Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons explains why she was almost happy to see Jennifer Carroll react the way she did.

on Dec 8, 20100

While shooting our seventh season of Top Chef in D.C. last spring, Padma, Tom and I were given the unique opportunity to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, which happens to take place in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton Hotel, where our show was headquartered. After dinner, Tom and I attended a party at the French Consulate. As I was entering, I felt a tap on my shoulder and, turning around, came face to face with teen heartthrob and musician Joe Jonas (known to me up to this point only from my two young nieces’ screams of delight while watching Camp Rock 2: Final Jam). We immediately launched into a heated discussion about food, our favorite restaurants, and the politics of the Top Chef Judges’ Table. I was impressed by his knowledge of and passion for the subject, as well as flattered by how much he said he enjoys watching our show. So it was no surprise that the Top Chef cast and crew welcomed him to our All-Stars set just a few months later. Unfortunately, I was not able to be at the Night at the Museum Quickfire Challenge that day, but was thrilled afterward seeing his enthusiasm come through in the episode.

Tiffani Faison won the Quickfire, in which our chefs were asked to prepare midnight snacks for about 150 tweens (a.k.a. the quintessential Joe Jonas audience) at the American Museum of Natural History, as part of a giant sleepover under the museum’s famed Blue Whale. Exhausted and beaten down by the onslaught of miniature sugar-addicts, our chefs received their next Elimination Challenge: sleep at the museum and cook an early-morning breakfast for the children and their chaperones. In the shadow of looming dinosaur skeletons, Tom explained that the two teams must execute a meal inspired exclusively by the diet of either the carnivorous T-Rex (meat, dairy, eggs) or the Brontosaurus, a herbivore (fruits, vegetables, grains). Tiffani, the Quickfire winner, got to pick the diet her team would use. Knowing that T-Rex was at the top of the food chain, she chose the carnivore option. Spike, captain of the opposing team, was left with the humbler vegetarian diet.

After what must have seemed like a mere few minutes’ sleep in the Hall of American Mammals, our chefs discovered exactly what ingredients were available in each team’s pantry. As much as T-Rex may have ruled the animal kingdom over 65 million years ago, Tiffani and her team actually found their breakfast choices extremely limited, with no herbs and few other flavorings.Their menu definitely had repetitive elements, but when they presented it we were happy to see that they managed to serve a relatively varied, savory breakfast, as heavy as it may have been.

Spike’s team jumped head-first into the diversity of the produce they were given, providing us with a lighter buffet that was certainly more colorful and imaginative. That said, even though it may have had many more components, our young diners were skeptical, to say the least. The line for the carnivore buffet was twice as long as everyone scrambled for what they liked best. At least at first impression, meat and cheese were more familiar, desirable and alluring, proving only that perhaps our human instincts are still quite primitive.

79 comments
YummuY
YummuY

Actually, it wouldn't matter whether or not the judges could see who the food belongs to. If you read the fine print at the bottom of the credits, it states that the judges have to discuss elimination-candidates with the show's producers...which really just means that the producers call the real shots for the sake of ratings, and the judges are mostly there to influence and support their decisions.

From the moment I learned that, the inconsistencies of the reasons for elimination just keep jumping out at me...it bums me out.

Anukram Adhikary
Anukram Adhikary

Top Chef is one of my favorite shows and I never miss(ed) any episode(s) until Jen was eliminated. She was my favorite but I didn't stop watching this season because my favorite was eliminated but because it was the WRONG decision. I was so gutted for her because you guys know and the viewers know how talented she is and yes, like you said, even the best chefs have days when things dont go as planned, but I was so disappointed and angry.

Nevertheless, my decision to not watch the show did not last long as I love the show and I think either Dale or Richard is going to be the winner. By the way, love your opinions as they add value and they are to the point. I hope we get a chance to see Jen sometime again, but I am afraid that is very unlikely to happen.

calorie
calorie

After all is said and done to this point - how much do you wanna bet that one of the next episodes features the chefs already "offed" from the show, given a chance to get back into the competition with some twisted challenge. Any bets?

Reyna and Gio
Reyna and Gio

Gail, me and my girlfriend love the show and love you:) Your choice to vote off Jenn was right! I could taste the dish by looking at it and it wasn't good! Her bad attitude made her come off as arrogant. However, I think that she is very talented and has many great things to come in her future.

Extremely Disappointed
Extremely Disappointed

How is someone NOT cooking a dish AT ALL is better then ANY dish? And for crying out loud... two stitches? How does that fits into Tom's "this level of competition"?

By the way, have you ever tasted Anthony Bourdain's dishes? Wait, you guys are Judges... so probably you did. If he says he "hated" a dish; I take his word for it to the end days. Your 'player' contender threatened him for being honest. Sorry, I forgot, he wasn't disrespectful like Jen. If someone put a raw fish dish with no taste and a plate of 'vomit' looking pasta in front of me... I'll take the fish...

You know what, I think your producers wanted more drama for ratings. I'm sorry to be "disrespectful" but I think it is time get few Real Housewives from anywhere to replace the Top Chef judges. Not only they will spice up the drama, but I bet even they will notice if someone DOES NOT have ANY dish AT ALL.

VERY DISAPPOINTING. I'm calling my cable company, it's time to get a new package...

eagcil
eagcil

It's been awhile, I know, but so it goes. I do not care whether the bacon and eggs was the worst dish of the day. I don't know; I wasn't there. I have only your word to go on, and it's not in your interest to say that it wasn't. I do know that Carroll's partner begged out early in the challenge, and she was forced to work alone. The winning team had three people. Can you not see that the winning team had the most, and the loser was the only soloist? She didn't choose to be. Sleep deprivation is exactly the situation where not having another voice will make a difference. To blame Carroll for not saying Jamie Lauren would've added to the dish, as the judges seem to have done, is disingenuous. A bad decision and a cheat, because the whole episode stunk anyway. I didn't enjoy the editing that emphasized Carroll's upset, and I don't enjoy the continuing saga of Jamie the terrible team mate. What a way to treat the chefs. I haven't enjoyed Top Chef in a long time, and I think I'm done.

penny prince
penny prince

They ( the judges) were and still remain wrong in that judgement no matter how Gail would like to justify their decision.

Aaron Miller
Aaron Miller

Your producers stacked the deck against the winning quick fire challenge chef by not affording her team ANY component ingredients to prepare more balanced dishes in the elimination challenge.

This is why so many of the T-Rex dishes struggled, because they had to over-rely on seasoning to make up for the lack of base ingredients which were NEVER, not once, indicated from the outset of the selection by the WINNER of the QF challenge would be the case. Don't even pretend that you did by coyly mumbling something about "meat and meat-based products" - that's a cop out. It was a poorly designed challenge and the show utterly failed to own up to its responsibility to keep the challenge reasonably level.

Jen was forced to work single-handedly and she had the integrity to take on the full responsibility in spite of her sense of self-preservation. What did you guys decide to do? You determined that a dish that was both bland AND overpowering (???!!! seriously Gail, pick a description) and was more worthy of elimination for Jen than the frittata with undercooked and raw eggs. Genius.

Let's not even discuss what should properly be called "breakfast" - gnocchi, banana parfait, gazpacho, seriously? I don't know, where I come from we typically think of those dishes as, you know, dinner.

So you failed as a judge of this very popular and (formerly) respected program.

Dillo
Dillo

Most of the cheftestants have their own well defined cooking style and their food would be recognizable to the judges anyway. If there's extreme molecular gastronomy involved, you know it's probably Marcel. If it's heavy duty Italian, good guess it's Fabio.

whoever
whoever

I am amazed that all these people are on here telling the judges that they made the wrong decision sending Jen home...It is a show about how food tastes...If any of you can taste food thru a tv then you need to be scientifically tested...because that is a miracle..

Scott L
Scott L

This is all so overblown. Jen left because she had the worst dish on that day. There were numerous reasons provided by the judges to document that decision - end of story. Should her attitude have affected the judges decision? Yes, but only in the sense that she either doesn't get the fact that her dish was poor or lacks the integrity to admit she made mistakes. A good chef would realize the mistakes made and have enough integrity to not argue to the contrary. Jen's performance at judges table was uncalled for and disgraceful. It showed a lack of respect for the judges and the other contestants. Instead of being a big enough person to admit she may have made some mistakes she was in denial, saying she was robbed and threw a tantrum upon leaving the stew room. The judges shouldn't make excuses for her or praise her for standing up and defending a terrible dish. Her bad behaivor should not have been excused. She came off as an arrogant brat who's not used to being told she's not the best. She showed a complete lack of maturity and respect for others that suggests that she's not really ready to compete on that level. Good Riddance.

Diane Ghrist
Diane Ghrist

It is so depressing to have my two favorite female chefs, Jen and Elia be eliminated as the first two contestants of the season. Not only are they the biggest risk takers of the women there, but they are also two of the most successful. There is the saying that women make less money because they don't take the same kind of risks as men, but in the last couple episodes Jen and Elia make big risks and went home for them after both having the potential to play it safe. All chefs should be able to make scrambled eggs perfectly, but a runny frittata is acceptable? I recall in the D.C. season where it was clarified that technical failures can absolutely ruin a dish, but component failures at least keep it edible. Was Jen's dish inedible as compared to uncooked eggs? I am also beginning to question if the contestants personalities should be considered, somehow I respect someone more as a chef who shows enough leadership guts to put up a fight like Elia and Jen both did as compared to the machoism, or self pity whining of Fabio and Stephan in ep. 1 or quietness of Jamie (who I also have extreme admiration for, but should have volunteered to leave and give her spot to Jen after not contributing). What's with eliminating women who fight for something rather than just roll over? I don't see what she did as disrespectful, but rather admirable. So far we haven't seen any other women on the show fight like those two.

lgodwani
lgodwani

Has anyone considered the alternative, maybe Jen had already realized that her food was as unappetizing as it was made out to be, that could have sparked the outburst - I dunno as a defense mechanism from someone who knew that they couldn't avoid elimination in anyway. because if you see her body language, she was fretting and seemed a bit jumpy before they started talking about her dish, like she wanted a confrontation, I could be very very wrong, but maybe all the antics at judges table were there to achieve what is happening now - to take the focus away from her food, to try and prove that she didn't actually get eliminated for her food but for some other reason.

Topchefer
Topchefer

Well, if you read Bourdain's blog, you would know that he had a huge problem with Jen's attitude, more than Tom. It is not obvious to me that Tom has a bias against female chefs. He seems to have a bias against bad food.

Dinosaur Cheese
Dinosaur Cheese

I found the whole premise of the challenge to be rather flawed in an amusing way. Okay, so the Brontosaurus team got to use any kind of plant-based food. The T-Rex team got to use meat, eggs, and ... dairy?!?! I would love to see an artist's rendition of a dairy farmer T-Rex milking one of the tiny mammals that existed at the time. :)

Feednotfatten
Feednotfatten

Too bad Elia and Jenn didn't make it to Restaurant wars. They could have called their place Whine and Dine.

Etrop
Etrop

How come Top Chef doesn't make an effort to blind the judges to the identity of the contestant whose food they're judging? Even if the judges make a conscious effort not to be biased toward one more of the contestants when judging their food, the only real way to ensure fair contestant judging is if they don't know whose food is who during judgment time.

adrian watts
adrian watts

Geal you said "Most troubling was Jennifer’s Braised Bacon with Hard Boiled Eggs". I agree it sounded very troubling, but it cannot and simply does not trump the egg disaster. Did the question of health ever come up in your discussion? It worries me that you think this, really worries me....

Sandy and John
Sandy and John

My husband an I never miss "Top Chef" or "Just Desserts," and we always value your opinion above the other judges' insights because you understand the nature of "constructive" criticism-feedback designed to make the chef better, not feedback delivered to belittle or to provide hurtful humor. But we were disappointed with the judges' table this week.

As an English teacher, I often have to evaluate written compositions submitted by students who are truly disrespectful to me, to the rest of the faculty, and to the staff. Nonetheless, I must evaluate only their compositions-not their attitudes. I will not lie. At times, it takes great effort, but it must be done to insure fairness. I feel Jenn did not receive this basic fairness at the judges' table. She was, at the very least, rude. In fact, let's be honest, she was downright disrespectful, but she didn't deserve to be eliminated. Jamie should have been the one to leave "Top Chef-All Stars." She provided nothing to evaluate. In my world of education, this would have resulted in a zero; in the "Top Chef" world, it should have resulted in elimination.

I would really like to see Jenn in any future "Top Chef" shows. She deserves another chance at the title.

privatechef
privatechef

jen should of left with jamie to the hospital, and held her hand... then they both would of been safe, since leaving a competition seems to be okay. hey guys, when you feel your dish is failing, say you are sick or cut your finger, and you get to stay...easy way to cheat!

Vanessa G.
Vanessa G.

I absolutely agree. There is a problem with strong women on TC. They like to see the women be timid and keep their mouths shut. When they speak out they are viewed as hysterical and disrespectful. Funny, I've seen plenty of male contestants do the same thing. Yet they aren't sent home. Hmm....

Vanessa G.
Vanessa G.

This is getting so old. I have been a big fan of TC since season 1. I never missed a show. But I have lost interest because of the bias I see from the judges. They didn't get rid of Jennifer strictly because of the food. They got rid of her because she was strong enough to speak out in defense of her culinary perspective. Shame on you judges. It is obvious why you let her go even with the editing. You are obsessed with your power trips and pride that when someone dare QUESTIONS you and speaks back.... you let them go. After all the stress they go through in the kitchen under difficult conditions, while you sit there looking pretty and tasting/critiquing food, you act like they are out of line and disrespectful when they get.... emotional? When they express passion? Wow. Get real. And grow up. It's not about you (judges) and your pride. You're making the show more about you and we don't care. You're forgetting why fans tuned into TC in the first place.

Beth W.
Beth W.

Gail- the necklace you were wearing during this episode was absolutely STUNNING! Who is it by?

jenniferfrompittsburgh
jenniferfrompittsburgh

On some episodes of TC it's drilled home to the cheftestants that what they're making should be healthy. And yet, in this challenge what dish won? A parfait, really, a dessert. This is a dish without protein or much fiber. I'm not saying that it's an unhealthy choice, just that it's not really what a child (they were cooking for children) should start their day with. Considering that the US is the fattest country in the world, you would think that something other than a dessert would have won the breakfast challenge!

jenwasrobbed
jenwasrobbed

I can't believe you eliminated Jen. The show has absolutely lost its integrity for me. Fabio essentially threatened a judge last week with physical force for "criticizing his dish", which we all know translates into "making him feel embarwassed (cue baby voice)"... Jen only defended her dish. She was the only female chef for me, from any season, who was truly able to transcend the characterization of "strong Female chef" to just plain "Strong chef". If any female were to win, (any season, or the all stars) i'd feel most pride in her winning, because she could truly hold her own, intimidate through talent, and win respect through example. It would be like if Angelo got eliminated next episode. These are the chefs you know are amazing beyond comparison--the ones you watch the show for. The others (stephen, tre, spike, jamie, fabio) you just wait for their elimination until at last the competition is rid of mediocrity and you can finally watch the realll dealll go head to head (season 6 with just kevin, the brothers and jen exemplified this). i take it back, with the the precedent this season has set, i hope the finale is stephen vs. jamie. one will serve wine, the other soup. boy, i cannot wait.

Dee in Texas
Dee in Texas

LOVE your post, Gail! Love TC, love Just Desserts, and you just keep doing what you do. I am sad to see Jenn go, but it goes to show (as in the words of Gilda Radner), "it's always SOMETHIN!" I believe this season will be really fun to watch, and I look forward to more of your posts. Anthony Bourdain's blog is absolutely HILARIOUS, but yours is thoughtful. 'Lookin forward to seeing more of the show. Thank you for entertaining me. :-)

Sharan
Sharan

I was disappointed that Jen went out. She was definitely the most talented chef but I guess she just had a bad day. I am pissed at Jamie for not helping Jen. If it wasn't for for that stupid cut and Jamie running to the medic, Jennifer would have definitely had a long run in the show.And top chef challenges are really getting silly. I mean cooking the food without any good sleep or rest. Really they are taking these all star chefs to a ride.

Kathryn Steele
Kathryn Steele

There is a humungous difference between breaking the rules, which Richard unknowingly did, and taking the advice of a medical professional. Also, other contestants continuing to compete with injuries in the past is irrelevant. People are affected by injuries in different ways, and in my opinion Jaime knew her own mind and made the best choice for her. Better that she leave to get stitches than stay and risk exacerbating her injuries. Also keep in mind that she did come back and help serve even though I know from experience that she was either in great pain or completely drugged up.

I'm glad that so many people with medical and/or culinary degrees watch the show and know better than the judges without knowing all the circumstances or tasting any of the food.

Kathryn Steele
Kathryn Steele

Have you never worked at a restaurant? While I'm not a chef, I have worked as a hostess in several restaurants. It's actually quite normal for the chef to be in the restaurant working until 1am or later, then have to be back before dawn to meet the delivery trucks, shop and put together a menu for the day. Tom probably doesn't because he's reached the level where he can perhaps delegate those duties. Clearly none of the cheftestants are at that point yet. Before you make comments like this, you should be more informed.

You also have to take into account that, according to the edits we saw, the chefs who stayed up to explore the museum generally had better dishes than the ones who went to bed. So sleep deprivation isn't really a relevant factor.

Viewer in NY
Viewer in NY

Obviously Jaime ran out of the kitchen with her cut because she couldn't cook soup or scallops for breakfast. She even said during her season that she never eats regular breakfast food.

I believe based on the collective opinions of all the people who tasted the food that Jen had the losing dish. I also believe that Jen is an amazing chef. But as I watched the show (twice), I couldn't help but wonder if Jen was drunk during Judge's table. Her motions and facial expressions were so out of control and erratic, and her final outburst as she headed through the door was completely unprofessional. I am glad I don't have to live through it for another episode.

RobinS.
RobinS.

Had Jenn said it made a difference, she would have thrown Jamie under the bus and sent her home. Jamie should have stepped forward. She game no food to the judges, therefore not completing the challenge, when Richard went overtime, he was considered, not finishing the challenge, therefore not up for the win. Jamie should have gone and I respect Jen for not throwing her under the bus and had the tables been turned I think Jamie would have done it to Jenn. Shame on you Jamie. Shame on the judges for allowing her to stay. Next time you think your dish isn't up to par give yourself a minor cut and leave. It seems to work.

Cassie2.0
Cassie2.0

Well said, Gail! Your perspective is a most enriching one! As always, reading your blog in followup to a great TC episode is a great experience.

maureen leibovitz
maureen leibovitz

Lets see the judges do what they ask of these professional chefs do, without sleep no less

Tommy C
Tommy C

First off, if you think what Jenn did was an "outburst," you've never worked in a kitchen. She's a chef, so she has an ego (they all do) and it got bruised. I was surprised that it took 8 seasons for someone to push back. Second, keep in mind that us viewers are at the mercy of the editors when it comes to forming our opinion of the cheftestants, judges, and food. Finally, as a friend of mine who was on a reality competition show (the Donald Trump one) said, it's a show, people! The cheftestants may be there to compete, win some money, and prove themselves, but the producers of Top Chef are there to make an entertaining television show, period.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

The quality of the TopChef shows has been slipping for quite some time now, with the DC season was the least interesting of them all. Until now anyway. The follow-up All Stars show continues that downward spiral with way too much focus on personalities, faux drama, and gimmicky stunts mixed into the challenges. The Top Chefs shows used to be the best example of a reality show that managed to honor the subject matter, meaning a love of food, while still working as an entertaining, elimination style competition. But for whatever reason, which I can’t figure out, that balance has been lost. After watching this week’s Jonas brother, museum slumber party debacle I don’t think I will be watching anymore. At this point I don’t enjoy it and feel like the chefs participating in the show are being mistreated. They are all proven, talented chefs and deserve better than this. So do the viewers.

Skeeterjo57
Skeeterjo57

First of all, I want to say, I am LOVING this season of Top Chef All Stars!!!!!!!!!

Secondly, I was flabergasted that Jen was told to 'pack her knives and go'. I thought for sure that Tre was going to be sent home.

Concerning Jamie, perhaps, there is some kind of show rule about not producing a dish, but I don't recall that there is. Like Angelo in last season's finale, people get sick and hurt and there should be a uniform way to fairly deal with that for judges table.

When a chef's team member does not contribute, does that not put things on an unequal footing? Perhaps if Jamie had added to the dish, Jen would have been kept.

All of the contestants are lovely people and interesting characters to watch interacting with each other and they are ALL STARS in their cooking abilities!!! I just LOVE them ALL and hate to see any of them go!!!

ChocolateChip
ChocolateChip

LOL! All of the "I don't like the decision, I quit!" viewers seem to be coming out early this year. We see them every year, usually later in the season, but the show continues to be loved and highly rated.

I do think that most of the controversy is a result of the editing. We didn't get to see all the kids and parents who went "Yuck!" at Jen's dish the way you did, Gail. And aside from Tom pointing out that his frittatas were perfectly cooked, we didn't get to see happy little faces munching them down while avoiding the soggy bacon (come on people, even on the made-for-TV "beauty" plates, Jen's dish looked gross).

My hat's off to you judges, though, for your poise and professionalism. It has to be hard each week to have a bunch of Thursday morning chefs accuse a panel composed of 3 women judges of bias against women, and then wax grandiloquent about the horrible dangers of an undercooked frittata (do these people even understand that disease is caused by bacteria, and bacteria not only do not come out of thin air, they require time and a temperate environment to grow?). As always, you approach such emotional absurdity the same way you approached Jen's unfortunate and unprofessional outburst: with dignity and class.

Here's one viewer who will continue to watch with the other millions, in part because most weeks I learn something from the great judging.

Jen Ealgy
Jen Ealgy

I say good ridden's Jen, being that her boss is Eric Ripert she'll show up on another season somewhere down the road.

I think her holier then thou attitude would have ruined this season for me, with Elia and Jen gone I can set back and enjoy the rest of the season.

Jen Ealgy
Jen Ealgy

I say good ridden's Jen, being that her boss is Eric Ripert she'll show up on another season somewhere down the road.

I think her holier then thou attitude would have ruined this season for me, with Elia and Jen gone I can set back and enjoy the rest of the season.

sandiegofan
sandiegofan

Gail, you well said "if you can't cook scrambled eggs right you should not be here" I think frittatas might be a little more challenging, but not much. Why was Jen eliminated on a more challenging dish when the error was lack of seasoning while a poorly executed egg was in the way or a sauce that Tre knew was bad and ruined the dish and made it inedible. I don't believe it was the right decision and you can tell in the blogs and forums that very few people disagree and those that do is more based on Jen's behavior than on the food, at least based on what was described. I am really sad it ended up this way, the season is good so far, but that was a sour point in it... well, EVEN the chefs themselves, her own competitors, were surprised! Well I guess I am mostly angry because she was one of the strongest female competitors and as a girl it sucks to see her go, I really want a girl to win this season without the tarnishing point of "well, she won because Richard lost"

RandiLee
RandiLee

It made sense to me to not hold Jamie accountable for the dish and to not send her packing. Sending her home is akin to sending a message that any chef to leaves to get medical treatment will ultimately be disqualified. It's not like when you have the stomach flu and you can still go through with cooking (hopefully wearing a mask), but was something that the medical personnel on staff told her to get done. While I believe that she could have (and should have) refused immediate treatment and just have sucked it up, if the judges would have voted her off they would have made a decision that could have meant some other chef eventually not following along with the medical personnel's recommendations, which could have a serious impact on their health.

That being said I have no problem with Jen going home. She cooked the worse dish, and I absolutely agree with another commenter who said that bad food trumps bad technique every time. Add to that the fact that Antonio and Tiffani agreed that their dish was flawed and that they'd had problems with the oven, whereas Jen flatly refused to take any creative criticism, and you've got a recipe for elimination.

SophieKhoo
SophieKhoo

Please help me understand. Raw fish gets sent home last week, yet raw EGGS survive this week.

I don't get it ... -> Raw fish = Sashimi -> Raw eggs = Salmonella

dkim415
dkim415

RAW EGGS vs. YUCKY EGGS? hm.... OK with the risk getting a bunch of kids sick?? nice choice judges. nice.

Viewer-san diego
Viewer-san diego

Gail, you well said "if you can't cook scrambled eggs right you should not be here" I think frittatas might be a little more challenging, but not much. Why was Jen eliminated on a more challenging dish when the error was lack of seasoning while a poorly executed egg was in the way or a sauce that Tre knew was bad and ruined the dish and made it inedible. I don't believe it was the right decision and you can tell in the blogs and forums that very few people disagree and those that do is more based on Jen's behavior than on the food, at least based on what was described. I am really sad it ended up this way, the season is good so far, but that was a sour point in it... well, EVEN the chefs themselves, her own competitors, were surprised! Well I guess I am mostly angry because she was one of the strongest female competitors and as a girl it sucks to see her go, I really want a girl to win this season without the tarnishing point of "well, she won because Richard lost"

Ozzyct
Ozzyct

Regarding Jen's dish, the fact that the bacon was not crisp was taken as a flaw in execution based on the idea that there should be some contrast in textures. Well, the contrast was there: soft bacon, hard boiled egg (I cannot judge the flavor of course, but I can see the concept). I personally prefer my bacon soft, and so many other people; try it in the UK or Latin America. On the other hand, as Jen said, gnocchi for breakfast? Give me a break.

Very disappointed Viewer
Very disappointed Viewer

Tom - Every since Lee Ann left Top Chef, the challenges have become terrible and extremely unfair to the chefs. I have read all the blogs and message boards and LOTS of them said the chefs had only a few hours of sleep or none at all and then you expected them to make a huge breakfast while being sleep deprived. Jen was probably really cranky from not getting any sleep -- I really doubt that in real life, the chefs would catered a snack at midnight, sleep a couple of hours and then be expected to put out a full buffet! I saw Padma stare at Jen when she came over shake your hands. Padma looked like she was afraid Jen was going to smack her in the face. When the chefs were sleep deprivated, I think you should have cut her some slack and after all, she worked alone while the others had help and two stitches is NOTHING! Why is Stephen there? He is not a chef -- he only cares about which wine to serve. He should not have been asked to come on the show! I am so disappointed that I really don't care who wins!

Lorie J.
Lorie J.

I have to agree. What were likeable characters during their seasons (Jennifer and Elia) have certainly turned out to be egotistical prima donas. Funny what 15 minutes of fame on a cable reality series will do to some people, huh?

alise
alise

I have absolutely no problem with Jenn going home. Yes, the frittatas were undercooked, but if given the chance, Antonia and Tiffany would fix it. Jenn's dish was apparently absolutely disgusting and she stood behind it and refused to believe there could be anything wrong with it. Season after season we see the same battle at judges' table. A mistake in technique versus flat out bad food. More often than not, the technique mistake will not be enough to send someone home when up against bad food. Jenn's dish looked disgusting, no one who tried it had anything good to say about it, yet Jenn stood there willing to fight to the death that it wasn't even a bad dish. I don't buy the "top chef hates women" bit for a minute, and there are still some very strong women competing. That dish definitely seemed deserving of sending Jenn home.

kg1992
kg1992

I had Jen pegged as the winner once they announced the cast. However, I understand. It was easy to see her go once you knew she was gone. After the comments there was no doubt in my mind that she was gone. Mike said it best when he said "everyone here expects to be in the top 5". Only one will be happy in the end and 17 will leave upset. I thought Marcel would have grown up a bit but I was wrong. Why would Angelo sabatoge his own dish? I felt sorry for him in season 2 a little bit but know I realize that he is just a punk. it is so hard to watch because I love everyone that is there. (minus a few). Every allstar season I have ever seen ended in disaster. I hope this doesn't or I will have to give up on them for good.

Colleenita
Colleenita

So, I get that the diners all unanimously agreed that they liked Jenn's dish the least. What did they think of Jaime's dish? Oh, they didn't have an opinion because she didn't make a dish? What say you to that, Gail?