Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert comments on his employee, Jennifer Carroll's, elimination.

on Dec 8, 20100

65 comments
top chef fan
top chef fan

Transcript, please? I cannot view the video-blogs from where I am (Japan)!

So Chef Eric, totally no show this season even after Jen is eliminated???

What's the point now?
What's the point now?

Totally agree that the judging was in clear error. I additionally agree that the dish-by-dish judging means almost every season that truly talented people go home before some of the mid-pack, who stay by being safe.

I also think Jen's actions might have been partly strategy. How many times have we seen some of the most electric male contestant personalities on the show save themselves by vigorously defending their dishes? I think Jen decided to take that approach, only to find that vigorous self-defense at judges' table is reserved for men. Unsurprisingly, when male chefs behave arrogantly, assertively, angrily, they're being strong chefs. When female chefs do it, they're behavior is viewed as unacceptable.

terrific home cook here
terrific home cook here

Arrogant . . . yes, Jen came off as arrogant. And I don't entirely disagree with the posts that said she seems like she's skirting the edge of a breakdown or some other form of mental health issue. In season 6, she did come off as capable and talented, and she displayed real leadership qualities along with an appropriate dose of humility. Colicchio said something in the very first season finale, when Harold won over Tiffani - that a "chef" must have the ability to inspire and to lead. It seems like the judges have backed off of that philosophy through all of the spinoffs (I'm thinking specifically of Chiarello's outburst to Dale T on TCM, and that insipid Morgan on TCJD) and talk "only about the food." The word "chef" does mean "leader" - it doesn't mean "great cook." This season Jen came off as spiteful and bitchy, quite frankly. But even so . . . Jaime should have been sent home for not contributing anything. Geez, Fabio BROKE his finger and kept going.

Mab
Mab

Honestly, some people do not do well with lack of sleep-workwise and behavior. I think the sleep deprivation of this challenge got to Jen. Bottom line, she should not have been eliminated, she was tired and she left her filter back in Philly-so she spoke her peace.

Bay Area viewer
Bay Area viewer

Too Sensational. I don't think Jen's comments or behavior should be blown out of proportion. This show is, in the end, a competition and Jen was playing the game and defending her food. Even Tom Colicchio said he did not mind her comments during the judging. Jen was a strong competitor and despite losing the title of Top Chef, she remains a great chef.

Also, I believe Chef Ripert is more than capable of handling his own restaurant's personnel.

Bay Area viewer
Bay Area viewer

I don't think this Jen's comments or behavior should be blown out of proportion. This show is, in the end, a competition and Jen was playing the game and defending her food. Even Tom Colicchio said he did not mind her comments during the judging. Jen was a strong competitor and despite losing the title of Top Chef, she remains a great chef.

Also, I believe Chef Ripert is more than capable of handling his own restaurant's personnel.

BarbiQ
BarbiQ

Thank you very much! Raw egg is not an issue if you want sunny side up, over easy or poached? All of the frittatas were not raw. On video you see Tom say his were cooked fine. Only Katie Lee had a runny one.

NickelShell
NickelShell

Top Dish! I totally agree! Good one!

Laura24
Laura24

Are you for real!! Poison an entire restaurant!!! It's a bit funny you talk about Jen's behavior simular to your own childs and yet your over the top comments of Jen are more child like then that of a 10yr old! Actually more like a 7yr old! Seriously Manic-Nervous breakdown??? Or are you a jealous and angry Ex Co-worker that could not wait for a chance to strike out at an obvious Great Chef Jen and The Amazing Chef Ripert! I for one would never compare the behavior of child who did not get a cookie to an outstanding Chef whose passion for her craft got the best of her!!!

Cree
Cree

Ok I'm coming out of a different bag. I believe if your there to cook your best, and submit your dish for judging then live with the outcome. I have a problem with disrespect, you can bow out gracefully and Jen should have done just that.

nk6
nk6

Canadians cannot see the video, please print Eric's words

SammieG
SammieG

I don't think Jenn was sent home for any reason other than her food was considered the poorest dish. I truly admire you, Chef, and come from Philly, but, I cannot consider Jenn the biggest asset to a restaurant with such an exquisite reputation. Her food has always been either great or poor, with a high level of inconsistency. I think it's her mentor who people see when they have high hopes for Jenn. Her friendship and employment with you, Chef, cannot override her weaknesses. I also wonder if she's having a nervous breakdown? Something is wrong with her. Aside from being proud of telling the judge's off, even implying that they were stupid and unqualified to judge her food, her tantrum on the way out was sad. She sounded exactly like my ten year old when they don't get their way. Actually, my ten year old acted like that when he was seven, and has more control now.

Get your friend some professional mental health and medication before she hurts herself or others. I'd be frightened to eat anything she made. She has an almost maniacal streak, like she could poison an entire restaurant. EEEEK!

FoodFanNYC
FoodFanNYC

I was totally and utterly shocked upon hearing Jen's name being eliminated on the 2nd... SECOND episode of Top Chef All Stars. Not only was her food not the worst of the day, but we all know she is one of the strongest chef's even within the All Star Group.

Im sure Bravo and Food & Wine want to keep all viewers watching but when people who leave for 2... TWO stitches and contribute nothing to the challenge are allowed to skate through, you gotta doubt the fairness and professionalism of this show. I hope more people will raise this concern as watching this show the way it was handled this week was very upsetting. I can certainly see myself and other deciding to focus on shows from actual cooking channels instead.

Someone in Bravo should find a way to have Jen come back into the season as a comeback challenger or something to give her another chance. Tre's Salty Shrimp sauce and Tiffany 2/Antonia's uincooked eggs were certainly worse than Jen's food. Once Angelo and Richard are kicked out Bravo will know they need to use the Producer influence better to keep people watching. Cause I certainly wont be... Thanks.

FoodFanNYC (and Hubby)

Viewer-Late
Viewer-Late

I saw the re-run of the episode on Sunday. It seemed to me that Jen was behaving a bit like Seth from TC-Just Desserts in the judging phase. I think that was partially because (in the edited version that we got to see) she had pre-conditioned herself with some kind of "they don't have meat, they must be losers" idea, and couldn't wrap her head around the fact that vegetarian items can be good breakfast food, or at least better food than what her team offered.

Lori C
Lori C

eric: you did it again! a trait i admire in you very much is your ability to critique without being hurtful or disrespectful. and although you work with jen you were able to remark on things about her comportment that you do not agree with. then, you shared how and why you would have judged differently....... and it made real sense. it was a most fair viewpoint.

you are a pleasure to watch......and learn from. thank you for sharing your insights and knowledge and doing it in such a classy way. i, for one, really appreciate that.

as for the episode itself, i find it unacceptable that the chefs were asked to perform their task ON 45 MINUTES OF SLEEP!! it's impossible for them to represent themselves as well as they normally would---cooking abilities as well as social skills. and in general, in all episodes/seasons a lack of sleep is common. i find it cheapens the show----more of a game show than cooking competition. i know time is money, but i find it unconscionable to not give them a fair minimum (6 -8 hours) of sleep every night. it's practically painful to see them pale as a sheet and with screaming red eyes. some contestants will have less tolerance to this exhaustion than others. i for one think it could easily play a part in someone's attitude or receptiveness, like jen at judges' table for example. if the show values its contestants, it owes them better treatment than this.

Vu
Vu

As explained by Keisha, Salmonella is one type of bacteria (like Escherichia coli or Campylobacter or any number of other organisms). Salmonella is not particularly more dangerous than any other organism. Like any other bacteria, the most susceptible to Salmonella are the very young (babies, toddlers), the elderly, and the immunocompromised because all these groups have relatively poor immune systems. In fact, these groups are the mostly likely to die in any circumstance. Who do you hear about dying in heat or cold waves? It's always the elderly or the young children.

In terms of eggs, it's not like all eggs have Salmonella and are dangerous. You can totally eat complete uncooked eggs and rarely encounter Salmonella. Usually the way Salmonella infects eggs is not inside the egg itself, but on the egg shell or in the egg shell since the egg can come in contact with the chicken's own feces (for the same reason why they teach women to wipe their butt from front to rear to prevent contamination and UTIs). This is why you should wash your eggs before handling them. It is when you crack the egg shell and the egg spills out against the shell that it can get contaminated. To infect the egg at its origin means that the chicken's ovaries had to be infected themselves which is very hard to do. Nowadays, it's harder to get Salmonella poisoning because the eggs are washed at the processing plant which reduces the number of possible exposures (of course, when there are Salmonella outbreaks, it's usually because some farm or processing plant tried to take shortcuts with safety regulations).

But our lessons on fully cooked eggs come from hundreds of years of behavior. And way back when, cleanliness was not a great trait, especially with regards to cooking. They depended on heat/cooking to make up for poor handling. But if you wash your eggs, you can probably go 97 out of a 100 times of just eating pure raw eggs, Rocky-style, and be perfectly fine.

Ripert may be a fabulous chef, but he's not a scientist.

CoreyDenver
CoreyDenver

Chef Ripert, are you a jazz connoisseur? I found your selection of background music to be superb. Do you go to the live jazz clubs in NYC and who are some of your favorite artists?

Taste-aholic
Taste-aholic

The judges were unprofessional. They should have judged SOLELY on food not also on additude. Goes to show you why some judges should not come back after failing befor. On another note Chef Eric as always is well spoken on the matter and makes a good point.

Joker
Joker

Adding sugar,salt or acid to eggs is actually a cooking process.spend less time watching top chef and maybe reading a book.

Steve S
Steve S

I've enjoyed all of the TC season's and spin-offs. I really respect Chef Ripert's comments in particular. Over the course of the shows, almost all of his criticisms have been constructive in nature, and the harshest term I remember hearing him use was this vlog's term "smartass" in describing Jennifer's comments. He has been fair and consistent (as has most of the judging, I think, overall), even in light of his own employee's elimination.

In general, I 've learned a lot while watching TC, and hope the insightful commentary continues. Thanks!

Smokey66
Smokey66

Jen absolutely should have been eliminated. I don't care if she was the best cook in the history of the world, that doesn't override her belligerent attitude and it doesn't change the taste of her dish. Jen's demeanor angered me to the point that I would never be a customer at her place of employment, I am not a fan of McDonald's anyway. Jen lasted longer than she should have on her last Top Chef show because Tom C. seemed to have a crush on her. Hopefully this is the last we see of her on any TV show which I doubt after all Omarosa is still rearing her ugly head.

viewer.not.a.chef
viewer.not.a.chef

I really liked Jen too in her season & was upset to see her go. I think it was telling that she mentioned her father's attitude several times...basicly saying if you come in second, you still are a loser. Makes one wonder if she felt parental pressure that she wasn't good enough because she didn't "win" and that's why some of the attitude difference was there. She was already a winner to most of us because of the person she was & the obviously great chef she was. Do you ever notice that some of the judges have good things to say about a dish/chef during their discussions & then later at judges table they totally recant the compliments & even insult the dish as if they are swayed away from their good opinions. I really dislike that aspect of the show. Fishy!!! Also, they always disagree about saltiness..so everyone's pallette is obviously very different. I think the chefs should serve them a salt & pepper mill or cup of seasoning on the side to adjust for the differences.

I agree with the chefs about the Dinosaur challenge. It was unfair. Tiffany really wasn't given any advantage for winning. That whole thing was wrong & lop-sided. This is Top Chef not Survivor. There are certain elements/ingredients that are basic & should be available... give me a break!!! Also, I was very sorry & disappointed to see Elia go on the first episode. I am losing interest because of it. What a very talented, classy, kind person!!!!! I loved how she didn't want even her competitors bashed. I totally respect her for that integrity. Make her a Top Chef judge!!!!!!! ...and make Tom have to compete!!!! I used to like him but not so much anymore since the last few seasons!

One more thought.... maybe they should call it Top Dish because it really isn't about who is the top chef...just the top dish of the day. The people in the middle usually stay longer than some of the best chefs who win a lot of challenges.

I've watched every Season but I'm not sure that I'll watch anymore.

Cadreamin
Cadreamin

I really admire you as a Chef. I loved when you were on Top Chef Masters and would love to see you more often. I'm happy that you are at least judging although I laughed so much to see you and your collegues interact, specificall Michael Chiarelli.

RachelW
RachelW

Thank you. As always Chef Ripert is correct on the judging. I am so angry at the outcome at this decision, I simply say to Tom, listen to the above explanation and learn. Jenny should not have been sent home. Raw eggs, no. We are told over and over, never ever serve raw eggs. Enough said. Thank you Eric, very much. Maybe one day I will be able to dine at our fabulous establishments and when I do, I shall do so with great respect and admiration. You, sir, are a true Chef, gentlemen and honest man.

privatechef
privatechef

YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING>>>>>Fritatta is a COOKED egg dish. if I am served a cooked egg dish like a fritatta in a restaurant and I see that the whole middle is runny, I am NOT even going to take a bite . I would call my waitperson and send it back to the kitchen. I would order something completely different, since my stomach would not take the chance of being served runny raw eggs twice. My appetite is kinda ruined at this point. So, most people would NOT eat a raw undercooked fritatta. WHY would they? everyone knows a fritatta is a cooked firm egg dish. OKAY.... now If is was served a Fish dish with over salted heavy sauce, i would not eat that. I appreciate the lack of salt on food, since so many restaurants over salt. Most chefs smoke cigarettes and have no taste. So they tend to over season and salt things. Very different to have something over salty and over spicy served. It can not be eaten. If something is served under salted, and you may need a touch of salt, than any kitchen in the world is glad to bring to you extra salt which can be a very personal taste to each person or person's diet. If you need a bit more spice a fresh cracked black pepper shaker is usually handy. Do the judges smoke? I think if they do they should not be on a panel judging flavor.

However, in the end, this is a hollywood produced production, for the viewing audience, drama, bad character and craziness is all a part of a good day of shooting film for the TV crew. So stage 1 exit left.... JEN, you should know this by now, this is a game. you were too good for it! I have removed top chef drama tales from my DVR after last night, i am done with this bad TV program.

Svenn
Svenn

It is disappointing that the vlogs do not have an excerpt or subtitles of what is said for deaf people who cannot hear what is said by Eric. I myself would have loved knowing what was said.

rebfg
rebfg

We make such a big deal about raw eggs, unless we want a Caesar salad, or mousse, or anything with meringue in it, then they're fine. Who can say who had the worst dish unless we taste it?

shorechef
shorechef

I have to admit ... my daughter and l were very sad to see Jen go... First off not having tasted her dish , l have to rely on the judges tasting . That being said , l am sure her bad attitude was what she was sent home for ... every chef knows of a great cook who got canned for a bad attitude ... l am certain that none of the judges felt that they would be in control after allowing that outburst ... even before she was eliminated ... my 11 year old daughter said " Come on Jen you are better than that " , I was thinking those very words myself. Jen we are all saddened to see you go , I hope we will see you in the finals using your talents ... however the Jen that everyone came to l"ve was in the Vegas Series ... not the All Star Series.. we will miss you .

jay jay
jay jay

i think jen SHOULD NOT have been eliminated. the judges got it wrong simply bec she talked back and was rude or angry and the judges took it personally. i may not have tasted the food nor i may not be a a food critic. but watching the show there are a lot of chef who is worst than her. she was obviously emotional and tired and when she burst out you can see she was red and quivering obviously bec of nervousness. jamie should have left. basically bec she was trying to get away from the challenge bec she felt it was beneath her to serve the kids. the competition is about top chef and jamie failed on all aspect of being what top chef is all about.

mushy bacon
mushy bacon

Jen's attitude was unprofessional and rude and imo, she should be embarrassed by her behavior. If she'd back-talked to the judges about just her dish I might understand, but she was defensive and aggressive about throughout the show. IDK what her problem was, but from her final dish (watery and mushy pork belly and unseasoned hard boiled eggs) to the words that came out of her mouth - she acted unprofessionally and immaturely. It really makes no difference whether it was her food or her attitude that caused her to go home - she was on the bottom on both counts.

Cassie2.0
Cassie2.0

My quick thoughts having watched this is: I love Eric Ripert. I never get tired of hearing his thoughts on food or on life. I think he is awesome and has so much class and kindness about him - which are nice combinations when you consider that he is such a culinary badass.

About the challenge and the elimination? I don't know. This is one that is too tough to call, as a viewer! But I like Jen Caroll and I'm glad he took up for her. Also, I know Jen has already apologized for her behavior, having watched herself when the show aired. When you think about it, she was up all night and in a pressure cooker situation. That can dampen judgment, fray nerves, and put a person on edge. Her comment that this was not Jen but rather "Jen, Allstars" was telling. All these chefs are so freaking talented. The bottom line is, they get to showcase their talent and their skill in front of an audience of millions- including fellow chefs, restauranters, and diners. So to me, it's a win-win. Jen: just tell your dad it's time to update his philosophy on winning/losing!

Suzi-5
Suzi-5

I also believe Jamie should have been send home. I think that the judges send Jenny home, because of her attitude.

May O.
May O.

As usual, your comments are carefully measured and well-reasoned. I understand your support of Jennifer, but I was very much put-off by her demeanor in this season. Yes, I understand the contestants are judged for their dishes and not for their personalities, but as a viewer I of course notice their personalities. In season 6 I remember Jennifer as earnest, genuine and humble -- all appealing qualities. This season she came across as puffed-up, belligerant and somewhat callous. An entirely different person. What happened? The difference is shocking and makes me worried for her well-being.

sandiegofan
sandiegofan

Totally agree!! Jen was not the worst dish of the night!! I was SO upset when I saw they eliminated her! HUGE MISTAKE!!! She was by far one of my favorites, granted, it was surprising to see her act like that, she should have been more relaxed and be less aggressive this season, but she was still in my top selection for the winner and I think the competition has lost SO much quality now that she's gone. I like Antonia and Tiffany a lot, but I honestly think one of them should have gone, those frittatas looked bad. I am not expert, but I think eggs is one of those things you can tell if they are good or not just by looking at them and those didn't look edible. Chef Ripert, tell Jen she is MY top chef and if I ever come to your city I'll do anything I can to stop by your restaurant just to have the pleasure to have one of your and Jen's dishes :).

Keisha B
Keisha B

Salmonella is a living organism. A type of bacteria that causes gastrointestinal problems, that can be fatal in some individuals. It is not caused by eggs. The bacteria can be found in eggs and many types of poultry. So, consuming raw or undercooked eggs or poultry can cause you to become infected with the bacteria and possibly get sick.

nycfoodie
nycfoodie

I liked Jen in her season but i think she has gotten arrogant since. I could see this coming...already in the 1st episode of this season she was saying her season was "the best because of her" - she's partly right largely because of the Voltaggios brothers! Top Chef judging has always been spot-on in kicking out from the weakest to the least weakest chefs, with a few exceptions. This was one. I agree with Tom & the judges: it was boiled bacon & chopped hardboiled eggs as a garnish!

JK
JK

Jen's attutitude was horrible. She acted like the judges owe her something and that she should not be eliminated no matter what she makes. (not to mention that she's been acting cocky throughout the two episodes she was in). The funny thing is that she tried to pull a "Michael Voltaggio" by braising the bacon (as he did in Season 6) and failed miserably. A clear indication that you can't put out a good dish w/o good techniques.I'm glad she got sent home.

watcher1
watcher1

Interesting. I too was exceedingly disappointed during Jen's first season when she seemed to just run out of stamina and folded. Really thought very highly of her all the way around. This season? Right from the beginning her demeanor was, or seemed to be, off. There are many words bantered about here to describe Jennifer's time in front of the judges: "kicked their ass" (really?), "got a little mouthy", "confident and feisty". None of these terms are accurate. Her demeanor should more accurately be described as arrogant, rude, obnoxious and unprofessional. As another poster rightly observed she could have easily, especially with her skill and knowledge as a chef, made a much better argument and her immature and snide remarks about the other teams food without explaining what dishes she tasted and why she thought they were bad. I don't recall anyone saying that they tasted every dish on the other teams plate but I can say it's probably true that she didn't taste her own food or tasted it through the clouded glasses of one consumed by self importance. Her dish was the worst, it was the worst for the guests and for the judges this was a hands down no problem decision, all of the judges agreed (as well as the Kids and the Parents) and at her level, if she is the best (and I happen to think she is) then she failed miserably, and followed it up with a miserably bad performance in front of the Judges and her fellow contestants. I thought I'd puke when I saw her dish, gaah, horrible. Too bad she shot herself in the foot, not very professional, who cares about Jamie, she'll be gone soon enough but Jennifer? Gee, wonder what would happen if she talked to Chef Ripert like that. Oh, by the way, Chef Ripert, love your vid's, thanks for your input, love to see you judging. I'm hoping she is different in your kitchen than she's been on Top Chef.

MomoLovesFood
MomoLovesFood

My favourite chef is now gone and like others I've lost interest in watching this season.... then again there are always some kind of twist maybe they might bring her back?! I wish...She is the BEST chef!! and I'm glad she stuck up for herself... As a viewer I can not imagine what it must be like to be on the show but I would probably be as over it as she seemed to have been.

Upset Canadian
Upset Canadian

You make me watch the Armani Code commercial and then tell me that I can't watch Ripert's commentary because it "isnt available in my location"? Obviously it's just as easily watchable as the commercial you tricked me into watching.

Foodie Mom
Foodie Mom

What a travesty. The judges really got it wrong. Jen is one of the most talented people on the show. I'm pissed!

Foodie Mom
Foodie Mom

Such a travesty that Jennifer was eliminated. The judges totally got it wrong, just like she said. I was outraged last night. She's one of the most talented chefs on the show. How could SHE be cut instead of a person who didn't even participate, a person whose food was under-prepared and a person whose main contribution was borderline inedible!? I'm quite pissed.

Viewer-san diego
Viewer-san diego

Totally agree!! Jen was not the worst dish of the night!! I was SO upset when I saw they eliminated her! HUGE MISTAKE!!! She was by far one of my favorites, granted, it was surprising to see her act like that, she should have been more relaxed and be less aggressive this season, but she was still in my top selection for the winner and I think the competition has lost SO much quality now that she's gone. I like Antonia and Tiffany a lot, but I honestly think one of them should have gone, those frittatas looked bad. I am not expert, but I think eggs is one of those things you can tell if they are good or not just by looking at them and those didn't look edible. Chef Ripert, tell Jen she is MY top chef and if I ever come to your city I'll do anything I can to stop by your restaurant just to have the pleasure to have one of your and Jen's dishes :).

Tracy in Atlanta, GA
Tracy in Atlanta, GA

I was a fan of jenn's. she was a class act and confident in her season. she left this season with a cocky and arrogant attitude and she knew everyone was intimidated by her. I think her littly celebrity on tv and probably in the ritz carlton has gone to her head. she is going to have to take a page from tiffiany 1's book and go home, grow up, become more humble and then come back and take it all. She was just an asshole this season and i am no longer a fan of the this new jennifer whoever she is. Even mike isabella has gone home and eaten some humble pie. Jenn go home and get some sleep and some class.

MissNev
MissNev

I believe Jamie should have been sent home for her lack of performance in the challenge. She didn't present or take credit for anything. Jen was quite professional in accepting full responsibility for her dish. However, I couldn't help but wonder what is wrong with Jen? She acted completely ridiculous to the judges and seemed to be very antagonistic. As I was watching, I kept wondering if she's on something. She acted like a methed out tweaker. Based on her behavior alone, she should have gone home.

Viewer31415927
Viewer31415927

While I do think that Jen could have handled things differently, I agree that raw eggs are definitely a bigger blunder. Yes, raw eggs are edible, but frittatas are supposed to be cooked--it's not like they were making eggs sunny side up or over easy. I have to say I am extremely sad to see Jen go...it makes me not as excited to watch the next episodes.

One last thing: how did Jamie get away with staying in the competition? Leaving to get two stitches? I guess I just still don't comprehend Jen's elimination.

ksaragosa
ksaragosa

I appreciate the thoughtfulness of Chef Ripert's judging. The fact is that "the judges got it wrong." I don't expect them to admit it-- that would be asking too much. And however much they deny it, they were responding to Jenn's forceful and combative defense of her food as much as the food itself. Her's may not have been a successful dish, but when you recall other decisions in other years, it was technical failures like what happened with the over/ undercooked frittata or the over-reduced sauce on the salmon that would normally have sent someone home. Her dish might not have been as delicious as she would have wanted, but she wasn't the worst person in this week's competition.

Team Jenny
Team Jenny

My favorite chef is gone. No need to watch now. I'll just catch Eric Ripert vLogs

Mr Finsky
Mr Finsky

The eggs in the fritatta were inconsistent and runny. They were not raw, and raw eggs are only a health concern and not deadly. On the other hand, Jen's pork belly was adequately but not properly cooked. Braising pork belly is a poor technique for that type of meat. In addition, her eggs were basically chopped hard boiled eggs and were not seasoned properly. All the judges designated Jen's dish as the weakest on the losing team. Top Chef is hardly perfect, but the accusation of a secret agenda or Tom/Padma having it out for certain chefs is absurd. I adore Jen, but she had a bad day (probably due to lack of sleep). I hope her behavior was a function of the situation, and could never be justified. I think that a competive situation is not Jen's world.