Bravotv.com: Tom Douglas is our guest judge. Can you tell us a little bit about him?
GS: Tom Douglas for President!
Tom Douglas is basically the default mayor of Seattle. He owns something like 20 restaurants, and he’s opening up a least 20 more this year... ha! Driving around town with him, he would constantly point to a random corner, and say "I’m opening a Thai place there. Oh yeah, I’m opening a pizza place there; I’m opening a donut place there." And he’s serious! He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. We spent a lot of time with him; he showed us such a great time all season long. He really was like our private ambassador to the city. And he’s beloved by all of Seattle, not just the food community. And is restaurants are fantastic, so he certainly knows a lot about food in that part of the country. Very appropriate to have him as our first guest judge.
Bravotv.com: Everyone made fish except for the Veterans, who went with the quail. Did you think that was a poor decision? Or if they had executed it well, would they have made a good decision?
GS: It was a good decision. We had no guidelines; we just wanted them to use local ingredients—we never said, "You have to use seafood.” I think it was smart of them to differentiate themselves, it wasn’t the risk of making quail that was the issue. You just have to cook it well. Quail is very small animal. You want to eat the breast medium rare, on the pink side, or else its very tough and dry because there’s very little fat in it. Stefan probably left them on the heat just 30 seconds too long, and that’s all it takes with such tiny breasts! I guess Stefan’s not so adept at handling breasts after all! Ha!
Bravotv.com: And so the winning dish was once again the Blue Team. Have you ever had anything poached in chili oil before?
GS: Sure, in Chinese cooking… I’ve certainly had tofu with chili oil in it and fish. But I thought their version was modern and really inspired, really delicious." Lingcod is a beautiful, delicate, flakey white fish, it was the first thing we tasted that day, and it was the best. It had so much flavor, and balance, the fish was beautiful. It was a very, fresh, delicate dish.
Bravotv.com: Jeffrey unfortunately goes home. What was the difference between him overcooking his fish and Stefan overcooking the quail?
GS: The difference was the degree of done-ness. Overcooking slightly is one thing. Yes, Stefan's quail was overcooked and a little dry, but Jeffrey’s halibut was pummeled, unfortunately. He had put it on way too high heat, on both sides. We kept referring in the episode to how it was hard-seared on both sides—with a fish that delicate you probably could have just seared one side, turned it over and it would have been done. And he could have monitored the heat a little better. There were pieces of it that were essentially burnt. It was really too bad.
I was so sad that Jeffrey was the first to go. He’s so cute, and I barely know the guy, but I know that it was a very difficult challenge, and overall the food was all very good. For a first episode, I would say that it’s actually the best food we’ve ever had. Of all the things we tasted that day across the six dishes, Jeffrey’s piece of fish was the most flawed element.
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!!!!