Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson comments on the friction among the female chefs competing in Restaurant Wars.

on Jan 11, 20120

Ed takes some pokes right off the bat at Sarah, still quietly reeling from Sarah’s need to take a medical break from barbecue cookery and suck down oxygen like Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet. 911 ain’t no joke in this town. 

Sarah is concerned about Beverly, something really justifiable at this point, as it has become abundantly clear that Beverly comes from a happy place where everyone moves in a slow way, where there is no malevolent force, just clouds shaped like smiley faces, and chirping birds of encouragement. Every time I watch her I wonder how the hell she gets through a day in a professional kitchen, but then again, she often pulls out pretty darn fine dishes out of her dime bag of tricks. The pacifist tortoise may win this race yet, against some eager bunnies.

When we are talking about creating a restaurant on the fly, you have to cover some bases. I would deem getting the food out in a timely manner paramount in that organization. The importance of the expeditor cannot be underestimated in all of this. But the catch 22 is that each team only has four people, with one of them playing the role of maître d’. Crazy times are in store, as both teams leave it to the team of temp waiters to make sure food gets out on time…. Bad move. 

Poor Beverly. Is she the pacifist tortoise in this competition or the ugly duckling? Either way the chefs should watch out cause that duckling may turn out to be a beautiful swan, which pecks out the eyes of the other swans that gave it a hard time, and then eats their babies. The condescension from Lindsay and Sarah is by the platter full in this episode, and it’s all shoveled at Beverly. This girl needs to stop capitulating to these taunts and start fighting back, cobra-style. I have compared Bev to three animals in one paragraph.

106 comments
Viewer
Viewer

Hugh,

Your comments are always spot on, brilliant and funny.

Didn't realize that Beverly was handling two mains. No wonder!

Applaud your honesty and guts to call out the bully girls.

Maybe a timed competition to see how fast Sarah can devein and butterfly shrimp beautifully and cooked to perfection as Beverly did?

Please stay on Top Chef as a judge and blogger.

tc lover
tc lover

I have also been a top chef fan from the beginning. I hated just desserts from day one, and prayed that tc would not follow suit. Alas... I enjoy seeing how people with talent create. If I wanted drama, I would watch soap operas. Please, producers and editors - let's get back to the FOOD!

JNYC
JNYC

Sarah went from yelling at Lindsay saying if she couldn't handle the front she would do it , to saying that she should have won the challenge at the end. Really? The place was in chaos as a restaraunt even Grayson wondered if they made a mistake putting her in front. Its so obvious that her and Lindsay have personal dislike for Beverly and have no respect for her even when she wins. Its funny that people keep saying that Bev cooks Asian all the time but no one mentions how Sarah always seems to cook Italian. Lindsay blamed Beverly for her fish but Beverly cooked it just the way Lindsay told her to. Beverly questioned if it was the right way but she did it Lindsay way anyway since it was her dish. Now that Bev is knocked out I hope that she meets up with Sarah in second chance kitchen and kicks her butt.

KSP
KSP

I'm so sick of the Mean Girls trio this season. I really hope Andy calls them out on it during the Reunion show. Heather is the in-your-face Mean Girl while Sarah is the fake, two-faced Mean Girl while Lindsay is the quiet yet sneaky Mean Girl. Why doesn't anyone call out Sarah for making ITALIAN food for every damn dish the same way Beverly gets called out for making Asian food?

Madelene
Madelene

Just love the animal parables. Write a book please! (Since we (swedes) can't taste your food unless we travel over the Atlantic, a book would be perfect;)) And as we would say; Heja Hugh, du är bäst!

DCFan
DCFan

While the women chefs have shown great talent I'm embarrassed, as a woman, by how nasty they have been to each other. With the exception of Grayson, they have shown a stunning lack of professionalism even when it could damage them. Bev works in kitchens so she obviously can manage her station during service, meek or not. Not that the guys don't sometimes act like that but this is a sad showing of behavior against a fellow chef. My bet is final three: Ed, Paul, Sara with Paul as favorite to win it.

Djtrengel
Djtrengel

I wish I could taste Beverly's food. I have no desire to taste Lindsey's or Sarah's. Way to fight Bevely! I love the classy way that Nyesha lost in last chance kitchen. I'd eat at her restaurant any day.

Girloftheworld
Girloftheworld

"dime bag" realllly must you always take these cheap shots?

Viewerrr
Viewerrr

I'm amazed by how far Beverly's made it on the show, despite being repeatedly belittled on the last several challenges. I don't think I'd have the mental stamina to endure all of the stress posed the crazy challenges and competition schedule (allnighters make me cry) AND have to cook my finest dishes while enduring constant verbal abuse from my own teammates. Beverly, you're made of tougher stuff than I am.

And as an aside, it did make me laugh a little when Lindsay mentioned on-camera that she was prom queen in high school (is there something a little weird about holding onto that more than a decade after-the-fact?). Cutting from that to scenes of Lindsay spewing profanity-laced insults at Beverly was a total Mean Girls moment. Bus accident next?

Bill from NY
Bill from NY

This season has been the worst one yet.  The challenges have become more like survivor and less about interesting/creative cooking.  I don't want to see high caliber chefs making a meal out of canned sardines and saltines.  What makes that top chef?  This completion has become a battle of attrition and not of skill.  This battle of attrition has left us with some bitter and beaten down chefs which are at times a chore to watch.

The best chef left is perhaps Paul and he's been able to maintain his even demeanor, so I hope he wins.  Other than Ed, the remaining chefs really haven't achieved much this season.

Really, the highlight of this season for me has been the last chance kitchen.  This is where it is all about the cooking, and reminds me of earlier seasons of Top Chef.

Please cut down on the beating down of the contestants and bring back the joy and creativity.

Bill from NY
Bill from NY

This season has been the worst one yet. The challenges have become more like survivor and less about interesting/creative cooking. I don't want to see high caliber chefs making a meal out of canned sardines and saltines. What makes that top chef? This completion has become a battle of attrition and not of skill. This battle of attrition has left us with some bitter and beaten down chefs which are at times a chore to watch.

The best chef left is perhaps Paul and he's been able to maintain his even demeanor, so I hope he wins. Other than Ed, the remaining chefs really have achieved much this season.

Really, the highlight of this season for me has been the last chance kitchen. This is where it is all about the cooking, and reminds me of earlier seasons of Top Chef.

Please cut down on the beating down of the contestants and bring back the joy and creativity.

KatieJ
KatieJ

"I have compared Beverly to 3 animals in one paragraph" - PRICELESS! Love it!

Ugh, I haven't disliked anyone as much as Sarah since Marcel - and the words "white hot rage" come in to play when describing that level of dislike. Lindsay is almost as unpleasant and both Lindsay and Sarah are delusional, they don't appear to be as talented as they think they are...instead of owning their own incompetence, they blame Beverly. Granted, she can be annoying, with the crying and inability to appropriately assert herself, but for the love of Pete, there's more than one way to get from point A to point B; just because Beverly takes a different, albeit slower road, does not mean she's not going to get there. I know the episodes are already taped, but if they don't lay off her, I'm not sure I can keep watching. I don't love her, but I'm not tuning in to watch 2 bullies take their "stuff" out on the person they most inaccurately perceive to be the weakest link... I'm hoping Beverly is the epitome of "don't mistake my kindness for weakness". Home Sarah and Lindsay, please go home...

CarolPray
CarolPray

I'm not really pleased with this season of Top Chef, compared to previous seasons. I REALLY detest the way that Sarah and Lindsay belittle and BULLY Beverly. While Beverly may not have a sense of urgency, the other two do not have what it takes to be Top Chef. They are horrible, horrible role models and I think that the bullying should not be tolerated by Bravo.

Debi R
Debi R

Can't stand Beverly! She must go!

bedhead
bedhead

Beverly brings it on herself. She has only made it this far because other people have made bigger mistakes. She also does nothing to support her team and then plays the victim when they call her on her bullshit. She clearly can't stand the heat, so it's time for her to get the hell out of the kitchen.

Michele Burris
Michele Burris

I am an avid top chef fan and haven't missed your shows in all the seasons. There is always competitions and attitudes flying around, some worse than others. However, this season has been especially done in poor taste. I understand chefs are chefs and a lot of them have attitudes, but the women (Heather and Sara, especially, have stepped over the line). Ed is a little arrogant but has not done what the women have. I am disappointed that it has not been addressed. I understand the competition is about food not personalities but I do think this has gone too far. It reminds me of the guy who had anger issues in one of the past episodes. I quit watching b/c of him for a few episodes until he was eliminated. I am thinking about not watching this series any more also b/c of the insults and bullying. It is not a good example. I disagree about Texas, I think it is a great place to have the competition! I am a mid-westerner and I love Texas and everything it stands for. Good choice for the competition!

Alex from MA
Alex from MA

Superb blog, Hugh! I love the way you give us the inside story, while also writing in an amusing tone.

You're so right about Beverly. She may be a good cook/chef, but she moves much too slowly for the pace of a restaurant, let alone Top Chef. She does seem awfully one-note, which must be frustrating to the other chefs. At the same time, Beverly's plodding does not excuse rudeness from the other contestants.

This has been the worst season of Top Chef; I can't stand most of the contestants, aside from Grayson and Nyesha. My partner, a long-time fan of TC, stopped watching. This group consists of contestants who seem either obnoxious or dull to the point of catatonia. The challenges have been ridiculous. I can't stand Texas, so hearing all that drawling about "real BBQ" each week has made me fast forward through most of the episodes.

Top Chef may well be played out, aside from the Masters competition. The Next Iron Chef on Food Network has been far more entertaining the last couple years. When your blog is the most entertaining thing in the whole season, then it's time to hang up the tongs (I do not mean that as an insult to you in any way; you've been a fine addition to the judging team).

christina in tucson
christina in tucson

The only real criticism about Beverly's "slowness" seems to be the shrimp. Anything else? Haven't seen it. Also, perhaps if Lindsay had let Beverly cook the fish how she thought it should be maybe the flavor wouldn't have been so bland which is not her fault it was clear Lindsay was micromanaging her to the detriment to the front of the house.

As for the "pacifist" label it seems to me she knows how to stay focused on what matters - the food. Why get sucked into the drama of others who seem like full on beyotches?

I think she is smart - WHY bust your butt for people who would love nothing more than to find fault with your contributions and would throw you under the bus at the drop of the hat?

Rooting for the calm and cool ladies - Nyesha, Grayson and Beverly!

Noodlesandgravy
Noodlesandgravy

Are the judges, then, aware of how Beverely is being bullied by first Heather and now Sara and Lindsay, while the bullying is happening? Those girls were ready to point the finger of blame at Beverly if they had lost. I wonder if any of them will be ashamed when they watch themselves on TV and apologize to Beverly at the reunion.

Topchefer
Topchefer

The more I think about it, I agree that Sarah and Lindsey were trying to set up Bev to be kicked off if their team lost. Bad move girls. They won and didn't get to complain about how she screwed up the team. I am sure they will try again.

Nursecarolyn
Nursecarolyn

Hugh, I haven't laughed so hard in weeks! You are a brilliant chef, but dude, your writing kills. Funny with a large dose of class. You call it just like I'm seeing it with your praise and crits of the chefs. I'm thinking maybe, Grayson, Paul or Bev, it's a great group this season, there's a lot of talent there. Bravo, keep our Hughness.

Allie99
Allie99

I think Sarah and Lindsay were laying the groundwork to set up Beverly for elimination if their team lost. It wouldn't have worked since she had the best food on the team but would have made an unpleasant session in front of the judges when they would have tried to throw Beverly under the bus. I'm glad she got the win. I vote Sarah out next week. Go Beverly and Grayson.

Shinesbrite
Shinesbrite

Chef Hugh, you rock!!! LOVE LOVE the blog and I aldresy found you entertainting in Master Chef 2/3. With your unibrow (that's unique) and your sense of ascerbic humor, what's not to love? Fair and just blog and funny, too. BTW, my fave Master Chef contestants were Chef (ADHD) RM and you.....

Vickie Hawkins
Vickie Hawkins

You are one funny man, and I mean that in the nicest way...(did I spell nice..est right? hmmm) Anyway, your blogs are a riot and you are so much fun to watch on the show..actually your the best thing about this season..and I'm from TEXAS..

Hopps
Hopps

Sarah is taking over for Heather.She has the same holier than thou attitude. I am great. You got rid of Heather now get rid of Sarah.

Nursecarolyn
Nursecarolyn

Great goodness! Your blog is like reading Hunter S Thompsen! I haven't laughed so hard in weeks ! Hugh, you are dead on with your crits, and add a logical insight to the the food and it's execution. Smart move, Bravo.

Kelly_Blueyes
Kelly_Blueyes

I vote double elimination Sarah And Lindsay... Just because :)

Marti W
Marti W

Hugh's Top Chef blog = Jay Mohr's RHNJ blog. Love it. Look forward to it almost as much as the show itself. Blog on...

Viveka
Viveka

Sorry, but neither you or Chris understand what the Star Trek Kobayashi Maru test was about. Chris thought he was being clever bringing it up. I'm sure every Star Trek fan winced. Perhaps Chris should concentrate on cooking better food instead of being entertaining. Restaurant wars was a catastrophe, but that comes as no surprise. Top Chef Texas is a huge disappointment all the way around. I've seen every season and this one is the worst of them all. Clearly, that is not the judges' fault. The contestants are not particularly good cooks, and have the collective personality of dirt. I hope Nyesha comes back to the main show. She's got the spark and she can really cook. The show could use more of that kind of fire.

Viewerli
Viewerli

Why don't u like minesota

gidgetsmom
gidgetsmom

Heather oh I mean Sarah was really riding the wicked witch train! More bragging rights for her grandparents! Good job. And Lindsay swearing all over the place. Makes me wonder if she learned that behavior from her mentor Michelle Bernstein? Sarah and Lindsay's behavior really was not flattering at all!!!

It seems to be a theme this year to find someone else to blame for your own failure. It's getting old.

I really do hope that one of the guy's win. I was really sorry to see Ty-Lor leave. Would have liked to see him go farther.

Heckfire
Heckfire

Why does everyone keep saying that Sarah took up where Heather left off?! Heather had one person she had an issue with and went _way_ too far with her problems. Sarah, on the other hand, manages to have a problem with someone on her team almost every time. Sarah started out making a point of Keith's mistake (innocently dropping the missing dish into the mix at Judge's Table in an underhanded backstabbing way that she would later try to equate with Ed's musings over recipe sharing) and doing her best to poison the Judge's against Keith (who went home for a pretty good reason - soggy food).

All i'm saying is that Sarah has been consistently nasty, only briefly overshadowed by Heather's flame-out. If you're surprised by Sarah this week, what have you been watching up to this point?

mandysue
mandysue

Wow folks, cut Lindsay & Sarah a little slack. They are all in pressure cooker (ha) situations, and everyone handles that in their own way. Bev seems to go off into her own world and focus on herself, forgetting the others around her are depending on her. She was supposed to be helping Lindsay out by firing her dish and plating it, and she did a poor job of it - when your butt's on the line, you need people to get it right, and Bev didn't do that. And if she didn't understand what Lindsay wanted, she should have asked - not just complained that she didn't get enough direction. That's what grownups do, and other grownups expect of them. That being said, it doesn't make Sarah's condescending ok, or Lindsay's profanity laced feedback seem any sweeter.

The ladies all seem to be really good chefs - I can't wait to see more individual challenges where they don't have to work together anymore.

Stewaycol
Stewaycol

I have to jump in here and express my shock at the negativity towards Lindsay and Sarah and the praising of Beverly. I cannot stand Beverly! It's easy for her to avoid elimination and be on the top like she is when she 1) Refuses to help her teammates and 2) Constantly recooks the same dishes week after week after week. When she said she wanted to do shortribs, I literally screamed at my TV, "again?"

She's one of the worst cheftestants Top Chef has had and I am hoping she goes home every week. If she ends up winning, I am done with Top Chef.

lou2jam
lou2jam

So agree with jomojo. Rock on Bev!!!

sheri wine
sheri wine

The HAUGHTY CONTEMPT that Sarah had towards Beverly was SICKENING. Her behavior leads me to believe that she is MEDIOCRE as a cook and is envious of Bev. The short blonde is no better.

Jill from SR
Jill from SR

To poster Rich: Thank you for explaining why Sarah and Lyndsey are so condescending. You assert that they have trained under with culinary superstars, while Beverly has not enjoyed that type of "pedigree." I am sorry, that doesn't cut it with me. This is when Beverly's Buddhism comes into play--that is, a belief in karma and living in the moment. Those two mean girls don't get to rest on someone else's laurels, it's what the produce and how the produce it in the moment that counts. Beverly has out cooked them both many times, which only seems to incur more of their wrath. Moreover, there are other cheftestants on Top Chef who do have that type of "Pedigree" and one does not see them engaging in middle school behavior. If these two mean girls from the cool table in the cafeteria really do subscribe to the fact that Beverly is beneath them, then perhaps they need to act as such--that is, act like professional and mature adults. I am sure their mentors have seen their behavior and are ashamed.

carriemac
carriemac

yeah sarah and lindsay were "mean" to bev --but please i am so sick of bev and her whining faces and attitude--i will be HAPPY when she is gone--it cant be too soon for me

ROCK ON Paul!!

amksissy
amksissy

I don't ever ever blog about anything but after just watching the restaurant wars episode felt compelled to bask in beverlys glory that she showed up Sarah and Lindsey. What assholes! Right from the get go Lindsey was trying to cover her own ass and make bev look inept. Karmas a beeyotch and Sarah and Lindsey are hopefully gonna get kicked off asap! If I were bev I would have took my big bottle of winners wine and shoved it their aholes. Glad to see most people are with me on this matter!! GO BEV!

bampert
bampert

Grayson is my hero! Sarah is "f-ing whiny" and applaud her for not backing down when it would of been easier to throw Bev. under the bus. Up until this point I only mildly disliked Lindsay but after this episode it has turned into full blown disdain. She was not only belligerent to her fellow contestants, she was unnecessarily hostile to that waitress who from what I could tell was only doing her job. To end on a positive note Paul is adorable and talented, Ed is hilarious and as stated previously love Grayson even if her bullfrog song was juvenile.

Cryslynns40
Cryslynns40

I personally respect Beverly's choice not to bring herself down to Lindsey and Sarah's level and fight back...she really doesn't need to because her food speaks for her. When all of this is over everyone will be left with their decisions and remarks for all of us to relive over and over in re-runs and on, as Heather so eloquently put it, "our google machines". I hope Beverly continues to stay true to herself for the rest of the season and comes out on top. Regardless, she's first class not to engage.

jomojo
jomojo

I agree with many of the bloggers that Lindsey and Sarah are absolutely unprofessional, unappealing and UNDESERVING! I would hate to taste their food with that kind of nasty vibe bouncing around their kitchens. Let's face it, this kind of behavior is part of who they are and it gets passed on through their food.

And Hugh, you seem to have some nastiness as well. Is it really fair to call Beverly "emotionally unstable". I think it takes a BOATLOAD of emotional stability to stay focused on cooking great food in the midst of the kind of ongoing bullying that Bev has clearly endured. Most people would snap under the pressure and Bev keeps cranking it out week after week AND manages to stay professional by not letting the mean girls drag her down to their level.

Is it anyone's business to comment on how she contructs her reality as long as she is cooking good food...which I believe is the point here. What is wrong with being happy or heaven forbid clouds! I probably wouldn't choose to live in your reality either, where it seems that being glib and clever is paramount even if it's grossly off the mark. But hey...it's your world...make the most of it!

Rock on Bev!

Houston
Houston

Didn't Lindsy ruin Tylor's steaks by sticking them in the oven too early on a previous episode? She sure kept her rude mouth shut when that happened. He didn't rip her a new one. It was disgusting to watch them target Beverly when they should have been trying to shine. yuk!

BridgetP
BridgetP

I haven't liked Sarah and Lindsay since the team challenge where they threw Keith under the bus. (yeah his cooking ultimately lost him the challenge but they were unnecesarily nasty) Now here they are again being nasty together. We all see Bev is flighty, we get it, but she cooks well, and keeps winning so the cattiness is just a waste of time. I can't wait to see individual challenges so Bev can continue to shine. I hope Lindsay and Sarah leave soon. They are my least favorites left on the show.

PS LOVE Last Chance Kitchen, and I am cheering for Nyesha!

HTS
HTS

I think this year's restaurant wars was unfair. The guys had to open their place after being up all night with that BBQ challenge while the girls got a day to relax. The girls had the advantage, so it's not surprising that they won. IT SUCKED!!!!

Rich in NJ
Rich in NJ

Don't forget the real-world backgrounds of these people. Beverly's restaurant (Aria) is less than 1 1/2 miles from Sarah's restaurant (Spiaggia) in Chicago. Think they didn't already know about each other? But Beverly simply reports to hotel management in a big chain (Fairmont Hotels), while Lindsay is a chef-de-cuisine for Michelle Bernstein and Sarah is a chef-de-cuisine for Tony Montuano. That probably accounts for the condescending attitudes; Lindsay and Sarah are proteges of two really big names in the culinary world; Beverly does not have that kind of pedigree.

And in the culinary world, who you worked for is a really big deal. Emeril worked for Paul Prudhomme; Hugh Acheson worked for Gary Danko; Tom Collichio worked for Thomas Keller. The chefs who've worked for a "somebody" really look down on chefs who haven't. Love it or hate it, that's the way it is, and that's what I think is happening here.

pualani k.
pualani k.

Top Chef...not Top Name Caller or Top Verbal Theatrics. There's no need for Beverly to "grow some balls" or "man up" as there is nothing wrong with her personality; it's just who she is and props to her for staying true to herself. Lindsey, Sarah and Heather are obviously insecure with themselves and judging by their behavior, threatened by soft-spoken Beverly. If anyone needs to change their attitudes, it's those three who can't seem to hold a conversation without swearing and attacking someone else. Remember it's Top Chef. Keep your mouth closed (no one wants to hear your judgmental opinions anyway) and cook already. Sarah, if you don't want to be judged, stay in the competition when the kitchen is hot instead of leaving your teammates hanging like you did last week. That would show me you have some backbone and class, something you and your mean girl wannabes are SERIOUSLY lacking.

Johnny!!!!!
Johnny!!!!!

I definitely think that Lindsay calling Bev a retard warranted disqualification.