First course -- While her Scallop Crudo was a bit too acidic, both of Tiffani's scallop courses were better than Harold's dish, which featured wilted greens and overly aggressive ramps (wild leeks with a distinctive onion/garlic flavor).
Second course -- I liked Harold's Olive-oil Poached Bass, but he left the fish's unappetizing bloodline on Katie's plate and a couple of the other judges weren't impressed. Tiffani's fried artichokes were delicious and perfectly executed, but they fell more into the category of trattoria food than an elegant tasting menu dish. Her Artichoke 'Risotto,' on the other hand, was outstanding. Clear winner: Tiffani.
Third course -- Tiffani's two fish dishes were terrible. Both her Sea Bass with Deconstructed Ratatouille and her Bass with Fennel and Pasta were cold, the pasta was gummy and the flavors didn't come together. Harold's quail was slightly overcooked, but the flavors were good, so Harold took this one.
Fourth course -- Harold's Kobe Beef with Pureed Potatoes and Morel Mushrooms was fantastic. Lick-the-plate good. Tiffani's Saltimbocca with Primativo glaze and Veal with Minted Peas were decent, but Harold's dish was a clear winner over them both. I want to pause for a moment and point something out: In preparing her ambitious dual menus, Tiffani was handicapped by a nerve-wracking hurdle -- namely two drunk sous-chefs. Dave and Stephen straggled in late after a long night of partying, still drunk! We're not talking about a boost-the-nerves airplane bottle of gin (hell, we've all been there). These two were plastered. Dave told us he was taking the high road by giving Tiffani his all, but his actions proved otherwise. Stephen had raised condescension to a new level throughout the competition when faced with amateurs and here he was, acting less professional than any of them. Amazingly, Dave left a full wineglass on the line, a taboo that even a rank beginner is taught to avoid: A broken glass would have meant every last bit of mis-en-place had to be tossed and the night would have been over. Dave took issue with Tiffani's curt request that he move the glass. Why? Because of her tone? Given what she had at stake, I think it was justified. Tiffani soldiered through this handicap, but it couldn't have been easy working without the backing of a solid team.
Hi I just had the opportunity of watching Top Chef and this is for the second time,but it only season one and two.It has really course me to be motivated and brought me to the realization that i need to know more.I really liked Lee Ann, Harold,Dave,Miguel And even Steven even though at time he can be a pain in all the wrong places.These guys are really great and i really think if there is any possibility I'll like to be like them or even like Chef Tom or more.I have only very little knowledge about Culinary art and i want to learn if the opportunity is given me. I'll like to know what these guys from season one are now doing,As for season two they were too self fish and cause a lot problems forget that even though they were there for $100,000 they were also there to make friends and contact which is very important in the industry. Please I'll be grateful if am contact with help to realize my dream as am from Sierra Leone,West Africa were there is not much done about this wonderful art.you can even Check to make sure am saying the truth.To be plain am soliciting a scholarship to study this art and come back to be a blessing in this sector to my country. thanks and god bless you richly. Dorothy A.L.k. Coker
This is September 2009 - do you ever see Harold Dieterle when you are in NY? It would be great to see him again on one of your special shows when you invite past chefs to compete. i know he has a restuarant so he may be able to compete. jenny
didn't read all of the rest that folks have written, to many words..but I want to say, I am front of house, was a line cook once, but wanted more money..I do very well, have had the pleasure of working with wolf gang, jamie shannon, and now with john besh, I amke my money because i can serve something that they dont send back...it is what it is..and guests love it...Harlod made solid food, with real down to earth flavors..at least by description..he deserved to win..