mike I. seemed to think that he was above it all. It reminds me of Spike when he was disavowing all knowledge of how Dale's kitchen was melting down. That attitude bit him in the butt later on, and I hope Mike I. is next. His skills are good, but not great, and definitely not enough to counter his attitude - arrogant and obnoxious but without the game to back it up. Restaurant Wars often claims one of the strongest, and this time it claimed one of the weakest. I am still rooting for Jen, Kevin, and the Voltaggios to make it to the end, but who knows? GREAT SEASON!! And congratulations and best wishes to Padma and her baby-to-be!
Great blog entry as always. I have one question - where did those diners come from and how can I be one of them? Ever since the first episode of the first season I have wanted to be a guest diner - is it always basically invite only?
I just gave a comment about point system...in response to so many comments about it. Not sure if it went through. All the rounds and winners can be seen on Wikipedia under Top Chef Season 6.
Anyway, I'm sending this comment again, since it seems they often don't get posted.
To Ditto, Georgianne, and others: I think a fair point system is 2 for Elim Win, 1 for High on Elim Round, 1 for QF Win, -1 for Low on Elim, and 0 for merely an In. Based on that, here's what I came up with:
Kevin 10 Bryan 9 Michael 9 Jennifer 8 Eli 3 Mike I. 2 Robin 0 (unless you give her one for picking gold chip on QF1) Laurine 0 Ash -3 Ashley 0 Ron 0 Mattin -1 Hector 0 Jesse -2 Pretti -1 Eve -1 Jen 0
** note though if some of the cheftestants would have been eliminated earlier as several have suggested, their current scores would have been much lower.
Hope that helps!
Hey CHIP.... "...Could we please have a "score board" as you've somewhat done in seasons past? I.E - Kevin has 2 QF wins, and 3 Eliminations, etc...."
If you go to wikipedia and search "Top Chef" you can see the results in a grid form and a narrative form for each episode of all six seasons.
This was one of the best episodes of Top Chef. I liked the blind quickfire and the decision to cut decorating from Restaurant Wars. I am torn as to the role of front of house - it seems that most of the good chefs are not good at it, with exception to Stephanie in Season 4. I don't disagree with Laurine being eliminated but I feel that the front of house role doesn't showcase a chef's actual talent - but perhaps I just don't know everything about being a chef. I also agree that there needs to be more time spent on judging - less time on things they do every episode, like grocery shopping.
Hi Tom - I think I have a little crush on you! I love your blog and the added dimension it gives to the show. Thanks.
I was also scared Jen was going home after the way the judges talked about her dishes, but was relieved it was Laurine.
One thing I would like to see is the diner's scores like we did in Top Chef Masters. I know we do see some random comments that give us an idea what they thought, but an overall score for each chef from the diners would be interesting. To me anyway. Just a thought.
Keep up the great work!
1. I actually really like the name REVolt. I found it clever and fitting the image of the restaurant well (ie modern american food). My first thought was it's a revolt against boring food, not that it was revolting!
2. Although in past years, Jen probably would have gone home for the mistakes she made tonight, I can't help but feel glad that she made it. She is a stronger chef by far than Laurine (and Mike I., Eli, Robin!). Losing her (or Kevin) would have been very painful. I am of the opinion that judging should be cumulative in any case (it seems most people agree with me).
3. I do appreciate that Michael V. was a strong leader. However, he came off as being a trifle too pushy, rude and obnoxious in this role. This is probably what real master chefs are like in the kitchen, but I'm surprised you commented that he acted professional and stayed calm. It didn't look like that from the editing (I'm not talking about his fight with Robin, but more about his interactions with his brother).
4. How does somebody get lucky enough to be one of the people who get to try out the food on this show? Please have your next season in San Diego! I would love to be one of the fifty people trying out the food in Restaurant Wars!
Enjoyed the show, as always, but am still constantly befuddled as to why the format of the show allows weak competitors to skate by. I know you used an analogy to the Super Bowl to describe the "every challenge matters" policy before, but remember, for the Arizona Cardinals to have gotten to the Super Bowl they had to come out of the regular season, 16 games, with a good enough record to make the playoffs. Then they had to win 3 head-to-head games against other teams (not finish third of fourth or fourth of fifth against 3 or 4 other competitors) to make the Super Bowl.
I don't think it fits to compare Top Chef to professional sports. Making the playoffs alone in sports is an arduous process. In Top Chef, however, everyone makes the playoffs. If anything, it is more liked the flawed system used by the BCS, where one fluke loss can catapult an otherwise dominant team, such as USC last year, out of the title game. But as we all know, there is nothing especially fair or liked about that system.
The person I am thinking about, in particular, is Lisa from season 4. How you place in the LOW for 6 of the final 7 pre-finals challenges and finish 2nd in the overall competition still befuddles me.
I really think the first 10-11 challenges of this show should NOT eliminate anyone, call it a regular season of sorts. The 6 chefs with the most wins/high finishes at the end should be allowed to compete for the title. If not that, winning elimination challenges should offer some future advantage in the competition, or at least consistent prizes. As it is now, winning individual challenges means nothing unless there is a prize involved for the competitors, it offers no advantage in future challenges and no elimination protection.
But even if the format isn't changed, I'm still a fan. Just a suggestion.
Kudos for the removal of the Pier 1 decorating challenge (really, how much more bamboo and Buddha did we need to see on Top Chef?), and the assignment of a dish to the Front of House Manager. Restaurant Wars had, to me, become the "WTF?" challenge where a strong chef was eliminated due to their unfortunate assignment to "leader" of a team struggling with unforeseeable circumstances. This time, no one was left high and dry, and the chefs were allowed to succeed or fail based on their own performance. Very well rethought. I applaud you and the producers.
I got the sense (from just one viewing) that the Mission Team was doomed from the start because they decided to make craftful entrees, meaning that they were going to cook their food plate by plate. The fact that it was a group seating rather than sequential diners threw off their game plan, it seems to me, as much as anything. Was this the twist with this Restaurant Wars compared to past seasons? Therefore, yes, circumstances rewarded REVolt, just like the chefs that didn't try to make a cowboy lunch out of very perishable proteins faired better than the other chefs in the previous episodes. In other words, sometimes it seems a decision made in the planning stages is hard to change as the rules of chance play out. I guess this is the Vegas theme -- sometimes the odds are just plain against you.
Tom, you rock. I also really like Toby who is razor sharp accurate in his comments. I've been waiting for Laurine to pack her knives. When Mission decided to skip a dessert, I knew they'd lose unless Revolt totally failed. I thought Jen would make the finals but now I'm not sure - she seems to get increasingly stressed with each episode. I am seeing Kevin as the finalist. His calm, clear manner reminds me of Batali who's show I sorely miss. I digress. Tom, great show. Keep having competitive shows like this!!!
While I didn't think that Laurine had much of a chance of taking the title of Top Chef (there are some exceptional chefs this season!) one thing that made me sad was that she seemed a lot more involved with her team than Radhika (sp?) had the previous season. She tried to talk to people. She was seen assisting with the plating. She seemed more confident. Based on what I saw before the restaurants started, I assumed it would be Robin who would be sent packing (in my mind, it's always either the dessert maker or front of house that loses in restaurant wars....). On another note, were the cheftestants aware that they would not be handling the design and decoration elements as previous seasons have featured? This season it was all cooking and serving. If Kevin was unaware that they were not required to decorate and really create a restaurant out of nothing, that could be why he made the comment about opening a restaurant in that amount of time was "ridiculous".
Great blog as usual!!! I was curious though, as to why this season on "Restaurant Wars" you guys didn't want the chefs to worry about decor/atmosphere? I think that's an important aspect of a successful restaurant and it would have added another element to judging the cheftestants overall ability to create a restaurant.
Thanks Tom for doing this blog and adding to the Top Chef experience - especially with a baby at home!
I was afraid that Jen was going home and I do think that if you were judging only on her performance on Restaurant Wars, she might have gone. From the episode, it seemed that neither of her dishes were that good and she did not take charge.
I am glad she stayed and that Laurine left, but I think the producers should acknowledge that cumulative performance matters and perhaps change the judging/elimination criteria in future seasons.
Tom, I bet in your heart you were glad that Laurine made 2 mistakes, since it would be very hard to let Jen or Kevin go at this point. Can't wait for Michael I , the middle of the road chef, to go home.
best episode yet! these are not chubby everyday mortal cooks, they are cut chef machines. The blindfold was a cool twist and fun addition to late QF don't mean as much, also quick injection of team spirit.
Unlike other viewers I didn't read judges as being so harsh on Jen that she was close to being ppykag. I thought they where more critical of her because she always had such impeccible standards seafood and sauce. IMO the bad RW Jen fish is still prbobly above average... something Ashley, could only make on her strong days.
Strong talent was there, but Team Mission caught death spiral compounding problems, starting from flaw planning perhaps due overconfidence, and wrong division of labor. Assign Laurine cater light dessert and salad/appetizer, w gregarious social Mike I at front of house seems obvious in hindsight. The lesson, failing to plan is planning to fail.
I though revolt was a great name, play off of chefs initials, and very hipster too. Great club name too.
Once again Tom, kudos to your blog! Always well written and informative. I called Laurine being the one to be eliminated from the beginning of the wars. Eli was extremely at ease in the role of front of house whereas Laurine seemed to be ill-at-ease and never truly on top of anything. I'm sure that Jen is kicking herself for her poor performance and thinking that she surely wouldn't want to face her boss, Eric Ripert, after screwing up the fish dishes. For the umpteenth time Robin has managed to skate by and avoid elimination! She may be an 'ok' cook but she is surely out of her league with the caliber of chefs that surround her. What a lucky break for her to be partnered with the Brothers V! One can only hope that next week brings an end to her existence on the show! There was no excuse for her behaviour towards Michael - it was appalling! I continue to enjoy this season and these talented chefs! Go Brothers V, Jen and Kevin!!!
It seemed like moves to play it safe hurt the Mission team. Omiting a dessert like Hosea seemed like a good idea as did not having a leader who would take the hit like Trey a few years back. Too bad Mike I. didn't do the front, then it would have been an interesting judge's table. Also was good to see the Phillies making the ws at the same time.