Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons explains why Sarah Grueneberg's dish's flaws didn't get her sent home.

on Feb 23, 20120

Bravotv.com: And then we have Lindsay, who did go home, with her halibut.
GS: Lindsay’s dish was sort of interesting to me. It was very complex; there were a lot of elements. When I first started eating it I really enjoyed it, but then when I started looking at it more closely and taking apart the individual components, there seemed to be too much there. Too many layers that didn’t quite go together. And then her cocktail was a little weak. It was a Bloody Mary, which I’m all for, but it was a little watered down, it didn’t have the punch it should have -- we wanted more heat, we wanted more flavor, and a little bit more personality. The other two dishes were very unique -- a Bloody Mary is something that we see everyday at home. 

Bravotv.com: So we have two left. 
GS: It’s the final showdown between Paul and Sarah. Who would ever have known it would come to these two? And the next episode is just straight-up  cooking as they were meant to cook -- we are leaving the fire and the ice and the gondolas and the guns behind us and you will see some pretty extraordinary food from these two chefs. 

55 comments
TexasTexasTexas
TexasTexasTexas

I agree with most everyone here. Sara getting to proceed with the FROZEN block of sauce told us that she was somebody's favorite. The show lost integrity due to favoritism, reality TV feel to competitions, and no accountability. We won't record Top Chef anymore. Sara's attitude was comical in the second from last episode. She had obviously read blogs and saw that everyone was disgusted with her nastiness. She complimented Bev and called her a great chef and a tiger in competition. Riiiiigghht, Sara.

kibbles
kibbles

Sarah's dish was a failure, it could not be served with a frozen-solid block on top in a restaurant. she should have been eliminated, but the judges/Tom kept her around, yet again.

this season was the worst. gimmicky, bullying, lack luster chefs/food.

Top Chef, meet shark.

Pupster
Pupster

Honestly, what a horrible season to have 3 such unlikeable women as Heather, Lindsay and Sara on the show, and for 2 of them to make it so far based on mediocre results. I'm sure they will read some of the comments and blame the editing or feel misunderstood, and yet it was pretty clear what lousy people they were.

It was easy to get Sara's number back in the bbq episode when she fainted from the heat, left Ed and Ty-lor to do service without her, and she "recovered" just long enough to serve the judges then left. Then she had to nerve to use her confessional to boast that she wouldn't feel guilty about it. She should have been kicked off then and there. What an embarrassment of a human being.

Sad she made it to the top 2. It's bad when you are actively wishing someone's failure, but she truly was so awful. She made a big mistake going on tv so that so many people could witness her awfulness.

nroseynjeff
nroseynjeff

Oh and I love some gimmicks when they work out well!!

Viewer
Viewer

I love what Paul did!!

sudeme
sudeme

I believe the frozen dessert should have sent Sarah Home.

IbeH8tin
IbeH8tin

First, forget the "Texas" crap-cooking is a global endeavor Second, Heather, Lindsay. and Sarah were jerks-not bullies Third, Bev, while sweet, was quite annoying Fourth, I agree that the feel of this season was "gimmicky" and lackluster Fifth, What was wrong with the old formula? cook, judge, cook, eliminate? Sixth, if ratings are an issue get Bourdain back, and make Tom more present in each episode

kburt36
kburt36

Gail, I loved the dress you were wearing during the Fire & Ice elimination challenge! Who is the designer?

sawfish
sawfish

Really really hope Paul wins!!! Sara is a bully, and that is not a quality a winner should possess. I have such a hard time watching her at all. It's disgusting or she is disgusting!! If she wins we will no longer watch the show.

The Jenntifer
The Jenntifer

I agree with the Sara comments. She criticized Bev for making Asian food but never got out of her pasta comfort zone. I am very surprised frozen sauce made it in the finale. I do wonder if the integrity of the show/judges table is sliding for the sake of ratings.

The Jenntifer
The Jenntifer

I agree with the Sara comments. She criticized Bev for making Asian food but never got out of her pasta comfort zone. I am very surprised frozen sauce made it in the finale. I do wonder if the integrity of the show/judges table is sliding for the sake of ratings.

kathy gott
kathy gott

my partner and i are chefs from new zealand who watch top chef religiously the day it airs. in response to everyone commenting on this seasons format, i have to admit neither of us has noticed the imbalance in food vs novelties like gondala cooking - because we both welcome any opportunity for a break in the cooking to vent about our disgust over Sarah and Lindsay. there are really no words for it so we waste a lot of the show talking and looking for them. its been apparent the entire time specifically with sarah that the judging would bail her out of any technical error. And just as apparent since one of the first few episodes that she would be in the final two, when she had made an obviously flawed dish just like any other chef from any other week, and tom in critising/judging it in so many words stated that he knew who she was and who she worked for therefore what she was capable of ( slash what she "usually" cooks like ) and DISMISSED IT. blatant judging and prejeduce based on a predetermined opinion of where the chef ranks in the group of contestants before and obviously regardless of how they do in the challenge. It will be hard to keep watching, and that will be determined by the finale. because of toms bias We both knew she would be in the final two but held out hope from the beginning that come the final she'd be out. in response to an earlier comment justifying 'bullying' behaviour in a kitchen environment: absolute crap. Ive worked in many kitchens and snide remarks and vindictiveness are an absolutely unnessary part of a team, to this extent not normal. do not mistake the common-place bluntness, harsh words for the behaviour of these two that thank god has been picked up on by other viewers. their snide remarks, b--chy gloss on everything, and vindictiveness is not commonplace or acceptable in any hardworking kitchen environment. Just want to add that none of this would have been so hard to watch were it not for it being so obvious that Sarah (and probably Lindsay) would get a free ride right through regardless of anything around them.

Challoots
Challoots

It soon beacame apparent that the snotty girls-Sarah and Lindsey, were judges pets because of who their mentors are.

LauraGamm
LauraGamm

The chefs for the most part were boring. If they cooked Asian, that's all they cooked. If they were italian chefs, they cooked pasta. BORING. They need to step out more instead of putting the same old spin on everything. Seasons past were so much better and informative. This season I didn't even see anything I would eat....you need to do something much more difficult, creative and challenging. Time constraints aren't everything

Sarah should have been sent home SO LONG AGO! Beverly should have made it before Sarah. Too many mean girls -- if the show starts going in that direction, I'm afraid I'll pack my knives and go.

Random Girl
Random Girl

Too many gimmicks, not enough cooking, but most importantly...

When are you going to have a kosher challenge? We've had vegetarian and vegan, weddings, bachelor(ette) parties, now a quinceanera, I want a bar mitzvah!

Seriously, I have a few different ideas for a kosher challenge. Let's get moving!

Onclewillie
Onclewillie

Sarah should have been eliminated weeks ago. She even admits that she had not won anything up to the final four. Her repertoire is so limited. Even more annoying was her insistence on throwing her competition under the bus even when the tactic was not needed. A mediocre cook and a rotten personality.

eveinsc
eveinsc

Gail, I applaud you for being the only judge to point out the failure of Sara's dish. Make all the flavor comments you want, but the truth is a dish like this would never have made it through in the past. In watching the conversation between you and Tom it really looked like whatever Tom says goes on TC, and it was clear he had his mind made up that Sara's pasta (again!) dish was superior to Lindsay's. Personally, I think Lindsay and Beverly should have a "Last Chance" opportunity to be the third in the finale since there's always been three in the finale in the past. Overall, this season has been a big disappointment with too many gimmicks, and I hope next season gets back to basics and focuses on the food.

cuckooforCocopuffs
cuckooforCocopuffs

I whole heartedly agree with Tabatha30. I normally watch to see who'll win, but this season it was me hoping every week Sarah would get eliminated. I hope Sarah is reading these comments so she sees what people across the country think of her and bullies like her. When did people stop trying to have good character and just go for the kill at anyone's cost? Heather, Sarah and Lindsay's behavior was like that of middle school girls. Can't believe mean people prosper. I'm super disappointed with with Top Chef this season.

Ralpho
Ralpho

I didn't realize that flavor still counted.

Viewer918
Viewer918

If the judges had the most problem with Sarah's frozen block then why is Sarah still in?! If that rude, mean girl wins I am done.

sudeme
sudeme

Lindsay should be in the finals.

Ivyfree
Ivyfree

I was wondering WTH Tom was smoking, to say that Sarah was cooking outside her comfort zone. Sarah did pasta! Again! How many times did she do pasta or risotto during the season? If it's good pasta, fine, say it's good pasta, but claiming it was outside her comfort zone was crack talking.

WashigntonState
WashigntonState

I found Beverly to be a bully in her own right....why would she need to use the blender/plug on Sarah's station? To slow her down...to "get in her head"? The "i'm sorry's" from Bev got really old. Just saying....

Dr. Uli
Dr. Uli

I backed Beverly based on the mistreatment she consistently received from Sarah until the 'games' challenge when she was eliminated and actually hugged a woman who had shown her so much hatred. I better understand why she was treated the way she was.

wendy melendez-maxwell
wendy melendez-maxwell

I do not like sarah because of the way she treated beverly was mean and nasty, sarah did everything to make beverly feel like she did not belong, sarah is a bully and should have packed her knives and left a long time ago.

anne from FL
anne from FL

I'm glad i didn't have to be the judge on this...Leave it to the experts!

GerryG
GerryG

Gail - I know this is Top Chef, not top nice person who is a great cook, but next season could we please have more challenges that showcase the chefs and their skills, less gimmicks, and less weird team challenges?

That said, I do wish Ed and Paul were in the finals! And I hope that Sarah learns that a new haircut does not make over your personality - and sadly, we all know karma will come back to bite you at some point. ("I came back nice" -NOT!!)

seriously?!!!
seriously?!!!

SERIOUSLY HOW DID A BLOCK OF FROZEN SAUCE MAKE IT IN TO THE FINALS ?!!!!! Lindsay did NOTHING WRONG! In fact, her dish went the best with her drink!!!!!! And her dish was the best prepared, perfect fish ........ In a cooking competition i guess cooking well just doesn't cut it.... you have to freeze the sh out of things, under season/not enough heat in the pasta..... BAD DECISION.

I'm pretty outraged.

GAF
GAF

I hope you all wake up next season and proclaim Top Chef Dallas was just a dream, or rather a nightmare.

BonJoyPal
BonJoyPal

Heather, Lindsey and Sarah were all extremely rude! No wonder there are so many mean people in this world. People see that it's acceptable, improves ratings and profits. That should never be the rule. Tom said it's about the food not style? How many seconds would he tolerate that behavior directed at him. Show some respect and own up. Top Chef is losing fans and style.

Marle
Marle

To all that comment on the "mean girls" & "bullying"..GET OVER IT! If you have ever REALLY been bullied, then you will note that a few strong comments do not rise to that level....further, have any of you WORKED in a kitchen or food service? These chefs are PUSSYCATS. Bev, on the other hand, milked sympathy whilst exhibiting totally passive-aggressive behavior...in the end, its about the food. That being said...THANK YOU FOR LOSING THE SURVIVOR TYPE GIMMICKS tor this episode...please consider the bloggers comments, and create future shows that spotlight cooking technique and presentation, not athletic and dangerous gimmickery. Ps. Too all blotters.. Comments about a chefs weight and appearance are a type of bullying in itself as well as being sexist. I think both chefs in the finale are amazing...I only wish I could cook like either of them. Pss ..please let Nyesha come back next session, she got a raw deal....she was first eliminated through no fault of her own, & then her dish was hijacked in last chance kitchen...another gimmicky ploy when the chef is fighting for survival

BonJoyPal
BonJoyPal

Lindsey and Sarah, both were terribly rude! Tom says it's about the food, but how long would he take the dirty mouths of those gals while he was trying to cook a masterpeice or participate in a team event? About 2 seconds! Heather lead the pack of mean girls. Top Chef is not only losing fans, they're losing all their class and style. Too bad ratings and profts seem to be more important.

rusty97015
rusty97015

I have to echo the negative comments about Sarah. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one turn-off by her nastiness. I realize there are a lot of disgusting chefs out there who are awful people but who can cook their asses off. But, despite not being able to taste her food, I fail to believe Sarah is one of the two best chefs in this year's competition. I feel Top Chef gambled that people want to watch good (Paul) vs. evil (Sarah). I want to see the top chefs compete against each other... I don't want to watch a snot-nosed spoild brat bully her way through the kitchen. What a disappointment!

Curtis Moreland
Curtis Moreland

I agree with all the comments above from the challenges getting to much like reality tv. My god pee wee herman get real , they can't do better then that ! As far as Sarah wow what a pig litterally... You pretty much stopped this viewer from watching the finale, I think you would of had better ratings for the last one with Bev instead of that nasty thing they picked. The whole season was not as good as it used to be . Good luck Paul rooting for ya, even though you won't need it to beat that thing they picked, so they had a texas and texas cook off.... and a shout out to that sexy Padma....

Schlupster
Schlupster

How can frozen pasta sauce make it to the final?

Meggs
Meggs

I think it's disgusting that they put Sarah into the finals. She's so fake and a hypocrite. If she ends up winning next week that will be it for me watching Top Chef. They are going to losing a lot of viewers after this season.

FanFare57
FanFare57

Gail, Thank you for your sincere comments. I have to take you and the judges to task for applauding Sarah's so-called "risk" in making pasta for this challenge. First off: She makes pasta every day. It was hardly innovative for her. Second: What did pasta have to do with the task at hand (Fire & Ice)? Third: Her so-called "mousse" was a solid brick and difficult to eat. How could that get kudos? Her behavior, which you've been unaware until you viewed the shows, has been deceptive, manipulative, self-centered and bullying (toward Bev). Now that you've seen her in action, how can you still sing her praises? The fact that she has been given free passes in spite of disastrous execution problems is beyond comprehension.

bonniejln
bonniejln

it's down to the final two. wish ed would have made it instead of sarah. that girl needs a lesson on back stabbing and manners! comming from texas you'd think she had some! geesh. a shame to southern girls i imagine. i'm a northern girl and i would have put her in her place lonnnng ago! great chef, crappy attitude. but just as a side note has anyone noticed that since bev lost (to sarah's glee) she is all sarah talks about???? someone feeling guilty and trying to gloat by mentioning her name alot??? hmm. whatevs.

Missdebras
Missdebras

This is disappointing... We all know who should have been in the final two.

Mamamia72
Mamamia72

I hope that someone from Bravo or the judges addresses the issues presented by the bloggers. The number of fans truely upset by the horrible bullying this season can not and should not be ignored. I want to know if the really care what we think, or if they are just allowing us to vent and not change the show back to a cooking show. My fear if they ignore us is the number of viewers will reduce to a point of cancellation of the show. Sad turn of events that would be with a show that started out so great.

tabatha30
tabatha30

Normally I watch Top Chef hoping someone in particular will win. This time I spend every episode praying that Sarah would lose. What a horrible woman! The way she treated Bev was difficult to watch - and when Bev went home, I could understand why Padma cried because, actually, so did I, and not only because a nice person was sent home, but because she had been victimized by a bully. Sarah reminds me of one of those phony, cliquish girls in grade school who boosts her own self-esteem by getting everyone to gang up on another kid -- it's clear that she's insecure. She's always the first to bring up the idea of the "three amigos" -- she's manipulative and mean. Those crocodile tears don't fool anyone -- she's never sad to see anyone go because it puts her one step closer to winning. I don't care if her food is tasty - her personality is just plain awful. If there is any justice in this world, that mean creep WILL NOT WIN.

TheGoodFaery
TheGoodFaery

I loved seeing you on Watch What Happens: Live. Kevin, really? Great answer. He was soulful. I'm looking forward to reading your book, and hope to see you back with Top Chef: Desserts. Unless they make it a challenge show like TC 9 and make it into Top Chef: Deserts, where they have to make dishes out of agave and prickly pear. Thank you for your always honest responses here on your blog. Usually the comments aren't printed, but I know people are commenting every month.

Elki
Elki

Given the reasons why Lindsay went home vs the reasons why Sarah stayed.. I can't help but think..FAVORTISM!

sudeme
sudeme

I still think Lindsay should have been paired with Paul.

Whatever Sarah does in life. I truly feel very sorry for the persons working under her.

In the End I believe Paul will win. He has the expertise and the knowledge.

mokweichi
mokweichi

Paul has shown much more consistency in cooking good dishes throughout the competition.... no matter what the outcome is... it is pretty obvious that he is already the Top Chef whether or not he is official given the title .... Title of Top Chef needs to be earned and be respected... I think very few will acknowledge Sarah if she really brings home the title..... I won't .... so there is really no need to watch the finale anymore.

BellinghamBunky
BellinghamBunky

I don't think Sarah recognizes her bullying, condescending and rude behaviors. Wouldn't it be lovely if she could let judmentalism soften into discernment? She could walk away from this contest a winner that way, despite the outcome of the finale.

Union, New Jersey
Union, New Jersey

I agree. Sarah could win the competition, but Paul will be the real winner because he showed some maturity, professionalism, class and compassion during the season. Sarah showed us pasta, pasta, pasta with some unnecessary bullying thrown in.

limonpop
limonpop

Gail, I've sent a similar comment to Tom (if it gets posted), but what did you really think of this season's challenges? Not sure if you can give your honest opinion as you can't bite the hand that feeds you, but we want to know! This season started off so well with the chefs vying for a spot, then it just went in this weird game show direction. Like we don't care for these Survivor type challenges. We want to see the food first and foremost. I hope my sentiment doesnt get lost because I've read a lot of similar comments on other blogs.

Here's hoping you give it to us straight.

Thanks.

anne_oregon
anne_oregon

Glad to hear you're leaving the gimmicks behind for the finale! Excited for some great cooking:)!