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Jen endeavored to make a very similar dish to one that Michael Voltaggio did successfully in Vegas, but her version in this particular challenge just didn’t come together at all. ou even heard Casey –- Jen’s own teammate –- say on camera that she didn’t like the dish. The texture of the bacon was spongey, and the egg lacked flavor. As for why Jen would go home for the dish instead of Jamie, Jen herself said that Jamie’s not being there did not affect the outcome of the dish. If Jen herself said so, there’s nothing further to be said about that. (Jamie, by the way, had never had stitches before and was a bit frightened when she heard she needed them, which is why she left to go get them right away.) I didn’t mind at all the very vigorous defense Jen mounted. I didn’t mind her tone or the content of what she said. Jen wasn’t sent home for what she said; she was sent home for what she cooked. Staying honest about the food in front of us meant acknowledging that as strong a chef as Jen is, and as good a job as she does in her professional life in Philly, she’d served us the weakest dish on the losing team...
...which happened to be the weakest dish on either team. We cannot say so overtly while eating the food, lest the episode be over before it’s over, but it was abundantly clear to us all that “Team Herbivore” was the runaway winner. Their food far exceeded that of “Team Carnivore.” Katie Lee and I sat at a different table than that of Padma and Gail, and when we all reconvened we found that we had independently reached the identical conclusion that Team Brontosaurus had blown away Team T-Rex. All of Team Brontosaurus’ food was delicious. The argument that it wasn’t all necessarily “breakfast food” was irrelevant. I would put gnocchi on a brunch menu — people eat and enjoy hash browns, so why not another potato dish? Similarly, people drink tomato juice at breakfast, so why not a flavorful, light and wonderful gazpacho? And a parfait that delectable made without dairy is laudable — it deserved the win.
On the other hand, let us parse the dishes served by the other team, almost all of which was flawed. I won’t recap Jen’s dish; ‘nuff said about that (and I can’t wait for the inevitable schooling I’ll be getting from Jen’s fans...). Rather than churning out three frittatas, Tiffany and Antonia could have focused on making only one or two and making them well. Further, they knew that the ovens were cooking unevenly, yet they didn’t do anything to accommodate for that. Similarly, Tre knew that his sauce had overreduced, yet he didn’t fix it. His team was permitted the use of butter — Tre had more than one option for fixing that sauce. Tiffani and Dale made a solid steak and eggs, but it wasn’t particularly noteworthy and certainly not “win-worthy.”
Tom, I don't envy your job this season. I thought this was a great idea for a show but I have no doubt that things are going to get messier as these "top chefs" go on in competition. For what it's worth, you all seemed very fair and these contestants would be well served to leave their egos at the door. Good luck.
I have zero problem with Jen going home. Her dish looked unappetizing, and I would trust the judges' palates on this one. I do, however, think her outburst should have been a factor in sending her home -- because it suggested she's unbalanced or seriously lacking in judgment. I certainly hope she learns how to behave like a professional from this embarrassing episode.
As for Jamie, I think the biggest reason for keeping her on is that you didn't want to set a precedent where if someone was injured that they would be expected to work through an injury, otherwise go home. That would contradict sound medical advice.
If Jamie ultimately decided to stay and cook (which most of the chefs said they would have done) then that's her prerogative, but I guess you can't REQUIRE that if she has an injury. Makes sense. What sucks though is that Jen and Jamie's dish becomes only Jen's dish AND when it ultimately fails, you don't have an "Antonia and Tiffani" situation where both chefs contributed equally to a sucky dish making it difficult to eliminate any one of them. Rather, it becomes very easy to send home the only person who cooked - Jen.
I just wonder what the discussion was like more specifically at judge's table about sending Jamie home...?
I realize it is a hard job to judge and of course we were not there to taste as you were, however it seems your judging this week may well have been based on your bias to take criticism. IT did not bode well for you judges this week, I think your decision making capabilites and integrity are the losers this week.
Fasten your seatbelt - you are going to hear a lot of criticism on this one, Tom. I find it condescending to tell viewers that they are basing their reactions solely on which chef is their favorite. Since, down here at the fan level, we don't have the opportunity to actually taste the food, we must go by what your editors serve us. They served us a bland egg (Jen) versus a raw egg (Antonia and Tiffany). I see health warnings on restaurant menus about eating undercooked eggs and seafood. I fully respect the fact that the judges palettes are far more advanced than a simple fan's - you win there. But I would choose a bland egg over salmonella any day. Jen also followed acceptable social protocol by encouraging someone who has been injured in the kitchen to seek medical assistance. She didn't complain, she bore a Top Chef's responsibility of pulling the weight of her team in the event of an emergency with class and dignity. Sorry, Tom - you lose points big time on this one, even though the kind editors added your statement about not having an issue with her vigorously standing behind her dish and not affecting your decision. One cannot help but think your ego, and Gails from the look on her face that they edited in, were not swayed by her outburst. Come on - raw versus bland - seriously.
Competitive cooking isn't for all chefs. Tom, I think you had a previous blog post comparing the experience on TC to a musician who is comfortable with improvising.
I think the stress level for returning cheftestants is even higher.
ok i'll jump in and say it. as a philly foodie, having been to 10 Arts 3 times including the still under construction soft opening, i have been less than thrilled with the menu and what jen's kitchen is putting out. i thought she was amazing on top chef las vegas, but she is seriously dropping the ball at 10 Arts. I was so excited when Chef Ripert decided to open that restaurant in that glorious space and when he picked a home girl to be his exec chef I really swooned. But its just not working. Maybe jen needs a trip around the world or to do some more apprentice work for any of the many really rocking philly chefs (garces, vetri etc) and maybe Ripert should call up Chef Tio and invite her back home. this season, in only 2 episodes, you could see jen was way way off her game, and had an attitude. im glad she is gone before she embarasses philly and Ripert and herself any further.
Tom, Tom, Tom.
I'm a huge Jen fan. HUGE. She was my favorite on Season 6 and I completely back her in this challenge. Which is way I have to say that I'll back her in what she told you at the judges table. I do, however, competley respect your opinion. I wish I could have tasted the dish so I could understand. I'm sure there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that the viewers (and jen fans !) don't see/hear about.
I just wrote this to tell Jen, if she reads these things, that I lover her and I've got her back, but I completely respect your descision. But I mean, come on Tom...did you see all the chefs reactions when Jen said she was going home !?....Just saying :)
Team Mike from now on (gotta support season 6 !)
PS I wonder how high your ratins will be since Joe Jonas was on? I'm a huge fan to be honest, but I've been watching Top Chef waaaaay before I even knew he liked it.
Tom, thank you for taking the time each week to write these blogs. They give us, the viewers, more insights beyond what we see in the final edited program.
Regarding this episode, thank you for your acknowledgment that Jen's comments in defense of her food, while emotional (and some would say unprofessional), were not to be a factor in the judging. As much as I rooted for Jen, and I thought that she was going to be in the top 4 again for this season, I knew she was doomed as soon as Casey criticized her pork belly in the kitchen. You and the other judges kept it to the criticism of the food during Judges' Table, and I respect that.
Serious, Tom? Uncooked runny eggs are good to go (hello salmonella... how are you?) but texture makes her go home? Ah ok... I guess you guys couldn't stand her standing for her dish. Poor decision.
Is the show still about cooking or about the host's ego? Tsc. Disappointing.
Thumbs up for Jen!
At this particular judges' table, Jen was her own worst enemy. And not because she was so vigorous in her defense of her food - although I thought she was more than a little disrespectful with her "comeback" about the way the food was plated. I also lean toward thinking she was setting Jamie up to take the fall when she commented that it didn't matter that Jamie wasn't there...and think everyone else on Team T-Rex thought it would be Jamie as well, given their shocked reactions. I think you sent the right one home. While there were serious technical errors with the other two dishes, they were fixable errors. The bacon and egg dish was flawed from the get-go - one big mushy mess. Ego in a chef can be a good thing; but in this case, Jen's ego was so big, she couldn't see her own mistakes.
One more comment...one of the supporting arguments for your decision (and you make it sound like you're the sole decision maker? Is that true?) was that Casey didn't even like Jen's dish - should that really be an indicator? Isn't Casey 1) a competitor of Jen's and, 2) the one that sabotaged Carla's win with both the suvee and souffle? I know it cannot be easy to judge this, and what's done is done, but really bad call this week. Tom, please pack your knives and hang your head in shame.
My first reaction to Jen's loss was that Jamie should have gone home. Is there some clause that says if a contestant goes away for medical reasons they are exempt from judgement? Relative to Jaime, Jen shot herself in the foot by saying her absence made no different. I would think if Jamie was there, she would've had a co-chef of the dish who had some stake in it, would be honest and do her best to ensure it was executed properly, not like Casey who looked away probably suspecting the dish could send Jen home...If Jen was more cool headed, maybe she would've realized this and not defended Jamie.
I guess I am in the minority as I think the decision was correct. Even the kids didn't like the soggy bacon and hard eggs. This came from the mouth of babes. What is more to say?
I love Tom Colicchio- I think he's the best judge on TV of any show. He is balanced and impartial, and he knows about food. If he says Jen is done then that's it. I liked Jen but I didn't have to eat her food. Thanks for the show and the blog!!! I am housebound for health reasons and these shows are entertaining.
We've seen undercooked eggs scoot by before (I remember a righteously indignant Rocco DiSorno who wanted to see Jaime eliminated in her season for that very thing). I find it interesting that you can excuse inedible food for poorly cooked food. I'd be offended to be served food that poses a health threat - not only does it show callous disregard for the consumer, it certainly opens up certain liability issues as well. While I don't claim to be a Jen supporter, I liked watching her in her season and I was very happy to see her make it to the All Stars.
Once again the judging is being stacked against the women in the contest especially the ones that dare to question the judges. Why do you praise the guys for talking back but send any woman who does this home? You said Tre's sauce made his dish unedible and Steven's dish last week was horrible as was Fabio yet both of them stayed while two chefs who are MORE successful in the real world were sent home. Jen is considered one of the best emerging chefs in the country while Steven doesn't even work as a chef. I really wish you were judging by the food and not the personalities as you claim. The actual footage of your reactions and your comments though shows that you are basing it on personality.
Jamie's cut finger should have sent her home. If you can't work through it, you shouldn't be in the running for the money. If you can't work you don't get paid.
These cheftestants should be focusing on safety. How can I tell my children not to run around the house with scissors after we watched Hung do it the night before with a knife. Chefs should be be required to wear cutting gloves when using knives. I don't have a favorite chef this season, so this isn't an anti Jamie post. I love watching the chefs compete on other shows and root for them when I see them.
Dear Tom, You have your work cut out for you this season. Wow! Since breakfast is one of my favorite meals, I was really interested in what the chefs would come up with. Bacon is huge with me and spongy bacon is a definate turnoff. Jen's anger must have messed up her palate. Bland eggs are pitiful. I thought you might send Tre home because he should have been able to fix the sauce. He needs to step up his game as do Antonia and Tiffany(not Tiffany F.) Great show. It doesn't surprise me that kids like the program. A lot of children are finding out it is fun to cook. Thanks for the good job as always.
This is one of the rare times I actually disagree with Tom. I think an inedible dish trumps a poorly executed one for elimination. Runny eggs? That dish is inedible and unhealthy. I think Tom asked the wrong question to Jen regarding Jamies injury. I think he should have asked Jamie if she had not been injured, after tasting the dish did she feel she could have elevated or improved it, or if she had stayed would the dish have been any different? I am not at all surprised that Jen would answer 'no' to Toms question, if she answered yes it would almost force her to throw Jamie under the bus, and I think the main thing Jen wanted to do is defend her dish.
I felt there was worst dishes, and errors, other than Jen's egg dish. She was clearly picked out for defending her dish against the "Great and powerful Oz-TOM"! Just once I would like the chef with the worse food to go home, instead of the one that pisses of Tom the most.
I think a really good episode is one where you set things up for everyone to succeed, and we have to understand the rules in addition to the contestants. So the rules have to be absolutely clear. It feels like from viewing this current episode, that half of the team didn't completely understand the rules, and even I though they'd be allowed certain basic ingredients for their dishes. I know that the producers are very clear about the rules, but I still think it's the fault of the producers, who have to make things absolutely clear. This is because in the past, contestants were allowed certain aromatics, and salt, pepper, liquid oils, and vinegar. Out of all those ingredients, the only one that's not vegetable in origin is salt.
I though Jen would go all the way to the finals, she's a strong caliber of a chef, but I agree that her dish looked lacking. Texturally, and the ingredient was fatty and rich, so it needs some acidity or sweetness. And it didn't look like they had that option because both acids and sweets comes from plants. Other than lactic acid, which comes from yogurt, and will curdle if heated without stabilizers, there was no acids. I didn't see any honey which is an animal product. Using honey in combination with her spices alone would probably have lifted her dish from last. There's other things that could have been done to improve the dish. An egg crepe with mainly egg yoke would probably have introduced more egg flavor to the dish, and adding crispy bacon with the braised version would have a greater texture contrast to the dish.
First let me say that I am not a fan of Jen...at all. ::GASP:: I think she is a very talented chef and I was thinking she would make it to the finale, but she was not on the mark in this episode and went home because of it. This competition is not about who has the most potential, but about who puts out the best/worst dish on a given day. Yes, Anotonia's eggs were undercooked, but the overall concept and flavor profile seemed much better then Jen's and not all the frittatas were raw.
Thank you for giving the background on Jamie, it makes a lot more sense now why she decided to go the hospital rather than work through it. I love reading the blogs and can't wait for the rest of the season!
Was this the real Jen we saw tonight or did she hit the wine a little too hard in the stew room? I'm quite shocked by her outburst. She didn't seem to have this big of a chip on her shoulder last time around.
But anyone who thinks the judges punished her for it by sending her home is obviously not a regular viewer of the show. If they eliminated people for mouthing off, then explain how that horrible, ghastly wretch Lisa Fernandes made it to 3rd place in Season 4? Not to mention Marcel, Jamie, Stefan, Mike Isabella, or the countless other chefs who have thrown attitude at the judges and lived to cook another day. Even Fabio last week. If people are getting kicked off for talking back to the judges, then Fabio would have been gone last week. Jen just refused to believe that anyone could possibly think her food was anything other than amazing, and her hubris was her downfall.
Whatever. With no Michael Voltaggio or Kevin Gillespie, this is pretty much a sham of an All Stars anyway. Not that I'm not enjoying it! I am. It's just that you can't claim to have beaten the best if you don't have to beat those guys. :)
ninamaebrown, thank you for the inside scoop on 10 Arts. I had the same experience at Huber Keller's Fleur de Lys. VERY disappointing. I can hardly stand to see him show up to judge every season, knowing how much he let me down when I tried to experience his restaurant.
Note for cheftestants of future seasons:
When in the weeds, knick self with a sharp knife. Will provide plausible deniability come elimination time when asked why dish was unsuccessful. Similar to the "never be the executive chef for restaurant wars" rule.
Footnote: if cooking with a teammate, choose someone with a strong sense of personal conviction. Provide a knife for them to land on. Stand back.
I understand defending your decision and saying that you already know your going to be wrong 17 tumes but i believe it's a copout. You sent Elia home for raw fish right. But raw eggs are better? That's what im hearing. Both you and Gail want to defend your decision of send Jen home but all both of you have said does not ring true. Raw eggs and over salty sauce would have gotten you kicked off any other season without and discussion. The judges were wrong and it would be nice to hear it. I know using scare tactics makes great tv but not for me just makes me mad. By scare tactics i mean just look at the faces of the other chef's when jen is eliminated!!
So let me get this straight, if you injure yourself during a team challenge, you should just bow out. Then, since you didn"t cook anyhing, you can't go home? That's a nice precedent to set for future competitions. I'm glad the contestants are standing up to the judges this season. How much condescension and arrogance are they supposed to take? Oh, I forgot, that's all editing. Tom, Padma and Bourdain are sweethearts in real like.
Tom, seriously, it isn't just because we are FANS of Jen that we are disturbed. Our reactions come from what we see and we see that Jen is admired by the other chefs, that she has confidence, that she spoke up for herself, and that she was sent home immediately after that occurred. Disturbing.
No, my favorite hasn't been Jen, but I respect her. My favorite is Fabio and I've seen how routinely he is dissed this year and previously on his season. But he has an enormously charming personality and it makes us love him.
Jen, on the other hand, is interesting, as a strong and confident woman who occasionally in her season doubted herself. This show she seemed determined to trust herself and her instincts. I loved it! I loved her standing up for her dish. But most of all I admired her not complaining about Jamie leaving. She adapted and did what she had to do!!!
A very unfortunate week to be sending her home: She has an outburst of righteous indignation and then even though you "admire" her for doing that, she is sent home over salty sauce and undercooked eggs.
We protest because of the overall comments that are made about the other dishes and the problems that they had.
But thank you for reading our reactions. At least you grant us that.
I am SO glad Jen was tossed. That was the most epic ending I've seen to a top chef complete with explosive "Wwwwwwhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?" LOL awesome! THis is going to be a great season. Hoping Angelo and Fabio get blindsided next week. That would make my day. Granted I do disagree with who was sent home. INstead of Jen, I would have sent home Jen AND Jamie.
These comments are ridiculous. If there were any bias toward Jen, it would be in her favor. She is very attractive, hugely popular, and obviously talented. It would only benefit the show to have her go a long way. It actually lends credibility to the show that she was eliminated this early despite having more potential than a lot of the other competitors. It's not about potential, it's about performance on that challenge, on that day.
The shocked reactions of her colleagues wasn't because they thought her elimination was undeserved but because they knew she had the ability to go all the way. But then she had a terrible day. It happens. If Casey had a stronger personality, she might have challenged Jen more on her dish, but Jen expressed so much certainty in its quality that it seemed to cause Casey to shy away from confronting her. Who can blame her, after Jen's response to the judges.
And I agree that sending Jamie home would have set a bad precedent, even though I think she has a terrible attitude and can't wait for her run to end.
This decision sucks! Tre's cooking caused Chef Tom to call Tre's dish ruined , but Chef Jen's was only bland,. and she was thrown off the show for saying what she believed she needed to say. Totally Catty.... I'm disapointed in Gail And Padma. She was my favorite after going head to head with the Volt Bros. and now Blaise.. , but TV ratings account for so much more.... So, I'm really disappointed with this catty, pro-rating effort by Bravo.
First Bravo takes away the "Live Talk' option, which I truely enjoyed and made Wednesdays very enjoyable and a can't miss program, but has turned my options into "The Defenders" on CBS as the show to watch...
Screw the tweet, twitter, facebook crap..... live chat brought me to bravotv and the following of TopChef
I would like to say that I always enjoy watching Top Chef! It has really open my eyes to the culinary world. I mean there has been cooking shows before; Iron Chef, a barrage of Food Network shows, and the one I grew up with the Budget Gourmet on PBS (who can forget that!) but, Top Chef is just a pleasure to watch in that it is both entertaining and enriching.
In regards to Jen being dismissed. I really didn't care for her lack of professionalism. Yeah sure she is a fan favorite and expected to go far but to quote your blog Tom, "it's any given Sunday." It just wasn't her day. Period. Its a shame that the television viewers like me can not taste the food so all we have is what we hear from other people's opinion. I respect your decision in that she went home for -- her food and not her attitude. Serves her right!
Being on Top Chef should be an honor and you should never be on the show just to play the game and cook only for the Judges. If you come in with the mentality that today I am going to cook the best food possible no matter who is tasting my food, be it kids, adults, or Judges, I would want each and every individual to walk away with "WOW!" that chef pour his/her heart and soul into that dish and it was just magnificent. That comment that you made Jen when you said you weren't here to cook for the people. That hurts. Being a cook myself, all you ever want is for people to taste your food. Be it a kid, an adult or even a Judge. I'm no Top Chef but what good is your food if no one is there to taste it and tell you how good it is or what you can improve on. Disappointed Jen.
Being a Top Chef All-Star doesn't mean anything. It means that you (Top Chef All-Stars*) basically just like the rest of the other contestants lost some how, some way, at the title of Top Chef during your respective season. So go out there and prove yourself, not to us, not to the judges, but to yourself that you deserve to win. Take with you that criticism that the judges are giving and improve on your food. My dad always told me that you never stop learning in life no matter how old or how accomplish you are. For every mountain top there is an even higher mountain top somewhere out there.
Love the show, Good Luck and Padma is HOT!
How can anyone be suprized with the outcome? Jen simmered a slab of bacon....not braised pork belly.....and put some chopped-up hardboiled egg on it. Wow, how uncreative. The dish just had to suck. This I gotta say......how can anyone disagree with the judges after watching 40-50 min. of a heavily edited(I think) show? Y'all are as arrogant as some of the chefs to think you can second guess Tom. Who's tasting the food? You Dingleberries.
Spongy bacon with flavorless eggs? That sounds (and looked) awful. How could you mess up bacon? I think Jen is great and really enjoyed her season of Top Chef, but I can't defend that dish.
I appreciate your defending Jen's behavior, but seriously, if my 6-year-old behaved that way, making faces and showing a lack of respect for the situation, I would be very upset with him. It's one thing to defend your food. Throwing a tantrum is another thing entirely.
Thanks for the clarification on Richard. Now there's a chef who handled his disappointment without throwing a fit.
I'm enjoying this season very much after just two weeks. Thank you.
Tom: I know you weren't involved with the QF, but can you explain exactly why they (producers, Padma, Joe Jonas) let the cheftestants prepare, and serve, that sugar-fest to a bunch of children!? I was really expecting that to get a thumbs down right out of the starting gate!
For those who think that the judges were wrong in sending Jennifer home--What show were you watching!? The judges made it pretty clear that she went home for bland eggs and no texture WHATSOEVER in the food. Yes, I was a little ticked that Jaime was given a pass because of her poor little finger, but seriously?? I understand that you are fans, but at least respect the judges' decision that it was based on the food she made and not because she tried to defend a dish, that from what I can tell, was not appetizing. Back off people, you didn't taste the food and if you had, you would probably agree with the judges.
the warnings about undercooked seafood, eggs, etc are on menus for legal reasons only. Yet, even with those warnings on the menus few people actually heed them. They order eggs over easy. they order their steaks rare. They order sushi. Just saying that eggs are one food that is acceptable, to some people, to eat less than well done.
I agree with Tom that we don't get to taste the food and quite honestly there are a lot of dishes prepared on the show that I wouldn't want to try. But on the other hand we, the viewers, get to watch what is going on in the kitchen and get the chefs viewpoint from start to finish, the judges don't get that.
I have to trust that it was the worst dish -- though I'm with other commenters that if Antonia and Tiffany's frittatas were as raw as claimed, it was the kind of health issue for which you've definitely eliminated people in the past. (Especially since the populations most at risk for salmonella are kids and the elderly, IIRC.)
But Jamie did nothing. I'm sure that getting a pass on a challenge because you're sick is something Angelo would have loved at the end of last season, but he didn't get it, did he? You gave Jamie the kind of get out of jail free card that I can't remember any chef ever getting on this show. That's what you have to defend here.
It was a shocker that Jen went home based upon her past successes, but her "wet bacon" dish did not look appealing, or like something my kids would eat. It is hard to believe that Steven went further in this competition that the accomplished Jen. It must be hard to not consider the lack of respect Jen showed the judges in making your elimination decision. We thought Bravo would have kept Jen around for future drama since she now appears to be a bit of a drama queen.
Sorry to all the Jen lovers, but I was glad to see her go- she was like a different person this season, and was clearly on the Crazy Train.
I understand that this is competitive cooking. I just like to see a level playing field. This one was about as level as Half Dome.
If Fabio had not cooked through his dish in Season Five when he was hurt, he would not have made it to the finale. If Angelo was too ill to finish his meal during the finale, he would have forfeited. They sucked it up and made it to the kitchen.
Two stitches? Really? I can't believe a chef of Tom's caliber would actually say, "Oh, and Jamie had never had stitches, so that's why she was scared." Come on! I busted my chin open when I was six and needed seven stitches. If my mom hadn't made me stop playing to go to the hospital, I would have kept right on going. This is Top-Chef All Stars. Jamie cops out on every single team challenge..."That's not my dish." I love this show, but letting her get out of cooking without any repercussion is BS!
Don't sweat it, Tom. You and the other Judges absolutely made the right decision in sending Jen home. Her dish stunk, plain and simple. I know the Judges admire when a chef stands by their dish but I've noticed in past seasons that when a chef does something wrong and admits it, that gets taken ino consideration as well. I've heard comments from Judges table to the effect of...so and so overcooked the pasta but was well aware of what the mistake was. Jen not knowing what was wrong with her dish and insisting that it was a good dish makes me feel like she lacks the skills needed to be a good chef. Had she admitted her dish didn't come out the way she wanted I would have had more respect for her. Instead, she threw a tantrum and was just plain rude and nasty. I'm very happy with the Judges decision, both last week and this week. Good Job!! BUT, if Angelo gets sent home I'll be back posting on your blog singing a totally different tune, lol. Good luck this season...as you stated, you are going to be making a lot of people unhappy!
Tom, I love your blogs but I do feel bad that you have to field so many angry messages from people who haven't tasted the food. I can't imagine that you or any of the other judges have a vested reason to eliminate ANY of these great chefs without cause—especially Jen, who works for your colleague and friend. Not sure why people are so intent on conspiracy theories.
I'm sure Tom doesn't read these comments, but if he does, I'd be interested in whether he would be OK with a chef at one of his restaurants reacting the way Jen did on the show.
For her to respond the way she did, to say "you're wrong" when the judges said they didn't like her dish, is not a good reflection on her personality, her ego or her professionalism. Does she respond the same way when one of the customers at her restaurant says they don't like a dish? And the way she told one of her fellow contestants that she is only cooking for the judges, because "why should I care what 150 people who I'll never see again think?" is another indictment of her professionalism.
I'd also be interested in what his reaction would be if one of his employees left during the heavy part of their shift because they cut their thumb and had to go get *2* stitches.
Here's the deal...
My wife and I are big fans of Jen. We fully expected her to go to the finale with the other thousands of fans. Last night's episode showed even the favorites can have a bad day and will get eliminated. Her dish looked awful, and based on the reviews of THE KIDS and staff, the taste matched. I think Tom and the judges were right on with her elimination this week. I believe them to be objective in their task, and what Jen said to them was probably respected by the panel. A case could have been made for Tifani/Antonia for their fritadas, but the amount of cooked ones far outweighed those that were undercooked/runny. Had Jen not been so arrogant to believe she had won the challenge before she even started cooking it, she would probably still be on the show.
The cheftestants reaction to Jen going was priceless. I assume they figured the producers would weigh in heavily on the fan base Jen brought to the show and rally to keep her. So when she came back pre-tirade, I think their shock was more due to the fact maybe the producers are a lot more serious about the cooking. Hearing her little tantrum as she exited was disappointing. She tries to portray this hard ass personality, but she lost it last night.
Tom - I love you man. In a totally hetero plutonic way. You are on my top 3 people to meet before I die list. I look forward to your honesty every week. And I envy you for sitting with such esteemed colleagues week in and week out. Looking forward to next week!