Team Top Chef's Senior Editor tries to understand Heather's behavior.

Dec 14, 2011

I'm really torn on this one. I think it's really easy to say that Heather is too tough on Beverly. And you know what? She kind of is. That flower in your hair isn't fooling anyone, Heather! Ha! But, I'm admittedly a very assertive person (OK, maybe aggressive), so I try to put myself in Heather's shoes, to see how I would react to Beverly's personality, and you know what? I'd probably get a little saucy too. That certainly doesn't excuse Heather, though. The problem is that a good manager knows how to get the best work out of people, and Beverly does not respond well to aggression. So, Heather needs to try another tactic. Beverly has more than proven that she's an excellent chef, so Heather needs to start trusting her more. Heather isn't necessarily wrong about her ideas. She was worried about the rendering of the duck fat, and you know what? The judges didn't think it was crispy enough. But how do you do your best work when your "partner" is watching over you, forcing you to hide your cooking style?

Heather brought up that their dish sounded too Asian. While this statement left a bad taste in my mouth, I think I understood what she meant... sort of. Whenever you put labels on dishes, the judges have expectations. Right, Chris Jones? I don't think Heather wanted to get caught in her own sweet potato fence. But the thing is, she needs to express this sentiment better. Why should Beverly tone down her style, when she has to "compromise" on your rustic one?

Heather at Judges' Table was, well, bizarre. She obviously had some things she thought she needed to get off her chest about the last challenge! Enough about the shrimp already, Heather! It's irrelevant -- the judges don't care. And more importantly, as Grayson pointed out (who I'm loving more and more with every episode), you're shooting yourself in the foot! Is it worth it to throw Beverly under the bus just to be right?! Grayson (who seems to be having her own issues with Heather) did the right thing by telling Chris to stop demeaning their dish. Heather could have taken that advice. When in a team, you're not just making your teammate look bad, you're making yourself look bad.