Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson weighs in on Stefan's sexist comments.

on Nov 21, 20120

The dinner starts up and Thierry is in the house. The hat is on. Love the FareStart charity involvement. Timers go off and its time to eat. 

Gray Team first. That turkey does not look great. Sashimi of seasoned gobbler. Dressings are great. Kristen’s veg is good, but has a crème fraiche addition that is deemed unnecessary. Tyler’s gumbo is not terrific, and Kuniko’s pave is undercooked. Potato pave and gratin is another classic failure dish on Top Chef and took out Whitney Otawka last year. Sheldon’s greens are a little underdone, which is not good for the Southern style. Biscuits rule by Brooke, and desserts are judges to be quite stellar, yet a touch grainy. 

Carla has a strange way of delivering a really good point about sexism in the kitchen. It’s rampant and needs to be stamped out. Stefan is not helping to remove that glass ceiling from fine kitchens. He actually is building a stronger roof of machismo. 

Red Team brings the Tom thunder. Stefan takes the reigns in the German prince role that he revels in. CJ’s turkey looks great with it’s traditional stuffing of Italian foie gras. Carla’s soup is killer. Bart’s greens look fresh and light and enjoyable to me, but Padma wants some refinement. Josh’s raviolis are a little off. Thick outer dough makes them tough. Brussels need salt. Whipped potatoes rule. Thanks, Joel Robuchon. Desserts are sweetly contested, but are a letdown in the end. 

Tom’s Red Team wins. Someone on Twitter is chalking that up to socialism. 

Tyler, Kuniko, Josie, and Sheldon in the bottom tier. Kuniko is done. 

Kuniko has no regrets and is well-loved by the fellow chefs. That’s the nicest way of leaving the show you can ever hope for. Just to keep it real, Tesar rips her good reputation as the door closes. Classy John, classy. Maybe there will be a Last Chance Kitchen and Kuniko will make amends. Happy Thanksgiving to all. 

Follow me on Twitter  @hughacheson

 

13 comments
LouiseA
LouiseA

Up until last season I loved Top Chef. I cannot stand Stefan and couldn't wait for him to be off last season, now he's back. If he is not thrown off in the next week I'll be saying goodbye to the show. I can't imagine the producers would put up with someone prejudiced against people for their race, but apparently being rude and insulting to women is acceptable. I do not watch any show that appears to support discrimation, and I will stop watching this if Stefan continues. NOT FUNNY or ENTERTAINING!

sdal26
sdal26

One thing I have to say about Carla's comment of "being strong".  Quite the contrary, being strong is being the calm in the storm, respected, whose leadership and opinion is valued.  NOT a frantic chicken with its head cut off, yelling and screaming at everyone in its path.  Puh-lease.  And someone oh someone tell her to put up her freaking hair.  Does she think it looks cute?  Its disgusting.  If it doesn't fall in someone's food would be a miracle. 

matilda.andersson.984
matilda.andersson.984

Kroppkaka should be served with melted butter, maybe some cream and lingonberry jam. The lingonerry jam is a must. I'm not overly found of kroppkaka in the first place, but having it with béchamel sauce sounds horrible. Literally translated kroppkaka means bodycake...

singingscallops
singingscallops

The history of TC demonstrates that you should never allow the one with immunity to have the greater responsibility if the challenge involves a team.  For instance, if the challenge is Restaurant Wars, and such an individual is on your team, you make him or her front of house, definitely not head chef.  I had a strong feeling that team grey would fall as soon as Josie was allowed to cook the bird.  Had this team done a better job, Kuniko's neck may never have been exposed.

Sabayon
Sabayon

Hugh, I love your witty and insightful comments!

 

I am always confused by those posters who comment on food they haven't tasted!

 

Stephan has shown himself (in a past season and at his restaurant) to be a talented chef, but he seems to be continuing in his goal tof elevate offensive comments to an art form.

 

Doesn't Josie own an instant-read thermometer?

 

Carla may have mad skills, but who wouldn't get sensory overload from her constant chaotic verbal spewing in the kitchen?

 

Looking forward to the rest of the season.

grassrox
grassrox

Hugh, why is Stefan even on the freakin' show (. . .or Josie or the lurch for that matter) for another season?  I can't wrap my head around it.  My darling Kuniko, who clearly was a STRONG contender for the title this season, would most assuredly be coming back for another episode had the dynamic not been butchered by this injection of stale, now ex-losers.   Of course I can't say for certain that my favorite contestant since Nyesha Arrington would not have been eliminated regardless, but I can state with certainty that the dynamic changed. Therefore we know the draw of the quickfire would have been different, and the elimination challenge dishes, or the contestants preparation of them(or both) would have been different. 

 

Life's not fair, neither is Top Chef.

Pharmachick
Pharmachick

Wonderful blog (again) Mr. Acheson. I really enjoy your pithy and funny insights ... keep it up!

Vic2012
Vic2012

Bad ending to an otherwise good episode. This season has me worried in the sense that the judges will keep the pretenders around for too long just because of the drama, ala season 4. Carla won the challenge? Yeah right, the reason gray team lost was because of the turkey, the reason red team won was because of the turkey. If the turkeys were switched Carla's carrot soup wasn't going to save the day. CJ led the team to victory and made the winning main course, he is the winner.

 Kuniko helped everyone, especially John, and she goes home, while John rips her. Sad. This is why immunity needs to be completely cut, Chef Tom flat out said Josie deserved to go home, yet she is still on the show. Ominous start to season 10.

cindy.daft.3
cindy.daft.3

 @grassrox I agree with you wholeheartedly. I love top chef because I get to watch chefs I have never seen before showcase their talents. These three chefs have had their chance and they didn't make it to the end. Their storylines and dramas are distracting and irrelevant. Bad decision, producers. This season will not be as enjoyable as seasons past. Maybe you could stage an entire season with these contestants and call it "Top Chef Has Beens"

lkbrose
lkbrose

 @Vic2012 I totally agree. CJ's turkey and stuffing was awesome.  I want elimination to go away.  Josie lost for her team...

jeff.mabbutt.5
jeff.mabbutt.5

 @Vic2012 Judges have never kept anyone around for any reason other than the food. Everyone who has ever been invited to guest judge on the show and spoken of it afterward agrees that the judging is absolutely scrupulous about being about the food made that day and that's all.

motherhubbard
motherhubbard

 @lkbrose  @Vic2012 I'm thinking you mean "immunity" rather than "elimination." Or do you want to see 18 chefs all season long?

parker85
parker85

 @jeff.mabbutt.5  @Vic2012  in past seasons they have kept chefs around b/c of potential rather than the food or challenges. Think of Ken in the first episode of the entire show, Frank's elimination in season 2 (he was the "sacrificial lamb"), Howie in the first episode of season 3 (he didn't complete the challenge) and even Michael Voltagio  uring the infamous pancetta wrapped halibut episode where he probably should have gone home but was reprieved b/c everybody knew that he was the best chef that season and he was screwed by the electricity going out.