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Bravotv.com: For dessert, Paul served the coconut ice cream and it had this spicy element with the Thai chili foam.
GS: There was a little bit of an issue because the other team had a little bit overcooked puffed rice, and they didn’t like it as much as we did. And then the four of us at our table thought it was a stroke of genius. This to me was the perfect Asian dessert because it encompassed everything that a great dish should have: it had sweetness, salty, bitter, sour, spicy. Every bite had a crunch and I adored it. It was so fresh and light. Thank God we had Paul’s meal first because Sarah’s meal was a lot heavier, in a good way, but I’m glad the tables were not reversed.
Bravotv.com: Did you find it amusing at all that it took a second for Barbara Lynch to kind of step back and not be the head chef?
GS: It’s totally normal, but I think in the end it ended well. I loved that that Sarah had to deal with Tyler and that sort of set of circumstances in her kitchen and Paul had to deal with the opposite set of circumstances. Paul had a way more experienced kitchen whereas Sarah had to sort of babysit Tyler. On the other end, Paul, in contrast, had to deal with coming to a real ground with a chef who owns multiple restaurants and has been cooking for probably ten years longer than he has. That was another big lesson I think.
Bravotv.com: On to Monte Verde. So this was a heavier meal overall. Starting with the spot prawns and coconut over the pasta.
GS: It was a tartare. She chopped up spot prawns raw and treated them with the coconut and the chili. I thought this was Sarah’s masterpiece. I’ve never seen this before, a raw tartare you fold it into your pasta. I was incredibly impressed. That hit home and it really was a killer dish, one that I think about all the time, I crave. I’m going to Chicago next week, and I really hope it’s on Sarah’s menu. It was just an inspired creation. Her pasta was perfect, as it always is, the spot prawns -- you can’t get anything more fresh and local than that. The spices were so cool.
Bravotv.com: Was this your pepperoni sauce moment?
GS: This was a pepperoni sauce moment!
Paul proved himself week after week and I am personally glad he won. Well deserved. Now, if he can get some much needed confidence! I hope you -the producers/writers-realize that the “cutsie” challenges you come up with to keep us tuned in—this year—backfired. I did not watch many of the shows after the ridiculous challenges that someone dreamed up. TC is different and apart from so many of the brainless reality shows the networks subject us to…and I do not watch them. TC was the exception-now it is just one more “survivor in the heat of the kitchen”…give me a break! I firmly believe the viewers want the challenges to be about the food (as Hugh likes to say). OK have some fun with the quick fires but don’t mess up the elimination challenges with stupid/juvenile pranks (Vancouver is a good example—chipping ice??? give me a break). Your show looks and acts like it has “jumped the shark”…too bad.
Congratulation to Paul. The Top Chef throughout the season. Let's hope The writers and Producers get it right next season. Listen to our coments, and realise we want T.C. to be about the food and the cheftestants. It's ok if the Cheftestants give us some drama. Just don't write in stupifying challenges.
I always love reading your insights. I found the parallels in ingredients and approach between the two chefs' meals quite fascinating. I have to admit that, even though I did not like Sarah and was disappointed to see her coming across as a phony yet again on WWHL, I absolutely adored her menu and would go out of my way to experience that meal. Paul is on a level of mastery and refinement that only a couple other on TC have ever achieved. He could win ANY season.
Definitely have a feeling the show "jumped the shark" this season. It was really ridiculous that the majority of challenges were less about food but gimmicky situations. The chipping ice one was way over the top. We could tell Paul was annoyed as well. Is this a cooking competition? I didn't watch half the season due this kinda manufactured drama/gimmicks.
Top chef stood alone in a sea of reality shows to be intelligent with a healthy dose of integrity. It's slowly becoming the caliber of the next "Americas next top model" or whatever that show is called.
Gail, Thanks for your insights. I don't think you can directly compare being a judge to the final selection of sous chefs by the 2 finalists. You judges always know who prepared which dish. Conversely, the Sarah & Paul did a blind taste test. Perhaps, in the future, the judges could make their decisions in the same fashion (blind tasting)... It's interesting that Chef Canora wasn't chosen. As much as you give him props, his time on Next Iron Chef showed a selfish, paranoid, hysterical cook who blamed everyone else for his failures. His food may be good, but his ego prevents his head from getting in the door. The boy Tyler didn't deserve to be foisted upon either cheftestant since he hadn't completed the first challenge in the selection process. Only the better cooks should be considered for the finale moment. Again, this entire season was full of dirty tricks and cheap gimmicks that lessened (not heightened) the viewing experience. Since SourSarah spent most of the season in the bottom 3 due to poor execution, she didn't "deserve" her position in the finals either. From week 2, Paul rose to the top and remained there consistently due to his talent and consistency.
I rooted for Paul from the very beginning and am so happy he won. As like the other posters I did not care for many of the challenges this season. This is Top Chef not Survivor or The Amazing Race. And remember Top Chef beat them both in winning an Emmy without (as someone said) these "ridiculous challenges".
I was into the fifth week of TOP CHEF TEXAS before I realized it had nothing to do with Real Housewives.
NYESHA ARRINGTON should be INVITED BACK next season. And let her start at the same round that she got to during Last Chance Kitchen. Nyesha is talented and was eliminated, as you well remember, because of someone else's mistake!! That was unfair. Even more unfair was making her cook several rounds -- that she won -- in Last Chance Kitchen until she dropped from exhaustion (who wouldn't?!). So she got the bum's rush thrice! Invite NYESHA ARRINGTON back. That would be the ethical and right thing to do!
Gail, it is so much fun to see you on the air. Your comments often replicate my own thoughts. You exude what a powerful and lovely woman should, and the people who compete on the show have tons to learn from you.
I am so glad Paul won. Mean Sarah should not have even made it close to the finals. I almost didn't watch the finals this year becasue of her and i Love TOP CHEF. But I had to root for Paul. He's a great chef and a very nice person. If you watch the tapes, every time you can see Sarah give someone a dirty look if they get a compliment from one of the judges. Yes, Lindsay & Heather you too. The way you girls treated Bev was just awful. I call it "Bullying because you were Jealous". I have to say this was not one of the better seasons of TOP CHEF except for the fact that a great chef won. PAUL!!!!!
Loved the meeting with the loved ones of the chefs. Yes even Sarah. Paul's experience was so touching. Loved the father and son moment.
I, too, wanted Paul to win. He did so well throughout the season and was gracious and humble. HOW was he behind Chris Crary for fan favorite (who we hardly heard from)?! Either Grayson or Paul should have that title.
I also want to reiterate what others have said about the silly, meaningless challenges. I watch this show for the cooking techniques and combinations. It's always been a great competition, but some of this season's challenges were so ridiculous and unfair to the cheftestants. Please, please get back to what Top Chef has always been about!
Gail, Thank you for sharing with Beverly how she was so gracious in dealing with those "Mean" girls. You can see the sparkle in her eyes and heart, while the other ladies??? are dark on the inside. I love how Nyesha siad if Bev beat her she better make it to the finals. But the right Chef won and I did love Paul and his style of cooking. Thank you for making this one of my favorite shows to watch!!! Now what am I going to do, I'm starting a Top Chef Dinning Club and each month we're going to a restaurant of a contestant or judge! Best wishes to you!!! KB Foodie