Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain mourns the loss of "Angry Dale."

on Feb 23, 20110

"Anthony Bourdain is semi-conscious in Connecticut, but sad to see Angry Dale go. Managed to mutter that he enjoyed the congestive heart disease theme of the Quickfire Challenge before slumping to the floor, babbling 'Not Dale! Not Dale! Nooooooo!' "

117 comments
Julvuo
Julvuo

I was taken to this blog by my oncle . I am not positive whether or not this report is inspired by Rudy bishops as no one else get such complete about my obscurity. You are unbelievable! I be glad about your work! Before I go, permit me thank you for your patience with my English as (I'm sure you have become aware this at this time ,), English is not my head language consequently I am using Google Translate to form out how to write what I really mean to write down .

Jeanne Lowe
Jeanne Lowe

Dale should have been in the finals with Richard. NOT Mike

SJean
SJean

Thanks for the insight into the judges mindset. That's why I think the chefs should serve "blind dishes" for the judges. No judge, not even the great Tom, should know which chef served what dish.

herman
herman

dude. tony. you're a genius man. i felt the same after dale split. could not believe my freakin' eye balls. peace.

Chef Valerina
Chef Valerina

Hi Chef Tony! Missing you on the show lately. I hope Carla takes First Place and I think she will do it! I do agree with some of the other bloggers that Tiffany should have been gone by now. I don't think Mike or Antonia will win it. Think it will be between Richard and Carla. I also believe some of the viewers knew they weren't sending anyone home either. We have been watching Tom for a few years now so we knew he looked a little too happy to be sending anyone home. Looking forward to seeing you soon on the show.

dee too
dee too

Carla has won more elimination challenges this season than anyone else. How can you NOT rate her in finals?

bigbear420
bigbear420

first off Fabio,Richard,Marcel and Mikey are not in NY so they can't call it that.

Mimi X.
Mimi X.

Please compensate the viewers by giving us a reality tv show called, "the Real Chefs of NYC", starring Dale T, Fabio, Blais, Angelo, Marcel and Isabella.

Sylvie Featherfoot
Sylvie Featherfoot

Carla seems to be coming in for a LOT of bashing, or semi-bashing here. Have you looked at her recipes? I have made a number of dishes from the Top Chef listings here - and one thing I notice is that, although Carla's dishes may look simple, a VERY large proportion are designated as "Skill Level: Challenging." (This includes the Chicken Pot Pie, and the Smoked Bluefish Lettuce Wrap, both of which were elimination challenge winners). Many more complex-seeming/sounding recipes are listed as "Skill Level: Moderate." I am VERY sure that the judges do not fail to appreciate this when they evaluate. When Carla is on, she is ON.

That said, this entire season has been full of wonderful dishes, wonderful chefs. Some chefs, personally, have shown up better than they did on their original seasons (Dale Talde, Stephen Asprinio), some less well (Jamie Lauren), and some absolutely, resolutely, unchanged (Marcel Vigneron, whose picture can be found next to the definition of "poisonous little toad" in any encyclopedia).

These competitions have to be taken as such - competitions. They are not absolutely about judging the finest chef, they are judging the best/worst DISHES - more like the Olympics - a figure skater may be the best of his or her generation, and not win the Olympic Gold medal - Michelle Kwan, anyone?

And I hope for any final that features Carla and does not feature Mike Isabella. Preferably Carla, Antonia, and Richard.

Arolem
Arolem

Ron O's comment is a little disingenuous. Paula Dean said she liked the broth around the fish, but she also said she couldn't taste the fish itself, that the mustard crouton was bad, and "I like my potatoes cooked." It sounded like they were less than "al dente." Whereas at least one judge's shrimp were not overcooked. When asked, every single judge said Tiffany's was not the worst dish of the night.

It's interesting to me that both the "it was fair" and "it wasn't fair" sides are arguing that Top Chef needs to be about consistency. What's a better display of consistency--that you never send out something that's the worst, or that you both fail and succeed spectacularly?

I think Tony Bordain's blog entry on the departure of Butterscotch Scallops Dale says it perfectly. Really brilliant chefs take big risks, and sometimes big risks go bad. In other situations where he didn't know the cuisine, Dale sussed out a way to succeed (the NY restaurant challenge, the cookie QF). This time, he didn't.

To me, Top Chef is like the playoffs. I trust that the producers have sifted through the applicants such that everyone who shows up can cook. A season of cumulative scoring would bore me (and, as others have said, be impossible to judge). Further, cumulative judging would discourage just that wonderful risk-taking that makes TC so much fun to watch.

Dotopotamus
Dotopotamus

More than the creative, innovative dishes he prepared, I'm going to miss Dale for his humor. My god that guy is FUNNY!

re:judging
re:judging

Mr. Bourdain addresses the influence of producers in the judging in Medium Raw. He asserts that it is always about the food and that the producers have never dictated the eliminations nor winners. He made it sound like Mr. Collichio and the other judges have too much integrity and get the judging spot on.

Mars
Mars

I too, along with the majority of the people on this blog, am sad to see Dale go. He really has grown as a person since his season and I appreciated his sense of maturity and self-awareness this season.

That being said, wasn't it Bourdain who eliminated Dale in his first season? Tony, if only you were at the judging table this time around, you could have prevented this unnecessary elimination.

TCFanVA
TCFanVA

I agree with many of the posters. There is something really wrong when the Judges are sending the most talented Chefs home! This was an All Star season and Dale really stood out among the Chefs in the challenges. His performance should have been considered. With Dale and Angelo gone, there isn't much competition left. We have chefs still on the show that are very likeable, but not at the same level. They get to stay to compete for the title?? All I can say is that this show really is NOT about having the best of the best compete for the title, it IS more like "Survivor Chef".

To say I am very disappointed with the show is putting it mildly.

My M
My M

Perfect commentary. Could have not said it better.

My M
My M

OMG Anthony. You're one of us.

Do you also feel lost in the world of Top Chef now that Dale has left.

Kitchenaid
Kitchenaid

Aw, Chef Bourdain, come on! You've never been at a loss for words before. So how come this latest TC elimination renders you speechless?

I, too, was unhappy to see Dale go, I had developed a soft spot in my heart for him and would have been thrilled to try several of his dishes. But since he wasn't my all time super favorite I'm not as crushed as you and some of my fellow viewers.

Won't you please enlighten us with your thoughts, Chef Bourdain? I for one would be most obliged.

Lala Singsing
Lala Singsing

Bourdain, your blog is hilarious. Here's my two cents:

Richard should win. No question about it. Antonia is runner-up. Carla should have her own show because she is so damn entertaining and delightful as a human being. Tiffany---not sure why she keeps slipping through. And Mike Isabella is unbearable to watch or listen to. This week was just one more example of that.

Dale didn't make a good dish, but it shows the flaws in the "Top Chef" format in terms of actually coming up with the top chef. Entertainment-wise, I get it. It makes the show unpredictable; you're only as good as your last dish. But if Tiffany ended up in the final somehow? And Richard didn't? Well, that would just be weird. And if Mike wins, I will barf.

PS - I also think a show with Marcel and Dale, say, on a road trip together would be hi-larious. I'd watch that.

pywacket
pywacket

I'm glad Dale redeemed himself this season. He was a pill during his season and his food didn't sound that great. In my mind, I always rate the chefs by whether or not I want to eat their food and the original butterscotch scallops did not exactly make my mouth water for the right reasons.

This season, he seems a changed man. A real chef will probably never be humble, but his 'see ya' speech, like Stephen's, expressed a level of self-awareness that would have seemed impossible during season 4. And while I may not have wanted to eat his potato chip cookies, he made several intriguing dishes this time around.

I feel bad for Dale and I certainly miss Angelo. I just don't understand why Tiffany was even invited to this season in the first place. She was an adequate performer in what was easily the lamest season of Top Chef ever. Her food sounds okay, but more Next Food Network Star than TC.

Oh, and would someone please send a lightening bolt for Mike Isabella, please?

Chocolatecupcakewithsprinkles
Chocolatecupcakewithsprinkles

wish Tiffany would have been elimated instead of Dale. Richard has to make it to the finale, because if Mike wins, the show has gone down hill.

Giantsfan
Giantsfan

I still don't get why Tiffany is still around.

XYZz
XYZz

The problem with your logic is if every other table gets great food and only you get bad food then it's unfortunate for you but the restaurant is still consistently good being that the majority of the customers are happy. Being consistently good is important in the real world because it garners respect and validates one's expertise. The same idea should be applied to Top Chef, which I gather the word top to mean the best and the most consistently good. That can no longer be true when a consistently bad chef stays over a consistently solid chef. Since this the case, the show should be changed to Top Dish with a weekly winner so as to avoid false advertising.

Mr. Gribble
Mr. Gribble

@Melissa Younger I couldn't disagree more. I see that happening on other reality shows, but not Top Chef. Dale and Angelo were REALLY interesting to watch. Far more than the remaining contestants. Dale, because of his humorously crass commentary, and Angelo because of his eccentricities. It doesn't hurt that they're both great creative chefs (I expected to see them in the top 3). If the producers just wanted drama, Jenn and Marcel would still be around.

Personally, I'm VERY disappointed that Dale and Angelo are gone from the show. I understand the judging format, but I still believe that the body of work should have some weight. It's painful to watch mediocrity skate by while titans fall. Frankly, the show should be called Consistent Chef. It isn't about who makes the best dishes. It's about the chef who screws up the least.

VE
VE

The rules seem designed to reward consistency - it's not enough to make a few great dishes- they all have to be great or you may find yourself packing your knives. A good chef, even a great chef, can have a bad day- the best have very few and far between ones. This was not Dale's best day. He's probably one of the three most talented chefs out of top 6, but he left the door open this week.

It's like walking into a restaurant for the first time- every other table may get great food. The reviews may be great, but if the plate put in front of you features raw chicken and/or too much salt, or poor knife work- the chef has failed as far as your dining experience goes, and you probably will not return- and even if you do, the chef's reputation has taken a hit in your book.

That said, I have a lot of respect for Dale, getting cut doesn't make you a bad chef, it just means you won't be this season's winner. The lapses in consistency that caught up with Dale will catch up with Tiffany or Carla soon enough- and may catch Mike, Antonia, or Richard too if they have a bad day. Personally, I think Richard and Antonia will be the finalists, based on consistency if nothing else. Richard has been solid all season, and Antonia has steadily gotten better. Mike has been consistent despite his character flaws, but I don't think he's as consistently good as the other two. Carla could still pull herself together- she's got the talent, but she's been inconsistent. Tiffany seems to be skating on thin ice, but she might still pull out a surprise, or someone else may fall and give her an opportunity. You can never tell- and that's exactly why the rules are they way they are.

JHaspels
JHaspels

I had the same reaction when Fabio was eliminated. Not Fabio! Not Fabio!

JohnnyW
JohnnyW

Go check the cheftestant scorecard. You're correct with your statements but Dale had won a total of 7 challenges. No one else had won more than 3! He was very clearly leading the pack this year, no one else was even close.

layladiva
layladiva

I love Top Chef, I love Top Chef All-Stars even better, but I love your posts best of all!

RoyT
RoyT

I know the chefs are judged on the dish they made for that round, but come on! Dale!?!? He's won around 7 challenges this season (elimination and quickfire) and Tiffany has won NOTHING and is consistently at the bottom. That needs to be considered. Otherwise, a mediocre chef can skate by because an otherwise great chef has a bad day. It doesn't seem fair, especially if you're trying to pick the best chef of the All Star season. I like Tiffany, but how is she an All Star with 0 wins?

Intuitive
Intuitive

Gosh Anthony! If only you were at the judges table for this episode, maybe Dale would not have gone home..

SOCMOM
SOCMOM

I have been getting more and more irritated the past few weeks with the judges' decision on who to eliminate, but after this week my jaw literally hit the floor. I am not even a fan of Dale, (don't dislike him, but not a fan), but he goes over Carla and TIFFANY???!!! What an injustice. How many times can Tiffany eek by anyway. Final 5?? You've got to be kidding me, she flat out stinks. She claims she is well versed in seafood but she bombed at Lebernadin, and was on the bottom last night also. What a hack. This show should definitely not be called Top Chef, and you just lost a viewer in me. This used to be one of my favorite shows, but the past 2 seasons have been awful. And this season is just wrong considering it's supposed to be All-Stars, but many of the truly talented chefs have already gone home, i.e. both Dales, Jen, Angelo. Who even cares who wins now? I sure don't.

kimmah
kimmah

Seriously agree w/ previous comment: have folks never seen a season of top chef? They can't judge losers based on past challenges for two reasons: 1. They'd then have to base the WINNER each week on previous challenges, which would be a snooze for viewers if you had an early dominator who suddenly had the best case for einning every week and 2. The guest judges aren't able to base their opinion onn a body of work. How could Bourdain or Gail judge next week fairly if they don't have the memory of the muddled fish or too~sweet white shrimp to balance other flops? And if QF wins are considered, Padma has a huge list of dishes to then weigh on top of the challenge dishes. I sure don't want to listen to a full season rehash of past food at Judges' Table weekly.

Frankly, I don't see any way that Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert would be associated with a show that used ratings and personalities to decide who to boot. Or Tom, for that matter. They have NOTHING to gain by doing so, and would, in fact, tarnish their own reputations in the food world. This isn't Top Model where the guests are often second rate and people in the industry look at the winners w/ disdain or disdain.

Dale's potatoes were al dente and that has never, ever been okay when it happens w/ a veg item. He had no components that were successful and one beginning cook flub~there is no excuse.

Ronnie H
Ronnie H

I think the judges are getting complacent and just sticking with their old ways of evaluation whether that is objective/fair or not. If the remaining contestants are going to be Top Chef, this season definitely has reliability issue.

busgran
busgran

Did anyone else notice how "modestly" Mike Isabella accepted the praise for his grit-encrusted shrimp? The funny thing was that he never once said that the idea for THIS dish came from Tiffany, his sous chef! I was never a fan of his, but this action, coupled with the out-right theft of Richard's recipe has given me a complete disgust of this man and his lack of character. He may have won the 5K for the QF challenge, but his reputation is going to suffer in the long run. I hope EVERYONE he knows, or comes into contact with, now and in the future, lets him know how despicable his behavior is. He will be known as untrustworthy for the remainder of his career.

tracy from rahchachow
tracy from rahchachow

I had the very same reaction.

I don't think it's unfair or that someone screwed up the decision or whatever. A judged competition is never going to be perfectly fair.

But it sucked to see Dale go. I never loathed him -- generally people who strive for excellence have intense personalities. It's how they are wired -- they have a fire in the belly. I But it was cool to see how he matured as a chef and as a person. Hope I have the chance to try his food someday.

Melissa Younger
Melissa Younger

It's all about who can bring the drama and be "good tv." I don't believe it is about that one dish sending someone home. The disclaimer running at the credits tells the viewer that the producers and other sources have input on who goes and who stays. It's about the food, but more, about being something people will be compelled to watch. Dale and Angelo didn't have the star power that some of the remaining cheftestants possess. If they did, they'd still be there. Tiffany is shocked, both this time and against Angelo, to still be in the "competition"

Watchingyou
Watchingyou

Why is Tiffany still there?.....she is always at the bottom....her personality is great but she is not a great chef.....time for her to go....Antonia should be Top Chef....

Ron O.
Ron O.

I don't understand why Dale got eliminated either. According to the extended judges' table video, even Paula Deen liked Dale's dish. She felt it had tasty flavors (although she did think the potatoes were undercooked). Who cares about undercooked potatoes in a soup or stew. I prefer to have them that way. If they're cooked anymore, they would be mushy. I think the reason Dale got eliminated was because he used too much mustard. Well, didn't Carla do the same thing with her dish. Plus, she breaded her fish so you couldn't even taste it. Paula Deen called it a muddle mess. So why would Carla stay and Dale leave? Makes no sense. I hope Dale wns the Fan Favorite this season.

Serfina Evans
Serfina Evans

I hate the way the judging is set up too sometimes. But it may be a fair way overall so that favorites won't be pushed through by judges. Although, I don't put anything past producers keeping people. I believe they do that. But Top Chef judging may be like a track race or a sports game. It doesn't matter what you did the day before. That current day's competition is judged by your performance that day.

ccjs
ccjs

I realize the elimination is based on the worst dish of the event but when you have someone who constantly turns out bad food and she is in the final four, the name of the show should not be Top Chef. It should be The Chef Who Barely Scrapes By. Tiffany has not turned out one interesting dish this season and her loud personality grates. Every time she hee-haws I have to cover my ears.

I was not a fan of Dale's but he is a thousand times better chef than Tiffany.

Top Chef is either playing for TV drama or is being PC either thought is disgusting.

Renee s
Renee s

It was sad to see Dale go home. I’m glad that he won a couple of quick fires and elimination challenges but don’t forget Dale has also been at the bottom and not once but twice. He won 30k one week gone the next. EVERY chef still standing has had a bad day.

kmcva
kmcva

We call him angry Dale, but now it is affectionately said. Dale redeemed himself with a gracious manner (usually) and some great wins. I am glad for him that he got an opportunity to show the audience that he has made peace with himself since his first season. He is an impressive chef, and his opinions were fun to watch. He will be missed. I really thought he would be one of the final three. His track record seemed to be taking him there. He left as a stand-up guy though. I'm a fan.

cookiemom
cookiemom

I was so disapointed that Dale was elimnated.....I thought what the hell.! I thought the other 2 women dishes werent' as good as Dale's but I guess the judges thought different. I am a big fan of Dales and hope maybe there will be something coming up for him on TV......

ChocolateChip
ChocolateChip

It was Dale's night, with the worst dish.

I have to say, though, that he has grown a lot since his season. He clearly has become one of the most talented cooks, and has also grown in grace and maturity into the real role of Chef. Dale, you don't have to worry about how you came across. You demonstrated you were a real pro this season, and that's the reputation you'll take with you going forward, "Top Chef" title or no.

Sophia K
Sophia K

Like Anthony, there are few words that can describe this travesty of justice. The competition has lost one of its strongest, most exciting chefs. The show has lost one of it's funniest, most entertaining contestants. It's a sad day for BravoTV.

SoSoAnnoyed
SoSoAnnoyed

I was sad to see Dale go. It makes no sense that one of the best chefs this season (won 4 quick fires and 3 challenges) goes when Tiffany who has won NOTHING stays. She seems nice, but I don't think she should still be in the competition if she hasn't beaten the other chefs even one time in any challenge. It makes no sense at all. Carla too has won her fair share.

I get that they need to look at that night's dish...but I do think past performance should play a part... especially if you're trying to find out who truly is the best chef over the course of the competition.

Dale, Richard, Antonia, and Carla...all were my top four. Mike Isabella is a $(, who doesn't seem to even cook that well.

middlechef
middlechef

Buh-bye Dale. You know what they say about karma. I couldn't see the food for the ass-like babyish way you conducted yourself. So un-cheflike.

Yes, what IS Tiffany still doing there????

That Sallie
That Sallie

I was shocked to see Dale go. He seemed the most real, and i have to say, he was one sexy little guy!