Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio shares his thoughts on intellectual property and Dale's elimination.

on Feb 24, 20110

I'm sure I'll be getting scores of viewer comments this week about Mike's win in the Elimination Challenge, so let's address the issue and dispense with it: Let me first remind you that the judges are not privy to anything happening behind the scenes. I can assure you that Padma and Paula Deen first learned that Mike had been looking through Richard's notebook and seen the idea for such a dish when they saw the edited episode. It's not until then that they ever see any other footage -- there's simply no way that they would have known while judging the Quickfire Challenge about the question of who first conceived of the dish that Mike made.

That said, intellectual property laws do not govern dishes. Menu items that appear in one restaurant can be reproduced in another. Even recipes that appear in a published and copyrighted cookbook can be made in any restaurant in the world. In fact, if a chef changed one single ingredient, s/he could even reprint the recipe in his/her own cookbook. Furthermore, Richard had an idea, and ideas are neither copyrightable nor trademark-able in any discipline. I beg to differ with the cheftestants about "Chef Laws." How often have we heard the chefs say that they were making dishes inspired by dishes their grandmothers used to make? In Quickfire Challenges, sometimes the chefs create a new dish on the spot; sometimes they do something inspired by other dishes. Yes, it's bad form to lift a competing chef's concept so baldly, and it is rotten for Richard that Mike did so, but Mike still had to execute the concept well. There's no Intellectual Property law governing such a move, and no Top Chef law against it. It was poor form. From now on, I'm sure Richard will keep his diary under lock and key.

Richard's win of the Elimination Challenge must have helped him move past the Quickfire. This was not an easy challenge, so I hope the chefs liked that they were knocking themselves out for a worthy cause. When the oil spill happened in the Gulf, chef John Folse invited a bunch of chefs from around the country and myself to survey the devastation firsthand, to understand the impact it was having on the Gulf. We were brought out into the middle of the mess by the Coast Guard. We learned about the impact on the environment and on sea life. We met with fishermen as well as with local businesses affected by the spill, since it was not just the fishermen and the packers who were impacted. This was a summer vacation area -- normally, it would have been mobbed, but it was desolate. The spill ruined ice cream stand owners, grocery stores, you name it. There was a misconception about the breadth of the damage. Seventy percent of the Gulf was fine, but people thought that the whole Gulf was affected and wouldn't buy the fish. Fish is not typically tested for contaminants, but after the spill, fish from all areas of the Gulf was tested, and none of the samples from the unaffected areas came back contaminated in any way. It was safe. We wanted to help residents of the areas by supporting them as best we could. Upon my return, I was interviewed about what I'd seen. I didn't want to be hypocritical by saying Gulf seafood was safe and then not buying it myself. I always prefer to buy local, which for me means serving fish from the North Atlantic, but I still made a point of putting Gulf fish on the menu.  

112 comments
D. W.
D. W.

Tom you're pretty much spot on on you're analysis of recipes and copyright law. I am an attorney and you're words are sound. One point, i'd make is one chef need not even change one ingredient to print a recipe in his own book. A recipe is merely a list of ingredients and not protectable. On chef can reprint in his own book the exact same list of ingredients in the same order and amounts without violating any copyright laws.

jrm
jrm

It's clear you've never had Filipino food before or you wouldn't have made the comment. Ask Anthony Bourdain. He's been there and tried and loved it.

Susan Wolterbeek
Susan Wolterbeek

With Top Chef All Stars, you hardly show us the dishes at all. It's all about personalities this time- and your clips are only the negative ones of Richard, showing a bias. Surely at times he must have something positive to say.

In this Top Chef All Stars series, as opposed to all the earlier series, it is as if the director/editor does not have interest in the food, as they do on other cooking shows. You focus almost entirely on the people talking, although it is a cooking show. Please, at bare minimum, do as you used to in the earlier top chef airings, and show us the dishes again, when the chefs are at judges' table. Thank you. Please consider your audience.

TygerTyger
TygerTyger

Tom, if you don't know the difference between making a dish your grandmother made and one you just read in your competitor's private notebook, you need a refresher course on ethics. What Mike did was nothing less than cheat. He obviously has no character and no ethics. He may be a superb chef, but as a human being, he stinks. If he wins, it's a sad day for chefs.

K V
K V

There are some great chefs still in the competition even though some great ones are gone. Yes, Jen, Dale, and Angelo were heartbreaking eliminations. In this competition, you are only as good as your last dish. The remaining contestants have avoided having the worst dish that week. Simple as that. Like they say, "Any given Wednesday". It is anyone's game until there are three. Then, the best of those three will win. And that is how the game is played.

K V
K V

Yes, a lot of great chefs have been eliminated. Jen, Dale, Angelo are gone because of one bad dish. It was heartbreaking and shocking to see them go, but you are only as good as your last dish in this competition. Like they say, "Any given Wednesday". It is anyone's game at this point.

Carlo Medina
Carlo Medina

No such thing as a "pure filipino". FYI- Filipinos are a mix of Chinese, Malaysian, and Spaniards. They could easily trace his roots and he would probably have the easiest time coming up with a soulful dish. Ignorant of you to think that being "filipino" would make for boring tv.

chefjharm
chefjharm

really?? thats crazy because Hose Andres has a dish like that at his flagship restaurant in SPAIN

Viewer2011
Viewer2011

I think most fast food and chain restaurants and anyone in the foodbusiness, coke and pepsi to name a few would argue that you CAN infact copyright and own a recipe.

chefwatcher
chefwatcher

Wow, I was hoping something thought along the same lines that I did. One added wrinkle: Dale is pure Filipino. Tracing African-American, Irish or Italian lineage, difficult. Filipino--possibly tribal--heritage? I wouldn't be surprised if they really didn't have anything interesting to say about Dale's past--if they could find much at all. It's possible they couldn't trace his lineage farther than his grandparents or great grandparents at the most. That could make for some boring TV.

That theory out of the way, I feel they were setting the viewers up for his elimination the last few weeks with his somewhat mean remarks about other chefs and sometime arrogance.

DallasViewer
DallasViewer

"Most of the best chefs are gone!" Of course they are. It's the All-Star show, they can't ALL win. Some of the best chefs are still there. But they will all leave until there is only one left. This is how it works. If you are upset because your favorites are gone, that's understandable but let's keep it in perspective, shall we?

joyce p
joyce p

i now understand why Dale got eliminated too soon,after watching the latest episode in Ellis Island. the theme of the challenge was about genealogy and i'm pretty sure they're pure asians,and with that being said he just doesn't fit with the "theme". also, the finale is about cooking head to head with the TC winner in their season and with richard,antonia,and dale all coming from season 4, the producers weren't probably excited about that because of lack of variety. in the episode where he was eliminated, the challenge was tough particularly for him because it wasn't his style of cooking or flavor profile. he also had the last pick with the proteins and the chef to work with,and richard was right when he said that angelo just got eliminated and his head is probably not in the right place.he was unlucky but it was more like the challenge was designed to make him fail. i also watched the extended judging and it was between him and carla who'll be sent home. they didn't talk about carla's and i remember paula deen saying she wasn't really offended with dale's dish meaning there was hope that it was better than carla's. i love carla and i think that her peers don't give her much credit for cooking simple,soulful and delicious food, but because she's more likeable and has more fans than dale,of course it would be wiser for the show to keep her instead.it would've been one hell of a finale if richard,dale,carla,antonia and angelo were the top 5 competing for the Top Chef title!now that would surely fire up each chefs' asses because they know they're competing with the best of the best and that would also make the producers happy because millions of fans will be excited seeing their favorite chef winning!!!

bunners
bunners

Except that it just flat out doesn't work that way. No, seriously, it maybe should work that way but you cannot copyright an idea and you can not copyright a recipe.

That's actually why restaurants that want an item or sauce to remain unique keep the recipe under lock and key - because if it got out they would have no recourse and anyone could have KFC style chicken or Krispy Kreme style donuts on their menu.

MsCaptain
MsCaptain

I am also a Tiffany fan. Tiffany's problem is that she out-thinks herself. If she would just cook what she knows, she will be alright. For instance when she messed up the chicken and dumplings.She knew better than that!!! Jamie should have been eliminated when she didn't cook with Jennifer. She ran to the hospital for a little cut on her finger. Then,, she stayed around and never served those undone peas!! How ridiculous was that? Fabio should have won the Dim Sum challenge with the ribs. He also should have won the Italian challenge with his chicken. How in the world did Antonia win with mussels??? Carla is my choice to win. Richard has too many tricks.

MsCaptain
MsCaptain

I was glad to see Dale go. He actually should've left when he made that very salty sandwich for Fallon's birthday dinner. Also, Dale was never happy for anybody when they won. He was not a team player in the Dim Sum contest.

MAdkinson
MAdkinson

Top Chef couldn't be boring if it tried. Best show ever! Love it!! Someone has to pay to keep the show going. I always try to patronize the businesses that have the foresight to support great shows like Top Chef.

I would love to see more veggies cooked, though!

topcatherndon
topcatherndon

Antonia is seriously underrated! So many posters talk about Richard and Carla, but Antonia has been solid and in the top all season, as she was in her first season. I think there are even at least 2 occasions where she was outright robbed of a win. I almost cried with joy when she won the car last night.

As for Dale going home: I agree with so many others that it's a crime. I don't see how the judges can make that decision without factoring in the past challenges, if only at a subconscious level. Tiffany should've been sent packing, not Dale.

Another thought about Dale. Let's not forget the affect other cheftestants have on each other. I don't think Dale was as inherently "angry" as people claim he was on his first season. Doesn't anyone remember that awful woman, Lisa? She's totally the reason he lost it, and who could blame him. I liked Dale then, and still like him.

I think Richard is a tool. And I'm tired of him and others claiming he lost his first season because he choked. That's like saying Stephanie win isn't valid. She rocked during her season, and was tied with Richard for QF and EC wins when they got to the final. I would rather eat Stephanie's food any day, as well as Antonia's or Carla's, than Richard's. How many more fried things is he going to subject the judges to? Fried pancetta, fried mayonnaise, fried marrow? Ugh. He isn't without talent, but it's not the kind of talent I want to dine on.

It's the conspiracy theorist in me perhaps, but I predicted Richard would win this season after the very first episode. I hope I'm wrong.

TopChefFan8A
TopChefFan8A

Apparently our court system must agree with Tom regarding copy write laws of recipes/ ideas. When Jerry Seinfeld's wife Jessica, was sued over plagiarizing "ideas" for her cookbook (Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food) from another unpublished cookbook (The Sneaky Chef, written by Missy Chase Lapine), coincidentally submitted 6 months before to the SAME publisher, the case was dismissed, even though the concept for the book and many of the recipes were virtually identical. Tom has a valid point. Chefs recreate the same dishes every day across the country from one restaurant to the next, sometimes changing the name and/or adding a different ingredient and sometimes not.

With Mike and Richard, I think it was more a matter of bad manners on Mike's part more than anything else. He saw an interesting idea and he used it but should have asked Richard first. Further he didn't give Richard credit for his contribution, but then, neither did Antonia when she won the Feeding Fallon challenge for the beef tongue she learned how to cook on the spot by Richard.

I believe Richard clearly exhibits the most expertise and knowledge this season. Hope he wins!

Betsy Simek
Betsy Simek

I think it's ironic that Tom refers to Smithfield pork products as crap, when Paula Deen plugs them on TV!

Dale T's Fan
Dale T's Fan

I was SO disappointed to see Dale go. I had been rooting for him since the beginning of this season. He has really changed since the first time we saw him. He dealt with his anger issues and viewers could see how that has really helped him interact with those around him. What a wonderful thing - he looked happy and peaceful because he could do that. On top of that, I could tell through his dishes and wins that he is a great chef - would LOVE to taste his creations!!!!

Dale T., good luck to you. I hope you win fan favorite because you're definitely my favorite!

AzulFenix
AzulFenix

Working in copyright law and trademarking, I am surprised by Tom's post. Ideas can be protected. This is where the whole concept of intellectual property comes from. It refers to creations of the mind. The fact that he had it written down further confirms this (especially if it was dated). He would had documentation as to when the idea was generated. Choreography can be protected under copyright laws, so I'm sure that recipe ideas can as well.

LMR
LMR

As a Gulf Coast resident who was put out of business by the BP Gulf Oil Spill, I appreciate the attention any discussion brings. However, the impression being given is that the oil is gone, seafood is fine, and we are all recovering. As a member of the commercial boating community, it is frusterating to hear what is giving the nation a false perception. We are still having oil washing up on the beaches, most fishermen WILL NOT eat the seafood (recently oil covered royal reds were brought up by a local shrimper), and BP has not lived up to their word. Businesses are fighting to get paid. We have had over 60 bottlenosed dolphins wash ashore in AL & MISS in the past two weeks alone. While we hope this industry will return to normal, however we are far from that.

Viewer Mari
Viewer Mari

Well said! This is why I hope that Mike does not win...

SCHOTSEA
SCHOTSEA

Don't understand the "why is Carla still there" because she's likeable - she's next after Dale for wins. While she says "comfort food" if you read her bio, her Culinary Schooling is Classical French. Someone else blogged about reading her recipe's and the degree of difficulty - you should probably do that as well as the winning recipes are "black diamond" recipes that I'd challenge you to duplcate. Still like Antonio and Richard and wouldn't mine a final with either of them.

Robmeister
Robmeister

I soooo second this. You hit it right on the head!

TC Viewer
TC Viewer

I understand the "game show" angle of Top Chef, and also realize that in the hit-or-miss format a better chef (or a cluster of better chefs) can go out earlier while others can have a long life under the radar.

However, my complaint is that the episodes are extremely boring. Top Chef always had product placements, celebrities do not have anything to do with food, and celebrities who have enormous monkeys on their back. But this season the episodes seem to be about products and celebrities, Target, or Toyota, and very little with actual chef-like acts. When exactly are you going to give the "all stars" a chance to showcase their talents as it happens in TC-Masters for example, instead of asking for soup at midnight or grits and a teabag by the campfire?

The Spanish girl
The Spanish girl

Dear Tom

I'm a great fan of yours and a fan of Top Chep, but 'clams with chorizo' in Spain???? Not a dish you could find in Spain at all. It might taste great but I've never heard of such a thing in this country.

Top Chef Enthusiast
Top Chef Enthusiast

I take issue with your first point -- Tom's blog clearly explained US copyright and patent law. It take a lot more work than just writing an idea down. I am sure that Tom knows US copyright law as applied to restaurants and chefs in significant more detail and accuracy than you do.

Cmear
Cmear

Maybe it is bad form because Paula Deen is a spokesperson for Smithfield but I am glad he did that. It is true in all forms!! I am ecstatic to see the chef's shop at whole food every time!

Sean R
Sean R

I would disagree with the statement that most of the bad chefs are gone. Of the five left, four of them made it to the top five in their season, three of them made it to the top four, and two of them to the top three. And those same two were actually favored to win their finales, but choked.

I personally think it has been a great season. Last season was definitely weak, especially coming off of the amazing Season 6. It has been good to see Top Chef regain its form, and I hope that they can continue this in to next season.

arribaeltequila
arribaeltequila

Oh God! Who is going to win this season??!!! I love the show, but seriously it is loosing the all-star status at an alarming rate! Most of the best chefs are gone! I do believe there should be some modifications to the rules, not only because they get some viewers angry, but also (and more importantly I think) because you have to take care of your contestants whom are the ones making this whole thing happen. Granted, they are there to try to win some money, but I am sure that whatever amount of money they are getting, it is only a tiny fraction of the amount of money the show is generating, money that comes from us viewers watching, which is a consequence of them captivating our attention with their personality and their talent! It is them that keep us watching and I think it is very sad to see how people are getting so angry at some of them to the point of almost considering them incompetent! It is amazing to see in the comments how much people loved Tiffany in season 7 and how many now think she has nothing to do there! Same with Jamie, people almost clapped when she left :S! I am honestly worried that these chefs reputations are being damaged because of the way the show is going. I understand that those are the rules and that is how things have been evolving, but I believe they should change them because it is creating an aura of dissatisfaction that only makes the chefs look like villains and damages their reputation in the long run. Lets not forget that after the show is done they have a job to go back to, a job that depends on people's opinions, they are not TV stars, they are not millionaires, they live of their daily work, please Tom, let them leave with dignity!! I know it is hard to come up with a score system that will be completely fair and error free and also that this season is done, so for the moment I would like to ask people that feel frustrated for the way things have happened, not to take it on the chefs, they are all very talented and are just humans competing for a chance of changing their lives, don't punish them for not being quitters and taking any chance they have to rise to the top (under the prevailing rules of course), it's normal, anyone would do it. I know most of the most expected ones to win have gone... for one, my dream finale of Jen/Angelo/Dale will only live in my imagination... but the remaining ones are giving their best and it is not their fault to still be there! (or that others aren't)

Noodlegirl
Noodlegirl

I love Dale, and I'm so sorry to see him go! He won me over when he won the QC involving spare parts at Le Bernadine.

And all his witty commentary! I'll definitely miss that. It was one of my favorite parts this season. Good luck to you Dale!!

Scott n' KC
Scott n' KC

Wow, good catch. She is the spokesperson for Smithfield! I'm guessing her southern charm may be a little offended having something she endorses called "crap!"

Liaisonbri
Liaisonbri

....Bad Form Tom!

Isn't guest judge Paula Dean a spokesperson for Smithfield?

Scott n' KC
Scott n' KC

Yes, as many have said, (including myself in past seasons) try a point system as that would likely be more fare/accurate in weeding out the bad and truly annointing the Top Chef. This shouldn't be like a game show where one wrong answer (or dish) sends you home. We'd still likely have Angelo, Dale, Fabio, Jen etc who many would agree are closer to Top Chefs than some remaining contestants.

The point of a competition TV show is to make it as engaging as possible for the viewers (and contestants) and you can't do that by eliminating the best chefs on the program. (hello ratings?!) This ain't rocket science. It would be like having Babe Ruth on your team and kicking him off because he struck out once! You wouldn't ever do that. The "even the best chefs have bad days" saying, while true, applies to the above statement and shouldn't get you eliminated. True competitors want to face and beat the best and not simply get by on anothers bad day.

I'll continue watching just because I still enjoy aspects of the show (not to mention Padma!) but it really could be so much better for everyone from viewers to contestants.

Brian1
Brian1

If Blais doesn't win this season, it will be the choke job of the century. Let's face it, anybody who could have beaten him has been eliminated.

eagcil
eagcil

Perhaps, but the show doesn't require the chefs to bring it every week. Witness episodes two and four, or even five, when most of the chefs failed to perform well. Dale won that episode, but you could make the argument that he should've done much more. That was early on, but for me it has discredited the season. The chefs should have to bring it every week, but additionally the challenges should allow the chefs enough room to push the limits. I admit that I'm biased in favor of fine dining. The producers should've aimed for a season of amazing food, not just a season of chefly breakdowns.

FrankoPhile
FrankoPhile

She was suppose to make two plates. She only made one.

ralpha
ralpha

How come no one says “Go Girl” to Padma?

ralpha
ralpha

Utter nonsense. Intensely interesting! Great job! Keeps us lame-os tuning in. Super plus: Colicchio is monster cute when he’s stern. Mmmmmmmmm Melts me…

Shuju
Shuju

It wasn't so much the stealing of the idea -- I agree, you really cannot copyright or patent an idea, and if you could we'd run out of good books and movies and such--that bugs me about what Mike did, it was the glee with which he kept looking at Richard, before, during and after the awarding that just highlights the whole fact that he did it in bad faith.

Richard has proven himself to be very helpful to all his other chefs in the competition, and he seems to be the type who really wouldn't have been pissed off if Mike a) borrowed it b) asked permission and, most importantly, c) did a way better than than he would have on it, or at the very least, put his own spin on it so he could own it. Richard seems highly intelligent and the type to appreciate innovation, and he wouldn't have been that pissed off if perhaps it didn't look too much like what he did or done a better job. Then again, if Mike was that good, he would have beaten Richard in the eliminations more often, so there you go. That said, all I can say to Richard is what I learned to say early enough in similar circumstances: it's okay, there's more where that came. from, your best ideas are still to come. Don't let that incident change you.

While catering challenges always usually annoy the hell out of me-- I prefer those like New York's Finest -- I appreciated this one very much for its intent, its heart and what it does to give back. I just wish Dale would have remembered to do what he does best first, honor the ingredients and the spirit of the region, instead of being stumped by the regional cooking style itself, something he wasn't comfortable with, obviously. Also, I will add my voice to the chorus-- NOt Daaaaaale, nooooooo. *exhales*

Viewer from DC
Viewer from DC

As a female who sees the top chef eliminations like the NCAA playoffs. I say do not under any circumstances chage the rules. On any given day anyone can lose, is what makes this a good show. As for Mike, didn't like his sexist remarks from the first time he was on. He seems to have mellowed but if Carla or Antonio or Tiffani have a problem with him then I have a problem with him. As for Dale I Salute him for becoming a more mature man. I as a viewer honor you Dale and wish you much success and happiness.

MasTequila
MasTequila

bookworm: WORD. We hard core fans have been saying this since the beginning, but Tom and the producers either a) don't get it or b) and more likely, don't want to admit this glaring (and ultimately fatal as they are alienating the core fan base) error in procedure.

I've become more and more disheartened over the seasons, watching mediocre after mediocre chef either make it to the finale (Lisa was the worst) or worse, winning. The awesome lineup and finals of S6 was a fluke when it should have been the norm. And you are right, while a little drama is amusing, the real and dedicated fan base are foodies at heart and we really do want the best chef to win and the best of the rest stay until the end. Imagine or joy at seeing the smackdown of the best of the best! Not who can suck less in a single challenge.

Even Tom in S1 said a Top Chef is more than just cooking, you have to be able to lead and inspire others to follow, he seems to have fallen from that very true concept. I guess he abandoned that to keep people like Marcel and Mike I. in the mix. So disappointing. I was really hoping they'd wake up.

ArolemArolem
ArolemArolem

DawnDiff's post, squared.

Chef, I want to add my thanks to those of other fans of New Orleans and the Gulf. The double whammy of Katrina and the oil spill is heartbreaking, and yet the folks of the Gulf region are unbroken.

Arolem
Arolem

@Barbara W. --

You seem pretty confused about the episode. Richard, not Dale, has been making notebooks of ideas. He didn't bring in a completed notebook of recipes and designs; during their off time, he works out ideas and platings, so that when he walks into a challenge, he's got some ideas in mind to pull from. The chefs aren't allowed to bring in recipe books and pre-made notebooks, but they're allowed paper. And brains.

alldaylong
alldaylong

I think people who complain about who goes home and who doesn't and threaten not to watch should go bye bye

smudge
smudge

Obviously Mike has neither pride nor ethics. Plus he's a little on the low side - "Thanks for the 5G's" to Antonia who lost herself 5 grand by messing up the Quick Fire rules. Then burping at her? As for Dale, I am very sorry to see him go. He has really been impressive this season. He's matured, and he was cooking his a$$ off. Congratulations, Dale. You win this season in my book.

Viewer123456789
Viewer123456789

@Barbara in NY

I really hate it when ignorant people leave comments. A few shows ago Dale was accused in 'comments' of buying frozen philly chzsteak, when what he really said was that he had grown up only eating the frozen kind.

Now Richard is bringing cookbooks to the show, when in reality he brought empty notebooks that he fills up with ideas during the show.

Turn up your damn volume and listen. Use subtitles if necessary. Then comment when you know what you're talking about.

Viewer01
Viewer01

I'm reading a lot of comments where people feel that Carla doesn't belong in the top. As far the cheftestant score card goes, the big three this season is Dale, Angelo, and Carla. Though Richard has been consistently good throughout. I was disappointed to see Dale and Angelo leave, but Antonia, Carla, and Richard ensures that I'll continue to watch the season while hoping a car hits Mike.

MatthewSnyder
MatthewSnyder

First, a clarification. The moment an idea is fixed in a tangible medium of expression (i.e. written down in a notebook) it has the full force and protection of U.S. copyright law. Generally speaking, a list of ingredients or a title of a dish would be excepted from this, so if Blais' notebook entry simply said "Fried Chicken Oyster on the Half Shell", then he'd be SOL. But if he had a set of instructions, plating suggestions, ideas for different flavor combinations, drawings, etc (as cook's notebooks usually do; I know mine does) then it becomes a copyrightable idea.

That's the boring technicality of the situation. In the real world, what is far more important is ethics. And Isabella revealed himself to be nothing more than a fat lazy thief. Playing semantics about 'changing one ingredient' may be factually correct, but it screams of Vanilla Ice defending his use of "Under Pressure" without first getting permission from Queen.

Second, big deal that Mike still had to 'execute the concept well'; so what if I steal a car, I still have to know how to drive it on the street to make my getaway. In a Quickfire Challenge, the compressed timeline amplifies the importance of coming up with a sound concept disproportionately important than it is in an Elimination Challenge because there simply isn't any time to adjust once you're out of the gate. Consequently, Mike should only get $2,500 of his prize since he only did half the challenge.

Thirdly, yes it is true that we often hear chefs talking of their inspiration for a dish coming from their grandmother.... it's a straw man until a cheftestant's grandmother is a fellow competitor. This is no different than if Alex actually had stolen that pea puree last season, and it should be handled in the same way that incident would have been had proof been found of theft.