Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio liked what he saw going on behind the scenes.

on Feb 14, 20130

Perhaps it’s because the chefs were asked to get personal, or perhaps it’s because there were only three chefs left standing, who had all been through a lot together, but this episode was utterly devoid of all of that stupid back-biting, finger-wagging, snarky stuff that has been known to go down between chefs at times.

Instead, this episode showed the human side of what we do. Our industry is more about this than about any dog-eat-dog stuff -- it’s really about the journey chefs go on and the self-exploration they do in their attempt to put themselves into their food and to create something worth all of the effort, because what chefs do is hard. They put in a lot of hours and engage in seemingly endless repetition. For a very long time, I was in restaurants on every holiday and during every family wedding, missing every life event. Things are certainly easier for me now, but even so, the profession is not nearly as glamorous as it’s made out to be. I felt Josh’s sacrifice, being in Alaska when he ached to be with his wife at the birth of their new baby daughter. I know his two competitors did, too, and while the three never forgot that they were still competing against each other, they were very supportive of one another throughout this challenge as well. I thought this week’s episode did a great job of showing this and of featuring what motivates chefs to enter the field and to stick with it despite its formidable challenges.

And I thought the episode did a good job of highlighting the dishes that epitomized the moments that these three chefs chose their paths. In the end, we were handed an obvious and easy decision: we had one dish that was cooked without mistakes (I know that Wolfgang said his quail was a bit overcooked, but mine wasn’t), one that was slightly overseasoned, and one that was outright cooked improperly.

I cannot for the life of me understand what prompted Josh to make that foie gras torchon. I was shocked then, being there in person, and I’m shocked now, watching the episode. A foie gras torchon takes time, plain and simple: the foie gras should be soaked in milk or cold water to draw out the remaining blood. It should then be marinated for a day, then shaped and then poached. After this, it needs at least another full day, but preferably a couple of days, to ripen. I consider making a foie gras torchon a five-day process. I can see bringing that time frame down to two full days (though you’ll be sacrificing depth of flavor), but not a few hours. Josh set out to do something that he himself declared from the get-go was impossible to do, so why did he undertake it? It’s inexplicable to me. Frankly, had he simply done a beautiful sautee of foie gras with the braised pineapple and that cornmeal, and had he seasoned it all nicely, he would have been in the finale right now, because Sheldon’s overseasoned broth would have been the worse mistake. But Josh’s attempted torchon-that-could-never-be clearly beats out a slightly salty broth for Worst Mistake.

59 comments
inviteur
inviteur

i love top chef made in USA cause i see babies cookers who were trying to cook.

On a cooking scale from 0 to 10, i'd say that the Us "chief cookers" gained  a note of 3 on the scale.

nevertheless, i love how candidates give their guts in there but, don't forget that a dish is three colors and three flavors.

 

anguspodgorney
anguspodgorney

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... On the one hand it was a good / maybe great episode for the chefs, especially the Roy and Emeril segment. I'm happy for Sheldon and Brooke, sad for Josh. On the other hand watching and listening to Padma diss the First Lady of Alaska TWICE - now that was a new low for her. Padma - please pack your angst and go.

R_J
R_J

PPS If Kristen has stuck up for herself and blamed Josie for failing to execute the sauce, she wouldn't have been eliminated.

R_J
R_J

also, the season 9 chefs in general were awesome

R_J
R_J

***SPOILER***

 

Sheldon makes mushy tempura again and becomes Top Chef 10

foodiefan
foodiefan

Best comment for this season was made by another astute fan, and I among others loved it:

"Padma, please pack your knives and GO!"

mcoffee4@yahoo.com
mcoffee4@yahoo.com

Love the 3 remaining chefs - all very respectful of each other's talents! Felt bad Josh went home & thought he was very professional in commending his 2 competitors after he lost! Nice to have the back-biting, etc., no longer there wherein they can concentrate on what they are there for - their cooking abilities - not who did what, said what, etc.

houseinthewoods
houseinthewoods

after last years stupid stunts such chopping ice, skiing and shooting and mean spirited bullying chefs i thought it would be the end of the top chef i have loved. thank goodness this season has returned to be the quality show it has been in the past. i wish bravo would begin showing past seasons. so many people i know did not get hooked on the show in the earlier shows and i'm sure would love to watch top chef from the beginning.

tom, thank you for the integrety you have shown through the years..

better
better

Adventurous Alaskan events in shows on air to be some kind of 'Trip-Flip' and attitudes were all really into episodes, yet cooks aren't all into being so wilderness on exit to 'Survivor Cooks' show which was okay onto it theme ! 

Marti_W
Marti_W

I agree with Tom - the backbiting, etc. really detracts from the show for me. Watching the drama of three chefs who have gotten to know and respect each other compete to their best ability is more dramatic and enticing than any amount of personality-based histrionics.  WHAT an episode... mahalo. (yeah, I have a 'home state 'favorite' lol)

mariepoirer
mariepoirer

Thank you @ Elizabeth3871...Kristen should never have had to leave when she did but I always find myself rooting for the underdog

joanna38
joanna38

This use to be my favorite show...now I am not so sure. I think this season it has all been decided beforehand. I think Kristen was voted out early, told what the final challenge would be and in the meantime she has been honing her knives and her skills. Last chance kitchen proved that Tom favors her and the rest of the finalists may as well leave now because he has already decided that she is the winner.

How can you tell one person..."if you had cooked this dish you would not be standing here now"...and then allow Kristen to win that cook off?

Then tell Stephan..."this is the best I have ever tasted"...and then send him home too?

 

PorkBBQ
PorkBBQ

Josh chose the foie gras then concocted a story behind it.  It seemed like he was changing his story all the time.  Brooke and Sheldon's stories seemed more genuine.  Brooke has been a strong competitor all season.  Sheldon has been the most creative.  Kristen has been creative but was told to go home too early.  Although, LIzzie seemed to produce unique flavors with the vinegar and pepper seasoning.  The camaraderie of the chefs this year aside from John and Josie was quite refreshing. 

stephie117
stephie117

Tom has a crush on Brooke that is the ONLY reason she is still in, I think she a fake snob. Can't stand her and can't wait to see Kristin beat her.  Brooke should have spoken up for Kristin , but she WANTED her to leave because she knows Kristin is better then her.

rep123
rep123

I used to watch every episode of this show - until Kristen was booted off.  Yes, this is a dog-eat-dog world, but what's wrong with rooting for someone with integrity?  Don't you want to instill integrity into your own kids?  This show lost itself a viewer.

parker85
parker85

For me, the Mentors episode (season 9) and the Ellis Island episode, were better. And Roy Choi is 41. 

shysharon
shysharon

Tom. I loved this episode as well, for the same reasons as you did, including Josh's which included you in an off-beat way!! OK so besides all that, I loved where the chef contestants stayed! Was that a hotel, a rented home? What? The architeture, renovations, colors were amazing!

franci
franci

Good grief you people!  Is Josie an inept jerk? Obviously.  But when push comes to shove Kristen shot herself in the foot.  As far as the taste of the sauce, all the judges agreed it was good and Josie did make it.  The complaint was that there wasn't enough of it and that was Kristens decision.  On top of that both Lizzie  and Brookes dishes were judged better then the ones Kristen prepared on her own...Frankly, if Kristen does win the whole thing, I and I'm sure a whole lot of other people will be wondering if she truely won on merit or if it was given to her because of all the complaining.  After all, where were all of you when Josie kept "beating" all the other chefs who went home before Kristen.

SwimCards
SwimCards

If Brooke doesn't win I'll be stunned. Sometimes this show is so obvious. Like Padma crying when Richard Blais was booted then an All Star show so she could give him the win. When Stephanie was guest judge and introduced as the only female Top Chef, Brooke hurriedly said 'so far'. I consider that a tell. If its a female, I hope it's Kristen.

teach1992
teach1992

I'm curious.... is there a way to fix over-reduced broth?

AraG
AraG

Like Tom, I too multitask when catching an episode of TC, and I too was riveted upon hearing Roy's aha moment story.  However, the way the sloppy rapid fire editing was handled, it seemed that nobody in the room except Emeril even heard it nor had any meaningful reaction to something that was a touching human interest moment.  

 

On the plus side, I now have the recipe for foie gras torchon added to my little repertoire...

TLT1972
TLT1972

Anyone know what brand and style of sunglasses Tom was wearing at the glacier in this episode?

Elizabethp3871
Elizabethp3871

If anyone would like to know who the winner is, leave a reply saying so and I'll leave a spoiler alert as to whom the winner of LCK is. There is a very small editing mistake that they missed that shows who the winner is.

dolly5
dolly5

If Kristen gets back in the finale that will make it 2 female chefs and 1 male chef. Congratulations Sheldon on being chosen Top Chef. Unless he chokes like Richard did, then they'll HAVE to pick one of the girls. But I don't see that ever happening again.

AngelenoFoodie
AngelenoFoodie

Will there be a reunion show, and if so, how can we submit questions for it?  I amy dying to ask Brooke and Lizzie why they stood silently and watched Josie lie after Restaurant Wars.  Was it that Kristin is such a big threat, they were okay with allowing her to be thrown under the bus?  I was more angry at the two of them than I was at Josie, and since Kristin is the only chef with any integrity from that team, I hope she wins it all.  Can't root for Brooke after seeing her not do the right thing when her character was challenged like that.

alphonse
alphonse

Looking foward to another Top Chef Finale. I think it will be between Brooke and Kristan(probably won LCK). Sheldon will find it hard to beat these two woman. My money would be on Kristen. She is on a slightly different level then Brooke.

ThePatV
ThePatV

Were there no prizes? I'm watching the episode for the 2nd time and there doesn't seem to be a prize for either the quick fire win or elimination.

R_J
R_J

have you seen season 1?  Padma might not be the greatest chef or critic, but she's incomparable as a host.

borbor
borbor

 @joanna38 I love wacky conspiracy theories! Is Kristin one of the Illuminati too?

borbor
borbor

 @stephie117 a fake snob? Like she pretends to look down on others? Also, I think you mean "better than she."

borbor
borbor

 @rep123 Too bad - you are missing out on a great show. And it's been picked up for another season!

carefrompgh
carefrompgh

@franci Excuse me franci, but we ALL know that Josie was (is) a sub par chef and was in the bottom almost every challenge. I firmly believe that if it hadn't been for Padma(I thought for a minute that someone in Padma's family owed Josie money!) that Josie would've gone instead of Kristen.

shysharon
shysharon

@teach1992 I hope he added a little water, though we didn't see him do it!

UncleDew
UncleDew

 @teach1992

 Add unseasond liquid. However if too much water is added one may lose some depth of flavor.

mariepoirer
mariepoirer

@Elizabethp3871 I would...I watched it twice but didn't catch it- thinking it might be Lizzie- thanks

motherhubbard
motherhubbard

 @dolly5 Let's get rid of Richard's "I choked" excuse to demean Stephanie's victory. She outcooked him, plain and simple, and her successful restaurants and string of awards should be proof that her season 4 victory was not a fluke.

Marti_W
Marti_W

 @AngelenoFoodie I'm not sure, but try their Facebook or Twitter page.  I know that other Bravo reunion shows usually say things like "John H from Omaha tweeted ....."

 

wendy18
wendy18

Yes, I do tend to agree.

 

teach1992
teach1992

 @AngelenoFoodie In Brooke's defense, she said in an interview on the next episode that had she had any inkling they'd send Kristin home she would have spoken up.  And she was mad at herself for being quiet.  I think she and Lizzie both thought it was just SUCH an obvious decision and that Josie was kinda doing what she always does..... and just assumed the judges would keep Kristin.

 

I think Brooke, Lizzie, and Kristin are some of the best chefs we've seen on the show..... talent and character.  I think they're all confident enough that they would want their best competition to the end.

wendy18
wendy18

Yes, there were several money prizes, a car, some vacation packages and Josh won 365 bottles of Terlatto wine.

 

Elizabethp3871
Elizabethp3871

 @mariepoirer  @Elizabethp3871 

*******************SPOILER ALERT****************************

*******************DO NOT READ IF YOU**********************

*******************DON'T WANT TO KNOW ********************

*******************THE WINNER OF LCK***********************

 

 

 

 

 

It's been a few days and I don't have time to find the exact spot but they briefly show her tattoo. It's kristin.

agatha21
agatha21

 @motherhubbard  @dolly5

 Here, Here, Very well said! Stephanie is an amazing chef. RIchard is unlikable with his public "true winner" harangue. It's not like he won every challenge until "choking" at the end. Stephanie won 4 challenges, was in the low end 3 times, and high end 6 times, won 1 quickfire. Richard won 4 challenges, was in the low end 1 time, but high end only 3 times, and 1 quickfire- records are fairly equal...he was too arrogant to think so. Congrats to Stephanie on her successes. I think a female- not sure which one- is definitely a winner this year. No offense, Sheldon :-)

dolly5
dolly5

 @motherhubbard  @dolly5

 Like I said before, Stephanie absolutely deserved to win. BUT if Richard hadn't admitted he "choked" I believe he would've been chosen the winner, not because he deserved it but because female chefs don't win Top Chef, no matter how much they outcook their male counterparts. And I'm betting Sheldon will win this season even tho Brooke has won more challenges and deserves to win.

agatha21
agatha21

 @teach1992  @AngelenoFoodie

 I agree with both your defense of Brooke and Lizzie and these ladies and Kristen being among the best chefs in talent and character- off the top of my head I would add Antonia and Stephanie as well.