Bravotv.com: OK, so on to the Elimination Challenge. Well first, you were saying the three returning chefs kind of changed a lot. What were the things you noticed since the first time you saw them?
GS: Josie was on Season 2; that was SIX YEARS AGO. Everyone changes. I’ve changed a lot in six years. She’s calmer, more confident; she’s just developed her own style. That’s what happens as the years go on. You work harder, you learn about yourself, you have different experiences that shape who you are as a cook, and I think she’s just really found her place. When we met her in Season 2 she was cooking at Marlow & Sons in New York, I believe, which is a great restaurant, but she has since found what her passion really is, which is globally influenced comfort food. She comes back to it again and again throughout the season.
CJ has grown enormously. I was always a CJ fan. I always thought he was a strong cook, but again, Season 3 was five years ago, and he’s had a lot of experience since then; he’s done a lot of hard work. He went to Copenhagen, and was really inspired by cooking at Noma there. He’s become so much stronger. I believe the CJ from Season 3 and the Josie from Season 2 could not have competed so well with the chefs in this season, at this level. Not that they couldn’t have competed; I should say that they just would have had a much harder time, they were less experienced, but we all were I guess...
Stefan has changed too. Whenever he was in front of the judges this season, he actually was a lot calmer, more direct, less arrogant to us. That’s not to say he wasn’t arrogant. But he was a little more thoughtful, a little more introspective about who he is as a chef, what he expected from himself. He wasn’t just saying how great he was, he knew he had to put something behind it. He’s always been a good cook, there’s no question that he’s talented. But…well, you’ll see...
Bravotv.com: What was it like judging at the Space Needle?
GS: It was a very foggy day, unfortunately. But it was great that we were rotating, and having Ambassador/Chef Tom Douglas with us allowed us a great tour of the city from above. By the time we got up, I felt like I knew the landscape of Seattle really well. I could point at landmarks, and Tom [Douglas] took us through all the major neighborhoods and pointing them out. Seattle is really a beautiful city, filled with water ways and lakes, obviously mountains; it’s very, very green. It was a great place to start the season, because it gave us a great sense of place.
do we really have to watch stefan again? he is one of the most obnoxious contestants from over the years. Come on Gail such a sell out. he should have gone home and was kept for the ratings. Why can't you admit that? i always thought you of all the judges had some integrity but alas i was wrong.
I wasn't overjoyed to see previous contestants back either, but....new contestant doesn't necessarily mean the same as rookie chef. Many of the Top Chef contestants are seasoned chefs with extensive experience. Don't think the previous contestants automatically have an advantage over the others.
I'm sorry but people posting about how the past contestants have an unfair advantage because of experiences opening restaurants or traveling the world... People don't need to be past contestants to do this. Top Chef isn't "Top New Chef" or "Best Newcomer Chef". That would be saying that Cynthia or Lisa (Top Chef S1 contestants) had an unfair advantage over Candice (same season). Or saying that Chef Owners or Executive Chefs in groups should receive a handicap (no immunity, eliminated before) against chefs who are line cooks / personal chefs.
I don't like the idea of bringing old contestants back. Especially not Stephan!!!! He definitely should've been voted off for over cooking that quail, and then made excuses for the quail being too small. Hellooo Stephan... quails are small!!!! Go home.
I am glad that they kept Stefan. Should have won over Hosea!! Obviously, we did not taste both the overcooked quail and the overcooked fish so we have to rely on the judges to make the determination which error was worse. Carla is very annoying and not just her personality. Her hair in front of her face is really distracting. No offense but how do you cook with your hair in your face. It kind of disgusts me because I would not be surprised to find a strand of her hair in my food she prepared. Aren't there rules in the kitchen? I remember one cheftestant getting axed because he tasted his food and put the spoon back in the pot. Which is worse??
Carla, please pin it back!!!
The old contestants have such an advantage over the new cooks. It's just not fair. The rule should be is that if the worst dish is prepared by a returning chef, that they be eliminated before the new guys start to be eliminated. Boy was I sorry to see Stephan return. I couldn't wait for him to be eliminated when his season was on!
Wow...what a bunch of winers you commenters are! This is not whoever has the most experience goes home. This is whoever screws up the most goes home. Jeffrey way overcooked his fish. Stefan slightly overcooked the quail. It's that simple.
You just described the unfair advantages of the 3 chefs. Opening new restaurants and traveling the world getting the experiences of world leading chefs is so much better than trying to make a living cooking with a chef no one's heard of . Stefan has just gotten more arrogant over the last years, I can't figure out why he is lowering himself to compete with these peasants, I don't get any of the 3 coming back. I think Stefan has already gotten shown favoritism because he was the one who clearly should have been sent home with his under cooked quail with him being so seasoned a chef as apposed to a rookie that overcooked fish. I think TC has jumped the shark this season and I think lots of people will be finding another show to watch.
i think it was awful stefon won he has much more experience than jeffery and should have gone home after all he has been on before the kid jeffery was one of my picks because deep down i think he would have made the top 5 given a fair chance. and get rid of that annoying loud mouth black haired woman omg who would want that in the kitchen of a fine resturant
Sorry, Gail, but I think this should been a double elimination. Stefan had a lame excuse for overcooking his lamb and Jeffrey had super dry fish. If nothing else, bam, there's your 2 competitors for LCK. Now, we have to wait a week to find out who Jeffrey cooks off against. Lame.
Such BS Stephan is a seasoned chef and should be expected to deliver more than a new contestant !! Cant believe that decision, let alone agree with it !!! very dissapointed Padma n Tom !
I was very sorry Stephan didn't go home. I agree...a seasoned chef should deliver more. I'm really sorry former chefs came back....I don't think that's fair at all. For the 10th season, have another twist other than old chefs returning. And yes, old chefs should not get immunity.
Sorry but Stafan has been there before. He should have gone. They both over cooked their food. Stefan should of been an easy ticket home. Well two tickets home....one for his ego.
Seriously...bringing old people from the past on a reality show? As well...it is common knowledge that after being on Top Chef the many contestants have numerous opportunities
that an unknown certainly has not. For the 3 even ending up in the bottom 3 for the very first
elimination is so much worse for them. One of them should have gone home for that reason
in and of itself. Not sure if I can even bother to watch this season. Big disappointment Bravp/
I am so totally disappointed with the way Top Chef has brought back old contestants, especially Stephan. Why did they pick those 3 to come back??? Bad move!!!!